Imagine a place so stunning that every place you look is a photo opportunity, then add the friendliest and laid back people you will ever meet. Sounds perfect! OK now add a lagoon that has large amounts of sand flats that hold Bonefish, not just any old Bonefish but big Bonefish, trophy Bonefish! Sounds to good to be true? Well, welcome to Aitutaki, Cook Islands. A place you can either lay back and relax or hold on for dear life as your fly line and backing disappears at a speed that make you think you have hooked a passing speed boat.

The lagoon is serviced by a number of experienced guides who have spent hours on the water learning the behavior of the fish and finding the best possible locations to target them on any particular time or tide. This give the angler the best opportunity to get their fly in front of a fish of true trophy status and the true potential for the size limits are still being realized, but be aware these fish are big and big fish have been around for a long time so they are smart and sometimes they are smarter than the angler. The fishing is always challenging with pin point casting a must in order to get the fish to eat and then you need to stop the fish as it makes long powerful runs in an environment that has lots of potential to end with a severed line and a broken heart. But the best things in life are always the hardest!! The other huge attraction is that it is an intimate fishery and one that is not crowded at every turn with fisherman, the local management plans are set up to maintain the fishery as a place that can provide memories of a life time in a private setting.

It is a perfect location for any fishing trip but what makes it truly different is that it is ideal for anglers who want to travel to a location that provides wonderful fishing opportunities as well as bring their partners and family and share with them their passion for the sport they love. The lagoon provides a safe playground for kids of all ages with safe swimming, lagoon tours, cultural tours, snorkeling and many other activities. For the non fishing partners all of the above applies as well as relaxed environments to enjoy a few drinks in one of the cocktail bars or enjoy a massage on the beach, maybe a spot of kite surfing or a kayaking tour of the lagoon, the choices are endless and really it is up to the individual how they spend their time in paradise.

On the fishing side it is important that anglers traveling to the lagoon are aware of a few basics, as with most salt water locations it is important to have gear in first class condition and have the appropriate tackle. The most commonly used tackle is a 9 weight rod with a floating intermediate line to enable fast presentations to fast moving fish while allowing the angler to wade without the line getting caught on bottom structure. Leaders from 16 to 25 LBS are the most appropriate and at a length of about 9 foot in most conditions. As with any location all the guides have preferred flies that they use but they need to be a bit heavier than most other locations to get down to fish in areas that have a bit more current. Yellow, Tan and Olive green are all proven fish takers in the waters and shrimp and crab patterns are the most popular. Reels need to have a good quality drag and at least 250 yards of backing on them with large saltwater reels being a huge advantage when fighting large fish that make very long runs in shallow water. For additional information on flies or tackle please speak to your guide for recommendations.

Although Bonefish are the jewel in the crown in the lagoon several species of Trevally are always around and are a get opportunity to get a tight line and a few line burns. The next angler to visit the lagoon and become addicted to GT's will not be the first or the last. 10 to 12 weight rods are advised as some of the Trevally are in super size categories. Large streamer flies and poppers are the most popular choice and a heavier leader is always a good idea. Add to this the ever present blue water fish that can be targeted just out of the lagoon with one of the experienced charter operators and you have a location that can provide attractions to suit any angler. Please see the link page for charter operators.

So if you are looking for a location that provides big fun on big fish and that can provide a ideal place to bring the family or you are after that trophy fish that makes your friends water at the mouth than Aitutaki is the place for you. Come and try it and will never forget it!!


Recent publication 
Flylife Australia & New Zealand magazine, Number 67, Autumn 2012

Aitutaki Changing Attitudes (Click below to download article 4.0MB)

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