Wednesday afternoon I got a call from the State Troopers who informed me they found my buoy with no pots attached. Major drag! He was nice enough to bring it to me. In retrospect I'm glad he did rather getting pissed off on the water not being able to find my buoy.
We noted that the line was cut about 25' from the buoy and it was difficult to tell if it was human or prop cut. He noted that the line was projecting straight down in the water so if it was prop cut the offending boat must have ran right over top of my big bright orange buoy. I run 3/8" triple braid nylon and the same line and pots for the past six seasons. Guess that's the cost of doing business.
However, I showed him on a map where in Cochrane Bay my pots were set last Sunday afternoon and he confirmed that he has reports of other missing pots in the area. My buoy was found about seven miles north of where I dropped them.
I still suspect it was prop cut as the length of line remaining on the set is consistent with a 24'ish boat length and the cut looks similar to when I had the misfortune of cutting a rope in my own prop some years ago. 😂
I am interested in hearing if others experience similar fate or their gear. That might tell if this was a deliberate act or a random accident. I am hoping the latter as I would like to continue shrimping without too much paranoia.