Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Diving Reports Protea Banks

Mann!, Cory Versluis sends me these emails that make me drool! Pics of nice big kingies, cuda and tropical.

Here is what Cory had to say about dives on Protea Banks:

"Howdy,

Late arvy dive at Protea on Friday. Hot on the heels of Jaco and Moo almost getting munched by Whites at 19 Fathom and Pumula respectively. I saw one here a few weeks ago but it was just cruising. A lot of Tigers at the moment, but for some reason they’re very mellow down here unlike at Oscar at Vidal up north (luckily). Saw about 6 big Tigers.
Zambi’s [bull sharks] seem to have moved inshore and the Paddleski’s are having a torrid time of it.

The fish only really turned on in the late afternoon. I shot the Kingies out of a shoal at about 26m. The bigger one revved me for about 20 minutes. Later on I had a potential shot on a very big one of over 40kg but I wasn’t in a position to give it a kill shot. I decided discretion is the better part of valour and that there would be no way I was going to land it considering the depth (30m+) and that I was was going to definitely be reefed up. Furthermore, I did not neddlessly want to injure and most probably kill the fish when I know that there is almost a 100% chance it was going to better me in battle (Incidentally, I was faced with a similar issue a few months ago when a Marlin of close to 200kg came in on me. Diving with a 1.3m reel gun and faced with no chance of a good shot I knew that a lost gun and the pointless death of a magnificent beast would have been the result. Thus instead of taking a fly shot I marvelled at this magnificent epitome of power and grace dissappear into the blue.)




I was sure that the big couta would make an appearance but alas, only one of about 12kg. Garret saw a shoal of big sweetlips but they were too deep for him, hehehe, not for me.
Managed a nice one of 7.5kg, kudos to Garret though who chased off a massive Potato intent on chowing it. There were bigger but I didn’t want to push it on the bottom. I also lost a tropical of close on 20kg. I shot it in the head but it didn’t do anything to the fish. It towed me around for about 10 minutes before shaking the spear out and calmly swimming away. Respect.



It seems we’re lucky everytime but were getting to know the conditions and manage a succes rate of 1 in 4. The days when the current is slack (like Friday) you can really work the area. When the current is running only gamies are an option and I guess it’s that “Hit & Miss” rate that makes it a spot not often dived. I’d much rather go there and shoot one good fish than go to eg Scotties and get a few rats & mice."


Here is Cory's next email report :

"Howdy,

Hit a blank yesterday [Monday 24 March], went out to Protea, again. But this time the current was running on about 3 knots. The vis was crystal and we launched before sunrise so got there while still relatively dark.
Could only manage dives to about 15m, was too dark and scary deeper and after run-ins with sharks there was no way I was going down to the bottom.
We were there till about 13h00 and did not see one shootable fish except the hordes of Protea Breams (although there were some 2-3kg fish we’re there for “Honour and Glory”, hehehe).
But for two Tigers, even the sharks were absent except for right at the end when a horde of Zambies made their presence known.

This is the nature of Protea. When it’s good it’s good, but when it’s bad it’s spectacularly so. Anyway, I don’t want to use up all my luck for the Hibiscus Gamefish Compo on the 5th April.

later"

Thanks Cory that is very interesting and it seem quite a lot like hunting white steenbras in Port Elizabeth - hit and miss activity especially as you learn the cycles and the condidiotns for success. Steenbras huntingt can be good, but mannn! it can be bad - condition study helps improve the odds. In my early very enthusiastic hunts in the late nineties I would typically come home with a big steenbras (or occasionally more than one) every 7 or seven attempts. There were some good days too - my best was getting five white steenbras in five sequential downs - all were capital fish too 10-17 kgs. The quota was five fish back then but is now down to one.

Initial and increased sucess depends on studying the conditions, requires good record keeping and analytical review of the data you recorded. I am busy formulating an article on the typical errors made by spearfishermen based on my own and others experience. It analyzes teh basic causes of reduced suces where there could be far superior result with a small alterations in the ways we spearos go about our hobby. Next week I am off on holiday at Pine Lake Marina and will hopefully get to complete the article.

This topic of optimization of results is obviosly a covered quite extensively in my online mentorship program for spearfishermen.
See http://www.freedive.co.za/mentorship.htm for details.

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