Monday, February 25, 2008

Diving the RIY Banks, Port Elizabeth

Autumn is approaching and we still have plenty of easterlies - the plankton is probably going to be with us for a while.

These easterlies are actually good for getting nice reef fish - thermocline herding them up, down and around the point of Cape Receife.

Fishermen had great catches off Noordhoek and at Cape Receife on Sat morning. Big bonito, yellowtail and cape salmon.
I chatted to one MCM fellow at Noordhoek who was still under the impression that Cape Receife and the West Side was going to have the diving ban imposed. This is the first I heard of it in quite a while - I mentioned it to Glenton who was going for a dive (not "Gletwyn" - or I would be guilty of talking to myself) and he said he also knew nothing of it but would check it out anyway.

Later on Saturday Mark and I went to put a line down for cape salmon on a spot we like near Skoenmaakers Kop - there 30 m from out spot we met an MCM vessel (red one) and found them on anchor. We fished a bit, chatted to MCM chaps, who were also fishing but they only got a small blue hottentot, it seems. We got nothing. Hmm, wonder if they are allowed to fish - perhaps next time I will board their vessel and check if they have permits!

Anyway, diving prospects for the week look rather poor.
Getting back to the title of this post;I like diving on RIY banks in clear water - there are sometimes good yellowtail there in summer, autumn and early winter - the early winter often has the best viz which may reach 25 m sometimes, but I have also had it down to two meters which basically trashes a dive there. Reef fish are not great there but there are plenty of small romans, red stump, the odd englishman, scotsman and rock cod. Once I took a 7.5 kg malabar rockcod there. Depths range from 8 m down to 60 m with extensive areas of 15-20 m on the northwest side and massive flat areas 18-25 m on the eastern side.

I have a clip I took there last year in which I dive in a massive shoal of "gorries" and take a bludger amonst many zebras:

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