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Thread: Missing Shrimp Pots

  1. #1

    Default Missing Shrimp Pots

    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.

  2. #2
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    I always noticed an uptick in strange things happening to my pots when the bowpickers showed up in Whittier. A little early for that though. Too bad about your pots and hope it wasn't anything malicious.

  3. #3
    Member fatbacks's Avatar
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    Lost my pots in cochrane bay last year. I suspect they were cut too, but I guess that is open to interpretation.


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    How much does the typical shrimp pot setup cost? I've seen a couple threads about missing shrimping gear and wondered about the $$ that a person is out when these get lost or stolen.

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    Member Anythingalaska's Avatar
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    A typical shrimp pot is about 100$ on average. So a string of 5 pots is 500$, plus the money for all the line and bouy is probably another $100-$200. It's expensive gear to lose.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Anythingalaska View Post
    A typical shrimp pot is about 100$ on average. So a string of 5 pots is 500$, plus the money for all the line and bouy is probably another $100-$200. It's expensive gear to lose.
    Ouch!! Yeah, I'll stick to the crab traps we use each summer, I don't need fresh shrimp that badly.

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    We lost a string of pots one year due to a huge tree that got tangled up in it. We found the buoy up against shore in about 30' of water, and when we pulled it the line was wrapped around a monstrous tree that was bobbing around just below the surface. Enough friction/wrapping/dragging and the line apparently popped at some point. Nobody's fault - crap just happened.


    As for the link to the bowpickers mentioned above, while that might be a possibility, I personally highly doubt it. My family has fished the Sound since well before I was born (they started in '69), and until the past seven years or so we could leave our pots out all summer long without concern. At times they wouldn't be pulled for 2-3 weeks at a time, and upon our return we'd still have plenty of shrimp and the pots were right where we left them. Things have changed out there for sure, and it's not been due to an increase in bowpickers. That said, I know that there have been some conflicts out there at times and I certainly know that no group is without its bad apples. Just an observation.

    On a side note, it's not too early for the bowpickers to be out there. The Copper River fishery opened yesterday, and last weekend a number of gillnetters were in harbor getting ready.

  8. #8
    Member Roger's Avatar
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    If you see a tan/white bayliner pulling pots I have 3 sets of traps 2 -2 strings and a single pot
    PEOPLE SAY I HAVE A.D.D I DON'T UNDERSTA.....OH LOOK A MOOSE !!!

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    Member JR2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fish Witch View Post
    I always noticed an uptick in strange things happening to my pots when the bowpickers showed up in Whittier. A little early for that though. Too bad about your pots and hope it wasn't anything malicious.
    Would not surprise me if one of the bow pickers ran over a pot or two once in a while but probably not up in Cochrane. They really have no business up there. The only place I ever seem them even close to there is the entrance to Culross. More than likely if they got hit by a boat it was someone cruising along looking for a bear in the binoculars and not paying attention to where they were going.

    I have come close to hitting pots once or twice when there is something going on in the boat and I am not paying attention, but if I ever hit a pot I personally will go check the buoy and if I cut the line I would contact them myself and make it right.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fish Witch View Post
    I always noticed an uptick in strange things happening to my pots when the bowpickers showed up in Whittier. A little early for that though. Too bad about your pots and hope it wasn't anything malicious.
    and the incidence of gillnets getting run over increases when the rec fleet runs through the areas open to commercial fishing ???

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    Ok, what's a 'bow picker'? Is it anything like a potlicker?

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    Member Deak's Avatar
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    What an a-hole move, cut the line without retying!!!

    Pretty simple to rejoin both ends after an accident. Even in the case of newbs that use floating line at their buoy... You can still tie it back together and write an angry message on their buoy!! Purposely destroying people's gear is one of the foulest things you can do to someone on the water.

    I have had pots in Blackstone for 6 years before this season and never had an issue with lost/missing pots. I left them out during the week while I was gone and sometimes missed weekends in between checks. All that time in the water and the worst thing that happened was some other boaters may have checked them for me and liberated some shrimp.

    Actually the worst thing that happened was self inflicted. My best friend was setting a string of three pots and forgot to tie the buoy on. That didn't go well.

    Also in response to Fish Witch. I have never seen the bow pickers in Cohrane bay. Its possible but unlikely . I'm with JR, its way more likely that it was a glassing accident!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by JR2 View Post
    Would not surprise me if one of the bow pickers ran over a pot or two once in a while but probably not up in Cochrane. They really have no business up there. The only place I ever seem them even close to there is the entrance to Culross. More than likely if they got hit by a boat it was someone cruising along looking for a bear in the binoculars and not paying attention to where they were going.

    I have come close to hitting pots once or twice when there is something going on in the boat and I am not paying attention, but if I ever hit a pot I personally will go check the buoy and if I cut the line I would contact them myself and make it right.
    I'd bet 80% of the bowpicker fleet are jets these days and they are super fair on the bottoms so they can slide over corklines and not hang up so i'd doubt even a direct hit would cut anything.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zeek the Greek View Post
    Ok, what's a 'bow picker'? Is it anything like a potlicker?
    Commercial gillnet boat that "picks"pulls the net over the bow.

    DECeption running.jpg

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    Quote Originally Posted by Deak View Post
    What an a-hole move, cut the line without retying!!!

    Pretty simple to rejoin both ends after an accident. Even in the case of newbs that use floating line at their buoy... You can still tie it back together and write an angry message on their buoy!! Purposely destroying people's gear is one of the foulest things you can do to someone on the water.

    I have had pots in Blackstone for 6 years before this season and never had an issue with lost/missing pots. I left them out during the week while I was gone and sometimes missed weekends in between checks. All that time in the water and the worst thing that happened was some other boaters may have checked them for me and liberated some shrimp.

    Actually the worst thing that happened was self inflicted. My best friend was setting a string of three pots and forgot to tie the buoy on. That didn't go well.

    Also in response to Fish Witch. I have never seen the bow pickers in Cohrane bay. Its possible but unlikely . I'm with JR, its way more likely that it was a glassing accident!!!
    Deak your right on the money ! once the rope is wound up in a prop its pretty easy to get both ends and just throw in a big long tailed overhand knot, at least the gear won't be lost. Your also right about gillnetters in cohrane, i've never even been close to it, no need to go in there, not a gillnet area and no fish to choke(at least for a gillnetter) !!

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  16. #16

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    Set our pots in Cochrane Bay 2 weekends ago and when we returned at the end of the day our buoy was about 1/2 mile from where we left it. Hmmm. Pulled the pots and found a huge tangled mess of rode just above the pots. Another hmmm. We pay out the rode as the pots sink. Number of shrimp for our efforts? Two! Hmmm yet again. Either we had all round very bad luck that day, or we were robbed.
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    Quote Originally Posted by healerf18 View Post
    Set our pots in Cochrane Bay 2 weekends ago and when we returned at the end of the day our buoy was about 1/2 mile from where we left it. Hmmm. Pulled the pots and found a huge tangled mess of rode just above the pots. Another hmmm. We pay out the rode as the pots sink. Number of shrimp for our efforts? Two! Hmmm yet again. Either we had all round very bad luck that day, or we were robbed.
    You were robbed, welcome to the club.

  18. #18
    Member powderhound's Avatar
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    as much as me and my family really enjoy shrimping I am not going to be participating this season. I can not prove it but my 3 string last season I believe was stolen.
    I have had my pots checked and the bounty taken in the past, that I am confident happened.
    It is a great family fun fishery that has taken on to many bad apples that make it to expensive for a family man to participate in any more in my opinion.
    Hope it turns around in the near future, as my 4 year old favorite food is shrimp!

  19. #19
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    You would think that someone who could afford the boat and the gas would not have to resort to stealing shrimp.
    Stealing in town bad deal. Out on the ocean really bad deal.

  20. #20
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    I was in Cochrane Bay about 8 days ago. There was a boat sitting 20' off of one of my buoys, when i came up to my bouy to pull it he kinda dirfted away. When i pulled my next set it was empty, all the bait gone but no shrimp.

    I am almost sure that boat was getting ready to pull that set when i pulled up. But there is no way to tell for sure.

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