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So I (34)lost(34) my prawning gear yesterday....-gctid806657

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    So I (34)lost(34) my prawning gear yesterday....-gctid806657

    Heartbreaking... I'm new to this game, only been a saltwater boater since last summer, and thought I'd try my hand at prawning/shrimping before the Canadian commercial season opens on May 11... ie. before a couple of private traps have no chance against the thousands of commercial pots that will be going down very soon. So spent a few hundred bucks to set myself up with 2 pots and the sundries to go along with them.

    Anyway, I believe I did everything right as far as pot setup goes. End of the rope was a small 1.5lb anchor, around 8 ft along was pot #1, then pot #2 around 50 ft after that, then another 5 lb weight with the rest of the line up to the buoys. Used a small bullet shaped crab buoy around 6 ft from the end of the line then a size a1 round polyform. Pots themselves were standard round 30", to which I had added 15lbs each of lead weight to counteract current.

    Destination was Saturna Island, one of the closest Gulf Islands to Point Roberts WA marina where my home port is... Prawn season is open in Canadian waters. Studied my charts, took into account all the advice I've been reading about depth, structure, slack tide times etc etc... and off I went. Dropped my pots around the West side of East Point , close to Fiddlers Cove, not as far in a Narvaez Bay.... planned for the late 200's of depth, but in the end dropped them in around 230ft of water. My goal if I am perfectly honest, wasn't so much to catch a limit of prawns as to just actually do a prepare, deploy & retrieve successfully so I at least had done it and was comfortable with the process. So I wasn't too bothered about the slightly shallower than optimal depth. So, pots in, we headed over to Shallow Bay, Sucia to have lunch and explore a bit while the pots soaked.

    I timed it so we would be retrieving more or less at slack tide so we wouldn't be fighting current while trying to use a pot puller for the first time. I had dropped a waypoint, so I knew exactly where to expect the buoy. Could I find it? Could I f*ck. It was calm seas... not glass... but no chop either. A bright orange buoy would have been hard to miss. I spent 45 minutes moving in ever larger circles, but honestly I knew it was a done deal.... I had f*cked it up somehow on my very first try.

    A guy I trust who has done this for 40 years tells me given everything I did to prepare, that it's most likely the gear got nicked. I guess I'm a naive Canadian, but I still find that hard to believe that this is the "most likely" explanation. It was not at all busy out there yesterday... very few small private pleasure boats out. The pots were only down maybe 3 hours... so it just seems the chances of someone happening upon them, and that someone being inclined to nick them is small but I guess it could happen. Maybe in the height of the summer on a really nice day, but whatever. I think there is a chance my gear slid down into deeper water, and my buoys were either not large enough to float and they got pulled under... or they were and the whole lot floated away. I do find it hard to believe that at least 50-60 lbs of gear was able to slide and/or float away.

    Anyway, I know pretty much EVERYONE that's crabbed or prawned has lost traps for all of the reasons people lose traps... it a small consolation I guess. Just wanted to vent a little.... woke up so pissed off this morning, know what I did? Drove my a$$ down to Bellingham and re-geared up. Hurts the wallet a bit... and the pride.... but I'm a "get back on my horse and ride" kind of guy so I figure if I get even 1 damn prawn before May 11 I'll be somewhat vindicated B) Hoping to head out again this week at least once and try again. I've got a new spot pegged out.... but if anyone knows Saturna and cares to shoot me a PM as to a decent spot I'd sure appreciate it.
    Tyson, Ackerley, Sidney & Gene
    Tsawwassen, BC
    1996 2858 Ciera Command Bridge
    Mercruiser 7.4L BRAVO II (GEN. V) GM 454 V-8; Engine Serial 0F603347
    "Island Passport"
    Home marina: Point Roberts, WA

    #2
    Couple things.

    230 feet deep, but how long was your line? Not enough and it could have floated, Too much floating line and it could have gotten cut by a passing boat (in any type of shipping or ferry lanes?)

    Did you wait around once you tossed them to make sure they hit bottom? If you tossed it on a steep slope underwater currents could drag it off target.

    It is bad enough with people stealing and or pulling pots here most shrimpers carry guns.
    Boatless at this time

    A veteran is someone who, at one point in their life, wrote a blank check made payable to "The United States of America," for an amount of "up to and including their life."

    Comment


      #3
      Stolen maybe. Around that area the currents can be very strong. Not sure what the exact tides were like at that spot, but this past weekend the tides were almost as big as they get on Southern Vancouver Island at close to 10ft depth change. Currents would also be very strong. It's very likely that your gear got sucked into deeper water and with all the weight the floats sunk. Even with the big weights, the current can push those traps along rapidly.

      Next time I'd do it on a day where there is very little tide change.

      If you had your name on your gear you may get lucky and someone will find it.

      http://www.tides4fishing.com/ca/british-columbia/sidney
      Terry
      1999 Bayliner 3388
      Twin Cummins 4BTA
      Fisherman, Cruiser, Boaticus-enthusiasticus-maximus
      Member Royal Victoria Yacht Club

      Comment


        #4
        Sorry things went so poorly for you. I have lost gear as well. Most of the time it gets as you say, "nicked." I finally resorted to using multiple bullet floats with the name of the boat, my name, and cell phone number with indelible marker on each float. Now I think tagging the traps the same way may be a good idea. Last summer or two when a trap disappeared, we waited at the boat ramp for the weekend fishermen to come in. Sure enough one of my traps was in someone else's boat. When asked that they hand it over they wanted to argue about it until I suggested they call the phone number on the float and see who's cell phone would ring as I was pulling my phone from a pocket. They handed it over at that point. Wish I could always track them down that easily. I still remember when you could leave your traps overnight or even a couple of days and no one would even dream of bothering them. Sigh, those days are gone my friend. Wish you better success the next time.

        Greg
        Newport, Oregon
        South Beach Marina
        1986 3270 with twin 110 HP Hino diesels. Name of boat "Mr. Darcy"
        Past work history: Prototyping, tooling, and repair for Reinell,. General fiberglass boat repair starting in 1976.
        Also worked as heavy equipment mechanic, and machinery mechanic for over 30 years.

        Comment


          #5
          "tdcooper99" post=806657 wrote:
          Used a small bullet shaped crab buoy around 6 ft from the end of the line then a size a1 round polyform. Pots themselves were standard round 30", to which I had added 15lbs each of lead weight to counteract current.
          Im no expert but I've allways tossed in around 20 extra feet with a clip weight attached around half the total depth to make sure the buoy(s) can't float my gear when the tide comes up. My buoys will float my gear. Yours may still be there if you go back at low tide maybe.
          Dave
          Edmonds, WA
          "THE FIX"
          '93 2556 5.7 Bravo II 2.0:1 18 1/4x19 P
          (.030 over-Vortec top end-part closed cooled)
          The rebuild of my 2556 https://www.baylinerownersclub.org/f...76?view=thread
          Misc. projects thread
          https://www.baylinerownersclub.org/f...56-gctid789773

          Comment


            #6
            Two weekends ago was prawning up around Tent Island, Number ! rule up there, Is don't leave your set unattended. Either current or what ever will get you. Especially on weekends. Ted

            Comment


              #7
              "Alaskanmutt" post=806659 wrote:
              Couple things.

              230 feet deep, but how long was your line? Not enough and it could have floated, Too much floating line and it could have gotten cut by a passing boat (in any type of shipping or ferry lanes?)

              Did you wait around once you tossed them to make sure they hit bottom? If you tossed it on a steep slope underwater currents could drag it off target.
              I was using 450 feet of 5/8" leaded line. Part of me hopes I just got it wrong with placement. I was using all leaded line, and no, not in a shipping or ferry lane. Made sure of that. The slope may have been too steep.... it was definitely a slope... but I thought, or maybe naively hoped, that the weight and anchor I included in the line would counteract that.

              "TenMile" post=806660 wrote:
              Stolen maybe. Around that area the currents can be very strong. Not sure what the exact tides were like at that spot, but this past weekend the tides were almost as big as they get on Southern Vancouver Island at close to 10ft depth change. Currents would also be very strong. It's very likely that your gear got sucked into deeper water and with all the weight the floats sunk. Even with the big weights, the current can push those traps along rapidly.

              Next time I'd do it on a day where there is very little tide change.

              If you had your name on your gear you may get lucky and someone will find it.

              http://www.tides4fishing.com/ca/british-columbia/sidney
              Great website... the Sidney tides would have been similar I expect, I used this link, but very close: http://www.tides4fishing.com/ca/brit...ia/narvaez-bay. I think you're right, bad placement and the traps got pulled deeper. I did try to time things on either side of the slack to minimise it, but who knows.

              "builderdude" post=806663 wrote:
              "tdcooper99" post=806657 wrote:
              Used a small bullet shaped crab buoy around 6 ft from the end of the line then a size a1 round polyform. Pots themselves were standard round 30", to which I had added 15lbs each of lead weight to counteract current.
              Im no expert but I've allways tossed in around 20 extra feet with a clip weight attached around half the total depth to make sure the buoy(s) can't float my gear when the tide comes up. My buoys will float my gear. Yours may still be there if you go back at low tide maybe.
              Sadly, I was retrieving at pretty much the lower of the slack tides... so if they weren't visible then, no hope really.

              "Mr. Darcy" post=806662 wrote:
              Sorry things went so poorly for you. I have lost gear as well. Most of the time it gets as you say, "nicked."

              Greg
              Sorry, spent 17 years in old blighty... some of the terminology has stuck :P

              Anyway, thanks all for the encouragement. I'm hoping to head out again this week at some point weather permitting. We'll see if I can get it right this time. And I'll be watching them like a hawk this time... :evil:
              Tyson, Ackerley, Sidney & Gene
              Tsawwassen, BC
              1996 2858 Ciera Command Bridge
              Mercruiser 7.4L BRAVO II (GEN. V) GM 454 V-8; Engine Serial 0F603347
              "Island Passport"
              Home marina: Point Roberts, WA

              Comment


                #8
                Probably not enough weight to handle the current, you need a lot of extra line to keep the tides from pulling the gear down, and large enough buoys.
                Pat says: DO-IT-RIGHT THE FIRST TIME!

                Bayliner 3870 "ALASKA33)
                Twin 350 GM power
                Located in Seward, AK
                Retired marine surveyor

                Comment


                  #9
                  Sorry to hear the prawn fishing cost you the gear.

                  I have had gear fall over the edge so to speak. I was using a Scotsmen buoy/fender which did two things; 1st - it floated the gear and I found it over a mile away and 2nd - it was much easier to spot than those small foam bullet shaped markers. It was an old Scotsman I got used so the potential cost/loss wouldn't have been too bad. Luck for that situation there wasn't much current.

                  Another thing that has happened to me before with the small bullet shaped float markers; in strong current they can get pulled quite a ways beneath the surface. I too did big circles looking for quite some time looking for it. If it doesn't get dragged away then come back at slack tide and you will find it. That was my experience at Surge Narrows.

                  The knee jerk reaction is that someone ripped you off but most people on the water are pretty honest folks who can appreciate the price of fishing gear.

                  With that said, you should draw some evil looking eyes on your crab or prawn float and write "I'M WATCHING YOU!"
                  1995 Bayliner 3587
                  Twin Hino 250HP
                  Located In Sidney BC, Canada

                  Comment


                    #10
                    I shrimp just south of you across the border. I also lost my very first shrimp pot including a very nice setup. While we are only allowed one pot per buoy in WA state, we use all the same gear. Since losing the first one, here are a few things I do:

                    1. With the currents we get (even when it appears to be a slack tide), I use a minimum of Ôàô more 5/16" leaded line than depth. So, with 400' of downline, I never set deeper than 300', and I always set in a 'hole'.

                    2. I use a 12" 7lb grappling hook on each pot, securely clipped to the end of the loop end of the leaded line, held with a 10' length of poly. I also zip tie the ring to one of the tynes to make sure it stays open.

                    3. I use a double float on a bottom weighted stick, with a single float on a 20' poly line attached to the bottom loop on the float.

                    4. I always hang onto the second float until I know the pot is on the bottom and the first float is bobbing on the surface. (I watch the pot drop on my sonar and can see it hit the bottom.)

                    5. I always pay out the leaded line when setting. I cannot tell you how many times the 400' downline has knotted causing the first float to drop below the surface. Hanging onto the second float makes it a snap to pull it back up, especially with my Scotty pot puller.

                    I have two 5lb corner leads in each pot, but other than the grappling hook, that is all the weight keeping it on the bottom.

                    Two other suggestions about your lost gear: Follow the currents to see if it may have drifted; and return to the spot when you can to see if you had a knot and it unraveled. Unlikely you will recover your gear, but with our currents, ya just never know. Good luck.

                    ADDITION: I just read that you were using a poly ball. At standard inflation, it has 29lbs of buoyancy. However, as it gets drawn down, the pressure squashes it and it begins to lose its buoyancy. EXAMPLE: Any inflated ball at the surface will have half that volume at 33fsw. While the ball can be pressurized, whatever the pressure is, it will lose buoyancy with depth. Traditionally, the 11" balls are used to mark anchorages in shallow water, or they are used as boat fenders. I suggest you use the styrofoam floats because they won't collapse when they get pulled under.
                    "B on D C", is a 1989 2459 Trophy Offshore HT, OMC 5.7L, Cobra OD, Yamaha 15hp kicker. Lots of toys! I'm no mechanic, just a blue water sailer and woodworker who loves deep sea fishing.
                    MMSI: 367637220
                    HAM: KE7TTR
                    TDI tech diver
                    BoD Puget Sound Anglers North Olympic Peninsula Chapter
                    Kevin

                    Comment


                      #11
                      We quit losing gear when we weight the pots to either 22lbs or 37lbs if fishing in a high current area AND Using a leader of 10ft off your float or stick with an A2 buoy. 64lbs of buoyancy. We also sit on our pots and watch them, no theft and you can see if they start to float away. I ALSO RE-TIE ALL KNOTS ON THE POT FROM THE FACTORY, ZIP TIE all knot ENDS AND TAPE THEM. NO MORE LOST GEAR.
                      Brett & Elise, Sammy + Wilson
                      New Addition - 2002 Trophy 2002WA FF Optimax 135
                      GO HAWKS!

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Sorry lost your traps

                        If anything people take your crab traps or just empty them for you

                        Prawn traps are a lot of work to pull-up with out a puller and not a lot of people have them on board.

                        I lost some prawn traps in the Broughtons put down 2 sets found one that had dragged 1/4 the other gone.

                        I wasn't surprized when I returned the Tide was flowing pretty good

                        Crab traps

                        Once I lost one only to find it a mile away with the float going under the water for 30 seconds at a time Pulling it up I found a shark in it

                        Another time I approached my trap only to have it suddenly move ten feet away from me just as I was reaching for it

                        It was a bitch bringing up but I had a nice halibut in it.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Sorry to hear you had your equipment "nicked" as you say. I do some crabbing in the Chesapeake Bay (by law only allowed five pots) and I leave my pots out overnight all the time. So far I have been lucky but a couple of time they have floated several hundred yards farther then where I placed them. I have caught turtles that try to steal my traps all the time, they get in them and just start to swim away. Strong little suckers.

                          Good luck on your next trip.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            All good advice, and I appreciate all your responses. My own personal thoughts on the theft issue were kind of along the same lines as Sea Q.... there wasn't very much pleasure boat traffic in the area on Sunday.... I think we saw maybe 2 or 3 others off in the distance, and none in the area we had dropped the gear in. The pots were damn heavy with extra weight .... I had 2 on one line, with extra weight before and after the pots... so pulling them up without a puller would have been a real b*tch...

                            I am now thinking that my buoys were too small and that they got sucked under in the current. Given i dropped them in relatively shallow water for prawning (around 230 ft) with 450 of rope, there was plenty of scope for them to be pulled under and be stuck in the current under the surface... maybe 50ft or more, who knows? I am thinking I should go out and check and see if they've popped up! I know slack tide would be best... but is there a point before or after high/low slack where the current will be the lowest as well? Sorry if this is a stupid question, but as I said, I'm new to saltwater boating and I had previously assumed that as close to low slack as possible would be the best time to retrieve. I wonder if I was circling right above my pots all along!
                            Tyson, Ackerley, Sidney & Gene
                            Tsawwassen, BC
                            1996 2858 Ciera Command Bridge
                            Mercruiser 7.4L BRAVO II (GEN. V) GM 454 V-8; Engine Serial 0F603347
                            "Island Passport"
                            Home marina: Point Roberts, WA

                            Comment


                              #15
                              "tdcooper99" post=806809 wrote:
                              All good advice, and I appreciate all your responses. My own personal thoughts on the theft issue were kind of along the same lines as Sea Q.... there wasn't very much pleasure boat traffic in the area on Sunday.... I think we saw maybe 2 or 3 others off in the distance, and none in the area we had dropped the gear in. The pots were damn heavy with extra weight .... I had 2 on one line, with extra weight before and after the pots... so pulling them up without a puller would have been a real b*tch...

                              I am now thinking that my buoys were too small and that they got sucked under in the current. Given i dropped them in relatively shallow water for prawning (around 230 ft) with 450 of rope, there was plenty of scope for them to be pulled under and be stuck in the current under the surface... maybe 50ft or more, who knows? I am thinking I should go out and check and see if they've popped up! I know slack tide would be best... but is there a point before or after high/low slack where the current will be the lowest as well? Sorry if this is a stupid question, but as I said, I'm new to saltwater boating and I had previously assumed that as close to low slack as possible would be the best time to retrieve. I wonder if I was circling right above my pots all along!
                              With 450' of line in a 230' depth, either slack tide - high or low - will work. Also, again, follow the current both ways of where you dropped them, and pay attention to your bottom to see if there are any slopes or holes in the area. If there is, how deep are they, and do you have enough line to let the floats be seen at those spots during slack tide? I lost a crab pot in the current in 200' of water with 300' of line, but 2 days later, while cruising out to go fishing, it was on the surface. There was crab in it, but it was on a Tuesday, and crabbing in WA is closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays throughout the season, so I tossed them back. I'm just thankful I retrieved my pot and line.

                              As to how close to slack tide, it depends on the size of the tide, and the structures in the area. I would go out an hour before up to an hour after.
                              "B on D C", is a 1989 2459 Trophy Offshore HT, OMC 5.7L, Cobra OD, Yamaha 15hp kicker. Lots of toys! I'm no mechanic, just a blue water sailer and woodworker who loves deep sea fishing.
                              MMSI: 367637220
                              HAM: KE7TTR
                              TDI tech diver
                              BoD Puget Sound Anglers North Olympic Peninsula Chapter
                              Kevin

                              Comment

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