Lobster trap size?? 30"...36"...48"..? Does it matter?

BillD

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Hello guys.

A question for those of you who have and pull lobster traps either commercially or recreationally??????

Is there one size of trap that you find "fish" better than the other?

How do the 30" traps fish?

36" traps?

48" traps?

Do you find a difference in color?? Yellow wire vs black wire??

If you fish with 30" traps, how do the smaller size stay put in 30-40 ft water with a mild storm surge?

Thanks, Bill D
 

F/V First Team

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I prefer the 48" gear over the 36" personally. The smaller ones skate across the top of the water when I haul and it's amusing, but aside from that they are harder to clear. The half rounds are wonky to say the least, maybe I can get them to fish this year...

Haven't seen a particular color that works best, I'm rather partial to black and green myself. But there are yellow, red, electric blue, and some multi-colored ones in the pile. All depends on what bait is in them I think.
 

Capttony

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i like the 36" for inshore , and i can pack em nice on a small boat. I also have some 4's that fish well . I think I have one of every color they make and i cant tell the difference.
 

steveinak

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Get some of those 36" fat boys:D tie in a good bunch of window weights so they stay put and most importantly stick them on some good bottom:p. Folks up here ask me why i fish yellow wire shrimp pots, i only build yellow for my own pots, i tell them i use yellow so i can shoot sooner:rolleyes:!! I tell folks no matter what color pot you have they are all black when fishing down in 500-700 feet of water.
 

MouseTrap

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I have a recreational license, and fish 36" traps because I haul them by hand (who wants to haul a 48" trap by hand"). In Maine I am allowed 5 traps. I try to stay away from the commercial guys, as they are trying to make a living, and I am engaging in a hobby. My traps are green, and I rarely get skunked pulling them after 48 hours. The commercial guys I talk with say that color makes no difference. However, I have heard what F/V First Team has said, that certain colors off-gas and are less tolerable to lobsters than others (go figure).
 

F/V First Team

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It's not the size of the traps that make them a pain, it's the number of bricks inside that trap. 3' trap with 6 bricks suck hauling by hand, a lesson learned by experience. Also, two snarled up 3-trap trawls consisting of 4' gear with cement runners and a brick hauled up by hand over the transom of your boat REALLY sucks.

I'm really interested in those 60" traps that are floating around out there, but they just won't fit on the pile good...
 

steveinak

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It's not the size of the traps that make them a pain, it's the number of bricks inside that trap. 3' trap with 6 bricks suck hauling by hand, a lesson learned by experience. Also, two snarled up 3-trap trawls consisting of 4' gear with cement runners and a brick hauled up by hand over the transom of your boat REALLY sucks.

I'm really interested in those 60" traps that are floating around out there, but they just won't fit on the pile good...
When i lobstered offshore many years ago one thing i always noticed was that the bigger traps always caught bigger lobsters, the count per trawl was close but the weight was way heavier. We were fishing 1/2 round traps, 48x24 and the hoops were steam bent over a 55gal drum for a form, we fished 40 trap trawls 25 fathoms apart and had 3 buoys per trawl, later through the winter we tied 2 40's together and had 5 buoys on a trawl. Reason for all the buoys was to make it easier to find the parted off pieces after the draggers or scallopers went through us. Had 2 hauulers on the boat a 16" Eastern Welding monster driven by 2 hydraulic motors through a gear box and a 12" to haul the mid trawl buoylines so we never stopped hauling the gear.
 

burley

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started mooving to all big traps before I quit. I called my 48's hoovers because they sucked up more lobster than my 36's . a third cement runner on the end pots kept them still and fishing better.
 

soldsoul4foos

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I've heard the 48" traps hold the lobsters in better than the 36" traps. You can let them sit an extra day or two and they won't crawl out as easy. I'm going to try 48's this year pulling by hand and see what difference it makes vs. last year. Can't wait!

Bill
 

lobstercatcher

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Hello guys.

A question for those of you who have and pull lobster traps either commercially or recreationally??????

Is there one size of trap that you find "fish" better than the other?

How do the 30" traps fish?

36" traps?

48" traps?

Do you find a difference in color?? Yellow wire vs black wire??

If you fish with 30" traps, how do the smaller size stay put in 30-40 ft water with a mild storm surge?

Thanks, Bill D
Hi Bill , I been doing this since wood pots. I have built most my own traps from stages that started from standing trees to 100 foot rolls of wire. In general, all traps can catch lobsters. At times, I have built traps that definately could out fish other traps. I have never had a 48" trap that could produce as well as a 36" trap. I think I would actually go out of business if I had to fish 48" traps. I still have a dozen 48" and bigger, the next large size I have is 39" x 24" x 15" in 10 guage. For the most part, I rarely catch any more out of those that a 30 X 18 X 12. If you average 1 or 2 a pot. Why have a pot that could hold 60???? A 30" pot could easily hold 5 keepers. If you are pulling a trap by hand in 30/40ft , it will be much easier to haul the smaller traps. As for storms. I've had 48" traps in 120' of water that had cement sliders that moved and got destroyed during a storm. Probably 5 years ago most my traps were larger than 36" traps, now most the traps are 36 and under.
 

BillD

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Hi Bill , I been doing this since wood pots. I have built most my own traps from stages that started from standing trees to 100 foot rolls of wire. In general, all traps can catch lobsters. At times, I have built traps that definately could out fish other traps. I have never had a 48" trap that could produce as well as a 36" trap. I think I would actually go out of business if I had to fish 48" traps. I still have a dozen 48" and bigger, the next large size I have is 39" x 24" x 15" in 10 guage. For the most part, I rarely catch any more out of those that a 30 X 18 X 12. If you average 1 or 2 a pot. Why have a pot that could hold 60???? A 30" pot could easily hold 5 keepers. If you are pulling a trap by hand in 30/40ft , it will be much easier to haul the smaller traps. As for storms. I've had 48" traps in 120' of water that had cement sliders that moved and got destroyed during a storm. Probably 5 years ago most my traps were larger than 36" traps, now most the traps are 36 and under.
Excellent info.
I have 36" traps now. 10-20 traps total. We pull them twice a week off the back of the swim platform on the 31 Blackfin. 30-35 ft of water.

Me @ the helm keeping the boat from drifting (wind/current) into other buoy/lines.
Two young bucks out back to pull by hand and get the trap up and through the tuna door "WITHOUT TOUCHING ANY GEL COAT OR FIBERGLASS!!


This season I'm installing a simple davit with block on the helm side of the boat.
My goal this year is to be able to haul a few pots by myself or with another "old guy" when conditions permit.

I don't want to beat the crap out of the side of the boat. A 30" trap is a bit easier to grab and get up on the boat than a 36".

Now that I recall, I had 48" traps about 18 years ago. I don't recall catching any more keepers back then than now.

Thanks for the info.

Bill D
 
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steveinak

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Bill i'm sure you know about these corner bumpers they have for the traps, they sure look like they would save some gelcote. You can always wrap some old rope through the wire to make a chaff guard for the traps.
corner.png

corner.png
 

BillD

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Bill i'm sure you know about these corner bumpers they have for the traps, they sure look like they would save some gelcote. You can always wrap some old rope through the wire to make a chaff guard for the traps.
View attachment 4970
Steve, thanks for the tip.
We are very careful with the traps bangin around.

The davit install on the Blackfin this comin season is a test.

I can either have some fun and not beat up the boat or not !! LOL
 
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