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Ikari House | Saltwater Fishing | Christmas Island

Overview

Tour code: CHR002

Ikari House on Christmas Island is a unique and natural operation that magically combines all the elements critical to fly fishing success. Endless hard sand flats, remarkable numbers of cruising fish, the best guides on the island and consistent year-round weather is what awaits all who visit this unique atoll.

Location
Kiritimati, or Christmas Island, is a Pacific Ocean raised coral atoll in the northern Line Islands. It is part of the Republic of Kiribati and lies 1,340 miles from Honolulu. Although it is the largest coral atoll in the whole world it is nothing more than a mere dot on the map surrounded by thousands of miles of ocean. It is this remoteness that has made Christmas Island what it is today.

Fishing
Christmas Island offers diverse habitats, endless wadable saltwater flats along with miles of offshore fishing that provides unique opportunities for both the novice and the expert fly angler. Christmas Island is one of those locations where you can both fly fish, lure fish or try your hand at jigging and light offshore trolling all at the same location.

For fly fishermen, there are vast numbers of Bonefish. Novice anglers can easily learn the craft of fly-fishing and catch 10 plus 2 to 4 lb fish a day. For the experienced fly angler, the opportunity to cast your fly at large Bonefish over 10 lb also awaits. If you are an experienced fly angler keen on the challenge of Trevally, Giant, Golden, Blue Fin, and Striped await. 

Ikari House boasts a highly flexible flats fishing program that can take full advantage of varying tides and fishing conditions. Each evening the head guide will go through 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. In the morning you will depart the lodge by truck to your fishing boat, this journey takes no more than five minutes. You will then depart with your guide for a full days fishing which is normally inside the huge lagoon and done on foot, wadding the endless hard bottom flats.

We also have two other options available during your week. One is fishing backcountry, which entails taking a boat to the back of the huge lagoon. Once you arrive at this protected area you will then carry on fishing by foot, wading the edges of the lagoon and Milkfish farm. The second is fishing around the outside of the island in between the shoreline and the outer reef. At the right time of tide, fish move in from the outer reef to take advantage of the exposed feeding areas. If you wish to target the other big species such as the Milkfish, Tuna and Sailfish you will be fishing from a boat in the blue ocean outside the protecting reef either drifting in the current lines casting at hundreds of Milkfish or trolling around drop-offs.

Guiding
Our guides are highly skilled in the pursuit of all species Christmas Island has to offer. They have been fishing and guiding these flats for many years and know which flats to be on for certain tides and certain moon phases. The guides are also among the atoll’s most skilled and passionate guides and love nothing more than to share with you their knowledge. Our standard fishing packages are based on two customers to each guide and per boat. However, we do have additional guides and single boats available for an upgrade should you wish more one to one attention or learn more saltwater fly fishing skills.

If you have any questions on our Christmas Island saltwater fishing trips contact our team who will be happy to help you with any queries you have. Alternatively, you can request a free brochure or view our other saltwater fly fishing destinations.

Accommodation
Ikari House

Our accommodation is very comfortable, there are currently 10 air-conditioned rooms with two single beds each. A queen size bed is available in one room. There are en-suite bathrooms with hot water available. There is an outside area to sit and relax after the day’s fishing. Fresh water rinsing facilities are available for yourself and your tackle.

The rooms are convertible for single and double occupancy. In addition, they have tables, chairs, 110v and 240v outlet power plugs, portable drawers and wardrobe racks. A thatch-roofed local maneaba, situated in the back of the main facility, serves as the bar and dining lounge for meals and entertainment, luau and afternoon drinks.

The food is good and ample the evening meal will consist of mostly fish with plenty of vegetables and salad. Meat is also served regularly and lobster can be a special treat! Lunch is gourmet sandwiches, packed in ice in the ice chest or cooler box on board the boat. There is plenty of ice cold water there too. Breakfast is a large cooked American style meal. A small plate of pre-dinner canapés are served soon after you arrive back from fishing in the evenings. Sashimi is often served here.

Soft drinks and beer can be purchased at reasonable rates (an honesty system). Tea and coffee is available all the time at the lodge.

Board: Full Board
Rooms: Single & twin rooms
Internet: WiFi (Free)
Laundry: Free
Power: 220 volt
Air Conditioning: In rooms
Meals: In dinning room
Cash Accepted: American dollar
Species Information
Bonefish
Season: All year
Peak: October to February
Weight: 1lb to 13lb
Average Weight: 3lb
Bluefin Trevally
Season: All year
Peak: October to February
Weight: 1lb to 40lb
Average Weight: 8lb
Giant Trevally
Season: All year
Peak: August to February
Weight: 5lb to 140lb
Average Weight: 37lb
Triggerfish
Season: All year
Peak: August to February
Weight: 1lb to 30lb
Average Weight: 3lb
Milkfish
Season: All year
Peak: November to December
Weight: 5lb to 30lb
Average Weight: 7lb

Itinerary

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The below itinerary is a set itinerary due to flights from Hawaii to Christmas Island only being available once a week. However, you can extend your stay in either Hawaii or LA if required, as there are flights going from/to the UK – LA every day, as well as flights from/to LA – Hawaii every day.

Day 1 - (Monday)

You will depart from the UK (alternative routes available) and arrive in Los Angeles.

From Los Angeles, you will fly to Honolulu.

On arrival, you will transfer to your Hawaii Hotel by taxi.

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

Day 2 - (Tuesday)

After breakfast catch a taxi to the airport.

Depart Honolulu

DAY 3: (Wednesday)

Arrive Christmas Island (Note: this is only a 3 hour flight from Honolulu but you cross the International Date Line)

Overnight Accommodation: Christmas Island Lodge (Twin Rooms) F/B

DAY 4: (Thursday) Fishing Day.

In the morning leave for a full days fishing with guides. Fishing based on 2 anglers per boat each day.

Overnight Accommodation: Christmas Island Lodge (Twin Rooms) F/B

Day 5 - (Friday) Fishing Day

Fishing can be either fly-fishing, popper, jigging or trolling.

The fishing is so varied, you can do different things each day.

Overnight Accommodation: Christmas Island Lodge (Twin Rooms) F/B

Day 6 - (Saturday) Fishing Day

Each day you depart via boat for the day’s fishing. Virtually all fishing will be done while wading and entails sight casting to visible fish in shallow water.

Overnight Accommodation: Christmas Island Lodge (Twin Rooms) F/B

Day 7 - (Sunday) Fishing Day

Why not spend the day fishing offshore for Tuna and Wahoo?

Overnight Accommodation: Christmas Island Lodge (Twin Rooms) F/B

DAYS 8 & 9 - (Monday & Tuesday) Fishing Days.

You could always spend your last 2 days fishing targeting GT’s.

Overnight Accommodation: Christmas Island Lodge (Twin Rooms) F/B

Day 10 - (Wednesday)

You will be transferred back to the airport for your return flight to Honolulu.

Depart Christmas Island

DAY 9 - (Tuesday) (Cross Date Line Back one day)

Arrive Honolulu

On Arrival catch a taxi to your Hawaii Hotel.

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

Day 10 - (Wednesday)

Free time to relax or explore.

Depart Honolulu

Arrive in Los Angeles

Depart Los Angeles

Day 11 - (Thursday)

Arrive in the UK

Prices

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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. Plus what’s more if you book with Sportquest Holidays your holiday is protect by our ATOL and the Travel Package Regulations Act. To see more details CLICK HERE.

Start Date End Date Days Nights Fishing Angler Non-Angler Availability Notes
01/09/2019 30/09/2019 11 10 6 £5,510 On Request Book Now N/A
01/10/2019 31/10/2019 11 10 6 £5,510 On Request Book Now N/A
01/11/2019 30/11/2019 11 10 6 £5,600 On Request Book Now N/A
01/12/2019 31/12/2019 11 10 6 £5,475 On Request Book Now N/A
01/01/2020 31/01/2020 11 10 6 £5,373 On Request Book Now N/A
01/02/2020 28/02/2020 11 10 6 £5,373 On Request Book Now N/A
01/03/2020 31/03/2020 11 10 6 £5,423 On Request Book Now N/A
01/04/2020 30/04/2020 11 10 6 £5,723 On Request Book Now N/A
01/05/2020 31/05/2020 11 10 6 £5,723 On Request Book Now N/A
01/06/2020 30/06/2020 11 10 6 £5,743 On Request Book Now N/A
01/07/2020 31/07/2020 11 10 6 £5,853 On Request Book Now N/A
01/08/2020 31/08/2020 11 10 6 £5,953 On Request Book Now N/A
01/09/2020 30/09/2020 11 10 6 £5,733 On Request Book Now N/A
01/10/2020 31/10/2020 11 10 6 £5,733 On Request Book Now N/A
01/11/2020 30/11/2020 11 10 6 £5,823 On Request Book Now N/A
01/12/2020 31/12/2020 11 10 6 £5,698 On Request Book Now N/A

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.

ATOL
Holidays or flights booked with Sportquest Holidays Limited are protected by the Civil Aviation Authority by our ATOL bond (Number 6371). ATOL protects you from losing your money or being stranded abroad. It does this by carrying out financial checks on the firms it licenses and requiring a guarantee, called a bond.

What's Included

  • All international flights
  • Internal flight Hawaii to Christmas Island
  • Transfers to and from Lodge
  • All accommodation in Hawaii
  • All accommodation Christmas Island
  • All meals at Lodge
  • 6 days fishing

What's Excluded

  • Personal holiday insurance
  • Meals at Hawaii Hotels or bar expenses
  • Tourist Accommodation Tax in Hawaii
  • Drinks Christmas Island
  • Transfers in Hawaii
  • Tips for guides and all camp staff
  • Fishing license

Options

  • Flight upgrades

  • 2 week stay Christmas Island

  • One on one guiding Christmas Island

  • Additional nights in Los Angeles

  • Additional nights in Hawaii

Price Supplements

  • N/A

Price Match Promise

We are so confident that our packaged prices are the best available and offer great value for money.

If, however, you find an identical holiday available with any other fully bonded Tour Operator at a lower price, we will match that price.

Financial Security

Holidays or flights booked with Sportquest Holidays Limited are protected by the Civil Aviation Authority by our ATOL bond (Number 6371). ATOL protects you from losing your money or being stranded abroad. It does this by carrying out financial checks on the firms it licenses and requiring a guarantee, called a bond.

Tour Notes

Visa

A machine-readable passport with at least 6 months before expiry, no visa for UK citizens required.

Note: Because your flight will involve traveling into the USA, you will be required to complete an Visa waver programme (VWP); you are required before travel to complete an Electronic System Travel Authorisation (ESTA) online, which is compulsory for all USA Visa Waiver Programme (VWP) travellers before boarding an air or sea carrier to the USA.

Medical Requirements

Yellow Fever, Cholera, Malaria and Typhoid

Please Note

All details of visa and medical requirements are correct at time of press however please check these requirements for changes.

Departure tax

No departure tax for Christmas Island.

Flight Route & Flight Time

UK – Los Angeles (approx 11 hrs). Los Angeles – Honolulu (approx 6 hrs). Honolulu – Christmas Island (approx 4 hrs).

Baggage Allowance

Your actual allowance is based on both which airline you are flying with and also what class of seat you are travelling in. Normally in economy it is 1 checked bag, Premium Economy / Business 2 checked bags, First 3 checked bags. In addition to your checked bags you are also allowed 1 cabin bag and either 1-laptop bag or ladies handbag. The actual size and weight limit for bags is dependent on the airline. We therefore recommend that once your flights are booked you check on the airlines website for the up to date allowances.

If your itinerary includes private light aircraft or helicopter flights we will advise you on your baggage and weight allowance.

Transfer Time

Honolulu airport – Hawaiian Hotel (approx 30 mins) Christmas Island airport – Resort (approx 30 mins)

Questions & Answers

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Where is the destination?

Christmas Island is just North of the equator approximately 1200 miles south of Hawaii.

Where do they fish?

You will either fish inside the huge lagoon, which is done on foot, wading the endless hard bottom flats. You will access the flats by boat as you navigate through the maze of channels that feed these flats. For anglers wishing to target the big Milkfish, Tuna and Sailfish you will be fishing from a boat in the blue ocean.

How long does it take to reach the fishing grounds?

One advantage of our lodge is that we are the closest lodge 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 of the day will depend on where you are heading. Some are as close as 15 mins and others, like the real deep backcountry flats, are around a 1-hour journey. 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 and Golden Trevally. There are also several species of Triggerfish as well as Sweetlips Snapper, Wrasse species, Ladyfish, Barracuda and Wahoo.

How many fish will I catch?

The very best weeks will see good anglers landing 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. You should get between 6 and 12 shots at larger GT’s in a week.

How do they fish?

Fishing involves either fly fishing for the various species or for anglers who wish to go offshore, fish 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. Some guides speak very good English and others do not. However, they speak enough so you can understand each other when fishing.
Note guiding is based on 2 anglers per guide. 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 their path.

What skill level is required?

Any level of fly angler will enjoy Christmas Island. We have had many beginners catch their first Bonefish and some even 10lb plus on their very first day. We have also educated many fly angler 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. Christmas Island is a hot climate so only suitable for people who can cope with hot weather.

When to go?

Christmas Island is truly a year-round destination. It is equatorial therefore 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 productive.
Another thing to consider is 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 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 will then stay overnight 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?

Ikari house is basic, like all accommodation on Christmas Island. However, each room has its own western private bathroom and shower with hot water. Each twin room has lots of space and table to store and layout all the tons of fishing tackle customers bring. Outside each room, there are 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.
Please 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.

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 source 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 will make a packed lunch with breakfast. There are always sandwiches, crisps, biscuits, chocolate and fruit to choose from.

Does the lodge provide fishing tackle?

No, anglers must bring everything they will need with them for the trip.

Is internet and phone signal available?

There is Wifi available at the lodge however internet on Christmas Island is very slow. It is strong enough to receive and send basic non-picture e-mails or text messages via applications 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 there is not much else to do on Christmas apart from fishing or diving.

How much does it cost?

We offer the complete package including all flights and transfers. To view all prices and availability click the “Dates & Prices” tab above.

Alternatively, if you wish to arrange all your own travel we can book just the lodge and fishing for you.

Blogs

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Reviews

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Peter

All the tips + hints in your pre - trip information were really useful and helped make the trip much better than going blind.

I caught my personal best Bonefish, I also had Trigger fish, Bluefin Trevally & the highlight of the holiday a Milkfish of 13 lbs from the fits.

I had many chances at GT's which were very close to being captured, but that is what makes fishing, fishing. I would return anytime to complete the unfinished business. A truly remarkable place.

Reply from Sportquest Holidays

Peter

It was great chatting to you and wow congrats on the Milkfish, they are amazing ant they......

So glad you had a great trip and thanks for your kind words about Sportquest Holidays.

I look forward in getting you on one of the trips that I host soon.

Regards Peter

Robert

I thought the pre - trip information was very good, although the guidance on GT flies to take did not tally with the guides preferences, i.e. GT mullet flies were preferred over poppers / deceivers. There was also limited access to the "back country" our allocated day was Thursday (1st day) &; it was not made clear to us that this was prime GT fishing area.

The layover in LA on the return journey could have been reduced & the service on the American Airline flights outbound & return was poor for a 5 hour flight.

However, this was the best fly fishing holiday that I have undertaken & the communication with Sportquest has been exceptional.

Reply from Sportquest Holidays

Robert

Thank you so much for your customer feedback as it is very much appreciated.

So glad you enjoyed the trip and very nice to hear that it is the best fly fishing holiday you have ever been on.

I am not sure what the miss communication was going on in relation to going fishing in the back country as you can go any day. If you wish to go the the reserve, this is limited to 2 boats per day for the whole island. However do not believe its the best area for GT's as I have found this not to be the case over the many years.

Also in relation to flies it is typical you get 5 different guides and they all will tell you something different about fly preference, the most important part was you had enough information to make sure you where well prepared for the trip.

Again thanks for you custom and we look forward in helping you again.



Mike

To say i was bitterly disappointed would be an understatement.

On arrival we were told that a single GT for a week would be a good result and i never saw one (other than Matt's) for the first 5 days and never got to cast at one at all.

The best part was getting back home again!

Reply from Sportquest Holidays

Mike thank you for taking the time to talk to me on the phone. It is obvious that Christmas island is not for you. It is a shame that your fishing buddy lost 2 GT's on the very first day of fishing.

As mentioned GT fishing is not easy and if that is what you really want to do you have to leave all the other fly rods back at the lodge and ONLY look for GT's All the distractions of bonefish and other species are all great fun but take you away from the GT's.

So sorry that you really did not like the trip and hope that you have better luck on the next adventure.

Regards Peter

David

Had great fun with a great bunch of people & caught plenty of fish, what more could i ask for.

Reply from Sportquest Holidays

David

I think we can safely say that was you covered then on the hosted trip.

It was a pleasure being with you on the first day seeing your face catching your first Bonefish and also your first GT on a fly rod./

Look forward in looking after you again soon

Regards Peter

Nick

This was my second trip to Christmas Island and following a very successful trip last year I had decided to stay on for an exta week. On the way we had a day of rest in Honolulu and found a very good tackle shop on Pier 38 stocking big game and popping gear. They told us about the excellent GT and big game fishing around Honolulu and next time I intend to stop there for a few days and give it a go.

As it was very windy for the whole trip on Christmas Island and a lot cooler than last year, I decided to concentrate on the deeper water offshore. Popping worked well for the first couple of hours then died. One morning I had 10 takes in the first hour on a Halco Roosta. When the popping died, we switched to trolling. One tip when trolling with the rod in the holder - use a rod with a stout butt and check the drag. My boat partner Ray lost his rod and an expensive reel when the butt snapped behind the reel following a violent take. Anyone going on this trip should take a good stock of Rapala X Rap Magnum 30s. They produced more GTs than everything else put together.

The only slight problem was the sounder on the boat not working and for a lot of the time weren't sure how deep it was. When we hit water less than 30ft, the lure would snag on the bottom. I lost 18 Rapalas through snagging the bottom or being cut off on the coral by big fish. I had squeezed in the barbs on the trebles so that any lost fish would ditch the lure and not starve to death.

My scoresheet for the trip showed 128 fish over 13 days including 41 GTs to about 80lb, a big wahoo weighed at 65lb which gave one hell of a fight, 20 coral trout, 19 Bluefin Trevally to 20lb, 18 Barracudas to 24lb, 12 red snappers, 9 yellowfin tuna, 5 rock cod and 2 black tip reef sharks.

After catching a big sailfish last year and seeing marlin jump, I spent a fair bit of time trolling skirted lures and teasers. I had 6 hits from sailfish but they weren't opening their mouths and taking it properly. I hooked one, which came off after running about 50 yards. The guides told me most of the sailfish caught are hooked in the gill cover. I had rigged up my lures with marlin strength hooks and would probably have done better with smaller, finer wire hooks.

On the last night we were treated to a banquet with a roast pig and entertainment from a sexy dancing girl in a grass skirt and singing from the guides and lodge staff. Just like last year, I didn't want to leave and it doesn't matter how long you stay on Christmas Island, it isn't long enough.

Reply from Sportquest Holidays

Wow Nick thanks for the great feedback and good comments plus recommendations. It was a pleasure being with you all the first week we all had some laughs and good fishing.

Shame the weather was cooler than normal but thats fishing for you.

Look forward in sorting out the next trip and destination with you soon.

Regards

Peter

David

ONE OF THE BEST HOLIDAY FISHING TRIPS EVER.

FOOD ACCOMODATION FISH MOST IMPORTANT THE TRAVEL ITINERY WAS PERFECT

MANY THANKS
DAVID

Reply from Sportquest Holidays

David

It was great to finally catch up on the telephone after our trip. Have a good holiday with the wife and lets talk when you get home about getting you away with me again

Martin

Peter was extremely helpful in working on a focused vacation plan for GT popping, and was able to provide the details of the daily schedule, the characteristics of the boats and guides, and what to expect. I was very happy with the attention provided to anglers in terms of daily boat availability, and with the knowledge of the guides and boatmen - key components of making my first trip for GTs a success. The results were amazing with several large GTs landed during the week, double hookups and lots of action on both poppers and stickbaits.

If anything the temptation was to alter the planned fishing program to spend time targeting the tuna, wahoo and saillfish landed by members of the party with simple trolling gear - I plan to return and blend targeting GTs with poppers and stickbaits with some time spent trolling targeting bait balls further offshore. Planning the mix of gear to bring is important.

The trip was what I wanted it to be - uncomplicated logistics (Peter has done the work in advance) and a great fishing experience.

Reply from Sportquest Holidays

Martin

Thank you for the feedback and your kind words as it mean a lot.

It was a real pleasure to meet and have both you and your brother on the trip. It is really nice for me on any of these trips when I have people who just love their fishing and understand that you have to be a thinking angler, for with Christmas Island the more you put in the more you get out of the trip.

It will be a pleasure to have you both back with us again next year and doing some exploring offshore fishing should be a real eye opener.

Until next year tight lines and lets keep in touch.

Regards Peter

Darren

Well what can I say that hasn't been said before about these trips to Christmas Island?

Yes it does take a wee while to get there and back but man is it worth the time sitting on planes!

I caught 4 new species on this my second trip and a PB GT of around 90lb, catching a fish like that on a popper was something I wanted to do but I was equally proud of my first proper GT on the fly.

There was a few red letter days and they were all for different reasons, such is the diversity of this fishery.

The lodge is very nice and always clean, the staff are always very attentive and serve some very nice food.

The guides are all very good too, how they see some of those fish is beyond me but they do and they love being out on the flats with you. It always helps when you love your job.

The group of guys (and lady) that came together made a great trip and excellent trip!

Reply from Sportquest Holidays

Darren

It was a pleasure to have you with us again and we always enjoy your company on these trips. I can remember coming back that day and seeing your face after you had caught your big GT. Your face was a picture.

I look forward in sharing a trip with you again sometime soon and remember to look after the top secret Milkfish fly that sorted them out. :)

Regards Peter

Nick

My big passion in life is trotting the globe for some of the biggest and hardest fighting fish on the planet. Many people I have met on my travels have told me the best holiday they ever had was Christmas Island. Therefore early in 2014, I phoned Peter at Sportquest to book a place on one of their trips, but was disappointed to be told that the 2014 trip was fully booked, therefore I booked a place on the November 2015 trip. This would give me over 18 months to get together all the bits and pieces required as there are no tackle shops on the Island.

My bags were packed months before the trip. As it was my first trip, I wanted to take everything I could possibly need, but needed to keep my check in bags at not more than 23kg. With BA World Traveller Plus, you can check in 2 bags of up to 23kg each. Up to 23kg carry-on luggage is allowed but this is not much use as the final leg of the Journey is with Fiji Airlines where carry-on bags are restricted to 7kg and one check in bag of 23kg, therefore there was always going to be an excess baggage charge for the rod tube.

Travelling via the USA, a hard non zip case with a TSA lock is essential so that was over 4kg of my check in allowance gone and I ended up throwing things out to get down to 23kg. I didn’t want to risk getting expensive reels damaged or stolen in a lightweight zipper bag that could be opened with a ballpoint.

You need very little clothing in hot countries,but here its so hot you need to cover up to avoid sunburn. The problem is you need something warm to get to and from Heathrow and this becomes a burden when you get there. Wading boots can be worn on the plane to save weight and cameras went in my pockets.

All my clothing went in my carry-on bag, a very lightweight rucksack – zip off trousers, long sleaved fly fishing shirt, buff, polaroids, baseball cap, fish grabbing gloves and one pair of shorts and a t shirt. Although I was well under 7kg and had some extra capacity for tackle, it was all the sort of items that might be stopped by security as they could be used as weapons. Therefore I didn’t risk it. Things are now getting ridiculous and if I really wanted to kill someone on the plane, I could do it with my bare hands.

The big day finally came and I drove up to Heathrow Terminal 5 in the early hours. Check in and security went without any hitches and we all met up for breakfast at Huxleys restaurant on the airside. The 11.5 hour flight to LA went smoothly with some good films to watch and a few hours sleep. It was then through immigration, collect the bags to re check in and a short walk to Terminal 4 for the flight to Honolulu. It is vital not to miss the connection to Honolulu as there is only one flight from there to Christmas Island per week and if you miss it, your holiday is over. Those who have visited the USA will know what a pain the queues at immigration and customs can be and I sometimes get the impression that they want you to miss your connection. On arrival at Honolulu, it was a short taxi ride to the Outrigger Reef Hotel on Waikiki Beach where we spent the night.

After breakfast it was back to the airport for the 5 hour flight to Christmas Island with Fiji Airways. There was an excess baggage charge of $100 for the rod tube. We arrived at Cassidy Airport around midday the following day as we crossed the date line. Getting through immigration went smoothly and then there was a desk to buy a fishing license for $50. It was then onto the minibus to the lodge where the rest of the afternoon was spent assembling rods which were stored on racks outside the rooms with hose pipes to wash off the saltwater after each day. As there was an odd number of people on this trip, I was the lucky one to get a single room and didn’t have to put up with anyone else’s snoring. The rooms are clean and air conditioned with a shower and maid service every day.

Each evening Peter asked us each what we wanted to do the next day and then met up with the head guide to sort out the boat allocations. You can choose between wading the flats or going offshore popping and trolling or switching between methods and with 2 angers per boat, there is usually someone else who wants to do the same, so boat partners are changed most days. The boat allocations for the next day go up on the notice board after dinner.

Breakfast is at 5.30 and the trucks came to take us to the boats at 06.00. I decided to start offshore as I had done a lot of popper fishing before. We soon found that poppers were catching GTs for the first couple of hours, then it went dead. Chucking out big poppers as far as they will go and working them back is very tiring so we were glad to have a rest when we switched to trolling. I hadn’t planned to do much trolling, but had brought a few deep diving Rapalas for the wahoo. On the first afternoon I latched into a huge sailfish on the Rapala, which nearly emptied my Ambassadeur 10,000 on its first run, but after that came in fairly easily. It was hauled onto the boat for a photo before releasing and we estimated it to weigh around 150lb. I then latched into a yellowfin tuna, which always fight hard, but near the boat it went off on an unstoppable run. I slowly brought it back and saw that a big shark had grabbed it but let go alongside the boat and I swung in half a tuna. The following day, one of the other chaps latched into a sailfish, but it came off. Over the week, my best GT was estimated at 90lb and on 2 separate days I had 7 GTs.

I fished a couple of afternoons on the flats for bonefish after the tide had brought them in. The guide trimmed down my bonefish flies with a pair of scissors until there was hardly anything left. It was then a case of standing still and waiting for bonefish to swim past, often just roll casting to them about 5 yards away. With many years experience under their belts, the guides are experts at spotting bonefish and often pointed at fish I couldn’t see. We were catching bones in very shallow water, less than a foot deep. When hooked they will go off on scorching runs if you let them, but my 10 weight outfit with 20lb fluorocarbon leader didn’t give them much of a chance.

Over the week, trolling along the drop off proved to be the most productive method, not only for GTs, but also for barracuda, wahoo, tuna and a few weird species such as coral trout, job fish and goat fish. I also had another tuna bitten in half by a shark. I also saw a marlin jump out vertically one afternoon. With most people after the GTs and bonefish, the big game fishing offshore is untapped. On my next trip I intend to try some shark fishing as well as trolling with a 4 rod spread for the marlin if I can find a boat partner with the same ideas.

I didn’t explore the night life on the island as 12 hours out on the water is very tiring and after dinner all I wanted to do was sleep. On the final night there was a party for us with entertainment from a sexy local dancer in a grass skirt and songs sung for us by the lodge staff and guides. They roasted a pig for us that had been freshly killed that day. We had to be up early next morning for a 4.30 am departure for the airport and I was hoping that something would go wrong so that we would miss the flight and have to stay for another week. I escaped the charge for the rod tube on the flight back to Honolulu and didn't have to pay any departure tax.

I agree with those who say it was their best ever holiday and I didn’t want to leave. Despite having already blown my holiday budget for 2016, I have booked a place on next year’s trip. As an accountant I often point out to some of my more tight fisted clients that life is for enjoying and they can’t take their money with them when their time is up, but they can leave their debts behind.

Reply from Sportquest Holidays

Nick

It was a pleasure to meet you after all this time and get to spend some time with you. It was great to sit at dinner each night and see the look on your face as I went round and asked each customer what they had caught each day. I think it would be fair to say you had a great trip. :)

Christmas Island is an amazing place but you also did a great job ensuring that you maximized the time there and also all the fishing opportunities.

I look forward in you joining us again next year and you never know you might be there for two weeks.

Lastly thank you for such a detailed customer feedback, your report contains so much useful information for customers I am sure many will find your customer review very very useful.

Tight lines

Peter

Bert

I was part of group of 6 anglers and this was only my third saltwater fly fishing trip. So not the most experienced angler in the world, but the guides made this a trip to remember.

They are so softly spoken and very patient, unlike my last two trips as I always felt that is was wrong.

All in all a far more enjoyable trip and the best one I have been on so far.

Its a long way to travel but I believe its worth every mile.

Have to start saving as I would love to return with the group next year, wife permitting...

Reply from Sportquest Holidays

Bert

So glad to speak to you and so happy that you enjoyed the trip. It is an amazing place and I agree with you the guides are special and nothing is any trouble.

Good luck with the wife as we would love to have you back.

Zake

Christmas Island is not just about the gt...

We had an amazing time and yes we had some great fishing for it's but our group found everything else just to tempting. We had a full moon week so big tides and perfect conditions for big bones.

Everyone also had much fun chasing, bluefins, triggers (they are amazing little buggers)

Best boats on the island and in our minds best guides, lodge nice and clean, big rooms, air conditioning and great food each night.

Reply from Sportquest Holidays

Thanks for taking the time to chat about your trip and tanks for both feedback and pictures. yes Christmas does have some monster Bones and yes as mentioned if you wanted variety a full moon is a prefect time to visit.

Glad the file worked I sent you.

See you back there again soon.

Andrew

Everyone travels to Xmas in search of GT's, after watching your video countless times my group was all fired up.

All though our action was never as good as the video, the GT fishing chasing them with a fly rod was brilliant.

I have never felt so apprehensive before, when standing on the flats with a pair of big GT's working down the end of the flat, looking at my rod I though never in a million years do we stand a chance. But the advice was spot on so a massive thank you.

between the 6 of us we managed 42 Gt's on the fly for the week biggest was 109cm see pictures attached.

Reply from Sportquest Holidays

Andy, great catching up on the telephone and wow fantastic pictures, so glad that everything came together for you all.

So only one thing left now a return trip ????

Ian

Peter we have just returned yesterday from a great trip. Everything was very well organised and so glad we used your company. Take a little getting used to looking at the itinerary with all the time and date changes so we could have easily gotten in to a muddle.

Hope you enjoy the pictures of the big Bones and triggers, never caught them before but what great sport.

Ian

Reply from Sportquest Holidays

Ian glad you all got back ok, call me when you are free as I would love to here all the details, but sounds like another great trip

Cheers

Arnold

We had been looking and talking about Christmas Island for a long while. Why did we wait? All our concerns disappeared once we had talked to Peter at Sportquest. His experience about this destination is priceless.

They say proof is in the pudding and that became very evident while at the airport in Christmas Island on our return. That is the first time you get to talk to other visitors to the island staying at other lodges. When we showed them what we had caught as a group there was some very long faces. Being with the right lodge, guides and boats and armed with all the correct information, little tips and correct tackle obviously made a huge difference.

Conclusion if you wish to travel all that way DO NOT do it unless you speak with Peter at Sportquest. We are all going back next year with out fail, simply amazing, thank you.

Reply from Sportquest Holidays

Arnold

Thanks for such a glowing report and all your kind words. I am so happy that you all enjoyed the trip and more important you listened to the advice. As you said many many people think its just a matter to travel there and the fish will just jump on. Only the other day i saw a report from a group that went to another lodge from the UK and had a disaster. What was worse is they then said the fishing on Christmas was not any good. Which as you all well know is far from the truth.

Have to get you on one of my hosted trips as it would be very nice to fish together.

A real pleasure, talk soon

Regards

Thomas

Thank you so much for organising the trip. Its one hell of a place,

Quite a long journey as many have said before me, but once at the lodge and standing on the flats all the travel is soon forgotten.

On behalf of the whole group we would like to say a huge thank you to all the staff and guides that made the whole trip memorable.

I have sent the pictures in hope you can use some.

Thomas

Reply from Sportquest Holidays

Thanks for the feedback and chat, i am looking forward to the pictures and video...

Yes its bit of a travel, but as I always say the best fishing places in the world are some distance because it keeps the masses away which keeps the fishing fresh.

I have e-mailed you dates for next year.

John

Words fail me! Every aspect of this holiday was outstanding. The food, guides and general management were quite simply exceptional. I will be back!

Reply from Sportquest Holidays

What John you lost for words? Only joking glad you had a good time. I told you what it was like. See you fishing soon my friend. Peter

Paul

I have never seen so many Bonefish before, Caught lots of fish with a good average size or around 3lb, great trip had by all, our deepest gratitude.

Reply from Sportquest Holidays

Paul, the sheer numbers on Christmas are improving each year since they banned commercial fishing for them with gill nets. Have to get your group back to target the GT's. Regards Peter

William

I can not even begin to try and describe the great fishing, just go and experience it for yourself, I promise you we just had a ball.

Reply from Sportquest Holidays

Thanks for taking the time to give us all your important feedback, regards Peter

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