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Thread: Shrimp Pots Missing Out of Culross

  1. #1

    Unhappy Shrimp Pots Missing Out of Culross

    The evening of July 5 I set two buoys in about 400ft of water on the right hand side of Culross Passage. By 10 the next morning they were gone. I search both sides with binoculars from the narrows to Applegate Island and beyond. Visibility was good. I could spot seagulls from about a mile away. Two pots were on a large round white buoy. Three pots were on an orange cylinder that also had a red/white plastic float attached. There was a lot of extra line attached to each to ensure they would not float away in deeper water. They were holding bottom and about 100-200 yards apart when I left them. This is on the side that exits toward Main Bay, Eshamy Bay, etc.

    The pots were metal rectangular pots that were collapsible and purchased from Pot Puller (Steve from this site). Name address boat name were written in Sharpy on the bouys. Each pot was weighted with about 10 lbs of rebar painted black in the bottom.

    The reason I think they were stolen is because both buoys were missing. I could see one buoy getting cut by a prop, but both seems highly doubtful.

    I don't expect to get them back, but I still feel better about getting the word out. Maybe I should have tucked them somewhere with less traffic. Marked them more boldly? Or even anchored up nearby while they soaked? Perhaps there is nothing that we can do about thieves ... Argh!!!

    If anyone has any tips on not losing pots in the future I'm open to suggestions. I'll be looking to get some new gear when I get back to Anchorage in a coupe of weeks.

    Thanks,
    Bruce

  2. #2
    Member Rob B's Avatar
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    I sure hate thieves. Hope you or someone finds them floating around and you get them back


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    Member Frostbitten's Avatar
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    It certainly sucks. You asked for tips, my suggestion would be to not set in major traffic areas. The temptation is just too great for some folks, and when set in major traffic areas where tons of boats go right by your buoy all day long, the chances go up that one or more of those boats has unscrupulous thieves on board. Just a suggestion.

  4. #4

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    I think a good question is are you more likely to get pots stolen in high traffic areas or low traffic areas. Is a thief more likely to pull pots where there is little traffic and they can see and hear a boat coming from far away, given the thief time to run? I think the answer is to stay within eyesight of your pots or just be born lucky. Can't imagine how ballsy (or stupid) someone would have to be to be pulling pots not knowing if the owner is one of the many boats passing by or just about to round the corner and show up.

  5. #5
    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
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    While pots do for sure get stolen,, most times they just float with the tide or get snagged with driftwood and dragged into deep water. I have fished pots in PWS for over 10 years and during that time I have had my pots float off twice, both times were in the same places I have always fished with over 150 foot of extra rode. Make sure you have your floats marked with a phone number. I always search the tide line up and down from where I set, that is how I found mine when they floated.

    Hope you get them back.
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    Member tlingitwarrior's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stid2677 View Post
    While pots do for sure get stolen,, most times they just float with the tide or get snagged with driftwood and dragged into deep water. I have fished pots in PWS for over 10 years and during that time I have had my pots float off twice, both times were in the same places I have always fished with over 150 foot of extra rode. Make sure you have your floats marked with a phone number. I always search the tide line up and down from where I set, that is how I found mine when they floated.

    Hope you get them back.
    Agreed. I've set in that same spot and found them several miles away floating. I used a lot of weight and thought I had 150 feet of extra line. I think by the time they were fully extended, they were in >600 feet of water.
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    Quote Originally Posted by skydiver View Post
    I think a good question is are you more likely to get pots stolen in high traffic areas or low traffic areas. Is a thief more likely to pull pots where there is little traffic and they can see and hear a boat coming from far away, given the thief time to run? I think the answer is to stay within eyesight of your pots or just be born lucky. Can't imagine how ballsy (or stupid) someone would have to be to be pulling pots not knowing if the owner is one of the many boats passing by or just about to round the corner and show up.
    Best place to hide is often in plain sight! Nothing odd about a guy pullin pots in a crowded area. Plus, they can use the lame excuse they grabbed the wrong buoy. Now, a guy pulling one of one strings of pots in a remove cove.....that one would be hard to talk your way out of.

    See it with Juneau crab pots all the time......just working down the line, if they would just rebait the dang things it wouldn't upset me so much. I've lost two pots the last two years, one to a prop job (found my buoy) and the other was a straight up theft.

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    Member Alaskanmutt's Avatar
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    I am lucky. Never had pots stolen.
    But I have had them picked clean in the same spot. How do I know? Colored zipties missing, no shrimp and pots are rigged different than when they were set
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    If you lose pots report to troopers, you can get a fine if they find them after the shrimping season is over.

  10. #10

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    Thanks for the replies. You've given me some things
    to think about when I get back to shrimping. I' ll also report them stolen to the troopers.

    Bruce

  11. #11
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    Make sure to report them to and check with the Harbormaster. I know Valdez they do anyway, have seen them turned in to the HM.
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    Sorry to hear that Bruce. I feel your pain!!! I lost 2 pots on the same buoy at Culross on July 2nd, but on the opposite end. I was setting the pots out as my wife drove the boat and as I went to set the 3rd and 4th pots, the buoy that was holding the first 2 pots disappeared. I set them in 240' water (according to my depth finder) with at least 500' of rope? The only thing I can see is that the depth finder was wrong or they dropped off a ledge? Anyways, I actually watched those disappear, so it's not always 'someone' else, I blame myself for that one. All part of the learning process, I guess!

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    Member Bullelkklr's Avatar
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    I try to use a bouy that will float my pots.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bullelkklr View Post
    I try to use a bouy that will float my pots.
    Thanks, now I need some towel to clean the coffee off my monitor!!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bullelkklr View Post
    I try to use a bouy that will float my pots.
    I do as well though I haven't actually tested it I am sure my buoy is big enough. If they drift too deep when setting the buoy will float the pots where they might get found or I will notice them floating.
    I have heard if your buoy is too small to float the pots and they sink you can set another pot in the same spot overnight,with enough line of course, and the lines will tangle and you get your gear back. Might be a pain to untangle but it beats loosing gear.
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    I stay away from high traffic areas, not to avoid thieves but to avoid people running over my pots and cutting them off. Depending on where the sun is, as well as the waves, it is easy to miss pots. With autopilots, it is easy to let the boat drive itself and not pay that close of attention. I am amazed at the number of pots that get set in Passage Canal right where all the traffic runs. I would never set there. Sorry for your loss, I am not saying it is your fault but just making a suggestion to lessen the odds of it happening.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kasilofchrisn View Post
    I do as well though I haven't actually tested it I am sure my buoy is big enough. If they drift too deep when setting the buoy will float the pots where they might get found or I will notice them floating.
    I have heard if your buoy is too small to float the pots and they sink you can set another pot in the same spot overnight,with enough line of course, and the lines will tangle and you get your gear back. Might be a pain to untangle but it beats loosing gear.
    To my way of seeing this one of my 3 pot lines are aprox 335' long not counting buoyline so if a guy can set a 335' line over another 335' line out in that big sound he's way better at setting gear than me, and i don't care what you have for a gps/plotter your never going to be able to land on the same spot twice. That sunk buoy will also be holding up a pot or two so the length is going to be way shorter. The next problem comes if you lucky enough to catch the missing line, how are you going to pick both up if ya ain't got a big hauler ??? I've spent a lot of time grappling for flat gear it ain't fun even when ya got the right gear to do it.
    Try this guys ! next time your at the boat ramp take one of those A-2's and try to sink it under water.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jrogers View Post
    I stay away from high traffic areas, not to avoid thieves but to avoid people running over my pots and cutting them off. Depending on where the sun is, as well as the waves, it is easy to miss pots. With autopilots, it is easy to let the boat drive itself and not pay that close of attention. I am amazed at the number of pots that get set in Passage Canal right where all the traffic runs. I would never set there. Sorry for your loss, I am not saying it is your fault but just making a suggestion to lessen the odds of it happening.
    I'd bet cruise ships and the tug/barges going in/out of whittier get quite a bit of gear.

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  19. #19
    Premium Member kasilofchrisn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by potbuilder View Post
    To my way of seeing this one of my 3 pot lines are aprox 335' long not counting buoyline so if a guy can set a 335' line over another 335' line out in that big sound he's way better at setting gear than me, and i don't care what you have for a gps/plotter your never going to be able to land on the same spot twice. That sunk buoy will also be holding up a pot or two so the length is going to be way shorter. The next problem comes if you lucky enough to catch the missing line, how are you going to pick both up if ya ain't got a big hauler ??? I've spent a lot of time grappling for flat gear it ain't fun even when ya got the right gear to do it.
    Try this guys ! next time your at the boat ramp take one of those A-2's and try to sink it under water.
    Odds may not be that great but it does give a guy an option to try to retrieve his gear if it indeed sunk.
    If you threw down a single pot with lots of extra line it might be possible if you were within a couple of hundred feet of the missing pot and had a good hauler.
    Just out of curiosity would a sunk(but still at least partially inflated) buoy show up on a depth finder?
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    Quote Originally Posted by kasilofchrisn View Post
    Odds may not be that great but it does give a guy an option to try to retrieve his gear if it indeed sunk.
    If you threw down a single pot with lots of extra line it might be possible if you were within a couple of hundred feet of the missing pot and had a good hauler.
    Just out of curiosity would a sunk(but still at least partially inflated) buoy show up on a depth finder?
    Certainly would show up on a sounder.
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