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Thread: Opening weekend on the Kasilof

  1. #1
    Member garnede's Avatar
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    Default Opening weekend on the Kasilof

    I want to go down on opening weekend on the Kasilof. I have dipped on the Kenai but not the Kasilof. I have some questions. I have a 4wd pickup. 2 4' octagon hoops on 15' handles and I will be dipping from shore.

    1) what technique is used on the Kasilof. While dipping at the kenai it was stick the net in the water and wait for the fish to swim into it. I have read mentions of walking with the current and the Kenai shuffle (whatever that is).

    2) Is the fishing better from the north or south shore. I do not mind walking to the north shore if the fishing will be better.

    3) Is there a good place to camp along the beach, whichever shore you suggest.

    4) Is the 4 wheeler traffic at it all night on the south shore of the kasilof like it is on the Kenai?

    5) opening weekend is a minus tide. Will that be good or bad for fishing all things considered equal?

    6) How big will the crowds be on opening weekend, based on past experience. Will the minus tides make that number bigger or smaller.

    7) What would you call a good catch for opening weekend?

    Thanks
    It ain't about the # of pounds of meat we bring back, nor about how much we spent to go do it. Its about seeing what no one else sees.

    http://wouldieatitagainfoodblog.blogspot.com/

  2. #2

    Default Kasilof River strategies

    Please study the enclosed picture of the mouth of the Kasilof.

    The salmon come in with the incoming tide. They follow the river channel until the mouth is flooded and can be caught off of both shores as well as all across the middle with important distinctions.

    Initially, folks with start picking them up way out the south shore at the beginning of the channel. They tend to then follow the northern edge of the channel as they move up towards the point, although significant numbers still allow for good catches on the south shore.

    As the tide continues to flood, the bulk of the fish are swept past the mouth, and they turn and swim south along the beach towards the point. This is when you will see folks catching fish north of the point along the beach, and kids catching fish behind the adults standing up to their chests up at the point.

    The south shore offers much more camping room, and a nicer, gravelly bottom to stand on. People are able to back up their rigs and launch boats off the south beach. You can do just fine on the south beach, but the bulk of the fish follow the northern river channel and the northern beach on their way to the river.

    The north shore has much more muck. I have personally fished the north edge of the river channel all the way out to the second can and worked up with the incoming tide. It is treacherous, and an easy way to die.

    With the flooding tide, the muck flats quickly disappear under water. You can find yourself a long way from the beach in a short time.

    You will see the most inefficient fishing imaginable at the north shore. People will slog way offshore, catch a fish, and drag it all the way back to the beach in order to get it out of their net. In the meantime, more fish are going by and, invariably, someone moves in to take their place. Stay in place, remove the fish from your net, and put it in a web bag. They will fall off a stringer as their jaws get pretty soft after a while.

    Upriver on the north bank beyond the point, many people do fine in the little cove there. As the tide goes out, though, you've got the muck to contend with.

    My preferred method is to use a 12' skiff with a 6hp kicker. It's small enough to throw it in all by yourself, and it allows you to find where the bunches of fish are and leapfrog your way as they move towards the point. With a boat, you can always have your net basket in the right direction whether the tide is flowing or ebbing. Slack time is also fishable, once you find where they are laying, waiting for the water to move.

    As far as noise goes, both shores of the Kasilof are pretty noisy at night with ATV's and fireworks and all.

    I prefer the north shore for camping. Get there early though, as space is limited.

    Please don't get your truck stuck on the beach below high water line.

    ~tr


  3. #3
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    Default good link

    Garnede here is a great link on numbers hitting the rivers.

    http://www.sf.adfg.state.ak.us/FishCounts/

    More specific link on Kenai/Kasilof/Yetna
    http://csfish.adfg.state.ak.us/mariner/uci/uciesc.php

    2500 is low, but hey it's just the first day of data!
    I think 10,000/day is good for dipnetting on Kasilof.
    20000 per day and you'r crushing them.

  4. #4
    Member garnede's Avatar
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    Default

    Thanks for the info.
    It ain't about the # of pounds of meat we bring back, nor about how much we spent to go do it. Its about seeing what no one else sees.

    http://wouldieatitagainfoodblog.blogspot.com/

  5. #5
    Member garnede's Avatar
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    Default

    I would still appreciate more info or opinions on this. Thanks
    It ain't about the # of pounds of meat we bring back, nor about how much we spent to go do it. Its about seeing what no one else sees.

    http://wouldieatitagainfoodblog.blogspot.com/

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    Member Berto's Avatar
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    Default check your inbox

    i sent you a pm

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Berto View Post
    i sent you a pm
    I would like a PM on this subject, as I plan to head down there as well...
    "The Gods do not subtract from the allotted span of men's lives the hours spent in fishing" Assyrian Tablet 2000 B.C.

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    Member B-radford's Avatar
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    Default

    Its looking like i might be heading down on wednesday night for the opener, hope its good dippin.

  9. #9
    Member garnede's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by B-radford View Post
    Its looking like i might be heading down on wednesday night for the opener, hope its good dippin.
    Please post a report. Thanks
    It ain't about the # of pounds of meat we bring back, nor about how much we spent to go do it. Its about seeing what no one else sees.

    http://wouldieatitagainfoodblog.blogspot.com/

  10. #10
    Supporting Member AFHunter's Avatar
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    Default

    I will also take a PM of any additional info please. I will be headed down the Kenai for a week long vacation with the family. We are headed out this weekend. It sounds like it may be worth my time to bring along the dipnets and try the Kasilof for the first time.

    gr8fl, Thanks for the awesome info provided. Rep point your way.

    Does anyone see an issue with parking a Class A down there with-in wlaking distance. Time to hit the maps and get some more info.
    Last edited by AFHunter; 06-22-2009 at 17:13. Reason: Added a thanks to grdfl

  11. #11
    Member B-radford's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by garnede View Post
    Please post a report. Thanks
    I will for sure. I leave for German on sunday and i find out today what my work load is going to be like for the rest of this week. I just might have to start my vacation early and a trip for the opener would be a great way. I will keep everyone updated if i head down.

  12. #12

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    I'm not sure I can offer anymore advice than what gr8fl as already provided. Last year was my first time dipnetting on the Kasilof. We first tried on the July 4th weekend. The river was light on fish, but heavy on people. Quite the zoo! We went back on July 16th and had the place to ourselves. With 18,800+ fish moving up the river that day, it didn't take us long to hit our limit. Both times we were on the south bank. If you've never driven your vehicle on a soft sandy beach, it can be a little unnerving. As for technique, we mostly stood in place holding our nets perpendicular to the shoreline. But at low tide with the strong current, we walked downstream moving with the current. There were so few people there, that we didn't have to worry about running into others. Plus there were enough fish we didn't have to walk far before emptying the net.

    Perhaps on tip to consider if you walk with the current, try adding a milk jug or other float to help support your net up in the water. Most of the fish we were netting were coming in high. Another dipper walking with us had a float on his net and that seemed to make things much easier to manage in terms of guiding the net along.

    The south bank of the Kasilof does have quite a bit of gravel in many areas which tends to chew up your net along the hoop. Slip a piece of old garden hose over the bottom half of the hoop and attach with zip ties, that'll protect your net pretty well.

    Good luck,

    Jeff

  13. #13

    Default

    I've dipped the north bank and the south bank and have done well at each. As far as driving on the south bank, I've always come very close to getting stuck in the deep, loose sand. Especially in a truck with a heavy diesel engine. I've heard that lowering the air pressure in your tires can help provide traction and haven't tried that yet but might be a thing to try if you get stuck.

    On the north bank, it's also sandy. I think I've seen people drive below the high water mark on what looks like firmer sand. But I haven't tried it because I'm concerned about getting stuck and then having the tide come in. Does anyone have any helpful hints on accessing the north side (where and how to drive)?

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    Member rimfirematt's Avatar
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    Default

    So you launch off the beach into the ocean? Is this something I can do with a 16 foot jon boat?

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    Member thewhop2000's Avatar
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    Thumbs up rimfirematt, Got a big pickup and a fourwheeler?

    Launching boats can be done. I have put in a few large inflatables and a few Jon boats. You need to be able to pull your trailer through the initial soft sand. Once you get past @ 100 yards, it gets better. Launch with a four wheeler. It gets steep at low tide and a truck won't cut it. PM me if need me and I'll give you more info. This is for the south shore. North shore has too much muck!! Hope this helps. I'm the guy that started the South-Central Alaska dipnetter's association. Bring up our website at alaskadipnetting.com. Good luck, Ken

  16. #16

    Default launch south beach

    "So you launch off the beach into the ocean? Is this something I can do with a 16 foot jon boat?"
    I will be down there on the south beach putting my 18ft in, have done it the past few years. Truck, good tires and a 4whlr, i use ramps for my front tires as not to dig, also let a good bit of air out of my tires. If you pm me maybe we can back each other up if any trouble happens.(i have pulled a few guys out in the past and have been helped a time or two).

  17. #17
    Member tjm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rimfirematt View Post
    So you launch off the beach into the ocean? Is this something I can do with a 16 foot jon boat?
    yes...

    ------------------------------------------------
    pull my finger....

  18. #18
    Premium Member kasilofchrisn's Avatar
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    Default Kasilof Dipping

    Anyone ever make the run from the Kenai city dock to the Kasilof for dipping? Usually I just dip the Kenai but due to my work schedule I will miss it this year.
    The boat is a 20' lund alaskan with a 50 hp Johnson 4-stroke on it. I don't even want to try and launch from the beach. I gave up on beach dipping years ago. The boat is so much easier and the beach is often a zoo. Looks to be about a 10 mile run. Shouldn't take too long.

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by kasilofchrisn View Post
    Anyone ever make the run from the Kenai city dock to the Kasilof for dipping? Usually I just dip the Kenai but due to my work schedule I will miss it this year.
    The boat is a 20' lund alaskan with a 50 hp Johnson 4-stroke on it. I don't even want to try and launch from the beach. I gave up on beach dipping years ago. The boat is so much easier and the beach is often a zoo. Looks to be about a 10 mile run. Shouldn't take too long.
    Have done this twice. 16-ft. inflatable with 35 HP outboard. Yes, the distance is short but there are setnets all over the place between the two rivers in the inlet. LOTS. And they seem to go out for quite a ways. Can be difficult trying to match up floats so that you don't run between them and hit the nets between (or is it a cable between the floats?). Also, watch the tides. I tried to come back to the Kenai from the Kasilof once at low tide. Even maybe a half mile or mile out from the Kenai mouth the water was so shallow that I could not motor anywhere even with the outboard tilted up quite a ways. I had to wait until the tide came in. And if it's really shallow and really windy then that might cause problems if you're stuck there. Don't know if I'd do it in anything but an inflatable if you take on water in rough water.

    But like I said, I did it twice and if I had my inflatable still I would do it again if the conditions were right.

  20. #20
    Premium Member kasilofchrisn's Avatar
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    Default

    Have been all the way to flat Island in calm weather with this boat. Have also come back from point Pogibshi in 5 footers with it several years ago
    If I go I would be going with some very experienced boaters. Most of my friends used to commercially fish for many years including some time in the Inlet out of Kenai.
    My halibut boat is a little too big to do the trip but I was thinking the lund would work great. This is the boat I have used for the last few years dipping on the Kenai. I might just give this a try when I get off the slope next week.

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