The numbers of bonefish in the area borders on ridiculous. As a result, Christmas Island is one of the best places for beginning anglers, or anyone looking to rack up numbers. 2-3 pound fish can be found in large schools, while bigger bonefish (some to 5-6 pounds) are usually spotted in singles and pairs.
One of the trickiest parts of visiting Christmas Island is the fact that the quality of accommodations can be spotty. Which is exactly why we represent Ikari House. The accommodations are admittedly basic, but it is clean, safe and comfortable.
Our favorite part of Ikari House (in contrast to other Christmas Island operations)? Service. Seems simple, but when you’re thousands of miles in the middle of the Pacific, it’s important. In our opinion, this is also the best guide staff on the Island.
Valid passport. No Visa required.
Up to 18 anglers per week.
Island of Kiritimati (Christmas Island), Republic of Kiribati
Fly to Honolulu, Hawaii. Transfer to Cassidy International Airport (CXI) via Fiji Air.
Bonefish, trevally, triggerfish, milkfish.
What does it cost?
DOUBLE OCCUPANCY (2 PER BOAT / 2 PER ROOM)
7 Nights/6 Days Fishing = 3,100.00
Tidehead services are always free. Always. Our prices are the same prices as booking directly with the lodge. You never pay more.
All rates are priced on a 7 night/6 day lodging & fishing package. Shorter stays are available.
All prices listed are per person. Other combinations may be available. Please contact us for details.
The island of Kiritimati (know to most as Christmas Island) is the largest atoll in the world. It is very remote and largely undeveloped. It’s quite a trip to get here, but the feeling you get from wading the endless flats of white sand, coral and turtle grass are is like nothing else on earth.
Outside of Seychelles (near Africa), Christmas Island is one of the few places where you can target a wonderful diversity of species on fly, led by the infamous Giant Trevally.
The guide staff at Ikari House is extremely knowledgeable and we believe they are the best guides on the island. They speak reasonably good English and exhibit a real passion for finding fish.
Ikari House guides run 30-foot center consoles equipped with 140-hp outboards, along with two smaller center consoles and two traditional outriggers. These boats are only used as transportation to the flats. All fishing is done wading on foot.
While bonefish and tarpon can be targeted occasionally, the expectation here is to focus on permit. There are more permit around Punta Gorda than perhaps anywhere on earth. But they’re still permit. So you have to keep the right mindset and expectations. While it can sometimes be an exercise in frustration, the numbers of fish—and numbers of shots—certainly help increase your chances.
Bonefish, as we’ve previously mentioned, are more than plentiful. You’ll find them throughout flats and you’ll find them very willing to chase a fly. The average fish here is larger than Mexico or Belize, running between 3-4 pounds with occasional 5+ pounders. Every year, fish of 7-10 pounds are caught, but it is rare.
While bonefish are certainly the primary targets, one of the best things about Christmas Island is the diversity of species, many of which cannot be found in places like Mexico or Belize.
The possibility of trevally, especially giant trevally, make Christmas Island a very special place. Smaller bluefin and golden trevally can be spotted on any number of flats, at any given time. Especially during incoming tides. Giant Trevally, better known as “GTs,” are seriously badass fish. We’ve seen more than one break a 12-weight and spool our best Hatch reels. Unfortunately, the local practice of chumming these fish onto the flats has made them much more wary. That said, patient anglers still have a chance to do battle with these tackle busters.
Triggerfish (there are three different sub species on the flats) are some of the most beautiful fish you can fool with a fly. And they are not easy to fool. If you’re lucky enough to feed one, keep your fingers away from those choppers!
Ikari House is a single-level, hotel-style lodge. All rooms hold two single beds with private bathrooms, showers and all-important air conditioning. It isn’t exactly luxurious, but we’ve found it to be the nicest, cleanest and most well-managed accommodations on the island. The management and staff provide excellent service and are genuinely interested in making sure you’re comfortable.
Accommodations at Ikari house are spartan, but clean and comfortable. While dining isn’t a “white table cloth” experience, you can expect plenty of excellent fresh fish and, if you’re lucky, a local pig roast.
Breakfast is a large meal featuring eggs, toast and bacon/sausage.
Lunches are packed for the boat with your choice of egg salad, tuna salad, ham or turkey sandwich, along with chips, chocolate, apples, oranges and waters.
A small plate of pre-dinner canapés are served soon after you arrive back from fishing in the evenings. Fresh sashimi is a popular choice.
Dinners will consist of mostly of fresh fish (no, not bonefish) plenty of vegetables and salad. Meat flown in from Hawaii, including chicken, pork and beef is also served. Lobsters can be a special treat.
Soft drinks and beer can be purchased at reasonable rates (an honor system). Tea and coffee is available all the time at the lodge. Barring equipment malfunctions, there is usually plenty of ice. For those who are more particular about their cocktails, we recommend BYOB. You can stock up at the airport in Hawaii.
Your first flight is to Honolulu, Hawaii on the island of Oahu (HNL). You’ll overnight in Oahu before traveling on to Cassidy International Airport on Christmas Island (CXI).
There is only one flight per week to Kiritimati, which departs from HNL every Tuesday morning. Therefore, travelers must fly to Oahu on Sunday or Monday (at the latest) to allow for any delays and to make the Tuesday morning connection to CXI. The flight from HNL to CXI is approximately 3-1/2 hours.
A valid passport is required to enter the Republic of Kiribati. Immigration and customs forms are given out on your flight prior to arrival.
There is only one flight per week from Hawaii to Christmas Island, where you’ll arrive at one of the most remote airports in the world.