RIP Moana Kofe

Moana (1)

Anyone who has ever fished Christmas Island knows the name Moana Kofe.

Yesterday we heard the very sad news that Moana had passed away.

Anglers far more experienced and competent than myself will tell you that Moana was arguably the world’s greatest flats guide. I can attest to the man’s incredible fishiness, patience, especially with me, and his true love for the paradise that he called home.


I was fortunate to have fished with Moana over the years but on my last trip to the island, I fished with him pretty much every day. The flats fishing was really tough due the weather, the mother of all El Ninos was sitting smack dab on top of the island. As a result, Moana and I spent a lot more time talking than we did fishing. Through those talks, I came to further appreciate the man and his incredible skills, the island just won’t quite be the same without him.


To quote Tim Pask who knew him as well as anyone, “Moana was one of a kind for sure, and definitely not replaceable. If he would’ve been a golfer or some other pro athlete the whole world would be crying. But those who know him know he lived his life exactly the way he wanted to. If we could all be so lucky.”

It might be slow but, the outrigger boat feels like a better mode of transportation in Christmas Island.

There are no details on how Moana passed, I hope that it was in his sleep while dreaming of perfect sand flats teeming with fish.

The folks at Fly Water Travel have started a GoFundMe campaign in Moana’s honour with all the funds raised going directly to Pacific Island Medical Aid (PIMA).

PIMA has been taking medicines, medical supplies, communications and lighting equipment, eye care and specialist medical teams to Christmas (Kiritimati), Fanning (Tabuaeran), and Washington (Teraina) for years now.

Please consider making a donation.

Here are some fantastic portraits and images of the man courtesy of Ed Sozinho and Earl Harper.

Photo Ed Sozinho
Photo Ed Sozinho
Photo: Earl Harper
Photo: Earl Harper
Photo: Earl Harper
Photo: Earl Harper
Photo: Earl Harper
Photo: Earl Harper

6 thoughts on “RIP Moana Kofe

  1. Pingback: Moana Kofi – The Sovereign Piscator
  2. My warmest condolences to Moana Kofe’s family at Christmas Iland. So sad to hear about his passing. Moana was one of my favourite first cousin. We grew up together in Funafuti. We were so close and happy as a family. He left Funafuti when he was very young to attend school in Tarawa and never returned back to Funafuti. My thoughts and prayers for his wife and children. Rest in peace my favourite cousin. Maaka Kofe Turner.

  3. I attended King George V School Tarawa with Moana in the late ’60s. He was a quiet achiever, very smart like his Kofe relatives and excellent at art class. Happily met up again after 40 yrs on Kiritimati Island round this time last year. RIP my friend.

  4. Fished with Moana again each of the last 2 Aprils. He was far more reflective after his wife’s death and much more willing to share his wonderful stories of the many crazy episodes with Big Eddie, Hernando and many others. RIP my friend and many, many thanks for all the lessons over all the years.

  5. I first met Moana Kofe’ while wade fishing for Bonefush on “Go like Hell “Flats in January 1998.
    KAB was my guide that day and I assisted in a big medical humanitarian dental program the night prior with two dental surgeons. He (Kofe’) was quite an interesting gentleman and historian. His past adventures with Big Eddie were legendary…even Jimmy Buffett used to comment on some of Moana’s stories.
    Grand memories of adventures with G.T. and Big Bonefish…the “history of the great ghost” was my favorite.
    Joe Guide
    OWAA Outdoor Writer

    1. Hey Joe,
      I’ve heard some of those Big Eddie stories from my friend Tim who owned a lodge back in the day with Big Eddie and Joe Roope.
      I have one of the Moana maps with all the flats labeled, it’s one of my prized possessions. The last time I fished with him he was preparing to work on a revised edition but he passed before getting it done.
      Thanks for the comment.

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