GPS Coordinates: 2°1’4.76″N 157°29’2.70″W
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Special Travel Requirement
Kiribati Entry Requirements as of April 18, 2023:
This is the latest information provided by the Christmas Island Health Department.
- Passengers must be fully vaccinated, with vaccination certificate in hand to travel to Christmas Island. Unfortunately, a negative COVID-19 test alone will not be sufficient for pax to be uplifted from HNL.
- Health information form along with the passenger arrival card will be distributed inflight.
- No COVID-19 test is required upon arrival. However, the Ministry of Health does advise that passengers displaying symptoms of COVID-19 anytime during their stay must be tested at the nearest health center.
- Based on this information, all passengers must carry a vaccination card of previous shots taken during the pandemic. Just having a Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) will not allow you onto the flight and into Christmas Island.
General Travel Information
Brief Island History:
This unusual tropical destination in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, 1,300 miles south of Hawaii, is part of the Line Island Group, Republic of Kiribati, known previously as the Gilbert Islands. Christmas Island has the largest land area of any coral atoll in the world (140 square miles) and is only 119 miles north of the equator. The highest elevation is about 12 feet, and the airport is at an elevation of five feet. With large colonies of sea birds, extensive coral reefs, endless sand flats, lagoons, and surrounding ocean, it offers excellent opportunities for observing bird and marine life as well as outstanding fishing.
The island remains largely unspoiled with virtually no commercialism. A copra plantation and a few government operations, including salt extraction and fish export, provide employment for the local population, numbering about 8,000. A good, paved road goes to parts of the island; elsewhere, the roads are made of packed coral. There are few vehicles, and visitors may find themselves traveling many miles without meeting another car.
The island was discovered by Capt. James Cook on Christmas Eve, 1777. Between 1954 and 1965, British and American forces occupied it for the purpose of testing nuclear devices. Residual radiation levels are now lower than in most American cities. No fighting occurred on Christmas Island during WWII; however, it was a staging area for the Pacific theater, and the roads and airfield created for these purposes are extensive. A Japanese downrange satellite tracking station is located on the island, and from time to time, technicians associated with this station will also stay on the island, along with advisors from Australia and England. Kiribati gained its independence from Great Britain in 1979.
Christmas Island is one of the most unique angling destinations on Earth. This giant atoll sits 1200 miles south of Hawaii and 100 miles north of the Equator. The consistent weather cycle allows anglers year-round opportunities to fish miles and miles of wadable sand and coral flats.
Located on the white sands of Discovery Beach, The Villages is nestled among the palm trees overlooking the ever-changing aqua-colored waters of the atoll’s lagoon. It is only a short 10 – 20 minute boat ride to several large shallow easily waded flats teeming with bonefish. The Villages features eight air-conditioned double twin-bed bungalows, comfortably accommodating sixteen anglers at a time, plus 4 smaller single-occupancy cabins. There is a private bathroom with shower and hot/cold water in each unit and a porch with views of Discovery Beach and the lagoon. There is a refrigerator in each the rooms and bottled water, sodas and beer are available from the bar. A “Maneaba”, a local name for the anglers’ gathering center, lies in the heart of the complex featuring a comfortable lounge and dining area, all with an elegant South Seas atmosphere. Locally flavored seafood and meats are prepared by an experienced local cook and served by their trained staff. If you require special dietary meals, please let us know in advance of your trip. The bar has liquor, wines, beer, and soft drinks that will be charged to your bill and your bar tab is payable at the end of your stay. Please keep in mind that Christmas Island is super-remote and the logistics of getting supplies there is daunting, so if you have very specific requests be sure to let us know well in advance of your trip and we can notify the lodge so that they can do their best to get it.
You make and pack your lunch each day from the choices on a small sandwich buffet and it is put in the coolers assigned to your skiff. The Villages manager is on hand to help you with whatever you might need. There are very limited computer services at The Villages, nor is there reliable phone service.
The head guide will schedule the daily fishing, according to the tide, water, sun position and weather conditions. Each day anglers will leave from the beach in their assigned skiff with their guides and boatman. A short ride brings you to some of the best bonefish flats. Christmas Island offers the largest white coral and sand flats on Earth. In most cases a guide will assist each angler (1:1 guide ratio) and can carry a small pack and extra trevally rod. All of the bonefishing will be by wading and the flats will vary from 6 inches to 3 feet deep. The guides will select flats according to the wind and sun position, whenever possible, in the angler’s favor. Both boatmen and guides have VHF radios for safety and convenience. The boatman moves the skiff to follow the anglers and guides, so you’ll be within easy walking distance from your skiff in the event that you want to get to your tackle, food, snacks, or extra water.
Versatile South Pacific style skiffs, called “punts”, are used to transfer anglers from The Villages’ beach to the many productive bonefish flats and reef drop-offs. The pick-up trucks used by other lodges have been eliminated here, so anglers are able to maximize their valuable fishing time. When fishing the “Korean Wreck”, “The Gates”, or some other sites that can only be reached by using land vehicles, they will be used. The head guide will discuss these special areas with you when they are fishing well. If an extra skiff, guide, truck, and offshore fishing is requested, you may discuss it with the head guide (early in the week) and find out the availability and additional cost. If any angling guest has a problem with a guide or boatman, please report it to the manager or head guide as soon as possible, so the matter can be resolved immediately.
Do not hesitate to ask if you have ANY special requests. The lodge is in a very remote location so they cannot honor all requests, but they will try no matter what. The lodge staff and guides will do anything in their control to make your trip pleasurable. We get very few complaints and find that usually they are issues that could easily have been solved simply by informing the staff of the problem.
Flight to Honolulu:
You will want to travel to Honolulu at least one day prior to your departure to Christmas Island to allow for potential travel delays or lost luggage, and to give yourself an extra day and night to rest.
We strongly recommend using the services of our professional travel agency in Honolulu, Ultimate Vacations. They are the best resource for reservations between Honolulu and Christmas Island (Cassidy International Airport, code CXI). They are very familiar with this flight and will take good care of you. Moreover, if there are ever any travel delays to Christmas Island via the commercial flight on Fiji Airways to/from Hawaii (or Fiji), they will be able to assist you in any re-bookings needed to get you home. While these sorts of delays are rare, they do happen. This is also another very good reason to purchase Travel Insurance for this trip.
Ultimate Vacations can be reached (808) 949-8100 or email Vanessa at firstname.lastname@example.org or email Earl at email@example.com. Tell them that you are with The Fly Shop®, and they’ll take extra special care of you.
The round trip via Fiji Airways flight between Christmas Island (or Fiji) and Honolulu costs approximately US$1,140. Fiji Airways is a well-operated airline and provides good service; Ultimate Vacations can almost always get our guests great seats; wine and beer are complimentary; and a small meal is provided.
Ultimate Vacations can also make flight reservations from the mainland for you as well as make hotel arrangements in Hawaii, or Fiji. Most of our guests choose to stay at the Airport Honolulu Hotel (formerly known as the Ohana), particularly if spending only one night. The hotel restaurant has a decent breakfast. Dinners there are decent, and there are several good restaurants within walking distance. It is often worth the $30 cab ride (one way) to Waikiki for better dining options (Duke’s is one of our favorite restaurants, right on Waikiki Beach). The Pearl Ridge Shopping Center is nearby and reachable by taxi if you need any last-minute items.
Travel Details & Visas:
A passport that is valid for six months after the last day of your trip is required for all visitors to Kiribati. If your passport expires before then, please renew it right away.
Citizens and nationals of the United States, Australia, Canada the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, New Zealand and many other nations are exempt from visa requirements. For residents from other nations, please check with your consulate if you require a Visa to enter Kiribati.
The local currency on Christmas Island is the Australian dollar. Currently, the exchange rate at the hotel and on the island is about 1:30 AUD to 1 USD and is subject to change without notice.
Travel to Christmas Island: “Kiritimati”
Getting to Christmas Island from the United States:
Travel to Honolulu on Sunday or Monday: Preceding your scheduled week at Christmas Island that runs from Tuesday to Tuesday (Hawaii Time)/Wednesday to Wednesday (Kiribati-Time), we recommend flying to Honolulu on Sunday or Monday and spending a night or two to give yourself plenty of rest and to allow for delays or lost baggage.
The Honolulu Airport Inn (also named Ohana Honolulu Airport Hotel) is convenient and located near the terminal. They also have a complimentary transfer van to get you to/from the airport; their phone is 808-836-0661. There are of course literally hundreds of other hotels on Oahu including some very nice resorts near the Waikiki Beach area if you are considering an extended stay in Hawaii.
IMPORTANT CHANGE NOTICE FOR FIJI AIRWAYS!
Starting Tuesday – May 15, 2018 the check-in counter for Fiji Airways has been changed. Anglers going to Christmas Island will be required to check-in, at the main Honolulu terminal, in LOBBY 6 (close to the TSA check point). Check-in will be processed by Hawaiian Airlines staff. The check-in times will be the same, for Christmas Island departure around noon.
Getting to Christmas Island from Fiji:
Travel to Nadi, Fiji, on Monday or Tuesday: Preceding your scheduled week at Christmas Island that runs from Wednesday to Wednesday (Kiribati/Fiji-Time), we recommend flying to Fiji (Nadi International Airport, code NAN) on Monday or Tuesday. The flight from Nadi to Kiritimati (pronounced “Christmas”) departs at 11:55 pm on Tuesday night, so you can arrive earlier in the day on Tuesday and still make the connecting flight. We do typically recommend arriving a day early (Monday), however, in order to give yourself plenty of rest and to allow for delays or lost baggage.
If you plan on spending a night or two in Fiji, there are quite a few hotels near Nadi International Airport, most of which also have complimentary shuttles or can be reached by an inexpensive taxi ride. One of the most highly recommended is the Tokatoka Resort Hotel (http://warwickhotels.com/tokatoka-resort/). If you are considering an extended stay in Fiji, we recommend getting out of Nadi and spending time at one of the nicer beach resorts a 1-2 hour drive away from the city.
Please note, when coming from Fiji “Christmas” Island will usually be described as “Kiritimati”, not “Christmas”. The pronunciation is the same, but very different spellings!
Arrival Date: (Tuesday in the US/Wednesday in Fiji/Kiribati)
Travelers arriving from the US in Hawaii will want to check in at Fiji Airways counter in the International Terminal at the Honolulu airport at least 2 hours before your flight is scheduled to depart. Most recently the flights have been departing Honolulu about 12:00 pm (noon). Remember, Kiribati (pronounced “Kee-Ree-Boss”) is one day ahead of US time, so you’ll be arriving on Wednesday even though you are departing on Tuesday. The flight from Hawaii to Christmas Island takes 3 hours, 10 minutes.
Travelers arriving from Fiji will want to check in at Fiji Airways counter at the Nadi International Airport Terminal at least 3 hours before your flight is scheduled to depart. Most recently the flights have been departing Nadi about midnight (11:55 pm). The flight from Nadi to Kiritimati takes about 4 hours 35 minutes, arriving at 6:30 am at Cassidy International Airport (CXI).
Luggage Restrictions on Fiji Airways:
The checked baggage limit is based on weight, not on number of pieces. Economy class passengers are permitted free checked baggage not to exceed 66 pounds (30 kg). One carry-on not to exceed 15 pounds (6.8 kg) is permitted. Luggage restrictions are subject to change. There is a $120 fee for an extra bag if over 66 pounds. More information on luggage can be found here.
Upon arrival on Christmas Island, you will disembark the Fiji Airways flight and clear customs and immigration in the small, one-room “terminal”. You will need to fill out a customs form (the flight crew will probably give you this form on the plane before you land). On it is a place to fill out where you’ll be staying: you will want to write: “The Villages”.
In the terminal, there will be an officer from the Kiribati Minister of Fisheries, who will collect the $50 Fishing License Fee.
Once you have cleared immigrations and customs and obtained your fishing license, you will want to exit the terminal. There will be a lot of commotion with the four lodges on Christmas Island meeting their anglers and loading luggage into the backs of trucks; keep track of your luggage, and make sure it stays with you!
You will be met by a representative from The Villages who will help you with your luggage and load all of the guests and their gear onto trucks for the approximately 45-minute drive to the lodge. If you would like to pick up some extra beer and soda pop for your stay, you can ask the driver to stop by JMB’s Store en route – typically either is around $5 apiece, which is close to what you’ll pay at the lodge, but you have a wider variety to choose from at the store, typically. There are also some cool souvenir items, and it’s a neat cultural experience as JMB’s is the main store for the entire island.
Once at the lodge you will meet the head guide and he will walk you through the fishing program and your lodge stay, and you’ll have plenty of time to prepare all your gear before appetizers and dinner.
NOTE: if you are arriving from Fiji, you will have most of the day on Christmas. You will be able to relax, walk to beach, and enjoy the area. If you’d like to schedule an extra day of fishing, be sure to let us know in advance and this can often be coordinated with the lodge for an extra fee: the single guide rate of $100 per day and the boat cost of $250 per day (total $350).
The phone service and connections on Christmas Island are notoriously poor and for the most part nonexistent, although they can call out with little or no problem. If you need to check regularly with your home or office, consider renting a satellite phone. If you want to leave an emergency contact number with your family or office, please use The Fly Shop’s (530) 222-3555 or (800) 669-3474. We will bombard the hotel with e-mails which will facilitate a call out.
International Travel Service & Ultimate Vacations
7192 Kalanianaole Hwy
Suite A 143 A 302
Honolulu, Hawaii 96825
Phone (808) 949-8100 x 7 | (808) 526-2611 x 7
Earl Loo: firstname.lastname@example.org
Vanessa Vartanian: email@example.com
The phone service and connections on Christmas Island are notoriously poor and for the most part nonexistent, although they can usually make calls out with little or no problem. If you need to check regularly with your home or office, we recommend renting a satellite phone. www.outfittersatellite.com
Typical Week at The Villages
Thursday – Tuesday (6 Full Fishing Days):
The fishing days at The Villages are long, maximizing your time on the flats. The daily wakeup call is usually at 5:00 am, breakfast is served at 5:45 am, and the boats usually pull away from the beach by 6:00 am, usually returning to the lodge between 5:30-6:00 pm. This schedule may change according to your fishing desires and the tides. The fishing program is based on a 1:1 guide ration, so every guest has their own private guide for the day. The lodge uses custom outrigger-style motorized boats for transport across the lagoon, with 3-4 anglers plus their guides on each skiff.
All of the fishing will be done on foot. If you’d like to request a “truck day” driving to the Korean Wreck, or an “outside” day fishing offshore when weather permits, be sure to let the head guide know well in advance so they can make arrangements.
On your last night you may pay your extra lodge expenses to the lodge manager, take care of tips, and pack up for an early morning departure tomorrow.
Departure Date: Tuesday in the US – (Wednesday in Kiribati/Fiji)
If you are traveling back to the US, the Fiji Airways Flight departs early in the morning (7:30 am). You will want to be at Cassidy International Airport by 5:30 am, so it is a very early wakeup. The lodge will set out a light continental breakfast to go and coffee, and breakfast is served on the plane as well. The flight lasts 3 hours, 15 minutes, landing in Honolulu at 10:45 am. You will clear US Immigrations and Customs here, and have plenty of time to catch connecting flights home. We recommend allowing a minimum of 3 hours before your connecting flight, so try to make arrangements for flights after 2:00 pm.
If you are traveling back to Fiji, the Fiji Airways Flight departs in the afternoon (4:05 pm), so you will have a leisurely day, sleeping in, enjoying breakfast and a light lunch, and relaxing until you need to head to the airport around 2:00 pm, 2 hours prior to departure. The flight lasts 5 hours, 20 minutes before landing at Nadi International Airport in Fiji. You will clear Fiji Immigration and Customs and continue on to your extended stay in Fiji or travel the rest of the way home (we recommend a minimum of 4 hours between connections in Fiji if you are continuing on another International Flight).
Please be prepared to pay a $22 – $24 USD Departure Tax when departing Christmas Island.
Fiji Airways has always done a good job of being on time and providing mostly reliable flight service to Christmas Island with their one flight per week schedule. However, over the years there have been a few flights that have been cancelled due to unforeseen events, weather events, etc. This is a very good reason to get travel insurance, which will often cover you for additional costs and/or lost fishing time related to a cancellation, especially for weather-related events.
The Villages wants to make clear now their policies on cancelled flights:
- The Villages will credit cancelled weeks to another date for anglers involved in any Fiji Airways flight cancellations from Honolulu or Nadi. This will be based on availability.
- For anglers on the other end, who are not able to leave Christmas Island on their scheduled dates, The Villages will generously provide accommodation, meals, and airport transfers at no extra cost to them. However, if anglers choose to fish during that week, they will be charged US$150 per day per person to cover guides, boatman, fuel, and boat expenses. Anglers will also be responsible for their bar tab, extra gratuities, etc.
- There is an ATM at the ANZ Bank on the island. It would be wise for anglers to bring enough cash just in case, bring an ATM card, or set up their credit cards with an ATM pin number to use the ATM. If not, you will be billed by your booking agent for your additional fishing costs.
As a precaution, please do not schedule around your trip any “can’t miss” activities such as court dates, surgeries, board meetings, weddings, or any event of importance to you. Should there be any travel delays that would require extra overnight stays, we will do all possible to assist you, either from the island or in Honolulu. In extreme cases, you may even be re-routed through Fiji. We cannot, however, assume any financial responsibility for extra costs incurred (this is a great reason to get Travel Insurance).
Christmas Island has a small medical clinic and staff, rudimentary by our standards. There is also a dental therapist who can handle simple procedures. Occasionally, these personnel are transferred to Tarawa but are on Christmas Island most of the year. If you have a health problem, think twice about going to this remote area with limited care facilities. It’s also a good idea to have a pre-departure dental checkup. In addition to any medicine that you normally use, we suggest you bring Lomotil or Imodium, pain pills, antibiotic ointment, hydrogen peroxide and cotton balls, Band-Aids, aloe sunburn treatment and motion sickness medication.
Due to the remote location and limited medical facilities at Christmas Island, medical evacuation insurance is mandatory. You need to purchase medical evacuation insurance. Global Rescue has been a leading provider of travel services including medical advisory and evacuation for more than a decade. Now, Global Rescue members can also protect their travel with Signature Travel InsuranceSM, a comprehensive, industry-leading travel insurance product, available exclusively to Global Rescue members, that covers the costs of canceled and interrupted trips, lost luggage and sports equipment rental. We recommend the Global Rescue Membership with Signature Travel Insurance for your next trip.
Weather & Wind:
Christmas Island sits in the equatorial calm, lying well east of Pacific storm development areas. Because of its proximity to the equator, Christmas Island does not have seasons as we know them. The temperatures in January are virtually identical to those in July. Easterly trade winds blow throughout the year at an average of 10 to 20 knots. It’s rarely humid or unpleasantly hot. The mean daytime temperature is 80°F, and the evenings drop down to a breezy 72 degrees.
Annual rainfall averages 30 inches and is normally in the form of afternoon or evening showers. It is best to be prepared with a light rain jacket in case you get caught in a downpour. There seems to be a 5-year drought cycle, and the locals say some years it doesn’t rain at all. Cloud cover is relatively sparse throughout the year compared to other tropical areas you might know. In general, conditions are ideal for flats fishing. During summer months, the winds are generally calmer and the sea less rough. Christmas Island certainly has the most consistent and predictable sunny weather patterns of any bonefishing destination we know of on a year-round basis.
Bug Spray with DEET:
In April 2015 several people on the island contracted a rare viral infection called “Chikungunya”, a mosquito-born virus that causes fever and joint pain. Mosquitoes are rare here and there haven’t been reports of the virus since 2015, but we recommend anglers follow a few simple precautions to avoid bug bites and avoid the discomfort of contracting the virus: wear long sleeves, long pants, and/or insect repellent with DEET to avoid mosquito bites; and don’t leave the door to your room open and invite un-wanted pests into your room.
Packing for Christmas Island:
Christmas Island is near the Equator so the sun and water glare can be powerful and damaging to the skin. You must be prepared with strong sunscreen (Coppertone SPORT is ultra water/ sweat proof and its ultra dry formula is good for a no slip grip while fishing). Depending on your skin tone use at least SPF 30+ and above. Also, use a SPF-UVA/UVB lip balm. Good quality polarized sunglasses are a must, along with a spare pair just in case and a neck cord.
Fly fishers will want to fish 7 – 8 weight fly rods with floating lines for all of the flats fishing for bonefish, triggerfish, and most of the species you’ll find on the flats.
For trevally, a 10-12 weight with floating line is ideal. Reels should have a sound drag system and be able to hold at least 200 + yds of 30-pound backing. Floating tropical lines are typically all you need, but there are times offshore and around the reefs when a fast-sinking line or shooting head can be advantageous.
Leaders & Tippet:
Bonefish fluorocarbon leaders should be 9 -11 feet long with 10-15 lb. tippets. If fluorocarbon leaders are not used, clear mono definitely works best for bonefish leaders. The water on the flats is crystal clear.
For GT leaders, you can use 9 feet of straight 60 lb. – 140 lb. Fluorocarbon tippet. GTs are not leader shy.
Flats boots should have thick soles that will protect your feet from bruising. Many of the flats have coral edges which can be sharp and very hard. Dive booties are not heavy enough, nor are most zip-up style flats boots. We recommend heavy soled lace-up style flats sneakers, such as the Simms Flats Sneaker. Simms lightweight neoprene wading socks are also great to have and use. Bring sure to bring plenty of moleskin, as small blisters are not uncommon after wading all day with wet feet.
Flies for The Villages
Most of your bonefish flies should be size 6 with medium bead chain or small lead brass eyes (gold colored eyes are preferred). You should carry a few in size 6 or 4 with Lead eyes (for deeper waters like flat edges and deeper flats like Paris Flats) a few sizes 6 and 8 with no (or mono) eyes and a few size 8 for when the fish get picky. The guides seem to like brass gold eyes on the flies.
Below we’ve listed a handful of suggested flies to give you an idea of the sort of flies that have proven successful over the last 3 decades that we’ve been fishing on Christmas Island. Our experienced staff also will gladly (in fact, we recommend it!) put together a specific Christmas Island fly selection for you. These selections contain exactly the flies you’ll want to have to be successful, and are packaged at a savings to you. The Christmas Island Fly Selection (Order Code: #4939) retails for $139.95, with a fly value of $150!
- Christmas Charlies – orange, pink, pearl with pink thread (these are the #1 fly, especially in small sizes with heavy eyes, very sparsely tied)
- Gotcha’s – both bead chain and brass eye
- Teannaki Special
- Crazy Charlies – gold/tan wing with orange accent, silver/white wing
- Marts’ Early Worm – #6
- Shane’s Bone Kohlector – #6; tan
- Chili Pepper – #6
Triggerfish have become a favorite quarry on Christmas Island the past few years. These ultry-finnicky fish are easy to spot but hard to fool, the ultimate Kiribati chess match. Crabs are their favorite…but with powerful, coral-crushing teeth you’ll want to bring a few extra flies as it’s not uncommon for these fish to bite straight through even the strongest of hooks:
Flats Trevally Flies:
- Bad Attitude Baitfish – #6/0; tan or black
- Major Bunker – #4/0
- Major Herring – #3/0
- Lefty’s Deceivers – #3/0; blue/white, charteuse/white
- Foam Poppers – #2/0 – 3/0; green/white, blue/white, red/white
- Brush Fly – #6/0; tan or black
Reef Trevally, Tunas, Reef Dwellers (like sweetlips, red bass & snappers):
- Big Flies are the answer – #3/0 – 4/0
- Major Bunker – #4/0
- Major Herring – #3/0
- Bad Attitude Baitfish – #6/0; tan, black, or chartreuse
- Big Sea Habits
- Lefty’s Deceivers
For casting over the reefs just outside the lagoon mouth, the best outfit is a 7-8 foot spinning rod with a stiff butt for fighting large fish and a tip that will cast 2-4 ounce plugs and lures. The spinning reels should have highspeed retrieve and be like the Penn Spinfisher 750SS or 850SS. Serious anglers will consider more expensive, stronger reels like the Shimano Stella, Diawa Saltiga or Van Stahl. The new gel spun braid lines in 50- 80lb should be used for casting distance and overall toughness. These are big fish, and they need to be stopped before they reach the coral, whether you are talking about giant trevally, big red bass, sweetlips, or other tough reef species. Pelagics like yellowfin tuna, sailfish or wahoo will spool you in an instant unless you have sufficient quality gear. Conventional casting or flat spool reels should have a high-speed retrieve and hold at least 300 yds of line. The Shimano Trindad would be a good example. Mono leaders should be around 50lb-80lb test and when around wahoo, wire leader will be necessary. You will need to bring an adequate supply of plugs and lures. For casting, popping lures like the Yo-Zuri Surface Bull, Pencil Poppers, Pili Lures and other large 5”- 8” lures that create lots of surface disturbance in bright shiny colors work best. Red/white, green/gold and blue/silver are all good colors. Extra hooks and split rings are a definite must as these fish really tear up tackle. Diving lures like the Rapala CD18 or CD22 work well trolling in the same colors. You should have heavy duty long nose pliers for un-hooking fish. In most cases your guide should handle these large fish. We suggest that each angler bring as much tackle to fit their own needs and requirements. You will be fishing the flats and, if you want to, the inshore bluewater for larger gamefish such as tuna, trevally, wahoo, rainbow runner, barracuda, bonita and rockfish. Anglers might want to fish the flats for bonefish in the morning and then boat out in the afternoon and challenge the inshore species. The guides are all selected veterans of both flats and inshore fishing and can and suggest the best methods for each fishing area and species.
Rigging for Bluewater Trolling:
If everyone on the boat agrees to go to bluewater fishing and conditions permit, there is no extra charge to fish the bluewater. Discretion regarding weather and conditions is left up to the head guide. Please check in with him if you’re interested in fishing the bluewater on site.
From a heavy 500 grain sink-tip or a 30 ft. length of T-14 (be sure to reinforce all welded loops with 16 lb. fluorocarbon nail-knots – coat with Loon Knot Sense), attach a 4-foot section of 100 lb. mono to the tip with an Allbright knot and glue the knot. Tie the mono to an 80lb stainless barrel swivel (to avoid twisting while trolling). Attach 14 inches of 80 lb. stainless wire to the barrel swivel with a Hay-wire twist and attach the other end to your fly via Hay-wire twist. Any super flashy, big tuna type flies will work. Lengths from 6” – 12” long are appropriate. Fly tiers should use high-quality strong hooks like the Owner Aki in 4/0 to 8/0.
Note: Fish from 40 – 1,000+ pounds could be encountered.
12 – 16 weight, fast action
Highest quality saltwater reels, with at least 300 yards of 30 lb. gel spun backing or 50-80 lb. Spectra braided line. A large arbor reel is an advantage with both fish species.
30-foot section of T-14 looped directly to your backing. Or a 30 ft. 500 grain integrated sink-tip may be used. You must use an 80-pound barrel swivels to avoid line twist.
Attach 4 feet 100 lb. fluorocarbon to the T-14 (or sink-tip). Note: See rigging notes below.
Diving and snorkeling are optional activities at Christmas Island and are separate from the fishing package. Payment for these activities is done at the Island during your stay. For scuba diving, bring your certification and your own mask, fins and BC regulator set. A light 3 mil shorty suit is advisable. Diving must be done in pairs; you must have a buddy. Because of the location’s remoteness, we ask that divers have at least 4 dives logged within the year and are in good physical shape. Dive computers are strongly recommended. Please let us know if you are planning a dive day while at Christmas Island.
Cash & Currency:
Take an ample amount of small bills (US $5.00, $10.00, $20.00) for tipping and purchasing small items. Australian Dollars is the currency at Christmas Island, but US Dollars are accepted. You will need to bring $50.00 cash for your fishing license and $24.00 cash for your exit fee. Extra bottled water is $2.00 (16 oz) and beer is $3.50 per can. 4 bottles of water are included in your package per day, which is usually sufficient. The bar has a limited selection of spirits for sale. Mixes such as tonic, soda water, and coke are available. Be sure to bring sufficient cash to settle up your bar tab at the end of the week, as the lodge does not accept credit cards.
Suggested guide tip is USD $30.00 per person per day. Anglers can tip their guide more (within reason) for exceptional service. Boat drivers can be tipped USD $5.00 per day. Staff tips are USD $10.00 per person per day and can be paid on check-out.
Voltage at the lodge is 110V. Some of the rooms have US-style plugs with 2 vertical blades, while the other rooms (5 – 8) also have 110V but the plugs are Australian style. The lodge tries to have enough adapters on hand, but guests have a tendency to accidentally pack them home, so it’s not a bad idea to pack a small adapter if you have one (you will not need a converter). Australian Plug (Rooms 5 – 8) 110V
The lodge does have laundry services available for around $20 per week.
The Villages has added Wireless Internet (Wi-Fi) at the lodge. It is low bandwidth and not 100% reliable, but works most of the time for basic emails and communication. Please do not download large files! The cost to connect to the (Wi-Fi) is $20 per week.
AT&T has an international cell phone service called “Passport” that works on the island’s 3G cell signal. You have to have some sort of cell signal for it to work. You can also make calls on the wireless network with this service by selecting the option in your settings. Texts go through like a greased pig! AT&T “Passport” costs $70 for 30 days, max use 2GB and .35 per minute. Texts are basically free!
A Final Word:
You’re heading to the Equatorial Pacific where a slow pace of life and a laid back “take-it-easy” attitude is entrenched in the culture of the native peoples. Christmas Island has only about 2,000 visitors annually including birders, divers, traders and anglers. None of the hotel staff has been trained outside the boundaries of the island. Therefore, crisp timing and efficiency as we know it are sometimes a bit out of sync. Don’t let this get to you. Relax and adjust to where you are, the way things are done, and you’ll get along fine. The wheels that sometimes fall off are more than offset by the willing, friendly attitude of the Micronesian people you’ll encounter. They strive to serve their guests well and are sincere about your well-being and enjoyment – and this will show.