Best Maldives Fishing Trips

charter boat fishing maldives
Quick Navigation (Topics covered)

Fishing in Maldives
Types of Fishing
Types of Fishes
Fishing History
Protected Species
Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ)
Best Time To Go
Places To Go
Banned Methods
MIFCO (Fishing Industry)
Exploitation and Overfishing
The Catch
FAQs


A Maldives fishing tour is a wonderful way to spend your vacation in the Maldives. Fishing in Maldives is a fantastic experience that many people wish to have. The azure ocean water lends a symbolic appearance to this idyllic island. As a result, you can't afford to pass up the opportunity to visit the Maldives. You'll not only be able to take in the scenery, but you'll also be able to sample several delectable fish in Maldives, making your trip much more enjoyable.

The Maldives are known for their clear waters, pristine sands, and opulent hotels. Over a thousand coral islands make up this magnificent global stretch, which has long been a dream destination for honeymooners and nature enthusiasts.

Fish is the primary source of protein in the Maldives, and it is a mainstay of the indigenous diet. And, believe it or not, fishing in maldives is a popular pastime on both among visitors and natives. However, finding the perfect Maldives fishing package or fishing area can be difficult for a foreigner.


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Types of fishing in the Maldives

fishing in maldives

The Maldives employs a range of fishing techniques, from reef and bait fishing to pelagic fishing, which accounts for the majority of industry revenue. Because of the distance between the islands in the Maldives, you may have to fish from wherever you are staying. You may fish in the Maldives using a variety of ways, whether from a boat or from the beach.

1. Charter Boat Fishing

Charter boat fishing

If you've come to enjoy big game or reef fishing, charter boat fishing is your best bet. You may select from containers of various shapes and sizes. The Maldives has it all, whether it's sailing in grandeur on a sumptuous mega-yacht or stepping aboard a traditional dhoni.

Go on a liveaboard charter for a truly unforgettable experience. This is an excellent way to "hop" islands and explore the deeper waters beyond. Your fishing license and equipment are usually included in most trips. Even so, it's a good idea to double-check with your captain forehand to make sure you're getting what you deserve.

2. Shore Fishing

Shore fishing Maldives

Shore fishing in the Maldives may also be a rewarding experience if you just have a short amount of time. Just be sure it's permitted. To preserve the native reefs, the Maldives take marine conservation extremely seriously. So, there are rigorous guidelines. This includes a strict prohibition on shore fishing from Maldive resorts, unless you have the management of the hotel's express consent.

3. Maldives Night Fishing

Maldives Night fishing

In the Maldives, this is a one-of-a-kind fishing experience. This fishing adventure is exclusive to the Maldives. You'll venture out long after the sun has gone down to fish for nocturnal species under the stars. These expeditions are conducted on traditional dhoni fishing boats, and handline fishing techniques are mostly employed. It doesn't get much more genuine than that!

Night fishing is one of the most amazing fishing adventures in the Maldives. They're not too long, and you won't be bothered by the intense sunshine. Millions of dazzling stars illuminate the tropical night sky on a clear night, and you can see where the sky ends and the water begins. Fish like barracudas, snappers, emperors, and squirrel fish can be caught at night. Night fishing outings are a lot of fun.

4. Bait Fishing

Bait Fishing Maldives

In the Maldives, a variety of bait fishing techniques are employed, with nighttime fishing with lights being the most popular.

5. Reef Fishing In Maldives

Reef Fishing In Maldives

Reef fishing is catching reef fish and other species that dwell on coral reefs and within atoll basins. The Maldives is home to 5 percent of the world's coral reefs and produces more than 40,000 tonnes of commercial reef fish every year. The atoll basins, which constitute by far the majority of the Maldivian atolls, are known to contain the most plentiful reef fish resources, although deep reef slopes beyond the atolls sustain certain high-value species, but their overall potential yield is rather minor.

Grouper, snapper, emperor, and reef-associated jack are the most popular fish obtained in the reef fishing business, and they are all captured using old fishing methods such as handline and longline fishing. The grouper fishing industry, on the other hand, has come under pressure due to increased demand from local tourism and international markets, and while it has been sustainable up to this point, there is little room for expansion under current fishing practises, which threaten to significantly deplete grouper stocks.

Other reef resources include aquarium fish species, of which around 100 are taken for export, accounting for more than 75 percent of the trade, including endangered species vulnerable to over-exploitation. Cyanide fishing, which includes spraying a sodium cyanide mixture into the intended fish's habitat to paralyse the fish, is occasionally conducted. This not only harms other species that dwell in and around the region, but it also harms the ecosystem in which they exist.

fishery earning the most revenue of any reef fishing group. They are mostly captured for shipment to the East and are still abused.Sharks have been fished in the Maldives for millennia, with the reef shark.

Other resources taken from the reef include lobster, squid, cowrie, and cuttlefish (primarily for the tourism industry), red and black coral (heavily exploited), and sea cucumber, which has recently seen an increase in export to the East but is on the verge of extinction if current fishing practises continue.

6. Pole and line fishing

Pole and line Fishing In Maldives

Pole and line fishing for tuna is a popular pastime in the Maldives. Even for commercial fishing, which is uncommon. It's one of the most environmentally friendly methods of catching fish since you'll be hooking them one by one. This implies that no other fish will be harmed in the process. And the equipment required is minimal: a single hooked line on a pole.

The vessel is the one who makes the magic happen. When you locate a school of fish, the rear of the boat sprays water, scattering little bait fish across the surface. This causes the fish to go into a feeding frenzy. However, you will not be confined to merely pole and line fishing. Fly fishing, trolling, jigging, and popping are also available on a regular basis.

7. Pelagic fishing

Pelagic Fishing In Maldives

Pelagic fishing entails catching pelagic species that reside offshore in the open ocean, such as bait or forage fish like anchovies and herring, as well as bigger fish that feast on them like tuna, swordfish, barracuda, and ocean sharks.

The Maldives' primary fishing business is tuna fishing, with many species harvested for both local and export uses, the majority of which are skipjack and yellowfin tuna. Tuna are taken using a number of methods, including conventional pole-and-line, hand-line, and long-line fishing, with pole-and-line accounting for up to 90% of total fish catch. This ancient method of fishing with a pole and line is the most environmentally benign and has helped to the sustainability of tuna resources by allowing harvest levels to be near to their maximum sustainable yield.

Maldivian fisherman use bamboo or plastic poles between 10 and 15 feet long, with a line and a feathery barbless hook connected to the smaller end of the pole. These poles can handle up to 50 pounds of fish. Forage fish like anchovies or herring are impaled on the hook and used as tuna bait.

8. Mariculture

Mariculture In Maldives

Mariculture is the culture of marine organisms in seawater, and the Maldives has a sizable mariculture business due to the islands' inability to support inland fisheries or land-based aquaculture operations. Maritime activities include gigantic clam culture, pearl culture, spiny lobster culture, sea cucumber culture, bêche-de-mer culture, and grouper culture.

9. Jigging Fishing

Jigging fishing maldives

Jigging is a fun fishing method since it allows you to get close to the fish you're catching. You'll need to use your fishing pole wisely in this situation. As a result, it is one of the most popular fishing destinations in the Maldives. This fishing approach targets enormous fish such as tuna, red bass, and gigantic trevally, which are similar to those caught while shore fishing.

10. Big Game Fishing

Big Game fishing maldives

Big game fishing is an excellent option for guests seeking for a thrill. On this fishing excursion, you'll work with professional anglers to capture marlin, tuna, wahoo, mahi-mahi, and other species of fish. The duration of a big game fishing package can range from two to twenty-four hours, and it can be a very rewarding fishing excursion.

Fish in Maldives

Fish in maldives

Lets have a look a most common typs of fihes found in the Maldives

Giant Trevally

Giant Trevally Fish maldives

The giant trevally is the common fish species on every bucket list, and many visitors often dedicate their entire vacation to hooking one. The Maldives are among rare places in the world where you can catch giant trevally year-round, both on the reef and over the flats.

The larger fish, which may weigh between 30 and 80 pounds, gather on the reefs. Therefore, jigging and popping, two of the most common fishing techniques in the Maldives, are perfect for testing out when pursuing GTs. The same holds true for fishing over flats, with the exception that the fish are smaller and often weigh between 10 and 15 pounds. However, fly fishermen won't mind because the area's shallow, clear waters are ideal for sight casting.

Tuna

Tuna fish in maldives

Tuna fishing is significant in the Maldives for a variety of reasons. A large number of gigantic Yellowfin tuna can be found, as well as a steady supply of Dogtooth and Skipjack tuna. They are vital to the local economy and attract a large number of fishermen to the nation for recreational fishing. Trying out classic tuna fishing tactics is one of the most exciting aspects of tuna fishing.

The vessel is where the magic happens. Once you've located a school of fish, the back of the boat sprays water on the surface, scattering the small baitfish. This sends the entire school of fish into a feeding frenzy.

Reef fishes

Reef fishes in maldives

The Maldives are made up of reefs, both physically and symbolically. Coral, which formed the islands themselves, is also to blame for the variety of marine life there. As a result, reef fishing is the primary type of fishing available in the Maldives, which is fine by visiting fishermen. The variety of species you can capture is endless and includes groupers, red emperors, sweetlip emperors, jobfish, squirrelfish, jacks, and much more.

You'll mostly bottom fish while you're out at the reefs. Both deep drop jigging and live bait are popular methods for catching tasty fish. Release the remainder and keep any fish you intend to consume that day. The Maldives' tourism business depends heavily on coral reefs and a robust fish population.

Pelagic fish

Pelagic fish live in the pelagic zone of ocean or lake waters, where they are neither close to the bottom nor near the shore, in contrast to demersal fish, which live on or near the bottom, and reef fish, which live on coral reefs. You may pursue some of the most sought-after pelagic species in the world when deep sea fishing in the Maldives. You may also go for Wahoo, Mahi Mahi, Sailfish, and Marlin in addition to Tuna. Although there isn't really an off-season in the Maldives, November to March are the ideal months for big game fishing.

The "dry" or "northeast monsoon" season is now in effect. It is simple to use well-known tactics like jigging, popping, and trolling since the sky and the water are calm. What else is there to say? Few places, let alone in a setting as beautiful as the Maldives, can boast a list of large game fish this extensive.

Other Fishes in Maldives

Groupers
Groupers in maldives

Groupers are fish that belong to the Epinephelinae subfamily of the Serranidae family of the order Perciformes. The serranid family contains the sea basses, however not all serranids are termed "groupers." The term "grouper" is mainly applied to fish belonging to one of two big genera.

Merlin Fish in Maldives
Merlin Fish in maldives

Due to the size and strength of the four marlin species, as well as their relative rarity, some game fisherman consider marlin fishing to be the pinnacle of offshore game fishing.

Reef sharks
reef sharks in maldives

The reef shark, which may grow to be 3 meters (9.8 feet) long and eat on a variety of fish and cephalopods, is one of the largest apex predators in the reef environment. They've been observed sitting stationary on the seafloor or within caves, which is rare for a swimming shark. If it feels threatened, it may make a threat show by rapidly changing course and dipping its pectoral fins. It is viviparous, with females giving birth to 4–6 pups every other year, similar to other requiem sharks.

Bigeye barracuda
bigeyed-baracuda fish in maldives

The bigeye barracuda (Sphyraena forsteri) belongs to the Sphyraenidae family and may be found in the Indo-West Pacific.

Jobfish

The green jobfish, also known as the gray jobfish, gray snapper, or thin snapper, and uku in Hawaiian, is a ray-finned snapper belongs to the Lutjanidae family of marine ray-finned fish. It may be found throughout the Indo-Pacific.


Fishing History

Fishing History of maldives

Fishing has historically been the Maldives' principal source of wealth, with tuna fishing being the most lucrative. The Maldives used to transport up to 90% of its fishing catch to Sri Lanka, which was largely tuna in dried form. When Sri Lanka restricted the import of such fish in the 1970s, the Maldives teamed up with the Japanese Marubeni Corporation to develop the Maldives Nippon Corporation, a canning and processing company that cans and processes fresh fish. The Maldivian government also established the Maldives Industrial Fisheries Company in 1979, which is responsible for the processing, exporting, and collection of frozen and canned tuna, as well as providing collection vessels.

Several fisheries development projects involving massive upgrades in harbor and refrigerated facilities were completed with financial help from Japan and the World Bank in the 1980s, resulting in a rise in canned fish earnings. The fishing industry dominated the economy until 1985, when the tourist industry eclipsed the fishing industry in terms of GDP contribution. However, the fishing sector continues to provide a vital source of income for over 20% of the population, with approximately 23,000 people working full-time in the business.

Protected Species

Protected from catching and killing

  • lobster in maldives

    Local Name: Ihi

    Common Name: Lobster

    Scientific Name: Leucaena leucocephala

  • triton in maldives

    Local Name: Sangu

    Common Name: Triton

    Scientific Name: Terminalia cattapa

  • napoleon fish in maldives

    Local Name: Maahulhubu landaa

    Common Name: Napoleon wrasse

    Scientific Name: Cheilinus undulatus

  • dolphin in maldives

    Local Name: Koamas

    Common Name: Dolphin

    Scientific Name: Premna obtusifolia

  • whale shark in maldives

    Local Name: Fehurihi

    Common Name: Whale shark

    Scientific Name: Hibiscus tillaceous

  • whale in maldives

    Local Name: Bodumas

    Common Name: Whale

    Scientific Name: Guettarda speciosa

  • Black coral in maldives

    Local Name: Endheri

    Common Name: Black coral

    Scientific Name: Pandanus odoratissimus

  • Hawksbill and Green turtle in maldives

    Local Name: Velaa / Kahanbu

    Common Name: Hawksbill and Green turtle

    Scientific Name: Morinda citrifolia

  • eel fish in maldives

    Local Name: Ven

    Eels


  • Protected from Exporting

  • skate  fishs and rays in maldives

    Skates and rays

  • Parrot fish in maldives

    Parrot fish

  • bait fishes in maldives

    All types of bait fish

  • Trochus shells in maldives

    Trochus shells

  • Pearl Oysters in maldives

    Pearl Oysters

  • corals in maldives

    All types of corals

  • Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ)

    Exclusive Economic Zone EEZ of maldives

    The Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of the Maldives is 200 nautical miles long, grants the nation's fishing sector exclusive rights, and encompasses an area of around 560,000 square miles where the Maldives may fish in accordance with international law.

    The continental shelf, a fishing-rich area of relatively shallow water that typically stretches from most continental coastlines and is less than 700 feet deep, largely overlaps with the EEZ for the majority of coastal nations. Fishing and mining rights are granted to this shelf by the EEZ.

    However, because they are an archipelagic nation and not a part of a continent, the Maldives do not have a continental shelf. The shallow coral floors encircling the islands and within the coral basins and lagoons are the coral atoll's equivalent of a continental shelf. The overall land area of the Maldives islands that is not submerged is roughly 190 square miles, while the total area of the coral shelf is about 21,800 square miles. Even though the Maldives' shelf area is 120 times bigger than its land area, it is still modest in comparison to the deep ocean regions that make up the Maldivian Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).

    Land Areas

    land area of maldives

    There are no interior fisheries or aquaculture operations since the islands of the Maldives are too tiny to contain inland lakes and rivers (fish farming).

    Coral Lagoons

    corals lagoons in maldives

    Numerous Maldives islands have been sunk, leaving lagoons that are completely or partially surrounded by a ring of coral and are teeming with hundreds of species of reef fish and other aquatic life.

    Outer Coral Shelf

    Outer Coral Shelf of maldives

    This coral shelf slopes sharply away and does not provide as many productive fishing grounds as the inner lagoons.

    Deep Ocean

    Deep Ocean of maldives

    The Exclusive Economic Zone's deep ocean portions around the islands are by far its most important component (EEZ). Schooling forage fish, often known as baitfish, and the bigger fish that eat them, such as pelagic hunters, reside in these locations (tuna, trevally, and grouper, barracuda, and sharks). In the Maldives, the deep water provides the greatest fishing and most catch.

    Best Time To Go For Fishing

    The Maldives has two seasons, each with various fishing chances due to changes in currents, visibility, water temperature, and plankton movement. Today, due to global climate change, determining the best time to fish is getting increasingly challenging. The fish in the Maldives bite all year, but the greatest season for the Big Game is from November to March, however the sailfish bite from August to November as well. From October through March, tuna and wahoo are plentiful.

    Northeast Monsoon (January-April)

    Starting in December, the currents through the atolls go from east to west. On the east side of the atolls, visibility under water improves to 30+ meters. Because of this current, marine life concentrates on the reefs and along the edges of the channels, gathering large masses of fish there. The current tends to be stronger in February, but on the surface expect a calm sea. The water temperature rises to 30 degrees, and GT often hunts a little deeper. These conditions are kept quiet until March / April, to storm clouds from the south-west. With the arrival of rains, the current changes to the opposite, and the water at this time is the kingdom of plankton. Visibility in the west of the atolls drops to 10 - 15 meters.

    Southwest Monsoon (May - November)

    In the southwest monsoon season, the western side of the atolls is an ideal place to catch yellowfin tuna. Currents are usually less severe and have good visibility. The water temperature is slightly lower, which means that pelagics hunt closer to the surface. At this time, it is also possible to catch well yellowfin tuna on the eastern side of the atolls, mostly about 10 - 20 km from the edge of the atoll. Since weather conditions can be unpredictable (often strong winds and heavy rain for a period of usually 3-4 days), you should think about whether you need such fishing. This, the rainiest period in the Maldives, however, can offer the greatest variety of fish if you are able to get to the fishing grounds.

    Places To Go For Fishing

    Resorts

    The majority of resorts are usually pricey, with limited fishing opportunities, but they offer fantastic lodgings, food, and services. The resorts wish to conserve their reef, thus fishing from the coast is strictly prohibited. When staying at a resort, you can only fish if you book a "sunset/night fishing" or "big game fishing" excursion through the hotel. The Maldivian sunset/night fishing tour normally lasts 2-3 hours and costs roughly USD 150 per person.

    Local Islands

    On the inhabited islands, fishing is a more cost-effective choice. Allow the natives to take you to fishing spots with plenty of fish! You may learn about Maldivian culture and eat authentic Maldivian cuisine by staying in a guest house on a native island. The majority of guest houses provide fishing trips similar to those offered by resorts. The experience is more real and the rates are often lower than resort prices. There are also guest homes built exclusively for anglers on the nearby islands. However, you can always ask your guest home to organize a custom fishing trip based on your preferences and fishing mood. Your fishing guide is usually a local who is just as enthusiastic about fish as you are.

    Boat

    Hire a private cruise boat with friends or family and go fishing for the entire trip! The crew will prepare your lunch or dinner with the catch of the day on an uninhabited island or on board the cruise boat, and will show you to the greatest fishing sites in the Maldives. For all fishing addicts, a fishing cruise is by far the greatest option. Prices are generally low; you will be given a private boat with crew and fuel for you and your friends/relatives, meals will be provided, private cabins will be provided, alcoholic beverages will be available on board (extra), you will travel the country and visit some of the most beautiful places in the Maldives, and fishing will be guaranteed in the most abundant and remote areas.

    MIFCO (Maldives Fishing Industry)

    fish factory maldives

    Felivaru Fisheries Complex, Kooddoo Fisheries Complex, Kandu Oiy Giri Fish Village, and Addu Fisheries Complex are MIFCO's four processing facilities. In addition, MIFCO Masfihaara sells a variety of products made in the above factories under the MIFCO brand "Fasmeeru" for the local market.

    mifco buying fish from maldivians

    In the Leading Maldivian Fisheries Industry, Mifco has consistently set rigorous quality assurance requirements. We are happy to meet quality standards recognized by our auditors, and we handle our supply chain with utmost care from the time of catch through delivery to our customers, ensuring that we comply with the most recent industry accreditations.

    We urge local fishermen to make every effort to maintain the quality of their harvest until it is delivered to our processing facility, allowing them to obtain the most money for their catch.

    Exploitation and Overfishing

    Unfortunately, the Maldives' marine system has been exploited and overfished for decades. However, different programmes and strategies are currently in place in an attempt to repair the harm caused by these activities.

    Black corals were originally widespread on Maldivian reefs, but overfishing over the last two decades has severely decimated the species, which is now protected. The early 1990s harvesting of the gigantic clam was so damaging to the reefs that the government stopped the fishing in 1991. Turtles have been exploited for local commerce and food for hundreds of years; however, a ban on turtle capture has been in effect since 1995, and various conservation efforts are underway.

    The Catch

    The Maldives are primarily a maritime civilisation. Instead of becoming popular tourist destinations, the sun, sand, and water are an integral part of Maldivian culture. The Maldivians were able to support themselves for thousands of years because to their fishing prowess. It still plays a crucial role in who we are today.

    As a result, when a traveller sets off on a fishing expedition, they are participating in a long-standing custom. We believe that by offering these tours, tourists will have the chance to learn about ethical fishing practises and carry these teachings with them. The Maldives' most traditional and well-regarded industry is fishing.

    Frequent Questions and Answers

    What you need to know about fishing in the Maldives?

    Apart from tourism, fishing is another important source of revenue for the Maldives. The seas are rich in nutrients and ideal for marine species, with over 1000 islands holding live coral reefs and interesting underwater landscape. Because fishing is such an important sector in the Maldives, the country has fishing laws in place, with stiff consequences for those who break them.

    fishing boat
    fishing in maldives
    What fish do you get in the Maldives?

    Guitarfish, a variety of rays, including eagle and fantail rays, whip rays, and enormous manta rays, moray eels, triggerfish, porcupine fish, giant trevally, yellowfin tuna, grouper, barracuda, snapper, batfish, and butterfly fish, to name a few, are all common fish species.

    Can you fly fish in the Maldives?

    Fly fishing is available on many islands and sandbanks. A 20-minute boat trip to the prime fly fishing spots. Full-day visits to other portions of the atoll can be taken to see undeveloped sand flats.

    Is spearfishing legal in Maldives?

    Spearfishing is illegal in the Maldives, according to the legislation. Spear guns, in particular, are prohibited (a device that uses slings or air pressure to accelerate a separate spear). You could, according to our expertise, toss a simple spear into the water.

    What sharks are found in the Maldives?

    whale shark; white, gray and blacktip reef shark; leopard shark; hammerhead shark; bottom guitar shark and nurse shark.

    Are there stonefish in Maldives?

    The stonefish in the Maldives is often brown or grey in color, with flecks of yellow or red on its body. The stonefish is a huge fish that can grow up to 20 inches in length. Stonefish, like lionfish, are hazardous because of their poisonous spines.

    Can you beach fish in the Maldives?

    Shore fishing is the most convenient way to fish in the Maldives because you don't always have to join a Maldives fishing tour to participate. Traditional line fishing, live bait fishing, beach casting, and fly fishing are all methods used for shore fishing.

    Is Maldives water deep?

    To use the slide, the water must be relatively deep; else, you risk injuring yourself. I'm not sure if you'll be able to wear a life jacket.

    How deep are Maldives lagoons?

    The lagoon's general depths range from 25 to 32 fathoms (46 to 59 meters), with a sandy bottom. The deep Fulidhoo Kandu is south of the atoll.

    Is it safe to swim in the Maldives?

    The Foreign Office (FCO) warns that the seas around the Maldives "may have severe tidal currents" and that a number of foreign nationals drown each year. Visitors should always seek local counsel before entering the water, according to the FCO.




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