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Thread: Dipnet Kenai with large net?

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    Member jmg's Avatar
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    Default Dipnet Kenai with large net?

    I have a question about dipnetting the Kenai river from a boat with a full size dipnet. The reason I am asking is that I have a friend with a boat and we might try dipnetting the Kenai in a couple weeks from it. But, I also would like to buy one of the nice dipnets from Mike's Welding or Ron Fuller - the big 5' round one - to use from shore. Is it possible to use this large net from the boat, or am I going to hate myself for not having bought a different, smaller landing net for doing it from the boat? Thanks in advance.

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    Member TR's Avatar
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    My buddy used a 5 footer from a john boat on the Kenai a couple years ago. Worked good. Caught more fish than I.

    It was a bit akward. Tie a rope to it. It also caused problems with steerage drifting at idle. A big net off the side pulls the boat that direction.

    I own the net now. Having a multi-use rig suits me.

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    Member jmg's Avatar
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    Thanks for the reply TR. Hopefully there will be 2 people on the opposite side of the boat with landing nets to balance out the steering if need be. I think I'll give it a go. I hear those nets are amazing and saw a guy at the Kasilof last year bring in fish after fish when nobody else was catching anything.

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    The large nets are quite heavy, but they do work because the larger opening covers more water. However, if does not matter what net you are using if you are not on the right spot. If you dip the net in the spot the fish are moving through, then you have a better chance to catch some, not the other way around.

    The only problem I have had with the large nets is that the hoop pounds the net on the rocks and cuts through the strands in a short period of time. After replacing one net ($29.00 in Fairbanks), I went to NAPA and bought a 6-foot section of plastic wire wrap (this stuff has a slit or cut all along the middle, and is used to protect wire bundles from chaffing). A wrap a piece of black electrical tape at each end of the wrap, and another piece about every foot or so.

    By the way, I use a big net at the Copper. It's round in shape, however. Instead of using the regular aluminum handles, I bought two 4-foot sections of the blue-color aluminum handles. These handles connect to each other with built-in snaps, and are very strong. The regular aluminum handles bend, and sometimes are too long. For example, this week I was in a boat at the Copper, and found a good eddy to tie the boat and dip from it, but the branches on the trees nearby would grab the nets handles. I decided to remove the first handle section from the hoop, and used the other section that has a shovel handle.

    This worked to perfection, since I was placing the net right next to the shore about five to seven feet deep. All i had to do was to wait for a salmon to bump the net, then I would immediately pull the net straight up, grab the hoop and pull it into the boat. The only problem I had was that the net strands were ripped to pieces by a few kings. These nets will survive a small king or two, but won't do too well when the larger ones hit it.

    I almost forgot to add the following: the end of the handle (the one with the shovel handle on it) has an additional rig I added. I took a 3-foot section of regular aluminum pipe, and used it to extend the blue aluminum handle. It fit into the aluminum handle perfectly, but I had to use a large snap (spring snap?), since the blue aluminum handle have large snaps and holes to match. I also ended the aluminum handle with a shovel handle, and installed a plastic support/handle thing on the side for extra support in fast currents. That made the total length of the net's handle approximately 11".

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    Mike will sell you a smaller handle if you like I have 3 sizes and have used all 3 from the shore in one day. The small one I think is 8 ft it works great in the dark( and from a boat) when the fish are running in close. That is if they open it after midnite. My son was catching fish faster than I could take care of them with the short handle while the longer nets were alot slower. I also took a piece of tubing and split it and put in on the bottom to help it from wearing out . Mike also has his hoops stock extruded to oval shape that is stronger than round stock and cuts the drag way down. I think he may have a web site you could checkout . Also he sells out every year so keep that in mind.

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    Lets keep in mind that there are limits to the diameter of the hoop, the net's hole size and stretch, etc. The net mike is holding probably is too large to be used in the copper, but I have no idea if it';s legal at the Kenai.

    I prefer the blue-color 4-foot handles, because I can use two of them to create an eight footer, or add a short section of the regular aluminum tubing to make one section a 6 or 7 footer. A 4-foot handle with the net installed stretches at least 7' out, which is plenty for dipping from the boat tied to the shore in an eddy by the water's edge. With a 7' handle and standing in the boat, I had the net down about 5' to 6' deep (at the Copper), right by the rocks, and on the subsistence area I had my limit on kings within a few minutes. It seems that the kings swim just a little deeper than the reds, so I was catching them at the bottom.

    I would think that kings may swim a little deeper in the clear water of the Kenai?

    Just look for eddies by the water's edge, and then see if there is a point or rock that protrudes into the water on the downstream side of the eddy. The salmon will get real close to the water's edge, and then move into the hole in the eddy (hugging the shore). There is where you want to place the net, since they use the eddy and hole below to pick-up speed and swim forward. On a choke point or bottleneck, there will also be a large eddy downstream from it. One can also sweep the current, but that's better done with a lightweight net.

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    Default Dipnets for the Kenai

    I beach fish and I have two or three. I like to use my homemade ultralight when the tide is near full or outgoing for the half hour to hour window on either side. I build it out of 1/2 al. rod into a sort of flyswatter style. I fitted the handle with hollow al. 6' poles that snap togather. These are from AIH and used for concrete floats. I removed the snaps and shot in each end a plug of "great stuff" foam. That way the handle will float and does not fill with water. I then put the snaps back in cleaning out any foam thats in the way. I added a black holder and red handle (from B&J's) to complete the handle. When I want to reach out and touch more fish or the water is moving a little faster I use the "Mikes" monster net with the 16' handle and with the side bar I put the tee over my shoulder and hold it upright with the side bar about 4' from the end. This net is a armfull to handle though. While I was at B&J's I also picked up a pair of "gaitors" for my arms, the are sleves with elastic on both ends tha I hope will cut back on the amount of water that runs down your arm and into your waders when ever you raise your arms.
    Jim

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    Member .338-06's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RayfromAK View Post
    It seems that the kings swim just a little deeper than the reds, so I was catching them at the bottom.

    I would think that kings may swim a little deeper in the clear water of the Kenai?
    You are allowed to keep only 2 dipnetted kings-that's for the whole season.

    The Kenai Reds mostly hug the shores. Mostly. (:

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    Quote Originally Posted by .338-06 View Post
    You are allowed to keep only 2 dipnetted kings-that's for the whole season.

    The Kenai Reds mostly hug the shores. Mostly. (:
    2 kings at the Kenai? That's not too bad. It's only one king in the personal use area of the Copper (below the bridge), and five kings in the subsistence area (above the bridge). However, it's extremely slow above the bridge, and very productive below it. That's why just about every person gets a personal use permit instead of a subsistence one.

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    Quote Originally Posted by .338-06 View Post
    You are allowed to keep only 2 dipnetted kings-that's for the whole season.
    Oops! Just checked, it's only one king on the Kenai.

    Yes, my wife often thinks I'm a moron too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by .338-06 View Post
    Oops! Just checked, it's only one king on the Kenai.

    Yes, my wife often thinks I'm a moron too.
    That's just funny

    I haven't fished in the Kenai for years now. The last time I fished there was with my oldest son when he was a kid. It was probably 18 years ago.

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