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Thread: Alternatives to the Polyform buoy?

  1. #1
    Premium Member kasilofchrisn's Avatar
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    Default Alternatives to the Polyform buoy?

    So on another thread we are discussing wooden buoys.
    Some other ideas were mentioned.
    I figured some honest discussion on buoy alternatives might be in order.
    This would be for several different reasons.
    Cost savings might be one reason but really a small part of this IMHO.
    But Theft protection could be a big one.
    I mean who is really going to pull a piece of driftwood thinking it is a buoy. Or what about a duck or goose decoy filled with spray foam?
    I know there was a forum member who claimed his green buoys worked well but were hard to spot himself.
    But they would still be seen as a shrimp/crab pot and possibly robbed or stolen.
    The stipulations would be It would have to be both practical to carry, be something inconspicious as a buoy, and yet be durable enough to last awhile without sinking or being destroyed by mother nature.
    So what are your ideas for some legal alternatives one might use as a buoy that might fool thieves but still work and meet the letter of the law?
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    Sponsor potbuilder's Avatar
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    for all our native members how about a foam filled otter or seal ?? with a nice collar with the owner info on it. I'll get my buoy manufacturer to make some clear buoys that way they will take the color of the water ?? Problem with those driftwood buoys is some other guy might set over you thinking all was clear.

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    Premium Member kasilofchrisn's Avatar
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    You have a good point Steve. Anything not associated as a buoy could lead others to unknowingly set over you.
    Not that I am advocating people to use other than a standard buoy either.
    But the thoughts are it might prevent pot raiders or thieves. I guess one would have to way out their odds of a pot being stolen versus someone setting over the top of them versus ??
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    Sponsor potbuilder's Avatar
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    How about a lead buoy that your specialty and you sure know how to make them visible !!

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    Member JR2's Avatar
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    Here is one I saw last year, not sure it would prevent theft but it sure got me to come take a look.

    How about dropping your pots and then running your line over to the beach and lashing the end to the rocks or a tree. You could leave a tag on the end of the line with your info or just attach a buoy and stash it in the trees.


    Those green buoys suck, I have almost hit a couple of them, with a little chop they are impossible to see until you are right on them. I think the majority of disappearing pots are people who set them in traffic areas. I wonder how many times a ferry or barge or fishing tender has run down the buoys that are always in passage canal where 100's of boats pass on a weekend. Or setting off Pigot point, how many boats run around that corner in a day during salmon season.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JR2 View Post

    Those green buoys suck, I have almost hit a couple of them, with a little chop they are impossible to see until you are right on them. I think the majority of disappearing pots are people who set them in traffic areas. I wonder how many times a ferry or barge or fishing tender has run down the buoys that are always in passage canal where 100's of boats pass on a weekend.
    Last time out there was a dirty white buoy smack in the middle of the traffic lane in passage canal. When you return to port the sun is coming down behind whiitier and the glare makes buoys very hard to see.

    I could see using a decoy if you live on or near the water and keep pots out regularly in the same spot. For the regular rec guy I don't think it's a great idea though. I think the amount of pot theft actually going on is much less than you might imagine by reading this forum. My experience is out of whit tho so maybe it's worse in other places.

  7. #7

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    While there may be some good intentions with using "alternate" type buoys, I think it just makes it all that much harder for you to find yourself. If you have a solid GPS location and the buoy doesn't move at all, you are probably good, but if it drifts even a small distance, it could be nearly impossible to find in good chop on the water. Flat calm is one thing, but make sure you can find it when it isn't flat calm or when there is fog. I know a 20+ years ago when we were halibut longlining, we had trouble at times finding our lines even with a tall flag pole attached.

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    Moderator Daveinthebush's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JR2 View Post
    How about dropping your pots and then running your line over to the beach and lashing the end to the rocks or a tree. You could leave a tag on the end of the line with your info or just attach a buoy and stash it in the trees.
    Kind of a PIA to have to launch a raft every time you do pots. I pull every 48 hours. You still need a buoy though, even on shore.

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    Premium Member kasilofchrisn's Avatar
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    I would never advocate setting pots in shipping lanes or main traffic channels.
    I would also not advocate for using something so questionable that it could result in lost pots.
    But say you are crabbing/shrimping out of the way in a bay somewhere where you are worried your pots might get raided while you are elsewhere fishing,hunting,etc. It might be plausible to use a non standard buoy.
    Since it was mentioned in another thread I thought it was worth discussing.
    Especially when members here talk about lost pots and raided pots not set back properly.
    "The closer I get to nature the farther I am from idiots"

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    If I saw a goose decoy bobbing around, I would likely check it out. I have no intentions of pulling anothers gear, but a decoy might actually attract attention. Not to mention the predators like seals or eagles might enjoy attacking a stationary meal, who knows?!

    A drift wood log I would steer clear of.
    The inner tube is awesome though, no mistaking that for someone elses.

    BK

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    Member Frostbitten's Avatar
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    I watched a cruise ship run over bouys two years ago in Passage Canal near Squirell point. No doubt there are a lot of pots laying in the bottom of Passage because of cruise ships and ferrys.

  12. #12

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    It's my opinion that most buoys are bright orange for a reason. One may be so you (or whomever) can easily find it. Another reason may be so that an unsuspecting boater doesn't run over it and either cut the line or get the line wrapped around the prop. The more invisible you try to make your buoy, the more likely someone is to run over it. Imagine someone tooling along in rough seas with the wind howling and all of a sudden they get a line wrapped around their prop and get blown into the rocks.

  13. #13
    Member Anythingalaska's Avatar
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    Use a buoy on the lighter side, weight it with a lead weight or cannonball, and sink it onto the edge of a flats, or area with soft bottom. Make sure it's deep enough not to float at low tide. Mark on GPS, and drag up later with a grapple hook. You can also landline to shore, tie a length of dark ganyon or twine, and run that up the beach into the woods and tie your buoy on it. If you have a buoy tide to your pots whether it's in the woods or underwater; it's a legal pot. However you can't do that commercial fishing!

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