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Don't be that guy - Crab pot lines

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Captain Redbeard:
I'm hoping to be gentle here, because when I started crabbing I was kind of an idiot, too. I was also just a kid, but regardless...

Crabbing at Tillamook Bay was fairly busy Saturday, and 90% of the pots I saw were rigged to not get in people's way. Then there was the situation pictured.

This guy had literally 100ft. of floating rope (it was that cheap climbing rope stuff you can get at Harbor Freight and Wal-Mart) on his pots, completely deployed and unweighted, and his pots were in 12 feet of water. I was cruising through the mine field when, seemingly in the middle of nowhere, I went over his rope and it immediately fouled my mirage drive. This was complicated by the fact that I tried to shift into reverse, because it was in the middle of that that the rope got tangled, so my fins were in a configuration that did not allow me to lift my drive. That was my bad - lesson learned.

So, even though the current was moderate, I had an "oh sh!t!" moment as I prepared to have to cut the line or bail out depending on what happened next. As it turned out, I was able to get at my paddle and correct fast enough to avoid anything like that, and eventually I got the rope shook loose. Then it immediately hooked my rudder, and when I tried to pull it up it made it worse.

The guy came over as I was nearly out of the tangle, and I was prepared for a healthy confrontation, but he was completely chill about it, which was nice, except he didn't seem to grasp that he shouldn't have 100ft. of line out when he's in 12 feet of water. I fully admit that I should have been more careful and assumed that since I was 50ft. from the nearest float I was OK to cruise, so I have a part in this. Nonetheless:

Please don't be that guy. I've used cheap floating rope tons while crabbing. Just tie it off in a bundle so that an appropriate amount of line is out, say twice the depth you're fishing (obviously more if, for some reason, you're dropping in a high-current area). Better: tie off the extra and use line weights. They're not very expensive, or you can make them for almost free. Best: tie off the extra, use line weights, and use sinking line. It's a one-time purchase that will last nearly forever.

Klondike Kid:
Back in the days when there were no regulations for commercial or sport crab pot lines to be submerged below the buoy, I was doing 35 knots in my Bayliner in 1 foot white caps on my way to a goose hunt and out of no where my boat slowly comes to a halt. As I turned to the motor I see the V of a commercial crab pot line that snared my outboard motor shaft. Luckily I just raised the motor up and the line slid off. Returning from the hunt the next day on flat seas it was like you mentioned, a veritable MINE FIELD of commercial buoys everywhere that were hidden by the white caps the day before. And all running floating lines in those days.

Alaska now requires all sport and commercial shrimp and crab pots to have non-floating line at least for the portion that could become a floating navigation hazard to boats. You can either use lead line or put weights on it to keep it down.

Mojo Jojo:
That sucks man! How was the rest of the outing? Iím nursing some serious pain or I would have tried to join ya. For you Tilly bay crabbers 50 ft of line and no weight on the pot in line with the rocks and your good 👍 .

Captain Redbeard:

--- Quote from: Mojo Jojo on May 05, 2021, 09:55:02 PM ---That sucks man! How was the rest of the outing? Iím nursing some serious pain or I would have tried to join ya. For you Tilly bay crabbers 50 ft of line and no weight on the pot in line with the rocks and your good 👍 .

--- End quote ---

It was fun! Hoping to get some screengrabs off the gopro and make a post about it. Thank you for the advice!

You know those dull, bashed up junk bottomfish jigs taking up space in your tackle box or garage?  Be sure to take those crabbing with you.

When you come across a crab rope with 90% of it's line being a nav hazard, grab the line, spool up half of it, zip tie together and connect one or two of your junk jigs securely into the rope to sink it.

"Recycle, reduce, reuse."
 That's my motto.

No, it's not...

Actually it's:
"If you don't like it, don't give me the opportunity!!"


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