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Thread: Some cut my pots! Salvage?

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    Member fatbacks's Avatar
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    Default Some cut my pots! Salvage?

    First time posting, long time reader. Heard about trouble with other people and shrimp pots more than a few times and it finally happened to me.

    Went to pull and reset the pots Friday morning and buoy wasn't there. We were setting pots across the bay from Three Finger Cove at approx 6039.639'N,14824.212'W. There had been other pots in the area the night before, but there was not a pot within a mile when we went back to pull them. Set at 525 ft with 600 ft of line. Initially thought the may have drifted off the shelf. Searched towards the back of the bay and then back towards suprise cove. After good search grid, finally spotted my buoy about 4 miles away from the shrimping spot more towards Surprise Cove (approx. 6043.385'N,14820.8'W). Excited to find the buoy, only be disappointed to see it had been cut free. At least it wasn't a total loss.

    Didn't set any closer than what you'd normally see in the vicinity of Shotgun Cove or other clusters of pots that I've seen throughout PWS. Only thoughts was that it may have gotten tangled in someone else's setup and they got pissed and cut it. If so, my fault for throwing in the area with other pots, but still don't see cutting someones pots free - at least not something I would do if I got tangled in someone else's gear. Guess the constant rain drove someone into a minor fit!

    Anyhow, just wanted to see if anyone has had any luck trying to recover pots with a grappling hook or something similar?? Realize probability is slim, but spent too much $$ on the boat already this year and cannot really afford a new shrimp setup.

    Regardless, hard to beat a few days out on the sound despite not so good fishing, losing pots, and plenty of rain!



  2. #2
    Member alaskabliss's Avatar
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    Ive tried dragging a halibut line and big hook in grid patterns where I have lost a pot but it has never worked
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    Premium Member kasilofchrisn's Avatar
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    That really sucks! Had it happen in Homer with my crab pots.
    If you have some floating line on them I read on here somewhere to drop pots right over the lost pots.
    The lines will tangle and you might get yours back.
    Maybe you can borrow a pot and line to try this.
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    Supporting Member bullbuster's Avatar
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    I dropped a buddies string of 5 in Taku Inlet once and missed the narrow shelf. I was dismayed to see the buoy disappear into the depths. He was nonplussed and said he would get them. He took a grapple hook and circled for over an hour. He got them back. Boy was I relieved! If the buoy wasn't on the line, I don't know how well it would have worked, but that time it did.
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    This has been happening in this area all summer. A buddy of mine had his lines cut twice in mid May. Be sure to file a repoet with the Troopers in Girdwood.

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    Member powderhound's Avatar
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    I am kind of wondering if this happened to me as well. I wrote my string of 3 pots off as lost or stolen. someone could have snipped the line and my buoy's coulda floated out til someone picked them up.
    Anyone's guess I suppose. I know I am out $500+ now and I honestly doubt I drifted off shelf!
    Do you suspect someone might have had ran to close to your gear, fouled a prop and cut your line to get it off?
    either way, not the right thing to do, but possible I would think.

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    Sponsor potbuilder's Avatar
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    You said the line was cut ?? What did the end(cut end) look like ?? clean sharp edge or chaffed frayed ?? Like others have said it could of been hit by a small boat wrapped around their prop and just cut off by the prop and they never stopped or maybe hit by one of the cruise ships or tugs and tows running through there. I think if the folks are going to be fishing in high traffic areas a good idea would be to add a good sized weight, pounds not ounces, down the buoyline aways(aprox 75-100ft) to get the buoyline hanging straight down and tight so the current doesn't blow the rope up and on a angle. When i lobstered back east we fished right in the shipping lanes and would see our buoys/highflyers slide down the side of ships but we had a hunk of chain down the buoyline to sink it. We did lose lots of buoys also but always had buoys at each end of the line, 15-30 pots on a line, so we either had another buoy to go and haul or it was get the grapnel out, my grapnel was a old LARGE fire extinguisher body filled with lead with hooks/prongs welded on the bottom, it did the job well.
    I'd bet there are hundreds of ghost pots out there but to clean them up would take a good grapnel towed on cable to get them in the deep water. I haven't tried it here but back home with a good fish finder we could see the rope floating between the pots i'll have to try it if i ever get the boat wet this year

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    Member Cap'n Ron's Avatar
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    Waiting until I got to Steve's post thinking he would say something about the lack of slack on your line...but not! Anyway, 75' of slack with a 525' drop is not near enough enough unless there is zero wind and current, which I doubt. So, it is highly possible your set drifted off of where you set it. This doesn't account for the line being broken/cut but it adds to the mystery and your possible responsibility for the mishap.

    I watched a pot line go under early in my shrimping days with buoy attached, and I immediately spent several hours trying to hook into it with no luck. I had one more setup, but not enough line to risk trying to drop on it torecover it...same problem as here, 400' of line and a 325' drop in wind and current...AND, with deeper water just a little bit away, who's to say I actually hit the 325' showing on my sonar, or that your hit the 525'?

    So, I now run about 750 feet of line on my string(s) and the deepest the water goes is right at 600' and I never have a problem for years now. So I learned a lesson and hope you do too, and maybe some magic will happen, it really hurts to lose gear, especially a new string!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cap'n Ron View Post
    Waiting until I got to Steve's post thinking he would say something about the lack of slack on your line...but not! Anyway, 75' of slack with a 525' drop is not near enough enough unless there is zero wind and current, which I doubt. So, it is highly possible your set drifted off of where you set it. This doesn't account for the line being broken/cut but it adds to the mystery and your possible responsibility for the mishap.

    I watched a pot line go under early in my shrimping days with buoy attached, and I immediately spent several hours trying to hook into it with no luck. I had one more setup, but not enough line to risk trying to drop on it torecover it...same problem as here, 400' of line and a 325' drop in wind and current...AND, with deeper water just a little bit away, who's to say I actually hit the 325' showing on my sonar, or that your hit the 525'?

    So, I now run about 750 feet of line on my string(s) and the deepest the water goes is right at 600' and I never have a problem for years now. So I learned a lesson and hope you do too, and maybe some magic will happen, it really hurts to lose gear, especially a new string!
    I saw that about the short buoyline, the old "20% more buoyline than the depth" rule always applies, i fish 900' buoylines and have had many sets that i started in 600 end up with the buoy standing up(i fish the low drag style buoys) and the buoyline way too tight.

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    Member jrogers's Avatar
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    Can you post a picture of the cut end of the line? I looked at your picture, and I cannot see this.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrogers View Post
    Can you post a picture of the cut end of the line? I looked at your picture, and I cannot see this.
    Wait a second.... I think I see what you see. It almost looks like the line was untied from the bouy instead of cut. But without a detailed picture it is just a guess of course.

    I'm out of my element trying to imagine what a possible thief might do, but untying that rope just does not see like a reasonable action.....its so much quicker to just cut it - unless somehow he's more of a sailor than a thief. And that's assuming thievery.

    I almost hate to ask... but is there a chance that your knot worked its way loose?

  12. #12
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    I hope the guy didn't use a carabiner to connect his buoyline to the buoy ???? Those things like to come off all on their own !! I'd think thieves either dump the whole mess overboard or just move it all to another location, can't see them cutting the buoy off ??? but who knows ??

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    We lost a set of pots a few years back, and eventually I found the buoys in about 10' of water on the far side of the bay we were shrimping. Upon retrieving the buoys, we found that what was left of the buoy line (50') was wrapped in a huge drift log that had shredded the line. Simply put, it's the ocean and things happen. I know that pot thieves are out there and that some lines are cut, but I'd be willing to bet that the majority of lost pots are due to inadequate line length vs. depth, drift logs wrapping up in the rope, or other such things that just happen in the sea of chance that is the ocean.

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    Premium Member kasilofchrisn's Avatar
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    I tend to agree with Brian on what happens to pots in the ocean. Especially when people try to skimp on line.
    When my crab pot went missing A fellow forum member found my buoy in the tide rip with no line whatsoever attached.
    I had 900 feet of line in 500-550 feet of water. the top 600' being leaded sinking line.
    I do see the potential for a thief to cut off a buoy and attach their own though. Then they need to get rid of the old marked up buoy so just toss it overboard.
    Most likely something else happened but the potential is there.
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    Member fatbacks's Avatar
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    Here are some other pics. I am sticking with the theory that someone cut them. Cut looks clean and I think other parts of the girth hitch would have gotten tangled or showed evidence of prop fouling. That coupled with the fact that there were about 5 other buoys in the area when I set and none when I can back later. Ultimately it is a mystery and if someone cut them, shame on them. If it was my mistake, hopefully it prevents someone else from losing a string of pots at some point.

    I tie a big loop at the end of the lead line and girth hitch it around the buoy so I can get it off easily to get them out of the way. Pulling pots gets pretty crowded on my 22ft boat. The figure 8 knot with electric tape was on the setup when I got them from previous owner.

    Anyhow, potbuilder, I have to meet with the Mat Su Borough later today and may give you a call to see about new gear. Hopefully you'll be around. Wife just likes shrimp too much to go without the rest of this year.




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    Member MRFISH's Avatar
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    Like FamilyMan, I'd tend to think this is pot theft. They didn't want the bouy w/ the incriminating information written on it. The rest is unmarked (I assume).
    "Fishing relaxes me. It's like yoga, except I still get to kill something." --Ron Swanson

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    [QUOTE=fatbacks;1301738]Here are some other pics. I am sticking with the theory that someone cut them. Cut looks clean and I think other parts of the girth hitch would have gotten tangled or showed evidence of prop fouling. That coupled with the fact that there were about 5 other buoys in the area when I set and none when I can back later. Ultimately it is a mystery and if someone cut them, shame on them. If it was my mistake, hopefully it prevents someone else from losing a string of pots at some point.

    I tie a big loop at the end of the lead line and girth hitch it around the buoy so I can get it off easily to get them out of the way. Pulling pots gets pretty crowded on my 22ft boat. The figure 8 knot with electric tape was on the setup when I got them from previous owner.

    Anyhow, potbuilder, I have to meet with the Mat Su Borough later today and may give you a call to see about new gear. Hopefully you'll be around. Wife just likes shrimp too much to go without the rest of this year.

    I'll be around the shop all day just give a call before heading my way, 775-1692.
    Steve

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  18. #18

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    A buddy of mine just pulled two pots with no buoys out of Blackstone Bay. The gear got tangled up with his. I should try and find out more details. But I guess pots are down there without buoys...

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    Member rimfirematt's Avatar
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    Man you guys deal with a lot of grief shrimping. Even if I had the money to play that game I dont think I would. My sympathies go out to ya!

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    Those days when you get home and grill up 5#'s of fresh jumbo shrimp, or on the beach at the end of a day fishing make it worth it.

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