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Thread: Whittier ?? "Bucket boat"

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    Member mudbuddy's Avatar
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    Default Whittier ?? "Bucket boat"

    We are in the process of getting a boat set up for PWS.
    Called a "Bucket boat"
    It is on our "Bucket list" to spend 2 - 4 weeks exploring PWS.
    Knowing the west side of Cook Inlet well & a few homer trips
    going to PWS creates a few questions:

    Do we need more than 300' anchor lines?
    Best places to re-fuel?
    Fishing equip, (from what I hear, take everything) halibut/bottom gear, spinning/casting gear & fly gear?
    20 oz weights enough?
    Bait: herring & various lures?
    take a canoe, kayak, rubber raft, tow a small john boat?

    We plan a few short trips there to get aquatinted with the Whittier area & next year load up & go.

    Advice, on-line links & ideas appreciated

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    Member spoiled one's Avatar
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    First off I highly recommend you purchase Lethcoe's Cruising Guide to Prince William Sound. It is a wealth of info and can probably be purchased from this site. Title Wave should carry it, too. As far as I know, you can purchase fuel from Cordova, Valdez, and Whittier. It is not cheap any where. I suspect you might be able to purchase fuel from the commercial tenders in a pinch.

    I run 600' of anchor rode and 40' of chain for my 30' aluminum. I also carry a complete spare setup. If you just use your anchor for sleeping your setup should be fine. If you plan on anchoring to fish the depths, more is much better. I carry a variety of sizes of weights. Generally speaking, you can go lighter than you do in Cook Inlet. I prefer jigging, but we do use herring, too. I carry my tender on the roof and will be adding kayaks down the road. My kids are starting to show some interest in that. What a cool play ground.

    What kind and size boat did you set up?
    Spending my kids' inheritance with them, one adventure at a time.

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    Member AK_Kid's Avatar
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    Do we need more than 300' anchor lines?

    Most folks prefer to have more. I know many who carry up to 600 feet. Personally, I use 450' plus thirty feet of chain and rarely put it all out. However, if you plan to drop anchor to do any deep fishing for halibut, 300' will be pushing it.

    Best places to re-fuel?

    I can only speak for the western Sound, and out that way it's just Whittier and Seward. Chenega does not have a commercial fuel station, and I understand that the locals typically don't like to sell fuel. The Port Ashton Lodge has gas shipped in each season, and they might be willing to order and store some for you if you decided to spend some time at their fine facility.

    Fishing equip, (from what I hear, take everything) halibut/bottom gear, spinning/casting gear & fly gear?

    For halibut, just bring your circle hooks. Some guys seem to do well with their jigs of choice, but I've done pretty well myself with just baited circle hooks. Bring a spinning rod for salmon. Not sure why you would bring fly gear unless you plan to do some hiking (maybe Shrode Lake?). Even then, a casting rod should do you just fine.

    20 oz weights enough?

    Yeah. Over half a decade, I've never had any trouble keeping a sixteen ounce weight on the bottom in the western sound. The currents are much less problematic than in Cook Inlet.

    Bait: herring & various lures?

    Yep.

    take a canoe, kayak, rubber raft, tow a small john boat?

    We have a small inflatable dinghy with a tiny kicker. Works great, especially since we have a pooch to take to shore for walks. I'd highly recommend that over towing a john boat for convenience and over a canoe or kayak for safety purposes (abandoning ship during rough seas).

    Sounds like you're going to have a blast! If you have specific questions, shoot me a PM.

    One final piece of advice: buy the Lethcoes' book, "Cruising Prince William Sound." It will be well worth it to have the detailed info on every conceivable anchorage.

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    Member AK_Kid's Avatar
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    Spoiled One - Funny that you and I should be banging out our posts simultaneously and provide essentially the same information. Great minds, right?

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    Member spoiled one's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AK_Kid View Post
    Spoiled One - Funny that you and I should be banging out our posts simultaneously and provide essentially the same information. Great minds, right?
    Thinking the same thing! Cheers!
    Spending my kids' inheritance with them, one adventure at a time.

  6. #6
    Member AKBassking's Avatar
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    Default Be prepared

    Once you go to PWS, you will not want to go back to Cook Inlet.

    ALASKAN SEA-DUCTION
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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    2-4 weeks isn't enough, 2-4 decades would be more like it.

    I have 350' of rode, but eventually will go to 600'. If you're really exploring the sound, you'll want more rode to deal with the various area's you anchor.

    Yup you can use a variety of fishing gear, I've moved away from the tuna sticks and prefer a jigging rod. You can catch everything out there with jigs, and don't have to worry about running out of bait, or storing it on longer trips. Assuming you'll be eating your catch, no need to gear up for taking monster buts and lings, as rockfish and salmon make fine dinner fair.

    But a bit of herring on a jig can make it even more effective. While the tides aren't as strong out in the sound, fish often hold in deeper water, so I'd take sinkers up to 3#'s.

    We use both an inflatable for getting to shore, and a kayak for paddling around protected bays. There are several areas where you can take a boat back into lakes and lagoons, so a couple of yaks are well worth it.

    You didn't mention shrimp pots. The best thing about shrimping is you can explore the islands while catching dinner.

    As for fueling, Whittier, Valdez, Cordova and Seward are it. With the right boat, making a big circle of the sound and hitting those different ports would make for an awesome trip!

    The Lethcoe guide is essential, not optional gear.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by spoiled one View Post
    First off I highly recommend you purchase Lethcoe's Cruising Guide to Prince William Sound. It is a wealth of info and can probably be purchased from this site. Title Wave should carry it, too. As far as I know, you can purchase fuel from Cordova, Valdez, and Whittier. It is not cheap any where. I suspect you might be able to purchase fuel from the commercial tenders in a pinch.

    I run 600' of anchor rode and 40' of chain for my 30' aluminum. I also carry a complete spare setup. If you just use your anchor for sleeping your setup should be fine. If you plan on anchoring to fish the depths, more is much better. I carry a variety of sizes of weights. Generally speaking, you can go lighter than you do in Cook Inlet. I prefer jigging, but we do use herring, too. I carry my tender on the roof and will be adding kayaks down the road. My kids are starting to show some interest in that. What a cool play ground.

    What kind and size boat did you set up?
    I would recommend more than 300 feet, personally. Mainly for when on the hook for the night. I carry 600 feet plus 24 feet of chain. If he'll be out for two weeks, that's putting a lot of faith in the weather. If things got rough and he needed 7:1 scope (being extra cautious) for the night and he had 300 feet of line, then he'd have to find a place 40 feet deep or shallower. 300 is probably fine most of the time, I just guess I'm always thinking about the worst case scenarios.

  9. #9
    Member Lone Wolf1's Avatar
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    Default Also...

    You can often replenish ice for your coolers by "netting" some smaller icebergs in some of the fjords.

  10. #10
    Sponsor potbuilder's Avatar
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    yup don't forget the shrimp'in gear.

    Alaska Shrimp Pots

    Rigid & Folding Shrimp & Crab Pots
    Electra Dyne Pot Haulers
    Ropes, Buoys, Bait
    alaskashrimppots.com
    akshrimppots@mtaonline.net
    907 775 1692

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    Member mudbuddy's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the feedback.
    24' X 10' ; what used to be a buoy tender. Aluminum, 150 yamaha.
    Searching for a 40 hp kicker.
    Being modified from a work boat to personal use with some (not many) conveniences.

    Raft & small kicker sounds like a good plan. Room on the roof of the cabin for that. Looking for a 10 footer or so (brings a degree of safety with it also)

    Agree; decades to see the whole sound well.
    But to at least have a chance for 1 month +/- is exciting.

    We are debating the time to go, to get "best bang for the buck" so to speak.
    mid June to mid July fits our schedule, but August opens other options.

    If next year, you see 2 old guys running around with big smiles, with no particular direction in mind, enjoying PWS, it may be us.

    Thanks again

  12. #12
    Member spoiled one's Avatar
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    Sounds like a great time to be had. It is a pretty cool playground. How much fuel does she carry?
    Spending my kids' inheritance with them, one adventure at a time.

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    Member mudbuddy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spoiled one View Post
    Sounds like a great time to be had. It is a pretty cool playground. How much fuel does she carry?
    60 gallon so far,mods may be to add a tank forward

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by mudbuddy View Post
    60 gallon so far,mods may be to add a tank forward
    Range is your friend out there. Enjoy!
    Spending my kids' inheritance with them, one adventure at a time.

  15. #15

    Default Yes range is the word of the day

    I have a 300 to 350 mile range (depending on the seas) and it is not enough for the sound. Gotta burn a lot of gas!

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