Crayfish

Good catch
Good catch

I am also a crayfish diver.  I got introduced to crayfishing when I was very young. We would go to Mapelane with my parents and uncle and spend the night on the beach at railway camp, it was planned around full moon so we could take advantage of the spring tides. This was in the days when you could still ride on the beaches. We would then put traps into the cracks in the rocks and wait in darkness, did not want the lights to scare them away. The traps are about a 30cm dia ring with no sides made out of chicken wire, it was like a flat disk with three strong wires attached to the side and that attached to a rope threaded through a deep see fishing rod. So you had to get the timing right and pull the trap up when I big wave came. Then you would need to pounce on the crayfish before they jumped off and made the escape back into the rocks.

Later on in my life I started snorkeling and diving for crayfish. This could be the reason that I missed many a class at tech. If the weather was good we where out diving. The days of irresponsibility 🙂

When I was in Cape Town I crayfished off my fishingski. It was lots of fun and rather easy. The traps are different and the sea is a lot calmer. Later on when I lived in Durban, I had a spot in Umhlanga that I would get my quota of crayfish from. I remember once and I think this could be a once in a lifetime thing. The tide was high and the sea was so flat that we where diving right against the rocks next to the lighthouse at Umhlanga  There is a rock that you would normally never be able to get at. On this day I saw the biggest crayfish I have ever seen. I had to come up for air and let me mate know what was up so he could go the other side of the rock just in case I missed and it tried to swim away, I had to get my composure as this was a biggie. This was not the first time we had worked as a team to get a crayfish. I went down and all went to plan and I pounced on the crayfish. It was an unbelievable day!  That day we both got our quota of crays and we dived in a spot that we had never dived before and I am not sure if we will never dive there again.

In the days out of season I would dive for lead. It was such a blast and it is amazing how many sinkers are in the sea. They also collect in areas so you can scoop them out by the handful. You could not take to many otherwise coming up for air becomes a huge challenge. I did melt some of my lead and make new sinkers the rest I sold to a dive shop, I am sure they made weights out of them.

I have a ear problem so I am unable to dive very deep. So I do a lot of scratching around in the shallows around the rocks. It is lots of work as the wave push and pull you, the body does feel great afterwards, like a good yoga session. I still love diving for Crayfish and when I can’t it is just fun snorkeling and seeing what is in the rocks.

Below is just a short video of me catching a crayfish. Thanks to my mate Norman for doing the video.

 

Rattler Lure

rattler-lure

I wonder if lures are made to catch fisherman? Often they sell us the dream of catching big fish and that is what we buy. It is a feeling I know the feeling and love the feeling because when you catch a fish it is a great feeling, it is pure happiness.  I spend a lot of time on facebook and twitter. It is part of my job :). So I happen to stumble upon this lure. Now I want a few.

When I get my hands on some I will do a write up but in the meantime here are the words of George from Seaport Supply. Pop George a mail if you want some george@seaport.co.za.

These lures are amazingly similair in shape to the famous X-raps whos reputation speaks for itself amongst fisherman and which we still highly recomend above most lures due to their supperior quallity, action and effectiveness , but the best part for the price sensitive customer is the price which will help you avoid sleeping on the couch or even signing those divorce papers for bringing home more fishing tackle

These lures are available in 9 AWESOME colours and 2 different sizes namely the 140 and the 160, the 140 diving to a depth of 7 Meters and the 160 diving to a depth of 8 Meters and to increase your hook up success they are armed with deadly VMC trebles

The marine linefish tagging project

tagged_marlinGood fisheries management and conservation depends on developing good co-operation between users, managers and scientists. It also depends on the ability to undertake sound stock assessments of the resources being harvested in order to enable the development of rules that ensure sustainable use. The ORI/WWF-SA Tagging Project helps to achieve both these goals. The overall approach is to enlist conservation-conscious fishermen and women to voluntarily tag and release their catch, so generating critical scientific information on fish movement patterns, growth and fishing mortality. The Tony and Lisette Lewis Foundation (TLLF) have announced that they will provide funding for the next three years to ensure the continuation of this important project.

The Tagging Project was initiated by the Oceanographic Research Institute (ORI) in 1984 and is one of the more successful collaborative environmental projects of its kind in South Africa. Information and data from the Tagging Project has been extensively used in numerous publications of both a scientific and popular nature. This project has played an extremely important role in influencing policy and decision-making on linefish management in South Africa. For example, research into the biology and stock assessment of important linefish species using tagging data, has greatly improved our knowledge and ability to manage our linefish resources. Furthermore, with the high profile of the tagging project, the concept of ‘tag and release’ has had a major impact in changing the ethics of the recreational fishing community, many of whom now release their fish.

The Tagging Project issues its members with special tagging kits which include small plastic dart tags which are inserted into the muscle of the fish below the dorsal fin using a hollow, needle-like applicator. Each tag has a unique number and a return address written on it, which is covered by a thin, transparent sheath. When a fish is tagged it should be landed quickly and handled very carefully to minimize stress and damage to the fish. Tagging members are provided with a detailed brochure explaining exactly how to do this in their tagging kits. The species of fish, tag number, length, date, locality and name of the angler are recorded on a special card and returned to ORI for capture onto a database. If a tagged fish is recaptured the same information should be recorded and sent through to ORI. The original tagger and the angler sending in the recapture information are then sent a printout with details of how long the fish has been at liberty, how far it has moved and how much it has grown.

To date (Jan 2006) 4243 members have joined the Tagging Project and, over the past 22 years, some 196 485 fish from 345 different species have been tagged and released. Of these, 10 257 tagged fish have been recaptured and reported to ORI, with an overall recapture rate of 5.2%.

ORI would like to express sincere gratitude to the TLLF and WWF-SA for providing ongoing funding for the Tagging Project. All active members of the Tagging Project are also thanked for their ongoing support and contribution towards the wise use and conservation of our marine linefish resources.

If you are interested in joining the Tagging Project we require that you are a committed, conservation-conscious angler that fishes regularly in the sea (please note this project is only for tagging marine fish and NOT freshwater species). Furthermore, you will be asked to send us a detailed letter of motivation before you are accepted as a member. This is to ensure that only committed anglers who are prepared to tag fish for the right reasons join the project. Once accepted as a member, the cost of your tagging kit will be R185 (note that this may be increased in 2007). You will also be given a list of priority fish species which we require tagging effort to be focused on. Remember, although tagging fish can be fun, it is actually part of a scientific process that needs to be done carefully and accurately with survival of the fish being of the utmost importance.

Interested anglers can write to:
The Tagging Officer
Oceanographic Research Institute
PO Box 10712 Marine Parade
Durban
4056

or

email: oritag@ori.org.za ,
fax: 031-3288188,
telephone: 031-3288159

*This information was kindly supplied by Mr Bruce Mann (Senior Scientist) at the Oceanographic Research Institute,http://www.ori.org.za