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Christmas Island Prep

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PhillyPhisher

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1 hour ago, PhillyPhisher said:

Hell yeah! This just got me stoked! I’ve been tying like a madman. Will probably have way more than necessary. Surprised to hear you were using a 10wt for triggers. I’d assumed it would an 8. 

Guys hooked them on an 8 but they immediately try and swim into their “coral home”. Once in a hole they are very hard to get out. My one guide had a mangled thumb from trying to get one out on a prior trip. My understanding is the 10 allows you to put more pressure on the fish. Even with the 10 they put up a hell of a fight! 
 

You’re going to have a great time! 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well I’m back in snowy Bend Oregon now. Winter has finally showed up. The trip was a total success. The best flats fishing I’ve ever seen.
 

The first day was tough for me and partner. Our group took trucks to the far end of the island to fish the Oceanside. Walking the beach looking for fishing inside the breakers. Bad communication had us fishing behind another pair from our group. 
 

After that it was all lagoon fishing, which was phenomenal. Bonefish everywhere. I think all 12 of us caught our personal best during the week. Many of us caught several. I think the largest landed was 7#. My largest was 6#. 
 

Daily we took a panga or outrigger to a flat. Two rods and one guide would get dropped off to fish while the boat left to drop off another group. Fish the flat then get picked up and moved to another. Rinse and repeat. 
 

For bonefish I could have easily gotten away with bringing 25 each of size 6 shell pink Xmas island specials with medium and small lead eyes as well as bead chain. That’s is. The sparser the better. Weight was more important than anything, as long as it was light colored. I will say that next time I will not be using Tiemco bonefish hooks. I bent quite a few. We mostly fished 15 or 20# leaders and those hooks didn’t hold up well on big fish. 
 

GT were elusive. I think I got 2 shots on legit gt on the flats. Neither were interested in my fly. I did hook a 15# fish on my 8wt with a Xmas island special but didn’t really stand a chance at landing it on 20# tippet. It cut me off on some coral. I landed a few baby gt on the flats, like the size of my hand, and a few bluefin trevally they were a little larger. They liked to follow the triggers around.

 

I did land one larger GT. We were trolling flies on our way back at the end of the day. This was very productive for bluefin and GT. Granted it’s not fly fishing but I was really fun. The big one I landed was about 30# and pulled like a mother. Like 15 mins of pulling as hard as I could on my 12wt. Ultimately I need about 4 gt flies. 2 black and purple, 2 tan over white. However, we were there between moons so the tides were smaller. Flats GT chances increase on full and new moons when the flats flood more. 

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Now on to the trigger fish. I was pretty ignorant about these before I went. I know about triggers on the east coast a little bit but have never really targeted them in any capacity. I ties a few EP crab flies on heavy hooks but definitely wasn’t prepared to target them. I wish I would have been. 
 

These fish are easy to spot a long way off as they root around of crabs on the bottom. They are super spooky. You have to creep up on them making as little sound as possible but they don’t move far or fast if they aren’t spooked.
 

Casts needed to be accurate. 2-3’ in front and past them but landing softly. If you could do that then you need to get their attention without spooky them. Then they had to eat, which they tried to do pretty consistently if you’ve gotten to this point, but then the hook had to find somewhere to hold. They got big teeth and hard mouths. 

 

If you got a hook in them then you prayed that it stayed. They immediately run for their home. Which is a hole they’ve dug under a coral slab. if they get there it’s over. They pull hard. Really hard. It’s awesome. I landed 2 of the week. My partner landed 4.

 

The only fly they would try to eat consistently was an alflexo crab. I didn’t tie any cause my fishing partner tied a bunch of them. Problem was that a bunch of his ties did ride hook up so they would get hung up constantly. That and the fact the each fly was good for up to 1 fish. They destroyed these things. They would chew on them and never get the hook. Luckily for the rest of us he brought the supplies to tie them. I think the third night we had a little tying party at the lodge and I bunch of us tied them up. Pain in ass flies to tie but damn do they work. 
 

These trigger turned into our main focus later in the week. I’d look for big bones then as soon as I spotted a trigger I’d switch over flies and target that fish. They are just so awesome. Definitely a new favorite. 

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Now for my general thoughts on the trip. It was amazing. The fishing was phenomenal. The guides were great. 
 

You definitely don’t the to CXI for the food or amenities. Everything was good enough for the week. There was plenty to eat. Mostly rice with some mystery stir fry. Lots of bread. A little bit of fish and lobster the first and last nights. Only drink the bottled water, this includes brushing your teeth. One kid in our group got sick for a day early on because he brushed with the tap water.
 

There was plenty of beer and soda that could be brought as well as oranges and apples. Oranges were $4. My tab for the week was $65 in fruit, soda and extra water. I don’t drink anymore so I’m a cheap date. I brought lots of protein bars and nuts with to snack on during the day. Bring hot sauce. I got the suggestion right before I left and it was a game changer. It was also suggested that if I wanted veggies to load up in Hawaii but we chose not to. Next time I will. Hopefully as a group do everyone can throw in $30 and we can all have them for the week. 
 

The accommodations aren’t so much roughing it as it’s just poverty. There is very little on the island. The lodges and guides are the richest people there but that’s not saying much. 
 

All this being said, I’d go back in a heartbeat. I will be going back.  
 

Thanks for reading all that. 
 

Cheers! 

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5 mins ago, paraphysis said:

Awesome report. Congratulations 

 

I’ll second the triggers. By midweek we were all in on triggers and GT’s. Headed back in October 

That’s awesome! 
 

next time I’m there I want to spend a day targeting milkfish as well. I was the lone angler in my group that was interested this time and there was plenty to keep busy with. But next time I’m doing it. 

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12 mins ago, BrianBM said:

If the Tiemco hooks were too fragile, what hook will you use for future tying?

The Gamakatsu SL45 bonefish hooks held up much better. They are more expensive but I definitely lost a couple good fish to bent Tiemco hooks. I think most other places in the world they are fine. These fish are just big and not line shy. 

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On 1/12/2024 at 1:15 PM, PhillyPhisher said:

Now for my general thoughts on the trip. It was amazing. The fishing was phenomenal. The guides were great. 
 

You definitely don’t the to CXI for the food or amenities. Everything was good enough for the week. There was plenty to eat. Mostly rice with some mystery stir fry. Lots of bread. A little bit of fish and lobster the first and last nights. Only drink the bottled water, this includes brushing your teeth. One kid in our group got sick for a day early on because he brushed with the tap water.
 

There was plenty of beer and soda that could be brought as well as oranges and apples. Oranges were $4. My tab for the week was $65 in fruit, soda and extra water. I don’t drink anymore so I’m a cheap date. I brought lots of protein bars and nuts with to snack on during the day. Bring hot sauce. I got the suggestion right before I left and it was a game changer. It was also suggested that if I wanted veggies to load up in Hawaii but we chose not to. Next time I will. Hopefully as a group do everyone can throw in $30 and we can all have them for the week. 
 

The accommodations aren’t so much roughing it as it’s just poverty. There is very little on the island. The lodges and guides are the richest people there but that’s not saying much. 
 

All this being said, I’d go back in a heartbeat. I will be going back.  
 

Thanks for reading all that. 
 

Cheers! 

Thank you for sharing 

  If it has fins i want to catch it 

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