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Popper & Jig Fishing Liveaboard Maldives Indian Ocean Fishing

Tour Code MAL004

Fishing The Maldives

As a fishing destination, the Maldives is one of the top five names that appear on anglers’ bucket lists worldwide, so if you’re a sport fisherman and looking to experience some of the best fishing on the planet; the Maldives will certainly tick all the right boxes.

Situated in the Indian Ocean, southwest of Sri Lanka and India, this archipelagic state is famed as a tourist and honeymoon resort, with a year-round temperature, pearly white beaches and clear blue water, but for many anglers, it’s considered the world’s popper and jig fishing capital. Consisting of over 1,000 coral islands grouped into 26 atolls stretching across the equator and covering around 90,000 square kilometres, it offers a wealth of fishing opportunities.

The location of these coral islands is amongst the rich and varied waters of the Indian Ocean, home to over 1,100 fish species, from small reef dwellers to giant pelagics. Our partners, Mac Strike, are specialists in navigating and fishing these waters, with over fifteen years of experience. Based on the southern tip of the archipelago in Laamu Atoll, where the best fishing gets found, they allow anglers to experience a fantastic week of mixed bluewater fishing. Popper, jig and big game fishing for some of the world’s most prestigious species like Marlin, Tuna, Sailfish, Wahoo, and Giant Trevally, to name just a few. All of which grow to epic sizes.

Maldives Mac Strike

Our partner, Mac Strike, has over fifteen years of experience in the Maldives and are experts at fishing and navigating these tropical waters. The team, headed by first captain Atthelomeus, are some of the most experienced on the archipelago and will always do their best to ensure you enjoy a holiday experience of a lifetime. Their passion is fishing, and they are experts at reading the tides, weather and conditions and know when and where they should be depending on the species you want to catch and the time of year. All the crew are English-speaking and equipped to cater for anglers of all experience levels, from those enjoying their first popper and jig fishing holiday to those who have visited on numerous occasions.

With a fantastic crew, it would only be fitting to have a boat to match, and that is what’s on offer in the shape of the Mac Strike III, which is the perfect vessel for fishing in the Maldives and is an ideal blend of speed and size. Being 11 metres long, it can usually fish all year round, only missing the occasional day to extreme weather, and its two 200hp outboard engines make navigating Laamu Atoll easy work. The boat is perfect for popper fishing, with a spacious 3.5m casting deck, but it also features outriggers and a livebait tank to aid with the different fishing styles you may wish to try throughout your holiday. It’s fully equipped with a VHF radio, fish finder, all safety equipment, a toilet, an array of comfortable seats and even a blue tooth radio and freshwater shower.

What Fish Can You Catch

In the Maldives, the range of species on offer is incredible, allowing travelling anglers to experience specimens of all shapes, sizes and colours. However, the main draw for visitors is the Giant Trevally, Tuna, Billfish, Groupers, Snappers and Barracuda.


The Giant Trevally, or the GT as commonly known, is one of the most famous quarries, and as a species, they are at the top of many anglers’ bucket lists, and the Maldives is one of the few places globally where they can get caught all year round. The biggest fish, between 30 to 100lb, congregate on the reefs and are perfect for anglers targeting them on poppers and jigs. They like nothing more than crushing a lure and catching them has to be one of the most exhilarating bluewater fishing experiences you can enjoy.


As well as GTs, another popular species is the Tuna, and the Maldives is home to an array of different types, including giant Yellowfins, the ultra-aggressive Dogtooth and smaller Skipjacks. These can be caught using various methods; however, once again, popper and jig fishing are preferred and most effective. Tuna fishing in the country is vital for the local economies, and traditional and sustainable pole and line fishing gets used by commercial fishing vessels.


As you’d expect, with a bluewater sportfishing destination, Sailfish and Marlin are both viable fishing targets. Popper and Jig fishing is the preferred method, but traditional ‘big game trolling’ also gets used. Both of these billfish species grow to epic proportions and provide some exciting sport.


Due to the island’s coral makeup, the reef fishing opportunities are unique and virtually endless. All manner of species, like Grouper, Snappers, Jacks, Emperor and Jobfish, to mention just are few are all possible targets. When dropping your lure, live bait or dead bait down to the bottom, you never know what you’ll catch next.

There are two seasons in the Maldives, divided into monsoon seasons: 

The dry monsoon starts from October/November to March/April and usually provides the best weather, with clear skies and calmer seas.

The wet monsoon starts in April/May and goes until September and usually features more rain and the chance of rougher seas.

How To Fish In The Maldives

All the fishing on the trip is based in the south in and around Laamu Atoll, where there are fewer boats and better fishing; the Atoll is also the perfect size, providing anglers with plenty of water during their week. Over the years of fishing, our partners Mac Strike, have also noticed a larger average size in the GTs in this area. The favoured methods for targeting the array of species on offer are popper and jig fishing. 


For those that don’t know, poppers are designed to simulate a distressed fish or animal struggling on the water’s surface, and in general, a decent-sized lure, fast retrieval rate and a good ‘popping action’ should attract most species. Most poppers work best when fished around rocky outcrops and underwater structures, as this is where many big predators will sit and wait for unsuspecting bait fish.

This style of fishing can be particularly extreme at times, especially if you’re regularly hooking up and battling with big Pelagics. However, if, during the fishing day, you need a rest or want a break, you can relax on the boat and even enjoy a spot of trolling.


Jigging is a technique predominately done over deeper water as it covers the entire water column from top to bottom and can be very effective for many predatory fish. There are many different jigging techniques, but all involve dropping different lengths, shapes and colours of lures into the depths and then working them in a particular manner to entice a hungry predator to hit them. Slow, speed and butterfly all prove to be popular methods to fish with, but it all depends on what the fish are feeling on the day. The captain and deckhands will all be able to advise you on particular lures and techniques during different sets of conditions and tides.

If you don’t have the correct fishing tackle, it’s possible to hire it at a small cost – with a range of quality Shimano saltwater fixed spool reels and HOWK rods. 


Our Maldives Liveaboard trip utilises a locally built vessel constructed in 2021 and features a stunning handcrafted wooden interior, which gives it a refreshingly majestic look, bringing out a true uniqueness.

The leading deck houses four comfortable twin rooms, which can be used as singles or doubles, complete with ensuite showers and air-conditioning. 

The sundeck, furnished with sundeck chairs and sunbeds, is ideal for sun lovers and has a seated area with a table where you can enjoy your meals. Each night the boat will anchor inside the Atoll to ensure the most peaceful night’s sleep possible.

Food & Drink

The crew onboard includes a private chef to give you the best culinary experience whilst on the water. Three fresh meals are served daily, including fresh fish caught during your fishing day. 

Typical Fishing Day

After an early breakfast, anglers set off from the liveaboard on one of the speedboats to the chosen fishing marks for the day. Casting, popper and jig fishing are the main techniques, and after, what is hopefully an action-packed morning, the boats will join back up with the liveaboard at a different location for some lunch. 

After lunch, anglers decide with the captain what time to start fishing again, while the liveaboard will up-anchor and look for a place to settle for the evening. Once the afternoon or early evening fishing session is finished, all the sports boats return to the main vessel for dinner and the chance to chat with your angling companions about your day of fishing.

To learn more about the fishing in the Maldives, visit our YouTube channel.

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The below itinerary is flexible should you require additional fishing days or additional free days to explore; we can tailor this itinerary to suit you personally. Feel free to talk to our travel consultants who can explain all options available.

Day 1:

Depart Any international Airport (See Details)

Arrive Doha Depart Doha

Day 2:

Arrive Malé

Once you arrive in Malé, you’ll be met at the airport by the Mac Strike boat crew, who will then transfer you to your liveaboard, which is a journey of around ten minutes from the airport.

When you arrive on the boat, you’ll be free to relax and begin preparing your tackle for your first fishing day.

Overnight accommodation: Maldives Liveaboard (Twin Room) F/B.

Days 3 to 8: Fishing Days

Early morning the liveaboard will up-anchor and leave Malé steaming to Vaavu Atol,  where some of the best fishing gets found. The Atol is around forty miles away, and the boat has a cruising speed of around eight to nine knots. As soon as you arrive the sport boats will greet you and take you out for your first fishing day.

The Maldives liveaboard trip consists of six days of fishing, fishing the rich blue waters of the Indian Ocean around Laamu Atoll.

One of the exciting things about fishing in the Maldives is the number of species on offer willing to crush your popper or jig, prestigious species like Marlin, Tuna, Sailfish, Wahoo, and Giant Trevally, to name just a few, call these waters home.

After an action-packed (full) day on the water, you’ll return to the liveaboard, where you can enjoy a drink and some good food cooked by the onboard chef.

Overnight accommodation: Maldives Liveaboard (Twin Room) F/B.

Day 9:

Early morning the liveaboard will begin its journey back to Malé. Once you arrive you’ll be free to relax and pack your bags ready for your journey home.

Overnight accommodation: Maldives Liveaboard (Twin Room) F/B.

Day 10:

In the morning, after breakfast, a representative from Mac Strike will transfer you to Malé Airport, ready for your journey home.

Depart Malé

Arrive Doha

Day 11:

Depart Doha

Arrive Home


The season runs from All year.

Giant Trevally

Season: All Year Round
Peak: All Year Round
Weight: 10lb to 100lb
Average Weight: 40lb

Dogtooth Tuna

Season: All Year Round
Peak: All Year Round
Weight: 30lb to 200lb
Average Weight: 60lb

Yellowfin Tuna

Season: All Year Round
Peak: All Year Round
Weight: 20lb to 100lb
Average Weight: 30lb


Season: December to May
Peak: December to May
Weight: 40lb to 150lb
Average Weight: 65lb


Season: All Year Round
Peak: All Year Round
Weight: 5lb to 50lb
Average Weight: 15lb


Season: All Year Round
Peak: All Year Round
Weight: 5lb to 50lb
Average Weight: 15lb


Season: All Year Round
Peak: All Year Round
Weight: 5lb to 50lb
Average Weight: 10lb

Package Details

Prices from
per person


  • All international flights
  • All internal flights
  • All transfers
  • Accommodation as per itinerary
  • Six full days fishing
  • Experienced captain & deckhands
  • All meals on the liveaboard
  • Coffee, tea & water
  • Fishing permits


  • Fishing tackle
  • Poppers, jigs & terminal tackle
  • Personal holiday insurance
  • Alcohol and soft drinks
  • Extra bags
  • Tips for staffs & guides
  • Government green tax (6 USD per day)

Optional extras

  • Flight upgrades
  • Extra bags (These need to be added at an additional cost at the time of booking flights)
  • Rod & reel hire (Shimano reels, HOWK rods.)
  • Extra activities & excursions
  • Single Rooms

Price Supplements

If your group size is smaller than the standard four then contact a member of the Sportquest Holidays team for an up to date price.

View Latest Availability

Dates, Prices & Availability

Remember that Sportquest Holidays' services are completely FREE! When you book a trip with Sportquest Holidays, you never pay more than when you book directly with the lodge and flights independently.

From To Duration Price Availability
01/04/2024 30/04/2024 10 £4,303 Enquire Now
01/05/2024 31/05/2024 10 £4,303 Enquire Now
01/06/2024 30/06/2024 10 £4,303 Enquire Now
01/07/2024 31/07/2024 10 £4,303 Enquire Now
01/08/2024 31/08/2024 10 £4,303 Enquire Now
01/09/2024 30/09/2024 10 £4,303 Enquire Now
01/10/2024 31/10/2024 10 £4,303 Enquire Now
01/11/2024 30/11/2024 10 £4,303 Enquire Now
01/12/2024 31/12/2024 10 £4,303 Enquire Now
01/01/2025 31/01/2025 10 £4,463 Enquire Now
01/02/2025 28/02/2025 10 £4,463 Enquire Now
01/03/2025 31/03/2025 10 £4,463 Enquire Now
01/04/2025 30/04/2025 10 £4,463 Enquire Now
01/05/2025 31/05/2025 10 £4,463 Enquire Now
01/06/2025 30/06/2025 10 £4,463 Enquire Now
01/07/2025 31/07/2025 10 £4,463 Enquire Now
01/08/2025 31/08/2025 10 £4,463 Enquire Now
01/09/2025 30/09/2025 10 £4,463 Enquire Now
01/10/2025 31/10/2025 10 £4,463 Enquire Now
01/11/2025 30/11/2025 10 £4,463 Enquire Now
01/12/2025 31/12/2025 10 £4,463 Enquire Now

Price Notes

Prices are based on four adults sharing transfers, fishing and accommodation (unless otherwise stated) and are correct at the time of going to press. Subject to time of year or date and currency fluctuations, these prices may fluctuate slightly due to flight price increases or fuel surcharges.

Make an Enquiry

To speak to an expert or receive more information about when is the best time to travel? What can you expect from your holiday? Who are the tour guides? Will someone be there to meet me? Plus, many more questions. Either call our offices, e-mail us or fill in the form, and we will get back to you asap.
+44 (0)1603 407596
16 Alston Road
Hellesdon Park

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