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Thread: Question about Kenai Keepers

  1. #1
    Member jmg's Avatar
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    Default Question about Kenai Keepers

    I looked at Kenai Keepers last year at the Sportsman Show, but did not buy one. I then hauled myself in and out of the Kenai last year, fish after fish after fish. At the end of the day I said to myself I would absolutely get one this year.

    Anybody have experiences with these? Good/bad?

    Here is one concern of mine, and I am wondering if you think it is a valid concern. While dipping last year, a guy just a bit down from me caught a small shark in his net. Sand shark maybe? Salmon shark? I don't really remember. Then, later in the day, there was a fish that got caught up in a shallow pool. Thinking it was a salmon I went over to help it (or keep it maybe?), and it was also a small shark.

    So here is the concern - there are sharks in the water. Only small ones that I've seen, but sharks nonetheless. I presume they follow the salmon in. I like to whack my salmon and immediately gill it so it bleeds out. Do I REALLY want to tie 5-10 bleeding salmon to my waist with sharks in the water?

    Any thoughts?

  2. #2

    Default Spiny Dogfish

    There are indeed sharks in the water! But not to worry. These sand sharks, also known as spiny dogfish do not have teeth (I got bit on the thumb trying to release one while halibut fishing... didn't break the skin).

    Out in the deeper water, mostly on the west side, there are salmon sharks. I have never seen one around Kenai or heard of one. I used to fish commercially many moons ago, and we did catch dogfish on occasion, but never a salmon shark. My son worked on a boat for the last couple of years that caught a10-12 footer on the west side.

    You want to be carefule about bonking the dogfish... the regulations are very specific for the taking of sharks... so take some time and review the regs before getting that whacker out... but, don't worry about hearing the theme from "Jaws" while dipping.

  3. #3
    Member jmg's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by alaskanfishguides View Post
    There are indeed sharks in the water! But not to worry. These sand sharks, also known as spiny dogfish do not have teeth (I got bit on the thumb trying to release one while halibut fishing... didn't break the skin).

    Out in the deeper water, mostly on the west side, there are salmon sharks. I have never seen one around Kenai or heard of one. I used to fish commercially many moons ago, and we did catch dogfish on occasion, but never a salmon shark. My son worked on a boat for the last couple of years that caught a10-12 footer on the west side.

    You want to be carefule about bonking the dogfish... the regulations are very specific for the taking of sharks... so take some time and review the regs before getting that whacker out... but, don't worry about hearing the theme from "Jaws" while dipping.
    Thanks for the info. No plans to bonk the dogfish at all, unless of course one starts chewing on me. Just let them go.

  4. #4
    Member GreenTea's Avatar
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    Default

    I've been using a stringer system that resembles the one you're writing about. It works very well as far as allowing me to stay in the water at my chosen spot. When I feel a fish on I pull the handle in until I can grab the net, then I bonk the fish, cut some gill rakers, string it up, and go back to fishing. If the current is really strong and I have a lot of fish on the stringer it does start tugging on me, and dragging them out of the water can be a chore, but it sure does make dipnetting more productive!
    I've never worried about sharks - it's the sea lions that make me nervous! They come in pretty close sometimes, and I can just imagine one of them trying to snatch a red off my stringer. That's why (well, one reason) I don't tie the stringer to myself, like around my waist; I have a big loop in the end of it that I sling over my shoulder, so if I get pulled under I can slip the stringer off in a hurry.
    I made mine with a section of aluminum rod and clothesline - quick, cheap, and easy.

  5. #5
    Member thewhop2000's Avatar
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    Default JMG

    If you have a chosen spot, they work great. I know the guy that makes them so if you want me to put you in contact, send me a private message, Good Luck

  6. #6
    Moderator AKmud's Avatar
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    The inventor of the Kenai keeper is a forum member - Backcountryrobb. You might send him a PM and ask some questions.
    AKmud
    http://i78.photobucket.com/albums/j96/AKmud/213700RMK1-1.jpg


    The porcupine is a peacful animal yet God still thought it necessary to give him quills....

  7. #7
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    Default Sorry I Missed You This Year...

    I was absent for this year's Sportsman's Show, and although I do regret missing out; it was for a good reason. My wife's birthday present this year was a trip to Hawai'i and unfortunately with her business we could only schedule for during the show.

    The stringers work very well. My father-in-law and I invented them and have been using them consistently for the last five years or so with not a single problem with seals or sharks. I too, have had concerns with seals while dipping but for whatever reason they just don't come close enough to actually take a salmon. I, and others, have had up to 30 fish on one stringer and the only drag experienced was up on the beach for cleaning. I do the wrap around the waist but the around the shoulder is also effective with the caveat that you might get a little tangled up with your dipnet handle; just easier around the waist.

    We experienced a little boost in growth last year due to the length of time we've been producing Kenai Keepers and the fact that the 3' rule was put in place last year on the Russian/Kenai confluence. We changed the design last year to accommodate a quick release belt buckle due to safety concerns with bears and water current.

    Most local vendors will be stocked up soon for the season; B&J's, The Net Loft, Gwin's, Three Rivers Fly & Tackle, Boondockers, and the biggest distributor for obvious reasons of location; True Value Hardware in Soldotna; although I think they sold out last year and they havn't placed another order yet. I no longer sell directly so that I stay in good relations with my vendors so I highly recommend calling any of those guys for information on availability.

    It is possible to make your own but the materials I use are very stout and the coated aircraft cable is excellent for tangle issues; it still gets tangled a bit but not near as bad as other cords/ropes. Also, the cable doesn't cut through the gills like other stringer materials. As far as I know there is only one case of a fish being lost from my stringer system and that was a guy that caught a silver in ship creek early in the morning during the derby and hiked up and down the river all day before it finally tore through...

    __________________________________________________ ______________

    As far as technique goes; Dad and I have come up with a pretty good system of preserving freshness through the bonk/bleed method. You don't want to kill the fish with a bonk, but just stun it to subdue it's body movement; we then reach in and rip both sides of the gill rakers after it's been strung to bleed it out in the water. Head and gut it (we see lots of people filleting on the beach and that's a no-no per regulations). Besides that, when you fillet on the beach you allow sand and other gross stuff to contaminate your meat and the quality goes down hill after that. Head/gut/clip tails and use tons of ice. Go home and fillet/vacuum pack and DO NOT THROW AWAY YOUR CARCASSES. Instead, call the Zoo or take the carcasses down to the Game Refuge in Portage; they can always use donations. Last year, Dad and I did that and they were nice enough to give us a couple of day passes. The salmon skins are quite nutritious and if you've ever seen a bear eat a salmon; that's the first thing they do is strip the skin and slurp it down like a spaghetti noodle.

    Hope this helps you all, I'm available for any Q&A via e-mail or PM

    -Best regards,
    Back Country Robb
    "He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit is better than he who takes a city." ~ Proverbs 16:32

  8. #8

    Default

    I was looking at them on the website. How does it keep the fish from ripping off any different than a normal stringer? Maybe I'm missing something.

  9. #9
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    Default Slippery Little Devils

    The coating on the cable is plastic and provides a smooth surface for the fish to freely move on. Without any abrasive surface, the fish do not have an opportunity for their gills/flesh to be sawed through. The toggle pin keeps fish on the stringer once you placed them on.
    "He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit is better than he who takes a city." ~ Proverbs 16:32

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