Sunday, September 18, 2011

Sheep Creek with Ryu

Took Ryu out to Sheep Creek to see if we couldn't find a few fish to catch and release.  We got off to a late start but was on the river by 3pm.  A few folks there, but they left after about 30 minutes.

The action would turn on and off for the grayling.  We caught a few using a mickey finn on an ultralight rod with a split shot.  I then broke out a 18 foot pole (as in no reel) that my father in law sent me from Japan.

Tied on a size 10 prince nymph a small split shot, a large indicator and gave it a go.  Worked great!  I did hit a small rainbow and a good sized grayling and both tested the rod.  Not sure what I am going to do with a 18 inch rainbow.  I think I need to step down to 2lbs or 1 lbs test to save the rod in case of a big fish.  I was using 4 pounds.

So I have been eyeing up winter/feeder kings in Cook Inlet mainly because they are available year round and well they are KINGS!

Downriggers are almost required for this fishery with the added bonus that when done right, you typically catch small chicken halibut while trolling.

I first tried a gimbal mount.  I had to modify slightly but the stainless mount I got was HARD!  Could not drill through it with titanium coated bits.  That's another story.

Re-read ZEE's great article and decided to center mount it behind me as suggested.  I was concerned I wouldn't be able to reach it but it turned out to be no problem. 

There's been some discussion on what pound weight to use.  I would say that from my ONE time out.  I would say a 6 pound ball is MINIMUM for trolling saltwater salmon gear.  I still had line angles approaching 45 deg when trolling fast and against current.  90% of the time, it was within acceptable range of angles. 

What struck me as amazing was the zero tippininess factor.  I was delicately placing the ball into the water fearing it might yank and cause the kayak too tip a little.  Heck in my outback, I could have shotputted the weight out and I don't think the Kayak would have flinched.  ZERO scariness factor I was thinking might happen.  I will say I use a large 17ah battery I mounted inside on the side opposite of the downrigger for balance.

The only drawback was it did feel like you were paddling through "thicker" water.  If this was the only thing I did in my outback, I'd consider putting the original fins back on.  But it wasn't overwhelming.  You could just tell it was "more" effort. 

The fish better watch out!  I really think this is going to boost my productivity on salmon considerably.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

GREAT Customer service from YakAttack!  They make the Visicarbon Pro Safety flag with LED light.

Okay so somehow I broke my pole on the visicarbon pro.  I think I whacked it with the net.  So I send the following email. Note date and time plus admission of operator error.

Great service seems so rare these days.  I just had to mention it...and no, it wasn't part of any deal.


From: Rudy Tsukada [mailto:guidesak]
Sent: Tuesday, September 13, 2011 3:43 PM
Subject: Need a fix

So far the flag has been great!  Love the product.

Well the one problem with loving a product is when it is out of service, it is a minor panic.

I broke the section of the pole that fits into the base.  Not sure how, I must have whacked it with a net as I was fishing.  No big deal, it’s almost certainly operator error as I can’t see how it’d be a manufacturing issue.

Can I buy just the bottom section and have it priority mailed to me ASAP?

Let me know how I can get it done!


Rudy Tsukada

P.S.  My first year of Kayaking has gone great!  I haven't night fished yet but plan do so soon as its finally getting dark at a reasonable hour here in Alaska.   cont....


The response I get...16 minutes later....

From: luther
Subject: RE: Need a fix
Date: Tue, 13 Sep 2011 15:59:48 -0400

Hi Rudy,

Thanks for the kind words! I'll check out the pics and vids when sit down tonight.

The bad news is that I won't sell you a tube to replace the one that broke.

The good news is that I will send you one free of charge : )

Just send me your shipping address and it will go out tomorrow.


Luther Cifers
YakAttack LLC | P.O. Box 147 | Farmville | VA | 23901
t: 804.370.3724 |


I fully endorse their product!  Great product, great service.
It's the flag for the kayak with a LED light.

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Sunday, September 11, 2011

For the first time ever, I visit the boat launch at Anchor Point.  One word of advice for those thinking about launching from there... don't launch at low tide or bring a good set of wheels.  The water was at least 200 yards away.  As I began hauling my gear, a guy in a 4 wheeler stop by and offers assistance.  We load everything up, I run behind holding everything and all is good!  Thanks!  I came in about an hour and a half after high tide and I dragged the yak about 20 yards to where I could get it with a car.

So the target is feeder kings.  From the morning temperatures you could call them winter kings I think. The intel was south of Anchor Point a bit and about 4 miles out.  The problem was I got off to a late start by two hours meaning the tide had already turned.  Against a 2 to 3 knot current, there was no peddling south.  I could make headway, but the instant I changed baits or hooked a halibut, I was 100 yards back.

So I loiter about 4 miles out but I don't get any hits from salmon.  I told myself I was going to try to concentrate on kings, but I couldn't help myself and lowered the gear a few times and each time I got a small halibut.  Maybe I should have focused on that...

I also got to try my windpaddle sail out.  It's great.  Super light, compact, and super duper easy to use.  I was working against a 1 to 2 knot current but it still pulled me against it and made progress.  I'm not sure about 180 deg, but you can get close with the sailing rudder and mirage drive acting as a dagger board.  It also would help if I had actual attachments.  I jsut clipped them onto my front hatch bungie.  Worked even though the two clips were inches apart.

Well I will have to rethink this winter king thing.  Maybe once or twice on the perfect day and if I don't oversleep....

Monday, September 05, 2011

Took the kayak and fished Valdez for the first time in my life.  I think it’s the first time in over 30 years I have even been there! 

Launched from the FREE kayak launch near the city dock at around 2pm.  Managed to limit out but it took till well past 7pm.  I caught most of them by Mineral Creek using planer, dodger, and herring.
As I was ready to call it a day, I see a bunch of jumpers right at the kayak takeput.  You have to be careful of the security zone around Crowley’s dock but I cast over with my ultralight and manage to land 5 silvers in less than an hour using a #5 vibrax with blue body and silver blade. 

Day two starts at around 7:30am.  I hit one immediately in front of the City dock.  Then its nothing until I get all the way out to Mineral Creek.  Then its blank again for all the remaining high tide.  I find fish shallow right up against the cliff walls in less than 20ft of water.  I use vibrax spinners and a wiggle wart and get a good flurry.  I see boats hooking up off shore so I join them and finish out my limit by 1pm. 

Well it wasn’t as good as advertised but that’s hard to say when you easily limit out both days.  I think while it’s fun to troll with the powerboats, this late in the year, I think if you were just trying to catch as many as you can, I would use my kayak and a spinner with spinning gear and poke around the edges.  This weekend, I bet the shore fishermen did as well if not better than the boats.

This late in the season, I shouldn’t have been, but I was surprised to see how mature the silvers were.  Lots of roe and pretty thin belly walls on many of the fish.  Of course they are all bright and meat color still looked good.  Seemed like a mix of the softer scale shedders and the firmer cohos.

It's not the best video as the spottiness and rain made it hard to get good footage.  The only rods I didn't break out were the flyrods.  Next year!   But the video shows conventional trolling gear, ultralight with spinner, a magwart, and a mooching coho.