Tahiti, An Indo-Pacific Fishing Paradise | Sport Fishing Magazine

Tahiti, An Indo-Pacific Fishing Paradise

Anglers travel to flyfish the beautiful reefs and flats of Anaa Atoll, located within French Polynesia.

A part of French Polynesia, Anaa Atoll sits in the south Pacific Ocean between Mexico and New Zealand.

map showing anaa atoll

Anaa Atoll

Courtesy Google Earth

Sure, “Tahiti” may conjure visions of an island paradise where nubile island maidens cavort ala Mutiny on the Bounty, but for angling enthusiasts, this part of French Polynesia offers visions of a very different sort of paradise — stunning, white-sand flats and rugged reefs teeming with game fish. Anaa Atoll, just over 200 miles east of Tahiti, offers the best of this idyllic fishery. Gavin Hodgson of flatsbag.com has provided SF with 19 images that offer a compelling visual tableau.

Bohar snapper — aka “red bass” in Australia — are a common catch of anglers fishing the reef. These toothy Indo-Pacific snapper are one of the most aggressive game fishes among all species of snapper.

 

big bohar snapper

Bohar snapper

Courtesy flatsbag.com



Paradise: Crystal-clear sand flats, pristine islands and, beyond, a stunning reef system.

paradise

Paradise

Courtesy flatsbag.com



Most flyrodders here wade the white-sand flats for bonefish like this one.

bonefish anaa atoll

Bonefish

Courtesy flatsbag.com



Nothing lights up an angler’s face like seeing a bluefin trevally crush a fly just below the surface.

bluefin trevally

Bluefin Trevally

Courtesy flatsbag.com



Tidal fluctuation is very slight. Sandbars appear and disappear each day.

sabdbar anaa atoll

Lonely, endless beaches

Courtesy flatsbag.com



The weekly flight from Tahiti flies into the small community Airport of Anaa.

plane anaa tahiti

Unloading at the community airport, Anaa Atoll

Courtesy flatsbag.com



The Napoleon wrasse, also known as a humphead wrasse, can grow upward of a few hundred pounds. Even relative babies like this one are known for breaking anglers off in the reef.

humphead wrasse anaa atoll

Napoleon wrasse

Courtesy flatsbag.com



Fly fishing the reefs at Anaa Atoll will allow you to catch a mixed bag of fish, like this colorful Napoleon wrasse.

fly fishing wrasse anaa atoll

Napoleon wrasse

Courtesy flatsbag.com



Distinct markings and vibrant colors help the wrasse blend in with the reef.

markings on wrasse anaa atoll

Napoleon wrasse

Courtesy flatsbag.com



On occasion, Anaa flyfishers take some time to venture outside the reef for some vertical jigging , a productive tactic for targeting large reef predators, such as this hard-fighting dogtooth tuna.

dogtooth tuna anaa atoll

Dogtooth tuna

Courtesy flatsbag.com



Bohar snapper of trophy proportions wait on the reef for skiff anglers.

bohar snapper anaa atoll

Bohar snapper

Courtesy flatsbag.com



Anglers wander exposed reef, searching for big fish and covering the likely cuts where they might work.

exposed reef anaa atoll

Exposed reef

Courtesy flatsbag.com



A stunning coral trout, an impressive catch from Anna’s northern tip.

coral trout anaa atoll

Coral trout

Courtesy flatsbag.com



Waiting for the sun to emerge through the clouds, these anglers wade slowly looking for any signs of fish.

overcast wading flats anaa atoll

Wading the flats

Courtesy flatsbag.com



A blind cast produces a surprise flounder, this one striking a large streamer as it passed a deep spot on the reef.

fly fishing flounder anaa atoll

Flounder

Courtesy flatsbag.com



Bonefish can be taken off the flats with a stealthy approach and a small fly.

bonefish anaa atoll

Bonefish

Courtesy flatsbag.com



Large Bluefin trevally lurk around the reefs here in Anaa and may quickly snatch up a fast-moving fly.

bluefin trevally

Bluefin trevally

Courtesy flatsbag.com



Anaa Atoll accommodations are simple, clean, and most importantly, idyllic.

anaa atoll accommodations

Anaa Atoll

Courtesy flatsbag.com



Gavin Hodgson of flatsbag.com, getting up-close and personal with the business end of a large snapper.

snapper anaa atoll

Toothy snapper

Courtesy Flatsbag.com

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