02-27-2005, 12:19 PM
I am going to Xmas Isl. at the end of March and I was hoping that Forum members who have been there could give me some pointers, insights, tips etc.
What is the fishing like (I have been to Belize, Mexico, Bahamas and the Keys)?
What are the different parts of the Island like? Ocean, lagoon etc.
Any special tectics or techniques?
What weight rods and lines? What were the best flies? Any super secret irresistable big fish flies?
GT? Are they something that I have to dedicate a day to, or something that just swims by while stalking bones? Tackle?
Any local concerns? Should I bring my own food just in case? Fun times?
02-27-2005, 03:11 PM
If you haven't contacted them already the guys at Kaufman's would be an excellent resource. Almost all the guys that came on my Bahamas trip had been there since it is an easier trip from the west coast. Joel was the store reprsentative on my trip and he mentioned he did have the pleasure of hooking up to a monster GT.
02-27-2005, 08:31 PM
Been twice and wouldn't hesitate to go there again!
My one slight misgiving - "iffy weather early in the year". Jan thru March can be iffy - despite what just about everyone who doesn't live in Kiribati will tell you, it rains on the equator!
I was last there in March '01 and it rained - hard - just about every day and sight fishing was a bust.
O.K., that's the bad news out of the way.
Here's why I would go there again. In fact, here is why, if I were single and looking for a place to while away the rest of my llife on this fair earth, I would be without any reservation.
1) It's a remote third world wilderness at least 1000 miles from anyone or anything else on the planet. It's so far away that it's just not been economically feasible for anyone or nation state to plunder it and screw up the resource. Some areas are far from pristine - there are reminders of early 1950's cold war H bomb testing everywhere - including the Capt. Cook Hotel! Don't worry though, the background radiation levels today are lower than downtown Boston.
2) With only a limited number of anglers and almost no boat pressure, the fishing is outstanding. Even during our rain-out week, I had a blast tussling with giant trevally the size of a living room door and barracuda that could look me in the eye standing on its tail. The bonefish are there in unbelievable numbers and not only small stuff. Plenty of double digit fish in the 5 - 6lb range and bigger.
3) There is an endless expanse of ocean-front to be explored. On a nice evening, we would take all the chairs from the cabins out onto the beach and watch the sun go down with a couple of cans of Fosters. As it touched the horizon, it was like someone shouted "action" and the ocean would come to life. Giant Trevally busting just beyond the edge of the reef. A bit further out schools of yellowfin tuna harrasing huge schools of flying fish. The oceanside reef is totally unexplored and ignored except for an area called the Korean Wreck - an absolute "must do" trip. You will fish the surf for bonefish averaging 6 - 8lb with much bigger hanging around. Like most fish in the surf, they are supercharged and will really test your gear. Don't be afraid to use big flies on the ocean side - three or four inch clousers or big crab patterns will get eaten readilly. Reef fishing is about as extreme as it gets :lildevl: Back on the flats favorite patterns tend to be on the smaller side - 4s & 6s - maybe even 8s at times. Then there are the milkfish that will drive you crazy but give you a hell of a pull if they decide to eat your fly.
The reef surrounding the island extends out only for abut 100 yards or so and there are thousands on breaks. Walk along an hour or so before low tide and you'll see trophy bones pushing there noses in. Nobody bothers with them. Next time I go I'll be taking a couple of day's off from the regular schedule to explore the ocean a lot more. It all depends on the weather - with no continental shelf the surf comes up onto the reef out of nowhere and it will beat the crap out of you on a nice day. Still the locals get out there barefoot with big surf rods to throw plugs for GTs.
4) The people are terrific.