Kiritimati: Disconnect and Fish!
Located 900 miles nearly due south of the Hawaiian Islands, Kiritimati qualifies as one of the most remote Pacific atolls, located nearly on the equator. Also known as Christmas Island, Kiritimati offers vast areas of flats for bonefish, as well as all the other expected usual suspects, such as giant trevally, red bass (snapper), yellowfin tuna, mako sharks and more. The island has the greatest land area of any coral atoll in the world (about 150 square miles), according to Wikipedia. Recently returned from Kiritimati, correspondent Mark Masker puts it this way: “If you really want to disconnect from the modern world for a week of serious fishing in the South Pacific, this is the place to do it.” Masker — who with his father, Bill, stayed at the Villages (email email@example.com) — recommends the guide Teannaki Kaiboboki. For more information, visit fishabout.com, the island’s U.S. booking agent.
Kenya: November Sails Balling Bait
"We are seeing amazing sights of up to 30 sailfish balling sardines” off Kenya, reported Angus Paul of Kingfisher Fishing Ltd. in Malindi in November 2012. The tough part was getting the sails to bite, since “there are tons of white bait and sardines for them to feed on.” But just watching the sailfish in action, working the balled bait, “is mesmerizing,” Paul said. With luck, this November will see the sails back — but without quite such easy pickings. Besides sails, Kenya waters offer a real shot at a billfish fantasy slam, with good odds for black marlin, blue marlin, striped marlin and swordfish. For more information, visit kenyasportfishing.net.
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Panama: In-Country Travel Getting Faster
Panama’s Gulf of Chiriquíincreasingly attracts anglers from all over the United States and the planet, offering world-class fishing around Coiba Island, Hannibal Bank and a host of small, productive islands. Most visiting fishermen fly into the city of David on small commuter planes from Panama City. But getting there might become easier soon, since the airport at David now has a wider, longer, harder runway, plus a new and larger terminal built to handle 200 passengers, and featuring customs offices and baggage carousels. That’s the word from Tom Brymer, who publishes the e-newsletter The Panama Perspective. Brymer tells the IR that things are getting easier already, with Air Panama now using several Fokker jets to shorten the flight to David from Panama City to just 25 minutes. And according to Brymer, “AP has considered expanding its fleet to 737s,” which the new runway could handle.
Bimini: Special Packages for Wahoo Season
Bimini has had a historic reputation among anglers as one of the world’s prime places to troll for wahoo. The primary season for wahoo there runs November through March, and with that in mind, Bimini Sands Resort & Marina is offering all-inclusive five-night packages at $145 per person per night during this time. That’s for a fully equipped villa, free dockage and unlimited beverages of all types. From Miami, Bimini is a 50-mile run, including crossing the Gulf Stream. Anglers who fly in can find a number of charters available. Productive wahoo grounds begin with minutes of the resort. For more information, visit biminisands.com.
Australia: Exploratory Trip Starts Near New Guinea
“We don’t have any photos to show you of this area because we’ve never been there, and can’t find any images, even on the Internet.” Those were the words of Capt. Damon Olsen when recently announcing an entirely new destination for Australia’s premier mothership operation, Nomad Sportfishing Adventures. The 80-foot cat mothership Odyssey, with its attendant fishing boats (from 18 to 36 feet), will be making an exploratory trip from Dec. 9 to 16 to fish Torres Straits, which separates Australia from Papua New Guinea. The boat will then move down into the northernmost reaches of the Great Barrier Reef. The timing was chosen for December’s light winds in the area. The list of anticipated species is far too long to offer here but will include giant trevally, dogtooth tuna, yellowfin tuna, wahoo, billfish, coral trout, Maori wrasse, narrow-barred Spanish mackerel, longfin tuna and red bass (snapper). For more information, visit nomadsportfishing.com.au.
“I had long looked on maps at the area where continental shelf in the Gulf of Panama shelf turns west, below Piñas Bay, and wondered about a spot south of that, where the shelf comes quite close to shore.” TV personality and fishing-lure designer Larry Dahlberg recently had the chance to find out. His good friend, Cesare Calor of Suriname, agreed to check out these waters. Fishing out of Bahia Solano, Calor and a buddy “lost two-dozen poppers in three days. I came down to join them,” Dahlberg tells the IR. In brief, the upshot: “massive sardine run, big fussy sails, lots of small yellowfin right in front of the village there, and big cubera snapper!” The latter was Dahlberg’s primary target, and he reports plenty of action on poppers from snapper, many well over 60 pounds. The waters there are loaded with rocks, rocky islands, humps and flats. To get there, Dahlberg flew into Medellin and took a charter flight to Solano. There are boats for hire that aren’t expensive or particularly sophisticated, but they’ll do the job. Dahlberg suggests the Hotel Bahia Yubarta (hotelbahiayubarta.com).