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RAR - Cook Islands

Season

​year round

Capacity

8 rods per week

Species

Bonefish, Giant Trevelly…

LOCATION
Aitutaki Atoll is situated 220 kilometers north of Rarotonga, Cook Islands.

PRIMARY SPECIES
Bonefish, Giant Trevelly, Humphead Wrasse, Parrotfish, Wahoo, Tuna, Sailfish

SEASON OF OPERATION
Year round

ARRIVAL AND DEPARTURE LOGISTICS
This is a remote and isolated destination and as such, has limited direct international flight options from North America. Air New Zealand flies direct from Los Angeles to Rarontonga Cook Islands with flights departing LAX on Sunday evenings and returning the following Saturday night.

ACCOMMODATIONS
Guests will stay in the comfortable Popoara Ocean Breeze Villas, located close to the water. Each villa is comfortably crafted with its own private deck and modern outdoor furniture where you can relax and enjoy a beverage. All villas have kitchens with ceramic cook tops, microwaves and appliances for most requirements. The large open plan studio villa has a queen sized bed or twin beds plus lounge chairs and coffee table. The floors are tiled for coolness and cleanliness. The villas are well ventilated by overhead fans and by the breeze of the Pacific Ocean at the front beach.

DESTINATION CAPACITY
8 rods per week

THE FISHING
The Aitutaki Lagoon is completely encircled by a healthy and productive reef system. Fishing in the Aitutaki lagoon is a very unique experience and is distinctly different from most other bonefishing destinations found throughout the world. The closest comparisons that can be made are to the permit fisheries of Florida and Belize. The majority of bonefish encounters will come in the form of large singles or pairs of bonefish, cruising in shallow water. Unlike a lot of other bonefish locations, large schools of bones are just not that common at Aitutaki and are considered a rare occurrence.

Depth of water inside the lagoon ranges between ankle-deep to just above the thighs when wading. Fishing is done in a very slow, methodical manner, making sure not to miss a chance at a fish. Fish are spotted and a cast is made as much as 50 feet from the fish, when, ideally, the fish will track down the fly and suck it in off the bottom like a permit. If the fish starts to lose interest and begin to fade off the fly, a slow strip or pop-strip is utilized to get their attention.

The average bonefish caught on flies are about 7 or 8 lb., with 10+lb. fish making up 40 to 50 percent of captures. A bonefish biologist who studied the fish at Aitutaki says the fish get so big because they are feeding on sand worms that grow up to 12 inches long or longer and get about as big around as a pencil. This is not a location where guests will catch a lot of bones during a normal day of fishing. Rather, the Aitutaki Lagoon is where anglers can expect to target and achieve personal bests in terms of the size of bonefish caught. 14-15 pounders are a possibility at Aitutaki and there are not many places on the planet that can legitimately offer this.

Aside from the bonefish found in the lagoon’s shallow waters, there are good numbers of trevally species available, including Giant Trevally up to 90 pounds. These fish will cruise the same flats as the bonefish do, so it pays to be prepared with a 12 weight and a popper. Humphead Wrasse up to 60 pounds, barracuda, and a diverse variety of reef species can also be fished for inside the lagoon and in the reef cuts.

Just outside the reef the water drops off into the cobalt blue depths of the Pacific Ocean. Virtually untouched, the blue water fishery that surrounds the Aitutaki Lagoon is well worth a couple of days of fishing with a fly rod and we include 2 days of blue water with each of our hosted trips. Because the drop off is so close to the reef, there are no long rough runs required to access this fishery. Species such as Tuna, Dog Toothed Tuna, Wahoo and sailfish are all found within 10 miles of the reef and there have been reports of marlin as well.

BOATS AND EQUIPMENT
The skiffs are a mix of Whaler like boats that have each been modified by their owners for fishing. The skiffs are powered by 60 horse power Yamaha 2 stroke engines.

GETTING THERE
Air New Zealand flies from Los Angeles (LAX) to Rarotonga Cooke Islands on Sundays and returns the following Saturday night. So guests have the option of doing a 5 night stay or a 12 night stay at Aitutaki. For most guests it’s an awfully long way to go for 5 night trip and we highly recommend looking at some of our more convenient locations closer to home instead. The other option is to fly from LAX to Auckland New Zealand or Sydney Australia and then fly back to Rarotonga. This option will add substantial time and cost to the Aitutaki trip but can be done in conjunction with one of our trips beforehand to New Zealand or Australia.

From the Cook Islands International Airport, guests will clear customs and then head to the Domestic section of the airport for the 45 minute flight up to Aitutaki. The direct flight from LA arrives in Rarotonga at 7 am on Monday morning and there are regularly scheduled morning flights up to Aitutaki on Air Rarontonga. On the return trip back to LA, guests will take the 7 pm flight back to Rarotonga where they will then catch the midnight Air New Zealand flight back to Los Angeles.

Slipstream is a full service travel company that can handle a variety of services relating to your trip. For assistance, please contact us directly at 1 866 644-7703.

INCLUDED IN PRICE

NOT INCLUDED IN PRICE

TRAVEL DOCUMENTS REQUIRED

For American, Canadian and EU members considering a stay of less than 30 days, a valid passport good for 6 months AFTER the trip has been completed is required. For those considering a stay of more than 30 days (lucky you!) a visa is required and can be obtained at the Cook Island Consulate in your home country.

RATES FOR 2017-18
Anglers $5,750 US Per Person
Non-anglers - Please contact us