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Holiday adventures .....

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SASpearo

Desk Driver
Dec 6, 2001
515
61
118
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I woke up just before dawn, a fine Sunday morning in December. I've been waiting with bated breath for almost two weeks - just for this one day...

I've been sitting at work, tuned into all the Internet weather, surfing and fishing sites I could find. Watching the patterns unfold - almost a week of hard Southeasterly winds blowing, kicking up sand in the bay. Then, two day of Northwesterly, bringing a colder spell to the stage... slight drizzle during the second day, almost had a panic that it would start pouring and not stop for two weeks...

The surf was also looking good. The continuous SE winds had chopped the surf down to 2-foot white-haired pigmies. All the good surf spots along the coast echoed bonfires long dead, surfing legends smoking the waves, and a lonely surfer strumming Bob Dylan on a black and blue guitar could be heard at Neptune's Dairy.

Tuesday. Sheer panic. A fresh Southwesterly had been picking up steadily since yesterday. This would make the coming weekend one that I've been waiting for.... but it was getting too strong. If it continued picking up, the quarry I sought would seek deeper waters and not drift into the bay.

Thursday. Conditions are still perfect. The wind continued to lull the underwater world into an almost trancendal sleep.... moving baitfish and predator alike into the calm confines of the bay.... False Bay, near Cape Town in South Africa. Late afternoon: Sudden action. The VHF radio bounces reports from boat to boat.... " ...... Wooooohooooo !!!! ...... ig .. una !!! What a mothe ..... " Replies echoing "Bluefin ! Strike! .... rike! Strike!" An unbelievable three Bluefin Tuna strikes at the same time.... I can just imagine the chaos on the boat.

I phone Schuster early on Friday. He's still sleeping of the previous night's binge. He also heard the radios the previous day. "Man!" is my first word, before he can properly answer the phone. Closely followed by "Man oh man oh man oh man!!!"

I can hear him frowning over the phone. I check my watch: 3Am. No wonder he's frowning. He's on holiday - he should have been at the water already. I would join him the next morning at our favourite spot - an easy 100 meter swim from shore, floating on crystal water, watching the grains of sand being disturbed by currents 40 meters below.... especially after the increddible weather build up.

Over the phone, Schuster calls a mutual friend - I can't make out if it's Ralph or George.... but driving the porcelain bus that early in the morning could not be good. I decide to call back later.

I phone around 15:00 - he's awake this time. I curse at him for not being in the water. He thinks he's dying. I hear the new girlfriend in the background.... something about not talking to "that crazy diver friend of yours". Must be some new spearo he's met.... I couldn't possibly fit that description.

We get organized for Saturday morning. Pack everything in his "trusty" minibus. All we need to do is get in and turn the key.

Saturday morning. We get up, get in, turn the key, and..... nothing. This thing ain't going nowhere. It should be shot in public. We try to curse it to life, but nothing going. We check everything we know about under the hood, and some things that we've never seen. Still nothing. My car's 30 minutes away. No way we're gonna get in the water early enough today.

We spend the day listening to the radio whilst the new girlfriend's brother fixes the van. He seems to be doing a reasonable job, so we don't disturb him. We offered him a beer around 8, but he was busy with some or other gizmo under the car. I drank his beer after holding the can for 5 minutes. Serves him right.

Saturday night. We run outside and start the van every half an hour, just to make sure. At 4:30, we tumble in, Zero (Schuster’s Husky) coming along for the ride. He's a good guard dog. Licks everyone that comes close to our stuff to death. s'true. We get to the gullies.... big and small. It's a mile's trek through thick sand, carrying all our gear. We do it in less than 5 minutes.

The swim takes its toll. I think it's got to do with the excitement. On the way down the cliffs we spotted groups of seabirds hovering over the water. We head for one of them.

Baitfish. Lots of baitfish. Milling, forming loose balls, scattering under the onslaught of bigger baitfish, being pecked up by the birds swooping down. Then, all of a sudden, thumping. It sounded like a marine diesel running unevenly. Yellowfin Tuna. BIG Yellowfin Tuna. I breathe up. Slip under. I get below the ever-tightening circle of the bait ball; blocking the sun... they scatter, flit past my head, between my legs, and then back again. I never saw the Tuna. I turned a slow semi - circle, my self-imposed sub - time almost up. Then, sudden movement to my left.

I jacknife down another two meters, stabilize, almost breathed in.... these things were BIG. A group of 8 Tuna mingles left and right as they storm almost straight at me.

Click. Extend arm. Lock elbow. Click. Tilt gun to the left. Tilt my head. Aim. Click. Suppress a shudder. Click. Click. Gentle pressure on the trigger ... Miss! I aimed for a 30-kilo fish 3 meters away, but it turned into an 80-kilo fish 10 meters away. The group circles past me, almost defiantly, as if they know I'm unloaded. I pop to the surface, swearing.

Retrieve the spear. Lock it in. Make sure it's locked. Loop the mono, coil the bungee float.... cock the gun, breathe up, sink... halfway down, this... this THING disturbs my decent. Aim, lock, fire, all in one movement. Strike! I let go of my gun, knowing it would float. Slowly ascending ... at ten meters, my first float streaks past me. I curse. Ascend faster, kicking, kicking. Almost there... second float.... just a blur.... I reach the surface, gulp a lungful of air, and grab my third and last float... Whoosh! Nantucket sleigh ride... but it stops, three meters under water. The line starts floating back up. I curse again. The fish must have gotten loose.

I retrieve a lot of line. Tie the last two floats together. Starting to pull on the rest of the line, not registering that the third float was still underwater. The game was still on! I get towed this way, then that. My bungee is doing a good job. I clip it of, a meter at a time. 3, 4, 5 meters left. I can see the fish. It was a good shot - in above the right eye, out below the left eye. Flopper outside, it can't pull out. The spear is bent. I haven't got any spares - they're at home. I hope I can fix it between dives.

A big pull sees the fish gain almost twenty meters. I laboriously win back 10, then 15. It pulls again, impossible, it's a head shot ... it should have keeled a long time ago. I check my watch ... already 20 minutes on the line. Then the line goes straight down. The fish is dead. I haul it to the surface, hand over hand, clipping the line after every pull.

It's a beauty. Later, it weighed in at 37 kilograms. 37 Kilograms of unadulterated fighting machine to the end. I take some photos. I take a couple more, just in case. We drag it to the van, totally exhausted. Schuster took two 15-kilo fish in the time it took me to land one. I don't envy him. I just smile.

The drive home is quiet. Only the sounds of uncle Bob on the radio and the wheels on the road. We get home, park on the grass. The new girlfriend starts complaining the moment the van stops. "Where have you been? We were supposed to go out for lunch. And you and this ... this 'friend' of yours goes cavorting the whole day! And blah blah blah." Schuster laughs. I grin. She's furious, swears she'll leave him. He just laughs some more. She'll never understand. Better she be on her way.

Later that night, Schuster breaks out the Jack Daniels and Cigars. He doesn't smoke. He copes pretty well. We've only got Zero for company. The old girlfriend took her cat and left. Zero looks happy with this arrangement. He grins in his sleep, we grin back at him. What a weekend it has been...


RC
 
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Reactions: sanso

andrsn

Just visiting...
Aug 26, 2001
1,213
75
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it's snowing here, and you're talking about 80lb tuna?! you [email protected] :eek: ... adrenaline and sleep don't mix, you know. thanks fer nothin!
 

SASpearo

Desk Driver
Dec 6, 2001
515
61
118
44
Follow up ....

Yeah well.

Schuster's ex (and the cat) is doing fine ...

Zero's living at my place now. Schuster (talking about bastards) has gone off to Madagascar - 'on assignment'

He's busy inspecting the British High Commision's houses' electical systems. Does one a day, then fishes / dives. Talk about lucky. I'm trying to reach him, but Madz isn't that reachable (especially if you're diving)

He sent me an e-mail saying that he's shot two sailies. No photos though. I'll have to see it to believe it though
No scars, No Proof

I'll get him to join and post a story when he gets back - in about two months time.

RC
 

Crispin

Spearfisherman ;=- --->
Sep 14, 2001
261
31
118
Top story!


False Bay - you are crazier than a coconut my man!!!!!
 

icarus pacific

Human-in-training
Nov 7, 2001
2,880
212
0
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I just want to be in place where the visibility is good enough to see the end of my speartip, to say nothing of being even in the same areacode as tuna..:waterwork

sven
 

SASpearo

Desk Driver
Dec 6, 2001
515
61
118
44
False Bay

False Bay's a great spot. Having qualified as an MCSD (programmer) about two years ago, I had the good fortune to get offers from two companies: One in Natal, one in Cape Town.

Natal: Warm water, long beaches, lots of fish, the anual sardine run etc etc etc.
Cape Town: False Bay. The chance at Yellowtail, Yellowfin Tuna, Bluefin Tuna, Geelbek, most of the fish species that occur in Natal. Deeper dives. Cleaner water (on average) not to mention wrecks INSIDE city limits ... I can walk to the closest wreck diving spot from work.

I spent a week in each town deciding where to go ... False bay did not disappoint me. On the second dive I got face to face with a small (read 4m) Great White. I was hooked.

The Tuna are a little elusive sometimes, the best place to find them is at a place called bellow's rock .... Nasty reef. I'll post some info on it in the Places To Dive forum.

Come visit sometime ... we can organize just about anything from accomodation to boats etc etc.

Regards,
RC
 

ahinalu

Well-Known Member
Feb 15, 2002
50
1
93
55
lucky indeed!

Lucky indeed, all that fish, the worlds biggest sharks, cool land animals. And surfing, I think I'll study up on my programing skills.
BTW- If you don't surf, you're in a great place to start (just don't think about the things you see spearing while surfing :t

Aloha, Chris
 

capetownguy

Sharks Beware!
Jul 20, 2007
511
42
118
37
damn...not that saspearo is still on the forum, but thats a shweet story!!!!!
just bumping it up for everyone else (who is new) to read...
 

capetownguy

Sharks Beware!
Jul 20, 2007
511
42
118
37
same here....all i can think of was rooikranz maybe? says they had to walk abit...
maybe even batsata rock?
 

capetownguy

Sharks Beware!
Jul 20, 2007
511
42
118
37
heehee, no thanks!!!!!!!!!! you get some hardcore okes here in SA but thats going abit too far!
 

SASpearo

Desk Driver
Dec 6, 2001
515
61
118
44
Jip, it was Bellows.

Reading this brought back some memories .... Schuster's had an accident some time ago. Zero also went to dog heaven. I can't remember that crazy girlfriend's name, but remember that she was partial to red thongs. And Tequila.

Sjoe.
 

capetownguy

Sharks Beware!
Jul 20, 2007
511
42
118
37
ok i eat my words! rofl rofl rofl
red thongs? tequila? mmmmm sounds like a friday night! :t
 

deep thinker

Let the good times roll
Jan 19, 2006
1,535
229
0
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Jip, it was Bellows.

Reading this brought back some memories .... Schuster's had an accident some time ago. Zero also went to dog heaven. I can't remember that crazy girlfriend's name, but remember that she was partial to red thongs. And Tequila.

Sjoe.
Hey bud, sorry to hear that well heres to good times then :friday
Is bellows really a 100m from shore?? Seems farther when your on the boat...
 

SASpearo

Desk Driver
Dec 6, 2001
515
61
118
44
The inside of the reef is between 100 and 200 meters from shore. It's got nice shelf / gully on the inside, and sometimes (I could never figure it out exactly when) the tide would carry you through there at a ripping pace. Kinda like being towed on a sled behind a boat.

Have fun!
 

capetownguy

Sharks Beware!
Jul 20, 2007
511
42
118
37
dont suppose anyone has any photos?...would be really interested to see what it looked like underwater..
 
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