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Winter Bream Winter Wonderland OZ Adventures The Spruce Moose Travelling Spearo Panama Shallow Treasury First Quencher Abrolhos
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Editorial Letters Spearing Sydney The Phantom GreatShot10 Short & Sweet New Products
Michael Takach with a Cubera Snapper
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Many thanks to Al from Kettafly Photography for permission to use his wonderful image as our table of contents background. It features diver Trent Hockey atop a beautiful Coral Bommie. For more stunning images visit www.kettafly.com
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by Lee Dalli
Winter in Sydney, a time when many city divers put their dive gear away till the next Summer thinking that the weather is no good, the water is too cold or there are no fish around. This is not true! This is the time of the big winter Bream! A time when the Bream gather in numbers and breed and are as fat as pigs. Where the Westerlies blow bringing in calm clear water and more often than not the water temperature is warmer than the air temperature. Not bad diving at all really!
It really is a great time of year and one I have missed terribly in the last couple of years. Torrential rains, unstable weather, swell, all evils that for ‘08, ‘09 made Winter diving nearly impossible here on the North Coast of NSW. Finally, however, the Winters that I remember have returned.
by John Featherstone
Cape Solander is a majestic stretch of coastline starting at Kurnell in the North and stretching Southward to Bate Bay for 8km. The coast is dominated by sheer sandstone cliffs rising to 50m which continually changes colour from golden yellow to deep orange depending on the time of day. For millennia Pacific swells have smashed into these cliffs tearing and weathering the soft Sydney sandstone to produce deep gourges running inland as well as some spectacular caves, both above and below the waterline.
hese cliffs also make Cape Solander one of the best places on the East coast of Australia to view the 2,500+ whales which pass by each year. On their Northern migration, they are often seen passing within 50 metres from shore since the Cape juts out a kilometre or so compared to the Southern coast around Wollongong. This formation also makes it a great spot for pelagics such as big Kingfish, Salmon and other exciting species. Accessing the waters of the Cape can be achieved by boat but also from shore. There are at least 5 points along the coast where rockhopping is possible (in suitable conditions of course) and most are located within Kamay Botany Bay National Park. Remember, when accessing the water to spear via a National Park in NSW, you must check the local regulations. As long as there are no signs banning spearguns, that your speargun is unloaded, and the reserve’s Plan of Management doesn’t prohibit spearguns, then you can legally carry a speargun to access the water (but always check with your local National Parks office). The best locations for rockhopping are: Inscription Point “A”, Yena “B”, Tabbigai “C” Potter Point “D” or Boat Harbour “E” (see map). From these entry points, spearing is good in all directions. Point A is located at the entrance to Botany Bay and offers a better entry choice for the less experienced spearo as it is protected from Southerly winds and swells. Locations for boats are entirely open to your own interpretation and understanding of the ocean.
by Craig Shephard
A word of caution however, the same cliffs which produce such great spearing territory, also produce dangerous boating conditions. In some locations, current rips by, swell bounces back off the cliffs and hidden bommies lie in waiting ready to tear open the bottom of your unsuspecting hull. However, some mighty fish have also been taken from these treacherous bommies. Boat launching facilities are quite good in the area, with the best probably being Hawkesbury Esplanade in Sylvania Waters. A ramp does exist at Kurnell, but only suitable for smaller boats and not at low tide. The Hacking River on the Cronulla side has a good 4 or 5 ramps which many keen spearo’s utilize to visit the Cape. I first dived this area as a small lad with my father who was also a keen St George spearo way back in the late 1950’s. I started my diving apprenticeship at Kurnell catching crays, which are still in plentiful supply right along the headland. I also hope to teach my two kids this great part of the Australian sun/surf culture. My most recent dive in this area was via Inscription Point (“A” on the map). I was heading out with a few new guys from the St George Spearfishing Club showing them the beauty of these waters. We swam East out of Botany Bay and then South towards Yena “B”. It was quite a nice swim but on this occasion with the water temp at its lowest, around 15 degrees, fish were a little hard to come by and generally flighty. However, this being the case, the cold water
The best locations for rockhopping are Inscription Point “A”, Yena “B”, Tabbigai “C” Potter Point “D” or Boat Harbour “E”
Brandon Wahlers - STOMPING Cubera Snapper
by Michael Takach
anama, officially the Republic of Panama, is the Southern most country of Central America. Situated on the isthmus connecting North and South America, it is bordered by Costa Rica to the Northwest, Colombia to the Southeast, the Caribbean Sea to the North and the Pacific Ocean to the South. The capital is Panama City. Explored and settled by the Spanish in the 16th century, Panama broke with Spain in 1821 and joined a union of Colombia, Ecuador, and Venezuela - named the Republic of Gran Colombia. When the latter dissolved in 1830, Panama remained part of Colombia. With US backing, Panama seceded from Colombia in 1903. The Panama Canal was built by the US Army Corps of Engineers between 1904 and 1914. In 1977, an agreement was signed for the complete transfer of the Canal from the US to Panama by the end of the century. Revenue from Canal tolls represent today a significant portion of Panamaâ€™s GDP. Panama has the third or fourth largest economy in Central America. It is also the fastest growing economy and the largest per capita consumer in Central America. Panama has the largest rainforest in the Western Hemisphere outside the Amazon Basin and its jungle is home to an abundance of tropical plants, animals and birds - some of them to be found nowhere else in the world.
However, 15 metres away from me three solid torpedoes appear on the sea floor over the sand swimming in my direction, BIG Spanish Mackerel, I estimate them at 25kg+ a piece. It’s GO time! by Aleks Ceklic
he date was set and the money paid, the West Australian Undersea Club Abrolhos Islands spearfishing charter was on. In total we had 25 keen spearos and 1 and a half day in spearing heaven. 3pm Friday afternoon was upon me, and Zoran pulls up to my driveway, we load my gear and we are off. Heading Northward we pick up Darren and Adrian on the way and Darren’s trusty 4.1m plaka featuring a new side console and sparkling new 50hp on the back. We head Northward to our destination Geraldton, some 450kms away.
A few hours on the road passes quickly as we discuss all things spearing. We pull into Geraldton Harbour at 10pm and are greeted by our home for the next 2 nights, the ‘Island Leader’. She is a big supply and sleeping vessel for some of the Abrolohos Islands crayfishing fleet. During closed cray season the vessel is made available to those that have piscatorial thoughts on their mind. As minutes tick by, carloads of keen spearos towing boats rock up. Like a well organised team of workers, we take to loading up the Island Leader with our gear and 6 small boats.
Four boats go on its deck with the use of the onboard crane with the 2 larger boats being towed behind. It’s just after midnight, the Island Leader fires up her big diesel engines and heads out of the harbour and out to sea, destination the Abrolhos Islands. After a long drive from Perth to Geraldton, people disappear one by one to their sleeping quarters. I make my way down to the bunks at the front in the hull of the Island leader, the big diesels run loud and there is a bit of swell so the boat is rocking. I pop in my ear plugs and doze off to sleep with thoughts of warm
Information provided in this section (including text and images) is supplied by the respective Manufacturers, unless specifically stated.
New from ADRENO - The Problue Range Problue has announced a new line of Spearfishing equipment. The “Nero” range includes 2 masks, snorkel, knife and float. The full range is available from Adreno or your local Problue stockist. The NERO float is an 18 Litre inflatable float that can be filled by an air pressure line or orally. The outer casing is a tough 400 denier nylon which has welded seams and stitched piping. The central inflation tube is protected by a nylon outer sheath which also has an enclosed weight pocket on the underside to offset the flag at the rear for the float. There is a towing eye forward and a carry handle aft with 2 D-Rings on either side. A 20 metre float line is included.
The new NERO masks offer a low internal volume without sacrificing sight. The large tear drop style lens’s offers a wide yet deep field of vision and are available in both clear or reflective coating. The lens’s patented “Anti Fog Coating” ensures trouble free clear sight. The soft silicone skirt fits a wide range of faces and the double lip creates a positive seal. The side clips are discreet yet robust and easy to use. Re-threading the strap is easy if necessary. The new NERO snorkel is perfectly combined with the Nero Mask. The bore is smooth and a large diametre. The mouthpiece is able to rotate enableing a comfortable fit and the ability to be worn on either side of the mask. The tubes unique material is flexible yet has a crisp feel and if bent will quickly snap back to position once the load is reduced. The new NERO knife offers a 5 inch blade with a smooth edge on one side and a fine serration and line cutter on the other offering all the features of a bowie knife in a dagger style point and blade. The tangs material is 420 Stainless Steel. The black plastic sheath has a webbing cover and a Velcro closure over the handle for a secure hold. Leg straps are included.
IF YOU’RE A SPEARO – USE NERO!! Available from ADRENO, www.spearfishing.com.au, (07) 3391 2299
Hammerhead Oxide Shafts Oxide Series = Commercial Grade. Oxide Shafts are built tough, durable, and economical for situations that deliver the ultimate punishment on spearfishing gear. Coated steel, tri-cut edges, rounded notches, and extra long floppers make the new Oxide Series from HammerHead Spearguns Commercial Grade.
Pelaj Gun Bag • • • • • • •
2 Lengths available – Large (2080mm) – Small (1680mm) Heavy Duty Reinforced PVC Construction for extra strength & durability Padded Gusset design allows other items such as wetsuits & accessories to be transported along with Guns & shafts 2 Internal shaft sleeves to accommodate spare shafts etc. External Luggage tag for easy identification Heavy Duty carry handle & shoulder carry strap for easy portage while travelling “Top Load” marked to ensure your bag is always packed correctly by Airlines etc.
For Distributors and more info visit Aquanaut on the web : www.aquanaut.com.au or call (02) 4966 4900
Got a New Product
If you are looking to tell the spearfishing world about your great new product don’t hesitate to contact us for inclusion in our New Products section. Contact email@example.com
H20V Underwater Case for Contour HD The H2OV housing was designed for technical and recreational SCUBA to suit Contour cameras. Pressure Tested to 300 ft. – 100 m. The depth that a housing will survive is dependent upon its size, material, thickness, and safety factor. The H2OV was designed with a very conservative safety margin, and has been pressure tested to 300 ft. A properly designed housing can provide years of use, and will not flood unless it has been damaged or the seals have not been properly maintained. All housings are tested before shipping to insure there are no defects in design or workmanship. After that, it is the responsibility of the user to avoid damaging the housing and maintain the o-rings and their sealing surfaces.
• Built from high grade cell cast acrylic • Precision stainless steel hardware • High quality O-Rings • Scratch resistant lens coating • Almost neutrally buoyant • Minimal drag coefficient • Custom designed power control button • Custom designed record start / stop control • Heavy duty 1/4-20 mounting plates
Black Phoenix Films Ph: (02) 4933 0428 www.blackphoenixfilms.com.au
**NOTE: Last issue stated that the the Waterproof case (3300) for the Contour HD was waterproof to 30m. This is incorrect. It is waterproof to only 10m metres (30ft). If you require a housing to exceed a depth of 10m then you will require a H20V.
RIFFE Apparel - Live the RIFFE Life The leaders in innovation and design bring you the new RIFFE Apparel range. Quality clothing, with a sharp look and of course a healthy splash of spearfishing inspired design. RIFFE Oceania has just received its first shipment with a broader range shipping in before summer. Simply visit the website to check dealer locations or to buy online.
RIFFE Oceania www.riffe.com.au (02) 6654 0515
STORMY Features • Australian Standard PFD type 1 (AS1512) • Manual inflation system with 25grm CO2 • Oral inflation tube • Zip out sleeve • Warm fleece lining • Roll away hood • Fleece hand warmer pockets • Water and wind proof outer shell • Colour Red only Sizes XS – 3 XL
Paul Bakker SOUTHERN INSIGHT Ph: 1800 44 1939 Fax: (02) 9975 1747 www.southerninsight.com.au
Ronstan Float Weight This nifty float weight by Obsession Dive is specifically designed for attachment to your float and keeps your dive flag upright and visible for safety. Both front and back faces are angled to prevent fowling on items such as your mates rig cord. A channel has been included half way along to prevent it from slipping out from the hose clamp and it fits perfectly into the channel of your float. At 500g it is the perfect weight for the 10 to 15 litre float, but not to heavy that you notice the weight swimming around. At $12, the float weights are great value.
Only available from Obsession Dive 4/155 Tarenpoint rd Tarenpoint www.obsessiondive.com or 0415 903 422
Features • Australian Standard PFD type 1 (AS1512) • • • • • • • •
Manual inflation system with 25grm CO2 Oral inflation tube Zip out sleeve Warm fleece lining Roll away hood Fleece hand warmer pockets Water and wind proof outer shell Colour Red only Sizes XS – 3 XL