Fanning Island Fishing - remote Pacific Island
Tabuaeran is known in English as Fanning Atoll, is one of the Line Islands of the central Pacific Ocean and part of Kiribati. Although it lies only 173 miles north of Christmas Island, it receives more than double the amount of rainfall--75 inches per year. Fun fact: Fanning Island is the picturesque, palm-treed atoll in the closing shot on Gilligan's Island. No kidding!
Fanning Island fishing
Limited to six anglers per week, this new flats fishery in equatorial Pacific is known locally as Tabuaeran Island which means
heavenly footprint in the local dialect. It is currently considered a “developing destination” and is an exciting expedition for adventurous anglers.
During 2017 exploratory trips here, anglers found good numbers of bonefish, with an average size of around 3-5 pounds. They also saw bigger fish every day, from 6-8 pounds.
And double-digit sized bonefish are here as well. These monster bonefish readily take flies, but frequently broke 20# leaders or straightened #2 hooks! The bonefish are all fat and very healthy.
There are also outstanding numbers of trevally here, including bluefin, golden, striped and plenty of giant trevally. Most are smaller size from 3-15 pounds (perfect for making a quick cast with your bonefish rod when they
suddenly appear on the flats), while bigger brutes from 25-60 pounds make an appearance most days, exploding up onto the flats in massive pushes of water. These bigger GTs can be targeted on the higher incoming and dropping tides,
especially in the areas around the NE Pass and the remote Irapa Wilderness.
Christmas, the head guide, is is the brother of the renowned Christmas Island guide, Teannaki. Teannaki taught “Christmas” how to fly fish and how to guide, but Christmas refused to leave his beloved Fanning Island. Now, he is excited to share his island’s flats with fly fishermen. Other local guides are being trained.
Fanning Island - New Lodge coming
A resort is in the plans, but the current lodging is Bruno's A La Belle Etoile - Open Air Lodging
There are six, small thatch-roofed wooden huts, called kiakias, allowing for single accommodations. Each is a small low building with a full bed encompassed in bug netting. Everything is open air, with ample space to spread out gear and settle in. The roofs are low and while there is solar-powered light. A flashlight is a must as it is fairly dark at night even with the low lights. Each hut is isolated and overall very private.
At Bruno’s you are literally immersed in the island life. Though the huts are private, expect curious friendly neighbors who are curious about the foreigners visiting their island. Children are running around and roosters are making a ruckus all of the time, even at night.
There is covered outdoor dining area with two picnic tables. The food is surprisingly excellent. You’ll enjoy fresh fish, lobster, giant mantis prawn, land crab, local chicken and eggs, and local pork. Fresh bananas, bread fruit, limes, and on occasion, small mangos.
Wi-Fi is not available on Fanning Island.
2018 Fanning Island Hosted Fishing Week:
7-nights and 6-days guided fishing $4,995.00.
2018 Hosted Week:
• April 16-24: Guy Schoenborn hosts
Hosted week includes a max. of 6-anglers, plus host.
2019 Hosted Weeks:
• April 15-23: Guy Schoenborn hosts
• April 22-30 : Brad Staples hosts
Sample fishing itinerary:
Breakfast will be served each morning around 7:00 a.m. After breakfast you’ll head out for a long fishing day. The fishing program is based on two anglers per guide, using a series of three inflatable zodiac-style boats. All of the fishing will be done on foot, hiking the shallow white-sand flats of the lagoon. Much of the fishing grounds are too shallow to access by boat, and will require long hikes and a lot of walking. Some of the flats on Fanning are absolutely massive, and you can literally spend all day on the same flat if the fishing is good. You'll fish from approximately 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and then be back at the lodge around 5:30 p.m. Dinner is around 7:00 p.m. This schedule may change according to your fishing desires and the tides.
We recommend flying to Honolulu at least one day before your departure for Christmas Island. Weekly flights via Fiji Airlines, depart from Honolulu at noon each Tuesday. The flight is three hours and 10 minutes. The flight from Christmas to Fanning is aboard a privately chartered Air Kiribati Harbin Y-12. The Harbin Y-12 can take up to 12 passengers, so there’s plenty of room for passengers, luggage, and gear. The flight lasts about 75 minutes. Soon you will be touching down on beautiful Fanning Island, on a 1,200 meter dirt strip on the north side of the atoll. Upon arrival at Fanning, guests will board a flatbed truck at the village of Tereitaki for a short drive to Tabon te hanger near the mouth of the lagoon. The trip is about 3 miles and will take approximately 20 minutes as the road is not maintained. Here you will board a cargo barge and be transported across the “English Channel,” about a 5 minutes ride, to the pier at Paelau. There you will be greeted by either the infamous Bruno Delali, who will help load your luggage into his small truck for the short, 5 minute truck-ride to Bruno’s home-stay, A La Belle Etoile.
7-nights and 6-days guided fishing
Two anglers per guide and room:
One angler per guide and room:
Non-angler (shared room with angler):
Christmas Island Airport/lodge transfers, the charter flight from Christmas Island to Fanning Island, the Community Fee,* lodging and meals at the Fanning Island EcoResort, transportation around the island (road and skiff), all meals on Fanning Island, guided fishing, and one night lodging and meals on Christmas Island on return.
Packages do not include:
international airfare, fishing license ($50.00) purchased upon arrival, departure tax ($22.00 - $24.00 USD, may be included in your airfare), alcoholic beverages (including beer), gratuities, travel expenses between your home and Christmas Island, and anything not mentioned under inclusions.
More about Fanning Island:
With a local population of around 2,000 residents and eight small villages connected by a dirt path, travel is limited to bicycles, motorbikes, small boats, and a handful of old flatbed trucks. The beautiful inner lagoon is loaded with bonefish, trevally, and countless other species of fish that have never seen an artificial fly. There are also 30 miles of outside reefs providing exciting angling opportunities as well as world-class surfing.