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Thread: Places to practice?

  1. #1
    Member akdodger's Avatar
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    Default Places to practice?

    I will be getting the use of a small jon boat with a 6.5 mud buddy motor... The boat is not mine so I want to do everything to ensure to avoid any trouble with a boat that isn't mine. I have been down the Knik to D.L. before and I know that it is tricky leaving a boat in the river while hunting the marsh...Im looking for any tips about that area and also whether Rabbit Slough would be a good choice for a "shakedown" outing. If not rabbit slough, where would someone recommend for a practice trip where I may find a few birds to shoot at? I would also appreciate any input on what people are taking in terms of repair tools, parts, and the like. I am very familiar with boating safety but from a rafting non-motorized perspective. Thanks

    dodger

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    Member DucksAndDogs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by akdodger View Post
    I will be getting the use of a small jon boat with a 6.5 mud buddy motor... The boat is not mine so I want to do everything to ensure to avoid any trouble with a boat that isn't mine. I have been down the Knik to D.L. before and I know that it is tricky leaving a boat in the river while hunting the marsh...Im looking for any tips about that area and also whether Rabbit Slough would be a good choice for a "shakedown" outing. If not rabbit slough, where would someone recommend for a practice trip where I may find a few birds to shoot at? I would also appreciate any input on what people are taking in terms of repair tools, parts, and the like. I am very familiar with boating safety but from a rafting non-motorized perspective. Thanks

    dodger

    I wouldn't go to Rabbit Slough your first time out just because it's really narrow and tidal. Find some open water to play around in and get the hang of the boat.

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    Member duckslayer56's Avatar
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    How big is the boat? If it's 14 foot or smaller you shouldn't have a problem running rabbit slough. Like DucksAndDogs said, It's pretty narrow and shallow. You will also have to portage the boat over to get into DL so hopefully you can move the boat by yourself, or you have a buddy to help you out. Unless you want to hunt the creek. It will probably have a few birds on it, but all I ever see in there are mergansers. Remember Rabbit Slough is tidal so pay attention to that if you tie your boat up on the bank.
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    Member AK Ray's Avatar
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    Go to the lakes at then end of Maud rd. launch at the first wide parking area which is Mud lake. that boat will work great in that whole swamp.

    for parts you wont need much for a long tail air cooled motor. screw drivers to tinker with the carb. spark plug maybe. extra gas and a funnel.
    make sure the boat is registered and if you are out in the dark you need navigation lights.

    if the boat is a 1436 it will be kind of twitchy/tippy feeling. do not make sharp turns with the longtail until you get the hang of it. they tend to swamp over the inside corner in tight turns.

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    Member akblackdawg's Avatar
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    I agree with Ray, Jim Lakes area would be best, and those 36" wide jons can be tippy. If you want to try the hayflats, do the dl side, and have somebody or a set of wheels with you, maybe a come a long, to get it up the bank at the green cabin and wheel it over to the lake. do not leave a small boat like that anchored or tied on the knik side, it could easily swamp there.
    Bud
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    Sponsor Duckhunter01's Avatar
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    listen to this wise advice...I had fun recoverying all my gear three years ago at 0430 in rabbit slough...don't think turning to fast was the culpret....more like three guys , a dog and 90 something decoys...lol regardless, stick to open water until you get the feel. those things can and will get away from you if you let them..your set though. no where you can't get with that rig.

    Quote Originally Posted by AK Ray View Post
    Go to the lakes at then end of Maud rd. launch at the first wide parking area which is Mud lake. that boat will work great in that whole swamp.

    for parts you wont need much for a long tail air cooled motor. screw drivers to tinker with the carb. spark plug maybe. extra gas and a funnel.
    make sure the boat is registered and if you are out in the dark you need navigation lights.

    if the boat is a 1436 it will be kind of twitchy/tippy feeling. do not make sharp turns with the longtail until you get the hang of it. they tend to swamp over the inside corner in tight turns.
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    Member akdodger's Avatar
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    Thanks for the advice guys. I really appreciate the information provided here on this forum and there was never a doubt that I would get sage advice from the large base of good waterfowlers here. I'll take the boat on a shakedown trip or two and maybe see some of you in the marsh and meet y'all in person. Thanks again.

    dodger

  8. #8
    Member akdodger's Avatar
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    So I went to mud lake to "practice" with my jon boat that I have the use of. Going there for a first outing was good advice... thanks again guys. I took the girls and we tooled around the lake and everything worked out well. That boat launch is a bit spicy... I would hate to see it when it was crowded and/or wet. As we were pulling out, there were some waterfowlers launching a massive 20' jon boat decked out with surface drive, and a sweet boat blind. I was surprised to see such a large boat and am curious how far a set up like that can get into the wetland? As I was with my girls and in an untested boat, was unwilling to leave mud lake and explore. What are the details on getting from mud lake deeper into the marsh from there? I have heard others talk about going over a bank and using jim creek. I realize that some may see these questions as trying to horn in on someones sweet spots but I only ask from a logistical and safety standpoint. Thanks in advance for any advice.

    On another note, I am in the market for some wheels, a "boat dolly" to help with the portage into D.L. Anyone have any advice on a good boat dolly? More importantly, which access point is easier for a solo hunter? Knik or Rabbit?

    Cheers,

    dodger

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    Member AK Ray's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by akdodger View Post
    That boat launch is a bit spicy... I would hate to see it when it was crowded and/or wet. As we were pulling out, there were some waterfowlers launching a massive 20' jon boat decked out with surface drive, and a sweet boat blind. I was surprised to see such a large boat and am curious how far a set up like that can get into the wetland? ...... What are the details on getting from mud lake deeper into the marsh from there? I have heard others talk about going over a bank and using jim creek.
    Search on here for posts by me and use Jim, swan, and leaf for search terms and you should find lots of details about the area.

    One of the best maps for the area is in the fishing regulations that show where you are not allowed to salmon fish for the Jim Creek area.
    Once I was set up in Mud and two fishery bios canoed up, lost using the pre quake topo map, asking for directions to Leaf lake. When I told them about the map in the fishing regulations and the great detail therein, they were a little put off.

    When in Mud once you get to where the grass starts closing in not far south of the rock point to the west (right), you head to the east (left) towards where some alders come out into the grass. Its an obvious channel or boat route into the grass and then the trees. This is McRoberts creek. one of two ways in, but is the easiest one. Once in you will head to the east and south through the system. Once to a large "Y" with current coming from the east you are at Jim Creek. Turn east and head up stream into the Swan and Leaf lake swamps. There are so many places to head into that you will just have to go enjoy the trip.

    For the other portage info from jim lake search on here for a post about using a canoe from Jim Lake. I wrote up some good details on that thread.

    The "ramp" at Mud is interesting due to the guys that park or camp down on the ramp, the moose guts and fish spines, the poop (do not let your dog run around in the woods there or go walking in the dark), the guys that dont look over the cliff and drive down when you are driving up are total buzz killers, when its icy is when it gets really fun. Once a guy had to use a come a long to get his truck up then use it to pull the boat and trailer up.

  10. #10
    Member akdodger's Avatar
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    Thank you Ak Ray. I will take your advice and explore more and research the forum more as well

    dodger

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