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Thread: Impromptu Seward trolling

  1. #1

    Default Impromptu Seward trolling

    Thinking about taking our 16' w/25 hp to Seward in July/Aug for fishing close to the harbor and I've got a few questions:
    1. We don't have a bunch of electric stuff on the boat, only a small battery for cranking the motor (electric start Yamaha 25 4 stroke), will this battery in combination with the motor run a small fish finder? Is an inexpensive model that I could buy from Trustworthy worth the money and needed to find fish?
    2. The divers used on the Kenai for backtrolling; I know they come in different models/depths, so how much line do you have to let out to achieve the model's designed depth?
    3. Was thinking of trolling along the shoreline toward's Miller's in that direction (see other boats doing that), is it productive to do that across the bay as well?
    4. Is mooching effective close in to the harbor? I'm kind of reluctant to buy a fishfinder for just a few trips like this, but it may prove useful on the Kenai river as well, and I imagine it does help when trying to find a spot to mooch?
    5. Rockfish close in to the harbor? Would drop herring as bait or small jigs/spoons on same rods as trolling (our all purpose Ambassadeurs with 20 lb. line on Lamiglass rods).
    I realize we're pretty limited with what we have in the way of boat & gear, but just trying to make the most of it and do something different.
    Thanks,
    Jim
    Was thinking of getting a handheld radio; VHF I presume over a CB?

  2. #2

    Default

    Jim,

    Seward can be fantastic. I have caught kind, pink, and silver salmon everywhere in the bay. You see boat after boat going out to fox island, the various coves that are past Casitllo, and I have often caught more than they have right trolling right next to the sea life center and the city owned rv park. It just depends on the day and what mood the fish are in. Kings are hard to get to without downriggers. Silvers you can get to with the various divers that they make, but I think you are just better off to spend the bucks to get a downrigger as you are going to pay for one eventually anyway with divers as you lose them. The water is very deep only a little bit off the beaches in Seward, I know a fishfinder will help you to find fish, but when they are in, they are easy to catch.

  3. #3
    Member AKBighorn's Avatar
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    I'm interested what more people have to say about fishfinders. Personally I have had 3 models starting with a basic hummingbird and now an Eagle 480DX. With none of them have I ever said there is a bunch of fish down there and actually caught them with any consistency. It's always fun to look at the screen and say there's some fish and then turn around and not catch anything or catch them twice as deep as the screen shows (fish don't look down). So am I the only idiot out there that would like to believe that it is actually seeing fish? The only real use I have found for mine is as a depth finder. I do believe they work very well for that. It is handy in that sense for locating fish or for knowing where your at when dropping shrimp pots but aside from that I have had no real luck. Tell me I'm not alone.

    To answer your questions, yes your battery will have no problems operating a fishfinder. If your looking for it to show you fish, well I think you already know what I think. I have both divers and 2 downriggers and find that most of the time mooching is the most effective technique for silvers. I'd use nautical charts and maybe a garmin gps with bluecharts to know where your at, it'll show depths to a degree. The fish are like moose, they are where you find them and it all depends on the time of year. I don't know much about rockbass in close though. At a minumum I would suggest a handheld VHF radio because you never know what might happen out there. Just my opinion.

  4. #4
    Member DRIFTER_016's Avatar
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    I wouldn't hit the water without mine!!!!! While it does show the occasional fish, that is not what I use it for. I use it for finding pods of bait when trolling and to find and stay on structure when trolling or drifting/anchoring. If I'm trolling along and find a ball of bait on the screen there are usually predators near by even if you don't see them on the screen. I like good quality finders such as my current Lowrance LMS 350 fixed unit with GPS. It enables me to split screen and use the plotter to retrace trolling routes when I get into fish. I will replace it soon with one that has mapping capability for even more detail and flexability. If you want to start out inexpensively the Garmin finders are quite good, I have a Fishfinder 140 would be a perfect starter unit that has a lot of features (greyline to distinguish fish on bottom, high resolution of targets i.e. fish, very simple to operate with only a few buttons). I have a Fishfinder 120 portable that I use while icefishing and on flyin trips. You can't go wrong with a good fishfinder, just take the time to study the manual and learn what it can and can't do. Too many people just turn it on and don't learn the intricacies of undrstanding what they are looking at. Become proficient at reading your sonar and you will catch way more fish!!!!!! Oh one more thing, leave the fish ID feature on whatever machine you buy turned OFF it is useless and will give a lot of false readings (showing fish where there are none).

  5. #5

    Default Ok, looks like I need a better boat!

    Thanks for the help guys and keep it coming; back to question 2: does anyone know how much line you gotta let out to achieve the diver's depth designation? I know I'll probably end up with 1 downrigger, but maybe after an initial trip to make sure our 16' jon/river boat can do this; it does have a slight v in the bow; it's a Alumacraft Xpress; I imagine I shoud run a bilge pump as well; do I need to upgrade the battery to a regularly sized one for this? Not sure I have the space or correct way to mount a downrigger but I'll check. Since we've done well (the one time anyways we tried this on our own) with the divers, I'm inclined to go that route before plunking down money on a downrigger; but like was said before, it's probably inevitable, like better rods, better electronics, better boat, etc, etc, etc.
    Our window of opportunity for this adventure will be July 19 thru Aug. 8. Also, is there a cheap, clean place to spend the night and not get our boat or stuff stolen if we elect to stay the night somewhere? Oh yeah, what am I thinking, while upgrading all the aforementioned stuff, I'll just pick up an RV or a camper to slide in the back of the pickup! Please let me know if anyone wants to give away lots of money too.
    Jim

  6. #6
    Member DRIFTER_016's Avatar
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    There are a lot of variables that dictate the depth that a planing diver will dive, such as line diameter, planer type and size, trolling speed, current. You will need to play around with the setup to see exactly how much line you will need to let out to achive your maximum depth. As for downriggers, you have room. Just go for a portable one such as a Scotty or Cannon, links provided.
    http://www.cannondownriggers.com/pro...p?pg=minitroll

    http://www.scotty.com/marine/product...ct/1050MP.html

    I started out with a 12 foot car topper with manual Cannons on it.
    I would install a high flow bilge pump and a group 24 marine battery, it's better to be safe than sorry.

  7. #7
    Member ak_powder_monkey's Avatar
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    divers and bananna weights work fine for silvers, I mean hey just troll a pixee slowly, works in PWS should work in seward.
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Jim View Post
    Thanks for the help guys and keep it coming; back to question 2: does anyone know how much line you gotta let out to achieve the diver's depth designation? I know I'll probably end up with 1 downrigger, but maybe after an initial trip to make sure our 16' jon/river boat can do this; it does have a slight v in the bow; it's a Alumacraft Xpress; I imagine I shoud run a bilge pump as well; do I need to upgrade the battery to a regularly sized one for this? Not sure I have the space or correct way to mount a downrigger but I'll check. Since we've done well (the one time anyways we tried this on our own) with the divers, I'm inclined to go that route before plunking down money on a downrigger; but like was said before, it's probably inevitable, like better rods, better electronics, better boat, etc, etc, etc.
    Our window of opportunity for this adventure will be July 19 thru Aug. 8. Also, is there a cheap, clean place to spend the night and not get our boat or stuff stolen if we elect to stay the night somewhere? Oh yeah, what am I thinking, while upgrading all the aforementioned stuff, I'll just pick up an RV or a camper to slide in the back of the pickup! Please let me know if anyone wants to give away lots of money too.
    Jim
    In the summer months they open up the old baseball field to rv parking/camping for us guys with boats. You can leave your truck and boat attached and it is easy to keep an eye on stuff. Another big plus is just about everyone in camping in there are boaters and I always tell folks where I went and the sucess I had. I know others do too.There is no power or anything, but it is really close to the creek and a short walk to the launch. It is level and close to the bathrooms.

    I wouldn't leave anything out in Seward that is not bolted down. While I have never had anything stolen, I am imagine it happens fairly commonly to the careless.

    I won't say that you downriggers are a must, but by the time you lose 10 divers or so on the rocks because you really don't know how deep they are, you just lost enough of them to buy a downrigger. However, it is really deep in the area around Seward for the most part and you probably don't even have enough line on reel to reach bottom in the middle of the bay..... Nonetheless, you will catch fish on a diver - just not as many.

    I would not dream of going out there without a way to get water out of the boat automatically....and that is your pump. You need one, you need a bigger battery, and you need a decent fish finder. But, you and your boat will be fine as long as the weather holds out and you stay close in. That is not to say that you're not going to get wet - I don't remember too weekend trips without a good soaking....

  9. #9

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    How much line you have to let out is dependent on how fast you are going. You will catch silvers with your diver as I fish two divers and two downriggers and have always caught silvers with the divers. I have caught a few Kings with the divers too, but few and far between as the just don't seem to get deep enough - or maybe the presentation stinks at the lure end when you slow down that much to get it way down there. At any rate, I think the limit of the divers for most practical trolls is about 30-40 feet, if that.

  10. #10

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    I imagine my electric start 25 hp Yamaha 4 stroke (tiller) has somewhat of an alternator to charge the battery? I'm assuming then that it will charge a larger battery to power the bilge pump, finder? Will running the bilge for a while overcome the battery and the motor's ability to charge? Probably a little motor like that doesn't put out too many charging amps? If I end up going this route, I don't want a puny pump, I want the water out pronto; for a 16' flat bottom boat, what's a good size pump in relation to power requirements? I've thought about renting one of those boats from Miller's but I figure I can do the same with ours for less money, plus it's our boat; hate to rent something we already have. I guess the worse case scenario is to keep an eye on weather, and if all else fails, hit the beach in an emergency. I have a healthy respect for the ocean, been scared by it a few times.
    Thanks for the tips guys,
    Jim

  11. #11

    Thumbs down Ihate to be the devils advocate but:

    seward is not a nice place for a boat of that size and a flat bottom too. if you do go dont go past lowell point. I have seen it turn to crap very fast out there. I have a 28fter and it gets bumpy in it. flat bottoms and chop dont mix

  12. #12

    Default Watch the weather

    You must remember that the wind will blow and it will get rough in the afternoon. Seward is no place to be in a small boat. Early morning and late evening is the calm time to try to slip out in a small boat. The fishing off the beach in late August is fantastic.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Jim View Post
    I imagine my electric start 25 hp Yamaha 4 stroke (tiller) has somewhat of an alternator to charge the battery? I'm assuming then that it will charge a larger battery to power the bilge pump, finder? Will running the bilge for a while overcome the battery and the motor's ability to charge? Probably a little motor like that doesn't put out too many charging amps? If I end up going this route, I don't want a puny pump, I want the water out pronto; for a 16' flat bottom boat, what's a good size pump in relation to power requirements? I've thought about renting one of those boats from Miller's but I figure I can do the same with ours for less money, plus it's our boat; hate to rent something we already have. I guess the worse case scenario is to keep an eye on weather, and if all else fails, hit the beach in an emergency. I have a healthy respect for the ocean, been scared by it a few times.
    Thanks for the tips guys,
    Jim

    Jim, I use a group 22 gel battery (with a backup) and have had no charging issues running the bilge, sounder, and lights...your 25 should work fine for keeping eveything up....pretty rare you`ll shut it off anyway.

    As mentioned, early morning and towards evening the bay calms down...midday can get pretty rough from big boat traffic. Usually one shoreline or the other is not affected by the wind.

  14. #14

    Default

    As long as you watch the weather, stay close in, and use common sense, you will be fine in your boat. It does get windy in the afternoon, but it also really calms down just before sundown most of the time; if you are not out too far you can sneek right back in. And it you are an early riser, you can really get some great fishing in in the morning with nearly flat seas and no boat traffic. But, I agree with everyone that has commented, it can get nasty pretty quickly....

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