Christmas Island Angling Expectations
Preparing for a trip to Christmas Island may be one of the most exciting things for trout anglers out there. For many, it is their first opportunity to target species that they normally would not. Copious amounts of research were done on how to properly select flies for bonefish, trevally, trigger, and whatever else may cross our paths while patrolling the flats.
Much like freshwater angling, there are many anomalies with pursuing fish on flats. Bead eye? Lead eye? No weight? You need to be prepared with all of the above, due to the remoteness of Christmas Island, you cannot just run down to the fly shop and grab new flies for your next day of fishing. Bonefish, a.k.a, the ghost of the flats would undoubtedly be the finickiest fish of the bunch… so we thought… turns out that Triggerfish, are ultimately the pickiest fish around. Giant Trevally, Golden Trevally, Banded Trevally, and other trevally are said to be the least picky. With this considered, focusing on preparing your flies for the pickiest of fish first is critical.
While Christmas Island is a tiny island in the middle of the South Pacific, the fishery is incredible and vast. In 6 days of fishing on an island, one would think that most of the fishery was covered and you’d seen it all, this not the case! Flats fishing is tidal influenced, which will also affect the weight of the fly you are fishing. While flats fishing is primarily sight fishing, weather can undoubtedly impact the success of sight fishing. We struggled through some cloud cover, heavy winds, and rain during our time on the flats. This made sight virtually impossible and blind casting the only practical way to find a fish potentially. However, when the sun was high, and the chop was minimum, it indeed was game on. Typically, on the flats, you are searching for bonefish, triggerfish, and secretly wishing a school of Giant Trevally would crash the flat.
Trevally assuredly is a different breed than bonefish and triggerfish. As mentioned above, fish on the flats can be a bit fussy, however, trevally is opportunistic eaters. Choose a large fly, cast, strip, STRIP, STRIIIIIIP, STRIP, strip REALLY fast. If you get that fly in front of the fish’s face (the most significant challenge), you will unquestionably attract the attention of that fish, and likely get an eat! The hunt for trevally will typically be your biggest challenge while angling on Christmas Island. If you are on your first trip to Christmas Island, I will go with mellow intentions of sticking that trophy Giant Trevally. Much like steelhead fishing, there are no guarantees that the fish will be where the guide thinks they are.
My advice for your first trip to Christmas Island… go with the flow. Listen to your guide and go with their recommendations on where you should spend your day angling. Be patient, be alert, and be ready for anything to happen while on the flat. Most importantly, be sure to have a good selection of shrimp patterns, crab patterns, and streamers for your angling experience on Christmas Island.
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