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Old 18-01-2018, 13:08   #31
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Re: crab traps do you avoid them ?

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I had the autopilot set the whole time on the trip pretty simple to push a button to make minor corrections to avoid the pots
You really missed the point that CaptTom was making.
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Old 18-01-2018, 13:44   #32
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Re: crab traps do you avoid them ?

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There is. State laws are pretty consistent on this. If they are actually in a marked channel (not a line between way points) or designated anchorage (not just some place you like) report then to the local fish and wild life guys.
First I've heard. Which states? Anyone have a link to those laws handy?

I'm pretty sure that isn't the case in ME and NH. The rights to "fishing and fouling" go back to colonial times. The channel came much later. People put their traps where the lobsters are. In some places, the channel is almost the width of the waterway. Where are they supposed to fish?
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Old 18-01-2018, 13:57   #33
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Re: crab traps do you avoid them ?

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You really missed the point that CaptTom was making.
No I get the point I just dont want people on this forum thinking that I set my autopilot and just ride blindly.

I have a problem of being overly cautious on a boat and and gasp every time I pass over a trap accidentally.

I would rather spend an extra hour or two and go to deeper water and not have to cruise through the obstacle course
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Old 18-01-2018, 14:19   #34
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Re: crab traps do you avoid them ?

Crab pots have enough buoy line length to set the pot in any fishing depth the fisherman may use. When set in shallow water the excess line floats on or near the surface. Usually strung out down wind or in the swell direction. But in calmer conditions there can be large amounts of line all around the buoy. Difficult to see.
On the West Coast, a small commercial pot costs more than $200 to buy and setup.
Years ago, while backing to set the anchor, I picked up a line from an lost pot. The boat had 1.75" shafts. The line got between the wheel and strut and at engine idle, the line wound many times and produced enough force to rip the shaft out of the coupling.
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Old 18-01-2018, 14:19   #35
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Re: crab traps do you avoid them ?

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Originally Posted by RobD527 View Post
No I get the point I just dont want people on this forum thinking that I set my autopilot and just ride blindly.

I have a problem of being overly cautious on a boat and and gasp every time I pass over a trap accidentally.

I would rather spend an extra hour or two and go to deeper water and not have to cruise through the obstacle course
Your route is one of the worst. Key West north to Marco Island/Naples is less dense with crab pots, but they are still there.

I've always wished FWC would chart a 1/2 or 1 mile wide 'channel' between 7 Mile Bridge and Romano Shoals light that is designated no fishing. I hate to run that at night in crab season.
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Old 18-01-2018, 14:26   #36
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Re: crab traps do you avoid them ?

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Normally, they are only set in certain depths and areas, where the crabs are. Be observant, and you can learn to avoid those areas However, the areas move as the water temperature and the crabs move, so you have to watch. They should not be set in channels (law), but that can be a problem. I'm also not too fond of the dark colored markers..
^^^This^^^ Particularly in northern waters.

Crabs will vary the depth that they are at based on water temperature, seeking what is most comfortable for them, and crabbers will deploy their pots accordingly. In fact, if you've ever heard one crabber ask another if they are finding them "upstairs" or "downstairs", they are asking where the crabs were in the trap, which is a tell on where to set traps.

This is another reason why you find crabs where the bottom shelves, as it is where they can easily move up or down and there is also likely current there bringing food. And this is why sailors complain about crab traps, because we often try and follow the contour around shallower water in coastal waters. In short, we like the same water that crabs do.

So if you're finding a lot of traps somewhere, look at the depth and move to deeper or shallower water. This is less true further south but the same general principal applies.

And yeah, those crabbers who paint their floats black, perhaps to foil poachers, well I'm not very fond of them lol.
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Old 18-01-2018, 14:37   #37
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Re: crab traps do you avoid them ?

Puffcard, you have it. In our case, Max prop, skeg and rudder will allow clear passage through lobster traps. Without any point of entrapment, they will pass as clear water. Trying to steer clear of them is fool's folly, missing one means hitting another while under sail.
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Old 18-01-2018, 14:49   #38
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Re: crab traps do you avoid them ?

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Puffcard, you have it. In our case, Max prop, skeg and rudder will allow clear passage through lobster traps. Without any point of entrapment, they will pass as clear water. Trying to steer clear of them is fool's folly, missing one means hitting another while under sail.
Under sail just run them over.
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Old 18-01-2018, 15:01   #39
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Re: crab traps do you avoid them ?

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Puffcard, you have it. In our case, Max prop, skeg and rudder will allow clear passage through lobster traps. Without any point of entrapment, they will pass as clear water. Trying to steer clear of them is fool's folly, missing one means hitting another while under sail.
If you're talking about under power then I think you've just been fairly lucky. If you're talking about under sail then I think you've also been maybe a little bit lucky.

Plenty of skeg hung rudder boats with MaxProps and $5k shaft replacement bills will want to argue the point.
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Old 18-01-2018, 15:22   #40
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Re: crab traps do you avoid them ?

Just so everyone knows that hasn't been in this area that this crab trap maze is only about a 40-50 mile stretch from Marathon to Marco.

I've never seen even half this amount of traps anywhere else I've ever been
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Old 18-01-2018, 15:33   #41
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Re: crab traps do you avoid them ?

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Just so everyone knows that hasn't been in this area that this crab trap maze is only about a 40-50 mile stretch from Marathon to Marco.

I've never seen even half this amount of traps anywhere else I've ever been
Yep. it's loaded but, it could be like the shrimping industry. Get our spiny lobster tails from Asia.
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Old 18-01-2018, 22:26   #42
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Re: crab traps do you avoid them ?

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Puffcard, you have it. In our case, Max prop, skeg and rudder will allow clear passage through lobster traps. Without any point of entrapment, they will pass as clear water. Trying to steer clear of them is fool's folly, missing one means hitting another while under sail.
How does a Max prop (feathering design) help you? Folding props present a low snag factor, but a feathered prop still has blades sticking out into the slip stream, much the same as a fixed prop in terms of picking up a pot warp.

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Old 18-01-2018, 22:45   #43
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Re: crab traps do you avoid them ?

With my long keel and keel-hung rudder, I don't think about it... sailing. BUT when chartering fin and spade rudders I avoided them sailing or motoring because when a current is running there is enough line held out at an angle that you can snag it on the upstream side, the bow wave won't affect that...
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Old 18-01-2018, 23:45   #44
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Re: crab traps do you avoid them ?

I did get a crab pot line tangled in my prop once ,,,in the San Juan Islands.
It happened at night while we were anchored. We swung on our anchor and apparently got the crab pot line in the process.
Fortunately we noticed it before starting the engine.
With some effort we were able to free it.
The good news is there were 5 huge dungeness crabs in the pot.
Lesson learned: never set your crab pots in the evening where your rudder or props can swing over them, or your anchor rode tangle with them that night.
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Old 19-01-2018, 00:20   #45
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Re: crab traps do you avoid them ?

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Gee, that's pretty impressive - spotting a fridge floating BELOW the surface. A degree of watchkeeping we should all strive towards/
Jim
Kinda funny, but some rivers in far away places can indeed deliver all kinds of objects. We just missed a refrigerator-type white box slightly submerged near Columbia, while carefully looking for bigger logs in oddly brown sea water far offshore. I think refrigerators like to loiter like sleeping whales. If they don't sink, they are indeed floating just below the surface. I thought it was just a white foam cooler, but when we passed it the size was closer to a fridge.
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