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Thread: Boat for Dipnetting on the Kenai

  1. #1

    Default Boat for Dipnetting on the Kenai

    I want to buy a boat that I can use almost exclusively for dip netting on the Kenai. What is the minimum size of boat and engine would forum members recommend for 3 people?

  2. #2

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    I've used a 16' jonboat with a 25hp prop with fine success with 3 grown men aboard.

    Also have used a 12' smokercraft with a 6hp motor and 2 grown men and 70+ reds aboard. Not recommended if you like plenty of freeboard.


  3. #3
    Member JOAT's Avatar
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    Minimum? And just for the Kenai mouth? Semi-Vee welded aluminum hull with about 6' beam, 16' length, and as much freeboard as you can find, but somewhere around 18" or better. You don't want a full vee or a boat that's too skinny as you'll be spending a lot of time leaning over the side, so some initial stability is required. You also don't really want a flat bottom as there is a lot of rough water in that area from the hoards of boats running about and you'll be spending a lot of time driving back upstream after each drift. A flat bottom will not be nearly as comfortable in that setup. You will catch wake from all directions, so the higher sides are good to have. I'd also recommend that you have a seawell for the engine mount with a high transom forward of it to protect you when taking seas aft.

    4-stroke 50hp is the only power you should even consider. You have to have a 4-stroke. And you'll likely have a desire at some point to take the boat beyond the Kenai mouth area and maybe go upstream just a bit (sit and fish for silvers on a nice day or something). So you don't want to exceed 50hp and not be able to go anywhere else on the river. There aren't many 4-stroke motors below 50hp that are really worth looking at.
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    Interesting thread, folks. I'm planning on doing it in a 15' Grumman Sport Boat with a 4hp Yamaha 4 stroke. After reading JOAT, I wonder how that will work. Perhaps I should stick to the Kasilof. (I saw two guys dip netting there last season from a 14' V Hull with a 6 hp 2 stroke. That's where I got the idea.) They were doing a lot better than I was on the beach, by the way.

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    Member JOAT's Avatar
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    Technically, any motor would work if it can push the boat with enough power to maneuver between a circus of boats intermixed with lots of confused wake in the rather rapid current of the Kenai river (especially on full running ebb). Big difference between the Kenai and Kasilof in both traffic and current.

    It must be a 4-stroke to use for dipnetting and it must be a 4-stroke to go upsteam any time. I personally wouldn't even think about something under 25hp or a boat small enough that it works well with a motor smaller than that. My opinion, if you're going to do it, do it right.

    Of course there are a lot of factors that will influence the catch rate, but it always seems to me that I'm catching as much or more than any boats that I've seen working the Kasilof. YMMV
    Winter is Coming...

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    I sure would not recommend doing that FL. Kasilof yes of course, but doing the Kenai would be dicey at best. If you do try it, I'd have two suggestions:
    - on the map you'll see upriver a sooner area only for smaller motors- stay in that area.
    - post up here how it went.

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    Smaller area, not sooner.

    (I don't know how to edit with tapatalk.)

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    Supporting Member Hoyt-Hunter's Avatar
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    I have used a 14 foot inflatable with 25 hp out board. Not an easy task when there is only two of you on board running two nets, but three on board leaves one able to run the tiller. Lots of fun but you are worn out at the end of the day.


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    I'm running a 20' koffler sled boat with a 50 Yamaha it's an older one and has many benefits. It's wide enough and stable enough to run 4 nets out of but the draw back is it's fairly flat and we all get wet on the ride back upstream. Of course it gets on step with a heavy load (100 reds plus 5 guys) so the flat bottom is somewhat of a trade off. I would go with more of a semi v design to help with the wakes if I were to do it again.

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    this might be funny but I have been using my 19ft drift boat with a 9 horse on the back. Yes I am one of the slowest boats out there but I still get my fish every year and have not had any problems on the Kenai yet. I have been out there for 5 or more years now.

  11. #11
    Premium Member kasilofchrisn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FamilyMan View Post
    (I don't know how to edit with tapatalk.)
    Click on your post and it will turn blue. Then click on the three squares in the upper right corner.
    In the drop down menu click on edit. Edit your post then hit the arrow to repost the corrected version.
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    Premium Member kasilofchrisn's Avatar
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    We run a 20' lund Alaskan with a 50hp 4 stroke.
    It works fine but it is a little underpowered with a full load headed upstream.
    "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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    Thanks I'll try that.

    Now editing my reply. I did not see an edit option I click on the three dots. But right next to the three dots was a Nikon of a pencil, so I push that and landed on the set screen.

    I'm stuck for awhile with only this Android HTC One phone to access the Internet.

    Thanks for pointing me the right place to start looking.

    P.S. Sorry for the digression. Now back to your regularly scheduled dipnetting planning. The season is less than 5 months away!

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    Member BRWNBR's Avatar
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    I got a 20 foot G5 with center console ad 50hp honda 4-stroke and ran the Kenai with it last year. I ran two nets and I drove with my family of six total in the boat. We had a riot!! It's tight for dead fish space but it's pretty fast plenty of power very stable and I can use it in alot of other applications. It's a prop I should add. There are some big wake messing around down there around the last bend, but you can dip all the way up to bridge so you can follow the fish up and keep workin over a push of fish. Some people out there in canoes, bathtubs, ocean boats you name it! Be safe. First and foremost!!
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    Member Bullelkklr's Avatar
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    I like to run a 26 foot hewescraft alaskan with twin 200's on the back.........makes for good entertainment when we go back up stream.

    O wait - that wasn't me.


    We use a 18' smoker craft with a 50 effinrude on her.

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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    The question is, do you really want a boat dedicated for fishing the Kenai, or do you want to use dipnetting as a reason to purchase a boat for other uses? Personally I can't see going to trouble and expense of having a boat for a single use per year when that same boat could be used to do so much more throughout the summer.

    Hence my recomendation would be an 18-20' aluminum skiff with a 50 horse 4 stroke. Yes you can get away with a smaller boat just for dipnetting, but having a slightly larger boat will make it both safer when dipnetting, and allow you to get out for saltwater species as well, not to mention can be used for camping and hunting.
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  17. #17

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    Can someone give me a name for a person that could take myself and my son out for a day of dipneting? Charter is fine also.

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    Member thewhop2000's Avatar
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    Pyro, where do you want to dipnet from?
    If a dipnetter dips a fish and there is no one around to see/hear it, Did he really dip?

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by thewhop2000 View Post
    Pyro, where do you want to dipnet from?
    We are going to be staying in Kenai on July 14th and 15th. Coopers Landing on the 16th. Something different than "regular" fishing and maybe get something.

    Can a person rent equipment or hire a charter that provides the equipment?

    Would probably be fishing on the 16th- would like to do clamming on the 15th(since we can do that).

    I would rather pay locals than pay for someone staying in the area(clamming also).

    Thanks guys(again) for everything.

    Doug

    Are there any processors in Kenai? When we have the Salmon runs down here in Michigan there are locals that will clean your fish.

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    Member 4merguide's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JOAT View Post
    4-stroke 50hp is the only power you should even consider. You have to have a 4-stroke.
    I don't take part in that rat race so admittedly I haven't kept up, but did they change the reg? Used to be that below the WA bridge you could use a 2 stroke. Did they change it to 4 only even below the bridge now?
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