High tide vs. Low tide
First off, I am a rookie to dip netting but I have been doing my homework. My wife (pregnant with twins) told me the other day she wanted to go out and go dip netting (watch) so we can have some fish for the winter. So I am jumping at the opportunity to get out. Since my fishing season is going to be coming to an end here shortly, I want to fill the freezer with a few reds. With that said, it seems like the Kasilof would be our best bet, North side to avoid the majority of the crowd.
We only have this weekend to give it a shot, and looking at the tides they are going to be difficult for a one day excursion to and from Anchorage. So, can you fish the tide going out? Is it productive? Wouldn't the opening of the net be facing the wrong side if fish are swimming in the river? Or does everyone just wait and fish the incoming tide? Any advise would be great for this noobie! Thanks and good luck to everyone!
Fishing the outgoing is still productive. Yes, the net swings in the wrong direction, but with gillnet mesh you'll still catch most of the fish that hit it.
I've generally had better luck fishing the incoming tide, but the first few hours of outgoing tides have been productive for me as well. I usually stop before the tide gets too far out so I don't have to trudge back through the mud. If I'm fishing the incoming tide, I'll go out as far as I can and just back up as necessary. In either case, best productivity seems to be the first few hours after slack tide.
Never fished the kasilof but at kenai and fish creek the first part of the out going tide can be very good. At fish creek we quite often caught more on the out going. When I fished Kenai it didn't seem to matter.
Good luck and congrats on the twins.
1 to 2 hours after each tide change (any): excellent. After low tide you'll see one glut come through from fish that had been waiting, and after high tide you'll see an extended period of really great.
incoming: can be good, but hey ya gotta take a break sometime and this is when I usually choose to.
Oh no, another fishing theory! This one is the Tide Stage/River Flow/Catch Rate Theory and subject to debate.
1. Incoming tide: Disorganized school floods in bank to bank. With initial lower river levels, good catch rates in channel as fish find the scent and the current to swim against.
2. As river flow and tidal force equalizes, catch rate drops as slack water confuses upstream direction. Pockets of fish hovering in place. Time to use a boat or a nap.
3. As the tide retreats, strong outward flow combine with river current to signal salmon to line up and go for it upstream. It's follow the leader time with great catch rates if you're fishing in the traffic lane.
So, that's what methinks. At the Kasilof, I like to use the boat at the bottom end of the dipping zone when the tide turns and leapfrog with them as the come up the restricted channel. As things flood out, I'll try to find them in the middle of the channel from the comm boat down, or go take a nap. When the tide changes and current heats up, I'll be working from upstream of the point and sweeping down just outside of the North shore dippers.