The One & Only Christmas Island and December saw us return back for our annual group trip back to Christmas Island the home of the aggressive GT’s. We were also filming the last part of the Christmas Island DVD to showcase just how mad and how much fun it is to seek, hook, loose and catch plenty of GT’S both on the fly and lures.
Touching down on the Island for me felt like returning home, for anyone who knows me, Christmas Island out of all the places I have been fortunate to visit around the world with its ruggedness and unbelievable fishing always holds a special place in my heart. I had warned everyone whose first trip it was what to expect, which soon becomes evident once you see the arrival terminal (nothing more than a chicken shed.) However once through immigration, customs and fishing licenses purchased it’s a warm welcome by our host Tim and head guide Peter. Once the usual greetings and formalities had taken place we boarded the truck donning our traditional floral garlands and fresh coconut drinks for the short 30 min drive to our camp. It’s on this drive that everyone gets to see for the first time just how simple and basic life is on these remote island miles and miles from anywhere, to me it’s a place called heaven.
What lay ahead of us was 6 whole days of fishing, doing a mixture of Fly fishing for GT’S, Bone fishing and some offshore fishing, plenty to keep everyone amused. On the first day everyone was loaded in to the boats brimming with excitement and the day did not disappoint. Paul Quenet who was into fishing with me on that first day, his first ever trip to Christmas Island and his first ever fly fishing trip. I will never forget arriving on a small coral flat not too far away from the open ocean, we stood and waited for some passing GT’S and it wasn’t long before a rat pack as I like to call them, for when they charge on to the flats all hell breaks lose. Paul cast in his fly amongst the commotion and within seconds he was being pulled towards the edge of the flat with his first GT. I am sure Paul will agree with me it was nothing like he had ever experienced before. After a long hard fight we tailed Paul’s first fish, which after the photos Paul handed me his rod and said there you go I am finished, What do you mean I said, I am done in he replied, I do not care if I do not catch another fish all week. Paul we have only been fishing just over 1 hour and we have got a whole week yet. That just goes to show you how these fish can beat you up. I am glad to say that after a rest Paul did get back in to the fishing and as the days went on he just could not catch them fast enough.
The rest of the week was much the same, everyone was into some great fish, what was surprising was the size of the fish, lots and lots around the 60lb mark a few around the 70 and 80lb plus a PB for me one around the magic 100lb on the fly. To the actual numbers of GT’S caught by the group I have no clue as believe it or not I did loose count. There was also plenty of other events that happened during the week, which would take forever to mention, such as Kevin Patterson returning for his 3rd visit while fishing with me one day, in comes the rat pack along the flat, Kevin casts in his fly which was immediately attacked by queenfish, frustrated Kevin tried to pull his fly away only to proceed in foul hooking a queenfish in the back by the dorsal fin. The queenie about 16 inches long went mental, not as mental a split few seconds later as one of the big GT’S from the rat pack surged forward and engulfed Kevin’s queenie and his fly. Instinctively Kevin set the hook and to our amazement he hooked and landed the fish. To see this happen in only a matter of seconds was just so funny, not sure who was surprised the most, the fish or Kevin. There was the usual abuse of tackle from the GT’S with the group getting through 15 GT fly lines; god only knows how many flies, plus breakages of one 14# fly rod and one 12# rod, it’s as hard on tackle as it is the anglers. The good news was everyone managed to catch plenty of GT’S on the fly, Kevin, Paul, Carl, Bob and Keith all managed to land personal best fish. They even had time to catch them with different methods, bait fishing for them with big popper rods and Stella reels which just slaughtered them. There was also plenty of other action with some good size Bones up to about 8lb, Wahoo around 70lb and Yellowfin Tuna to over 100lb, plenty of action to keep everyone well happy.
However when you travel thousands of miles around the world not everything always goes to plan, for on this trip I was accompanied by my partner Tracey as we were filming the second part of the Christmas Island DVD and anyone who has ever experienced filming will tell you, everything is stacked against you. The first day fishing after Paul had caught his first fish we started to film, is was not long before I was into the first fish so lights, camera action…..or so it was for the first 5 mins of the fight then disaster the camera turns itself off and will not come back on. It had worked all the way out filming all the arrival shots, getting off the plane etc, but once it got to the good bits it just died. We then spent the rest of the day just fishing as there was nothing we could do while out on a saltwater flat. However I am pleased to say that night we managed to get everything back in working order and still had 5 days filming and I must say all credit to Tracey who done an amazing job considering the difficult environment. I have watched all the footage through, I can not wait for it to be all edited up so you can all see what this place is like; I just know lots of you will add Christmas Island to your bucket list of places to fish.
With that, I have just secured the weeks for our next group trips places are limited to just 12.
If you would like to see the full trip details, dates and prices Click Here
Tight Lines Peter Collingsworth