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.
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
Key west bonefish crab, micro shrimp, Aberto’s shrimp borski’s bonefish critter
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.
GT Poppers – all white GT Baitfish & Streamers
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.
Milkfish Algae flies Milkfish Small crustaceans
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
small minnow patterns like surf candy & eat me Marlin/sailfish: Poppers, Baitfish-mackerel & sardine patterns.
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