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Thread: Face to face with shrimp thieves, what to do?

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    Member greg01alaska's Avatar
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    Default Face to face with shrimp thieves, what to do?

    My wife and I began shrimping for the first time last season. After much time perusing thru the many posts here on the forum and being educated about shrimping, we embarked upon setting and retreiving our first shrimp pots. Thanks to Steve the pot builder, we had the right equipment and some much appreciated advice both in person and thru his forum postings. We utilized his suggestions of the different colored zip ties and never had any thefts of our shrimp. However, while returning from fishing one afternoon to check our pots, we found someone with our float in their boat pulling on the pot line. As they saw us making a straight approach they quickly dropped the float and about the same time a coast guard boat showed up and boarded their boat as well as ours for an inspection. I did not mention anything to the CG, and while it might not have been the wisest decision ever made, we did not have any trouble the rest of our week, and we did see those folks out on the water afterwards pulling pots.
    Wanted to ask the good folks here, what is the proper answer to a face to face with someone stealing shrimp from your pots? What do you do without resorting to putting multiple half inch holes in their hull?
    "Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by those moments that take our breath away."

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    Supporting Member iofthetaiga's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by greg01alaska View Post
    My wife and I began shrimping for the first time last season. After much time perusing thru the many posts here on the forum and being educated about shrimping, we embarked upon setting and retreiving our first shrimp pots. Thanks to Steve the pot builder, we had the right equipment and some much appreciated advice both in person and thru his forum postings. We utilized his suggestions of the different colored zip ties and never had any thefts of our shrimp. However, while returning from fishing one afternoon to check our pots, we found someone with our float in their boat pulling on the pot line. As they saw us making a straight approach they quickly dropped the float and about the same time a coast guard boat showed up and boarded their boat as well as ours for an inspection. I did not mention anything to the CG, and while it might not have been the wisest decision ever made, we did not have any trouble the rest of our week, and we did see those folks out on the water afterwards pulling pots.
    Wanted to ask the good folks here, what is the proper answer to a face to face with someone stealing shrimp from your pots? What do you do without resorting to putting multiple half inch holes in their hull?
    As respectfully as possible: ARE YOU SERIOUS? You had the opportunity to at the VERY LEAST put the bad guys on the good guys radar, and you opted not to!?!?!? Now you're asking what to do if you ever see such a violation again?

    The answer is you should do what you didn't do in the first place: REPORT THEM!!!!
    ...he who knows nothing is nearer to truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods & errors. ~Thomas Jefferson
    I would rather have a mind opened by wonder than one closed by belief. ~Gerry Spence
    The last thing Alaska needs is another bigot. ~member Catch It
    #Resist

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    Member Grizzly Man's Avatar
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    Hind sight is always 20/20, BUT I certainly would have reported to the CG at bare minimum. It's not the first time and won't be their last until they get caught and some kind of punishment. I've said in anger I would blast someone's boat for doing it, but it's really not worth killing someone over a couple gallons of shrimp, BUT I would have taken pictures of their boat and blasted it all over the internet. Can't stand thieves!!!!
    "What is it about a beautiful sunny afternoon, with the birds singing and the wind rustling through the leaves, that makes you want to get drunk? --Jack Handy

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    Me if was to catch someone in the act. First I take a pictures of the boat and Ak numbers. And record it and make that boat publicly known. Then turn them into troopers maybe..... I will turn a blind eye to a lot but stealing is something that just pushing over the edge.
    Do I give my friends advice? Jesus, no. They wouldn't take advice from me. Nobody should take advice from me. I haven't got a clue about anything..

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    Member greg01alaska's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iofthetaiga View Post
    As respectfully as possible: ARE YOU SERIOUS? You had the opportunity to at the VERY LEAST put the bad guys on the good guys radar, and you opted not to!?!?!? Now you're asking what to do if you ever see such a violation again?

    The answer is you should do what you didn't do in the first place: REPORT THEM!!!!
    I agree, I should have reported them. With that being said, there have been numerous postings on reports to the troopers that have not been pursued by the authorities. Not sure who's jurisdiction this violation would fall into and the distance between myself and the other boat was sufficient to make a photo all but imposible. Therefore the question: Who do you report these violators to?
    "Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by those moments that take our breath away."

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    Member fullkurl's Avatar
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    REPORT THE M*&*^ER f(&*&*Ers!!!


    NO time to be nice! Those creeps needed to learn a valuable lesson.
    Proud to be an American!

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    Member DMan's Avatar
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    My pots have been picked and it fries me!!! I've had them drug off before too... (yes I know the difference in having them drug off and having them float off from being set too deep) If I saw a boat in the act I would take pics and video of the boat and I would chase them around humiliating them on the VHF. CG and Troopers would be fully aware!
    ... aboard the 'Memory Maker' Making Memories one Wave at a Time!

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    Supporting Member iofthetaiga's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by greg01alaska View Post
    Who do you report these violators to?
    Coast Guard or Troopers, Troopers or Coast Guard. Don't wait until two days later when you finally wander back to Valdez. Your boat has a radio; REPORT BAD GUYS!!.
    ...he who knows nothing is nearer to truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods & errors. ~Thomas Jefferson
    I would rather have a mind opened by wonder than one closed by belief. ~Gerry Spence
    The last thing Alaska needs is another bigot. ~member Catch It
    #Resist

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    Member AKluvr95's Avatar
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    Missed opprotunity here. The simple fact that the CG was on the scene should've trigger you to at least report it to them directly while they were on the scene. I doubt they'll ever be there the exact time this happens again to any one of us. I can assure you I would've reported it and while I expect it'd turn into a bunch of he said, she said, at least you'd be on record and you might possibly have started a valuable documentation trail. So why don't you at least send me [and as many others you know on here] a PM with details so we can all keep an eye out for not only our stuff but for each other.

    Who do you report these violators to?[/QUOTE]

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    Sponsor potbuilder's Avatar
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    I'm really sorry but my throttle cable must have jammed or broke and the last thing i remember was a bump and their fingers peeling off the stem !! You did pick them up didn't you ??

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    Member Grizzly Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by greg01alaska View Post
    As they saw us making a straight approach they quickly dropped the float and about the same time a coast guard boat showed up and boarded their boat as well as ours for an inspection.
    As I read this part, I though all you would have to do is pull up while the CG boarded them right next to your pot! They would have had a hard time explaining why they were right next to your pot and had your cut zip ties on board. I wasn't there so I don't know the exact details
    "What is it about a beautiful sunny afternoon, with the birds singing and the wind rustling through the leaves, that makes you want to get drunk? --Jack Handy

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    Member greg01alaska's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AKluvr95 View Post
    Missed opprotunity here. The simple fact that the CG was on the scene should've trigger you to at least report it to them directly while they were on the scene. I doubt they'll ever be there the exact time this happens again to any one of us. I can assure you I would've reported it and while I expect it'd turn into a bunch of he said, she said, at least you'd be on record and you might possibly have started a valuable documentation trail. So why don't you at least send me [and as many others you know on here] a PM with details so we can all keep an eye out for not only our stuff but for each other.

    Who do you report these violators to?
    [/QUOTE]

    Wow, duly reprimanded and appreciate the honesty! In my defense, I was still a mile plus away watching thru binocs. CG was just coming thru the narrows and as you said it would have been a he said, she said issue. Been on the acusing side of things and without the proper alignment of the stars it is a waste of time. This took place in June of last year and the particulars of the offenders is not what it should be. 16 to 18 ft beater looking skiff out of Valdez, two guys using a brutus ace hauler. Pretty benign of a description for sure and didn't get the hull numbers and yes shame on me.
    "Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by those moments that take our breath away."

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    Greg live and learn I suppose.... Happy to see that you posted this up probably even knowing you would get some flack but I appreciate your honesty and hope that someone perhaps reads this and realizes the importance of stepping up to report violators whether fish, shrimp, or game.... The more that get reported and caught the less we will have to deal with..

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    Member greg01alaska's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grizzly Man View Post
    As I read this part, I though all you would have to do is pull up while the CG boarded them right next to your pot! They would have had a hard time explaining why they were right next to your pot and had your cut zip ties on board. I wasn't there so I don't know the exact details
    Sorry for any confusion, This person had my bouy in his boat and had started pulling the line as I watched from over a mile away. Pots never made it to the surface. With the CG and myself converging on his location it was easy to just drop the rope and drift away. Hard thing to prove. The response from this forums members has been very forthright on the actions to take in the event this situation arises again.
    "Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by those moments that take our breath away."

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    Moderator bkmail's Avatar
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    I had success reporting stolen pots to the troopers. Got part of my gear back, also embarrassed them on this forum and recently got an apology and admittance of the theft from the guilty party. They also bought me new gear to replace the stolen crap I got back.
    REPORT them....the system takes time but eventually it worked out for us.
    BK

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    Member fullkurl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bear View Post
    Greg live and learn I suppose.... Happy to see that you posted this up probably even knowing you would get some flack but I appreciate your honesty and hope that someone perhaps reads this and realizes the importance of stepping up to report violators whether fish, shrimp, or game.... The more that get reported and caught the less we will have to deal with..
    +1...beating administered and taken with dignity.

    Go forth and sin no more Greg....in other words, next time, their butts are grass.
    Proud to be an American!

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    The attitude of "well, they didn't do anything the last time I reported someone, so it's just a waste of time" is not a good one to have. Even if they don't do anything the time you report it, it does get recorded. Maybe someone gets reported 10 times and nothing happens because it was always a he said, she said type thing. That 11th time when they do get caught red handed, you don't want them to be able to go to court with their claim of "this is the first time we have even been accused of this..." That is when those other reports will come in handy even if they were not acted on at the time. It may also just scare that person enough to know that he was that close to getting caught and make him reconsider doing it in the future. Many of those are doing it because it is easy pickings and hard to get caught (especially when the times they do get caught red handed such as this, people look the other way). If they start to see that it is not so easy to get away with cleanly, they might do something else. After all, there isn't that much money to be made doing what they do. I would put them in the category of bully kids stealing candy from other trick-or-treaters. As long as people turn their backs, they will keep doing it, but when they start to see parents out watching for it or get called on it a time or two, they will move on.

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    Member Bullelkklr's Avatar
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    Something to keep in mind - I was in some bad weather, pulled up to "my" bouy, with a couple out of state friends. It had been a long day and we were looking forward to arriving back at camp. My friend got up on the bow, pulled in the bouy and started pulling in the rope. after he got tired, I hopped into the bow to help. I pulled for a bit, then hit a swivel and a 2 pound weight. The pots had just came off the bottom. I had no swivels and no rope attached weight..............on my strings.

    I said a few explicatives and quickly checked the bouy - NOT MINE. Back over it all went. A quick scan hoping that nobody saw my idiot move, and saw my bouy a couple hundred yards away.

    For the most part, it was an inocent "mistake" - should never happen, and won't again, but there was no ill intent behind the action. I would have hated to be labeled a thief for my faulty actions.

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    Two lessons to be learned here:

    1 - Report.
    2 - Never admit to being less than perfect on this forum.

    +1

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    It's best to report them. My brother-in-law was a trooper aide out of Valdez. He used to spend his summers camped out on islands watching decoy pots that the troopers set. He'd take pictures of the offenders that came and pulled the pots. I imagine that reporting these type of incidents would in the very least help them concentrate their efforts.
    I'd agree with you, but then we'd both be wrong.

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