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Gomoku In The Maldives

Slow jigging fever with Storm Gomoku KOIKA has reached the Maldives! The Rapala South East Asia team recently embarked on a light tackle, slow jigging excursion to the Maldives, armed with Storm Gomoku rods and KOIKA jigs. From pelagics to demersals, the following catch report showcases the Storm KOIKA’s effectiveness in courting all sorts of Maldivian species. Daniel Wan reports. Photos contributed by KF Leong, Adrian Soh and Yu Hock. 

GOMOKU’ING THE MALDIVES

It’s one thing to catch fish on slow jigging tackle and it’s quite another to catch fish on light slow jigging tackle. Although the ‘white’ Gomoku range of rods (Keiryo PE0.4-1, Erito PE0.8-1.5 and Kaiten PE1-3) were not designed as dedicated slow jigging tackle, they are versatile enough to use for our slow-style jigging. Previous trips to the Maldives usually meant jigging with medium to heavy tackle. This time around, we’d be jigging with primarily the Storm Gomoku rods and Koika jigs.

Storm Gomoku KOIKA Slow Jigging

Slow Jigging the Maldives with Gomoku rods and KOIKA jigs

JIGGING TACKLE DATA

Reels: Daiwa Ryoga Bay Jigging 2025PE-H, Saltiga 10 & 15, Tatula HD, Zillion PE Special, Certate 2500, Shimano Conquest, Shimano Stradic, Rapala Rage
Rods: Storm Gomoku Keiryo PE0.4-1, Erito PE0.8-1.5, Kaiten PE1-3 & prototype Gomoku ‘Slow-tuned’ rod
Jigs: Storm Gomoku Koika 40g, 60g, 80g, 100g, 150g, 200g, Storm Gomame 80g, 100g, Storm Super Gomoku 100g
Lines: Sufix 832 6lb, 10lb, 20lb, Sufix 832 Multi Colour PE2
Leader: Sufix Invisiline Fluorocarbon & Superior Leader 20lb, 25lb, 30lb, 40lb, 60lb, 80lb
Hook: VMC 7117 Slow Jigging Assist 2/0, 3/0, 4/0, 5/0

Mas Hibaru

Our live-on board vessel, Mas Hibaru

Spacious front deck of Mas Hibaru

Spacious front deck of Mas Hibaru

The Maldives

After travelling many hours up north, we finally arrive at our destination

Cast, cast away

Cast, cast away!

Storm Gomoku KOIKA Maldives

We never had empty stomachs, from breakfast till supper

Steamed Coral Trout Mas Hibaru

We even had steamed Coral Trout for meals!

Egg Salad Mas Hibaru

Pasta was excellent!

Mas Hibaru Food

And oooh, my favourite, fried chicken!

Storm Gomoku KOIKA Maldives

First few fish of the day – Coronation Trout on KOIKA (Pink Zebra)

Storm Gomoku KOIKA Maldives

Fred then scores with KOIKA Green Sardine

Ryan's catch on the Gomoku Koika

The Pink Zebra KOIKA worked for Ryan, whether Emperor…

Storm Gomoku KOIKA Maldives

… or Coral Trout

Rain Maldives

And all of a sudden, the skies opened and it rained! Rain, rain go away! We want to jig-a-jig today!

Storm Gomoku KOIKA Maldives

Green Jobfish visited us after the shower (KOIKA UV Chartreuse Zebra)

Long nose Emperor Gomoku KOIKA

We soon started catching a number of Long-Nosed Emperors on 80g and 100g KOIKA jigs

Storm Gomoku KOIKA Maldives

Daniel Soh scores a whopper Emperor on a 100g KOIKA

Storm Gomoku KOIKA Maldives

The naturalistic Green Sardine did the job

Storm Gomoku KOIKA Maldives

Almost simultaneously Fred Goh gets a biggie too! Not surprisingly, on the Green Sardine too!

Storm Gomoku KOIKA Maldives

Double Hook-up, double happiness!

Storm Gomoku KOIKA Maldives

Really good specimens

Storm Gomoku KOIKA Maldives

Fred engaged with a good fish in 80m of water with the Kaiten PE1-3

Storm Gomoku KOIKA Maldives

Turned out to be a whopping Rosy Jobfish! 

Storm Gomoku KOIKA Maldives

Interestingly, non-luminous patterns like the Green Sardine worked really well in deep water

Storm Gomoku KOIKA Maldives

These Coral Trout pulled really hard

Storm Gomoku KOIKA Maldives

Maldivian sunset

Storm Gomoku KOIKA Maldives

The Emperors even came to visit at night. (notice the non-luminous KOIKA Green Sardine?)

Storm Gomoku KOIKA Maldives

Emperors came by in the morning too

Storm Super Gomoku Maldives

Good morning Mr Bluefin Trevally! (on Storm Super Gomoku 100g)

Storm Gomoku KOIKA Maldives

Yu Hock then caught this big mouth shortly after

Storm Gomoku KOIKA Maldives

More Rosy Jobfish came on board

Storm Gomoku KOIKA Maldives

More Emperor action in the late morning

Storm Gomoku KOIKA Maldives

Followed by Yellowfin Grouper

Storm Gomoku KOIKA Maldives

A sneak peek at the prototype Gomoku ‘Slow-tuned’ rod

Storm Gomoku KOIKA Maldives

Blackfin went for the ‘Nemo’!

Storm Gomoku KOIKA Maldives

Once in a while, Yellowfin Tuna and Wahoo would swipe the KOIKA jigs on the fall.

Storm Gomoku KOIKA Maldives

The Yellowfins came on board. The Wahoos didn’t.

Storm Gomoku KOIKA Maldives

Ryan engaged in epic battle!

Storm Gomoku KOIKA Maldives

Ryan triumphs! On Storm KOIKA 100g Naked Flash

Storm Gomoku KOIKA Maldives

Thunder Jigs plucked a few trevallies

Storm Gomoku KOIKA Maldives

Golden Trevally – a rare catch in the Maldives! Caught on Super Gomoku 100g

Storm Gomoku KOIKA Maldives

Daniel Soh tricks an Emperor into striking a UVSB KOIKA

Storm Gomoku KOIKA Maldives

Storm Super Gomoku jig never fails Leong. Plenty fun on Keiryo PE0.4-1

Storm Gomoku KOIKA Maldives

The KOIKA Naked Flash’s shimmery flash is deadly! 

Storm Gomoku KOIKA Maldives

Meal times are happy times on board Mas Hibaru

Storm Gomoku KOIKA Maldives

We hop off one of the islands to reload supplies

Storm Gomoku KOIKA Maldives

No early birds out and about yet…

Storm Gomoku KOIKA Maldives

One by one…. the fishermen go about their routines with the rising sun

Micro jigging Maldives

Leong’s early morning micro jigging sortie yields results

Storm Gomoku KOIKA Maldives

Yu Hock lands a few too!

Storm Gomoku KOIKA Maldives

We hit the drop offs and on the first pass, Adrian hooked up an unknown monster

Storm Gomoku KOIKA Maldives

We love GOMOKU!

Storm Gomoku KOIKA Maldives

It’s not difficult to see why Fred loves KOIKA Green Sardine

Storm Gomoku KOIKA Maldives

Who says Pink Zebra is for softies?

Storm Gomoku KOIKA Maldives

Bonitos were plenty!

Storm Gomoku KOIKA Maldives

Another interesting catch on Storm MCJ Micro Jig!

Storm Gomoku KOIKA Maldives

Little Bluefin roamed the shallower reefs

Storm Gomoku KOIKA Maldives

With the occasional good Jobs!

Storm Gomoku KOIKA Maldives

Super Gomoku jigs have a beautiful fluttering action when paused

Storm Gomoku KOIKA Maldives

After several bust offs, Daniel Wan finally gets connected

Storm Gomoku KOIKA Maldives

BURP!

Storm Gomoku KOIKA Maldives

Titan Triggerfish also found the KOIKA jigs irresistible…

Storm Gomoku KOIKA Maldives

…and so did the groupers!

Storm Gomoku KOIKA Maldives

More Emperors came up

Storm Gomoku KOIKA Maldives

They fought very hard on PE0.8-1.5 Erito

Storm Gomoku KOIKA Maldives

Our Captain mentioned this was one of the few trips that saw this many good-sized Emperors landed!

Storm Gomoku KOIKA Maldives

Another reefie for the record

Storm Gomoku KOIKA Maldives

‘Good Job’ Leong!

Storm Gomoku KOIKA Maldives

Were we sick of Emperors? Heck no!

Storm Gomoku KOIKA Maldives

Coral Trouts were a good break in between Emperors

Daniel Soh and Bonito

Check out the size of this Bonito on the KOIKA UVCGZ

Storm Gomoku KOIKA Maldives

We had countless Big Eye and Black Jack actions every night. Casting lumo Storm SX-Soft VIBs on 6lb tackle was super exciting!

Storm Gomoku KOIKA Maldives

Yu Hock worked out an ‘auto-hookup’ rhythm with 60g & 80g KOIKA jigs for the Black Jacks

Ryan Soh

Ryan was mighty pleased with this GT

Storm Gomoku KOIKA Maldives

The next day’s jigging was a little more rewarding for some

Storm Gomoku KOIKA Maldives

Jobbies came with the Emperors

Storm Gomoku KOIKA Maldives

They came in different sizes, patterns and colours

Storm Gomoku KOIKA Maldives

Fred scores another whopper with the KOIKA Pink Zebra

Storm Gomoku KOIKA Maldives

Seemed like Pink Zebra was the colour of the day for Fred

Storm Gomoku KOIKA Maldives

Daniel’s Grey Tip Shark landed with the Storm Gomoku Kaiten PE1-3! 

Storm Gomoku KOIKA Maldives

Check out the vibrant blue spots on this Coral Trout!

Storm Gomoku KOIKA Maldives

They aren’t called Titans for nothing!

Storm Gomoku KOIKA Maldives

Incredible Hock very pleased with a Yellowfin on KOIKA Black Zebra

Storm Gomoku KOIKA Maldives

Some spots held so many table-sized groupers that it was almost 1 drop, 1 bite!

Storm Gomoku KOIKA Maldives

Green Jobfish took jigs a little higher off the bottom

Storm Gomoku KOIKA Maldives

Yu Hock at it again at night with the Black Jacks. There was never a dull moment!

Storm Gomoku KOIKA Maldives

Another beautiful day awaits…

Storm Gomoku KOIKA Maldives

When the currents were slow, 60g KOIKA enticed passive fish like this Emperor to hit

Storm Gomoku KOIKA Maldives

Yu Hock enjoyed to the max with the super light Keiryo PE0.4-1

Storm Gomoku KOIKA Maldives

Leong couldn’t agree more!

Storm Gomoku KOIKA Maldives

The morning Job

Storm Gomoku KOIKA Maldives

“You lookin’ at me, kiddo?”

Storm Gomoku KOIKA Maldives

Direct confrontation with a dogged fighter 

Storm Gomoku KOIKA Maldives

The Incredible Hock prevails!

Storm Gomoku KOIKA Maldives

KOIKA 150g UVSB

Storm Gomoku KOIKA Maldives

Prototype Gomoku ‘Slow-tuned’ dealing with a protesting fish

Storm Gomoku KOIKA Maldives

No high-sticking here, just letting the rod do its work

Storm Gomoku KOIKA Maldives

And another Emperor emerges! 

Storm Gomoku KOIKA Maldives

150g KOIKA UVSB armed with VMC 7117 slow jigging assists 

Storm Gomoku KOIKA Maldives

A GT fooled by the same offering

Storm Gomoku KOIKA Maldives

We looked forward to GT encounters

Storm Gomoku KOIKA Maldives

Beautiful Yellowfin Grouper displaying its assets

Storm Gomoku KOIKA Maldives

Super Gomoku 100g jigged with long strokes

Storm Gomoku KOIKA Maldives

Super Gomoku 100g also worked great for high-speed jigging

Storm Gomoku KOIKA Maldives

Slightly bigger Yellowfin Grouper by slow-jigging the KOIKA

Storm Gomoku KOIKA Maldives

Bye-bye Mr Sun… we’ll see you tomorrow

Storm Gomoku KOIKA Maldives

Foul hooked on the Storm SX Soft VIB

Storm Gomoku KOIKA Maldives

One of Ryan’s Big-eye Trevallies

Storm Gomoku KOIKA Maldives

Our last jigging spot mostly yielded Rosy Jobfish

Storm Gomoku KOIKA Maldives

Fred Goh showing one of the larger specimens

Storm Gomoku KOIKA Maldives

UVSB KOIKA produced the goods

Storm Gomoku KOIKA Maldives

Dan and Yu Hock with a double header. Their smiles say it all.

Storm Gomoku KOIKA Maldives

Farewell Maldives. We’ll see you again real soon!

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