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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all:

I hope you won't mind a question from a new prawn catcher. Well, hope to be anyway!!

So, we're fishing some of bays and sounds around Tofino (outside of Vancouver Island) last summer. Fishing good. Crabbing good.

On the way up, I had purchased a shrimp/prawn trap, so we found a very deep channel - 250 feet or so. Well, we set the trap and came back the next morning. Nothing in sight. No yellow bouy anywhere. We looked in that area for days.

I'm thinking one of a couple things happened:
  • a big commercial boat came through and hit the bouy and dragged it away somewhere out to sea,
  • the tide was pretty strong through there and the moving water (along with the loose-floating kelp) pulled the trap and rope and bouy somewhere.
  • Could it have moved to even deeper water and then the bouy was there, but just submerged?
  • a Great big huge prawn got even with me
  • the bouy sunk
  • or something else?
If it's 250 feet deep, how much rope should I use (251 feet? 300 feet? more?)?

Frankly, I have no idea what happened and have been wracking my brain trying to figure this out. I'd like to know, though, before I do something dumb again, and lose another trap on the first day this next summer.

Any thoughts, or speculation, or suggestions, would be appreciated. This was an expensive mistake on my part.

~markb
 

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300' of rope is good for that deep. but, the most important part is, a 10lb weight about 20' from the trap.
 

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I've had various things happen to prawn traps, some of which you mention. Usually you watch tides currents and wind, strength and direction and pick ones that suit your situation, or at least you know which direction to look. Also weight traps or line to hold them in place cause the ones that float away really don't fish at all. Have 30' to 50'or so more line than depth of water, Canso's method above is a good one.

1. buoys go under in strong current then come up at slack, found that out, too bad it was dark when slack came, long ride home
2. traps float away in current or wind, up to 4 miles or more apparently
3. buoys can come untied, that's really a bummer cause you can find the buoy intact on the beach, thought my sailboat buddy could tie a knot
4. traps get stuck to the bottom in rock or muck too, careful if you tie them to a cleat and pull
5 people take them, haven't had this yet it's all my own fault so far
This is the best time of year for me as prawns have just opened after a 3 month winter spawning closure and before the may 1 commercial season.
Search for prawns on this site there is more info to find.
 

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I don't think 300ft line in 250ft water is enough. With current dragging your buoy, at 45deg you will need over 350ft. I think 30deg is most likely to have at any day, i would at least have 350ft if not 400ft.
 

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I use 400' of sinking line per set, and find that I no longer need to use weights ahead of the traps. With that much scope, the last 50' or so lie in the bottom muck and the traps won't be moving.
 

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just remember when purchasing the traps.
cheaper traps tends to be light in weight therefore you need to spend more on weight.
 

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When you are on your way to Tofino next time if you stop at Pacific Net and Twine outside of Parksville, on the way to coombs, they usually have used commercial traps for sale for 45 or so dollars. These are heavy and good traps, if all the rubber bands aren't there they have parts for sale. Leaded trap line is also a must, it fishes well and doesn't tangle, stay away from poly if you have a choice.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
thanks for the info

thank you to everyone for your thoughts. I can see two obvious problems - weight and line length.

Also thanks for the tip on the shop in Parksville . . . About then, i'm ready for a break anyway!!! I'll be sure and stop there next time through.

Regards,

~markb
 
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