2014-12-02: From our good friend Frederik “Youngstar” Hansen we just received this report from his recent trip with us to the Maldives:
We had booked the trip to Maldives one year before, so expectations were high! Four Danish guys with the hopes of catching plenty of GT’s, also a couple of big ones and then a lot of light tackle fun on our PE 4-5 gear. We also brought our jigging gear despite reports suggesting that Maldives is more of a popping than a jigging destination.
Together with Jacob Rønnow, Nikolaj Bielecki and my father I escaped the cold Danish weather and travelled through Dubai and on to Male on the 14th of November. Upon arrival we were greeted by Mohamed, the captain of Magic Life. After another three hours in the speedboat we reached Lhaviyani. The accommodation was simple but clean and the island was…let’s just say “very local Actually, we didn’t see any other tourists before we were back at the airport!
Our trip was right in the short local monsoon-period (which we didn’t know when we booked the tickets;-)) so we had 3½ days with sunshine and 3½ days with heavy rain, so we had the chance to see Maldives at its best, and at its worst. None of us had experienced rain this before, literally sea and sky were one and the visibility turning into almost zero. Amazing.
Overall we caught 57 GTs, with two big ones amongst them – 118 cm (weighed at between 29-31 kg) on a Salter Samson Scale Weight) and another even bigger one at 125 cm. Both of them hit a Heru Skipjack.
Almost all of the GTs were in the class of 60-90 cm, so there is no need to bring in the ultra heavy gear. PE 5-6 is suitable, but never the less we got reefed a couple of times – typically on lighter PE3-4 gear, when a +100 cm fish took the lure and went straight for the reef.
To give an example, I caught 22 GTs on the trip (6½ days of fishing), with the biggest measuring 89 cm, and lost a couple of fish in the range of 100 cm, but didn’t have contact with something bigger than this. And it wasn’t because I was fishing smaller lures. 90% of the time, I was fishing Skipjack 90/120 g or Gamma 160H with PE5-6 gear.
However, we had some world class fishing, with a lot of different fish: Red Snapper, Green Jobfish, Sweet lip, Bluefin Trevally, Garfish and Groupers. We even had a big shark and a wahoo chasing our stickbaits – and lots of action, so we were extremely pleased with the trip! The jigging was pretty slow, but on the way back to Male we found some great action with three smaller dogtooth tunas (6-8 kg), some almacos/amberjacks in the same range and various species of groupers.
2014-05-28: Last winter we had two groups exploring the fly fishing possibilities in the Maldives, fishing from shore as well as from the boat. Only on the second trip did we find the bonefish, our target species, and overall results were pretty thin with the fly rods. In short, two test trips that shows exactly why it is called “test trips”.
The limited success with the fly rods didn’t result in a bad fishing trips. The fly anglers just had to put down their long rods and pick up the heavy spinning tackle instead and throw some big poppers. Then they got some real action! We heard plenty of stories about the poor fy fishers being dragged up and down the boat, getting bruises in strange places (fly anglers don’t know what a fighting belt is), aching arms and smashed lines.
Catches included lots of groupers, snappers and GTs – up to more than 40 kilos! – and not least a huge dogtooth tuna, jumping out of the water as it went for the popper and finally fighting itself to death. As a consequence, it ended up as on the dinner table several nights in a row.
The feedback from those trips was “had we just had the range of a lure angler when shore fishing, being able to reach the other side of the surf, it would have been a completely different story”. This – and the fact that our German employee Robert has already shore fished for GTs in the Maldives with success – inspired us to do the “Maldives-Special” program.
The pictures below are from the fly angler’s second test trip.