Fanning Island Fishing - Remote Pacific Island
Tabuaeran, 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 - Exploratory
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. Fanning Island, a developing destination, is an exciting trip for adventurous anglers.
During 2017 exploratory trips, anglers found good numbers of bonefish, with an average size of around 3 to 5-pounds. Each day they also saw larger bonefish from 6 to 8-pounds. Double-digit
sized bones are here as well. These monster bonefish readily took flies, but frequently broke 20# leaders and even #2 hooks! The bones 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 to 15-pounds and are perfect for making a quick cast with your bonefish rod when they suddenly appear on the flats. Bigger brutes from 25 to 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.
2018 update: The latest reports show lots of big bonefish and GTs plus Napoleon Wraths and parrotfish.
Fanning Island Lodging
Fishing season: year-round.
The fishing program is based on two anglers per guide, using two 14-foot inflatable Zodiac-style boats with single 25-h.p. engines. All 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 massive, and you can spend all day on the same flat if the fishing is good.
Group size: Limited to six anglers per week.
You're guided 8-hours per day. Two anglers per guide.
Guides: The head guide is Kiritimati (pronounced Christmas). Kiritimati is the brother of the renowned Christmas Island guide, Teannaki. Teannaki taught Kiritimati how to fly fish and how to guide. But, Kiritimati refused to leave his beloved Fanning Island. Now, he is excited to share his island’s flats with fly anglers. Other local guides are being trained.
Tackle: Fishing tackle is not furnished. FWL will provide you with a complete list of recommended tackle and gear in our confirmation packet.
Fishing license: is not provided, $50.00 payable upon arrival.
2019 Fanning Island Hosted Fishing Week:
Mike Sadar with 50-pound GT.
(5-full days, 2-half days guided fishing)
2019 Hosted Weeks:
7-nights and 6-days guided fishing $4,995.00.
• April 15-23: Guy Schoenborn hosts - SOLD-OUT
• April 22-30: Brad Staples hosts
• May 1-9: Brad Staples hosts
Sample fishing itinerary:
Breakfast is served 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 is done on foot, hiking the shallow white-sand flats of the lagoon. Most 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 massive. If the fishing is good, you can spend all day on the same flat. You'll fish from approximately 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and then return to 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 takes about 80 minutes. Fanning Island has 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 three miles and will take approximately 20 minutes as the road is not maintained. Here, you'll board a cargo barge and be transported across the English Channel, about a five-minute ride, to the pier at Paelau. You'll be greeted by the infamous Bruno Delali, who will help load your luggage into his small truck for the short, five-minute truck-ride to Bruno’s home-stay, A La Belle Etoile.
A Resort is in the Plans
A resort is in the plans, but the current lodging is Bruno's. Bruno’s is called A La Belle Etoile meaning under the stars.
Bruno is a legendary sailor and expat Frenchman who has lived on Fanning for over thirty years.
Each angler has their own small thatch-roofed wooden hut, called a kiakia. Each hut 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. Each hut is isolated and overall very private.
At Bruno’s, you are immersed in the island life. Although the huts are private, expect curious, friendly neighbors who want to know more 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 a covered outdoor dining area with two picnic tables. The food is surprisingly excellent. You’ll enjoy fresh fish, lobster, giant mantis shrimp, land crab, local pork, and local chicken and eggs. Fresh bananas, breadfruit, limes, and on occasion, small mangos.
Wi-Fi is not available on Fanning Island.
7-nights and 6-days guided fishing
Two anglers per guide:
One angler per guide:
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 Fanning Island, 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.