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Old 16-06-2011, 16:48   #1
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Lobster Pots Offshore NJ/NY

I made a passage last year from Cape May to Block Island - taking the direct offshore route. I was amazed to discover - at about 1 am in the morning about 60 miles offshore from northern New Jersey - a string of lobster pots spaced about 500-1000 feet apart. We were in about 170-200 feet of water.

Happily there was enough of a moon to see them and to keep away from them, otherwise we may have become ensnared (since we were motoring on account of a lack of wind).

Has anyone had a similar experience and does anyone know how to find out in advance where these "lobster pot" farms are located so that they can be avoided. It is already a bit of a chore to dodge freighter/ship traffic - these lobster pots were a real downer.
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Old 16-06-2011, 17:38   #2
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Re: Lobster Pots Offshore NJ/NY

I don't think so. They're not farms, and they can be put just about anywhere except in channels. There are some spots in Narragansett Bay RI where we've had to motor because there were so many pots in one spot that it was impossible to sail through them. I've run across the same issue in parts of the Gulf off of FL also. I wish they did have places set aside for them but they put them where the lobsters are and that changes often.

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Old 16-06-2011, 17:40   #3
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Re: Lobster Pots Offshore NJ/NY

I know the downer part, we usually get stuck on 1 every season.
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Old 16-06-2011, 18:06   #4
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Re: Lobster Pots Offshore NJ/NY

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Originally Posted by bzavoico View Post
does anyone know how to find out in advance where these "lobster pot" farms are located so that they can be avoided.
There is no way to find out where they are. They are not "farms", and the fishermen can put them anywhere they want within the confines of their permit, which can include many hundreds of square miles of ocean.

Line cutters on your shaft may help, but not always.
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Old 16-06-2011, 18:22   #5
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Re: Lobster Pots Offshore NJ/NY

I've heard that lobsters move inshore in the summer and out to deeper water in the winter. I wonder if those offshore pots are out there in the summer? When did you make that passage?
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Old 16-06-2011, 19:10   #6
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Re: Lobster Pots Offshore NJ/NY

Welcome Aboard Cruisers Forum

One good thing is they lay them in straight lines basically.
The bad thing is that not everybody lays their string in the same direction.
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Old 16-06-2011, 20:05   #7
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Re: Lobster Pots Offshore NJ/NY

Crab pots in the Chesapeake Bay are a problem also. There are a few "float free" channels going into certain rivers, but not many.
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Old 18-06-2011, 09:54   #8
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Re: Lobster Pots Offshore NJ/NY

Thanks for the insight. Made the passage in mid-June 2009 - which may have been a transition period. I never imagined that we would have to keep watch for these pots so far offshore.
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Old 18-06-2011, 10:45   #9
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Re: Lobster Pots Offshore NJ/NY

Over here the crabs like living on rocky ground rather than simply sand / mud - so the pots are set in familiar places (the crabs may move - the rocks don't ). Might be worthwhile checking the charts to identify likely potting areas.

Of course from the sound of a couple of recent threads those with a chartplotter can track the crabs from space as they crawl accross the seabed - and therefore avoid both creature and pot Possibly
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