Great Bay Buggin'
After the fogged lifted and the sun came out Saturday morning I loaded up the truck and headed to the dock. I noticed while loading the boat with fuel and bait I could hear the leaves blowing in the trees. From experience this is not a good sign.
Last week I set three prospecting traps in a deep hole in an otherwise shallow mud flat. Being the first traps I checked I was pleasantly surprised to have four keepah lobster between the three. A good start.
By the time I went through Adam's Point the wind had picked up from the NW. Couple that with an outgoing tide created white caps on the water making my buoys more difficult to find. The new moon tides we had last week had flooded the marsh and the Bay was full of floating eel grass. Some of my buoys were completely camouflaged by the floating vegetation.
By the time I got to Fox Point I was missing three traps. Three traps I knew should have been in Great Bay three miles behind me. Knowing the amount of grass I had taken off other buoys and the strength of the outgoing tide there was a strong possibility the buoys were under water. So the hunt for the three missing traps was on.
I have heard it from amateur lobster trappers many times, "I set my traps, came back a week later to check them and they were gone." They think their lines were cut or their traps were stolen. I admit the thought crossed my mind. But in my 15 years as a lobster trapper on Great Bay I have nothing but praise for the commercial trappers who ply their living from these waters. It is a tight knit group that looks out for its own, be it other commercial guys or a hobby trapper like myself.
Looking for my missing traps was less than fun in a NW gale in open bay. But one by one as the tide slackened the buoys began to appear. Not one set was where I had originally dropped my traps. The islands of eels grass attached to the buoys had caused my single traps to move. One was dragged at least a quarter mile into deeper water. The remaining two were found in the shallows. I am glad I didn't give up. Those three missing traps produced six keepah lobsters.
Taking last year off to get the boat fixed broke a long, physical, summer time tradition. I am not fishing as many pots as I have because my body is feeling it's age. By starting with less traps I can feel my strength returning.
With the help of my new partner "Advil" it is good to be back OTW.