Went out last week and caught about 50 bait size croakers and put them in two
small pens at a friends boat...He called me today to say someone had gotten them
all...hate to see what happens when the stripers start biting...
I had a similar problem with "bait thieves" last year @ my house / pier in Grafton on a very lightly travled inlet and came to find out otters were getting into my bait pin and having a buffet......:eek2:
Had me pissed for a long time till I sat up one night to see what was going on....then it became amusing.....my trap was pretty well secured with bungies but they still managed to get in and out....smart critters....:yes:
At Long Bay Pointe we have people all the time complaining of live bait being taken out of the bait pens. We have caught 6 to 7 Otters at one time in our pen feasting on croakers and spot. They don't like the heads because they leave them on everyones swim platforms. The only way to keep them out is to electrical tie the lid all the way around. They have bungee cord all figured out. We see them in the daytime occasionally but they feed at night around the Marina.
when I lived in Florida, charter fishing for a living....sometimes I had to stock up on silver dollar crabs during tarpon season....kept them in a bucket besides my skiff....couldn't believe somebody stole them one night....I got through the trip,the next morning, by netting bait..got lucky...but boy does that suck when somebody steals from you. keep your baits from now on in a creek somewhere...use a piece of driftwood as a float and sink your bait pen.
I feel your pain. It had been over 10 years since I fished the Pretty Lake/Little Creek area for eels. I set three weeks ago. Got a slip at Ocean View Fishing Center (Lisa Edwards and Tom Mitchell). What can I say about Tom? Nothing but good as always...he looked out for my boat and my holding pens but the gear up the creek got hit hard into the second week. I had four pots stolen at $45 a piece and a number of pots robbed.
Oh well, I packed up and headed home. I do not understand where these people think the eels in the tackle shops come from. It is a lot of work and a nightmare of paperwork just to stay in the business these days. I will not give up! I am setting again this week at an undisclosed body of water.
On a final note: You guys would die if you could have seen the amount of shrimp I was catching per pot in the Little Creek watershed. AMAZING! I mean big shrimp and greentails just like in NC!
Yep, one or two to the pot and occasionally 3-4. Mostly 31-35 count but some bigger and of course those that fall through and do not make onto the boat. I use 1/2" by 1" mesh in my traps...the state requires two small panels to be this size but I make the whole pot this mesh to avoid any really small eels.
I caught over 20 juvenile grouper in the fall of 2006 in one particular lower bay watershed alone. I won't even mention the juvenile sheepshead, spadefish and barracuda that I return alive or give to VIMS each year. The spot and croaker make up 1/3 of my daily income with bait sales and are the main reason for the thievery that I experience. I catch A LOT of bait, hence my screen name.
I do not use the round Maryland style traps with the cloth funnels and cloth release funnel.