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Thread: Ocean boat -dipnetting

  1. #1

    Default Ocean boat -dipnetting

    I am very tempted to launch my Sea Sport at the Kenai public boat dock, drive it a couple hundred yards to the boat/dipnetting spot, anchor it up, and have at it! The thing that makes me nervous is an extreme low tide and losing water everywhere, and the fact that more ocean boats aren't out there doing it. I traditionally do the bank stuff and have done it from a river boat on occasion, but I can't stop thinking how smooth it would be to do it from the comforts of an "ocean-going-motorhome". Large fish deck, cleaning table and hose, deep fish hold and cooler full of ice, could even vaccum bag em' out there! What are the pros and cons of this idea? Ramp conditions? Regs? Traditionalists not wanting to dip fish? Why aren't more (ocean boats) doing this? Am I missing something somewhere?

  2. #2
    Member akriverrat's Avatar
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    first off dipnetting out of a boat in the kenai is a MADHOUSE. long skinny launch and short dock. we waited over an hour to launch my boat. the commercial guys were all flipping me off when i got on step to run back up to the bridge. tons of boats very congested. not sure about lower down the river but up by the bridge it gets very shallow. if i dipnet the kenai out of a boat this year ill probably use a canoe/ motor setup and launch up at the bridge.

  3. #3

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    Couple of reasons, but yes there is other big boats out there.

    First- What type of motors are you running?

    Second- How big is your boat?


    ... Main reasons for bigger boats not running is the hard time of launching/getting stuck from what Ive seen, but I have seen 24 footers out there going at it.

    If you do dipnet from your boat don't go where other boats aren't, generally they all avoid the big mud bar that extends from the upper left view from the boat launch, also make sure you plan to get out EARLY, waiting in a 2 hour line with a big boat could very easily leave you stuck for another 8 hours

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Myers View Post
    I am very tempted to launch my Sea Sport at the Kenai public boat dock, drive it a couple hundred yards to the boat/dipnetting spot, anchor it up, and have at it! The thing that makes me nervous is an extreme low tide and losing water everywhere, and the fact that more ocean boats aren't out there doing it. I traditionally do the bank stuff and have done it from a river boat on occasion, but I can't stop thinking how smooth it would be to do it from the comforts of an "ocean-going-motorhome". Large fish deck, cleaning table and hose, deep fish hold and cooler full of ice, could even vaccum bag em' out there! What are the pros and cons of this idea? Ramp conditions? Regs? Traditionalists not wanting to dip fish? Why aren't more (ocean boats) doing this? Am I missing something somewhere?
    IF you do it exactly as you described, you shouldn't have much trouble at all.

    IF you do what most folks do, things might get interesting* for you when the water is dropping to bottom dragging depth, and the commercial boats are anchored up in what little deep water there is, and 200 other boats are trying to manuver upstream and drift downstream through this gauntlet, and a bunch of knuckle heads go zipping upstream at full throttle about 4 feet from you, and the wind starts blowing across the channel at 20 knots.

    * interesting as in the ancient Chinese curse: "May you live interesting times".
    I can't come to bed right now honey - somebody on the internet is wrong.

    When you believe in things you don't understand, then you suffer . . . " - Stevie Wonder

  5. #5
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    Default Bad Idea

    If you weigh all the good points and all the bad ones it makes it pretty easy to figure out this is a very bad idea. First of all the launch facilities are not that great for your type of boat and you would most likey have to leave just after high tide to keep from ripping your outdrive off. As it turns out - for me thats' the best time to dip fish is on the outgoing tide. Sometimes with the two hour wait to get out of the water, you might run into some really shallow water before you get out. You mention anchoring up and dipping - while that might work, where are you going to anchor - I would assume it would be where the fish are - which is where 100 other boats would be trying to drift by. I am sure that would make for a real interesting day - 100 other boats trying to get by and then speeding past you at god only knows how fast?
    I can't imagine taking a nice boat like that out of there and tearing it up for a few hours of comfort - IMHO

  6. #6

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    The times that I've dipnetted on the Kenai, it's been in an inflatable (wish I'd kept it). The nice thing about a boat that small is the maneuverability. Plus, the way that everyone was dipnetting was to motor upstream and then dip while you slowly motor down river. That way the current's not really pulling on your net. If you anchor, then you'll have to fight the current with your net.

  7. #7

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    I have dipped from river boats in the past and did fine, but the last several years we go next to the dock, up a bit around the signs where a few old pilings are. Its usually not to crowded, very messy, but we do well when it hits. That great spot will be no longer be available, according to the rumors something is getting built around there. Thus, the thoughts of taking the big rig out and anchoring there. I thank you for your insight, I needed that to cool off the idea before I got carried away and actually did it. Now I have to purchase yet another boat thanks to you guys!

  8. #8
    Member jrogers's Avatar
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    For what it's worth, there was a Hewes 26 out there last year when we were there and they did fine (drifting and running like everyone else, not anchored), but there was also a jet boat that went in the wrong place and got stuck and sat there for 6 hours until the tide came back in and floated his boat.

    It could be done, but if you damage your lower unit, you probabily just paid for a boat that is better suited for doing this.

    Jim

  9. #9
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    I debated doing that last year, then I heard about how many hours you'll spend in line launching, and how many hours to retrieve. After that I figured in the adding cost and hassle of towing it down and figured I'll stick with dipping from shore.

  10. #10

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    As said the launch will be difficult. Make sure your in the deeper areas when the tide goes out (center of the river near commercial boats), I have seen many boats get stuck. I have seen some boats get stuck on purpose, they break out an old card table and clean fish until the tide comes in.

    If you do bring a big boat don't be a jerk and create a monster wake that nearly swamps all the other smaller boats as you speed by.

    You'll be able to pull it off, just be cautious of the shallower areas.

  11. #11

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    Perfect!

    I just convinced my wife that I really need a Seasport 3200 just for dipnetting. Who would have thought? I really can't think of a better platform for dipping You guys are on to something! Have a great night

  12. #12
    Premium Member bmunsell's Avatar
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    We take our 22' Wooldridge down every year to dip net. We have a lot of fun and usually have 4 or more families get their fish with us. We have come close to getting stuck a few times, but if you are careful and learn the river, yeah it helps to have a jet, you shouldn't have any problem with natural obstacles. We really enjoy having the bigger boat and try to have a least a 5 person crew. With 5 people, 1 drives, 2 dipnet, 1 kills fish and puts them in the cooler and one guy stands in the back and fillets. That way when we leave the river, our fish are ready to be vacum packed and frozen.

    It does get to be a mad house and usually the river and sandbars aren't the problem. I have to admit that we have picked up a couple of dents over the 5 years or so that we have been going. There can really be a lot going on at times with 1 or 200 hundred other boats, plus the commercial guys coming and going.

    One year I was in the back filleting fish and, knowing that we were getting close to the first cannery dock, I looked around to see what was going on. To my shock we were what seemed like about 20 ft from the back end of a really big blue commercial boat tied to the dock. The tide was running out fast and we must have been doing 8 MPH at least. I yelled at the guy driving to get us out of there and he yelled something about being boxed in by a 20' open alum boat next to us. I calmly told him to run into the guy if he had to, but to get us away from that commercial boat. The guy driving promptly did just that, he gave it the gas and got away from the commercial boat and then whacked the guy next to us. I couldn't believe it, but the guy driving the other boat was so busy he didn't even feel us hit or look around at us yelling at him or react at all. I ended up with a pretty good dent too.

    I suppose that I am probably considered to be one of the knuckle heads some of you guys like to talk about who blast back upriver and create a big wake. Someday I hope someone explains to me how you can get a boat like mine to go up river with a good load and not create a wake. It seems like to me that the faster I go the flatter the wake is. At a slow speed my boat really plows and really leaves a huge wake.

    We usually try to find a section of river where there aren't as many people, but in the end everyone ends up where the fish are.

    The public dock down there now has 4 lanes and is much better than it was. But sometimes loading gets really hairy because of all the boats tied to the docks, especially if the tide is out part way and the docks are short anyway. Its a real challenge to put your boat on the trailer when the tide is running and the channel up between the docks looks like its about 10 feet wide. I'm glad I've gotten past the point where I worry about a dent or two. Ok really I cry every time I walk around the boat and see them but what can a guy do. I didn't buy the boat to have a trailer queen.

    All in all its great fun and a really Alaskan thing to do. Maybe we will see you all there next year

  13. #13

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    Some people have good intentions of not leaving a big wake and so they slow down, not realizing that going slow and pushing water leaves a bigger wake than if you were to go fast and be on step. At the end of my drift, I would always move out away from the shore and people and then get on step and go back upstream for the next drift.

  14. #14
    Member hoose35's Avatar
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    I try to stay away from dipnetting altogether, way too crowded for me. I have launched my boat down there for a trip across the inlet during dipnetting (22' glasply). It wasn't too bad, just a long wait in line.

  15. #15
    Member Alaska Gray's Avatar
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    I take my little 14ft jon boat there instead on my 26ft. Easier to move around with all the boats and this allows me to fish in more areas. I can go shallow not like the bigger boats there.
    Living the Alaskan Dream
    Gary Keller
    Anchorage, AK

  16. #16
    Member akriverrat's Avatar
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    ya my 21 foot northriver dosent go well upriver at slow speeds either and it will leave a HUGE wake behind me. its up on step and back the the beginning for another drift for me. i think everyone is so worked up at that time and such close quarters it wouldnt matter what you do, you will be upsetting someone. i even bank myself around the commercial guys that are tied together and they still get pissy. you would think them being on boats they would understand the less boat in the water the less wake when you are making when making any kind of upstream progress. ive had the same problems alexander creek but with the cabin owners and there docks.

  17. #17

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    If you hang out down by the lower limit at high tide you will do fine with the big boat. The water is plenty deep all the way up to the cannery. Low tide isn't that great of fishing anyways. The salmon use the back eddies from the large commercial boats as holding points. If you hang near the commercials you can pull in plenty of fish. Saw several taking advantage of this fact. Me included. I have 21' custom weld jet.

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