This topic came up on another forum so I thought I'd share it with you guys too. Here are a few tips on how to deal with lobster pots.
ALWAYS try to pass to the down current, down wind or down tide side of the pot. Never intentionally pass above a lobster pot unless you absolutly know you have the room to do so! They have an uncanny way of letting you know which way is up current, wind or tide and which way is down. Follow the stick or the wake!
This one is pointing or angled towards "down tide" so you'll pass to where the stick leans or points. This is about a 1.5 knot current at the mouth of Penobscot Bay and well off Vinalhaven and Northhaven Islands. We were miles from the nearest land yet Pen Bay has HUGE amounts of water to spill and the currents can run miles out to sea.. NEVER EVER intentionally pass a pot like this to the up tide or up current side!!!
Wear polarized sunglasses!!! My daughter had grabbed my Maui Jim's and got "snack goo" all over them. Rather than clean them I stupidly grabbed my "guest" pair of sunglasses, a non-polarized pair of Ray Ban's.
As you can see we almost hit this pot that was pulled under by the tidal current! My maneuver was late because I never saw it until the absolute last second. At that point I had no choice but to turn hard stbd and pass to the up-current side which as you can see could have been very dangerous. Again, WEAR POLARIZED SUNGLASSES! You will see these submerged pots well before you will with non-polarized glasses. My camera had a polarizing filter so I snapped that as we passed.
just because it's calm does not mean the pots are not still trying to tell you something. Current & tide still exists even in flat glass conditions. Note the direction of the "sticks"...
It may be calm but this pot has a decent current flowing by it. Just look at the "wake" made by the buoy..
I passed too close to a lobster guy and he was swearing at me and really pissed how do I avoid pissing these guys off?
Look for his or her "colors" then spot his/her pots on the water and as a courtesy, and for your own safety, these guys are cowboys, get away from them as the boat is likely moving to the next pot that matches the displayed colors!
Lobstermen are required to display their "colors" or one of their own pot buoys mounted up high on the boat so it can be seen.
Note the pot buoy above the radome:
Note the "colors" on the port side wheel house roof:
Note the "colors" laying on the wheel house roof behind the spot light & hanging dead center also look on the water and you'll see two more of his/her pots.. stay away from them:
Pot buoy/colors located on stern end port side of wheel house roof: