What better way to start off the year then escaping the snow, sleet, and freezing rain of early January with a trip to the equator and the ever productive flats of Christmas Island.
This will be the third full season that we have been overseeing all the bookings for Christmas Island Outfitters. This team of extraordinary guides is headed by Peter Kairoi. For all who know Peter they have no question of his guiding ability, kind nature and his ability to manage the guides and fishing program.
Our group of anglers arrived on the Island January 9th to blue skies and the typical 85 degree heat of the early afternoon. Most years this would be nothing out of the ordinary but it seems that this winter has delivered more than its fair share of foul weather to the normally sunny and dry island. We ended up drawing the lucky straw and had a week of exceptionally fine days with plenty of sun and very little wind.
After numerous trips to the Island I often stumble in describing my weeks of fishing on the Island. This is a bit for fear of sounding like a broken record. The bonefishing was outstanding. We had good tides for the outside so we fished the Wreck multiple times and spent the rest of the week on the inner flats with everyone hooking and landing good numbers of fish each day. Normally I do not make exact count of my own catch but this week I was with Peter’s newest guide, Simon #2 so I know that I landed 36 my first day and 28 my second. Simon is the young nephew of another one of our guides, the well known Simon Corey (thus Simon #2)
The highlight of the week was a day spent with Simon and long time client and friend, Paul Imperia on the lodge’s small Boston Whaler type boat cruising the outer reef looking for GT’s. I had heard stories of anglers doing this with the island legends Moana and Big Eddie but each time I had tried to do this with one of the former there was always problems with the boat. Now, with the boat in good order and great weather I was certain I would get my chance however an earlier storm somewhere near Hawaii had sent sets of large waves rolling across the ocean and into the island continuously day and night for the first four days of the trip so on the evening of the 5th night I quietly resigned to see the outside on my next trip. The next morning we woke again to the continual thunder of the large waves but after breakfast we found a slight but noticeable break in the waves and when Simon approached us with a beaming smile we knew what he was thinking. As we approached Cook Island and saw the waves coming into the lagoon I wondered it this was such a good idea but Simon’s skillful directions to the boat driver had us out in the blue water and on our way to hunting the GT’s in no time. We had Simon armed with a spinning rig and a giant jig with NO hooks and as we cruised the reef he cast it as far as he could and reeling it so that the jig was jumping and splashing back to the boat. We stood at the front of the boat ready with our 12 weights and poppers, which look very effective but absolutely no fun to cast. When the first fish exploded on the jig I knew it was going to be a great day. By the end of the day we had seen close to 50 GT’s between 20lbs and 60lbs come within range of our casting ability with a final count of eight fish hooked and four landed. The largest being about 50lbs! I hate to admit it, because my first priority as group host it help my clients get the most out of their trip, but with only one day left in the trip the majority of my thoughts riding back to the lodge were how I would explain to the other anglers why I needed, in the name of research, to be one of the two anglers that would play this game again the next day.