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Thread: Dipping Kenai from a boat

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Default Dipping Kenai from a boat

    I dipped Kenai from the beach last year with moderate success, but I'm thinking of giving it a shot from a boat this year. A few questions, though... I've got a long-handled net with the max 5' opening - is this too big for dipping from a boat, or do people generally use the same nets? Do you anchor up in the middle and wait, or do you drift downstream under slight motor power? I guess I should just go and watch for a while, but I'd like to know what to expect before I borrow the jonboat and hit the river. Thanks!

    -Brian

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    Moderator AKmud's Avatar
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    Wink It's a breeeeeze...

    Dipping from the boat is the only way to go! I have found that a good net with a 8-12' handle is plenty for boat dipping. You won't anchor (trust me), just run upstream and get in line. Kick the motor into gear at an idle and drift downstream just ahead of the current to keep the net inflated. I typically tie lines to the bow and then back to the yoke of the net to assist with holding it against the current. You will have to use trial and error till you get the length of the rope right.

    Keep the net as close to the bottom as possible. If you are 1-2' off the bottom they will be swimming right under your net. When you feel a wiggle, yank the net straight up (handle pointed to the sky), dump the fish and plunge it in for the next one.

    I have dipped fish in water so shallow I could see 1/2 the hoop out of the water. On the other hand I have had an 8' handle nearly completely in the water to get down to where they were running. Experimentation is the key (and watching everyone else).

    Good luck!
    AKmud
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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Default

    Are you using a net with gillnet mesh, or is that too much trouble with getting them out quickly while drifting? I'd like to use what I have if possible, but getting them out of the gillnet takes a moment sometimes.

    -Brian

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    Moderator AKmud's Avatar
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    Default Landing net

    I use just a regular old black landing net I got at Trustworthy's. If the fish are there, it works just fine. It is MUCH quicker than the gillnet, but you will find a lot of people that swear by the gill. I've fished both out of my boat and the gillnet didn't catch any more fish than my landing net. My buddy did fight it more than I fought mine though. Gillnet works just fine out of the boat so no need to go buy new equipment.
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    The porcupine is a peacful animal yet God still thought it necessary to give him quills....

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    Member Alaska Gray's Avatar
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    Default

    I have done great on my boat. I keep my net near the top of the water compared to AKMud. Funny how things work differnt for people. Do what mud said and tie your net off to the stern. This helps and saves so much energy that you will use if's not tied off. Netting from the boat is the only way to go.
    Living the Alaskan Dream
    Gary Keller
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    Default

    Funny this should come up. I have been dipping from shore for the last couple of years and finally have come up with a boat. I am in the debate wether or not to try it. The boat is a little smaller than I was wanting but I think my wife and I should be ok. It is a 14' v-hull with a 9.9hp outboard. Is this adequate for the lower Kenai between the Ames bridge and the mouth? My trailer only has bottom runners and no side bunks, am I going to be able to get it out of the water at the boat ramp? I am going to try to build some side bunks tomorrow after work, but not for sure if I am going to have time. I have heard that the water can be rough at the boat ramp is that true? On the net, I am going to use my 5' hoop with a 5' handle, I think this should be adequate but not for sure. Has anyone been out this week? I haven't heard of any dippers out except on the Kasilof. Thanks

  7. #7

    Default

    I've dipnetter out of a boat only 2x. The first time we nailed em. They were practically jumping in the boat.

    The second time was not so hot. Didn't get our limit and worked hard.

    tieing off the net sure helps. We caught a lot of fish in shallow water, maybe 3-5 feet deep.

    If you aren't doing good in one place...look around a bit. That's the nice thing about a boat.

    We went down in a 16 foot jon boat and a 15hp motor. It worked fine. I think it could get a little rough at high tide with a strong wind.

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    Member Spanman's Avatar
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    14' V -hull with a 9.9hp should be just fine. I did it last year out of my Scanoe with a 4hp kicker. Dropped off at the Warren Ames bridge and just kept getting in line and going up and down. We did find that if your in a lighter boat it helps to have the same (type, shape, material) nets out both sides to keep you straight, and gill net makes it harder to dump them and dip again. Our day was not so good as they released the emergancy for boats to go out, we had 3 people in the canoe and had only 3 fish, called out buddy on the land he hadn't landed any.

  9. #9

    Default boat

    The best times I've had dipnetting have been from a boat. It's alot less tiring than standing (or walking) in the water. Best to have two people with nets in the water to keep the boat straight. Also,when you (driver) get a fish in the net, the other person can take it out, bleed it, and put it in the cooler while you continue to steer and not run into the bank or other boats. The best time I had was when I was in my old inflatable. Left hand on the tiller, net in my right hand. Huge shake in the net. Pulled as hard as I could with my right hand on the net while continuing to steer. Hauled about a 50-lb king over the gunnel and into the boat. People in other nearby boats cheering. Yep, that was a good time.

    Let me just add that the wait at the boat launch ramp for the Kenai River can be over an hour, if not more. Especially during and weekend and when the fish are in. I would launch before dipnetting opens for the day (is it still 6 am or so?), then either set an anchor and wait for the opening or leisurely motor to the dipping area and wait for the opening. Little ramp wait time at that time of the morning.

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    Default When does it start?

    To lazy to do a search...when does it usually start?

  11. #11

    Default Start

    I'm too lazy to do a search for you.

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the tips, guys. I think I'll be driving down tomorrow night and dipping on Sunday/Mon. morning. I'll let you know how it goes - I know it might be a bit early, but I've got visitors coming in Monday night. Besides, last year we just missed the big push by a day or two, so I guess you never know. I think I'll stick with the gillnet that I've already got, but my buddy that is coming along will buy a regular mesh net so we can test them side-by-side. Thanks again!

    -Brian

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    Moderator AKmud's Avatar
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    Default July 10th

    is when it was supposed to open. Fish counts are still really low (currently 59% below average) -

    http://www.alaskaoutdoorjournal.com/...kenaisock.html
    AKmud
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    The porcupine is a peacful animal yet God still thought it necessary to give him quills....

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Default

    So, has anyone been dipnetting on the Kenai yet? I know the numbers are abysmal, but I've seen lots of nets in the back of pickups over the past few days.

  15. #15

    Default dipnets

    BM-

    Didn't you know that all fishermen are optimists?

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    Member Alaska Gray's Avatar
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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Well, looks like we'll be changing our plans. Sounds like it's hardly worth the drive right now, so maybe I'll chase silvers in the Little Su. If the run shows up late (after our out-of-state visitors leave in almost two weeks) I might give it a go then. Thanks anyhow...I'll certainly use the boat tips another time, if not this year.

    -Brian

  18. #18
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    Default

    Dipnetting from a boat is the only way to go. From my past experiences, I get so many more fish from a boat than on shore.

  19. #19
    Member c-bolt's Avatar
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    Default nettin' from the boat

    saturday, the 15th we did ok, considering the counts were really crappy.

    we had the nets in the water @ 6 with a couple of hours left on the incoming tide.....

    first pass had 13 fish, then it slowed down, but we kept at it. by noon, we had 50 fish in the cooler including 2 kings and 3 good size flounder. we cut em up, and went out for more. as the tide started rolling in, so did the fish. by 6 pm we had another 35 fish, but it was getting late, and we had to go. so all in all 85 fish, not too bad considering the fish counts!!!!

    we were using 2 of the 4 ft boat nets from ron the dip-net guy. they are great nets. they held up great, although the weeds did start to collect on the net (letting the spray from the boat clean them on the way up the river everyonce in a while really helped!)

    btw, i think they improved the launch from last year....there are now 4 lanes to launch, and the line never got too long from what i saw. there was lots of traffic on the water though.....

    later

    Joe

  20. #20

    Default

    Looks like the count for yesterday, 13,000, may be the start of the push. I'm heading down Friday with the family.

    Has anyone heard about a new??? boat launch on the south side of the Kenai near the mouth? I've heard a few people talk about it, but they didn't know where it was. I can't find anything on the internet, I'm going to make some calls tomorrow.

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