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Bear weekend Dive Report 05-03-2021

Master Richardt Botes with a brace of Snoek boatdive Durban

Bear weekend dive report 05-03-2021

Bear weekend dive report 05-03-2021: Hi peeps and welcome to the Bear weekend dive report brought to you by the sardine.co.za and masterwatermen.co.za.

Well it has not been a great start to the crayfish season with some larger surf around and bad viz up and down the coast. I still managed to scratch two bags up North (read…prawns…hahaha) but it was not easy pickings! I also managed to fluff a Couta (high shot) and lose one (barb did not open)! Oh the bleakness! Fish did come out though so let’s have a look see.

We have Garreth LeRoux with his 1st Threadfin Mirror fish on a boatdive off Durban, Keaton with a bomber snoek on a shoredive up North, Kevin with a Rock salmon on a shoredive up North today, Master Craig Harper and Ruan Potgieter with Wahoo on a boatdive down South (Ruans 1st Wahoo 21kg), Master Richardt Botes with a lovely brace of Snoek on a boatdive off Durban and Teegan Coulonval with a Couta boatdiving off Durban.

Video report

Let us see what the weekend weather god’s have in store for us!

For once we have a SW blowing today(Friday) so some viz and warmer water should come in somewhere along the coast line, either lower South or middle to lower North coast would be my guess. The SW drops off in the night switching to a light offshore tomorrow morning both North and South with a North Easterly in the afternoon being lighter in the North and puffing more in the South.

Sunday the NE dies off completely in the South switching to a light Southerly in the arvo. Durban and North there of the NE blows through the night then picks up in the arvo on Sunday.

The swell will be big in the South getting bigger on Sunday swinging to a proper southerly swell of 2m from 1.7 m on Saturday. Durban and North will have the same swing from the South but Durban smaller at 1.5m and North at 1.8m Saturday morning with Durban building towards Sunday at 1.7m and North getting smaller at 1.6m.

Gallery

So Saturday looking better than Sunday morning unless you hitting a boatdive then Sunday morning looking great down South!

As always Dive Safe and Straight Spears from the Bear..,.

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The Bears weekend Dive Report 26-02-2021

Master-Jaco-Blignaut-with-a-new-SA-record-Amber-52.4kg-boatdive-South

The Bears weekend Dive Report 26-02-2021

“Bang on time the weekend dive report came out on video on YouTube on Friday, and today on the Master Watermen. Next week we will do it all same time! Shot Bear, for the great work man! – Xona”

Hi and welcome to The Bears weekend dive report brought to you by thesardine.co.za an
masterwatermen.co.za.

Weekend Dive Report

Well peeps it’s been a great week for the lucky few that managed to find decent viz and those that
braved the large surf that was cooking up and down the coast. Mackies were around in numbers
with more Snoek than you could shake a stringer at and some decent Couta around as well all mostly
just above shoal size with no Crocs being shot and landed. Some were sited though but goggles tend
to make things bigger in the water right? Ha ha ha ha…

That is the good news…the bad news is that late Wednesday night through to Thursday morning the
heavens opened up properly and killed the decent viz that had just pulled in up and down the coast!
Every river (read streamlet drain etc etc) spewed chocolate into the blue which is now been turned
into BLEEN (brown green that was blue)!

Oh the BLEAKNESS!

Fish

Onto the feeshies from the week we have Arno with a decent 18kg Couta shot up North, Connie
Hallowell with his 1 st Couta up North, Henry with a lovely brace of Rock salmon, Liam Mullaney with
a special Speckled snapper North, Master Dane Salmon with a bus Tomato rockod of 4.5Kg gutted
on a boatdive South, Matthew Bothma with his 1 st Snoek shorediving North, Morne with a lovely 7kg
Snoek shorediving Durban, Ruan Potgieter with his 1 st Rock salmon shoredive North, Troy Ellof with a
size Harry hotlips 7.3Kd shoredive Durban and last but not Least Master Jaco Blignaut with a new SA
record Amberjack of 52.4kg shot boatdiving South at 45m. You can read more about this insane
Amberjack in the news article here https://masterwatermen.co.za/2021/02/23/new-south-african-
spearfishing-record-greater-amberjack-52-4kg/

Weather

Right let’s see what the weather gods have in store for us this weekend…hmmm Durban and North
coast are looking great with a light offshore Saturday morning switching to light onshore in the arvo
and South pretty much the same just will be puffin slightly more in the arvo. Saturday swell is zip
Durban and North coast Picking up slightly in the arvo and 1.3 m further down South to 1.8m in the
arvo. Sunday is pretty much a copy of Saturdays weather just slightly more onshore wind in the arvo
and the surf starting off bigger in the South and mellowing later as the onshore flattens it out.
So it’s definitely a dive weekend especially if you have a boat (or a mate with one)!

Oh and do not forget to renew your East coast rock lobster permit …Monday the season opens again!
As always Dive Safe and Straight Spears from the Bear…

The Master Watermen website and YouTube Channel love to feature stories from you. If you have a story, video or some pics, please consider sending it in to The Bear for consideration. He is on n3ptun3dc@gmail.com anytime!

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New South African Spearfishing record Greater Amberjack 52.4Kg (Seriola dumerili)

Jaco Blignaut 52kg amberjack new South African record spearfishing

New South African Spearfishing record Greater Amberjack 52.4Kg  (Seriola dumerili)

The KZN South Coast is a hot spot for giant greater amberjack. And ace spearo Jaco Blignaut just keeps breaking records. Even if they are his own! – By Jason Heyne

Well champ Master Jaco Blignaut was at it again this weekend (21 February 2021) breaking South African records with a BUS Amber of 52.4kg. Eclipsing his previous standing SA record shot in 2019  by a whopping 15.6kg (36.8kg)!

These fish are infamous for busting up gear and putting even experienced divers in trouble especially when shot at depth with the go-to shot placement being through the gill plates. Which seems to slow these steam trains down if you can’t place a kill shot. Through the body shot normally results in a goodbye spear and or a serious knitting session of line through the reef.

I caught up with the Champ last night and he says he tried for the kill shot but just missed the switch box (brain) at a depth of 45m on a mark down KZN South coast and so ensued a 20 minute plus battle with this beast of a fish. Jaco reckons the fish took all his line on both gun and belt reels (about 100m or so) and he nearly had to ditch the whole rig! 

Jaco says it was shot with a prototype 1m inverted roller gun he has been developing @salt_refelex. He recons he has put 3 years of RnD into the roller head already! Hopefully I can get a go with this sick puppy when it’s ready for testing and write up a review…nudge nudge, wink wink Jaco!

Oh and NO the fish did not fit in the HATCH!

Well done Master Jaco Blignaut!

The Master Watermen

The Master Watermen website and YouTube channel are off to a flying start. And Jason’s weekly news-style video roundup, with conditions forecast and other useful tidbits, is going to a regular thing to look forward to. Every Friday!

Website by The Sardine News for the Master Watermen. If you have some news for Jason to include in his weekly roundup or as a feature like this one, then drop him an email on n3ptun3dc@gmail.com anytime!

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Hot spot Identification KZN South Africa

KZN South Africa is where these video titorials by Jason Heyne are being filmed and produced

Hot spot Identification KZN South Africa

“Righto, deep in KZN South Africa, Jason Heyne getting very technical in this bumper giveaway of hard-earned secrets. Lucky most won’t recognise all the different species that feature in this thesis. I certainly don’t!” – Xona


In this KZN spearfishing tutorial we look at how to ID a good mark (Hot Spot) and what to do to
get maximum size fish off the mark.

Why is it essential to hunt and look for Hot Spot marks whilst spearfishing? Why are game fish
and larger size demersal fish (bottom\reef fish)more prevalent around these Hot Spot marks?
It’s the old needle in a haystack idiom…there is an extremely large amount of Ocean to search to
find your trophy fish and Hot Spots act as magnets for the needle (trophy fish) because they
have holding fish loaded on them which in turn attracts game fish looking for food and larger
demersal’s looking for cover and company for early threat detection. No holding fish equals zero
or minimal chance of a game fish or trophy size demersal’s so please try to avoid shooting the
holding fish off of a Hot Spot mark as they are resident fish and normally breed and grow slowly!
The 5 holding fish to look for are:

  1. Old women angelfish (Pomacanthus rhomboids) Brown angelfish with a vertical bar
    towards the tail area, the juveniles have blue vertical bars which fade at maturity. These
    angelfish will hold tight to the mark in bad visibility and be more spread out around the
    mark in good visibility.
  2. Yellowfin surgeonfish (Acanthurus xanthopterus) Purple-grey in colour with a yellow
    patch behind the eye and yellow pectoral fins and feeds off waste and scraps from the
    other holding fish so they will be present if other holding fish are there in numbers.
  3. Cave bass (Dinoperca petersi) Blackish brown with white specs which fade as they get
    bigger and look similar to freshwater bass in shape. They are present almost always if
    there is a cave on the mark and 2kg plus Cave bass generally indicate a mark that does
    not get a lot of spearfishing pressure.
  4. Dusky rubberlips (Plectorhinchus chubbi) Oblong fish with pale brown-grey bodies
    which are darker on top and they have fat white lips hence the rubberlips in the name. If
    there is a big shoal of these fish in the 2kg plus range on the mark it is definitely a Hot
    Spot and receives minimal pressure from spearfishing.
  5. Natal fingerfin (Chirodactylus jessicalenorum) Oblong pink fish with fat lips and a
    forked tail. If there are a number of these fish around over 1.5kg it is a definite Hot Spot
    and has received minimal pressure from spearfishing.

If the above fish are present in numbers it is worth while working the mark for a number of downs
(dives to the bottom) to look for larger demersal fish and game fish before targeting any pan size
fish. Try lying still on different spots on the bottom around the mark and you will see larger fish
returning to the mark after your first down. Lie still for long enough and they will get curious and
swim in closer to you as they get used to your presence on the mark.

These are the fish you need to recognise…(one missing)

As always Dive Safe and Straight Spears from the Bear…

“Yowser Jason fantastic work”! – Xona

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Quick Spearfishing duck dive tutorial with special guest Master Richardt Botes

Duckdiving with the Master Watermen

Quick Spearfishing duck dive tutorial with special guest Master Richardt Botes

Welcome back for another Master Watermen spearfishing Tutorial. This episode centres around the different types of the duck dive from the surface when on the decent. This one is for you Clive Honiball (To Dive For) and your student diver troop!

A good duck dive is tantamount to a good dive without a doubt as being relaxed and having decent grace (natural flowing swimming form) in the water increase’s your bottom time and helps to not scare the fish away from you as you approach them from the surface.

There are 3 types of duck dive…

  1. Both legs in the air at the same time to increase the speed of decent starting from a relaxed position with gun stowed and two or three small kicks to start the duck dive. This is a good technique when diving deep with minimal weight on the belt.
  2. One leg in the air only for stealth diving at varying depths with gun stowed and two or three small kicks to start the duck dive from a relaxed position. This is my standard go to duck dive because it has minimal splash and noise.
  3. One leg followed by the other leg starting from a gun ready position with one or two quick hard kicks to start the duck dive. This is the best duck dive for diving down on to fast game fish species.

Practise makes perfect when it comes to the Duck dive and it should eventually come naturally to you after a while. You should not be kicking whilst your fins are still out of the water and your legs should not come past the 12 o’clock position when swinging them up to start the dive. Noisy duck dives can and will SPOOK your fish! Bubbles are the Spearos enemy when stalking fish so being quiet and graceful is the key to getting better and bigger fish!

As always Dive Safe and Straight spears from the Bear…

“Right-on Jason and Richard. Let’s keep this shit coming!

Looking forward to your next tutorial.” – Xona

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Turtle vs Octopus

Turtle vs Octopus by the Master Watermen

Turtle vs Octopus

“Right, to kick off the blog section of the newly invented Master Watermen website, we have some literally unbelievable adventuring by Jason and Paul, way down deep. With a turtle and an octopus. Yes. It’s not even a joke. And there is video! Unfrigginbelievable I tell ya” – Xonalanga

Some people believe Spearfishing is just killing fish etc…but those of us at know that it is a way more than sustainable harvesting of the Ocean.

Master spearos (spearfisherpeople) are always good ambassadors and protectors of the Ocean and its creatures, we are the eyes under the surface and as such can see what condition or state the Ocean is in where we dive. I have seen how Marine animals can ask for help 1st hand whilst diving and 2nd hand via YouTube over the years and in this episode we get to see this phenomenon on a lovely dive I had with a Dive buddy (Paul) on the North Coast of KZN South Africa last year.

Loggerhead Turtle, Bottle-nose Dolphins and a Giant Manta ray all in one epic dive! The largest of all hard shelled turtles, Loggerheads are named for their massive heads and powerful jaws (leatherbacks are bigger but have soft shells). Their shell, is heart-shaped and normally a rusty brown colour. Their front flippers propel them through the water like wings, and their hind feet stabilize and steer them.

A female Loggerhead turtle always returns to the same beach she was born on after sometimes travelling thousands of km to return and lay her eggs and they nest on the beaches in Northern KZN South Africa and Mozambique at night here in the Indian Ocean and at one stage our local population was believed to be below 300 individuals. They have recovered quite well though and I see quite a few of them around on my dives here on the KZN coastline.

This male Loggerhead Turtle came to ask a favour at the end of the three and a half hour dive! He had taken a big Octopus for dinner and it became entangled around his neck! Watch as Paul and I see how we can help Mr Turtle get untangled from his dinner! TURTLE POWER! As always dive safe and straight spears from the Bear…

“Well if I can comment – YOWSER!!!

Man-oh-man Jason this is epic. And is that Paul Roxburgh in there with you?

But ok, a great attempt at convincing the public that spearos are not cold-blooded killers all the time. Only 99% of the time!

But after a chuckle, sure, agreed on every aspect, especially since the sheer amount of hours spent out there on a limb, adds up to a lot of kudos. Which means you can keep at it I suppose?

Well, between this story and Stompie, I am just pleasantly pondering at what might come next!?”

Xonalanga

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