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Thread: More Dip Tips

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2006

    Default More Dip Tips

    To expand on my previous post for newbies this year, a few dip tips... Please feel free to add your own!

    1. Block ice is a must; if you spend more than a day between catching and processing you must have this stuff. I have stopped at Portage in the past and grabbed glacier ice as it is very dense and melts extremely slowly. Another tip on the ice is save some of your empty milk cartons and use them for making your own ice blocks. The best way to match the density of glacier ice is to boil the same pot of water at least twice and let it cool at room temperature before filling your jug or ice tray. This process is called degassing and has proven that you end up with clear and dense ice. Or if you don't want to go through the hassle, pick up the block ice at your local store.

    2. Clipping tails; this can be achieved with just about anything. I use garden shears (not the cheap ones as they are not effective after the first few fish). They are easy to use and make the process very fast. I've seen everything from a fillet knive to a hatchet to whack the tips and the shears are what I have found to work best for me. If you have helpers this is a non-issue - they will be content to do whatever they can to get the job done.

    3. Processing; As mentioned before, I wait until I get home to process fish where I have a complete station setup with all I need and more. The biggest reason for processing at home is that I don't like to have sand/silt/junk in my fish fillets. If you leave the fish in the round, only removing the head, guts and tail tips; you end up with protected flesh. The precursor to this philosophy is also to bleed your fish vs. anahilating it with blunt force trauma. A bled out fish has a higher quality of flavor vs. one that has not.

    4. Transportation from the beach to the truck/car/vehicle: I can't believe that I forgot about that portion in my original post. A wagon, sled or something that can slide across the sand is a must. Carrying a 172 quart cooler through the dunes will make you lose your happy thoughts temporarily. What I've started doing in the last 6 years or so is bringing with me an extra $40 to pay the largest, strapping young guys I can find have them transport my coolers to the road.

    4. Storage; we vacuum seal our fish as most folks do with the following method: fillet, skin, cut into thirds and all the while rinsing as necessary, then patting dry with a dish towel before sealing the bag. The previous years' fish that is left over gets canned with spices and goodies for the dry food storage or smoked up for squaw candy.

    There ya have it; I'm sure that there's more I'm forgetting at the moment and others will have their own techniques and two cents - please feel free to add to it.

    Only a week to go for the first dip trip! WOOT WOOT
    "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
    Member thewhop2000's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007

    Thumbs up BC ROBB, you are forgetting one thing

    All newbies need to go to and download an application for the South Central Alaska Dipnetters association. This will help ensure your rights to dipnet for years to come!!! Shameless plug, I know... But what the Heck,eh?
    If a dipnetter dips a fish and there is no one around to see/hear it, Did he really dip?

  3. #3
    Member mudbuddy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Alaska, Mat valley


    One or 2 things I would add to Robbs
    Good job by the way Robb,

    When you pull the fish from the net, cut or rip it's gills so it bleeds out.
    Have a trash can (or something with a lid) with cold clean water & ice to put the fish in to allow it to bleed out. Change water as necessary. Keep them clean & cold, 100% better eating, no bruising, clean .
    Then (clip tails) pack in ice for the trip home or where clean processing can occur.

    I don't expose any of the fish meat to anything till at home & can process them cleanly.
    Whole fish:
    I use coolers with bulk ice chips , layer of fish, ice, layer of fish, ice etc.

    PS: fill out your tag!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2008

    Default ice, clipping, and marking your harvest permit - VIP details

    The best ice you can have is what you make yourself in a plastic jug, since the price is right and it doesn't leak water as it melts. And you've got lots of empty freezer space to do it in, or you shouldn't go dipping anyway.

    I use a kids toboggan; it can haul a cooler by hand or by ATV.

    Bonk & bleed your fish in the tobaggan since its off the sand and they stay in plain sight so you're not ticketed for breaking the law.

    You must clip fins (I use a hand clipper intended to trim small branches from bushes/trees in your yard; that is easiest) BEFORE the fish go into a cooler, or you will get a ticket.

    You must mark your ticket before you move those fish ANYWHERE, except higher/lower in the beach as the tide comes goes. I repeat, if you decide to move 50 feet away to a new spot without marking your tag you are breaking the law.

    Troopers will be there and some will be undercover. Follow the law and teach your kids to do the same. Respect the landowners land and view (don't crap in their yard) and don't trample the dune grass; it is delicate and necessary. Be the good example even though you see others not doing so.

    It is vital to dipnet responsibly, so we can continue to dipnet. The future of our activity is at stake here.

  5. #5

    Default ICE

    Ditto freeze yer own.

    I bring my little chest freezer and honda 1kw generator and only use it to refreeze water bottles. Ideally, you have a double set of water bottles: previously frozen ones at home in your coolers (I put them all in one cooler) and a second set freezing in your freezer in the field. That way, you can swap out the ones that are thawing in your coolers and replace them with the fresh ones from your freezer.

    Side benefits:
    1. No melted icewater fish slime in the the coolers. Just fish slime.
    2. If you fergot to bring enough drinking water, you can burn the furniture and drink your bottled icewater.
    Make sure you generator has enough oompa to run your freezer before you institute this plan.


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2006

    Default Courtesy Burial By the Sea

    Okay, there is ONE thing that I would like to add. It does add more work but could be fun for the kiddos... it has to do with the decapitated results of our fishy friends. Since the seagulls liken the dipnet season with target practice and free meals; we can best avoid the extra guts in our nets and the occassional salmon head by burying the noggin in the sand or pitching them as far out into the Kenai as we can.

    I share the gross-outedness with others that have been the victim of the south end of the seagull as well as singing the chorus of praises when I have to pick out tangled fish heads in addition to my sockeye.

    So I know that it is not going to happen this year, but I'm sure if a bunch of us start the trend, it will catch on and we can start to see less seagulls overhead. Although it is kinda neat to see them dive bomb a fresh egg pile and rip out the eyes of a sockeye....

    Setnetters of old demanded that this practice be the law in their eyes. If you had a setnet site and didn't bury heads, you may lose your own.
    "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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