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Thread: Shrimp Pot Buoy Chain

  1. #1
    Member kaisersosei's Avatar
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    Default Shrimp Pot Buoy Chain

    Since I have lost so many pots in the PWS and since I have come to a conclusion that most of the pots were a victim of careless boaters running over the buoy and cutting the line, I am considering putting a 10 foot length of chain directly under the buoy. I came to the conclusion after discovering on two occasions, the buoy having been cut off and discovering my secondary marker buoy just below the water surface. Certainly if you do not pay attention and run over a buoy, it is going to hurt your prop/outdrive but aren't you supposed to navigate around them anyways? I intend to mark them with two buoys so that they are extra-visible. Any opinions here? I am sure I will get a few but wanted to see some comments.

  2. #2
    Member Grizzly Man's Avatar
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    I have to ask....where are you dropping your pots? I'm wondering if you're not in the shipping lane. What size/color buoys are you using? Are you sure you're not floating your pots? The reason I'm asking this is because I haven't heard of 1 person having this many problems. I would hold off on the chain. I understand you're frustrated, but lets try to find out what's going on before trying to damage boats
    "What is it about a beautiful sunny afternoon, with the birds singing and the wind rustling through the leaves, that makes you want to get drunk?Ē --Jack Handy

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    Member Bob the fisher's Avatar
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    I hang 3 pound lead balls about 15 feet and 30 feet below the bouys. Also put one about 50 feet above the pot and have never had a problem with people running em over....it works for me...

  4. #4
    Member Mort's Avatar
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    I used some gagnon line with a corkscrew swivel about 50-100' below the buoy. I attach a halibut weight there. I figure that will hang pretty straight down to keep my floating line (I know, I probably should have bought sinking - live and learn) off the surface. Same basic idea as kaisersosei suggests, but less weight/hassle.

    BTW, I doubt he's talking about damaging boats, just trying to keep his line off the surface, less prone to being cut.

  5. #5
    Member polardds's Avatar
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    Or just get a line weight. Basically a snap with one pound of lead attached to it. Snap it on about fifty feet from your buoy and that should eliminate any extra line floating on the surface. Also you don't need a lot of line between your trailer buoy and your marker buoy. Lucky you are not in Cook Inlet for Tanners, there you can have no extra line floating on the surface.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by polardds View Post
    Or just get a line weight. Basically a snap with one pound of lead attached to it. Snap it on about fifty feet from your buoy and that should eliminate any extra line floating on the surface. Also you don't need a lot of line between your trailer buoy and your marker buoy. Lucky you are not in Cook Inlet for Tanners, there you can have no extra line floating on the surface.
    Keeping in mind of course that it's possible to have a weight 50 feet down from a buoy and still have floating line if you have lots of extra line/slack between your weight and the pots.

    I agree with others that a chain is not the answer. You just need to find a way to keep the line from floating. The fault doesn't lie with the people who cut your line because they get closer to the buoy than you think they should. Theoretically, they should be able to go right next to your buoy but I never do that just in case.

  7. #7

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    I am a little confused on the original setup you have. If you have found your secondary buoy just under the water, it would indicate that the pots were in too deep of water and either floating by the buoy or the buoy was being pulled under if it wasn't enough flotation to lift the pots off the bottom. If in too deep of water, it could be that you lost the pots just due to them floating away? Also, depending on the location of where you set, it could just be that ice floating by caught the buoy and severed the line. This does happen from time to time in some areas, last year for sure.

    Also, how much line are you putting between your buoys? Is there a chance that there is enough distance between them that a boater might confuse the gap between them with the gap between your pot set and another set of pots? Probably not likely, but just a thought to throw out there as another possibility.

    I'm only mentioning these things because it is pretty rare to hear about lines being cut by errant boaters. Either way, putting a small amount of weight on floating line should help to keep it from being caught on anything, although ice could still pose a problem depending on where you set.

  8. #8

    Angry Yes, they run them over!

    Myself and about two other boats year after year set them in a little arm at the end of a bay, almost in a line. Their three bouys lined up with mine and the next guys, we're all working like a bunch of farmers harvesting our crop. THEN, one day I'm driving to my bouy and so is the other guy! Fifty feet away I yell at him because he just ran my bouy over, "oops, sorry". Yeah, people run em' over like they run everything else over in the ocean!

    Run about a two foot section of something between two floating bouys. More visible and will keel-hull right into the prop waking them up to the fact that they need to pay attention.

  9. #9
    Member Rod in Wasilla's Avatar
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    If someone runs over your buoy, that's on them. If they run over your line, that's on you. Line floating on the surface is a hazard that can be avoided.
    Quote Originally Posted by northwestalska
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  10. #10
    Member kaisersosei's Avatar
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    I think I need to clarify the situation. I use a very large orange buoy and a white buoy on two different lines and they are tied from buoy to secondary bullet shaped buoy about 6 inches in diameter by a 4 to 6 foot floating line to accommodate retrieval. The secondary buoy is attached to 1000 foot of lead-line and it is attached to 2 or 3 shrimp pots that are about 100 feet apart. Sometimes I use a 1200 foot line and attach 5 pots to one buoy. I and other people I know have had their pots lost due to suspected cut lines from propellers. The trouble is not floating line as I personally do not use anything but sinking line and my friends do too. It is from people who are actually running over the buoy because they are too lazy to maneuver around them. Frankly I thought buoys were there to alert people to hazards in the water like highway cones do on the street. I have as much pity on the driver who run over highway cones as boaters running over buoys. It means be cautious and maneuver away.

    I have had floating line stuck on my lower unit in Culross where an idiot set his pots on one side with probably a mile of floating line that had blown clear across to the other side and got caught on my boat. I was very STEAMED but I gotta tell you, I just removed it and dropped the buoy on the proper side. So I am generally on my best behavior out there on the water.

    I am not trying to damage boats out there. I just don't want to lose all my gear because some idiot can't avoid the buoy markers. Bad enough that I have to stake out the pots so the thieves don't get them. I have gone through 15 pots and 3 buoys out there last season and do not want to go through that again especially with the new pots that I am getting.

    I have been shrimping in PWS for many seasons and I do know what I am doing. It is not floating away as I set in 550 to 650 feet and use 1000 to 1200 feet of sinking line. I also use a 3 pound weight about 300 feet from the buoy for faster line-setting which also keeps the line vertical to the buoy.

    Ever since I saw that people running over the buoy might be a problem, I have been monitoring the line near the buoy. If you have slice marks but no break in the line about 1 or 2 feet down from the buoy, chances are someone ran over your buoy. I have noticed it since I am now looking. I am thinking of installing a clevis with either cable or chain maybe as short as 4 feet long to prevent the cut in the line. Maybe a galvanized pipe over the line might do the trick too.

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by kaisersosei View Post
    I think I need to clarify the situation. I use a very large orange buoy and a white buoy on two different lines and they are tied from buoy to secondary bullet shaped buoy about 6 inches in diameter by a 4 to 6 foot floating line to accommodate retrieval. The secondary buoy is attached to 1000 foot of lead-line and it is attached to 2 or 3 shrimp pots that are about 100 feet apart. Sometimes I use a 1200 foot line and attach 5 pots to one buoy. I and other people I know have had their pots lost due to suspected cut lines from propellers. The trouble is not floating line as I personally do not use anything but sinking line and my friends do too. It is from people who are actually running over the buoy because they are too lazy to maneuver around them. Frankly I thought buoys were there to alert people to hazards in the water like highway cones do on the street. I have as much pity on the driver who run over highway cones as boaters running over buoys. It means be cautious and maneuver away.

    I have had floating line stuck on my lower unit in Culross where an idiot set his pots on one side with probably a mile of floating line that had blown clear across to the other side and got caught on my boat. I was very STEAMED but I gotta tell you, I just removed it and dropped the buoy on the proper side. So I am generally on my best behavior out there on the water.

    I am not trying to damage boats out there. I just don't want to lose all my gear because some idiot can't avoid the buoy markers. Bad enough that I have to stake out the pots so the thieves don't get them. I have gone through 15 pots and 3 buoys out there last season and do not want to go through that again especially with the new pots that I am getting.

    I have been shrimping in PWS for many seasons and I do know what I am doing. It is not floating away as I set in 550 to 650 feet and use 1000 to 1200 feet of sinking line. I also use a 3 pound weight about 300 feet from the buoy for faster line-setting which also keeps the line vertical to the buoy.

    Ever since I saw that people running over the buoy might be a problem, I have been monitoring the line near the buoy. If you have slice marks but no break in the line about 1 or 2 feet down from the buoy, chances are someone ran over your buoy. I have noticed it since I am now looking. I am thinking of installing a clevis with either cable or chain maybe as short as 4 feet long to prevent the cut in the line. Maybe a galvanized pipe over the line might do the trick too.
    Glad you clarified things. Sounds like you are doing all that can be done. I wonder if there is not some sort of line that is very abrasive resistant and yet won't mess up a prop or outdrive if it's run over. There are instances where you're going into the sun and it's difficult to see an buoy and might accidentally hit it, so I'd hate to see those people suffer boat damage. Maybe a length of PVC pipe over the line instead of galvanized pipe. Should protect the line and a prop.

  12. #12
    Member Frostbitten's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kaisersosei View Post
    I think I need to clarify the situation. I use a very large orange buoy and a white buoy on two different lines and they are tied from buoy to secondary bullet shaped buoy about 6 inches in diameter by a 4 to 6 foot floating line to accommodate retrieval. The secondary buoy is attached to 1000 foot of lead-line and it is attached to 2 or 3 shrimp pots that are about 100 feet apart. Sometimes I use a 1200 foot line and attach 5 pots to one buoy. I and other people I know have had their pots lost due to suspected cut lines from propellers. The trouble is not floating line as I personally do not use anything but sinking line and my friends do too. It is from people who are actually running over the buoy because they are too lazy to maneuver around them. Frankly I thought buoys were there to alert people to hazards in the water like highway cones do on the street. I have as much pity on the driver who run over highway cones as boaters running over buoys. It means be cautious and maneuver away.

    I have had floating line stuck on my lower unit in Culross where an idiot set his pots on one side with probably a mile of floating line that had blown clear across to the other side and got caught on my boat. I was very STEAMED but I gotta tell you, I just removed it and dropped the buoy on the proper side. So I am generally on my best behavior out there on the water.

    I am not trying to damage boats out there. I just don't want to lose all my gear because some idiot can't avoid the buoy markers. Bad enough that I have to stake out the pots so the thieves don't get them. I have gone through 15 pots and 3 buoys out there last season and do not want to go through that again especially with the new pots that I am getting.

    I have been shrimping in PWS for many seasons and I do know what I am doing. It is not floating away as I set in 550 to 650 feet and use 1000 to 1200 feet of sinking line. I also use a 3 pound weight about 300 feet from the buoy for faster line-setting which also keeps the line vertical to the buoy.

    Ever since I saw that people running over the buoy might be a problem, I have been monitoring the line near the buoy. If you have slice marks but no break in the line about 1 or 2 feet down from the buoy, chances are someone ran over your buoy. I have noticed it since I am now looking. I am thinking of installing a clevis with either cable or chain maybe as short as 4 feet long to prevent the cut in the line. Maybe a galvanized pipe over the line might do the trick too.
    Perhaps part of the problem is your bouys are up to 700 feet away from your pots. If your line isn't relatively straight down from your bouy, the line is more susceptible to getting hit by boat traffic as the angle of line allows it to be relatively near the surface even though it's a considerable distance from your bouy. I set in 550-650 feet as well, and I only use 600 feet of sinking line (attached to my bouy)spliced to 150 feet of braided poly. Never lost a pot nor ever had a line cut yet.

    Perhaps you should simply re-evaluate where you are setting your gear, as you are clearly in an area with regular/heavy boat traffic. If I were losing thousands of dollars worth of gear a year, I'd go find different area.

  13. #13
    Member IceKing02's Avatar
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    Kaiser,

    Why don't you just set up in a location that is different from the one that claimed 15 pots and 3 buoys? I've set pots within Passage Canal, Pigot Bay, Main Bay, Blackstone, Cochrane, Hobo, South Esther, Squaw Bay, Lone Passage and Aialik Bay (out of Seward). The only time my pots weren't exactly where I've set them was when they drifted in a too much current/not enough weight/not enough line situation. Steve (Potbuilder) helped me fix that problem the first time that it happened. With a setup like the one you describe there's likely more than bad luck at play. Don't try to reinvent the wheel--it is simple for a reason. Get Steve to show you EXACTLY how he rigs his pot strings and copy every darn one of his knots.
    I HAVE caught other people's old lost and rusted-out pots before. Made for an interesting pull while using an anchor sleeve and hand retrieve...

    Iceking02

  14. #14
    Member IceKing02's Avatar
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    As Frostbitten alludes you'll only need 15-25% extra line beyond the depth of your last set pot. You have a lot of line upon which the current can work and drag that gear around. Even with my bad math an extra 600ft of 3/8" line is almost 19sqft of rope area that is influenced by the current...

  15. #15
    Member jrogers's Avatar
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    I agree with Iceking on all accounts. Running as much sinking line as you have, I would be concerned about getting hung up on the bottom. Think of all that sinking line down there, and how it will get pushed back and forth with tide changes. I have lost posts as well, but I think it is always my fault. I almost lost two last weekend, and ended up finding them with the binos about a mile from where I set them. The culrpit was an ice flow that drifted over them and dragged them off.
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  16. #16
    Premium Member kasilofchrisn's Avatar
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    I too have had pots I believe were run over.
    Both were crab pots in Kbay.
    One was on the edge of the shipping channel and I had my bouy returned by a nice member on here.
    He found it in the tide rip with no line on it.
    The other one was last year. I set just outside of 2 other pots amongst a large area of pots west of the can.
    I was bummed when my pot disappeared. Next day as I was pulling my other pot the new Seldovia ferry zig zaged between the 2 pots I had set outside of.
    I am 95% sure the ferry ran it over. This one was well outside the shipping channel.
    Both had only 5/16 groundline on them with a trailer bullet bouy. Nothing was.floating and there was only 2' or so of line between bouys.
    This year I added some reflective tape to my bouys.
    I personally see no harm in adding the chain. Provided you are not setting in a main travel path.
    Any prop damage can easily be avoided by avoiding your bouys. That's a good practice for others to do anyway.
    Just my $.02 anyway.
    "The closer I get to nature the farther I am from idiots"

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  17. #17
    Member kaisersosei's Avatar
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    I think some folks are getting the wrong impression. When I run 1000 feet of sinking line and set in 650 foot depth with 3 pots that are 100 feet apart, there is only 100 feet+- extra line as the last pot is at the 700 or 750 foot level on the line. There is no way that my buoy can be 700 feet away from my last pot. In fact it is usually right over them. (Since I have an Electradyne from Steve the Potbuilder, I have no problems pulling whatever length.)

    I have lost pots in Passage, Cochron, Ester and Culross so I am not just in one spot. I do go out about 20 to 25 times per year so my experience in one season may be more than others. The reason I use 1000 to 1200 is that I have had floater with 600 footers in the past. I too agree that some lost pots may have been my fault with setting it too deep but I have had success that way. I think fundamentally it works. The chain, cable or pipe leader that I described was only to address losses due to prop-cuts from careless or malicious navigators. I wanted opinions and I appreciate the feed-back.

    I may or may not do the 3 or 4 foot chain but to those that are reading, please be careful of pots out there. Maybe, just maybe if there is a possibility of damage to their boats, people will be more cautious when buoys are present. And if there are some that run over them for fun, good luck.

  18. #18
    Member Frostbitten's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kaisersosei View Post
    I think some folks are getting the wrong impression. When I run 1000 feet of sinking line and set in 650 foot depth with 3 pots that are 100 feet apart, there is only 100 feet+- extra line as the last pot is at the 700 or 750 foot level on the line. There is no way that my buoy can be 700 feet away from my last pot. In fact it is usually right over them. (Since I have an Electradyne from Steve the Potbuilder, I have no problems pulling whatever length.)

    I have lost pots in Passage, Cochron, Ester and Culross so I am not just in one spot. I do go out about 20 to 25 times per year so my experience in one season may be more than others. The reason I use 1000 to 1200 is that I have had floater with 600 footers in the past. I too agree that some lost pots may have been my fault with setting it too deep but I have had success that way. I think fundamentally it works. The chain, cable or pipe leader that I described was only to address losses due to prop-cuts from careless or malicious navigators. I wanted opinions and I appreciate the feed-back.

    I may or may not do the 3 or 4 foot chain but to those that are reading, please be careful of pots out there. Maybe, just maybe if there is a possibility of damage to their boats, people will be more cautious when buoys are present. And if there are some that run over them for fun, good luck.
    Run over for fun? I don't know about you, but I don't risk damage to my boat by running over stuff for fun, not do I know any other boat owner that would risk it.

    Last year I was amazed at all the bouys all over Passage Canal, all the way out to Decision Point. It was like a friggin grand prix course trying to get through there. I have no doubt that the cruise ships and ferrys simply run over the gear that are in their way...which a real good reason not to set gear in the main traffic areas.

  19. #19
    Member FISHFACE's Avatar
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    I can see that you are tired of loosing your gear, but what your talking about is dangerous. I know if I some how hit your buoy and my prop or boat got damaged from your chain, all of your gear would be on the bottom of the ocean and I would be giving you a call from the contact information from your buoy. I'm sure people aren't intentionally hitting your gear, but stuff happens ( sun in your eyes, glare off the water, rough water, lack of boating experience, ext). Now my shrimping expertise is limited, but I have many days out on the water and sometimes stuff happens ( have you ever hit a log), but there is no reason to purposely endanger people and their property.
    Boatless

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    Member Alaskanmutt's Avatar
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    I am pretty sure State Farm wouldn't mind replacing my lower unit/engine. Especially if I hand them a bouy with the name and phone number of the person who set a trap.

    And yes, I avoid bouys like a plague, have not hit one, don't plan to hit one.
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