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Thread: Which boat for the kenai river ?

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    Member Micky_Ireland's Avatar
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    Default Which boat for the kenai river ?

    Greetings from Ireland. I am currently looking to purchase a Kenai riverfront property. I am aware that the upper river around cooper landing is a designated drift boat fishery. My own query relates to the middle and lower river. I expect to buy a brand new Willie power in either the predator or raptor models. If my understanding is correct the raptor is a much bigger boat. Is this suitable to fish the majority of the middle river? Will this fish from skilak right down to Soldotna bridge ( within the boating regulations of course ). I am quite sure they will both hammer the lower river...............any thoughts?

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    Member cod's Avatar
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    QUOTE...........any thoughts?[/QUOTE]


    LOL. Yeah, save your boat money for flights back home in Ireland where your Atlantic salmon are doing much better than the mighty Kenai king!
    (See appropriate other thread Re: How much?)
    Your sarcasm is way, waaaayyyyyyyy more sarcastic than mine!

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    Premium Member kasilofchrisn's Avatar
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    My opinion is this. You could not pay me enough to want to look at Kenai river property.
    Taxes are rediculous as are the prices.
    Also Burough ordinance 2011-12 Prohibits you from doing anything that "disturbs" the ground within the 50' of mean high water.Meaning no adding docks,sheds, or fish cleaning tables without a special permit.
    Cod is spot on with the King fishing.
    I assume you have read the regs on power boats on the mainstem Kenai river? Which ever boat you buy has to be less than 21' long with a motor 50hp or less and must be 4 stroke or DFI(direct fuel injected) 2 stroke.
    I know the predators are very common on the Kenai. Be sure and carry a few spare props. You will most likely go through a few getting to know the river.
    I see the predator is 170# lighter which probably makes a big difference when you are restricted on HP like the Kenai is.
    Pricewise they look to be the same.
    Just my $.02
    "The closer I get to nature the farther I am from idiots"

    "Fishing and Hunting are only an addiction if you're trying to quit"

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    A raptor has a deeper "V" and throws a bigger wake, a predator with a 10 degree hull is a nice option to break the waves and is a decent boat to go out on the ocean as well. The raptor would throw a bigger wake than the predator, which is a negative on the river. Not sure what your goals are on buying the property, hope you aren't paying too much, most the land I have seen has been over priced and the owner is kinda seeing if someone will bite, and most of the land sits with a for sale sign for years.

    What kind of fish do you want to target?

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    Member Jack Salmon II's Avatar
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    Here's my choice. Throws little to no wake, reliable, fuel efficient (several hours per burrito), gives off few emissions (except when eating burritos), quiet, warm on cold days and can be legally fished on Mondays in May, June and July!



    P6040013_zps4cfa8d27.jpg

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    Pick from the classic or the predator, get the wide bottom, its worth the extra money. The raptor doesn't belong on the Kenai due to the deeper V design. All of them throw a ridiculous wake because they don't get all the way out of the water with a 50hp engine. I know you didn't ask, but i'll add that their are better boats for the Kenai in my opinion, if your not guiding. See the G3s, lowe roughnecks, SeaArks. If we weren't horsepower restricted i'd say go Koffler but they are heavy just like the Alumawelds, Willies and FishRites. Just my opinion of course...

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    Member Micky_Ireland's Avatar
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    Thanks limon32. I had a sneaking feeling the predator would be the most prevalent of the Willie range. Thanks for your honest opinion on the other manufacturers. If you had not of told me , I wouldn't have known the names ! My usage will be personnel. I have been a consistent traveller to Alaska for the past number of years. Never fished the kenai though. I want to base myself there and fish all the peninsula streams.....Thanks for your help!!!!!

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    Member Micky_Ireland's Avatar
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    Thanks Jack..Sweet boat

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    Member Micky_Ireland's Avatar
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    Thanks for reply Yukon...I will target all the species , salmon , trout and char. I have been watching the kenai king runs for the last couple of years and im very sorry to see they are in stark decline. My favourite would be the silvers and of course the rainbows..I'm just hoping to place my self centrally along the kenai....Just love the place

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    Member Micky_Ireland's Avatar
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    lol lol lol . Your right there cod. lol The average angler in Ireland catches a maximum of 5 fish per annum. Most of the most renowned fisheries are all catch an release. And I mean 5 per year. That's not the regulations....if you can catch more , you can keep them !! Thanks for reply.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Micky_Ireland View Post
    Thanks for reply Yukon...I will target all the species , salmon , trout and char. I have been watching the kenai king runs for the last couple of years and im very sorry to see they are in stark decline. My favourite would be the silvers and of course the rainbows..I'm just hoping to place my self centrally along the kenai....Just love the place
    I've had 3 different boats in the last 6 years and I've fished a total of about 4 days for kings in that time span, I much prefer trout/silver/pink fishing to King fishing anyway, their decline hasn't stopped me from getting on the river and it sounds like it won't stop you either.

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    Member 4merguide's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by limon32 View Post
    I've had 3 different boats in the last 6 years and I've fished a total of about 4 days for kings in that time span,
    Man...........that's so sad to hear. I sincerely wish that fishing for kings on the Kenai, isn't a long lost memory someday.......
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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    Member Gerberman's Avatar
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    I just took up a new boat last year, 20 feet long 78" wide, 10 degree hull, it rides great on the water and has a small wake. Trouble is last year I only used it twice for King fishing, as the season was closed most of July, It fished great for silvers, but not many silvers. I live at River Mile 26, You would be hard pressed to take a boat up the rock pile below Bings landing. I trailer to Bings and then can go up to the Lake on the river. Great evening fishing for trout, and bear viewing. The lower river from River Bend down is a piece of cake after you learn the channels. Lots of shallow spots to look out for. The Kenai is a very fast running river, so have everything ready at all times, and always wear a lifejacket.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 4merguide View Post
    Man...........that's so sad to hear. I sincerely wish that fishing for kings on the Kenai, isn't a long lost memory someday.......
    I don't mind, I've caught a few Kenai kings on those trips, cross that off the bucket list. I spend most of my time in my boat fishing pinks, trout and getting to lonely spots for reds. A few more bad king returns though and I think I might by an ocean boat and sell the river boat...

    I sure hope the Kings catch a break this year from all user groups, based on another thread here, i'm afraid that may not happen.

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    Member Micky_Ireland's Avatar
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    Thanks gerberman. The pile of rocks , is that naptown rapids? I heard they can be very difficult to handle depending on the water flow.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Micky_Ireland View Post
    Thanks gerberman. The pile of rocks , is that naptown rapids? I heard they can be very difficult to handle depending on the water flow.
    I go through them once in a while with my willie predator, there is a huge "pucker factor" at the top of them, going up is a lot easier than going down, not much room for error.

    I have done a few searches for bodies and personally pulled out two boats that were sunk in the rapids, proceed with caution. One body was in the river for a week before he washed up, and he washed up about 5 miles below the rapids......just saying

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    Quote Originally Posted by yukon View Post
    I go through them once in a while with my willie predator, there is a huge "pucker factor" at the top of them, going up is a lot easier than going down, not much room for error.

    I have done a few searches for bodies and personally pulled out two boats that were sunk in the rapids, proceed with caution. One body was in the river for a week before he washed up, and he washed up about 5 miles below the rapids......just saying
    I've always wanted to run that in my 16' River Runner but I haven't had a chance to check it out from below so I haven't done it yet. Reminds me of running the Snake River back home. Maybe i'll take the cataraft down first!

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    Member Micky_Ireland's Avatar
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    Sound Yukon. We've had a number of similar incidents in Ireland. Legend has it in Ireland that the body is never given up for 14 days ( cant vouch for that though ) . What do you think of the predator ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by kasilofchrisn View Post
    . . You could not pay me enough to want to look at Kenai river property. . .Just my $.02

    . . . . . . . . .

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    The Predator is a fine boat, as is the Classic. Willie is also making a new boat called the Fuzion, which seems similar to the Predator. Might be worth a look...

    As for the Willie company, they're first-rate. I bought a drift boat from them a couple of years ago, and found them to be very good to deal with.

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