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Thread: which side of montague?

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    Member akriverrat's Avatar
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    Default which side of montague?

    ok heres a question that i hope will raise some comments and i welcome them all please let loose. i have my lifejacket on and am prepared for your replies . fishing from whittier in a 21 foot northriver commander 350 hamilton 212 which fishing ground would be the safest to venture out to and get back to cover if bad weather rolled in. seal rocks on the east side of montegue or cape clear on the west side. looks like the distance to safety are about the same with seal rocks to zaikof bay coming in a few miles closer and a due north heading. cape clear to mcleod harbor is roughly 15 miles to shelter with a northeastern heading. i have experiance in prince william sound running to the north end of montague a few times a year and working my way out a ways into the gulf around ellrington this last year. ocean swell dosent bother me. so which area would you guys hit if it was you and reasons would be appreciated as well. never been that far out in the gulf and my boat is pretty fast if need be. most weather from both areas would be pushing into prince william sound and i would not be headed out in any crappy weather.

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    Member Alaska Gray's Avatar
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    This will be good. I'm thinking of heading out there this year.
    Living the Alaskan Dream
    Gary Keller
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    Member spoiled one's Avatar
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    Default How much life insurance do you carry?

    I have fished both ends of the island in the old boat (24 AK sea runner). I was always the smallest boat out there. Both areas can and will get nasty very quick. 15 miles is a long way when the seas get big, especially in a jet boat. I look in my rear view mirror and see a couple of car seats now. It sure makes me think before I act. I don't think I would try it a smaller boat. Stick to what you already know or go out with a buddy that has an ocean boat. This is just my opinion of course.
    Spending my kids' inheritance with them, one adventure at a time.

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    Member DMan's Avatar
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    I've fished the west end, never the east end. Would like to this summer. I am sure your expecting to hear it but in a 21' jet it might be a little hairy. I was talking to someone last summer that went to seal rocks in a 26' Hewes like AK Gray's and the weather was nice. Weather looked like it was headed their way and they decided they better head in. By the time they got to the Hinchinbrook enterance (like 10 miles) they were in mixed seas in all directions and the boat was pounding. The wind kicked up so much they ended having the raft break free off the top and had to go chase it down (seeing it was part of their survival plan). Needless to say they were all rattled a bit by the time they got to shelter.

    That being said I have a 22' Hewes and would like to run out there in June if I get the chance. Like you said, all about the weather!
    ... aboard the 'Memory Maker' Making Memories one Wave at a Time!

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    Member FISHFACE's Avatar
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    Don't know much about the east side, but I spend lots of time on the west of the Island. To be honest I don't think it's a good idea at all. Heavy current and a long way to run with no protection. You say it's 15 miles off of the cape, but when you fish off of Montague you usually fish offshore which can make that run double. There are places to fish that are closer to the south on the Island that still have good fishing and are a lot safer for you. You probably can do it if weather permitting, but are a couple fish really worth that kind of risk? When we had a 24' seasport I never ran that boat there once, and it can handle quit a bit more water than the boat you described. Good luck hope it all works out well
    Boatless

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    Interesting thing about PWS, you can turn corners and be on another side of an island or moutain and its nice (or terrible). When your in the open like around Montague and its time to get out of there, you can get your butt kicked before you make it to home base. I got caught in a bad one just leaving Surprise Cove one morning in my SeaSport making a run for Whittier. When I took off I heard people on the radio calling to the CG to up grade the sea height report from 6ft to 9ft. I couldn't turn around -literly, I was actually trying to tack like a sailboat because I was in a terrible following sea all the way to the harbor. My SeaSport can handle a lot, but not much handles a bad following sea with any kind of grace. It was bad enough that my kicker was knocked sideways on its mount, had it come off completely who knows what I would have done. I had already fallen out of my helm seat once and the engine had sputtered due to me knocking the power off as I fell. It was a washing machine and I was a pair of dirty shorts!

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    Member ocnfish's Avatar
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    Default http://www.arh.noaa.gov/textforecasts.php?type=marine

    On the right day a smaller boat is OK, but if you do not know what is going on with the weather you can get into real trouble. I always look at the weather before we go and I try and figure out if it is a a improving or deteriorateing weather patern. Last year more than half of our trips were of the safe but snotty type. We usually fish the south and south east ends of Montague. Drift the rock piles for rockfish and lingcod and then head up the east side a few miles looking for big halibut. Along about the end of July it all comes to an end because of the invasion of dogfish. We have a 26' Osperey and it is at least safe when it kicks up. We run out of Seward because it is only about 66 miles to Montague, but Blying sound is open ocean and you just do not see 'bay, day,multipurpose river boats' doing that kind of thing.

    About the tides, where we fish in only 50 to 70 feet of water and even if the tide is running we still catch fish. If you duck around to the east side of cape clear when the rock piles are ripping the current is about half as fast.

    Be safe, and if you want the ocean experience get the right equipment.


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    I run out to the east side from Seward on occassion and most of the comments here are spot on.
    It can be done but pay attention to what direction the wind will be running and if the tide is going in or out.
    The "bad" part about making this run is it is usally a good deal calmer running this area in the morning. Come afternoon it can all change rather quickly.
    Yes it can be done with the right weather and tides but it can quickly turn into crap. My best advice is to find a good buddy with a nice ocean boat. When the need to run to Montaque comes up buddy up with him for the run and then take him to the Deska fishing for kings
    Tennessee

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    Member Alaska Gray's Avatar
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    Great info. like Dan said earlier. It is always good to go with another boat.
    Living the Alaskan Dream
    Gary Keller
    Anchorage, AK

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    Member Arctic Hunter's Avatar
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    Default Run to Montague

    Im interested in doing a run to Montague with someone sometime this summer. Tried heading up that way for the first time this past December for a deer hunt, but the weather forcasts were not in our favor.

    I can vouch that Weather can and will go down in a moments notice in PWS. I have spent a considerable amount of time this winter in PWS, was out almost every weekend from Nov. thru Dec.. There were times I went out glass in the morning and had to fight through 4-6 ftrs in Port Wells and Passage to get home in the afternoon.

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    Default Good one

    "It was a washing machine and I was a pair of dirty shorts!"
    I can't wait to use that line on someone!!! Good one Myers!

  12. #12

    Talking

    Sorry Trapman, but that line is copy righted and it suppose to be "mirror-like flat calm" all summer so none of us will get to use it. Ha Ha!

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    Member akriverrat's Avatar
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    all very sound advice and i agree with what you are all saying about how the weather can turn in an instant. i am very aware of the weather when i am out there. first i look at the forecast then i look at the bouy info online. i watch these two along with the news all week and make my decision if im going to go after i check the forcast and bouy info about 2:30 am the day im planning on leaving. i have a vhf so i can monitor the weather when im out there.

    from what im gathering from what you guys are saying is the tides can get kinda nasty on the cape clear side of montague. so with wind on top of that its pretty hairy if it starts to get crappy out. its a longer run to mcleod harbor too than the run from seal rocks to zaikof bay.

    starting to look like fishing around green island, rocky bay area with a camp set up in rocky bay or somewhere around graveyard point would be the better alternative and then i could shoot out to seal rocks if the weather is looking good. i wouldnt even set anchor out there at seal rocks so that i could head in asap if need be. the weather bouy at seal rocks is actually close to seal rocks as well where i think the cape clear bouy is alot farther off shore. so im thinking you should be able to get a more accurate reading for the immediate area. funny how those bouys read waves though. ive been going across wells right by the bouy in easy 4 to 5 footers and checked online when i got home what the bouy was reading at the time i was going by and it read 2 footers. so now im always suspicious is the bouy is registering waves. usually expect double. not always the case but a good rule to go by.

  14. #14
    Member captaindd's Avatar
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    Default Montague

    Going to Seal Rocks on a calm day can get you into big trouble even with the right type of boat. Last year I was running between Seal Rocks and the Light House. The seas where 1 to 2 ft chop which is calm for that area when I was hit by a 20ft plus Rogue Wave. I went into the wave head on and up over the top of it. I along with 2 other boats never seen it coming. Going into the wave was not that bad for me but coming down was like jumping off a 20ft cliff. I was glad to see that it was only 1 wave. I talked with the other boats and we all made it threw it OK the bottom line is things can happen. Also you may have to anchor up when you get to Seal Rocks because the tide and currents may be to strong to drift. You really can get strange currents their that are caused by the mixing of Gulf and from Prince William Sound. The Light House is another option but you usually just anchor up to fish there.

  15. #15
    Member akriverrat's Avatar
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    [quote=captaindd;212974]Going to Seal Rocks on a calm day can get you into big trouble even with the right type of boat.

    so your saying that you will not be going out there again capt?

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    I have fished the Hinchinbrook entrance a lot in my 22"' jet boat and ventured to the light house on occasion. I have looked at seal rocks on a calm day and was tempted. On every occasion out there common sense (or Fear) took over and I didn't go. As much as I like to catch big fish I couldn't overcome the fear. A good buddy is in the process of purchasing a 32x10 and he owes me some trips so I may finally get to go.

  17. #17

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    Last year I went with a buddy in his 22-ft C-Dory to the north end of Montague to fish. We decided to see what was around the corner (on the east side) and headed that way. Near ship rock (?) the flat, calm water turned into a fast flowing river. Man the tide was ripping. Never seen anything like it. Nothing that we couldn't go through (and we did), but it was spooky. As we rounded the corner to the east side, we could see very large waves and decided that was close enough for us. Sure made me feel small.

  18. #18
    Member akriverrat's Avatar
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    traveled through bainbridge passage last year and experianced some tidal movements. it was ripping through there. small whirlpools and current in every direction. made me keep my eyes peeled thats for sure.

  19. #19
    Sponsor potbuilder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by akriverrat View Post
    traveled through bainbridge passage last year and experianced some tidal movements. it was ripping through there. small whirlpools and current in every direction. made me keep my eyes peeled thats for sure.
    AKRR,
    I think we met in sh*ttier last summer at the launch ramp by the harbormasters office . You sure seemed like a nice guy so why do you want to push your luck with that little tin boat out on the big water? You know when the sh*t hits the fan out there the waves stand up and get close together, so not only can't you run fast but also they will just bury your bow and blow out those nice big windows you have, believe me i've had a few scary crossings just running forth & back from cordova to whittier. One of my buddies filled his bow with water from a big one, flipped over, and spent a scary night clinging on to the bottom of his bowpicker, luckly a tender found him. Instead of burning fuel money looking for fish out in the ocean spend the money on a kick ***** gps/plotter and find & mark some of those hot gullies/ridges that exsist in the sound closer to home. Just my two cents

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  20. #20
    Member akriverrat's Avatar
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    Smile

    well i havent had the pleasure of meeting you yet potbuilder i do believe that i am a (nice guy). the thing is, is i do not plan on pushing my luck to the extent that you all think i plan on pushing my luck. its a matter of personal opinion as i have seen what goes on out there and have talked to guys with even more boat than i that wouldnt think of going past culross passage only because of inexperiance. well more power to them and i believe that you should only go as far as YOU ARE comfortable with.

    if i was to ask if the trip to southern montegue or green island was possible in a 21 foot inboard jet boat im sure i would have gotten similar replies to the replies on this thread. yet the last three years when i go out of whittier my destination is the southern end of knight. i am simply looking to expand my fishing destinations in this wonderful area and i suppose i am guilty of asking questions that deal with farther away than within. but i am thinking that i might get more honest opinions with questions that deal with areas further away than the latter. i am not necessarily in search of BIG fish like you are all thinking but more variety and plentiful of fish. if i only wanted bigger fish i would go to my friends spot and catch a 90 to 200 pounder every 6 hours and its only 50 miles out of whittier . and halibut would be the only catch i brought home. i am intrested in a spot that i can catch halibut lings and rockfish within miles of each other and when the silvers are in they would be a bonus as well. i have heard good things about cape clear and seal rocks as well so i figured id see what people had to say about it, weather wise anyway. i still havent gotten an answer to my question by the way although i appreciate all your concern for my safety . overall i do agree with your input of good electronics and those are on the list. i have enough to get me by but upgrades are coming.

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