Christmas Island Trip Report

May 30 - June 6, 2023

The Villages - 2023 Hosted Week

by Guy Schoenborn


After being closed to travel since March of 2020, Christmas Island reopened on May 2nd this year. During the fifth week of operation, there was a last-minute cancellation at the Lodge that I was able to fill with six anglers plus myself. All the reports I’d been hearing were positive, and I was very excited to fish and host a group here.

The commercial flight from Honolulu to Christmas Island usually has 30 to 50 anglers onboard. So, when we landed, I was surprised to see only five possible anglers (outside of our group). We only saw one other angler the whole week.

Overall, the fishing was quite good. We caught lots of bonefish up to eight pounds, a few triggerfish, some milkfish, nearly 20 GTs, bluefin trevally, golden trevally, yellowfin tuna, wahoo, barracuda, grouper, snapper, coral trout, and more. The tuna numbers appeared to be down. There were six fish processing ships from Panama and China anchored at the bay entrance. Until they are gone, and the tuna get some time to replenish themselves, tuna fishing will be much more challenging than usual.

Most of their longtime guides agreed that the bonefish numbers were about double the pre-covid numbers and were larger too. The three-year absence of anglers made for some dumber-than-usual bones. The first three bonefish I cast to, I landed. The first ten I cast to, I had eight hook-ups. That is a super high hook-up percentage for bonefish. If I had to guess—for every good cast I made, I had close to a 60% hook-up rate on bones.

My best bone was between 5 and 6 pounds. Chad Hauser landed one about 8 pounds. Most of the group landed bones over 5 pounds. Despite the heavy cloud cover or rain, about 50% of the time we were fishing, we all had a great trip. With better conditions, we would have certainly caught more bones. This was the worst weather I had seen in over 20 weeks of fishing at CXI.

Dave Erickson, Chad Hauser, and Rob Beeson landed milkfish in the 14 to 17-pound range. We lost a couple of others too. Milkfish have to be one of the strongest fish on the planet. We were using 12 wt rods with heavy tippets, and it would take 30 minutes or more to land a 15-pound fish. In about the same amount of time, we could have landed a 30-pound giant trevally, and GTs are extremely strong.

Rob Beeson and Chad Hauser with Milkfish.
Guide Fabi with Tsimane Golden Dorado and Brad Staples

Chad Hauser landed a GT on a fly that was about 50 pounds. Kevin Kuchel landed several GTs while trolling for tuna and wahoo. On the last afternoon, Chad, Rob, and Ron Scaggs targeted GTs by throwing poppers on spinning rods. They landed eight in a half hour.

I was fishing for bones during a rainstorm in the island's interior and saw the shadow of what I thought was a GT. I made a good cast with my 12 weight and landed a 20-pound barracuda, a pleasant surprise. It was my first cuda inside the bay in my 20 weeks of hosting trips on Christmas Island. Kevin Kuchel landed a 35-pound cuda in the blue water.

Chad Hauser landed a triggerfish, and we all had multiple chances or hook-ups.

Our Fiji Airways flights went smoothly from Honolulu to CXI and back. Checked Luggage rates are extremely high, so only pack what is needed. If you have to pay for laundry services at the Lodge ($30.00), you're still saving money.

The boats were in good condition. I had heard of some motor issues with the first group of anglers in early May. There were no problems with the three boats we used.

The dinners were better than in the past. The new cook made some good dishes with chicken, wahoo, or tuna.

Of all the trips we sell, The Villages is one of the best values. We have quite a few clients stay for two weeks in a row because it is such a good deal. The Villages is the only operation on the island that offers a full-time guide for each angler without an additional fee.

Fishing with Larry hosts six weeks a year at CXI.
For 2024:  Brad Staples has some space in our Oct. 28 - Nov. 5 , 2024 week.
7-nights and 6-days guided fishing
$3,290.00 p.p. (Rate subject to change)

2025 Hosted Weeks:
• Feb. 24 - March 4, 2025:
Brad Staples hosts
• March 3-11, 2025:
Brad Staples hosts
• March 31 - April 8, 2025:
Guy Schoenborn hosts
• April 7-15, 2025:
Guy Schoenborn hosts
• April 14-22, 2025:
Guy Schoenborn hosts
• Oct. 27 - Nov. 4, 2025:
Brad Staples hosts

Please contact us for more information.

Guy Schoenborn
1-800-205-3474  ext. 1
Email:  guy@fishingwithlarry.com

Brad Staples
1-800-205-3474  ext. 3
Cell (503) 250-0558
Email:  brad@fishingwithlarry.com

Chad Hauser with Bonefish
Chad Hauser with Bonefish
Rob Beeson with Bonefish
Rob Beeson with Bonefish
Rob Beeson with Giant Trevally
Rob Beeson with Giant Trevally
Chad Hauser with Large Giant Trevally (GT)
Chad Hauser with Large Giant Trevally
Ron Scaggs with Giant Trevally
Ron Scaggs with Giant Trevally
Guide and Barracuda - Angler Kevin Kuchel
Guide Holding Barracuda in Front of Bungalow
Chad Hauser with Triggerfish
Chad Hauser with Triggerfish
Picasso Triggerfish (even prettier in person) Caught and Released by Kevin Kuchel
Hand-Sized Picasso Triggerfish
Dave Erickson with Job Fish
Dave Erickson with Job Fish

Join our 2024 and 2025 Hosted Weeks
The Villages at Christmas Island
7-nights and 6-days guided fishing
$3,290.00 per person
Price is subject to change.
Click here for Christmas Island Main Page.

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