Deep Creek vs Homer in a kayak



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  • Deep Creek vs Homer in a kayak

    Went down to Deep Creek an hour before low tide today.Minus 1.8 ft @ 10:53.Actually I put in at 9:25.Headed west by northwest for an hour before I turned around to see where I was in relation to the tractor launch.Holy current---I was more than a half mile south of the launch.There were 2 foot waves coming at me and they were close together.My new boat (a Native Watercraft Ultimate 12 hybrid)was handling the waves ok.But when I'd go over a crest ,the boat would take a little water over the bow.There was a 15 mph +/- wind blowing and it didn't seem like it would lay down as the day wore on.So ok,what to do ? I was ready to drop a line but didn't really feel comfortable trying to control the boat in the wind/waves and get fishing gear working as well.Time for plan B.
    Plan B--With a wnw wind blowing I thought " There shouldn't be any wind ,or at worst,very little on the east side of the Homer Spit.And I'm already more than half way there,so it's noon and I'm heading south.
    Drive to the end of the spit by Lands End and the water is like glass.Awesome.:topjob:I should have come here in the 1st place,duh.Drag the Ultimate down the rocks to waters edge,rig-up a pole,and shove off.When I got to the ferry pilings I dropped a cut-plug herring with a 6 oz. banana sinker to the bottom and start back-paddling out.I had taken 3 strokes and tick-tick-tick.Grabbed the pole and went to cross eyes the next tick-tick.Darn-----missed.Rebait and do it again.5 strokes later--tick-tick-tick.Ok I'll let em eat it this time.No more tick-ticks.Kept back-paddling east,no tick-ticks for awhile.Ok,check bait---empty.Rebait and drop er down.By now the water is 150' deep,and still flat as glass.A few private boats have gone by,into or out of the harbor.Their wakes were tollarable (sp) you could always hear them coming.The only wake that had me concerned was from Rainbow Charters 52' boat.As long as you point your bow into the wake you'll be ok.Don't think I'd want to be broadsided,that could be a problem.
    Next bait a very welcome tug of war---up comes a 5 lbs cod.Coolness.
    Next bait down----tick-tick-tick-----------whack lord.Ugly but pretty good sized.
    Went through a few baits and a lot of kelp beds before the next bite.By now the afternoon wind had started up,not as strong as out at Deep Creek,but enough to geet your attention.Keep an eye out for that..
    Wind started getting a little stronger--okay--time to mossey back to shore.By now I'm over a mile from the spit so I figure it's time to get a little more serious.Chop kicking just a little bit,so I made the run in.As I got near the ferry pilings it got calmer so one more bait out.Tick-tick-tick------------------------pow :nyanya: another cod.Alright.
    There was a grandma and 2 young kids on the beach by Land's End so I didn't unhook the last cod.Of course they came over as I beached.The 4 year old boy was all excited "did you catch a salmon ?"Grandma helped make it a learning expirence for him and said no ,it sounds like a fishin rod.Sure as heck ,he got it,"A Cod" I unhooked the fish and tryed to revive it but it went belly up.So,feed the crabs.Within 30 seconds a mature bald eagle swooped down and snatched that puppy.Way cool.For the kids and me both.
    Kayaking out of Deep Creek is certainly an option if a person pays very close attention to all the many variables that come into play.Cook Inlet is basically a river.It drains so many watersheds that an in-coming tide will not push you back to your starting point.There is too much pressure.
    Kayaking in back of the Homer Spit,especially on an incoming tide is comparitively easy.Deep water is not that far from land,you can intercept fish that were planted in Nick Dudiack Lagoon,and there are a lot of fish on the "protected side".But with an east wind,that side can get ugly in a hurry as well.Plus you'd have to deal with other boats wakes,especially on busy weekends.
    I will try Deep Creek again when the stars all align.I will definitely be back to the dark side of the spit.I have done well there with my Klamath (which I sold this past weekend)(bummer kinda).Rudy's idea of a flag on board is a very good one because yaks sit so low in the water other boaters need help to see you.Or a better target-----whatever..
    We all make choices in life......let's hope we all make wise ones.
    Mark roud:

  • #2
    Nice report! Sounded a tad rough at Deep Creek. It's definitely a place you have to pick your days. The initial forecast was looking so promising too!

    I used to always go to the end of the spit and cast from the beach. it was my annual "gear testing" trip. It'll have to be a secondary destination especially when the kings are running. The extra drive is unappealing but ya gotta do what it takes to fish sometimes!

    Thanks for the update, sounds like your new vessel handled things well!


    • #3
      great report mark..
      good deal for the kid on the beach to have that experience,,
      you a good guy for giving the kid a fun time.
      talk to you later
      When you come to a fork in the trail, take it!

      Rentals for Canoes, Kayaks, Rafts, boats serving the Kenai canoe trail system and the Kenai river for over 15 years.


      • #4
        The new boat--Native Watercraft Ultimate 12 is a nice unit.It has a tunnel hull which made initial stability and secondary stability very,uh,stable.Easy to get in and out of,the footpegs were nice,and having all that storage area in the stern and the front was unreal.I prefer to travel as light as I can but when you're fishing salt you have to have certain gear and the Ultimate 12 has more room than I'll ever need.There are a few accessories I'll be adding--pole holder,tool rack,and maybe other stuff as well (like a warning flag).Native Watercraft has a long list of add ons availabe I think a spray skirt on the bow would be a good idea aas well.For a 55 lbs craft it is pretty sweet.Looking forward to many better days on the water.
        Only bad thing I've found about the Ultimate is that now my wife wants one too...$$$$$$.She is my fishing buddy so I guess I'll Break Out Another Thousand. :think:
        Last edited by Mark Collett; 05-05-2011, 07:20. Reason: I alaways find an oops on editig


        • #5
          One thing you might consider is a tougher bait. herring often comes off wqith any small nibble down there.
          We used to fish lands end with a 5 gallon bucket of salted Hooligan. We always outfished most of the other people there just because our bait stayed on better/longer than the store bought Herring. Any bait that is tougher than the packaged Herring would probably work good. Maybe even a combo of Herring and a tougher bait ?
          Also we sometimes used jigs. With a jig if the bait is lost you still have a chance of them hitting the jig.
          "The closer I get to nature the farther I am from idiots"

          "Fishing and Hunting are only an addiction if you're trying to quit"


          • #6
            Thanks for the suggestion.I've got lots of jigs,just didn't even think of them for the initial run.I will definitely bring them next time down (probably this weekend or sooner.)I was wanting to keep it simple this 1st time out.But what is simpler than chunking metal,duh.....Maybe I'll throw on a peice of "yum" as well.It's pretty tuff stuff.Again thanks for the reminder.


            • #7
              Deep Crk or Homer............. For those interested... The waters near Dp crk can go from lousy to wonderful in half hr. Or vise versa. Same can be said for Homers waters. In addition, what Dp Crks condition is like will have ZERO bearing on the waters of Homer. Especially around the Spit area. One can often get a 'general' idea of what the next couple hrs of wave action one can expect around Dp Crk by current sky conditions. But even then one can be surprized. I know this doesnt give the unknowing much help to judging whether one should make the drive to the beach or not, It is intended to let those know that conditions can improve greatly in half hour if the waves are bad. (that has been the case alot this yr) And that if it sucks at Dp crk ,, as Mark states, Homer might be great. Or vise versa. Yesterday, sunny yesterday, the waves at Dp Crk layed right down in aftrnn again. I'll try and post a pic (a guy got a nice king trolling and he came to shore where I was fishin and had us take his pic) He was stoked, by himself and took half hr for him to land it. ----One last thing- one can call the tractor launch at Dp crk and get water conditions. I am a mile from the beach and I can not even judge what the water willl be from the conditions at my home.


              • #8
                5-4-11 about 5:30pm south of Dp crk. Cut plug herring. This guy was happppy! Notice the water...nice.


                • #9
                  Can't see the pics but great post Cod! We saw every kinda weather that was fishable in our 12 hour adventure! So it can and does change. What I have learned is that there are multiple factors you need to be aware of: How fast the air warms up during the day can mean a good breeze if its calm in the morning. You know the conditions WILL change when the tides do. So try to predict that and plan accordingly.

                  I think the important thing is not to panic. I can see a worst case scenario when the wind starts pushing you west out into deep water. Well heck, just stay calm, 8 hours later you'll just be on the other side of cook inlet...and you will be alive... Ok, that's not half as comforting as I hoped it would be.


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Kardinal_84 View Post
                    I can see a worst case scenario when the wind starts pushing you west out into deep water. Well heck, just stay calm, 8 hours later you'll just be on the other side of cook inlet...and you will be alive... Ok, that's not half as comforting as I hoped it would be.
                    I can think of a number of "worst case scenario's" worse than that... but then I do risk management for a living soo....


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Sierra Dragon View Post
                      I can think of a number of "worst case scenario's" worse than that... but then I do risk management for a living soo....
                      Really now? I'm not sure there is one any more terrifying than actually be alive but in a predicament alone for what must feel like an eternity. If your other worse case scenario involves immediate death, then I guess I really don't care since I will be dead....wait, not sure that makes any sense.

                      You are right though, a zillion things could go wrong.

                      1) Kayak pops a hole and floods: solution hull filled with pool noodles and old life vests.
                      2) Hook a halibut and it takes you for a few mile ride: Solution suck it up or cut the line
                      3) A boat smashes into you cause you are hard to spot: Mitigation: Safety flag
                      4) Get separated from your kayak after you fall in alone...THIS IS A PROBLEM...that needs to be mitigated further.

                      Care to add a few Sierra Dragon? Seriously, its important to me to figure out what can happen and then mitigate what you can and then decide whether the risk is worth the reward.

                      Risk management is not an easy job for sure.....


                      • #12
                        I must say I don't kayak but really enjoying reading all your post. I have a nice 11ft raft and small outboard and have been thinking if you guys can do this in kayaks than with proper safety gear,Dry suit, PFD, VHF hand held, and understanding cook inlets dangers I'd like to play to some time. I float the Kenai some and know on moving waters you are never to tie your self to the boat and fully understand why. My question is off shore surfers do a leg tether so could you do that for your SOT as I really kind of see what you guys are doing is just out there on surf boards. Your not likely to get hung up in any thing out there and Cook inlet flowing like a river I could see where one could maybe have a hard time catching up with your kayak if you got dumped. Play safe guys and keep reporting in on your fun!
                        One other thing to remember if you end up on the other side like a friend hand happen once crossing over and had motors fail. There are a LOT of bears over there.roud:


                        • #13
                          Power Drifter,
                          I loved that "remeber there are a LOT of bears over there".That's priceless dude.
                          It's fun for me to share the adventures with forum folk.I'm sure the same is true for others as well.All the planning in the world can't cover every scenario but it is a plus to have as much input from people who have been there done that.And of course,all the anticipation just makes the actual doing that much sweeter.
                          Stay tuned-----------there will be a lot more coming.........


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Kardinal_84 View Post
                            3) A boat smashes into you cause you are hard to spot: Mitigation: Safety flag
                            4) Get separated from your kayak after you fall in alone...THIS IS A PROBLEM...that needs to be mitigated further.
                            those were both on my list.

                            I can see three events being a big issue.

                            1. being forced by fish, wind, wave or current out to a distance where you cannot return to shore
                            2. being in the water in a situation where you cannot get back out.
                            3. injury or some other event affecting your capacity. (hypothermia, injury, etc)

                            the causes leading to any one of all those events are infinite and it would be impossible to predict all of them. However the common per cautions would mitigate most of them to an acceptable level. Dry suit, GPS locator beacon, some means of communication with shore, going with a buddy, visibility flag,

                            most people do a pretty good job at identifying potential hazards and taking preventative steps.

                            If you however look at most incidents however it's not the preventative measures that will kill you it's what happens if..... no scratch that.... WHEN they fail. The biggest thing most people forget about is "PLAN B" What to do when you get in trouble.

                            Think about each of the situations above and think about what you will do when you are in the untenable situation. the things I'd be thinking about are:
                            1. what is the rescue plan?
                            2. how do I get the rescue plan initiated?
                            3. are the people who are going to rescue me available, competent, and ready to respond?
                            4. how do I check that?
                            5. at what decision points are the potential for disaster too high and I should be cancelling my kayak trip or taking extra precautions.

                            I take risks as much as most other people but my training hopefully lets me take calculated risks and ALWAYS HAVE A WAY OUT! if things start to go wrong.

                            Having said all that I think kayak fishing can be done safely and with acceptable risks with a little forward thinking and a couple simple checks and planning.

                            and to put it all in perspective You are FAR more likely (by several orders of magnitude) to die in your vehicle driving to and from your launch point than you are out on the water.

                            Not that kayaking isn't hazardous it's just that pretty much everyone doesn't recognize just how dangerous driving really is!

                            complacency kills!!!


                            • #15
                              Great Post Sierra!

                              Your number one is my greatest concern. I HATE leashes, and people will tell you that leashing a kayak to yourself in running water is a HUGE no-no. What that normally means is its ok to leash in the ocean but not in a river. Well I treat Cook Inlet like a river most of the time. As far as drifting forever, it's something I am prepared to do for 24 hours or more. I've fished out of my kayak for 12 hour stints...

                              One of my near misses was that I fell in one day in Whittier. My immediate reaction was "this isn't bad..." So I took the time to rearrange the stuff on my kayak and picked up the floating gear. I was wearing waders and belt like it seems 90% of the people do. Well I got wet enough that I weighed 500 pounds it felt like. I wasn't sinking but I wasn't gonna "hop" back onto my kayak either. I felt safe and close enough to shore that I was just swimming in with kayak in tow. I tried to wave off a boat that thought I needed help but he insisted and was already right next to me so I took the offer. DANG good thing. I would have swam to the rocks, been on a ledge, but to stand up or climb the rocks, i would have had to strip off most of my clothes since they were so heavy! How embarrassing would that have been! Bought a drysuit immediately.

                              I also have coiled up and out of the way on one of the handles a 3 or 4 ft section of rope that has a loop in it. In a scenario where I can't easily get back on board, I plan to use it as a stirrup set up. When alone I have a buoy hook and buoys that I can fashion into an outrigger. Should keep me from tipping but also if I am in the water without it deployed, I should be able to deploy it in less than a minute and I can use it much like a sit in kayaker uses a paddle float for rescue.

                              My assumptions are that I can survive several days a drift if ON the Kayak. That's the food water and clothing I carry. I figure in 40 deg temperature I have at least 15 minutes of normal activity time and probably a few hours more of "survival" time in a dry suit if I am IN the water. I try to fish where there is activity though I do normally prefer to fish alone, I prefer company at a place like Deep Creek.

                              Spare no expenses on things like the safety flag, fashioning an outrigger, buying drysuits, etc. Try to mitigate anything I can within financial reason. I have stopped short at buying a EPRIB type device though I may pick one up if I get taken to a remote location by a friend or water taxi for a camping trip.

                              Let me know if you can think of other ways to potentially make this activity safer.

                              And for the 1,000th time to folks who mean well but must think I am crazy and have suggested a bigger boat, I do NOT need a bigger boat. I have a 22ft center console and a 16ft river boat. This is just much more exhilarating...I am sure if I don't catch a whole lot of fish, I will be back on my powerboat since I am definitely a fisherman first and kayaker a distant second. But this is too much fun, I will give it a long hard shot before I give this up!


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