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Unseen hazards !!!

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Well-Known Member
Apr 21, 2003
Hi All

Had quite a disturbing experience yesterday whilst spearing off Cape Point, at a place called Rooikrans. Basically it's vertical cliffs and ledges which drop into the ocean, and a great place to intercept yellowtail if the water is warm. Having seen 2 spearo's with a 'tail' each earlier,, I was quite positive as I drifted along under the ledges, but suddenly heard a loud crack fairly close. As I had been looking down, I was not sure what it had been, and as I raised my head to look around, I heard another one, closer this time, and swung around to see a big steel sinker skip off the water meters from my head.

I looked upwards and saw for the first time the group of fisherman standing up on the ledges above. They immeadiately started screaming at me to fu*#-off, using aggressive and seriously foul language. My initial response was to tell them to cool off, as I was leaving anyway, but that I had just as much right to be there. Immeadiately these low-life started to again cast their sinkers at me, at which point I figured it was safer to leave them sitting on the rocks like fat-lizards ! Man, I was seriously pissed off ! But, what could I do. Just curious whether anyone else has had 'close encounters of the fisherman kind' ?
Miles...you ever had a problem at the kranz ??

Regards all

"Yellowtails" Indeed

Well Jeff, looks like while you were searching for "yellowtail" in the water, you actually found them from above. Here in the states we use the term "yellow" when describing cowards or jerks as them guys were.

I suggest next time you spear one of them, chum him up and do aspetto:D

Dive Safe,
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Haha, good one dude ! Do'nt want to do the yellowtail an injustice though, they are sleek, elegant fish....!
Well, i saw many of them here. Personally never had encounter that "HOT". 8-9 years ago while i was line fishing with pole on the rocks. There was another guy sitting next to me, after a while one spero come to close to us. Man started to shout him but spero couldn't heard him obviously. Then he graped big stone and throwed his head. God thanks he was not good marksman. Then spero boy scared and leave the area. The general rule here is if fisherman (doesn't matter spero or line fisher) came before you, leave the area to him/her. Otherwise somethings may happens like this. Sometimes this happened to me, i drift with the current to close to the line fisher but they were not that agressive. At the end it depends what kind of person he is....

I've never encountered them close to shore, but when on SCUBA off oc the North Carolina coast I've actually seen them circle a wreck to keep dive boats from mooring. Many of them curse at dive boats, threaten to cut lines, etc. We usually just call them a**holes and move on because most of the boat captains don't want confrontation to be part of their client's "diving experience". I like the chum idea.
Fisherman problems?

Too many to count.;)

Last time we were out I think one guy wanted to challenge Ted to a fight. He was yelling all kinds of swears at him, while his little bo sat queitly next to him in the boat.:duh

Another time I had some guy come out and start yelling at me because I was "garbage fishing" off of his property. He has on a semi-pirvate lake and didn't like the idea that we could paddle up and jump in off of his beach on "his" lake. I tired to talk to him about the ecology of spearing and lake access laws, but in the end I just wished him a good day and swam elsewhere.

I usally will try and be-friend the firsherman I see by telling them about the fish that are swimming around by me, that aren't legal for me to shoot, what size they are and what depth there are at. I also give them the lures that I swim across to try and build a better realtionship in the future.

More than once Ted and I have given some guy with no luck a few fish off of our stringer so that he can at least get a meal out of his day's work. Eventually we should build up enough good karma to catch a break from the other drunken bums out there speeding around in their boats with a rod in one hand and a beer in the other.

When I was scuba diving in Bonaire we had locals trying to drop rocks on us as we dove the town pier- with permission! It turned out to be safest to stay well under the pier so they couldn't toss the rocks at you as easily. :D

One other problem we have had out on Lake Michigan is with the sail boats. For years they set up their Wednesday night race course so that all of the boats went right over the top of our most popular wreck!

The boats would come flying in on you and tell you to move your boat because they had a race going on. Trying to explain that the wreck was here before they were didn't work to well. One night one of the boats even slammed into one of the dive boats and the captian lost his glasses over the side when the boom came around and knocked into him:blackeye

My father-in-law helped to ease this situation a couple years ago when he agreed to take out the moorings for the winter and put them back the next spring- away from all known wrecks! There haven't been any problems since.

We do get the occasional fisherman that will cut the moorings off of our wrecks, but that was easier to take care of. Now we have barrels tied off about 30' below the water line. THey are chained to the wreck and never move, unless they get hit by the odd freighter every other year or so. The top of the barrel just has a simple mooring line going to the surface with a jug on it. If a fisherman gets mad and cuts the jug off I can freedive down and tie a new one on in less than a minute.

Sorry for the long post, but I still have more sotries when it comes to fisherman trashing the very lakes they fish out of.:head

One of the better divers in my spearfishing club had an interesting experience. Steve is one of the friendliest guys you'll meet, and one of the most passive too. The kind of guy who doesn't interrupt people when they are talking but rather waits till they're finished.

After one dive trip he and a mate were approached by two line fishos (at a boat ramp) who started abusing them for being "fish killers" and "poachers". Steve started to walk away when one of the line fishos pulled a knife and cut him on the hand. All Steve remembers is feeling the pain, then a red haze and waking up with the fisho unconscious below him. Of course the cops were called, the line fisho was charged with "assault with a deadly weapon" (meaning jail time) and Steve congratulated on his right hook by the police.

Then again, Ive met fishos whov'e come to ask advice on where to fish, offering money if I untangle their lures etc.

Jetski drivers are ten times worse than any fisho...:hmm
Hiya jeff

Welcome to the krantz!! Brilliant place to dive. Last season i saw a angler land a 35lb yellowfin tuna from those ledges!!:D

Anglers here generally give you alot of grief if you're diving close to the ledges. I agree with you that we all have i right to use the ocean, but bear in mind that they can only fish from that small section of ledges (+-100 m long).

When i boat dive that area, i generally stay clear of that section. When shore diving, i normally walk down the mountain and enter the water right by the fisherman. I then normally dive out some crays for them as well as any lures i find. After that, they're ok with you. Easy way to shoot the 'tail is to watch which way the shoals are travelling. This is easy if you walk down the mountain. You can see the shoals in the water. Then simply wait to the left or right of where the anglers are. Once the anglers start catching, it's just a matter of time until the school reaches you. In other words, the anglers first have a go at catching some fish, then the schools come to you.

Alternatively, drift until klein rooikranz, theres never fisherman there.(this is the ledges closer to buffels). Did you see any schools when you were there??

Was out there on Tuesday. Not much luck. We found the birds working about 2miles from the point. Sort of from anvil onwards. Loads of 'tail, but very fast moving schools. We got 6 ranging from 4-6kg's. Also shot some roman, hotties, john brown, dassie and one parrot of about 1.8kg's. Was diving from 7:30 in the morning until 7:00 the evening. Had a good day, clean water and a bit of fish as well:D

Will be down there again on saturday. Let me know if you want to join us :D

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I'm strongly against, rude behaviour and bad language of course but we should all have tolerance to people who came before us.
I guess we can all share such experiences...

I don't know whether our line fishermen are better, but I had trouble only once 2 years ago. There were 5-6 fishos on a flat rock (they usually stand there when the weather is nicer) It so me and my two buddies entered the water away from them. Well.. I don't know how much experience you can gain while line fishing but all those guys looked experienced. It's a fact though - the fish rarely passes by this rock. If they move 30-50 meters from the north they'll catch plenty but they keep piling up on that same rock like swallows in September.
We swam around them in order not to disturb their fishing, but a wave caught the buoy of one of our guys and threw it closer to a line entangling it. My buddy shouted that his sorry and swam to fix the problem but the moron on the beach started swearing and reeling the float to him. He finally got it and simply stabbed the brand new OMER with his knife. My buddy shouted at him and asked him why he did that and then the whole group started throwing stones at him. Now with that they crossed the "point of no return". If they were watching carefully when we were entering the water they would have noticed that it's much safer to bother me than any other of the spearos in the group. Instead they've picked the worse option and pissed off a huge pile of muscles earning his living as a professional bodyguard. It took less than three minutes. He swam like a speedboat to the shore and left three of them on the ground instantly. We were rushing to the shore too, but after the third one he shouted us that there is no point for us to even get out of the water. That was while the rest of the fishos were running like the wind. I though he's pissed off enough to thrash all the equipment they left on the rock, but instead he went to make sure that all "fallen" are OK and don't have any serious injuries, then just got their lines and tied them to a huge knot. Later that day he told me he's really sorry for what he did, despite my sound protests that they could have hurt him seriously with the rocks. :)))
I really couldnt understand the negative image of speros in public! These examples not only common only at SA but in Turkey aswell. People claim speros as fish killers, mass killers, and bad people but why??? In Turkey you get these reactions not only from fisherman but from most of the people and from the officials aswell!!! I guess life is hard for being a spero in most of the world. :(
The above experience was with the line fishermen.

With professional fishermen I had only one problem as a kid, when one of them thought my float is something very expensive and since it's there in the water alone it's his by right. When he found me on the other end of the line he was even more scared that he could have hurt me then I was! I explained to him what that is and that he should keep a 30m distance and he said he definately would but that doesn't change the fact that we are obviously insane ppl... :)
Now all professional fishermen know what a buoy/float is. And they hold a lot of respect for us since they already know what spearfishing is. We use them and their boats during competitions and we know many of them by name already. When they see a float they not only keep the 30m distance, but they often stop their engines and call you on the boat to rest. Then they'll give you water, some bread and cheese, or a ciggie and share experiences. many times they've asked me to check on nets and stuff, and after I got an entangled cambala net for two guys in 4-5C I have an opened invitation to go out with them whenever I want. So we don't have problem with them...

Now with jetski drivers are a huge problem, but that's mostly cause the guys who let the machines to the tourists don't set any perimeters and explain to them the dangers. We had a 10 years-old Russian kid killing two people last year. Who gives a jet-ski to a 10-years old!? I've pointed out my speargun several times at macho morons who think the sea is theirs...

My biggest problem however are the windsurfers... The windsurf you can't hear until it's really close. It is not very maneurable and the surfers are usually incapable of riding the thing well enough. Not to mention most of them have no idea what a diving float is. Our coastline is very beautiful with small coves and beaches separated by a small cape, but that makes the windsurfs unavoidalbe. I had surfs speeding by me each time I was diving.
One time I got really pissed off because there were too many of them and at least 5 times I had to explain that my float is not a sailing buoy anchored for them to make turns around it. One particular guy passed two more times by me even though I explained to him the 30 meters rule. The third time he was preparing to cross between me and the float I just pulled the floatline... ;) What for me was a gentle pull, for him was like he hit a rock. The guy just fell head down in the water over the nose of the board. I shouted to him "Hey, are you OK? See what happens?"! He had the nerve to ask me whether I agree that 30m. are a bit too much. The sea was too small for that guy... :duh That day had a new meaning! With some carefull stalking and patient aspettos, I managed to get two more of them... :D

I've heard in other European contries those things, including the 30 meters rule, are legally defined. Not that it would solve all the problems with a magic wand, but we don't have any regulations regarding this and we are constantly in danger cause of someone else's negligence or pure stupidity.

(longposting as usually)
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I have a tragic experience aswell!
a month ago at my last trip, my buddy found a great schole of mullets and man they are BIG! he yelled at me to point the fishes and after a couple of strong fin kicks I saw the mullets, or should I say giant-mullets! a meter long! they were moving very slowly at the surface and the bottom is 3 -4 m depth. I made a silent dive, move acouple of meters from the bottom and lie down at the edge of a great rock. Immediately mullets turned on me and they begin coming slowly just like the sound of propellor at the background!!! First I thought "whats the problem of this guy, I have my float hanging just behind me!" but then I saw the boat 10m ahead directly coming towards me! They scared the schole and ran over me with pinpoint accuracy! I immediately surfaced and throw some sportive hand figures at them :D and all I could see was the image of some smiling idots who think they had just made a joke!!
Memo...We all have experiences with stupid boatsmen in the past...
2 years ago, i was diving on a very remote area. I was alone that day so i had my float attached. During an aspetto at 20 meters, i suddenly started to be draged back by my float line. I immediately thought that my line was caught by a boats propeller, and rushed to cut the line with my knife. After some struggle i managed to cut the line and half-drawned i ascended. When i surfaced i saw in the distance a fishing boat ,with two men aboard , one of them was holding my float with all my attached equipment (3 backup spearguns, flashlight, etc) and MY fish (a big dentex and two large black groupers). I felt really MAD, but i couldnt do anything at that time. So i decided to return to the small harbour i started ...After 3 hours of swimming i finally got there. And then, suprise! I saw the boat ankered on the harbour. I immediately got out of the water and rushed to the boat. Nobody was aboard. I saw my float ,but my equipment and fish were gone. Near the harbour was a small tavern, so i went there still wearing my diving suit, to ask if anyone knows the owner of the boat. The tavern was full of people, but i was so mad at the time ,so i didnt gave a damn. I then started to ask who was the owner of the boat. Someone pointed a man (at late 40`s) at the back. I went straight at him and ask him if he`s the owner. He looked at me and started laughing. I asked again and he said yes. That was it , i punched him right on the face. He felt from his chair. He tryied to stand up ,but i punched him once more. I told him that he almost killed me before and that he doesnt owns the sea. The local police arrived and after some explaination they let me go and arrested the man (and his friend) and charged them for reckless behaviour,stealing and attempting body harm...A full trial was made, and the court gave them both 2 years in prison with parole...
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:D somethimes people deserve a good placed punch arent they??
Hey Littlejohn

Way to go man!!!!!!

I would like to have been there. A guy in a wetsuit beating up another guy in a tavern. HHMMMM

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