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Thread: Small boat BIG Cordova hunt

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    Default Small boat BIG Cordova hunt

    Hey yawl I'm planning on taking the ferry from Valdez to Cordova in Oct with my 18ft jon boat with a 27hp godevil longtail on the back. I was planning on just seeing how the water looks and deciding where I could go from there but I would love some expert opinions on the major dos and don'ts of that area. mainly Hinchinbrook island and if there is a chance in hell I can make the 10mi trek from Hinchinbrook to Montague? Also the surrounding rivers headed up into the mountains ie...Rude, ibec, simpson ect... are they tidal all the way up. can they be navigated during low tide? Thanks so much for your times guys and have a happy new year.
    Brandon

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    Member DMan's Avatar
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    Default Small boat BIG Cordova hunt

    Hi Brandon, I would not advise taking an 18' Jon boat out in the salt over there. I have been out there many times and from Cordova. It's nothing to be taken lightly that time of year. The water in the flats, in the cutoff, and the Hinch entrance would swamp you in a heartbeat. And if you got out there you would more than likely be there a long time before you could get water that would get you back.

    As for the rivers around Cordova I am not familiar with them so will let someone else talk to that.

    -Derrick
    ... aboard the 'Memory Maker' Making Memories one Wave at a Time!

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    DMan is correct it sounds like you want to start a one way trip that could stop way short of your intented target. Make a new plan one that will get you into the future not turn you into a newspaper article.

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    I can accept not being able to make it to montague but do you think Hinchinbrook is possible? Believe me I am taking your advice but I would really like to be able to make it at least to hinchinbrook otherwise that puts a huge damper on my hunting plans. Also do you have any idea how much it might cost to take a taxi out to Montague or Hinchinbrook if need be? I appreciate the advice guys I could save alot of money not bringing the boat on the ferry maybe enough to take a taxi...?

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    Member alaska_pike's Avatar
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    i would have no problems doing this in an 18 ft boat, it is such a short distance from cordova and guys from cordova do it all the time in zodiaks and smaller 16 foot boats. just watch the weather forecast and yes you should be prepared for the event that if the weather picked up you could be stranded on hinchinbrook for a few days

  6. #6
    Member DMan's Avatar
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    Default Small boat BIG Cordova hunt

    A water taxi would be a good idea. Have you ever had your Jon boat on the salt in the fall, and not just in a bay? Most the skiffs I have seen over there that time of year were salt skiffs and running straight over to Hawkins. Don't play with fire. Water Taxi!
    ... aboard the 'Memory Maker' Making Memories one Wave at a Time!

  7. #7

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    There was a string on the waterfowl forum about this subject. A Jon boat just isn't designed for what PWS can and often does throw at you. No matter what you think you know about the weather in PWS it can change in a heartbeat and going into an area that you are not familiar with adds in the issues of tides and local currents. I have a couple of friends who worked at hatcheries in the sound for many years. The only report they really trust is "Eye Witness". Go with what DMan recommends-stick with the rivers in your Jon boat and if you want to head out into the salt go with a charter who knows the water and has a boat that will handle the salt.
    Ruby at the end of a good day.

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    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
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    The closest I have ever came to being killed was on a trip to Hinchinbrook, the way the terrain is there channels the wind like I have never seen. The weather came up before you could even attempt to find shelter. There is no way I would take a open jon boat there. There are lots of places off the Copper River Highway that would be great for that type rig and lots of bears. I tried to find the videos of a guy that got stuck in a storm there a while back and could not find them. They lost 2 Zodiaks that were tied to their main boat. The Zodiaks were flying like kites until the rope broke and they flew away. I think one was found, but not the other. The seas in the entrance are open to the gulf and not like the rest of PWS at all. That water is around 40 degrees, even if the CG sent help as soon as you sank, unless you had exposure suits they would be recovering bodies. NO HUNT, is worth taking that kind of risk. Please read the thread about mistakes made on the water.

    Be safe and Happy New Year

    Here is a thread to check out.

    http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...inbrook-Island

    http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...ook?highlight=
    Last edited by stid2677; 12-30-2012 at 16:54.
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  9. #9

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    The string on the waterfowl forum is under "Whittier". As I mentioned there, the big issue for me on a deal like this is the risk to those who would be conducting a rescue or recovery. And while those of us who hunt, fish and boat in PWS take a risk every time we leave the dock, taking boat that has almost no freeboard out into a body of water that can kick up 3' waves at any time of the year is more than just taking a risk. I love waterfowl hunting and like many of my fellow waterfowlers I have been out in some pretty nasty stuff that is just part of the deal. But I agree with "NO HUNT, is worth taking that kind of risk."
    Ruby at the end of a good day.

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    Member tzieli22's Avatar
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    I'm the guy Steve is talking about with the 2 Zodiac's I flew at hichinbrook. I never did find my one zodiac... If you want to trash your boat and belongings, I'd be happy to take your boat from you since I don't have a 18' in my fleet yet... 😝.

    As mentioned, I would seriously consider a taxi. It is truly a wonderful area and offers a lot, but Mother Nature, when she gets a mad on, takes no prisoners for the stupid. I lost about $20k worth of gear on that trip, and I planned and did my homework plus more. I made it home fine minus a few pair of shorts. 2 of the 3 guys that went with me on that trip haven't boarded my Uniflite since and I have put about 400 hours on her since then.

    Be safe and happy New Years to everyone.

    Quote Originally Posted by stid2677 View Post
    The closest I have ever came to being killed was on a trip to Hinchinbrook, the way the terrain is there channels the wind like I have never seen. The weather came up before you could even attempt to find shelter. There is no way I would take a open jon boat there. There are lots of places off the Copper River Highway that would be great for that type rig and lots of bears. I tried to find the videos of a guy that got stuck in a storm there a while back and could not find them. They lost 2 Zodiaks that were tied to their main boat. The Zodiaks were flying like kites until the rope broke and they flew away. I think one was found, but not the other. The seas in the entrance are open to the gulf and not like the rest of PWS at all. That water is around 40 degrees, even if the CG sent help as soon as you sank, unless you had exposure suits they would be recovering bodies. NO HUNT, is worth taking that kind of risk. Please read the thread about mistakes made on the water.

    Be safe and Happy New Year

    Here is a thread to check out.

    http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...inbrook-Island

    http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...ook?highlight=
    Tony

  11. #11

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    I thought for sure this was an early April Fool's Day joke.......The weather as of late has not been cooperating and I would not go anywhere in sound right now in a jon boat - especially where you mentioned. However, you never know, you might get a nice weather window when you are planning to go next October and be able to go just about anywhere you want. But, don't think I endorse this idea as I have seen how ugly the ocean waters can get and I would never consider it in an 18 footer.

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    Thanks so much guys! Like yawll have said being a hunter you get yourself in some nasty situations but no hunt is worth your life. I really appreciate the first hand advice and knowledge. Yes I was planning on heading up in Oct of next year but now I'm considering just heading up the nearby rivers and/or taking a taxi to Montague or Kodiak... Thanks again guys! Can anyone recommend a taxi around to a specific spot on Kodiak or out to Montague?

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    Member DMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by afman87 View Post
    Thanks so much guys! Like yawll have said being a hunter you get yourself in some nasty situations but no hunt is worth your life. I really appreciate the first hand advice and knowledge. Yes I was planning on heading up in Oct of next year but now I'm considering just heading up the nearby rivers and/or taking a taxi to Montague or Kodiak... Thanks again guys! Can anyone recommend a taxi around to a specific spot on Kodiak or out to Montague?
    You might call Mike at Lazy Otter in Whittier for Montague. He has the Explorer and then he also has a newer to him landing craft.
    ... aboard the 'Memory Maker' Making Memories one Wave at a Time!

  14. #14

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    It's a long trip from either Whitter or Valdez to, either Montague or Hichenbrook. We did a chart out of Valdez to Shelter Bay twice in the the last five years and it's not cheap. Remember the boat has to make the trip twice and that time of the year even the big boys sometime have to wait for a few days to come and get you (which means you always need to have lots of extra food etc. One other option that we thought about but didn't do much research on was to take the ferry to Cordova and then take a charter out to Hichenbrook. You might want to look into that option.
    Ruby at the end of a good day.

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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    A 24' ocean going boat is a small boat in those waters. A jon boat simply doesn't belong in Alaskan saltwater, no matter how close to shore or how short the trip.
    Those that are successful in Alaska are those who are flexible, and allow the reality of life in Alaska to shape their dreams, vs. trying to force their dreams on the reality of Alaska.

    If you have a tenuous grasp of reality, Alaska is not for you.

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    [QUOTE=Paul H;1226983]A 24' ocean going boat is a small boat in those waters. A jon boat simply doesn't belong in Alaskan saltwater, no matter how close to shore or how short the trip.[/QUOTE

    Gotta agree with you 100% but there are folks who will argue that they are "smart enough to know when it's O.K. to go out in a Jon boat" and there are also folks who will say that folks have a "right to do that". I'm still not sure how any comments on a forum can impede anyone's "rights" but some folks seem to want to use that straw man.... At any rate, I have a 24' SeaSport that is designed for the saltwater. Folks who come up to go out with me from the lower 48 often tell me when they see my boat in my back yard what a nice big boat I have. I always tell them-It looks nice and big in the back yard but it shrinks considerably when you are out in PWS and the weather kicks up.
    Ruby at the end of a good day.

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    Member DMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TriIron View Post
    I always tell them-It looks nice and big in the back yard but it shrinks considerably when you are out in PWS and the weather kicks up.
    True dat! I have said that several times. Doesn't matter how big the rig is, there is water out there that will scare the crap out of you.
    ... aboard the 'Memory Maker' Making Memories one Wave at a Time!

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    Member kodiakrain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by afman87 View Post
    the major dos and don'ts of that area. mainly Hinchinbrook island and if there is a chance in hell I can make the 10mi trek from Hinchinbrook to Montague?
    For sure, this is a, "major Don't,"...as in "Such a slim chance that you pull that off,.." in a Jon boat,....don't give it another thought

    as for the rivers,...I'm not sure how it goes accessing the mouths,...maybe you can scoot around the inner Sound and have a blast going up river,..
    but I am NOT any kind of expert on that

    as to the Ocean Entrances to the Sound,...I've done a fair amount of that travel, in larger commercial boats,...

    Very Serious area, for currents, winds that come up Fast, serious chop just appearing on a tide change, etc.
    Not Jon boat country,...

    Wise of you to ask tho,...have fun with whatever you plan
    Ten Hours in that little raft off the AK peninsula, blowin' NW 60, in November.... "the Power of Life and Death is in the Tongue," and Yes, God is Good !

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    Member AKluvr95's Avatar
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    I can vouch for this fact in our Weldcraft 240 Ocean King. Even though she's an Alaskan Extended Bulkhead and measured 27' by the harbormaster with the swim deck and engines on the back, I had a white-knuckle morning the season before last out of Homer in true [no-s#*$] 7-footers. As we made our way from the spit toward Tutka Bay for some crabbing we encountered huge [close succession] breaking white capped waves whipped up by strong winds coming from the southwest. Luckily I did have a very experienced person on board [or I would've tucked tail and immediately headed back in] and he instructed me on how to proceed. Slow and low quartering our way ESE we fianally broke out of the mess and experienced a rather enjoyable run all the way to the gulf as well as many tanner crab and halibut. I tell him I got my merit badge that day ~ thanks to him [Marc]...but I don't look forward to anything like that again. I typically have my wife and dogs along and they're good to about 3-feet and have done 4-4.5 feet [conservatively].

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul H View Post
    A 24' ocean going boat is a small boat in those waters. A jon boat simply doesn't belong in Alaskan saltwater, no matter how close to shore or how short the trip.

  20. #20

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    We did both our charters out of Valdez in a 50' trawler in November. The first year the trip out to Hitchenbrook was smooth as glass. For the pick up the boat was late due the skipper having to turn around when he was about five miles out of Valdez when an air vent to the engine was stopped up by freezing spray and the oil pressure built up and pumped the oil out of the engine. He had to return to Valdez, thaw out the line and refill the oil. He finally picked us up about five hours late. The trip back was rocking and rolling and Valdez Narrows was particularlly nasty with waves breaking over the wheelhouse, freezing spray coming in like rocks on the windshield and ice building up on the deck and superstructure. The weather slowed us down quite a bit and we didn't get into the Narrows until well after dark. Two of our hunting buddies spent most of the trip chumming over the side or moaning in thier bunks. Even the skipper-who has commercial fished out of Valdez and Cordova for many years-was concerned.
    Ruby at the end of a good day.

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