Coffs Harbour Bluewater Freedivers
IT HAS been pretty ordinary over the past few weeks in spite of several divers braving the cold and murky conditions.
Reports of good numbers of crayfish abound but the viz makes it very difficult to see anything on most days.
The few desperate souls who ventured out with me have taken some crays and there have been some gold-spots and pearl perch about, which is a pleasant surprise.
The cold water has also seen off many of the other species we would normally target, leaving meagre pickings to those willing to take on the cold and own a thick wetsuit.
If you know where to look, jewfish are about and the kingfish are always present.
Many divers tell me that kingfish taken in this cold water are less likely to have the bacteria which cause their flesh to go mushy.
It is probably sensible to get around to the maintenance of your gear again in preparation for the spring and summer season.
It may also be a good time to look around for abalone as I have found them predominantly in the winter.
One species that I would sincerely love to find in our area would be squid.
Some divers have found them but their presence is fleeting. I don't know of any areas that consistently produce squid around Coffs.
The recent prosecution of a diver in no way reflects the ethics of the average spearo who jealousy guards and protects the ocean he so desper- ately loves.
I listened with more than a little interest to reports of warmer ocean temperatures around South America and this sounds like we may find conditions moving toward drier seasons for the next few years.
We seem to have been through a very wet event over the past 3-4 years and this looks set to change; only time will tell.
Spearos are requested to pass any sightings or capture of unusual fish to a club representative as this is being gathered for research purposes.
Unusual fish would be species like coral trout and dog-tooth tuna.
Conditions for diving a club comp this weekend don't look promising but all divers are asked to watch for the texts on Saturday afternoon and respond if a dive is on.