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Old 09-09-2008, 04:59   #1
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Lobster Pots

It seems to be zillions (big number) of lobster pots in the bays in the NE. It somethimes is hard enough to avoid all their floats, but there seems to be another force in play. No matter what track you are on the boat will naturally make slight course changes in other to head to the nearest pot float. Who would have thought there was that much gravitational attraction be given off by those floats. I always wondered how the lobsterguys could keep track of the pots, maybe this attraction is the key.
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Old 09-09-2008, 05:36   #2
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It seems to be zillions (big number) of lobster pots in the bays in the NE. It somethimes is hard enough to avoid all their floats, but there seems to be another force in play. No matter what track you are on the boat will naturally make slight course changes in other to head to the nearest pot float. Who would have thought there was that much gravitational attraction be given off by those floats. I always wondered how the lobsterguys could keep track of the pots, maybe this attraction is the key.

Don,

Here in the south/south east(Keys) in my head I play "Connect the dots". In other words, line up the boat as you sail with a clear vision of a distant float, then another, and another.
That attraction you talk about is real. I still snag one even being as carefull as one can be. It is such a pleasure to sail in the off season.
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Old 09-09-2008, 05:50   #3
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Here in Long Island Sound I have seen quite a few 3/4's underwater and painted black.
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Old 09-09-2008, 06:23   #4
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I thought my shoal draft and deadrise would prevent any snags from pots. Not so. At least when the prop is turning. It sucks the rope right in, so I'm pretty careful now. [two trips with a mask this year!] Those guys work too hard to have props messing things up. Though it would help if they would at least stay out of channels. They don't around here and I know the bouys take a beating. A lot of them are now using bleach and laundry detergent plastic bottles. It seems a little bizzar but I suppose the real ones get costly.
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Old 09-09-2008, 06:36   #5
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Here's how to deal with them..

Don,

I know you were joking but I sense also being somewhat serious.

Here are a few tips on how to deal with lobster pots.

#1 ALWAYS try to pass to the down current, down wind or down tide side of the pot. Never pass above a lobster pot! They have an uncanny way of letting you know which way is up current, wind or tide and which way is down. Follow the stick!

This one is pointing or angled towards "down tide" so you'll pass to where the stick leans or points. This is about a 1.5 knot current at the mouth of Penobscot Bay and well off Vinalhaven and Northhaven Islands. We were miles from the nearest land yet Pen Bay has HUGE amounts of water to spill and the currents can run miles out to sea.. NEVER EVER intentionally pass a pot like this to the up tide or up current side!!!


#2 Wear polarized sunglasses!!! My daughter had grabbed my Maui Jim's and got "snack goo" all over them. Rather than clean them I stupidly grabbed my "guest" pair of sunglasses, a non-polarized pair of Ray Ban's.

As you can see we almost hit this pot that was pulled under by the tidal current! My maneuver was late because I never saw it until the absolute last second. At that point I had no choice but to turn hard stbd and pass to the up-current side which as you can see could have been very dangerous. Again, WEAR POLARIZED SUNGLASSES! You will see these submerged pots well before you will with non-polarized glasses. My camera had a polarizing filter so I snapped that as we passed.


#3 just because it's calm does not mean the pots are not still telling you something. This "mystical draw" still exists even in flat glass conditions. Note the direction of the "sticks"...


#4 It may be calm but this pot has a decent current flowing by it. Just look at the "wake" made by the buoy..
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Old 09-09-2008, 07:04   #6
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Mmmmmm, dinner, If you have to get wet are you allowed one free meal from these bountiful bouncings?? I think it should be a Mariners rule.........somehow.
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Old 09-09-2008, 07:05   #7
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Hey Acoustic very good advice and nice photo's. Another piece of advice. When you see the lobsterguys working there pots keep well out of there way. I got an earfull once. YOU GD YAUGHTIE YOU HAVE THE WHOLE SOUND AND YOU HAD TO GET IN MY FU#$ING WAY. The guy was ranting and raving and cursing for minutes.
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Old 09-09-2008, 07:23   #8
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If you have to get wet are you allowed one free meal from these bountiful bouncings??
Best not to get caught doing it. They do hold a grudge. It's a universal thing with all those that ply the trade on the water.
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Old 09-09-2008, 07:27   #9
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Hey Acoustic very good advice and nice photo's. Another piece of advice. When you see the lobsterguys working there pots keep well out of there way. I got an earfull once. YOU GD YAUGHTIE YOU HAVE THE WHOLE SOUND AND YOU HAD TO GET IN MY FU#$ING WAY. The guy was ranting and raving and cursing for minutes.

Better yet, I was a commercial lobsterman, look for his or her "colors" then spot his pots on the water and get away from them as he's likely moving to the next pot that matches his colors!

All lobstermen are required to display their "colors" or one of their own pot buoys mounted up high on the boat so it can be seen.

Note the pot buoy above the radome:

Note the "colors" on the port side wheel house roof:

Note the "colors" laying on the wheel house roof behind the spot light & hanging dead center also look on the water and you'll see two more of his/her pots.. stay away from them:

Pot buoy/colors located on stern end port side of wheel house roof:
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Old 09-09-2008, 07:39   #10
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Don

Accoustic is quite right about passing down current from the stick. This is especially important if you are in an area where the lobstermen use toggle floats to keep the line off the bottom. These toggles are almost invisible and often just below the water. They keep a 10ft loop of line perfectly placed to catch rudders, keels and props. In pot filled waters I find the safest place to pass is just down current from the main buoy - so close that it bumps the side of the hull. My theory is that this is likely to be open water as lobstermen don't want their pots to be tangled -- they won't put a 2nd pot that close.

As to your "gravity" idea. Quite clever but it's only an optical illusion that your boat is turning towards the pots - much like the sun seems to be moving across the sky. In fact, you are observing the pots moving towards your boat. Scientists are baffled by the phenomenon. One recent theory is that the "mother" floats think you are attacking their baby floats. They are trying to disable you before you attack their young. Judging by the baby boom of pots, they certainly seem to be succeeding.

This protective instinct is much more common in the ocean than you think. I have personally witnessed both rocks and sandbars moving so as to place themselves under my keel.

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Old 09-09-2008, 09:43   #11
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Excellent advice. but..

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Originally Posted by Acoustic View Post
#1 ALWAYS try to pass to the down current, down wind or down tide side of the pot. Never pass above a lobster pot! They have an uncanny way of letting you know which way is up current, wind or tide and which way is down. Follow the stick!
...especially on Pen Bay, there's usually another pot over there.
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Old 09-09-2008, 10:41   #12
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This is a good reminder that lobster season is coming to S. California soon. The lobsters here are spiny lobsters and lack the large claws. The pots are typically right at the harbor entrance, which creates a bit of a maze when going out to sea and coming back.
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Old 09-09-2008, 12:23   #13
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Lobsters on the East coast - crabbers on the west coast. All the principals apply to both I think. Here in Oregon, the sport crabbers have crab pots everywhere in the bays and channels also.
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Old 10-09-2008, 15:24   #14
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Was just one of those general comments, I know how to miss them.
I agree with the damage that the floats must take. If not it seems that Tide soap has a pretty large coverage area judging from the number of floats they have out.
I also know need to play more attention to the rocks protecting their young. I know this is real because when I was trying to get my lawn in a couple of years ago I would rack up all the rocks. At night as I tried to fall asleep I come hear all these little "clicking" sounds and in the morning there would be a whole field on new young rocks. Who knew they could breed so fast. Given the size of some of the rocks (islands) in the Boston general area I better watch out. What's that word for when you think things are out to get you? :-)
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Old 10-09-2008, 16:39   #15
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Whitehead light at the entrance to Muscle Ridge Channel?

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