Copper or Kenia
I moved down to Anchorage last fall. I have dipped the Copper a few times and enjoyed it. Now that I live in Anchorage, I am wondering if i should return to the Copper, or should I just dip the Kenia? I don't own any dip nets, don't have a boat (always walked or chartered in Chitina). I plan on buying a net of my own this year too.
They are totally different fisheries, so I too have a hard time "picking" one over the other. This is how I see it:
I tend to do the Copper early, within the first two weeks of opening. I take the charter to improve my chances, and have always fared well with limits or very close to limits. This fills the freezer with some fresh fillets and a smoker or two. Gives us meat for the summer, at the least.
I usually TRY to do the Kenai. The Kenai is much more crowded, you will almost certainly get wet and cold, and you may or may not get fish depending on the fish and commercial openings. If you have a boat, that makes it a lot easier and improves success rates dramatically. Basically, I don't have a boat or access to one, and I've had spotty luck dipping at the mouth. If you are there for some of the huge schools, fishing can be crazy-good, but you have to time it just right or camp out there until they come through. Also, the limit on the Kenai is higher, so you can catch more. If you do both fisheries, you should get more than enough fish.
I have started shying away from the Kenai dipping altogether the last few years and taking 3 or 4 days right before Labor Day weekend to go to Valdez and fish silvers. The limit is 6. We have 3, sometimes 4 of us fishing. They are huge silvers. So, with 3 limits of 12 (2 day possession limits), that's 36 fish. And they are fun to catch on rod and reel, so it's turned into a fun trip that is also a major source of our winter fish. If you rent a boat or take a charter you can also supplement things with halibut, rockfish, lingcod, and shrimp.
fyi there are also other personal use fisheries accessible to you in Southcentral:
Kenai River Personal Use Fisheries
Kasilof River Personal Use Fisheries
Fish Creek Personal Use Fisheries
China Poot Bay Personal Use Fisheries
Kachemak Bay Personal Use Fisheries
Beluga River Personal Use Fisheries
Links to information on these fisheries can be found at:
Kasilof is actually a little more laid back then Kenai, and can be very productive as well.
I've only heard horror stories of Fish Creek....lol.
China Poot would be fun, but requires a boat and knowledgeable skipper to safely get to, and the limit if I recall correctly is low for the effort and gas involved to get there.
But, to each his own. Our freezer-filling has been tuned pretty well the last several years. When we've come up short on one area, we've made up for it somewhere else. Adding the Valdez trip is both fun and ensures we get the freezer's topped off right at the end of the season. That trip has turned into my favorite part of the whole summer....lol.
Does hems provide the dipnet and tie rope on the copper charter drops?
I have a kenia dipnet, but don't want to fork out the $ for a special copper net - will the kenia net work? (it is from mikes in sterling)
Hem's does not provide dipnets or tie rope. The only rope I have used on the Copper River is for tying my dipnet to something so I don't have to hold it against the current the whole time. You'll need a big stringer or something to hold your fish in too.
The Kenai net will work, depending on how big it is, but something smaller will be much easier to use. In most places you can't get out too far in the Copper. A smaller net works much better in the faster current in my opinion.
They sell landing nets at costco for $33. Just use the handle from you kenia net and it will be fine.