Make sure that your passport is current.
From 1 November 2007 holders of American and Australian passports will not need a visa for entry into Kiritimati but a current passport and identification card are necessary.
Fishing Licenses/Departure Tax:
Fishing Licenses are paid for and issued at the immigration point of entry. The cost is $50 USD. A departure tax of $20 AUD is payable at immigration prior to leaving Christmas Is.
Travel Medical Insurance:
It is a very good idea to buy additional travel medical insurance to cover any medical emergency that may require medical evacuation from this remote atoll. Travel medical insurance is surprisingly affordable.
There is only one flight per week into Christmas Island.
A maximum weight of 50 lbs. /22kgs. is allowed for checked bags. An excess fee is payable on anything over that weight. You are not allowed to carry on rod tubes as hand luggage unless they fit into a carryon bag. Rod tubes can be checked at standard bag fees if they are 8 feet in length and under.
1 carryon bag of not more than 15 lbs. /7kgs. is allowed and 1 personal back pack is allowed. Normal flight restrictions apply to your carryon luggage. No liquids over 3 ounces. Make sure that there are no sharp metal items such as pliers, pocket knives, tools, etc otherwise they will be confiscated. They are strict with the 15 lbs. carry on and will weigh that bag but they will not weigh the personal back pack. We put a lot of heavy stuff in the personal back packs.
Bring a water proof tackle box to store the bulk of your tools, flies, poppers, and lures plus a pocket sized box to carry tackle with you on the flats.
Some form of fanny pack or small backpack with water bottle holder to wear on flats. This can also hold a small pocket tackle box, lip balm, sunscreen, and a small hand towel.
Pliers, knife, scissors, line nippers, hook sharpener, side cutters, reel lube, screw drivers, a small adjustable crescent wrench. Leather man type tools have many of these items as attachments. Kayak rod leashes.
Include extra batteries and a charger if you need them.
GPS is very helpful for navigating deep into the back of the flats. Even the guides occasionally get lost way back there.
The lodge has a VHF marine radio base. VHF hand-held radios are used by the local guides to communicate with the boat captains, truck drivers, and lodge staff.
Sun Glasses - Bring polarized fishing glasses if possible. Take ones with bronze glass and yellow glass as well as a sunglass lens cleaning kit. Many of the guides prefer bronze for spotting. The yellow photo chromatic lenses are ideal in low light early and late in the day and when conditions are overcast.
Footwear - Good quality wading boots that are shin length neoprene or similar. Bites have been a popular choice over the last couple of years with a thick sole as you will be wading on sand and broken coral all day. A pair of well padded socks will prevent chafing when the coral sand (inevitably) enters boot.
Clothes - A set of clothes to wear on the plane over and back plus 2 or 3 sets of fishing clothes consisting of long sleeve shirts and at least one set of long pants. Long pants will help prevent sand entering boots as well as keep you from getting sun burnt legs. A lightweight rain jacket is good for windy and rainy days. Bring a pair of slippers or sandals to use in shower and around the lodge. A light pair of sleeping shorts and t shirt can be used for sleeping at night.
Headwear - A stiff wide brimmed hat is best for the wind or a base ball cap with a neck protector. A bandana or buff is useful to help keep sun off the neck.
Gloves - For handling fish, fly fishing, and etc.
There's limited pharmacy facilities on Kiritimati so take enough prescription drugs for the period of your stay. Take a detailed personal first aid kit to treat cuts, abrasions, stings, sunburn, headaches, and etc. Bring small bottles of rubbing alcohol and hydrogen peroxide. Bring drugs to assist with diarrhea and vomiting. Bring Anti biotics in case of infection or illness. Consult your doctor before leaving. A Typhoid shot is recommended by the CDC. There is a doctor and a small hospital on Christmas for emergencies but this is not a place you want to be. Be ready for everything with a good first aid kit.
If you have any special dietary requirements make sure you take what you need. Your lodge hosts will endeavor to be as accommodating as they can with the limited supplies that are available to them. Take any favorite foods with you such as snacks, candy, energy bars, and powdered sport drink. There is a very limited range of food items available in the local grocery stores but some interesting items can be found. There is no agriculture restriction from Honolulu to Christmas Island. We like to bring a small bag of limes in our carryon bag. At the security check point just show them you are going to CI on your ticket and you can bring limes. The locals love them and so will you.
Bottled water is available at local shops. Do not drink the local tap water unless it is boiled or sterilized. We will even sterilize the collected rain water. Cases of beer such as VB, XXXX, and Heineken can be purchased directly from the lodge or local shops. Soft drinks are available at a reasonable price. From Honolulu 2 liters of alcohol are allowed in checked baggage. Alcohol can be also be purchased once past security gates in the duty free section of Honolulu and Nadi airports. Duty free alcohol can then be packed in carryon baggage. From Honolulu we are able to bring 3 liters of alcohol, 2 liters in the checked luggage and 1 liter of duty free in the carry on. This goes a long way with the locals down there. If flying from Australia do not buy your alcohol in Australia as it will be confiscated when you change flights in Nadi.
A wireless internet connection is available at the lodge that will allow you to check emails and face book from anywhere around the lodge including your room. However it is slow and unreliable at best. The cost is very inexpensive. Its $10 dollars for 24 hour of logged in internet service. This is sufficient for a group. You can also use this wireless connection to Skype. Skype is the best way to talk directly with people back home. If you need to call home, international calls can be made from the lodge however they are expensive. There is no cell phone service on Christmas Island.
The power supply is 240V with the same 3 pin plugs as Australia and Europe. Australian dollars are the currency used for legal tender in Kiritimati, but they also accept US Dollars. A bank with an affiliation with the ANZ is located not far from the lodge and is open between 0930 and 1500hrs. We suggest having about $650 dollars per person for guide tipping, lodge tipping, fishing license, departure tax, bottled water, beer, soda, additional snacks, and souvenirs.
If possible, consider 4 or 5 piece rods that can be packed in your baggage so that it lessens the possibility of the rods being lost or damaged. 6 to 9 wt. will cover most of the bonefish situations with a 10, 11, or 12wt. for the larger species of GT and pelagic’s. A fast action 6wt saltwater rod provides great sport with the average size fish. However, if you can only take one rod, an 8 wt. is a better choice for all round use if there is a necessity to cast into the wind. Every day, the guide carries the 10-12wt. rigged with a closure or bait fish profile in readiness for larger trevally (up to 60lb.) that will appear on the flats. If a group wants to go outside chasing some of the bigger species or do a bit of reef fishing, a 12wt. is ideal. Taking a spare rod is a good idea in case of accidents. Note; There are no tackle shops on the island and there is limited fly gear available on Kiritimati, so you must take all spare equipment with you, rods included.
Reels need to be of good quality with a smooth drag and preferably sealed because it can spend time submersed as you attempt to get that photo of a lifetime while releasing a fish. Large arbor reels have a definite edge particularly when using lighter tippets. The drag maintains a consistent pressure while a fish is running because the diameter doesn't change much while you lose line as it does on a standard arbor. Also; the faster retrieval rate of the large arbor comes into its own when the fish turns and runs towards you. A Large arbor also has the added advantage that, because of the larger diameter, the stiff core tropical lines do not need to be stretched before use. A minimum of 150 yards of 30 lb. backing is required. This requirement for a larger amount of backing usually means that braid is a better choice than Dacron simply because you can put more braid on.
The water on the flats is anywhere between ankle and waist deep so floating lines are the most popular choice. Floating lines are easier and quicker to reposition as the fish move across the flats as opposed to sinking lines that are slower to reposition and are readily damaged on the sometimes rough bottom in the shallow water. An intermediate line to suit your 11-12 wt. is ideal for surface action if you make a trip outside the lagoon. For reef action, a T 14 shooting head (or any other fast sinking line, we prefer heads because they are a cheaper option to replace or repair) teamed up with a Scientific Angler running line will do the trick. Take spares and/or repair kits because this action can be down and dirty around the coral heads. There are many lines made by different manufacturers that are suitable. Just make sure that the line you take is made for hot weather use otherwise it will be soft and mushy to use. The most common line of choice is the Scientific Angler Mastery Series Bonefish Taper. Some guys noticed that it doesn't float as high on the surface as some of the other brands. The official explanation on the reason for this is that the Bonefish Taper is deliberately made thinner to give better casting characteristics especially into the wind, but the trade-off is that it doesn’t float as high. If you want a higher floating line, choose the Saltwater Taper, Red fish Mastery Series, or Sharkskin, however these are a little thicker so will be a little harder to cast in the wind. In situations when there is a need for a quiet presentation because the fish are spooky, the Lee Wulff Bermuda Taper is worth consideration.
The best choices are 15 & 20 lb. tapered leaders teamed with 10, 12, 20, 30, 60 lb. fluorocarbon tippet material. The abrasion resistance over standard monofilament is a definite advantage on the broken coral bottoms and its invisible nature is another positive. For the flats, tie about a meter of 10 or 12 lb. tippet material (use a triple turn surgeons knot) to a 9 ft. tapered leader. Try longer leaders (up to 15 ft.) if the fish are a bit spooky. When fishing the ocean side beaches around the Korean Wreck use a shock tippet of 20 to 30 lb. to help prevent break offs on the sharp reef growth. For reef and larger species use a shock tippet of 60 lb or if you are chasing some of the toothy critters such as Wahoo use a foot of 40 lb. Tyger wire.
The current will pull the spare line lying on the water and make it difficult to make quick accurate presentations. On the ocean side, due to the wave action, it is near impossible to fish without one. Whatever design you use, the prerequisite is that it allows you to make long strips.
Fly tying gear:
It’s really best to pre tie all you fly’s prior to leaving for Christmas Island. Bring lots of the Christmas Island Specials they work the best. Orange is the most popular color.
Christmas Is Specials
10 x #4 and 10 x #6
Hook: Mustad, Signature series, C70S SS or Gamakatsu Panfish Thread: orange flat waxed nylon Eyes: Gold or black barbell — use two sizes for different depths
Tail: yellow krystalflash Body: yellow krystalflash over orange thread Wing: yellow Krystalflash over tan craft fur or cinnamon Ceal Furr
Skinny Water Charlie's
The following selection is recommended for the week; Gold - 6 X size #4, 10 X size #6, 6 X size #8 Black - 6 X size #4, 10 X size #6, 6 X size #8
Hook: Mustad Signature Series C70S SS or Gamakatsu panfish (SL45) Thread: yellow or orange. Eyes: gold or black hour-glass, beadchain on #8 Wing: gold,or yellow krystalflash over tan craft fur (sparse) or Cealfurr
The following selection is recommended for the week;
6 X size #4, 10 X size #6, 6 X size #8
Hook: Mustad Signature Series C70S SS or Gamakatsu panfish (SL45)
Thread: salmon. Eyes: gold or black hour-glass, beadchain on #8 Tail: pearl krystalflash
Body: pearl krystalflash over salmon thread Wing: pearl krystalflash over tan craft fur (sparse) or Cealfurr
This color variation was developed by Mona Kofe, a well known guide on Christmas Island.
6 x #4 with small barbell eyes, burnt orange thread, gold krystalflash tail, clear V-rib over gold flat mylar, wing of orange calftail or bucktail, overwing of a couple of strand of pearl krystalflash.
Closures - white 5 x 2/0 , chartreuse and white 5 x 2/0.
Bait Fish Profiles - 10 x 4/0 - 6/0 (Assassin style is good for around reefy areas)
Poppers - 4/0 to 6/0 hooks for the fish outside the lagoon.
Assassin Bait Fish Profile
Christmas Island is home to awesome top water popping. Top water popping for giant trevally and for off shore pelagic species is a lot of fun. It is well known that giant trevally reside in the lagoon and around the island. It is not uncommon to hook into giant trevally over 60 lbs. If you want any chance at landing the big boys you will need to gear up. Big lures land big fish. We generally don’t whip for giant trevally with any lures under 2 ounces and we prefer 4-6 ounces lures and bigger if we can get them. A strong whipping pole able to handle big lures is needed. An 8ft. spinning rod with medium to medium heavy action, capable of handling 4 ounce lures and 30 pound test is a minimum. These same rods can also be used for offshore pelagic fishing by either top water popping, trolling diving lures like rappala’s, or for deep water jigging irons. Offshore fish species include tuna, ono, rainbow runner, sail fish, mahi, and various bill fish. Off shore trolling anglers may wish to bring shorter (6-7.5 ft.) rods with medium heavy action for trolling offshore and pair those poles with conventional reels. For those who like whipping with conventional reels they will want a rod with the same attributes mentioned above for spinning rods. Light duty top water action can be had closer to shore and from the beach around the lagoon. Light duty rods will also work in the shallows of the inner lagoon. There are some nice travel rods available these days that pack into 4-5 pieces and are worth taking a look at to avoid costly baggage fees.
Salt water kayak fishing reels need to be top quality. Their proximity to the harsh salt environment will eat up sub standard reels quickly. When it comes to reels you get what you pay for. There is no reel repair service offered on Christmas Island so reels need to be in top shape and in good working order before you leave. Be prepared with parts and tools as there are none available to traveling anglers. Top quality reels spinning reels such as Van Stall, Shimano Stella, Fin-nor offshore, Daiwa Saltiga, Penn slammer, and Penn SSM, should be considered. High speed gear ratios are important when top water popping or jigging and the higher the better for effortless smooth retrieves. The companies above also make high quality bait casting reels for the conventional reel user. Reels should be capable of holding 250- 350 yards of line.
30- 100 pound braided line is great for offshore fishing but will get cut off quickly on the sharp live coral in the lagoon and around the reefs. Giant trevally will surface 100 feet for big plugs but will dive right back into their coral caves when hooked. A 40- 80 yard top shot of 40-60 pound mono secured to the braided main line is recommended when top water popping for giant trevally in the shallows and outside of the reefs.
Bite leaders need to be tough and coral resistant. A 2 foot section of 60 to 100 pound fluorocarbon bite leader will work well.This same leader material can be used for offshore pelagic fishing. 40-65 pound wire leader can be used offshore to prevent Ono and Barracuda cut offs.
Big lures take Giant Trevally and if this is what you want then go big. It is a well known fact that giant trevally like a giant bait. Big poppers that make a lot of splashing work best. Some of our favorites are Bay Bombers, Mark White’s, Williamson Jet Poppers, Wombats, Daiwa Saltiga and Sebile. These same Popper will take tuna offshore. For jigging we like 6-8 ounce butterfly jigs. For offshore pelagic fishing anglers will want an assortment of poppers, diving lures, and deep water jigging irons as well as traditional trolling jets. Split rings and hooks should be stainless steel and strong. Giant trevally fishing is all catch and release inside the lagoon so many anglers are choosing to replace treble hooks with double and single hooks to make it easier to release the fish.
Please contact us for any questions.