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Thread: Watch out for nets in the sound

  1. #1
    Member fullbush's Avatar
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    Default Watch out for nets in the sound

    I just wanted to remind folks that there are commercial fishing nets in the western sound (from 6/1 till 9/15) and would like to offer some advice on how to avoid them. Remember if a boater comes in contact w/ a net, the boater is responsible by law to repair/replace any damage done to said net.
    The 1st place, tho not likely, you would encounter nets is Pigot point (heading east out of Whittier) as you head toward Ester Island the com fish fleet gets more dense. The upper end of Culross pass also has alot of nets. this is known as the Ester or Coghill district, please be aware of nets and slow down in these areas. The next area is the Main Bay subdistrict otherwise known as the Eshamy district. This area is extremely congested w/ nets. One sure fire trick to avoid them is to navigate outside 1 mile off the mainland, because the gillnetters have to stay w/in a mile of shore. Please exercise caution when you navigate thru the gillnet fleet, running over a net can ruin your whole experience. You could lose your outboard, damage props, lower units, possibly need to be towed to town because you have line wrapped around your shaft. The least is it will be expensive to repair the damaged gillnet. remember the Coast Guards rules of the road and the pecking order--- a boat w/ com fishing gear in the water is restricted in its ability to maneuver and therefore has the right of way. Enjoy your summer, we are all mariners and can co-exist in harmony We are all watching out for each other.

  2. #2
    Sponsor potbuilder's Avatar
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    Believe me they will all forget ever even seeing this post by fishing season. Try posting it again when dogs open at ester. Most likely i'll see ya there.
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    Member Larsenvega's Avatar
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    This topic is a must-read for anyone who does any boating in PWS. When these guys say the commercial guys are out there thick, they aren't joking! Anytime you see a commercial boat just sitting still out there, assume he has nets out and slow down immediately. If you see buoys or a crap load of little white floats, give them a lot of space. The large buoy is typically at the end of their setup, and everything between it and their boat is the immediate danger zone. If the weather is fowl and visibility is down, reduce speed and have a designated spotter watching. Fullbush, thanks for noting that there is a 1-mile limit for you guys. Learn something new everyday.

    Also, don't be the guy that zooms past them with only 20 meters to spare either. That's the equivalent of you having a kid throwing rocks next to you while you fish. Bad etiquitte! Bottom line, give the commercial guys their space and respect their property. We're out there for fun and recreation, but their out there working a hard job just trying to make ends meet.

    Fullbush --- +1 rep point for bringing this up!

  4. #4
    Member polardds's Avatar
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    Default So what is a distance that is acceptible???

    How close can a boat that is trying to get thru the Armada get without hurting anyone's feelings? Some of the guys I had talked to personally in the past said it did not matter how close you got as long as you did not get into their net. They almost preferred it because you could push some fish into their nets. I am just curious what a safe distance would be so everyone can be happy.

  5. #5
    Member fullbush's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by polardds View Post
    How close can a boat that is trying to get thru the Armada get without hurting anyone's feelings? Some of the guys I had talked to personally in the past said it did not matter how close you got as long as you did not get into their net. They almost preferred it because you could push some fish into their nets. I am just curious what a safe distance would be so everyone can be happy.
    Good question, I would try if possible to stay at least 50 yards when motoring down the net, you never know what the currents are doing, the surface current may be running differently than down deeper, the net is going to drift w/ the deeper current which can be deceiving because your boat will drift w/ the surface current. some times coming in very close contact w/ a net is unavoidable. You may in fact find instances where a net is blocking a narrow passage and you need to get thru, then you may have to cross over the net, if you have to do this talk to the fisherman and tell him your intentions, he'll be fine w/ it, the way you cross over a net is slowly motor up to it and shut off your motor and raise your unit and drift over it. If you have a displacement hull or a shaft then the fisherman will have to tow his net out the way to allow you passage. Occasionally you may encounter someone rude but not usually.

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