Ikari House | Christmas Island | Q&A
Many saltwater fly fishing anglers have heard of Christmas Island. This gives you some kind of indication on what this destination is going to be like. Originally Christmas Island was very well known as a Bonefish destination. However, as time went on more anglers started to visit this magical island and some of us started to explore other possibilities such as fly fishing for Giant Trevally. At the time this was considered a pastime for only mad fly anglers as people thought you could never hook and land such fish on fly fishing tackle.
Where is the destination?
Just north of the equator approximately 1200 miles south of Hawaii.
Where do they fish?
You can fish inside the huge lagoon wadding the endless hard bottom flats. You will access the flats by boat and navigate through the maze of channels that feed these flats with each passing tide. For anglers wishing to target the big Milkfish, Tuna and Sailfish you will be fishing from a boat in the blue ocean what is commonly called fishing on the outside.
How long does it take to reach the fishing grounds?
One advantage of our lodge is we are the closest to the main harbour where you will board the boats each morning. Because of this, the travel time to the boats by truck is less than 5 mins. The time to your first fishing spot then depends on where you are heading. Some are as close as 15 minutes and others like the real deep backcountry flats you are looking at around 1 hour travel time. We encourage all of our customers to start early and we like to be boarding the boats at dawn to maximise the best conditions of the day.
What fish will I catch?
The prime species is Bonefish but there are numerous other species including giant Bluefin, Banded, Black and Golden Trevally. There is also the opportunity to catch several species of Triggerfish, Sweetlips Snapper, Wrasse Species, Ladyfish, Barracuda, Wahoo and Tuna.
How many fish will I catch?
The very best weeks will see good anglers landing well over 100 Bonefish but when things get hard landing 4 to 6 a day can be a challenge. All things being equal, averaging 6-10 fish a day is quite reasonable. Most anglers also land a hand full of smaller Trevally. If you are looking for them, you should get between 6 and 12 shots at larger (30+ lb) GT’s in a week. If one of these shots ends up in a hooked and landed trophy you should count yourself lucky.
How do they fish?
Fishing involves fly fishing for the various species. Anglers who wish to fish offshore can troll lures and then switch/tease to the fly. Lure anglers can fish with both poppers and jigs for the various species.
Do the guides speak English?
Yes, our guides speak English to various degrees like many overseas operations. Some guides speak very good English and others are not so strong but can speak enough so you understand each other when fishing.
Note, guiding is based on 2 anglers per guide, however, we do have 1 on 1 guiding available in advance at additional cost.
Who is best suited to this destination?
Anyone who loves to explore vast areas of flats and take full advantage of whatever crosses your path. One minute you are casting at Bonefish, a little bit further casting at tricky Triggerfish, only for moments later to be casting a 12 lb GT’s. It is the true variety that makes this place so so special.
What skill level is required?
Any level of fly angler will enjoy Christmas Island. We have had many a beginner catch their first Bonefish and some even 10 lb plus more on their very first day. We have also educated many fly anglers into the dark art of fly fishing for GT’s.
How physically demanding is this trip?
The most demanding is wading the endless flats as no flats fishing is conducted by boat, only by foot. Because of this, anglers should be able to fish, wade and walk 2 to 5 miles per day. The other element to consider is the heat as Christmas Island is a hot climate.
When to go?
Christmas Island is a year-round destination. Being that Christmas Island is equatorial, the destination offers some of the most consistent fishing weather found in the world for the December to March time frame. Angler traffic from America is heaviest during the winter and spring months but this has more to do with anglers looking to get away at this time than the fishing being especially productive.
Another thing to consider is the various phases of the month. These have more to do with how the island sets up for your week than any other factor. Anglers looking for a well-balanced productive time to fish the flats or want to focus on Bonefish should book during quarter moon cycles that provide neap cycle tides and long sweet spots of moderate water depth on the flats.
Anglers looking for great opportunities for Giant Trevally and blue water species should look toward the full moon and new moon periods of the month. These times provide the greatest alignment of the earth, moon and sun and generate the biggest tide swings. Hybrid weeks with either a full or new moon towards the beginning or end of a week provide good opportunities for both.
How to get there?
From the UK, you will fly to Los Angeles before connecting to Hawaii. You have an overnight stay in Hawaii before getting the flight the next day to Christmas Island. Once you arrive on the island it is a 30-minute truck ride to the accommodation.
What is the accommodation like?
Each twin room has lots of space to store and layout all of the fishing tackle customers bring. Outside each room, there is also rod racks and freshwater hoses so you can wash and clean down your tackle at the end of each days fishing. Inside each room is a fridge that is checked and restocked each day with soft drinks and beer.
Note the rooms are based on twin share. However, private accommodations can be arranged in advance at an additional cost.
Outside there are communal areas with more fridges and drinks. It is here that customers sit and meet over drinks at the end of each day to share stories about what each other has caught, hook and even those big ones that got away.
What is the food like?
Christmas Island is in the middle of the Pacific with no soil and very little water. They do not have a culture incorporating fine food. Prior to boats shipping in rice and noodles, the fare was fish, coconut and breadfruit. However, our cooks and staff are the grand masters at sourcing produce on the island and customers can expect some nice food. If you go with the understanding and expectation that the food is going to be basic you may even then be pleasantly surprised. Each morning, you can make a packed lunch with your breakfast and there are always sandwiches, crisps, biscuits, chocolate and fruit to choose from.
Does the lodge provide fishing tackle?
Anglers must bring everything they will need with them for the trip.
Is the internet and phone signal available?
There is Wifi available at the lodge but the internet on Christmas Island is very slow. It is strong enough to receive and send basic non-picture e-mails or text messages via apps such as Whatsapp. However, you cannot do voice or video chat over the internet.
Are there other activities available?
Christmas Island is very remote and a coral atoll, unless your non-angling partner is quite happy to just relax there is not much else to do on the island except fishing or diving.
How much does it cost?
We the complete package including all flights and transfers. Visit our Christmas Island Fishing trip page to view all available weeks and prices.
Alternatively, if you wish to arrange all your own travel we can book just the lodge and fishing for you. If you wish to book or have any questions please feel free to call our offices on 01603 407596.