Inhaca Island (Mozambique)
I went to Mozambique in mid August, dry season, but also winter and wind’s season, great for safaris and to spot the big five in South Africa but not the best time of year for spearfishing, if you are planing a trip to the paradise of Mozambique and you want to go exclusively for diving / spearfishing the best time is December / January. If you need any help planning the trip feel free to drop me an email, i have the all operation organized to spearfishing around Maputo and Inhaca Island.
I'm almost a veteran in African waters, i have already dived and gone spearfishing in a bunch of African country's, and don't be fooled, its not easy, i think that all those guys that write in forums and spearfishing magazines saying that Africa is like paradise (well it´s true...but it's a tough paradise) and all the fish is easy, making you believe that everybody catches great fishes, this guys have never been in Africa, at least spearfishing! Believe me.
This expedition was organized with the major goal of spotting and photograph the Big Five in Kruger National Park in South Africa, the spearfishing was a bonus and i know that in mid August it wouldn't be a easy task. We fly to the Maputo International Airport, staying only the first night at the Mozambique capital and driving to the Kruger in the next morning, i must say that the park is a dream place, you feel in total peace and reunion with nature and you understand that you make part of a huge food chain, and over there you are not at the top, beware!
After 1 week in South Africa we drove back to Maputo to catch a domestic flight to Inhaca Island, old small scary plain with young big scary pilots but everything run just fine, at the island the accommodation was great and i sleep like a baby preparing myself for the toughness of going out to sea the next morning.
It was a bit late when the boat finally leaved the Inhaca island dock, the North wind was picking up announcing a choppy ride, so we went directly to the deeper waters that can be reached going through “hells gate” on the southern side of the island, going through hells gate can be as the name describes...and it was...the passing of the gate worth the day...it was pure adrenaline with the small 90hp RIB climbing the waves, and what a swell, i´m sure that back home we have turned the boat back to dock.
As soon as you were through the channel and in to the blue waters, it was clear that it would be indeed a tough day. We have later known that it was the worst day in sea from the year, lots of wind, more than choppy waters and poor visibility. Well after almost 2 hours navigation the diving's begin...and for the first time I was diving and listening to the “singing” of Whales and we were lucky enough to actually saw 2 of them really close to us.
The rest was pure difficult and tough spearfishing, the poor visibility is dangerous in this waters were the bull shark is king, i had been praying to good visibility and excited with the possibility of diving with sharks, however as i said August is not the best time for spearfishing over there, the visibility was really poor, and low vis can be a problem when you have sharks around...so i think it was for the best they didn't show up, or at least that we haven't seen them.
Back to the main point of the story, in the second drift I manage to shoot a nice Cobia (Rachycentron canadum) getting her with a straight shot in the head as she was swimming in open water. A few more drifts and we moved a little to the south and while moving in the current I could see a shape below me, dived down and shoot another one almost the same size, the day was ended with another catch, a Enxada fish ("Drepamane longimana", from the Drepaneidae family or Sicklefishes), don't know if you guys have another name for it, they swim normally in a school but sometimes lonely specimens do appear and usually of a nice size, like the one i speared, also in open water but in a shallow area.
With the wind blowing more and more and the sea getting even rougher we got back to Inhca dock for the usual pictures and to enjoy the rest of our stay in dry land.
As for the gear, i used a 5 mm wetsuit a Rob Allen Zulu Carbon Railgun of 140 cm with a 7.5 shaft connected in break away to a 20 mts heavy duty floatline that was attached to a 11 liters foamblown float.
For more information and trip advice, contact me through my Spearfishing.com profile