Now let's get down to brass tacks.
I'm angry... and you wouldn't like me when I'm angry.
The white Arima CF# 8921 that commonly fishes Princeton Harbor is a boatload of dirtbag, thieving, losers. See below for CF number, make of boat, and physical description.
CF# 8921 (might be missing two letters at the end)
18-20 foot white Arima
Mikey came up on our pots in HMB the other day and found 4 guys in a white Arima emptying them out for us. When he approached their boat, eyes afire, steam shooting from his ears, he could, understandably, barely contain himself. For five days Mikey and I have been testing the waters around Halfmoon Bay for rock crabs. To see if we can make a go of it as commercial red rock crab fishermen. (being poor, the only fisheries we can get into are the open access ones). Everyone thinks I'm crazy... but this is, in these parts anyway, an underutilized and under appreciated fishery. Rockies just need a good salesman. The claws are as good as stone crab claws. We've been trying to see if we can drum up some interest, but first we have to see if we can actually catch them (open to suggestions on this BTW. So far we are only scoring 3-4 jumbos per pot, and loads of mediums and smalls. Where the hell do the jumbos congregate in bigger numbers? Deeper water? Someone talk to here.)
Anyway, Mikey keeps calling me and saying: "I don't understand it, I've been setting pots on rocky bottom for a week, and I go out there, pick up our pots and there's nothing in 'em!?"
So, the other day he goes out there after soaking pots all night. And catches these guys red handed, dumping the contents of one of our pots onto their boat! Dude smiles at Mike and says: "We are doing you a favor, taking only rock crabs!" He then opens his cooler to show Mikey how good he is at stealing our crabs! The cooler is loaded to the brim (hey, I'm not so overloaded with anger that I fail to see the humor here... but still!)
Do you believe the audacity of these dirtbags? In a boat that costs 20 times what Mikey's boat costs. Guys that don't even need to consider doing crazy things like rock crab fishing to pay the rent... Oh man... I'm fuming here.
Thing is my buddy and former colleague JB has been telling me that a boat fitting this description has been coming in all week with a cooler filled to the top with rock crabs. No dungies and no crab pots onboard. And all this time we're banging our heads against the wall, wasting money in fuel, launch fees bait, etc... and wondering why we can't find the rockies... unbelievable.
Do you guys feel my outrage here? Good thing for the crab thieves I wasn't on the boat that day. I have a much worse temper than Mikey. It's all me Irish blood. I might have flogged them with an eel or harpooned them with a poke pole or something.
I mean, even if you don't particularly care for rock crabs, isn't it just a universal sin to mess with someone else's fishing gear? I mean, if I was fishing a pier and someone picked up my rod and reeled it in for me, there had better be a damned good reason for it. Like a seagull caught in the line or something. If that person then informed me that they were doing me a favor by getting rid of a walleye perch, or say a rock crab, I would, by unwritten pier fishing etiquette, be fully justified in punching that person in the nose. Would I not?
Anyway, Mike reported it to the authorities but there is little they can do since they didn't see it. At Loren Wilson's suggestion, however, I am posting this on the internet, in hopes that someone will repost it on the board at Coastside (I can't remember my access codes. Same with Fish Sniffer, Highliners etc.) a beer and a small jar of pickled herring to anyone who does this for me. Feel free to email me when you want to claim your reward.
My personal feeling is that if law enforcement can't do anything about a bunch of thieves...
... maybe the fishermen can stink-eye them, vibe them, and cast aspersions on them, till they leave the water and don't come back.
Man, I'm mad.
In fact I'm heading down to Princeton today to plaster some flyers around the harbor. If nothing else I'm hoping to embarrass the hell out of these guys.
So... in spite of my inclination to keep things warm and cozy around the holidays. I am posting the CF number again. If anyone sees these guys and gets a photo, I'll post that too!
1. CF#: 8921 (I say we're missing two alphas here but Mike says not)
2. Make Of Boat: White Arima, approx. 18-20 ft.
3. Four males in their 40s.
Beyond that I can only describe these guys by general ethnic type. And I prefer not to do that, as I don't want good fishermen of the same ethnicity to be needlessly harassed.