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Thread: Kasilof River Dipping

  1. #1

    Default Kasilof River Dipping

    Any words of advice for dipping the Kasilof? Had some good luck on the Copper and want to continue that down on the peninsula. We scoped out the south beach area this weekend and watched the set netters some, but did not get too close to the river mouth.

    Ideally I'd like to head down on Thursday night after work, fish for the weekend, and then head back on Sunday. Anyone have any thoughts about how to best do the trip? Seems less intense than Copper, but might be more populated.

    Any hints, tricks, or advice would be most appreciated.

    Thanks.

  2. #2

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    From previous posts:

    Quote Originally Posted by gr8fl View Post
    This is a repost of one I made last year:

    Please study the enclosed picture of the mouth of the Kasilof.

    The salmon come in with the incoming tide. They follow the river channel until the mouth is flooded and can be caught off of both shores as well as all across the middle with important distinctions.

    Initially, folks with start picking them up way out the south shore at the beginning of the channel. They tend to then follow the northern edge of the channel as they move up towards the point, although significant numbers still allow for good catches on the south shore.

    As the tide continues to flood, the bulk of the fish are swept past the mouth, and they turn and swim south along the beach towards the point. This is when you will see folks catching fish north of the point along the beach, and kids catching fish behind the adults standing up to their chests up at the point.

    The south shore offers much more camping room, and a nicer, gravelly bottom to stand on. People are able to back up their rigs and launch boats off the south beach. You can do just fine on the south beach, but the bulk of the fish follow the northern river channel and the northern beach on their way to the river.

    The north shore has much more muck. I have personally fished the north edge of the river channel all the way out to the second can and worked up with the incoming tide. It is treacherous, and an easy way to die.

    With the flooding tide, the muck flats quickly disappear under water. You can find yourself a long way from the beach in a short time.

    You will see the most inefficient fishing imaginable at the north shore. People will slog way offshore, catch a fish, and drag it all the way back to the beach in order to get it out of their net. In the meantime, more fish are going by and, invariably, someone moves in to take their place. Stay in place, remove the fish from your net, and put it in a web bag. They will fall off a stringer as their jaws get pretty soft after a while.

    Upriver on the north bank beyond the point, many people do fine in the little cove there. As the tide goes out, though, you've got the muck to contend with.

    My preferred method is to use a 12' skiff with a 6hp kicker. It's small enough to throw it in all by yourself, and it allows you to find where the bunches of fish are and leapfrog your way as they move towards the point. With a boat, you can always have your net basket in the right direction whether the tide is flowing or ebbing. Slack time is also fishable, once you find where they are laying, waiting for the water to move.

    As far as noise goes, both shores of the Kasilof are pretty noisy at night with ATV's and fireworks and all.

    I prefer the north shore for camping. Get there early though, as space is limited.

    Please don't get your truck stuck on the beach below high water line.


    ~tr

    Quote Originally Posted by gr8fl View Post
    Kasilof River Shore Fishing Techniques




    I prefer the last method, especially since it saves a lot of slogging through the muck.

    ~tr

  3. #3

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    From a few things I've done and seen from the few times I've dipnetted the Kasilof south side:
    If you drive to or near the water, the sand is very soft. 4WD is a must. You can park further away on firm ground, but helps to have an ATV to get your supplies and fish transported. Stay off the dunes and follow the "road".
    Don't get TOO close to the water. Saw a truck once that got stuck below the tide line and got his truck submerged when the tide came in.
    Crowds can be thick and pretty much shoulder-to-shoulder on weekends.
    The reds are small. Nothing like the Kenai reds.
    Few, if any, sweep with their nets. Just stand there with your net in the water.

  4. #4
    Member JOAT's Avatar
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    If all you have is a Copper River dipnet, don't bother. They don't work down here. Or you can hang some 4.5" mesh CI gillnet on your frame. Several times I've stood next to multiple people with Copper River nets and as I was stuffing fish after fish on my stringer (sometimes catching 2 and 3 at a time) none of the guys with Copper nets were able to land a single fish, and they rarely even had a fish hit their net. I've heard it theorized that the heavy landing net style mesh creates enough turbulence in the water that the fish can sense the obstacle and move around it.

    If your plan is to drag each fish back to the beach, you'll be sorry. Get a large fish stringer and tie it around your waist. Stand still. Bring the fish to you by pulling the net back, rake both gills while it is still in the net, extract the fish and place it on your stringer. Push the net back out.

    That "sweeping" ritual you sometimes see them do up at the Kenai is silly. You don't increase your chances of catching a fish by moving. You just get tired faster.

    Don't fish too far out. The biggest mistake dipnetters make is wading out to neck-deep water with a 20-foot dipnet handle. The fish run along the beach. You'll usually see the folks make a line way out there in the ocean. If you watch, you'll see the fish jumping well behind them. I've found that waist deep water is all the further you need to go out and you don't need more than 10 feet on your dipnet handle.

    Please don't clean your fish at the beach. Just bleed 'em and put them on ice. Clean later and somewhere other than the dipnetting zone. If you feel that you have to gut them at the beach, do so down the beach and well away from where we are fishing and do it on a flooding tide while the water is running to wash away your mess. If you see someone gutting fish right in the middle of the dipnetting zone, feel free to loudly comment about how flippin' rude they are. BTW, the meat is perfectly clean up to the point where you puncture the fish with your knife. From that point forward, the meat is being contaminated with whatever is in the environment. Take a close look at the flotsam line at the beach and tell me how much of that you want to marinate your food in. As long as you bleed the fish and get it on ice quickly, you can wait hours before processing.

    The other thing that people need to bring to the beach with them is a trash bag. Pack out more trash than you bring in. The slobs are going to get this fishery shut down unless more people start to step up and take care of it.

    /rant
    Winter is Coming...

    Go GeocacheAlaska!

  5. #5
    Member Matt's Avatar
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    Isn't it a little early for down that way? Or is there two different runs?

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by JOAT View Post
    ...Take a close look at the flotsam line at the beach and tell me how much of that you want to marinate your food in...
    Not to mention what's being pumped out of the processing plants just upriver...

    And two-stroke motors...

  7. #7
    Member Vince's Avatar
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    I just found out no 2 stroke in the dip net area this year..Kenai regs change..and next year none period

    Sent from my Xoom using Tapatalk

  8. #8

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    No 2 stroke on the Kasilof? I thought that was just the Kenai.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by JOAT View Post
    If all you have is a Copper River dipnet, don't bother. They don't work down here. Or you can hang some 4.5" mesh CI gillnet on your frame. Several times I've stood next to multiple people with Copper River nets and as I was stuffing fish after fish on my stringer (sometimes catching 2 and 3 at a time) none of the guys with Copper nets were able to land a single fish, and they rarely even had a fish hit their net. I've heard it theorized that the heavy landing net style mesh creates enough turbulence in the water that the fish can sense the obstacle and move around it.
    The net I have is the smaller hoop, but uses the mono-filiment net rather than the black net. Will this work or do I need to go buy something new?

  10. #10
    Member sayak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JOAT View Post
    ...the slobs are going to get this fishery shut down unless more people start to step up and take care of it.

    /rant
    Yup, like they do everything else.

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by blockphi View Post
    The net I have is the smaller hoop, but uses the mono-filiment net rather than the black net...
    Your net will be fine. I use the same size net on the Copper, Kenai, and Kasilof.


  12. #12
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    16' rectangular net with green gill net works pretty well for me but I walk the river. Foam floater (pipe foam insulation works well) or soda bottle tied to hoop for netrual buoyancy.

    2 hours befor high tide, start walking down river You want that net to drift a couple inches off the gravel floor, the incoming tide will keep your net open. You can use this technique on an outgoing tide, but you will have to actually walk instead of floating with your net. A lot of people that walk don't set the buoyancy right on their nets so you'll hear it clang against the gravel floor every few feet spooking the fish. You'll feel the fish slam your net, flip it horizontally and pin it against the floor and drag that sucker to shore. Gill it, bonk it and ice it.

    I've pulled a 11 fish in under 5 hours after talking to DOZENS of individuals that sat, walked and waited for fish to hit their nets for 5 days and had 0 to show for it. Maybe I was just lucky, we'll find out next week

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by JOAT View Post
    If all you have is a Copper River dipnet, don't bother. They don't work down here. Or you can hang some 4.5" mesh CI gillnet on your frame. Several times I've stood next to multiple people with Copper River nets and as I was stuffing fish after fish on my stringer (sometimes catching 2 and 3 at a time) none of the guys with Copper nets were able to land a single fish, and they rarely even had a fish hit their net. I've heard it theorized that the heavy landing net style mesh creates enough turbulence in the water that the fish can sense the obstacle and move around it.

    If your plan is to drag each fish back to the beach, you'll be sorry. Get a large fish stringer and tie it around your waist. Stand still. Bring the fish to you by pulling the net back, rake both gills while it is still in the net, extract the fish and place it on your stringer. Push the net back out.

    That "sweeping" ritual you sometimes see them do up at the Kenai is silly. You don't increase your chances of catching a fish by moving. You just get tired faster.

    Don't fish too far out. The biggest mistake dipnetters make is wading out to neck-deep water with a 20-foot dipnet handle. The fish run along the beach. You'll usually see the folks make a line way out there in the ocean. If you watch, you'll see the fish jumping well behind them. I've found that waist deep water is all the further you need to go out and you don't need more than 10 feet on your dipnet handle.

    Please don't clean your fish at the beach. Just bleed 'em and put them on ice. Clean later and somewhere other than the dipnetting zone. If you feel that you have to gut them at the beach, do so down the beach and well away from where we are fishing and do it on a flooding tide while the water is running to wash away your mess. If you see someone gutting fish right in the middle of the dipnetting zone, feel free to loudly comment about how flippin' rude they are. BTW, the meat is perfectly clean up to the point where you puncture the fish with your knife. From that point forward, the meat is being contaminated with whatever is in the environment. Take a close look at the flotsam line at the beach and tell me how much of that you want to marinate your food in. As long as you bleed the fish and get it on ice quickly, you can wait hours before processing.

    The other thing that people need to bring to the beach with them is a trash bag. Pack out more trash than you bring in. The slobs are going to get this fishery shut down unless more people start to step up and take care of it.

    /rant
    C'mon, JOAT, and you'll last another year:

    Most people “drag their fish back to the beach”. And they look happy, not sorry, each and every time.

    Sweeping can work well in the River, depending on the current that particular day.

    Sure there is often a line, and sometimes the feesch go behind the line. BUT, the most are caught by those who are standing out deep, and have long handled nets to reach even further. Still, some folks catch fish with nets that have practically no handle at all. It’s an interesting study, why fish will enter a particular net, time after time, and fail to enter the others.

    Another very interesting thing is the different types of nets used. Especially, the home made ones. Dipnetters are amazingly innovative, it would seem.

    I don’t clean my fish at the beach, but I gut them and wash them there wherever I can find room. Many people do gut and cut their fish on the beach, and I don’t think it would be a good idea to “loudly comment about how flippin' rude they are” as you suggest. Tempers can get pretty short anyway, considering the crowding up near the point.

    I've not seen a lot of garbage left behind on the beach. The fish guts and carcasses are usually taken care of by the Sea Gulls and the next tide. By all means, pack out what you pack in, just like any other place.

    I'm wanting to know how good the fishing is there now.

    Smitty of the North
    Walk Slow, and Drink a Lotta Water.
    Has it ever occurred to you, that Nothing ever occurs to God? Adrien Rodgers.
    You can't out-give God.

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Smitty of the North View Post
    ...Another very interesting thing is the different types of nets used. Especially, the home made ones. Dipnetters are amazingly innovative, it would seem...
    My favorite is the gentleman who fishes above the point on the north side who has his net on a floating pole attached to a rope, and throws it way out beyond the folks fishing on the shore. He lets it drift downriver a ways, which makes it interesting to watch as he has to try to avoid the other nets and pass the rope around people.

  15. #15

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    I fished the flowing tide yesterday evening and got 8 fish in about 90 minutes. Not spectacular, but not slow, and I was happy with the size and condition of the fish. I was out-fishing everyone to my left and right by at least 3:1. The reason, they were all out too deep, the fish were all behind them. The top of my net was right at water level, if not out of the water the whole time.

  16. #16

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    Went down to Kasilof on Thursday night. Hit up the late tide and pulled two in about two and a half hours. On Friday we fished all day and over night. A long day, indeed, but we couldn't have asked for better weather.

    Took home 16 fish, a great sun tan, a second, bigger net, and a desire to do it all again as soon as I can. I'm hooked. While waiting for fish to hit my net overnight on Friday I thought to myself just how I think I might enjoy netting moreso than sport fishing. Good times.

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by blockphi View Post
    ...On Friday we fished all day and over night...Good times.


    "Fished All Night, Kasilof, Alaska"

  18. #18
    Member MidnightSunRebel's Avatar
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    Whew. What a nice weekend to be down on the Kasilof. Fishing was a bit slow and I just didn't feel like squeezing into productive point on the south side. The "people watching" for ridiculous behavior was also slow but that's probably a good thing. Kasilof fishers keep up the good work, trash was very minimal and limited to a couple cans and some plastic silverware. The family is just itching to head out together in a couple weeks.

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by gr8fl View Post


    "Fished All Night, Kasilof, Alaska"
    Yup, that about sums it up. I was on the south side - in fact, over at the Private Fisher report page I can see my car as well as myself in one of the photos posted. Amazing times all around.

    And yes, MSR, it wasn't trashed out yet, which was nice to see.

  20. #20
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    Monday noon: FWIW, just talked to a guy at a gas station here in Soldotna, he was headed north, had been dipping the Kasilof, had 4-wheelers, trailers, good nets . . said it was the worst he's ever seen. Also have a friend who does the PU nets down there . . he said the same . . worst he'd ever seen, and they did not take one king.

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