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Thread: Little Su from Anchorburg

  1. #1
    Member Cliffhanger's Avatar
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    Default Little Su from Anchorburg

    Hey Anchorage Boaters-
    What are the logisitics in running from the Anchorage small boat launch over to the Little Su in May for kings? I'm specifically interested in timing on tides and your thoughts about whether my 18 foot v-hull with outboard (no jet) can get to the mouth and fish without going aground. Looking for local boaters/fishslayers who do this. What esle to worry about? Thanks.

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    Default It's easy..

    11 miles, takes me about 25 minutes. The river is quite interesting, as the tidal flows make interesting sand bars where they normally wouldn't be in a river. Take sleeping provisions as the inlet can blow up pretty fast, and unless your boat can handle rough water, you might want to make the decision to stay.

    Crossing is mostly straight line GPS, but as you get within about three miles of the mouth, you need to maintain a good distace, 3/4 mile or so from the shorline, as it gets pretty shallow. It's also hard to see the mouth until your pretty close, as it blends in rather well, so take a good set of binoculars. The only other recommendation is go on the incoming tide, so if you hit a sand bar you can get off it. Oh, and have fun.

    Chris

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    I ran across for years in my jet boats. The water usually lays down at +/- 1/2hour of high tide. The only word of warning is to not get suckered into running off the west shore thinking your safer closer to shore. You'll be an easy mile from the beach and the water can be about 12" deep. You don't want to get stuck there with the tide going out. That said I saw Sea Dory type boats in the Little Su quite often. They came across and upstream with props regularly.

    I've also seen some of the worst small boat weather I could imagine trying to get back home. If you go on the high tide and plan to wait 12 hours to come home, expect to spend a night occasionally when the weather turns. The water can whip up pretty nasty out of the Little Su's mouth. The waves come at you from every direction at the same time. It really gets your attention when you bump the bottom in the thoughs. Like I said before, stay away from the shore.

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    Member ak_powder_monkey's Avatar
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    I'd go at low tide so I could mark the channels on GPS
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

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    You can't launch from the Anchorage ramp at low tide. Or return, for that matter. Trust me, I've sat 50' from the ramp for HOURS waiting for the water to come back.

    Getting out of the Little Su at low tide is probably the hardest jet boat ride I ever did. The mouth looks like wet mud for the entire width and for quite a distance. That isn't far from the truth, either.

    Coming down near low tide but when the tide's incoming can be a treat, too. I had a boatload of people and found myself looking face-to-face with a bore tide coming upstream. I came off step because I didn't recognize what I was seeing. By the time I knew it was too late, we'd settled on the bottom. That was something I'll never forget. I have several memories of the Little Su that qualify as "never forget 'ers."

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    Member Cliffhanger's Avatar
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    Default How far upstream

    Thanks for the responses so far, guys. Now, how far upstream to you run before you start fishing, or can you just fish the mouth?

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    No fishing at the mouth. Fishing generally starts near Ward Gay's old lodge that must be 7-8 river miles up from the mouth. The mouth is very winding. You'll run lots of figure-8's without getting very far. The river is tidally influenced for quite a ways as well. If you plan to sleep, use lots of anchor line to prevent from getting lifted off the hook. There's another "never forget" memory. The Little Su in the middle of a dark August night by mini-mag light!

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    Member AKBassking's Avatar
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    I have launched from Burma and got caught after dark. My buddy suggested to old Indian trick of standing up front with a Coleman lantern!

    He didn't see the sand bar and we found out Coleman lanterns don't work in water! LOL Little Su memory!

    ALASKAN SEA-DUCTION
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    Blog: http://alaskanseaduction.blogspot.com/

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    I think these are the first stories that I've heard of people crossing from Anchorage...everyone that I've spoke with tells me to just drive to the boat launch - it's too risky.

    Great stories though...I'm hoping to not have some of my own

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    Member Cliffhanger's Avatar
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    Default Outboard/ river running

    I've actually been across the Inlet by boat a couple of times for work and have GPS with Garmin Blue Water on it, so getting to the mouth will be fine. I've never run any rivers with my boat, though. It's an 18 foot Lowe v-hull with a 70 hp Tohatsu trim/tilt.

    Some pointers on river running? (Speed, inside/outside corners, etc.) And how far up the river is practical? I've got capacity for 90-100 miles safely.
    Thanks again!

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    Because the lower Little Su is tidal the river bottom is generally rounded and the bottom is clay/mud. Since your prop will limit you to running in and out on high or near high tides I'd just stay to the middle or middle slightly favoring the outside of a turn. You shouldn't have any problems in the river if the tide's up. Once you're 7-8 river miles up you'll be able to move around regardless of the tide.

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    Default Tide

    Thanks Mr. P! So, the trick is to go in on the high tide and out on the high tide?

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    I don't have a magic number for you as to how long before or after the high tide you'll have to go through the mouth comfortably. I can assure you that at or near the low tide you won't have any chance of going through with a prop. The mouth gets very wide and flat. There's no way to read a channel. I'd suggest you use the tide to your advantage. I always preferred leaving on the incoming tide but near the high no matter which side I was leaving. At least if I made an error and got stuck I could float off, rather than watching the outgoing tide strand me. Been there, done that. Not recommended.

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    Member Cliffhanger's Avatar
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    Default Been there too!

    I understand the tide from experience at our cabin in Kachemak Bay, so yeah, go in on the incoming and go out on the incoming is always a good plan. Same kind of tricky planning for going into China Poot for the dipnet reds....Although in China Poot we'v been lucky enough to grab our reds in 1/2 hour and skeedaddle!

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