polecat- thanks for the advice. i will try that area.
the commercial guys were all right down the middle line of the waterway. so it was like sort of 10 to 20 ft deep where they were. i was more like 10-13 ft deep. but that was before this run of warm sunny weather.
i was deeper because my dock traps were all empty….not normal. and then the commercial guys were deeper. so i was trying to be somewhat doing what the big guys were doing. but they have those big baskets and i think they catch a lot more of the "let-go's" before i even see them. even in 10-13ft could see crab shadows zipping away from the line when it was coming up. the water fairly clear- tea stained but clearer than normal. and i think that helped me see them, but also them to see me. i just feel like trot lining in deeper water tends to let more crab swim off before i can get a shot at them with the dip net. i prefer shallower, but didn't seem like much was going on shallow.