Christmas Island

Destination Information
 

Christmas Island is one of the bucket list trips for most of us.
This South Pacific destination features pristine waters and world class bonefish, giant trevally, and other exotic species like parrotfish, triggerfish, emperors and even milkfish.

Its an exotic getaway that requires a few flights to get there.
Travel to Honolulu from the west coast is a 5 hour plane ride and from the east coast is 10 hours. Most major airlines fly into Honolulu international airport daily. Waikiki has many hotels from the moderate price range to very expensive and luxurious, plenty of shopping and things to do for the non angler.

Fiji airways flies out of Honolulu every Tuesday to Christmas Island, there’s only one flight a week so you will not be able to return back to Honolulu until the following Tuesday. The flight time is only 3 hours from Honolulu international to Cassidy international on Christmas Island. When traveling to Christmas Island it’s wise to buy Global rescue incase of a serious medical emergency as there is not any Hospitals or modern medical care on the island. Most anglers traveling to Christmas Island arrive to Honolulu at least a day or two before departing to Christmas Island incase of any lost luggage. Some anglers spend a day fishing for Bonefish in Oahu to past down time and to get a little warm up before heading down.

Species & Tactics

Bonefish

Albula vulpes is one of about 15 different species of bonefish found in the world, but is the most prolific in the Caribbean and surrounding Atlantic. The information here can be applied to nearly every species.

The members of the Albulidae family of fishes, or Bonfish, as they are more commonly known, are one of, if not the most sought after species on the flats with a fly rod. The silver torpedo shaped fish with variably colored vertical stripes ranges in size from 2-19 pounds, with the average fish caught being between 3 and 16 pounds (depending on location).

MORE ON Bonefish >

Permit

There are many other words often associated with fly fishing for Permit but they will be excluded to keep profanities off the site. To quote a professional fly fisherman in the Miami area who's name and expletives are intentionally left out "after all these years, I'm done with that fish". He literally quit fishing for Permit after over 7 years of frustration but he really didn't. He caught his first Permit on a fly in July 2012.

Quitters never win and winners never quit. One of the flyfishbonehead staff members fished for 3 years and spent over $10,000 before landing his first Permit on a fly. Many ask how this can be if there are so many photos and instruction on how to fly fish for Permit. Actually many Permit are caught on live crabs with a spin rod and a much of the published information is just speculation, propagated rumor and scuttlebutt. There is some good information out there and fisherman that have significant success, but much information is hear-say and rumor.

MORE ON Permit >

Giant Trevally GT

The Giant Trevally a fish of many names is quickly becoming a premier target to hunt on the flats. It is an incredibly strong and ferocious reef fish that is aggressive and deliberate when hunting and takes no prisoners. It is a large member of the jack family and is also known as the Giant Kingfish, Pacific Jack Fish, Goyan Fish, Lowly Trevally, Barrier Trevally, Ulua in Hawaii, Mamulan in the Marianas, Rōnin-aji in Japan and just plain GT for short.

MORE ON Giant Trevally GT >

Milkfish

The Milkfish is a lesser known species primarily because of its appearance in the world but is gaining popularity as a fly fishing target species for its fight, willingness to eat a fly and feeding habits. Milkfish is an Indo-Pacific ocean species that is vey similar to a bonefish in many ways. They are a little skittish, very fast, very strong and they eat flies.

MORE ON Milkfish >

Barracuda

Barracuda may be the most underrated saltwater species to catch on a fly. After hooking one, imagine this scenario: the fish is on the end of the line thrashing and running, suddenly the line goes slack. You think the fish is off but he's not because you stand in amazement as you watch a 5 foot barracuda leap 15 feet into the air like a missile being launched from below the surface of the ocean.

MORE ON Barracuda >
What To Bring
 

Bonefish & Small inshore species

For inshore species like bonefish, triggerfish & many other exotics on Christmas Island a 7 or 8 weight rod is recommended. Most commonly used an 8 weight but many prefer a 7 weight because its more fun to use little tackle in general. As long as wind is not an issue this is certainly ok. Use a floating line with at least 200 yards of backing on your reel. Leaders should be 9-12 feet with at least a 10 lb tippet. (we use 12-15 lb) The reel should have a sealed drag and made for saltwater fishing. We use the term ‘bomb-proof” which means different things to different people. To us, it means simply a tested & proven reel with the following features: 1. Very few or no moving parts 2. Smooth drag with smooth start-up 3. Sealed drag which will not corrode 4. It will not fail under any circumstance

Popular Flies:
Key west bonefish crab, micro shrimp, Aberto’s shrimp borski’s bonefish critter

flyfishbonehead is fly fishing in saltwater.  We make Tail Fly fishing Magazine & saltwater fly tying videos too. bonefishing flies & bonefish flies

Giant Trevally (GT) & larger inshore species

Giant Trevally require a 12 weight. A 12 weight for the added lifting power & greater control increasing chances of landing the fish. It will also eliminate wind as a factor as even a novice caster has little dificulty punching a 12 line through the wind. You MUST have a sealed drag and made for saltwater fishing. We use the term ‘bomb-proof” which means means tested & proven. It is vital to successful GT fishing. Your GT reel should have the following features: 1. Very few or no moving parts 2. Smooth drag with smooth start-up 3. Sealed drag which will not corrode 4. It will not fail under any circumstance Use a specialty floating line which has a braided 50 lb core. We also recommend 400 yards of 60 lb backing, you’ll need it. Leaders should be 6-9 feet with at least a 60 lb shock tippet. Our most popular is a 6 foot (2meter) piece of 60lb flourocarbon with no taper. Just tie the fly right on.

Popular flies:
GT Poppers – all white GT Baitfish & Streamers

Milkfish

Milkfish (& Queenfish) require a 10 -12 weight, use a 12 weight for the milkfish & a 10 for the queenfish. Queenfish put up a great fight but are usually acrobatic giving the angler a chance to gain line easily. A saltwater reel with a sealed drag made for saltwater fishing. Which is ‘bomb-proof” which to us means simply a tested & proven reel with the following features: 1. Very few or no moving parts 2. Smooth drag with smooth start-up 3. Sealed drag which will not corrode 4. It will not fail under any circumstance Clear floating lines are best and an intermediate sinking line is very useful to have if there is significant current or the fish are deeper in the water column feeding. Leaders should be 9 – 12 feet with anywhere from 15-20 lb tippet. Fluorocarbon is highly recommended when fishing for milkfish in crystal clear Christmas Island waters.

Popular flies:
Milkfish Algae flies Milkfish Small crustaceans

Pelagic Species/Offshore

Offshore fishing for billfish, mahi-mahi & tuna usually involves a 12 -15 weight. We prefer a 7 foot – 14 weight and there are some which even have a butt suitable for gimbel use. Again because we are all about control of the fish and landing the fish quickly which decreases mortality and injury after release. The reel should have a sealed drag and made for saltwater fishing. A ‘bomb-proof” proven reel with the following features: 1. Very few or no moving parts 2. Smooth drag with smooth start-up 3. Sealed drag which will not corrode 4. It will not fail under any circumstance

Popular flies:
small minnow patterns like surf candy & eat me Marlin/sailfish: Poppers, Baitfish-mackerel & sardine patterns.

tuna flies - flyfishbonehead fly tying videos

OTHER GEAR TO HAVE

Sun block (SPF30 minimum) Copper or amber colored polarized sunglasses Sun protection clothing: long sleeve shirt long quick dry pants breathable buff style headgear, hat or visor (with black brim on underside if possible) Wading boots with gravel guards. Waterproof camera fanny pack for wading, camelback or cool sac, flats gloves

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