Steve’s Como Maalifushi Fishing Narrative 2018

This is Steve’s description of his fishing experience on our vacation to The Maldives. As you can see, his writing style is much different than mine. I will insert some pictures to they story.

Linda and I took a trip to the Maldives in January, and I arranged 3 days of fishing at our second stop, Como Maalifushi, comohotels.com/maalifushi with guide Craig Richardson. Craig is a young South African with experience at other Indian Ocean locales including the Seychelles an Brandon’s atoll. He is exploring the fishing opportunities at the Thaa atoll, which is about 25 miles in diameter.

Craig explained that bonefish were scarce, having left the atoll to spawn in deep water for about a 2 month period, but that several species of trevally, triggerfish, and grouper, among others, were around.

This is a bonefish that Steve caught when we were in Abaco, The Bahamas; staying at Delphi-Bahamas.com.

The water temperature on the flats was above normal due to calm sunny weather, so on the first day, January 11, we ran 45 minutes to the other side of the atoll, where the water was 2-3 degrees cooler. We poled some gorgeous flats, but saw only a few small fast moving trevally’ I took a few shots and got a couple to follow but no hookups. In the afternoon, at low tide, we waded between 2 small islands in a shallow area with coral and eelgrass. Fish were working the area. In short order I caught a bluefin trevally,

a yellow spotted trevally and a needlescale queenfish, all 2-3 pounds. Then I hooked a big bluefin, which made a powerful run across a very shallow reef covered with coral. Craig held my line high and kept the fish from wrapping my leader and breaking off. He took at least 100 yards of line before tiring. Craig tailed him and we got some photos. He estimated him at 11-12 pounds, a beauty considering the maximum size in the Maldives is around 14 pounds.

Soon after releasing the fish, we saw a huge commotion about 200 feet away, probably a Giant Trevally (GT) attacking a school of mullet.

We grabbed the 12 weight and pursued him, but he disappeared. But we came upon scattered triggerfish. I found them very difficult to spot, unless they tailed, so many of my casts landed right on top of them and they spooked. I did get one take, but missed the strike.

Steve also caught a honeycomb grouper, but as this was a reef fish, and not a gamefish, it is not included in his narrative.

The next day was again sunny and calm, and the fishing on the flats was slow. I caught a small pipefish

and a small bluefin trevally. We spent some time dredging with a 700 grain 12 weight line in a deep channel with strong tidal current, but had no action. Craig said this technique produces very big fish, including tuna, sailfish and GTs.

With continued high water temperatures on my third day, Craig suggested we try jigging and popping with heavy spinning tackle outside the atoll. I caught a pretty peacock grouper on the jig,

Here is the closeup.

Steve also caught two immature peacock groupers.and either snagged the bottom or hooked a very big grouper before the hook popped free. He caught a lyre tail grouper and 2 yellow lipped emperors of 5-6 pounds on a big Sure Cast popper.

It was fun, but we did not see a GT. Craig’s engine began conking out every few seconds, and it was a good thing we had only a couple of miles to cover to get back. It was an interesting 3 days, with 9 counters of 6 species new to me, including a linker bluefin trevally.

Craig did post a picture on Instagram of a triggerfish a client of his caught after Steve and I left Como Mallaifushi. Steve was jealous.

Como Maalifushi Saturday January 13, 2018 Steve fishes, I do a Thai Massage

Good Morning! The posts will probably go faster now that I have covered the details of the grounds, spa and rooms. We won’t have many dinner pictures as they were all al fresco except for the dinner that you will read about on the 16th. I still have four days to cover until then, so hold on!

I had the full English breakfast on Saturday. This time the bacon was extra crispy as requested. We still haven’t gotten a Rosti as good as the ones at Blanket Bay in Glenorchy, New Zealand.

Steve had a dish that you would never get in a diner in the United States for breakfast. Obviously, some people thought this would be a great dish for breakfast as it was on the menu!

I though that you might be amused by these salt and pepper dishes. They crystals were so large, that you couldn’t get your food properly seasoned.

I decided to take a stroll to the gardens to observe. I was a wee bit scared to get too close to the vegetables and decided to head to the beach for a rest. This was the beach at 11:00 a.m. I remember posting on instagram saying “where is everybody?”

Soon 12:45 rolled around and it was time for me to head back to the spa for a Thai Massage. I had a Thai Massage once in Washington D.C.. It was somewhat uncomfortable, but my back and shoulders are still so tight, that I thought the stretching might help me. I was given a beautiful set of Thai pajamas to wear. This is the last time I would look so happy, until my massage was over. How was it? Let’s just say that massage did start with a soothing foot soak. Then we moved to the cushion on the floor. Unfortunately I can not lie face down for longer than five minutes before my neck and shoulders starts rebelling. So I moved to the massage table, where my head could stay cradled. The therapist did a lot of stretching. There are no oils, in a Thai massage, just firm stokes of the hand, wrist, elbows and knees. Then she asked me to flip over and lie on the floor. More stretching of body parts, that didn’t really want to go where she was trying to put them! My 90 minutes of treatment ended and I was free to go. I had originally thought to have another massage on Sunday, but we agreed that my body was going to be really sore the next day and maybe another massge would not be a good idea.

So while I had my spa treatment what was Steve doing. Well, Steve was fishing, while his guide Craig, had what is called mechanicals. Now every boat owner knows that the first day you buy your boat is the best day, and the second best day is when you sell it. There might be some good days in between when you have a great day fishing. The worst are days are mechanicals, when something goes wrong with the boat. Now Steve and the kids used to play a board game when the kids were young called ‘Fishing Time”. Most cards said, “Nice fish, two pounds, throw it in the live well. The greatest was when in you would draw a card that said that you caught the biggest fish of the day, and the game was over. Playing Fishing Time you would draw a card almost every fifth time-Go to Cranky Hank’s, which was the boat repair shop. Steve’s new boat has worked out pretty well so far but his last boat went to Cranky Hank’s too often.

Here is the pipe fish that Steve caught on his second day. Steve likes to see his fish pictures, so to make him happy I will post this one again.

Steve caught two of these yellow lipped Emperor fish. Isn’t this a beautiful fish?

In between Steve catching a fish or two, the boat motor would stall every three to five seconds. Craig surmised that “dirty fuel” was the problem. Steve thought that maybe the octane level was incorrect. No, “dirty fuel’ meant fuel that actually had sticks and grass and other junk in it. This totally screwed up the engine and Steve would not be able to go out the next day.

Steve also got a immature peacock grouper , and and another immature peacock grouper..

This picture of the fish on top is of the immature peacock grouper. The mature peacock grouper is on the bottom. They are mirror images of themselves. The adults are quite territorial and would drive the young away if they had the same colors. By looking differently as young, they are not driven away by the adults. Steve also got a lyretail grouper, but I haven’t gotten a picture of that fish yet.

While Steve fished, I rested under the Sala.

For dinner Saturday night, we decided to have a drink and watch the sunset at the bar in the Japanese restaurant, Tai. I ordered a drink that sounded right up my alley, and that looked delicious. Unfortunately it was the saltiest drink imaginable. The bar tender tried to doctor it up for me by adding sugar, but I don’t think anything would have saved it! We met a lovely couple at the bar, and had fun talking to them. They live in Dubai and also Vancouver. I had asked them about flying Emirates and Etihad, and had they ever flown in the Apartment or Residence. These are the super first class seats of those airlines, you know, the ones with the showers, and cost tens of thousand of dollars to be in. They had! Well by now, you know I was just about vibrating. I was so excited to meet actual people who had flown in these seats. They just about broke my heart when they said that the flights weren’t really that special, and a waste of money. You know me, I was hoping we would be able to see each other again the next day, I wanted to hear more stories. This was Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous in Real Life! I joked with them that Steve would be slipping them a $20 bill for telling me that the seats were not anything special, and that the Business Class seats on Qatar that we were flying were really quite nice.

Here is a picture of the sunset. People were holding the parasols so they wouldn’t be bothered by the glare. Every few minutes they would peak around the parasol and pose for selfies.

The fish were circling under the restaurant and I had to jump up to video them. I did a lot of jumping around this vacation!

I am a little leery of Japanese food. I didn’t enjoy the experience at Gili Lankanfushi at all. I have been to Japanese restaurants where they put on quite the show, with knives flying and food being tossed into pockets, hats and plates. I ordered the tempura udon soup.Steve had fried dumplings as his starter.

For dinner I had the very American grilled lamb chops with mashed potatoes and shaved apple. Have you ever eaten mashed potatoes with chop sticks? I challenge you to do so!

Steve had fried rice with wagyu beef with an egg on top. For dessert we had ice cream cones. Then off to bed, we had a big day of nothing to do but relax as the boat was busted and Steve couldn’t go fishing anymore.

Enough for now. Next post will be Sunday. Maybe you’ll get to explore a beautiful yacht.

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Como Maalifushi Friday January 12, 2018 Steve fishes and I go to the Spa.

So I last left you with Steve off fishing, and my enjoying life beach side.

Steve caught another beautiful peacock grouper, or perhaps this was the same one, but from a different angle. My what sharp teeth he has!

I had decided that I had enough laying about and was off to explore the gym and spa. Down the garden path I went admiring the landscaped grounds.

I removed my designer Croc sandals and entered Como Shambhala, the spa.

Here we have the reception desk. You could get earphones, and locker keys here.

There was a fresh fruit display, and cold water or piping hot sweetened ginger tea was offered to you. The ginger tea slightly burned my throat, but in a good way. I could feel healthier by the minute!

If you forgot your designer yoga outfit, you could make a purchase in the gift shop at the spa. I had brought enough Lululemon workout gear of my own, so I didn’t buy anything. There were yoga mats provided in your room. Complimentary yoga sessions were held once a day, I didn’t take any classes.

The spa treatment rooms were located in these villas along a small jetty. The first building on your left was the yoga pavilion. Would I try a treatment? You have got to be kidding me, of course I did! How many is the question, and you will have to wait to find out the answer!

This is another view of the spa lobby. You would sit here while you waited to your treatment.

The locker rooms, indoor yoga studio and gym were down this walkway. Their were shallow pools of water interspersed with sculpture. All very soothing.

This is the indoor yoga studio. Several mornings during my stay a number of the female staff were practicing for a dance to be performed on Como Maalifushi’s anniversary. I forgot to mention that there was a performance by several of the male staff our first night. The little kids loved to run up to the dancers, and try to steal the drums that they were performing with.

Let’s now enter the gym shall we? On the right is a sign in table. I think that Steve and I were the only ones to sign in. Steve told me that that stack of gym weights was very expensive. How he knows that type of stuff I don’t know.

There were treadmills, an elliptical and a recumbent bike (Yay!). I rode the bike every day that we were there from Friday on!

This is the view in the other direction. The gym also had a number of weight machines, and balance balls.

More of the gym and the expensive weights. They were in kilos, so I couldn’t use them. Ha Ha!

I tried to use some of the weight machines. I couldn’t figure out how to get on, off, or move the seat positions of the machine in the top middle of the page. I don’t think that anyone else could figure it out either, as it remained in one position our whole stay!

I am done riding the bike, so lets go see the changing rooms. Males to the left and females to the right. What an interesting piece of driftwood on the wall.

The opening to the left leads to the steam room and sauna. There was a soaking jacuzzi in the background. I used it commando, I didn’t read the sign on the wall that said “Please wear a bathing suit!” Uh Oh,

Here are the lockers. I got a different locker every time, and got quite confused remembering which locker was mine. As I fumbled with my key once too often I realized that the keys had numbers on them. My life suddenly got a whole lot easier! Inside the lockers were sandals, towels and a fluffy robe with sash. When Steve went to the spa his robe was too small as he is so powerfully built. They had to get him an extra large from storage!

This is the ladies toilet. There were these hoses in all the bathrooms. I wasn’t sure what they were for. I didn’t ask. Sometimes I really don’t ask questions, hard as that is to believe!

This is the shower. Along with two toilets, there were two showers.

Here we have another view of the jacuzzi. It was kept a little too cool for me. But I do enjoy a waterfall edge!

Part of my thorough investigation led me to try the steam room. Yes, it was quite steamy!

The sauna of course was dry heat, so you could see inside.

Here is the interior of my locker. I sure can fill up a small space with my junk can’t I?

Steam room is ready, so I’ll see you later. Would I see the treatment rooms?

Would this yellow lipped emperor be the last fish that Steve would catch? How many fish would he catch for the trip? Would the guides’s boat have mechanicals? Would I have a massage? Would I meet an interesting couple? Stay tuned kids, it’s only Friday and we’re here until Wednesday!

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Como Maalifushi Friday January 12, 2018

Good Morning from my canopy! What a beautiful spot to have a cup of coffee, but no time for that! We have to go to breakfast as Steve needs to be ready to leave for fishing at 8:30.

One final sunrise picture and I am good to go.

Breakfast was the usual selections of the buffet and the choice of hot food to order from the menu. Everyday there was a rotating special, I could never understand what they were. Here is Steve in his bonefishing outfit, he covers himself head to toe. No face buff at breakfast thought! We don’t want to scare the other guests!

I loved the fruit danish. I would eat one every day. I found the puffy croissants too hard to eat. First world problems.

There was a different cut fruit salad every day also. This was watermelon with dragon fruit. I asked staff what the white fruit was as I thought dragon fruit was only purple with black spots. I was wrong, it comes in white and purple varieties!

I even tried to cool down juice.

This morning I had the omelette with gruyere, onion, mushroom and spinach. I learned that morning to order my bacon extra crispy! This bacon was a little too rare for me!

I wished Steve and Craig good fishing! I wanted to show you Craig’s boat. It was made in the Florida Keys. The boat and trailer was transported in a cargo ship. I’m not sure how long it took to get here, Craig’s boss drove it 110 nautical miles from Male to Maalifushi. It took about five hours. He had to stop for gas once.

Good bye Steve and Craig! I hope you return, as I’m not sure how to bring all the luggage back by myself!

So while Steve was off fishing I decided to explore. I walked along the beach, admiring the dhoni and the speedboat that takes you to the seaplane. I was calling the speedboat a ferry in previous posts, in this case it’s more accurate to call it a speedboat.

There was a hammock for one person to sit on.

This map shows you the Thaa atoll and all the dive sites. The resort is located near spot 1, there is an arrow pointing from the Como Feather on the map. We didn’t go diving, only snorkeling. I am sure if you liked to scuba you would have a great time here. It appears that spot 21 is called Gunnar’s rock. I hope he didn’t hit anything the day he discovered it. Let’s hope that he caught a big fish there!

Continuing to explore I examined the lounge beds by the beach. They were double cushioned with a terry cover that was laundered and replaced each day. They was a teak table to put your book or drink on.

Here is the lounge bed with the back erect so you could read, watch your children on the beach, ogle people in bathing suits behind your polarized lenses, or catch up on your blogging. Guess what I did? A little bit of this, a little bit of that, however as we had no children with us caption two was eliminated. Looks like I was thinking about snorkeling also.

I ended up siting on about three of the lounge beds, trying to stay out of the sun! Staff might have thought that I was Goldilocks!

Over my shoulder you can see the Madi Restaurant, where we had breakfast every day. The pool had a zero entrance in one part of it. The trees were in the middle of the pool. It reminded him of a nasty golf course hole!

While I was blogging, Steve caught this peacock grouper. This was an immature fish . The mature fish have the marking reversed. Pink with blue spots.

I was brought ice water to enjoy. This is the water I was looking for when I was complaining a few posts ago. I knew it was available as I had gotten it on Friday. However on Sunday I couldn’t get any!

While I was sipping my ice water Steve got this long skinny pipe fish. Don’t you wonder how they came up with this creative name? Now you can tell that Steve took this picture. He is not a professional like Craig! Steve gets, shoes, cushions, tackle and no faces in his pictures. Craig gets fish and sometimes the fisherman!

Steve is itching to go to lunch now so I will have to break off posting for a bit. I couldn’t resist showing you this couple, they had a professional photographer posing them. “Cross your feet, look at me, madame should make goo eyes at the man, hold the shell necklace just so!” Talk about exhausting! I’ll just have to explore the spa and gym in my next post!

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