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Aliwal Shoal, South Africa, 28 May 2002 - 4 June 2002

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
It can take a long time to get an up-to-date response or contact with relevant users.


100 % H2O
Feb 5, 2002
Right leg hook..


Whilst i can load my 1.4 with severely staunchened 20 mm rubbers easily anyhow, i will practice a 'right hook' all the while wary of an 'uppercut' 1 and 2 June at Aliwal where a group of us ' Vaalies' will be down playing peggy with some sardine eater wannabes.

Skin 'the eskimo'. Jhb is cold today.
Aliwal !!!!

Man, you're gonna freeze yer cohone's off .... well, then again, did a dive off Cape Point on the weekend .... was a real 'nutter'.

Did manage to get some Red Roman though ... the little buggers were hiding amongst the caves (around 35m or so)

What are you guys doing for accomodation? And do you have a boat? Man oh man oh man oh man ..... I'd give my left testicle (still slightly frozen from the weekend) to go with .....
Sard Season

Its great that there are people willing to go out there and protect those poor little sardines from all those kingies and cuda etc. I'm sure that the sards will appreciate it. and they say that spearos are not environmentalists.

have you seen this site? http://www.shark.co.za/sards.htm
its run by the sharks board. they have this sard tracker system in place so you know where the shaols are, especially if you are going to make the trip down from Joburg, i'm sure you dont want to drive 6 hrs to find sard free seas.



ps, durbs is also cold, i had to wear long sleeves today, i think its down to 22.
Sardine Dive

Skin, have you dived during the run before? If you have, do you have any advice. (or anyone els who has dived in such a huge bait fish shoal)
I am keen to dive but i have no idea what i would be getting into because of the scale of the whole thing, in particular, the shark activity. Ive been diving for just under a year now and so far my shark encounters thus far have been very mild, i 've been taxed and i've also seen a few small guys, but nothing yet that has made me think "OH S#$T". I've spoken to one spearo about it and he takes a powerhead with and just offs all the zambies in the area, but i'm not too keen on killing a lot of sharks just to go diving. I dont think that that is ethical.
I spoke to another guy who said that he finds a small pocket of sards and you dont have too much shark activity because they stay with the big pockets

Any advice is greatly appreciated


ps, thanks for moving the thread, SAspearo, we were getting off the topic a bit.
Sardine run


I have never been in the thick of it during the run either but i cant wait.
I have been in at Aliwal just after the run and the place was like a ghost town. Not even little reefies on the back line. A few Batfish over the Produce and that was it for four days. Suppose everything had battened down the hatches and was in hiding or was eaten. Didnt see any taxmen then either that time.

I have never been taxed but have reached for my bombs at Cape Vidal more than once for big Zambi's. Too often their remora friends flop and twist in to the flasher and sniff your speartip leaving you and your buddy doing synchronised ' where's you pappy ?' .. head rotations.
One chap from our club ( Turg / Orca ) was chewed on the knee by a raggie on the surface a few months back at Aliwal.
He now wears a pod and has modified his guns so that they have a short permanent tip ( stringer spike ) mounted under the barrel for prodding and power head attachment if the spear has been fired.

Way i look upon it untill chewed wrong is that the place may have plenty sharks during the run, they are all full and, probably like satisfied lions, wont give you a second look. You will probably get great tax rebates owing to this condition too.

SASpearo / Griff you are more than welcome to join us. Actually it would be great if you did.
Its a 100% Spearo trip arranged by our club 'Orca' and we stay in a big holiday home in Umkomaas. We charter a boat from some in-credible old salts from the area, a big fishing vessel of dubious seaworthyness belonging to 'Bob' 'he who walks on deck with pteradactyl - like toes' and 'Cook', 'faithfull castaway from sandbars and engines attendant'. Boat takes 10 odd and that limits the numbers for our trip. I will forward the booking e - mail to you both when it is distributed.


Greg aka 'skin' of late... :)
Man oh man oh man ....

Would be such a rip. I haven't been to Aliwal (yet) and was planning a trip there in Sept / Oct .... but, you know, things happen ...

I've dived in baitballs around Cape Town area, ran into a couple thousand sardines about a month or so ago, but nothing like the scale of the sardine run ... That would be EPIC ..... Get some nice Leeries, Kings, Cudas, Wahoo, maybe see the odd Billfish, get to fight of Johnnies .. Hell yeah.

You need a boat for this kind of thing - can't have any stringers with fish in the water, it's an open invitation for the sharks. As soon as it's dead, get it in the boat. I've notice (in Cape waters at least) that the bigger Johnnies (over 4m) don't really go for dead fish - they'd rather chase up a live one. I'v been taxed too many times to remember, not only by sharks but also seals and cudas - once, up past Vilankulos in Moz ....

Lekka !!! Lits git to Aliwal ...
Just a bit of an appetizer ...

Originally found on Spearfishing SA
5km out to sea straight off the greenpoint lighthouse, you have the Aliwal Shoal. The shoal is part of a reef system running along much of the Kwazulu Natal coast. It`s origins lie in the coastal dunes that were formed many thousands of years ago when the sea level was much lower. As the sea level rose these dunes were submerged and provided the base for the development of the reefs.

Landers 9km south off Park Rynie is a continuation of the same reef system. Aliwal has the northeast pinnacle as it`s northern tip, which comes to within a few meters of the surface. This can be a dangerous spot for the unwary boat skipper, as even on flat days the odd swell comes through that breaks. Many boats have capsized here under these conditions.

3km south you have eelskins which marks the southern end of the reef. Most of the central flat reef lies between 10m and 18m deep and is roughly 300m wide. The outer edges drop to 30m. There are numerous caves and gulleys the most well known being Raggie cave where scuba divers regularly view 40 to 50 raggedtooth sharks at a time.

For the spearfisherman, Aliwal is a must. When conditions are right and the warm mozambique current pushes in over the shoal, gamefish abound. Huge kingfish, sailfish, cuda, wahoo, seapike, tuna and a variety of other gamefish and reef fish are present and make for an exceptional spearfishing experience. The shoal operates best in a north-south current and one normally starts the dive by doing drifts up current from the northeast pinnacle in deep water looking for gamefish. There is normally a huge shoal of fish just north of the pinnacles and dropping down into this is a great experience. The big kingfish are normally patrolling this area and dropping to the bottom and lying motionless will normally bring one in to have a look if they are in the vicinity.
To the Diver Currently known as "Skin"

It sounds awsome. i have been itchy to get to aliwal but the biggest problem i have is no boat, but are you sure that you want to waste a spot on the boat on a rookie like me?

Also if anyone is looking for accomodation in durbs, i can organise. my uncle also owns a cottage in southport, near hibberdene.


I'm trying to book tickets to Durbs as we speak ...

I've been able to knock down the price from around R1500 to R758 .... But that's from Tueasday to Tuesday ..... or Saturday ...

Now I'm trying to find a local skipper that'll be willing to take me out once or twice .... He he he
If you cant make it 1 & 2 June

If you cant make it for the weekend that Skin and his mates are comming down, but still want to get some sardine run action, dont loose all hope. The aliwal dive would be killer, but if it isnt possible, maybe we can still organise something. I'll try and rope my mates into hiring a boat for a few sard dives. like you said, you dont to have to string the fish so shore dives are a last resort. also, i'll chat with the underwater club here at varsity to see if they have anything on the cards.

good luck with the flights

Prepare to be amazed .....

Typical 'Sardine Run' Bait ball as seen from the air .....


  • arialbaitball.jpg
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OK, we need some order now ....

First of all we'll need a checklist of stuff that needs to be done, and that needs to be taken with ....

Costs associated with boat
Costs associated with accomodation
Food cost? Nah .....
Transportation - I'll probably book a rental car for the week

etc etc etc

My mail address is RCoetzee@Idion.com

Name's Riaan, btw ...

Yea yea yea yea yea lets go lets go lets go......

Riaan those pictures are awesome, hardcore. yea!!! we go.!!! If you guys go before or after 1& 2 June i come too... as well yea. Yea yea yea !!!

I am getting Bob and Cooks number and costs for the boat as i type.

Regards Greg

aka El Skinno...divero..
Fish sticker and tamer of women.


Got a bit carried away in my last post. Man now i'm stoked...

Ok, no dont be silly. You will fit in fine on our boat. We have from first time spearos to seasoned chunks of driftwood. Nice people, helpful and willing to share. All armed, skinned, finned and hungry.

I will definately stay in touch with the ( official June 1 & 2 ) bookings.
Riaan the last trip we went on cost less than R300 or R400 with three launches and accommodation, couta braai included. Excluding transport to the coast. We were about ten people. So its for nothing.

I'm all signed up ....

I'm just looking for best / cheapest way into Durbs ....

And accomodation ..... Griff? Old buddy old pal? he he he

Lemme know what's what, if you can organize. I'd probably get my ass there on the 28th May or the 31st May, and stay till the 4th June or so ...

Man, this is gonna be epic. Haven't dived in warm water for a looooong time.

So, I'm in, Griff's in, and El Skinny is in ... Anyone else we know?
fish for supper!

no problem,
i'm living alone at the moment in a 2 1/2 bedroom flat, so i guess we could fit about 5 of us in comfortably, any more would be a bit squashed, but who the hell cares anyway :D

Accomodation is gratis at my place, just as long as you dont mind sharing cooking duties, and bring some good recipes, cause we are going to be eating a lot of fish!

those pics are awesome! this is going to be insane!


email griffithm@nu.ac.za
Good stuff!

We'd be out diving most of the time anyway .... he he he

Don't mind cooking one bit - check out the 'recipies' thread. I'll swing a copy of that with ....

I guess I better get my gun out of the closet now ... it's packed away for winter ... not much going on in this freezing water ....

Yeah ....

spots to dive

i'll also chat to this guy who did my scuba course, apparently last year he shot an insane amount of fish off shore dives, so i'll ask him if there are any good spots around durbs. Probably see him tonight, he also owns a boat...
Also, Skin, are you heading back after the weekend or can you get time off?
and R400 for launches and accomodation is for free! better book early. i just hope the little buggers play their part and head up the coast by the end of may
Im the boss..

Hi Griff

.. and as such i am there as and when and till we are no longer there. Thanks for you kind offers of accommodation etc. We will tie up things as things develop.

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