Big Game Spearman
Leisure Boating’s Big Game Fishing section is immensely popular and enjoyed by many rod-and-reel enthusiasts. This month however, we look at a different method of fishing – the kind done with a spear-loaded gun. Empangeni resident, Andy Badenhorst, shares some of his spearfishing experiences, including shooting a Daga salmon of 35 kg!
Andy resides in Empangeni (15 km from Richard’s Bay) and is a fanatical ocean lover; when he’s not surfing he’s either fishing with rod and reel or diving – rail gun at the ready. He recommends three dive spots in and around Richard’s Bay: the Jolly Rubino wreck; the Petingo wreck; and the Cape Vidal nature reserve.
The Jolly Rubino was an Italianowned container vessel that ran aground in 2002 near the St Lucia Lighthouse after catching fire just off Richard’s Bay. The wreck, sitting very shallow with parts of it breaking the surface, offers great diving and is home to a variety of game fish including an abundance of cuda and Natal snoek. In 1990 the 80 000 ton ore carrier named Petingo broke her back and sank near Port Durnford, approximately 16 km south of Richard’s bay. Most of the wreck is about 25 m deep but parts of it come up to 8 m below the surface. The bite is good all year round for big game fish such as large GT’s, cuda, kingfish, sea pike and an array of bottom fish. The large game fish attracts huge sharks in turn and the site is also notorious for strong currents and poor visibility, making for difficult and sometimes treacherous diving.
Nevertheless, Andy recommends Petingo for the braver, perhaps more experienced divers…