There are many reasons to come to Aitutaki, but if you are a fisherman, the biggest of all reasons is the fishery. The lagoon is full of fish, starting from Bonefish, to several trevally species, triggerfish, milkfish, and many more. And the best, they are all catchable with the fly rod if you know how. The main target fish is the Bonefish. No wonder, the atoll became known and popular for it’s bonefish conservation program. In 2009 the marine resort decided to protect the bonefish population, prohibiting netting for bonefish in the lagoon of Aitutaki, and only allowed catch and release fishery for bonefish. The device was. Get the wolf to protect the sheep. The netting fisherman of the past times are the guides that make fly fishermen’s dream come true.
Giant trevally, That’s the fish I came for Aitutaki. Fishing for them is easy, I have to tell you. You need heavy tackle and you need to know where they are. For targeting them you have to fish the reefs, inner or outer. You really need the help of your guides to go there. Basically the reef is everywhere around and you can also fish by foot there but the population on the south side, far away from the main island, is much higher. GTs are fished by spotting them similar to the fishery for bonefish. Except that you need to cast a 12 weight rod with a big streamer.
For GTs the guides not not chum!!
But lets talk about bonefish and GT later in more detail.
Smaller trevallies, they are all time present. There are a lot of smaller trevally species in the lagoon. giant trevally is the most wanted, but there are also bluefin trevallies, yellowfin trevallies and stripped trevallies. And all of them can be caught anywhere in the lagoon. Especially the smaller sizes are present in a sheer unbelievable count. You see them on each beach hunting for small bait fish. In the evening the water is boiling along the beaches with packs predatory trevallies and smaller barracudas. They are also a nice by-catch while bonefish fishing, when striping in fast for getting ready for a new cast they grab the fly. Also sometimes the bonefishes are too slow and other species take the fly before them.
The outer reefs closer to the main islands Aitutaki and Ootu, reachable by foot, also offer a great opportunity for DIY fishing on days where the inner lagoon fishing is limited or impossible due to heavy wind. Basically the wind is even stronger there but you don’t need to sight cast. You can do blind casting close to coral blocks or surf and you don’t need to wait long till a fish is on the end of your line.
Last but not least, milkfish & Triggerfish. Both of these fish are present in high numbers. We came across of big schools of milkfish and absolutely huge triggerfish but this kind of fishery is not well discovered on Aitutaki. Don’t misunderstand me, the guides know their water like nobody else there but they have less experience in how to catch them with the fly rod. If you want to fish for them and you know how to catch them, just tell the guides, they know how to find the fish. This you can be sure.
The Guides, they are good, very good, but also in this case, lets wait I will tell more about them a little bit later.