Kiribati – Kiritimati (Christmas) Island – One Week of fishing in paradise
Tie ’n’ Fly Outfitters in partnership with Christmas Island Outfitters
The fact that virtually every flats fishing angler in the world has heard of Kiritimati (pronounced Christmas) Island is far from coincidence. Amidst the vast inventory of the world’s saltwater flats destinations, Kiritimati Island is a unique and natural masterpiece that magically combines all the elements critical to fly fishing success. Endless hard sand flats fishing, remarkable numbers of cruising bonefish and trevally, and consistent year-round weather await all who visit this unique atoll. Kiritimati Island is part of Kiribati and is within a group of islands known as the Line Islands, it is the largest of all the Kiribati Islands.
By design, Christmas Island Outfitters has limited its program to no more than twelve anglers per week. As a result, the programme boasts a highly flexible flats fishing program that can take full advantage of varying tides and fishing conditions.
Christmas Island Outfitters head guide is Bita Kairaio. Bita is recognized as one of the island’s top guides. He is joined by a small group of hand-picked professionals who are amongst the islands most skilled and personable fly-fishing guides. All have excellent eyes for spotting fish and calm temperaments under the pressure of sight fishing. The guides at Kiritimati Island Outfitters have been handpicked Bita for their overall level of experience, skill, calmness under pressure, and instructional abilities. Each evening Bita will lead a discussion on the program for the following day’s fishing based on the conditions at hand. It is likely that your departure time from the lodge will vary each morning, according to the tides and where you will be fishing.
Transportation to and from the vast flats of Kiritimati Island is via truck and outrigger. Both are equipped with bench seats, canopies, and rod holders. The week includes anglers reaching the flats either by truck (Back country and Korean Wreck) or outrigger within the main lagoon, depending on the fishing goals for the day. We have included these spots in our price.
Our Australian Anglers have six and half days fishing included in their package.
Virtually all fly-fishing entails sight casting to fish while wading in shallow waters. Kiritimati Island’s plentiful bonefish average two to three pounds, although on any given week opportunities for larger bonefish in the five to ten-pound class may be landed.
The fly-fishing guides at Christmas Island Outfitters are also among the atoll’s most skilled and passionate trevally hunters and love nothing more than to share with their guests the thrill of hooking these monsters.
Kiritimati Island is the world’s largest coral atoll and a virtual paradise for stalking bonefish. Having almost single-handedly brought the sport of fly-fishing for bonefish into the public consciousness, Kiritimati Island remains one of the best destinations in the world for both beginning and advanced saltwater anglers alike. The reasons for this are many. First, the island’s vast hard sand flats enable anglers to wade fish all day in relative solitude. Second, the flats hold great numbers of bonefish that cruise in shallow water, providing anglers with constant opportunities or “shots” throughout their visit. Lastly, but certainly not the least, the atoll’s proximity to the equator (less than 200 miles) has blessed Kiritimati Island with consistently good weather, which enables a quality fishing experience year-round. While the majority of the island’s bonefish average two to four pounds, fish in the five to eight-pound class are always a real possibility, as are several species of trevally. Excellent blue water fishing for tuna, wahoo, and trevally is also available, depending on the right tides and moon phase.
Our Fishing Guides
We proudly follow Bita Kairaoi’s Kiritimati Island Guiding service. Bita himself was trained by the famous late Kiritimati Island Guide Moana T. Kofe. Moana was reputed to be the greatest guide and the I-Kiribati ‘godfather’ of guiding he was an inspiration not only to his countrymen but also the international anglers who fished with him, a gentleman in the most literal sense of the word and one of the best flats guides to ever put on a pair of wading boots. He has trained Bita and his guides to be great guides, consummate gentleman and a pleasure to be with on the flats, they all speak excellent English and are each outstanding fly fisherman and fly tiers. Our guides carry radios to communicate with each other and the boats.
Let us introduce you to some of our guides;
Bita our Head Guide, he has been guiding for over 30 years, trained and mentored by Moana. Bita has helped many anglers of all nationalities to land their dream trophy fish, me included. He organises our boats and our trucks, we always leave the lodge on time and after a full day fishing, he comes and sees us each evening to talk about how the day went and to plan the following day.
Mike (Michael) has been guiding for over 30 years too, again he was trained and mentored by Moana, he truly is a gentleman of the flats, on your first days fishing with him he will give you a traditional guide welcome to Kiritimati Island. Our anglers both old and young love Mike guiding them, he has a beautiful calm manner this year whilst guiding for Aaron (a first time CXI angler) Mike guided him to a 10lb + Bonefish and multiple 4-8lb Bonefish. His knowledge of how the Bonefish move across the flats and the effects of the tides, moon phases and weather make him the most experienced and successful guide on the island.
'Young’ Michael his family wanted him to run the family business but from a young age all he wanted to be is a fishing guide. So for three years he followed Moana on the flats learning how to be a guide, Michael told me after a year his family and Moana accepted his career choice and for the final two years of his time with Moana he relied on tips from anglers for his income whilst he learnt. Michael is a super young man, one of a small number of guides on the Island who know hidden tracks to the ocean side from the lagoon, where our anglers have had some spectacularly memorable fishing with Michael. He has been guiding now for 14 years (not including his three years with Moana).
Johnny, boy is he fit …he has been guiding for 10 years, again trained by Moana and Bita. He has worked at other lodges but told me he prefers to work for Bita, he likes the independence from the church run lodges. Johnny likes to target GTs, he can run down the flats stripping out your GT rod at a rate of Knots ready for you to cast into the path of the fish as it terrorises the other fish on the flats. He has a great sense of humour and we love to fish with him.
Max is the youngest of our guides but has still been guiding for 9 years, originally, he worked for another lodge where he did his training but came to work with Bita six years ago where he was mentored by Moana and Bita. Max is an awesome fly caster, on this recent trip he taught one of our anglers, who fly fishes for Australia a specific presentation technique for Bonefish. No matter what the conditions Max like our other guides can spot the fish us mere mortals struggle to see; just listen to where he tells you to put your fly, strip as he tells you and bang, you’re on. Max plays soccer for the Kiritimati Island team and loves surfing, although right now he has no football boots and broke his surfboard!
Kuri is Trigger Fish mad…he was trained by Bita and has been guiding for 11 years. Although we didn’t see him much this season the days, we did have the pleasure of his company he helped our anglers to land 15 plus Bonefish a day and the odd trigger too.
Matt, again trained by Bita and Moana, he has been guiding for 12 years following two years of training. He has helped many anglers land their trophy GT, including Alex here and helped me hook my largest GT last year, 60lb+ black monster which busted me off with a whole fly line and 75 yards of backing.
Matt has a beautiful fly presentation, even with the heaviest of rods, he is currently training guides on another atoll so isn’t always available.
Accommodation and Meals:
Christmas Island Outfitters is a small operation taking a maximum of twelve anglers per week. The lodge is located just north of London on a beautiful section of beach. Accommodations consist of six double occupancy guest rooms. Each room is configured to house two anglers and have a private bathroom. There are also two single rooms with private bathrooms. Rooms are very simple, relatively rustic but kept clean and features ample space for your gear. Air conditioning is not required to keep anglers comfortable, but all units do have A/C. Your room will be cleaned and restocked with soda, water and beer every day during your stay. Each unit is equipped with screened windows, a small refrigerator, and a simple plastic table and chairs. Meals are basic and regularly comprise of fresh seafood (snapper, tuna & wahoo, lobster, mantis shrimp), chicken, pork, rice, pasta and sometimes steak. Fresh vegetables and fruit are very hard to keep in supply, but when available our lodge provides these. The lodge is beautifully located on a stunning coral beach overlooking the mighty Pacific Ocean, where at approximately 6:30 each evening you watch the sunset over the ocean.
There is nothing fancy or luxurious about Kiritimati Island. Accommodations are all very simple and provide a clean, comfortable space to lay your head at night. As you drift off to a restorative sleep each night, you'll listen to the sound of waves crashing on the reef and dream of the next greedy bonefish or cruising trevally to attack your fly. Anglers should think of the facility as a "fish camp" built for one purpose, to provide a functional base camp by which to explore some of the most productive, beautiful and remote flats found anywhere in the world.
Kiritimati Island is part of Kiribati and is within a group of islands known as the Line Islands, it is the largest of all Kiribati atolls and is located 1,200 miles south of Hawaii. There is one flight early each Wednesday morning from Fiji, this flight continues onto Honolulu and returns later the same day, having passed back and forward on the international date zone.
Tuesday: Depart Brisbane to Nadi, Fiji – several hours until connection at 11:50pm Wednesday 6:30am arrive Kiritimati Island where you will be transported to the lodge. You may choose to fish the afternoon or catch up on your sleep.
Thursday through Tuesday: Six full days of guided fishing, including a day at the Back Country and where tides permit a day at the Korean Wreck should anglers want to go.
Wednesday: Depart Kiritimati Island 4:30 pm – You may choose for an additional cost to fish the morning, this is payable locally and will be arrange the day before.
Typical Daily Schedule:
6:00 AM: Wake
6:30 AM: Breakfast
7:00 AM: Depart for flats
8:00 AM – 4:30 PM: Guided fishing
5:30 PM: Return to the lodge
7:00 PM: Dinner
Note: Please keep in mind that your daily schedule will vary in accordance with tides and your fishing desires.
Species: Bonefish, three species of trevally (including GT, Blue Fin and Golden Trevally), Barracuda, Wahoo, Tuna, three species of Trigger Fish (Yellow Margin, Picasso and Titan)
RATES AND DETAILS
2020 Rates for 6.5 days fishing:
$3,150 Aus per person for a 7 night/6-day package (double occupancy)
$3,350 Aus per person for a 7 night/6-day package (private room)
$3,750 Aus per person for a 7 night/6-day package (private room and private guide)
Included: 6.5 days guided fishing, accommodation, meals, day at the Back Country, where tides permit day at The Korean Wreck, four bottles of water per person per day, ground transportation on Kiritimati Island.
Not Included: All airfares, accommodations/meals/transfers in Brisbane & Fiji. Alcohol and soda, fishing license, staff and guide gratuities, departure taxes, laundry.
You will pay a $60 Australian for a fishing licence on arrival at CXI airport, we advise you have this ready when you are coming through customs at CXI.
The ladies at the lodge will do your laundry for you each day, you will pay for each item in your final weeks bill.
Tie ‘n’ Fly Outfitters:
If you would like to fish with the best and most experienced guides on the island, after all we all go to Kiritimati Island to fish, please consider booking with us. You have the choice of a hosted or none hosted trip. We do two hosted trips a year, the rest of our weeks are un hosted, we take bookings for June, July and August.
Call us on +61 (0) 75444 0611