thoughts on covered pots
Have been pondering the 'covered pot vs not covered pot' thing since this discussion came up up awhile back (and many other times over the years too) . It has been suggested that covering the pot sides was done to keep shrimp from escaping ..... especially while being hauled to the surface. However, some of my sources that commercial pot shrimped years ago don't agree ..... and stand strong on ..... the covered pots with darkened sides attracted more shrimp.
New regulations, of course, limits how much of the pot that can be covered ..... but the reasons for this seem to be .... at least ... somewhat uncertain.
Harder to drop and harder to pull ..... everyone agrees on that ...... but is the covered protection more appealing to shrimp?
Most of us are constantly experimenting and observing with gear and bait ..... to improve our shrimping success ... and the inconsistency from one pot to another reminds us that .... much of what happens when the pot goes overboard is beyond our control, like how the pot actually comes to rest when it hits bottom.
It certainly makes sense that the scent trail from a baited pot attracts more than just shrimp ..... most of us have caught an octopus or two, but the lingcod or yellow eye lurking around the pot ..... unable to get in .... we never get to see. Does a pot full of shrimp make little munching noises that predator fish hear and come lurking? Maybe the covering on a pot might make shrimp feel less vulnerable.
Can shrimp see at that depth? Is there any light? Yellow eyes have pretty large eyes and shrimp have eyes too ...... makes sense that they can likely see .... even in the limited light available at 500 feet.
Like I said earlier, I fish two partially covered pots ... and sometimes they do 'the best' .... and sometimes they don't. They do not seem to catch a greater ratio of smaller shrimp than the uncovered pots on the same string ..... so, i'm not convinced pot covering makes a pot retain smaller shrimp ... and therefore more shrimp.
I was advised by an old timer ....... that before using the remains of a filleted yellow eye (or other predator fish remains) ...... with head and eyes and teeth .... as a hanging bait, to mutilate it good first, as shrimp will be reluctant to enter a pot with a predator fish inside. Made sense, so I've always done that ...... maybe they can see it, maybe they can't.
Will head off Tuesday morning to try out my new ElectraDyne ...... can't wait to haul up a string.
I went through the same thing some years ago. My opinion is that is is not worth it to cover them. More importantly is finding a good spot. If you are on them, it makes no difference whether they are covered or not. If you have to do this to make you think your getting more shrimp, then you need to go somewhere else. In some of the more productive areas that I shrimp, I will pull the pots every 3-5 hours. It is not uncommon to have 5 gallons of shrimp per pull. Spend your time finding a few good spots, not messing around with covering your pots and creating a sail out of them. This pic is a couple of years old, but I caught these on a weekend trip. There was another bag in the cooler. I believe it was about 75 pounds of tails. NO COVERED POTS. BTW I have the Electrodyne and I love it. Enjoy!