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.
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
Our live-on board vessel, Mas Hibaru
Spacious front deck of Mas Hibaru
After travelling many hours up north, we finally arrive at our destination
Cast, cast away!
We never had empty stomachs, from breakfast till supper
We even had steamed Coral Trout for meals!
Pasta was excellent!
And oooh, my favourite, fried chicken!
First few fish of the day – Coronation Trout on KOIKA (Pink Zebra)
Fred then scores with KOIKA Green Sardine
The Pink Zebra KOIKA worked for Ryan, whether Emperor…
… or Coral Trout
And all of a sudden, the skies opened and it rained! Rain, rain go away! We want to jig-a-jig today!
Green Jobfish visited us after the shower (KOIKA UV Chartreuse Zebra)
We soon started catching a number of Long-Nosed Emperors on 80g and 100g KOIKA jigs
Daniel Soh scores a whopper Emperor on a 100g KOIKA
The naturalistic Green Sardine did the job
Almost simultaneously Fred Goh gets a biggie too! Not surprisingly, on the Green Sardine too!
Double Hook-up, double happiness!
Really good specimens
Fred engaged with a good fish in 80m of water with the Kaiten PE1-3
Turned out to be a whopping Rosy Jobfish!
Interestingly, non-luminous patterns like the Green Sardine worked really well in deep water
These Coral Trout pulled really hard
The Emperors even came to visit at night. (notice the non-luminous KOIKA Green Sardine?)
Emperors came by in the morning too
Good morning Mr Bluefin Trevally! (on Storm Super Gomoku 100g)
Yu Hock then caught this big mouth shortly after
More Rosy Jobfish came on board
More Emperor action in the late morning
Followed by Yellowfin Grouper
A sneak peek at the prototype Gomoku ‘Slow-tuned’ rod
Blackfin went for the ‘Nemo’!
Once in a while, Yellowfin Tuna and Wahoo would swipe the KOIKA jigs on the fall.
The Yellowfins came on board. The Wahoos didn’t.
Ryan engaged in epic battle!
Ryan triumphs! On Storm KOIKA 100g Naked Flash
Thunder Jigs plucked a few trevallies
Golden Trevally – a rare catch in the Maldives! Caught on Super Gomoku 100g
Daniel Soh tricks an Emperor into striking a UVSB KOIKA
Storm Super Gomoku jig never fails Leong. Plenty fun on Keiryo PE0.4-1
The KOIKA Naked Flash’s shimmery flash is deadly!
Meal times are happy times on board Mas Hibaru
We hop off one of the islands to reload supplies
No early birds out and about yet…
One by one…. the fishermen go about their routines with the rising sun
Leong’s early morning micro jigging sortie yields results
Yu Hock lands a few too!
We hit the drop offs and on the first pass, Adrian hooked up an unknown monster
We love GOMOKU!
It’s not difficult to see why Fred loves KOIKA Green Sardine
Who says Pink Zebra is for softies?
Bonitos were plenty!
Another interesting catch on Storm MCJ Micro Jig!
Little Bluefin roamed the shallower reefs
With the occasional good Jobs!
Super Gomoku jigs have a beautiful fluttering action when paused
After several bust offs, Daniel Wan finally gets connected
Titan Triggerfish also found the KOIKA jigs irresistible…
…and so did the groupers!
More Emperors came up
They fought very hard on PE0.8-1.5 Erito
Our Captain mentioned this was one of the few trips that saw this many good-sized Emperors landed!
Another reefie for the record
‘Good Job’ Leong!
Were we sick of Emperors? Heck no!
Coral Trouts were a good break in between Emperors
Check out the size of this Bonito on the KOIKA UVCGZ
We had countless Big Eye and Black Jack actions every night. Casting lumo Storm SX-Soft VIBs on 6lb tackle was super exciting!
Yu Hock worked out an ‘auto-hookup’ rhythm with 60g & 80g KOIKA jigs for the Black Jacks
Ryan was mighty pleased with this GT
The next day’s jigging was a little more rewarding for some
Jobbies came with the Emperors
They came in different sizes, patterns and colours
Fred scores another whopper with the KOIKA Pink Zebra
Seemed like Pink Zebra was the colour of the day for Fred
Daniel’s Grey Tip Shark landed with the Storm Gomoku Kaiten PE1-3!
Check out the vibrant blue spots on this Coral Trout!
They aren’t called Titans for nothing!
Incredible Hock very pleased with a Yellowfin on KOIKA Black Zebra
Some spots held so many table-sized groupers that it was almost 1 drop, 1 bite!
Green Jobfish took jigs a little higher off the bottom
Yu Hock at it again at night with the Black Jacks. There was never a dull moment!
Another beautiful day awaits…
When the currents were slow, 60g KOIKA enticed passive fish like this Emperor to hit
Yu Hock enjoyed to the max with the super light Keiryo PE0.4-1
Leong couldn’t agree more!
The morning Job
“You lookin’ at me, kiddo?”
Direct confrontation with a dogged fighter
The Incredible Hock prevails!
KOIKA 150g UVSB
Prototype Gomoku ‘Slow-tuned’ dealing with a protesting fish
No high-sticking here, just letting the rod do its work
And another Emperor emerges!
150g KOIKA UVSB armed with VMC 7117 slow jigging assists
A GT fooled by the same offering
We looked forward to GT encounters
Beautiful Yellowfin Grouper displaying its assets
Super Gomoku 100g jigged with long strokes
Super Gomoku 100g also worked great for high-speed jigging
Slightly bigger Yellowfin Grouper by slow-jigging the KOIKA
Bye-bye Mr Sun… we’ll see you tomorrow
Foul hooked on the Storm SX Soft VIB
One of Ryan’s Big-eye Trevallies
Our last jigging spot mostly yielded Rosy Jobfish
Fred Goh showing one of the larger specimens
UVSB KOIKA produced the goods
Dan and Yu Hock with a double header. Their smiles say it all.
Farewell Maldives. We’ll see you again real soon!