Trip Report Had Christmas Island all to ourselves

philosking

Active Member
MFP?

@philosking - thanks for sharing! That’s a mean looking GT!! Considering a 2021 visit to CXI.
My spouse was joking since my 50th is coming up that we need to go back. I am thinking I need to find some tarpon that want to play since she has hooked about 6 to my zero.

Thanks, y'all for asking and yes TMP is the acronym. My spouse and I have been mentors since the project started in the Seattle area. Should anyone have questions about this specific project please dm me and I will answer any questions you may have.
 

philosking

Active Member
I cant help but wonder about complaining about the crowds while posting a report on a popular forum. Maybe even these far away destinations are better left unnamed moving forward.

Nice report though. Sounds like a blast. I'm very envious
No complaining from me about crowds, like I said we were the only two on the island on a guided trip. But I can understand what posters are talking about and why. I think the fly shops promote more so than one post on a forum, popular or not. Having worked as a deckhand and someone that kept "the spots" a secret was for the purpose of us making money and not leaking the info so the wreck could be picked clean.

This is a world-class destination and the "crowds" come from all around the globe, not just the USA. One poster already pointed out the issue, management of the fishery is the key and the lodges have no desire to communicate with one another to make sure they are battling for the "prime flat". Why? It's all about the money.
 

KillerDave

Have camera, will travel...
Back in 2013 I got really lucky and was able to tag along as a photographer for my friend Dave Vedder, who got an assignment to do an article for Ikari House. We were among the first wave of anglers after the fishing rebounded and the fishing tourism industry was being rebuilt. I found a link to his story.


Here's the Cliff notes version of what I know about the past & present going's on at CXI: Kiribati is the largest coral atoll in the world. Back in the 90's the bonefish population crashed due to overfishing by the locals. They were fishing for food and back then the preferred method was manually to drag a gillnet across the flats and when the flats fishing tanked, so did the tourism. The local powers got together and outlawed this practice (for bonefish). It took several years but the bonefish rebounded and now the fishing tourism industry is booming again.

Like everywhere else on this planet, it's way easier to catch more and bigger fish when there was less fishing pressure. However, Kiribati has very little in the way of a local economy and a vibrant fishing tourism industry helps a lot of local people have a better life. Even with the increased fishing pressure the fishing remains very, very good. It's still my #1 destination for saltwater fly fishing and I'm not alone; it remains a top destination for Australian, Japanese and American anglers.
 

philosking

Active Member
Back in 2013 I got really lucky and was able to tag along as a photographer for my friend Dave Vedder, who got an assignment to do an article for Ikari House. We were among the first wave of anglers after the fishing rebounded and the fishing tourism industry was being rebuilt. I found a link to his story.


Here's the Cliff notes version of what I know about the past & present going's on at CXI: Kiribati is the largest coral atoll in the world. Back in the 90's the bonefish population crashed due to overfishing by the locals. They were fishing for food and back then the preferred method was manually to drag a gillnet across the flats and when the flats fishing tanked, so did the tourism. The local powers got together and outlawed this practice (for bonefish). It took several years but the bonefish rebounded and now the fishing tourism industry is booming again.

Like everywhere else on this planet, it's way easier to catch more and bigger fish when there was less fishing pressure. However, Kiribati has very little in the way of a local economy and a vibrant fishing tourism industry helps a lot of local people have a better life. Even with the increased fishing pressure the fishing remains very, very good. It's still my #1 destination for saltwater fly fishing and I'm not alone; it remains a top destination for Australian, Japanese and American anglers.
Well said. I would like to add that the return rate for fly fishers is only about 30%.
 

philosking

Active Member
I really doubt that this tourist venture will ever make it to Kiritimati because the amount of development that would need to be dumped into the area would be incredible. From mooring the ship to infrastructure development that would need to be made so the island would be desirable to visit in the first place. The Republic of Kiribati is enormous and this island, while a great trip for saltwater fishers, is currently not a tourist trap which is what the cruise industry needs to thrive.
 

Buzzy

Active Member
I really doubt that this tourist venture will ever make it to Kiritimati because the amount of development that would need to be dumped into the area would be incredible. From mooring the ship to infrastructure development that would need to be made so the island would be desirable to visit in the first place. The Republic of Kiribati is enormous and this island, while a great trip for saltwater fishers, is currently not a tourist trap which is what the cruise industry needs to thrive.
What are several thousand people going to do after storming the beach? Unless there’s been a lot of development since I was there in 2009 it seems like a pipe dream to think a cruise ship would find Kiritimati tourist destination.
 
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Thrasybulus

I practice social distancing
I saw a big cruise ship at Christmas Island this January. It dropped off a very sick passenger who had to be airlifted to Honolulu. Then the big boat vanished.

The new Kiribati government has big visions for new development projects and tourism. There is not enough water, fuel, money, or infrastructure to build resorts on these atolls.
 

chief

Active Member
Cruise lines have been stopping at Fanning island in Kiribati off and on for years. It is the closest foreign location to Hawaii. Unless the ship is registered in the United States, which very few are due to tax implications, a thing called cabotage law requires them to visit a foreign port if the cruise originates and ends in a US port. So if a foreign registered cruise ship wants to deploy a Hawaiian Island cruise they can't just sail around Hawaii round trip Honolulu. To comply with the cabotage law they add a stop in Fanning. Likewise, Hawaiian Island cruises originating in Los Angeles stop in Ensenada Mexico on the way home in order to comply.

I don't believe that any of the Kiribati islands will become major cruise/tourist hot spots, but they will likely continue to be used as convenient locations to comply with cabotage laws. I think they will be under water before any investment in tourism infrastructure will pay for itself.....
 

Steve Birrer

Active Member
Well if you could somehow find a way to get there today you'd have the place to yourself for sure. Since in their infinite wisdom they have banned anybody from flying there that hasn't spent the previous 14 days in a country with no coronavirus cases. Meaning no US or Aussies.
 

Solitude

Active Member
Well if you could somehow find a way to get there today you'd have the place to yourself for sure. Since in their infinite wisdom they have banned anybody from flying there that hasn't spent the previous 14 days in a country with no coronavirus cases. Meaning no US or Aussies.

I just canceled my trip for beginning of March due to their quarantine. You can still go, you just have to self quarantine in Honolulu for 14 days and then have medical clearance prior to getting Fiji flight. This info came from Kiribati department of ministries and Fiji Airways. It would obviously suck and be very expensive to do this, but you would have less people there.
 

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