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Old 08-05-2013, 12:41 AM   #1
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Stolen Crab Pots

Set 2 crab pots at the entrance to Quartermaster Harbor on the south central Puget Sound today at 4 PM. Went back at 7 to pick them up and gone! Stolen I presume. There were 30 or more pots in the area and most where gone also. Not too happy about loosing my $120 Sto-Below Pots.

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Old 08-05-2013, 12:57 AM   #2
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That's pretty brazen, 30 or so pots stolen inside a 3 hour window? Surely somebody had to have seen something near a harbor entrance. Sorry for the loss.

Could the tide possibly have raised enough to cover the marker buoys??? Sorry, asking out of ignorance as have never set crab pots before.

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Old 08-05-2013, 07:31 AM   #3
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The floats may have been cut accidentally. Get out the goggles!
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Old 08-05-2013, 07:46 AM   #4
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Not sure about the left coast, but here in the Northeast, if you set your recreational traps in an area claimed by a commercial fisherman, they will disappear pretty quickly. Not saying it's right, but each area has their own set of informal "rules" that you would do well to learn.

Another possibility, at the mouth of a commercial harbor, is a large ship or tug. You set traps in a shipping channel at your peril. I've seen ships, and even ferries, trailing a number of lobster buoys from their rudders.
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Old 08-08-2013, 03:03 PM   #5
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If you set in a watermans area, they will be gone.
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Old 08-08-2013, 03:18 PM   #6
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I have heard about a clip sort of thing that is made of salt. It will hold your buoy underwater for a set number of hours till the salt dissolves. I was told they make a 6 hour one 8 hour 12 hour what ever you want. Then the buoy pops to the surface.

I haven't tried it but it sounds like a great idea.

If you can't repair it maybe it shouldn't be on the boat
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Old 08-08-2013, 03:32 PM   #7
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In some locations we tie a couple of pots together and submerge all the line. Mark GPS and use a graple to hook em and then haul em off the bottom.
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Old 08-08-2013, 03:38 PM   #8
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I leave my pots for about an hour and stay nearby in the boat, keeping them in view. That's usually long enough to get a good catch, otherwise I move them.
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Old 08-08-2013, 04:15 PM   #9
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Where were they at again?
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Old 08-08-2013, 05:36 PM   #10
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Yeah, if you are in the area "claimed" by someone else, then they can be gone with the wind. Keep in mind that some of these guys feed their families with that income, and so they take it pretty seriously.

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Old 08-08-2013, 10:16 PM   #11
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30 pots hauled in a couple of hours sounds like a commercial boat at work, or a really buff amateur thief. And yes, it's not unknown for commercial boats to either steal the entire trap or cut off the float and leave it ghost fishing. Hopefully the traps had rot twine on the gates.

It's the same up here in parts of B.C. Sometimes you need to know the local customs to avoid setting your traps where they're interfering with someone's line or otherwise running afoul of some unwritten law. Most of the time you just have to either keep your traps in sight the entire time they're soaking or buy from a commercial boat at the dock.
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Old 08-08-2013, 10:20 PM   #12
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Found the pots!!! We have been out of range for replies until now. We came back around 2 days later and found the pots near the location they were placed at the mouth of Quartermaster Harbor. The water level was higher than when they were set so can't blame line length. Pots were set 1 hour before high slack and we attempted pick up at 1 hour after high slack so doubt it was current submersion. 30 or more other pots were gone from the area when we came back for initial pick up. These were all private pots on a legal day. There are no commercial pots in Quartermaster Harbor. Don't know what happened but would guess someone picked them up and later dumped them back. Don't have a better explanation. Just glad I have my $250 worth of equipment back! BTW, there were NO crabs in the pots. From now on I think I will follow drb1025's protocol.
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Old 08-08-2013, 10:56 PM   #13
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Good news CaptTPT!

Keeping a close eye on them is a good idea.

At our local crabbing spot, I just drop a callapsible open top pot off the stern in 10 ft water, and sit above it. The water is clear and the kids enjoy watching the crabs as they move in. We pull it up after about 15 minutes when we can see half a dozen nice sized ones.

No problems with theft with this method, other than the big stingrays that often go for the bait.

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