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Thread: Taking a 14' Zodiac across Cook Inlet from Nikiski

  1. #1
    Member Duckhunter's Avatar
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    Default Taking a 14' Zodiac across Cook Inlet from Nikiski

    I'm thinking of doing some black bear hunting and king fishing in Redoubt and Trading Bays this coming Mid/late June.
    I'm worried about taking my little 14' Zodiac across. I've heard some pretty nasty stories.
    Has anyone hunted there this time of year? Has anyone crossed this time of year in such a small boat? I was thinking of hunting in the Sound instead? Any advise would be extremely useful.

  2. #2
    Member homerdave's Avatar
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    Thumbs down uh...that's a really bad idea

    your boat is TOO LITTLE.
    huge nasty rips form in the mid inlet, no fun in a 32' gillnetter, let alone a zodiac.
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    Member ak_powder_monkey's Avatar
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    Some skiers did it, went across biked in from tyonek and climbed and skied redoubt... I sure wouldn't do it though
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

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    Member akprideinvegas's Avatar
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    Hey, i have taken my 14 foot white water raft, and paddled out to fish for halibut, and i have taken a 16' zodiac out further south at the deep creek boat launch and launched from the beach. All i have to say is i was out on decent days and i would definately not run across the sound. The weather likes to change midday and the wind picks up and with that the waves. The current is definately cooking. you can especially tell one you hit the anchor. But it was an adventure and how many people can say they used their 14 foot raft to fish for halibut. haha be careful though vance

  5. #5

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    I've been lots of places in a 14' Zodiak in lot of weather and sea states. When conditions are good and things go right, no prob. When conditions go bad, you have almost no margin for error and it's easy for lots to go wrong. I never set out in bad conditions, but the fact that I was where I was when conditions changed put me in some very tough situations. The far side of the inlet or the middle of it aren't places to be when conditions change.

    By the time you add a spare outboard, overnight gear in case you get stuck, emergency gear for the boat, and survival suits or mustang suits for everyone on board, there's no room for toys, much less a blackbear in addition to your people. Look hard at the space inside a 14' Zodiak. What you have is about a 9' boat, and no one would consider that adequate. They measure length of Zodiak's by measuring around the outside of the sponson. Account for the curve at the bow and about 3' of sponson behind the transom, and you have about a 9' boat left over.

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    On good days in could be done. I use to fish in a 14 ft. achilles with my dad out of deep creek 12 miles out but if the weather turns it's gonna b a rough ride let me tell ya

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    Default Don't do it

    I was stationed in Homer for 7 yrs with the CG. Spent many a day out in that water. Don't, I repeat don't do it. Your life is worth more than a hunting & fishing trip. The winds and current can make the water stand up real fast.

  8. #8
    New member AKDSLDOG's Avatar
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    I would HIGHLY ADVISE AGAINST IT!

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    Member Marc Taylor's Avatar
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    Default ADN Headline

    We would read all about it in the Anchorage Daily News:

    "Hunters in rubber raft rescued off Kodiak"

    That's where the outgoing tide will have you in an hour if you break down...

    I vote "NO".

    Taylor

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    Default This has been helpful

    So I guess its a prety bad idea. I was really hoping to hear from someone that has done but i guess there aren't many that domb. I guess i can see about flying across with the boat, that gives us the freedom of moving pretty far and diffrent rivers and creeks. There the weight is the issue.

    What About the Sound out of Whittier? Late June seems too late in the season for Blackies over there? A bit safer of a boat trip though. I've been over there a few times last summer.

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    duck hunter I think the season closes in unit 6d (p.w.s.) June 10 for blackies

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    Quote Originally Posted by 06tributeman View Post
    duck hunter I think the season closes in unit 6d (p.w.s.) June 10 for blackies
    Yeah I can easly adjust my dates by a week or so. That will be the plan if I can't find anyone to fly me over there for a decent price. Thanks though. I've just never been there that late and was wondering if all the bears are still at the streams or if they've headed up in the hills for the berries. I'm also not asking for any one to give up a secret hunting spot I just don't want to waist my time. It was kind of heart breaking to find out it is unsafe to take the tub toy across the inlet.

  13. #13
    Member ak_powder_monkey's Avatar
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    why not go up the yetna a little ways? You outta be able to find some excellent hunting in that area...
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

  14. #14
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    Default Yenta

    That is a better option then trying the PWS that late in the year. I am just affraid i will be bombarded with boats. I think you're right i should be able to kill a bear.

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    Member AK NIMROD's Avatar
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    yes it can get nasty in Cook Inlet but a Zodiac is a very safe boat. just not comfortable boat. over the years i have owned 3-4 14 ' inflatables and 1 16 footer. i have never boated in Nikiski area but used to ( many years ago) alot off Deep Creek and Whiskey Gulch. we used to go out 8-10 miles or more frequently, did not have GPS back then. . if i had a desire to go across inlet i would have not hesitated. just would need proper planning and not go off half cocked when doing it.
    PWS is better area in my opinion thou and that is where i go these days also have bigger boat.
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    unfortently i have scraped the idea and decided to try something els. Maybe another year when i can fly over with the Zodiak.

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    Another strong no.

    If you are wrong about the weather, sea conditions, your ability, your boat or anything else, your dead.

    Bad idea.

    If you had an 8 meter Zodiak Rigid Hull inflatable, with twin 150/200 Yamaha or Honda and had a lot of training and experience, different story.

    Cold Zero, U.S.C.G.A.

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    Member alaskachuck's Avatar
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    I have to go with a no also. I used to run out of deep creek with my 14' zodiac many many years ago (pre tractors) and then started again in the early 90's for a few more years. I have gone out 8-10 miles but the conditions had to be prefect. I have seen some nasty stuff out there and it can come up quick. Hour ride out 3-4 hours in. soaking wet white knuckle. Yes I did stay out to long once but the margin for error out there is slim and none. Ill still fish it in my zodiac but i would never try to make the run accross. Just my 2 cents worth
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    duckhunter;

    email replied to.

    be safe.

  20. #20
    Member RMiller's Avatar
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    I fished out there (whiskey gulch) a few times in a 12.5 foot zodiak had an 18 horse motor. Pulled a 136 pound halibut in with it. My brother caught it on my salmon pole with 20# line.

    The farthest I went out was 20 mins full throttle, how ever far that would be.

    When we caught the big halibut after a 3 hour fight we were clear around anchor point and it took an hour to get back to whiskey gulch.

    Another time the weather caught us and it was an insane ride back to the beach. The weather went from chop to whitecaps in like five minutes. Still went full throttle back to shore.

    The good thing about a Zodiak is they are near unsinkable. As long as you dont fall out of the boat you will likely get to shore. But there is not much room and you are at the mercy of your engine. The current out there is incredibly fast.

    I dont think I was even halfway across. If I was to try it I would do it on the end of an outgoing tide. So to catch the next slack tide the incoming and the next slack tide. Maybe with a 19' and twin 50+ motors.

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