Fishing in the Maldives
Fishing in the Maldives is something many an angler aspires to do, often due to the irresistible combination of a large variety of marine life, crystal clear waters, white sandy beaches and average temperatures of 25-30 degrees Celsius, which help make the islands one of the most exotic places on earth.
The Maldives consist of a chain of 26 atolls, made up of nearly 1,200 coral islands, which stretch from north to south in the Indian Ocean, 400km away from Sri Lanka – the nearest mainland. The spectacular scenery and world class hotels make the islands a haven for holidaymakers, but a key part of the appeal is the excellent fishing spots which are dotted around the countless islands, lagoons and atolls.
Fishing is one of the most popular recreational activities on the islands, which are home to over 1,100 species of fish ranging from tuna to barracuda, reef and squirrel fish. Whether you're fishing from land or by boat, there's a whole range of exotic fish to be caught.
Big Game Fishing
The fishing industry is crucial to the Maldives and in order to preserve stocks there is a blanket ban on fishing from the shore on most resort islands. Some islands do permit you to fish, however, so make sure you enquire with resort staff prior to setting off on your excursion.
Casting your line from boats is one of the best ways to enjoy a spot of fishing on the islands. So-called 'Big Game Fishing' ranks among the most popular activities, mostly because of the large fish species which inhabit the deeper waters. Tuna, barracuda, wahoo, dorado and sailfish are just some of the prized assets which can be caught just offshore.
There are plenty of operators running daily fishing trips, with everything from half-day to four-day excursions available, including pick-up and drop-off at your resort. The knowledgeable guides will take you to some of the best Big Game fishing spots, complete with all the necessary equipment and advice.
Fishing under the starlit night sky ranks among the top experiences in the Maldives. Most resorts organise fishing excursions after dark and offer you the chance to reel in barracuda, snappers, emperors and squirrel fish, to name but a few.
Several tours enable you to experience fishing using traditional Maldivian methods, such as using hand lines with raw fish as bait. The use of fishing nets is forbidden in order to preserve fish stocks, hence why islanders have perfected the art of using hand lines – a tradition passed down through the generations.
Fishing for sharks and whales is forbidden in The Maldives, as is the use of harpoons. The emphasis is very much on preserving the thousands of aquatic species which all play a part in the diverse ecosystem of the coral reefs.