Christmas Island Overview

Located 1100 miles south of Hawaii, Christmas Island is a coral atoll hosting some of the most reliable flats fishing on the planet year round. On those flats you’ll find Bonefish, Giant Trevally, Bluefin Trevally, Triggerfish, and a number of other species. Lurking offshore, just minutes from the lodge, anglers find excellent fishing for Wahoo, Yellowfin tuna, and even Sailfish.

THE FISHING

Endless flats inside the lagoon at Christmas Island are some of the best in the world. The Ikari House has three ‘Panga Style’ boats as well as one traditional outrigger boat. The boats are used to shuttle anglers from the lodge, located near the boat harbor in London Town, to the flats inside the lagoon. Two anglers accompany one guide daily on the flats, though anglers can choose to have their own guide for a small additional fee. Groups of four or six anglers will share a boat, the boat will drop two anglers at each flat, then meet them when they are finished fishing their location. All of the guides carry hand held radios and are in constant contact with the boats, allowing them to move between flats effortlessly and without delay.

The inside flats are very easy to walk on, with the bottom composed of hard sand, or hard topped coral. There are a few soft spots and areas with coral heads, but for the most part the bottom is hard packed and completely free of grass. The flats surrounding the island are slightly more challenging to wade, but with a pair of sturdy flats boots anglers do not have difficulty.

Season

Because of Christmas Island’s proximity to the equator, water temperatures fluctuate very little and the season for Bonefish, Trevally, and others that roam the flats extends year round. The major fluctuations are based upon tides and we can help you make the best decision on which week to pick in regards to your target species.

SPECIES

Bonefish are the primary target for many anglers and have made a rebound in recent years after over-harvest left the population in rough shape. Gill netting bonefish is now outlawed throughout the lagoon except for a few small areas. Though the average size may not be as large as in the Bahamas, they are consistently larger than those in Ascension Bay or Belize, with fish hooked every week near the double-digit mark.

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Gear Requirements

The Ikari House does not provide any tackle for visiting anglers nor is there any gear for purchase on the island. It is very important to come well supplied with the correct gear. Frigate Travel can help you purchase all the gear you need for your trip to Christmas Island, please ask us and we will be happy to help.

Rods:

For Bonefish, we prefer a 7 or 8wt fast action single hand rod. Our rod of choice is the Loop Cross S1 Flatsman 9’6” 7wt or 9′ 8wt.

Reel:

A reel that is saltwater safe and comes with a drag capable of stopping one of the fastest fish on the flats is a necessity. For bonefish, we prefer the Loop Opti Runner or Loop Evotec 7/9.

Line:

A standard weight forward floating bonefish line matched to your rod will do the trick. We recommend bringing one spare 7 or 8 wt. line in case a large bonefish takes you into coral and cuts your line.

Leader:

Fluorocarbon leaders tapered to 12lb are appropriate for most situations and it is possible to fish 15lb on the outside flats where more coral is encountered and the fish tend to be less spooky.

Flies:

For flies, CXI bonefish prefer small and sparse. Christmas Island Specials, Moana’s Chili Pepper, and other small (sz 6-10) flies are best. Anglers find that the flies they fish in the Bahamas or Belize aren’t quite right for the bones of CXI as they are often times too large and bulky.

GTs are some of the toughest fighting fish you will ever encounter. They hunt like wolves, pull like a bus, and eat flies with reckless abandon. GTs can grow to well over one hundred pounds though this size is rarely landed from the flats due to underwater obstacles that can cut fly lines and backing. On most days, anglers targeting GTs will have anywhere from two to eight shots at large fish over twenty pounds. Of those shots, it is up to the angler to present the fly in the correct manner and seal the deal. We can attest that due to the relatively limited amount of chances, one of the largest challenges for visiting anglers is to remain cool, when a large GT enters your field of vision.

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Rods:

We recommend at least a 10wt while targeting GTs and after many large fish landed, we don’t feel that a 12 wt is overkill. Our rod of choice is a Loop Cross S1 Flatsman 9’ 10 wt.

Reel:

When hunting trophy GTs, the name of the game is stopping power. You not only need a reel with a drag that can sustain long intense runs, but it also must be able to stop a fish in its tracks. The longer a Giant Trevally runs, the more chances it has to wrap itself on something underwater. Our reel of choice is a Loop Opti Megaloop.

Lines:

Floating lines, and lots of them! If you are so fortunate to hook a GT, yet unlucky enough to lose your fly line to one, you will be thankful that you packed an extra. Like for your 7 or 8 wt, we recommend bringing a spare floating line for GTs to keep you in the game.

Leader:

We aren’t record chasers, so we don’t fish with class tippet. We prefer to fish straight 60 or 80lb fluorocarbon leaders. When we put the brakes on a big one, we expect it to stop.

Flies:

GTs will strike a number of baitfish patterns representing their prey. Light colored mullet flies from 2/0 to 4/0, along with other general purpose baitfish patterns, in blue/white, olive/white, black/white, tan/white will also do the job. Look for flies with extra strong hooks, as GTs will test everything about your gear, all the way down to the hook.

Bluefin and Golden Trevally often get overlooked. They typically run smaller than their Giant cousin, but what they lack in size, them make up for in looks. The Bluefin Trevally has to be one of the coolest looking fish on the flats, with it’s electric blue pectoral fins and glowing blue spots splattered across it’s back. The Golden Trevally, on the other hand, has a barring pattern and golden color that is equally as unique. Both of these fish are excellent sport and pull just as hard as GTs of the same size. Golden’s have a slightly different menu preference than Bluefin, as they love to eat crab and shrimp on the flats and are often seen tailing.

Gear Requirements

Because Bluefin and Golden Trevally are often caught when we are looking for GTs, we tend to catch them with 10 and 12wts though a 9 weight would be perfect. They will eat many of the same patterns, with the exception of Golden’s eating crab patterns additionally. Floating lines, similar leaders, etc.

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Triggerfish are a great companion when fishing for GTs. They live in the same places and stand alone as a fantastic gamefish on the flats. They are often found in extreme shallow water, their red, brown, and yellow tails waving as they look for food. The sticky coral they feed upon prevents anglers from leading them too far, so casts must be precise. The good news is triggers aren’t leader shy, because if they were, anglers would never stop them before they reached their ‘home.’

We fish for triggers with bonefish gear, just with slightly heavier leaders.

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The Ikari House has built an extensive Milkfish program over the last several years and consistently produces fish each day.  When conditions align, anglers can experience multiple hookups, and even doubles or triples, though landing all of the fish can be a challenge.  Come see why many anglers spend more and more time fishing for these explosive fish!

The easy access to Christmas Island’s offshore grounds full of abundant life makes it some of the best of its kind in the world. From the boat harbor in London Town to the closest fishing grounds, thirty minutes away Yellowfin Tuna, Wahoo, and Sailfish can be found, and at times in large schools. We encourage at least one group early in the week to go look for Tuna and Wahoo for a few hours. This will provide us with as much fresh sashimi as we can eat every night!

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On top of the dynamite fishing for YFT, Wahoo, and Sails, the outside waters of CXI have some incredible light tackle options using high speed jigs and popping lures. Hard pulling and oftentimes very large fish are waiting in the depths. These challengers include Amberjack, Dog Toothed Tuna, Cubera Snapper, Coral Snapper, and a pile of others. We recommend spinning gear with at least 60lb braid and the best reel you can afford. Once hooked, many of these fish head straight for the coral and rocks on the bottom, so anglers must be ready to hook and hold, or else they will be broken off immediately. Take our word for it, bring good gear and lots of lures: you won’t be disappointed.
With the Ikari House fleet of ocean ready and quick boats, the ability to reach remote areas of the island is second to none. Because of this, anglers can now enjoy some amazing popping for trevally on the outside reefs. Like the high speed jigging game, strong gear is a must. Some fanatics fish 100lb braid and leaders catching GTs weighing up to100lbs!

Accommodations

The Ikari House offers the most comfortable lodging on Christmas Island. It’s location, just feet from the waters edge is merely a few minutes from the boat harbor at London Town. Each air-conditioned room has two beds with memory foam mattress toppers and tables for gear. The rooms all have one bathroom with an on-demand water heater. Outside the lodge, two common areas overlooking the water and waves entering the lagoon offer a great view of the beautiful sunsets each evening ending a perfect day of fishing.

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Food

Food at Christmas Island is a family style affair. The good natured and ever smiling, Tess, prepares a variety of menu items each evening. From fresh lobster to curried chicken and a pig roast party on the last evening, we eat well and enjoy the plethora of food prepared each night. When our group gets a tuna or wahoo early in the trip, we enjoy tuna sandwiches at lunch, fresh sashimi as an appetizer each evening, and tuna steaks for dinner.

Getting to Christmas Island

Flight to CXI originate in Honolulu, HI and leave every Tuesday, once a week. Fiji Airways is the carrier and ticket prices range from $900 to $1,400 depending on availability.

2018 Rates and Dates

May 22-29, 2018
6 Days, 7 Night Package: $3,200 per angler, double occupancy, $3,400per angler single occupancy.