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Thread: KP Dipping for Newbies: A few pointers....

  1. #1
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    Default KP Dipping for Newbies: A few pointers....

    So you are going to try and dipnet? Be prepared for the following....

    1. Giddy laughter
    2. Slimy waders/jacket/gloves/hands/cooler/everything else
    3. Ripped dipnet
    4. Sand in every place on the body
    5. Being hungry
    6. Being thirsty
    7. Being grossed out by outhouses after being hungry/thirsty
    8. Keeping your fish cool until processing
    9. Keeping your cool until fish processing
    10. Timing the catchable dates/forecasting
    11. A lot of hard work after catching your fish

    So it starts like this; you and your family/friends need to make a plan of action. Get your gear together and be prepared to go once the numbers show that you can bring home a cooler full (or better yet, a permit full) of fish. Have your gear on standby so that all you have to do is load it up.

    You will need:
    Waders
    Bonker
    Dipnet
    Small zip ties for holes in your net
    Large cooler(s)
    Permit
    Fishing License
    Fillet Knife
    Small Sharpener
    BLOCK ice (it doesn't melt as fast)
    CUBED ice (sprinkle on top of a full cooler)
    Spare changes of clothes (appropriate for how long you intend to stay)
    Cash for incidentals and parking (I take about $100 in mixed 5's and 20's)

    You may want to have:
    Cooler of food/beverages
    Firewood (not a lot available on the beaches)
    Folding Chair
    Folding Table(s) For cleaning fish
    Plywood with nail through it for cleaning fish (Use the nail to plop the fish head on and it stays still while you gut/clip tails)
    Spare dipnet bag with twine to re-bag a thrashed net (in the event you get a massive king; it will TRASH your net)

    Now a couple of things you should know about forecasting:
    The OTF index (off shore test fishery) is located around Anchor Point which is approximately 60-70 miles south of the mouths of the Kenai/Kasilof rivers. It takes some time for the fish to swim up from there but mother nature helps out with south winds at times. When she changes her mind and direction from south to westerly winds after a few days of high OTF counts; you can bank on having a good day dipping. The reason is because of of the surface currents created. You have to give the fish about 4 days or so before they are in position to be "blown" into the river mouths. The final portion of the forecasting technique is to pay attention to the commercial openers. This is the most volatile part of the guessing game because F&G releases the beasts at a whim and moments notice most of the time. The number to keep up with this information (along with escapement data) is 907-262-9611. Its a recorded hotline (I have on speed dial on my cell) and it is a very handy tool when used in conjunction with www.wunderground.com to gauge the weather forecast.

    Now that prediction (step one) is out of the way; get ready! Be on call and have your gear "turn-key" when its time to roll out. June 25th is when the Kasilof opens - its an 24 hour fishery. July 10th is when the Kenai opens (its a restricted hour fishery closed from 11pm to 6am. Track escapement data and try to do your own run timing guess work by researching ADF&G's website. (http://www.sf.adfg.state.ak.us/FishCounts/)

    Technique:
    If you are dipping from shore save yourself a bunch of hassle and either pick up a Kenai Keeper from most sporting goods stores (sans the box stores), or manufacture something of your own. The technique is simple; hold your net out, wait for fish to catch you completely off guard and shove the back and forth several times to catch the fins/gills good in the bag. Pull the net to you and smack it a good on on the mellon. DO NOT GO FOR A KILL SHOT AT THIS STAGE. It's important to keep your fish quality as good as possible so just take the fun out of it and then debag the fish and thread on your stringer belt and only after its strung do you rip the gills with a twist of your finger to bleed it out (much better tasting fish this way); thus saving your the hassle of fighting the surf and keeping your spot in the water. Once your stringer is full, you can wow your dip-mates into believing that you are a fish god of some sort and drag your 30-or-so fish to the bank and begin cleaning.

    And now on to cleaning;
    I only clip tails, head/gut the fish. You will see others filleting on the beach and it makes me want to throw up when I see it. Not because it's illegal or against the rules (which it is) but because their catch is going to be all fishy and gnarly when they get home; fillets soaking in fish slime makes a very fishy foul flesh. I clip tails (gotta do that before throwing in the cooler) then head/gut them. I wait until I get home to set up a good processing area where I have a setup of knives, trash bags/cans, beverages, vacuum sealer and towels to dab them dry once filleted and rinsed. My fish is always very tasty and this method has worked extremely well for me. Do it how ya like though.... we all have different methods.

    There you have it in a nutshell, your basics to start with and the rest is up to you to figure out. The one piece of advice that I can give that is probably the most valuable is go with someone experienced first and then try it on your own. That way you will have a rough idea of what to expect and maybe put your own spin on things.

    Good luck dear newbie, you will be "hooked" on dipnetting from the very first sockeye that tries to take the net out of your hands. )
    "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

  2. #2
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    You forgot the most important thing, helpers!



    Also you can sometimes find great deals on wetsuits on fleabay, and I'll take a wetsuit over waders any day.

    My helpers gut the fish, clip the tails and haul the fish to the coolers, so when I'm done dipping, the fish are cleaned and on ice. I fished w/o the helpers once, and it was 10 times more work.

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    Awesome post BC Robb. You've done a lot on here to help folks out. Thanks.

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    Member Vince's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MRFISH View Post
    Awesome post BC Robb. You've done a lot on here to help folks out. Thanks.
    I agree, Rep added for that one!
    "If you are on a continuous search to be offended, you will always find what you are looking for; even when it isn't there."

    meet on face book here

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    Thanks for the post. This will be our first year dipnetting so this was very helpful. That wetsuit might not be a bad idea!

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    Default add

    Rubber gloves
    Good long underwear (otherwise you will get cold)

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    Default OOP, Almost forgot about the gloves!

    Ah yes, the finer point of attempting to stay warm and dry. Guantlet gloves are almost a must have! The orange ones serve best that go up your sleeves on the outside. It will happen that you dunk your elbows in the water and those gems are the only line of defense against the wet. Good job on the reminder man!

    I have a spoiled setup that I use; I purchased a rain jacket a few years back that has neoprene wrists that wrap around my neogloves. It keeps me dry and warm and that is a very pleasant state when you are maneuvering nets, stringer and bonker in the water.

    And I was amiss to mention where the Kenai Keepers are available, even though I do not make them anymore - I sold the business to a nice guy from Kenai that makes them now. (Thanks for the emails folks)

    1. Online, here at the forums.
    2. Trustworthy Hardware in Soldotna
    3. B&J's in Anchorage
    4. Three Rivers Fly and Tackle in Wasilla
    "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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    Member thewhop2000's Avatar
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    Thumbs up BC ROBB, you are forgetting one thing

    All newbies must go to WWW.alaskadipnetting.com and download an application to the South Central Alaska Dipnetters Association. Who else is helping to ensure that we will be dipnetting into the future!!! Again, a shameless plug but what the heck!!!
    If a dipnetter dips a fish and there is no one around to see/hear it, Did he really dip?

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    Thumbs up gloves and SCADA

    Quote Originally Posted by Back Country Robb View Post
    Ah yes, the finer point of attempting to stay warm and dry. Guantlet gloves are almost a must have! The orange ones serve best that go up your sleeves on the outside.
    Yes, those are my favorite too. My second favorite are gloves made from wetsuit material; even water on the inside of those doesn't keep you from having warm hands.

    And yes, thewhop, how could I forget the very very first step??? Join SCADA. Shame on me. I second thewhop's recommendation on this, but I too am biased, being a member myself.

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    Default Scada

    Southcentral Alaska Dipnetters Association is an absolute must for dippers! Don't even bother coming to the beach without becoming a member of this valuable advocacy for our personal use way of life.

    EVERY YEAR there is assaults on our dipping privledges and if you don't support your local advocacy group then you will end up with a bunch of dipnet gear talking about the good old days. JOIN SCADA.
    "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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    Hey Guys & Gals.
    I am not a resident of Alaska (if I have my way- YET!!!) thus I will not be dipnetting. I have been to the Kenai mouth when it is being done. It looked like a bundle of fun.
    Please excuse my ignorance, but in this post I saw references to "clipping the tail". Is this a requirement (legal issue) or does it serve another purpose?
    Another question: Am I allowed to (& do I need a license) help someone who is a resident dipnet? What I mean is can I help get the fish out of the nets and clean / filet / pack salmon for a resident?
    Thanks.

  12. #12
    Member thewhop2000's Avatar
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    Default NeP It is a must and no you can't

    Tails are clipped to show enforcement that these are PU fish and not allowed to be sold. Unless a resident, you cannot drive a boat, pick a net or even help pack them.
    If a dipnetter dips a fish and there is no one around to see/hear it, Did he really dip?

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