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Thread: pros and cons dip netting chitna with 4 wheeler or boat???

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    Default pros and cons dip netting chitna with 4 wheeler or boat???

    I have a polaris ranger and a wooldridge boat and have never been to chitna to dip net. would like to go this year for a weekend and dip net and fish a little. should i take my boat or SxS? where do you put in? park? camp? how many people are dipping? just don't know what to expect...

  2. #2

    Default Your first trip to the Copper River

    Conventional wisdom is that your first trip to the Copper is supposed to be a trip you survive and learn from, so the next time you go you'll be a whole lot more ready.

    With that in mind, no matter how experienced a boatsman you are, it is recommended that you:
    • pay for the charter and get a good look at how the pros respect the river
    • go on a boat with someone else who has multiple successful trips, or
    • take your 4 wheeler the first time and scope out the river from shore


    Be advised that many members of this forum have witnessed first-hand tragedies on the Copper, as recently as last summer. Read all the posts you can and you will have a really good idea of what to expect.

    Personally, with our record snowfall this winter, I'm thinking that we may have pretty high water in the river this summer, which makes it especially dangerous for both boat and shore fishing.

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    Member KelvinG's Avatar
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    Ive been going to Chitna for quite a few years now. Ive dipped from 4-wheelers, an 18 boat with an 80 hp outboard, and now with my Sport Jon. I dont pretend to be an expert but can tell you what conclusions Ive came too.

    Plan on spending a few days just in case your timing of the run is off.
    Try not to go on a weekend
    Gill the salmon as soon as you net them. Bleeding them out quickly results in better tasting fish.
    Filet them at the catch site. Its easier than cutting the tails. Why carry all that extra weight around?
    4-wheelers are OK, but to get away from the crowds means crawling down some very steep trails. Then lugging fish back up those trails.
    I like boats, but make sure its running well and stay close to the shore.
    Make sure you have all your safety equipment, (life vests, oars, flares). I throw a little kicker on just for Chitna. Something to get me to shore just in case.
    Dont take the boat through the canyon. Past the canyon the area open to dip netting is short and there are a lot of 4-wheelers there. I use to do it all the time in my 18 boat just for the thrill. But I was young and dumb; I would be in the canyon riding a swell thinking if this engine just coughs, Im dead. Luckily it never coughed.
    I dip from a boat till I find a school then jump ahead of them and fish from shore, (or tie my boat to shore and dip from it). I keep this up leap-froging the school until I have my limit.

    Hope this helps. Just remember if in doubt, DONT! Chitna is always claiming lives and for what? A couple dozen fish?

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    Member fshgde's Avatar
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    I would say take Hems charter your first time Mark also has a hotline you can call to get fishing conditions. You can get a look at how people use thier boats and the power of the river !

  5. #5

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    LIFEVEST.

    First and foremost is be prepared to fall in. Regardless of 4 wheeler or boat, it's not worth the chance to not wear it. It's better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it.

    I've been going for 20+ years and we've had to change our routines over the years due to changing flows in the river. We know where to go when the water is high, and low. We move around, which is why I like having a boat vs. depending on the charter or hoping for a spot that isn't taken by folks already. Pay attention to what others are doing and start learning different techniques, even on how to put your net in the water. While boating watch for sticks, logs and trees. Also steer clear of the whirlpools in the canyon and you'll have to be able to read the river to stay off the sandbars. I love running that river, but it scares the crap out of most people that go with me. I've been anxious to get back down there for months now.

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    Member Mkay's Avatar
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    If you live in Anchorage why would you not just go to the Kenai. A lot less dangerous. Is your boat a 4 stroker?
    My child was inmate of the month at Mat-Su pre-trial Correctional facility.

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    Dipnetting at chitna is fun. I have taking boats through the canyon for years. I see people being stupid every time I go there. If you are not on your A game you can become fish food. You need to wear life jackets. I stupidest thing I ever saw was a guy with his net tied to him fishing for a rubber boat at night with no lights

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    Member TWB's Avatar
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    Pay the $100 hands down. It's a learning curve best suited. Going out by wheeler for the first time will have you up and down hills to find a goo spot.

    They put you where the fish are.

    Last trip 2x limits in 7 hours.
    We do not go to the green woods and crystal waters to rough it, we go to smooth it. We get it rough enough at home; in towns and cities; in shops, offices, stores, banks anywhere that we may be placed

  9. #9

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    Ah the heck with dipping the copper find someone with a wheel and sit back and drink a beer while the fish flop into the baskets, it doesn't get much easier than that

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    Member KelvinG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ak47 View Post
    Ah the heck with dipping the copper find someone with a wheel and sit back and drink a beer while the fish flop into the baskets, it doesn't get much easier than that
    I second that!

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    Member Grayling Slayer's Avatar
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    By boat, but get the federal permit and fish upstream from the bridge.
    "I'd rather be fishing!"

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    Member Bob the fisher's Avatar
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    Have you ever been dippnetting from a boat on the Kenia? It is a madhouse. When the fish are running good, the people are running frantic. The boats run so close to each other that their nets are touching and their atitudes are out of control. All the wakes from the boats heading back upstream are constantly rocking your boat as your floating downstream with your nets in the water. Its like they loose their minds. Its kinda of scary at times and I always fish out of fairly good size boat (22 footer) and it still get hairy. Also, every year, someone puts their boat on the sand bar on the inside corner of the river because they are not paying attention to where they are going. Its almost amusing and I'm always supprized that nobody is killed. I'm done with dippin that river. This year I'm heading to Chitina and the Copper River (will be following another experienced boater of course since it will be my first time on the Copper River). And from what I hear, there are less people and better fish... good luch ya'll... "fishon"

    Quote Originally Posted by Mkay View Post
    If you live in Anchorage why would you not just go to the Kenai. A lot less dangerous. Is your boat a 4 stroker?
    "Fisherman for Life" and "Phantom owner Forever"

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    Member Mountain Man Jack's Avatar
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    Havent been dipping in the Copper in about 12 years. We used to go down by Hailey creek, but I understand that OBrian Crk road got washed out. Is it even passable by ATV?
    Im thinking I'll just take the water taxi if I cant get down there on the quad. I dont really feel like dying either, so I dont want to hang off of cliff for a few fish. What are my options these days?

  14. #14
    Member Bullelkklr's Avatar
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    Options are 4wheeler, boat, or rent the charter. I think that even if you rent the charter ride, you should bring some tie-off rope and floation devices.

    Lots of people drive 4-wheelers down and dip off the cliffs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob the fisher View Post
    Have you ever been dippnetting from a boat on the Kenia? It is a madhouse. When the fish are running good, the people are running frantic. The boats run so close to each other that their nets are touching and their atitudes are out of control. All the wakes from the boats heading back upstream are constantly rocking your boat as your floating downstream with your nets in the water. Its like they loose their minds. Its kinda of scary at times and I always fish out of fairly good size boat (22 footer) and it still get hairy. Also, every year, someone puts their boat on the sand bar on the inside corner of the river because they are not paying attention to where they are going. Its almost amusing and I'm always supprized that nobody is killed. I'm done with dippin that river. This year I'm heading to Chitina and the Copper River (will be following another experienced boater of course since it will be my first time on the Copper River). And from what I hear, there are less people and better fish... good luch ya'll... "fishon"
    we went during the middle of the week (monday-friday) and there was only 2 or 3 boats in the water at a time, most of the time there was only one or 2. usually we go to kasilof but the fishing was better at kenai, I was pleasantly surprised at how few people were there (still a lot, no doubt, but not as many as I would think for the "world famous kenai river"
    Eccleasties 8:11 Because the sentence against an evil deed is not executed quickly, There for the hearts of the sons of men among them are given fully to do evil.

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    Member Bob the fisher's Avatar
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    I'm not too sure when you went but when the fish are runnin, you can walk across the river from one boat to the next and never get your feet wet. I live in Anchorage and watch to #s (plus contacts down there) so I wait until the fish are thick. Last year, it took just three runs down the river to get 105 fish (3 limits)... we bagged two and three and even a four fish at one time in the net. I was crazy fast... good luck to you buddy... I been dippin the Kenai for 15 years now and am ready for a little more relaxing trip... "fishon"


    Quote Originally Posted by FurFishGame View Post
    we went during the middle of the week (monday-friday) and there was only 2 or 3 boats in the water at a time, most of the time there was only one or 2. usually we go to kasilof but the fishing was better at kenai, I was pleasantly surprised at how few people were there (still a lot, no doubt, but not as many as I would think for the "world famous kenai river"
    "Fisherman for Life" and "Phantom owner Forever"

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    Member Grayling Slayer's Avatar
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    Driving a boat in the Copper is far from relaxing. I enjoy the challenge but relaxing it is not.

    Running up the canyon on a nice day with the echo of a big V-8 bouncing off the canyon walls as you avoid the whirlpools with 4 limits of fish in the cooler is a rush.
    "I'd rather be fishing!"

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    Member Bob the fisher's Avatar
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    Ok, so maybe I used the wrong word... anyway, I'm tired of the Kenai, the rest of the state can have it. I want to enjoy the trip and the excitment and not have to worry about gettin ran over. Its only a matter of time, i'm callin it now!!! 'fishon'
    "Fisherman for Life" and "Phantom owner Forever"

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    Member coho slayer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gr8fl View Post

    June 2011
    I'm assuming there's a pic missing....

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