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Fanning Island Fly Fishing The Island That Time Forgot

Customer Rating 88%
Tour Code FAN001

Tropical Island Paradise

Fanning Island, also known as Tabuaeran, is an atoll that is part of the Line Islands in the central Pacific Ocean, situated 228 nautical miles above the equator, just an hour and ten-minute flight from Kiribati (Christmas Island). Covering a land area of just over 33 square kilometres, with a vast, spectacularly beautiful interior lagoon spanning over 100 square kilometres, it’s an exciting tropical island paradise with an abundance of saltwater fly fishing opportunities.

Described as the island that time forgot, with a population of just over 2,000, compared to some 20,000 now on Christmas Island and with no regular flights until 2016, the number of visiting anglers can be counted on just a couple of hands. Travelling rods who’ve been lucky enough to visit this incredible destination haven’t even scratched the surface, and the range of saltwater species that inhabit its waters have rarely seen a human, let alone an anglers fly. Imagine what Christmas Island was like 20 years ago, and you’ll have some idea what Fanning Island Fly Fishing is like now.

With miles of hard white sand that stretch for miles, the perfect habitat for various Pacific flats species, the island is home to big Bonefish, giant GT’s, numerous other Trevally species, Parrotfish and Napoleon wrasse, to name just a few. The fishing on the island is traditional flats fishing, with most of it done on foot – just the way it should be.

Fanning Island Fly Fishing

A trip to Fanning Island is only for the serious saltwater fly fishing angler, for those who yearn to visit some of the most remote places on earth to wet a fly in pursuit of their quarry. It’s perfect for those who don’t need a luxury resort but for those who want to explore a year-round tropical paradise and experience island culture at its finest. It’s a rustic out and out flats fishing destination, which has remained the same for generations.

The fishing grounds on the island get navigated by deep hulled Panga style boats, and all the fishing is traditional saltwater flats fishing, most of which is on foot, wading, sight fishing for your quarry. Travelling rods visiting Fanning have the luxury of a one-on-one guiding experience and rods on the island are limited to six per week. Each day the Pangas set off to the fishing grounds with two anglers, two guides (one junior and one senior) and a boat driver – meaning you’re in excellent hands and well looked after.

The guides are world-class professionals who have amassed a considerable amount of hard-earned experience regarding all facets of fly fishing at this remote atoll destination. They’re highly skilled in pursuing all the species the island has to offer, and they know which flat to be on, in what weather conditions and in what state of the tide. They are some of the atoll’s most skilled and passionate workers.

Saltwater Giants

Even though Fanning Island fly fishing is still relatively in its infancy, the small groups of anglers who have been lucky enough to visit its shores and ‘test fish’ have encountered Bonefish, Giant and Bluefin Trevally and the Bumphead Parrotfish. The latter is quite a rare sought-after species and one which doesn’t seem to inhabit all the atolls in the region.


These sleek, metallic warriors glide the flats scouring the coral and hard sand bottoms for shrimps, crabs and worms. It’s always a thrill presenting a fly to a hungry Bone, watching them speed over to investigate before hammering it and running off 100 yards of backing in a flash.

There are decent populations scattered throughout the lagoon on Fanning, and although they don’t get found in the numbers they do on Christmas Island, it’s a destination for true giants. The average-sized Bone is around 3lb to 5lb, with lots of bigger fish between 6lb and 8lb and a good number over 10lb.

Giant Trevally & Bluefin Trevally

There are few sights in fly fishing as spectacular as watching a colossal GT or a pack of Bluefin Trevally smashing mullet in shallow water and on Fanning; this is a regular occurrence. These large, powerful fish can turn on a dime and possess speeds of over sixty kilometres per hour.

The Giant Trevally average between 30lb and 60lb, but fish over 90lb have been landed. The Bluefin Trevally are a lot smaller in size but are present in more significant numbers, averaging between 3lb and 10lb, but 20lb specimens are not uncommon.

Bumphead Parrotfish

The Bumphead Parrotfish, or Humphead Parrotfish as they’re also known, are found throughout the flats on Fanning Island and these colourful, unique looking species are highly sought after. They can often be seen in schools, splashing their purple-hued tails around the coral.

They average between 5lb and 15lb, but trophy fish to over 20lb have been landed.

In addition to these, the flats of Fanning Island are home to a whole host of other exotic species, both big and small. The Napoleon Wrasse is another particular favourite amongst travelling rods.

To find out more about Fanning Island fly fishing, visit our YouTube channel.

When To Fish Fanning

Fanning Island is located 273 kilometres north of Christmas Island and just over 1600 kilometres southwest of Hawaii, in the equatorial calm, lying well east of Pacific storm development areas. Due to the island’s proximity to the equator, it doesn’t have seasons as we know them and temperatures in February are almost identical to those in August, a consistent 75-85 degrees. One thing that makes Fanning different from neighbouring Christmas Island is that it receives a lot more rainfall, which makes it more lush and tropical. It averages around 75 inches per year, compared to the 30 inches that Christmas gets – it’s always worth having a rain jacket to hand in case you get caught in a downpour.

When deciding on the best time to visit, it’s certainly worth considering the various moon phases of the month. 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 Trevally should look towards the full moon and new moon periods of the month. These times provide the most significant alignment of the earth, moon and sun and generate the most considerable tide swings. Hybrid weeks with either a full or new moon towards the beginning or end of a week provide good opportunities for both.


On Fanning, rods are limited to just six per trip, keeping angling pressure to a minimum and maintaining the island unspoilt feel. With only two flights per week and the possibility of them being delayed or cancelled by weather, everyone visiting Fanning needs to be flexible and happy to live on ‘Island Time’.

Due to its incredibly remote nature, there are no emergency rooms, hospitals, WiFi, air conditioning and limited power. There is a refrigerator, lighting and charging points, but these are all solar-powered and not always one hundred percent reliable. The accommodation is a fishing camp and not a luxury Lodge, and it’s purely designed as somewhere to sleep and eat after a successful day on the flats.

Fishing an average of eight to ten hours a day in a tropical climate, we recommend that you’re in good health if you decide to take a trip.

With only a few supply deliveries per year, the food on the island is very straightforward but tasty. Much of the table fare is fish and shellfish sourced from the ocean, with sides of rice and fruit. It’s worth taking a range of crisps, snacks and any treats from home which you can fit in your case. Soft drinks and water are included and get shipped over from Christmas Island the days before your visit. If you’d like any alcohol during your stay, you can purchase from duty-free at the airport in Honolulu.

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Although the fishing days are fixed, the below itinerary is still flexible should you require additional free days to explore at the beginning or end of your holiday; we can tailor this itinerary to suit you personally. Feel free to talk to our travel consultants who can explain all options available.

Day 1: (Monday)

Depart Any international Airport (See Details)

Arrive Los Angeles Depart Los Angeles

Arrive Honolulu

On arrival in Honolulu, you will need to transfer to your overnight hotel.

Overnight Accommodation: Hawaii Hotel (Twin Room) R/O

Day 2: (Tuesday)

After breakfast, you will need to taxi to the airport to catch your flight to Christmas Island.

Depart Honolulu

Day 3: (Wednesday)

Arrive Christmas Island

Note: The flight from Honolulu is only 3 hours, but you cross the International Date Line.

Once you land on Christmas Island, Matt the representative from Fanning Island will meet you at the airport and transport you to Tropical Flats Fishing Lodge. Once there you’ll be free to explore this tropical island paradise. An evening meal is also included in your stay.

Overnight Accommodation: Tropical Flats Fishing Lodge (Twin Room) F/B

Day 4: (Thursday)

In the morning, after breakfast, Matt will pick you up for your flight to Fanning Island.

Depart Christmas Island

Arrive Fanning Island

Once you arrive on the Island you’ll be transported to the lodge by boat. If everything runs on time and you arrive on Fanning Island early enough there’s the opportunity to do some fishing. But remember you are on island time, so relax and enjoy!

Overnight Accommodation: Fanning Island Lodging (Twin Room) F/B

Days 5 to 15: FISHING DAYS (Friday to Monday)

For the next 11 days, you’ll be fishing the tropical flats of the lagoon, for all manner of saltwater species.

You and your fishing buddy will be picked up each morning around 7 am returning home by 6 pm. The boats used for pick up are deep hulled Pangas and you’ll be accompanied by two guides (one senior and one junior) and a boat driver.

Overnight Accommodation: Fanning Island Lodging (Twin Room) F/B

Day 16: (Tuesday)

After breakfast, you’ll have the option to fish for a few hours before catching your flight back to Christmas Island.

Once you land on Christmas Island you’ll be free to relax and chill, in preparation for travelling home the next day.

Overnight Accommodation: Tropical Flats Fishing Lodge (Twin Room) F/B

Day 17: (Wednesday)

In the morning after breakfast you’ll be transferred to the airport to catch your flight back to Honolulu.

Depart Christmas Island

Note: The flight from Honolulu is only 3 hours, but you cross the International Date Line.

Day 16: (Tuesday)

Arrive Honolulu

Once you arrive in Honolulu you’ll need to transfer to your overnight hotel, where you’ll be free to relax and explore the local surroundings.

Overnight Accommodation: Hawaii Hotel (Twin Room) R/O

Day 17: (Wednesday)

In the morning after breakfast, you’ll need to transfer to the airport ready for your return flight home.

Depart Honolulu

Arrive Los Angeles Depart Los Angeles

Day 18: (Thursday)

Arrive Home

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Satisfaction Score 88%

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The season runs from January to December .


Season: All year
Peak: All year
Weight: 1lb to 12lb
Average Weight: 4lb

Giant Trevally

Season: All year
Peak: All year
Weight: 5lb to 90lb
Average Weight: 37lb

Bluefin Trevally

Season: All year
Peak: All year
Weight: 1lb to 20lb
Average Weight: 8lb

Bumphead Parrotfish

Season: All year
Peak: All year
Weight: 5lb to 20lb
Average Weight: 10lb

Package Details

Prices from
per person


  • All international flights
  • Flights from Hawaii to Christmas Island
  • Flights from Christmas Island to Fanning Island
  • Transfers to and from the Lodge
  • All accommodation in Hawaii
  • All accommodation on Christmas Island
  • All accommodation on Fanning Island
  • All meals on Christmas Island
  • All meals at the lodge on Fanning Island
  • 11 days fully guided fishing (one on one)
  • 2 one-litre bottles of water per day


  • Personal holiday insurance
  • Meals at Hawaii hotels or bar expenses
  • Tourist accommodation tax in Hawaii
  • Departure taxes
  • Charges for overweight baggage
  • Drinks on Fanning Island
  • Transfers in Hawaii
  • Tips for guides and all camp staff
  • Fishing licenses

Optional extras

  • Flight upgrades
  • Additional nights in Los Angeles
  • Additional nights in Hawaii

Price Supplements


View Latest Availability

Dates, Prices & Availability

Remember that Sportquest Holidays' services are completely FREE! When you book a trip with Sportquest Holidays, you never pay more than when you book directly with the lodge and flights independently.

From To Duration Price Availability
01/06/2024 30/06/2024 18 £9,719 Enquire Now
01/07/2024 31/07/2024 18 £9,719 Enquire Now
01/08/2024 31/08/2024 18 £9,719 Enquire Now
01/09/2024 30/09/2024 18 £9,719 Enquire Now
01/10/2024 31/10/2024 18 £9,719 Enquire Now
01/11/2024 30/11/2024 18 £9,719 Enquire Now
01/01/2025 31/01/2025 18 £10,047 Enquire Now
01/02/2025 28/02/2025 18 £10,047 Enquire Now
01/03/2025 31/03/2025 18 £10,047 Enquire Now
01/04/2025 30/04/2025 18 £10,047 Enquire Now
01/05/2025 31/05/2025 18 £10,047 Enquire Now
01/06/2025 30/06/2025 18 £10,047 Enquire Now
01/07/2025 31/07/2025 18 £10,047 Enquire Now
01/08/2025 31/08/2025 18 £10,047 Enquire Now
01/09/2025 30/09/2025 18 £10,047 Enquire Now
01/10/2025 31/10/2025 18 £10,047 Enquire Now
01/11/2025 30/11/2025 18 £10,047 Enquire Now

Price Notes

Prices are based on two adults sharing transfers, fishing and accommodation (unless otherwise stated) and are correct at the time of going to press. Subject to time of year or date and currency fluctuations, these prices may fluctuate slightly due to flight price increases or fuel surcharge.

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Hellesdon Park



Over the last few years, I've fished heavily in the Caribbean, however this year I fancied something slightly different and more adventurous. After a good week of research, I came across Fanning Island and after a few phones calls and emails, I was booked on a trip. The journey there looked extremely daunting and I'd be lying if I said it wasn't long, but once there it was worth every minute of travelling time. The fishing was wild and crazy, I landed plenty of Bonefish and what a really wanted, some Giant Trevally. I didn't hook into any of the true giants, but I did manage fish to around 30lb. The accommodation was incredibly basic, but the food, guides and staff were excellent. If you're looking at something truly off the grid and an adventure of a lifetime then be sure to check out Fanning Island.

Staff & Service
Would use Sportquest again
Would recommend Sportquest


The journey to get to Fanning was incredibly long and it has been one of the most remote places in the world, but was it worth it? Absolutely! I would do it all again tomorrow. The fishing and the island is unspoilt and every day you felt like you were fishing virgin water. Throughout my trip, I enjoyed some of the most fantastic fishing I've ever experienced landing Bonefish, GTs and even a couple of big Parrotfish. If you like your home comforts then it's probably not the place for you, the accommodation is incredibly basic and more like camping, but to me, it was comfortable and ideal for just getting your head down in the evenings.

Staff & Service
Would use Sportquest again
Would recommend Sportquest


I was lucky enough to visit Christmas Island many moons ago when the fishing on the island was still relatively new, so I did have some idea of what Fanning Island would be like, but I must say it was everything I expected and more. The fishing was incredible and reminded me of those first few exploratory trips to Christmas. I had a great week landing a bunch of Bonefish and the fish I was really after the Giant Trevally. Over the week I landed at least one GT a day, with the biggest weighing in at an estimated 60lb. The accommodation was very basic, but I was prepared for that and it's as you'd expect with somewhere so remote. In short, I loved it and would certainly like to return one day.

Staff & Service
Would use Sportquest again
Would recommend Sportquest

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