My boss Skip Werner has been lobstering for over sixty years. In that time he’s picked up quite a few helpful tricks of the trade, but he’s still always trying to come up with clever ideas of his own to make life easier on the lobster boat.
Last week he came up with an idea that he coined, “the underwater lasso.”
As any lobsterman knows, dragging for lost gear is a real pain in the neck. The ropes connecting the traps to the buoys can part off for any number of reasons- rough weather, propellers from oil tankers, old rope, etc.
When traps part off, the typical way of finding them is to “drag” for them. The tool used for that task, known as a “dragger”, looks like a section of massive chain link with hooks sticking out of all the links. The idea is to tie a rope onto your dragger, then drop it down to the ocean floor in the vicinity of the lost trap(s) and literally go in circles hoping that the dragger latches onto something. Then you haul it all up in your hydraulic hauler.
The problem is that this method doesn’t work very often, the underwater lasso offers an alternative to dragging. When Skip tried it last week neither of us knew what to expect, but lo and behold it worked.
We were in about twenty fathoms of water, and we were both surprised when the lost gear came up in the rig. It saved us a bunch of time, and- based on the value that a working trap has over a lost trap- it saved Skip a bunch of money too.
I told Skip he should patent the idea and retire, but he said, “nah, why don’t you just put it in one ah yer ahticles.”
So here’s how it works:
I hope this is helpful for other lobstermen out there, please feel free to send me ideas or tricks that you use on your boat.