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My Late Christmas Present

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Certified SCUBA Rider
May 7, 2002
It was the 26th of December. It was my first dive in my hometown Richards Bay. I had been invited by Johan Jacobs to join him and some mates, Frans and Andre, on his boat, Hakuna Mattata, for a dive on the Patinga, a wreck about four k's out to sea off Richard's Bay's "New mouth", lying in 28m. The sky was grey, but the sea was flat, and only slightly ruffled by the light breeze. It had been raining hard in the early hours of the morning, but had cleared up and allowed the dive to go ahead. Apon reaching the wreck, we dropped a marker to check the current. it was a light south-north, so we proceeded to the southern edge of the wreck and jumped in. Frans showed me a piece of superstucture that made a nice pinnacle that came up to about 10m. we hung over the wreck, working our flashers.
Viz was about 20m on the surface, but over the wreck, a yellow muck clouded things to about 5m vizibility. Moorish idols, goldies and old woman schooled around the pinnacle, and spadefish clouded over the edges of the wreck.
A school of yellowtail kingfish came in to have a look, and i dived down, lined one up and, missed! dammit. i curesed myself as i reloaded. another dive. lined up a bronzie, shot, hit, and....nothing. i once again was none too pleased as i picked the scales and skin off my flopper. two shots. one miss and one tear-off. not a great start. Frans, in the meanwhile, had managed to bag a nice bronzi and a decent kingfish of about 5 kilos.
it had been about an hour now. the area had gone very quiet, something that frans later explained gave away the presence of a big predator. i was drifting about 20m from the pinnacle working the flasher, when this large shape slid into veiw from my right. King Mackeral. the "cuda" did a wide halfcircle around the flasher at about 10m, and then slowly started swimming away. i dived down behind it and started follwing it. the fish wouldnt turn, and i didnt want to risk it flicking its tail and dissapearing forever, so i shot from behind and above. i pulled the rope, and, feeling a firm pressure from the other end, headed for the surface and called for the boat. at first i thought that it had come off, or a shark had got it because there was alomst no fight. i pulled myself back along the rope, and got to my gun. to my releif, the fish was still on, but the spear hadnt penetrated through the fish, and the flopper was sticking out the side. when the fish saw me again it ran, a bit harder this time. i let go and grabbed the float. the fish dragged me in a big slow circle. the boat finially arrived next to me and i told johan that we needed a second shot. by now the fish had tired quite a bit, and i was able to hold the rope, while it circled 10m below me. johan dived down, and placed a solid shot through the head. a stab in the brain finished it off and we got it onto the boat.
we dived for about another hour, but no more cuda, but johan did bag a nice 12kg squaretail kob.

back at the club it weighed in at 22.6kg. my first cuda! needless to say i was completely stolked.


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and here is Johan with his kob. pitty we gutted the fish before the photos.


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Nice fish Griff!

Would you mind posting a pic of the flasher you used?

btw that kob, is it a japonicus or thorpei?
We call the japonicus variety "Jewfish" or "Mulloway". Great eating!

Have some smoothness for your effort! ;)

Nice Mac on the subject of macs I was reading Terry Maas bluewater hunting book and noticed a picture of a supposedly 280lb mackeral a guy speared 60miles east of Hong Kong, I had no idea they grew that big.

Originally posted by icarus pacific
Hmmm... the lingo is catching. :cool:

Strong, the dark side is...:D

Ivan: That mack in Terry's book is a monster! You ever see them anywhere near that size in QLD?
Nice 'couta Griff ...:cool:
That's a biggie for the summer season . Have you noticed how much fatter they get in winter ?
I have seen your mates' boat in Sodwana , don't think I've met them though . That's good viz for R.B. ; must have had a west blowing for a couple of days .
Fish like that one is one of the reasons I'm heading home . :D
I have seen a few largish spaniards whilst looking around a no spearing zone on an outer reef, I think that king mackeral would eat just about any mackeral I have seen. Don't know if spanish mackeral actually get that big.:(

Shadow I know a guy who line caught a 160lb spanish out from cairns, but me personally never seen many over 60lb.

Man o man !!

Congrats dude !

Nicest fish I've seen in quite a while .... damnit .... wish I was there .....

But, like Brian said to us the other day: The more time you spend in the water, the more fish you're gonna get. And the more crappy days you have the better your fish is gonna get.

Congrats again!
Thanks For the Congrats Guys

Abri, youre right, there was a west for a few days, and everyone thought that the fish was heavier. i guess they fatten up on sards in the winter.

Shadow, you were asking about the kob, the scientific name is argyrosomus thorpei. do they get them in Oz? i'm interested because its only recently been recognised as a new species.
its very similar to the dagga kob, but doesnt get as big. he got another one on new years day, 15 kilos.

as for my flasher, its a ladder type arrangement of perspex mirrors, with a pink squid at the top and a yellow/green/orange squid at the bottom. i also stuck on this cool silvery stuff my sister bought for christmas decorations. i got a pic of it, but its back home, so if you want a pic i'll post it when i can.

btw, Iya, this one definately slots into the yummy yummy fish category.



Yes nice fish griffio :)

When we were training for Hawaii in Sodwana one of our backup divers shot a 22kg Couta on 9 mile. It's a bus!!

BTW. you know that when you have shot a 'cuda' (sic) over 5 kg you are compelled to call them 'Couta'. The proper lingo hey.

RE. Lingo

Hi Skin, thanks for the tip.

how many names does this fish have anyway?

Couta, Cuda, Mac, Barry, Spanish Mackeral, King Mackeral, Narrow Banded....


Spaniards another one, I get confused on this forum at all the different names for spanish macks.


Nice one IYA but I think i prefer to give that rating to Jobfish.


I wacked a kaakap ( green jobfish ) my first on Zambia shoal 14km out to sea off Pomene point, Mocambique over the new year. Still have not eaten him. Others say he tastes the best. Till then Couta will be my fave 'game' eating fish.

Forget throwing sand routine. This guy was flapping around in the sand on his side with his mate till he saw me in 15m of water. He swam up to meet me halfway and once he saw i was armed with the 1.4 fisherator he backed out of his recce and turned and dove. I wacked him behind the gills at the limit of reach. My spear did not go through being right at the end of its line but the the flopper did engage in the gill cavity. The water was so clear i missed ( out of reach ) plenty fish before catching on.

How should i cook him ?


Nice one. How big was your Jobbie, Abri has speared them to 12.5kg huge. Im confident it wont let you down on edibility. We cook ours by cutting into pieces, covering it with Plain flour and putting into a heated frying pan with oil. Simple but beautiful:D .

Ivan.... I will try that recipe of yours if i ever get a Job fish. My kids love this style of cooking.

Skin..... It is funny that in Hawaii Jobfish is called a deepwater snapper ( that's what the video say ). If you call it Kaakap, snapper in my language is called Kakap.

The Jobfish I seen biggest is bout 5-6 kg with 1.5kg being the norm. It is the only fish that tries to bite my shaft if I ever miss. A unique species. Quite rare in my place. I used to land it with 85 cm pneumatic long time ago when they are still "abundant", small ones. All under 2 kg.
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