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.