A lobster trap launch steadying device adapted for use with lobster
traps that will reliably locate the position of attachment of the
warp rope used for launching the trap into the sea so the trap will
be steadied in its descent to the sea bottom so that the trap will
be landed in an upright manner on the sea bottom. Upon a quick pull
of the warp rope, the rope will be detached from the snap-clip device
and the trap pull upwardly from one of its end portions so that
it can be easily landed over the side of the boat. The snap-clip
lever part is biased to a closed position by an elastic tension
cord that is fixed to one of the mesh bars rearwardly up the full
device. The device itself is assembled in clip fashion to the mesh
top of the lobster trap.
What is claimed is:
1. In combination, a metal wire mesh lobster trap having a mesh
top, bottom and end portions and a warp rope means attached to one
of the end portions by which the trap is launched into the sea and
pulled therefrom, and a snap-clip device secured to the top portion
intermediate its length and adapted to releasable retain the warp
rope in central location removed from its connection with the end
portion and to steady the trap in a upright position while being
launched from a boat to the sea bottom and to ensure its landing
with its bottom resting thereon.
2. The combination as defined in claim 1 and said warp rope means
including the bridal rope extended across the end portion of the
trap and connected between the sides thereof and a warp rope connected
to the bridal rope intermediate its length between the trap sides.
3. The combination as defined in claim 1 and said snap-clip device
including a base plate part detachably connected to and between
mesh wires of the top portion, a snap-clip part pivoted upon the
base plate and an elastic tension cord connected between the snap-clip
part and wires of the top mesh portion to retain the snap-clip closed
upon the base plate while permitting the warp rope to be extended
and retained thereunder and yet releasable therefrom when a quick
pull is made upon the warp rope as when the trap is to be pulled
from the sea bottom.
4. The combination as defined in claim 3 and said base plate having
a central opening and a pivot bar portion extended thereacross,
said snap-clip part pivoted over the bar portion and having a depending
portion down through the central opening and said elastic cord being
connected to the depending portion of the snap-clip below the base
plate and within the top portion of the trap to hold the snap-clip
upon the bar portion whereby the snap-clip may be lifted to facilitate
the extension of the warp rope thereunder.
5. The combination as defined in claim 4 said snap-clip being
bowed upwardly to further accommodate the warp rope between the
parts and said snap-clip having a forwardly extending turned up
lip for facilitating the engagement of the warp rope being extended
6. The combination as defined in claim 5 and spaced raised triangular
shaped projections on the base plate and said snap-clip extending
therebetween and said snap-clip extending longitudinally between
the spaced raised projection to restrict but not prevent sliding
movement of the warp rope as it is applied and released from the
7. The combination as defined in claim 3 and said detachable base
plate part having longitudinally-spaced depending hook portions
available for respective engagement with respective wires of different
size mesh squares of the top portion of the mesh trap.
8. The combination as defined in claim 7 and said base plate including
transversely-spaced depending portions from one end thereof and
respectively having longitudinally-extending recesses for accommodating
a transverse mesh bar on assembly of the snap-clip device to the
top portion of the lobster trap.
9. The combination as defined in claim 8 and said base plate further
including transversely-spaced extending depending portions adapted
to overlie spaced longitudinally-extending mesh bars of the top
portion of the lobster trap to retain the snap-clip device against
lateral displacement thereover.
10. The combination as defined in claim 3 and the base plate part
having a pivot bar portion, said snap-clip lever for its pivot connection
with the pivot bar portion merely resting thereupon and said elastic
tension cord not only resisting the pivoting of the snap-clip lever
part but continues through the base to hold the entire device upon
top mesh portion and the part thereof against disassembly from one
another and the device from detachment from the top portion.
This invention relates to wire mesh lobster traps and more particularly
to a rope retaining clip for steadying the trap on being lowered
to the sea floor.
For the few years that vinyl-coated metal wire lobster traps have
been used for trapping lobsters on the sea floor, there has been
difficulty in landing the traps in an upright manner upon the reopen
on lowering the trap with the long warp rope. Wood and wire traps
are steadied by their buoyancy on being lowered by rope into the
sea. The inherent negative buoyancy of steel mesh relative to wood
causes a faster descent of the steel trap than the now nearly antiquated
These present steel lobster traps are fitted with a rope bridal
that extends across one of its ends and a warp or rope extending
from the bridal intermediate its length and by which the trap is
lowered into the sea and raised from the sea bottom. This rope arrangement
facilitates the proper handling and landing of the trap upon the
rail of the boat when the trap is pulled from the sea. As the trap
is thrown overboard into the water for descent, the warp rope is
dragged at such high rate of speed as to increase the resistance
to travel of the trap through the water and that tends to upset
stable attitude of the trap on its way to the sea floor. Thus the
trap often lands upside down or improperly upon the sea bottom making
the entry of a lobster through its access openings difficult or
It is thus the principal object of the present invention to provide
means for use with lobster traps which will steady the descent of
wire mesh lobster traps and ensure that the trap will be landed
upright upon the sea bottom.
It is another object of the invention to provide steadying means
for use in the launching or lowering of lobster traps which is in
the form of a quick detachable snap-clip device attachable to the
wire mesh and that is further so designed that the snap-clip lever
merely rests upon the pivot bar portion of the base plate and the
tension cord while resisting pivot motion of the snap lever part
being sprung for the device upon the mesh top portion of the trap.
It is another object of the invention to provide releasable snap-clip
means for the warp rope that is placed upon the top of the mesh
trap to hold the trap in balance with the rope as the trap is lowered
to the sea bottom and landed with its bottom down but which will
release with a quick pull of the rope from the device as the trap
is to be raised to permit the trap to be pulled upwardly from its
end and easily landed over the side of the boat.
Other objects of the invention, having the above objects in mind,
are to provide a releasable rope snap-clip device for wire mesh
lobster trap which is of simple construction, a minimum number of
parts, easy to install upon the mesh trap, restrained by heavy elastic
cord, of pleasing appearance, easy to operate, effective and efficient
The invention generally comprises a rope releasable snap-clip device
that is mountable upon a center point of the top of the wire mesh
trap and that is adapted to releasably retain the warp rope intermediate
the length of trap while lowering the trap to the sea bottom and
thereby keep the trap upright throughout its descent so that proper
landing of its bottom on the sea floor is ensured. The rope through
its bridal is directly attached to one end of trap and the trap
will hang from its end for easy pulling it over the side rail of
the boat. The rope prior to the pulling of trap will, with a quick
pull, release the rope from the device so the trap can be pulled
up from its end to the sea surface and over the side of the boat.
The rope will be clipped into the device upon the top of the trap
while resting on the side of the boat when the fisherman will place
the warp rope from the bridal under the pointed end of the snap-clip
device. Pulling on the warp rope, using very little pressure and
with one hand, the fisherman entraps the warp rope under the snap-clip.
The trap is then launched and the resistance of the rope through
the water force acts as a rudder as the trap descends to the sea
floor so the trap is thereby steadied and lands on its bottom and
not bottom side up.
The device generally comprises a base part that is snapped into
the mesh and retained thereon by depending spring hook projections
and a snap part pivoted upon the base and biasingly closed thereon
by an elastic cord. The warp rope is extended under the snap-clip
part and held by the tension of the elastic cord, so that the rope
resistively follows the trap to the sea floor. When the trap is
to be hauled, a quick pull of the warp rope overcomes the tension
on the elastic cord holding the snap-clip closed allowing the warp
rope to be released so that the trap can be hauled upwardly by its
bridal and over the side of the boat in the traditional manner.
The two device parts will be molded from plastic or metal and the
elastic cord, as known in the trade as Bungi cord, that is a cord
of elastic with a Nylon covering.
For a better understanding of the invention reference may be had
to the following detailed description taken in connection with the
accompanied drawing in which
FIG. 1 is a top perspective view of a fragment of a wire mesh lobster
trap with the snap-clip device of the present invention assembled
thereto with the elastic cord to the door in the top of the trap.
FIG. 2 is a rear elevational view of the device as viewed on line
2--2 of FIG. 1.
FIG. 3 is a plan view looking upwardly from within the trap upon
the bottom of the base plate and with the elastic cord extended
through and from the clip part.
FIG. 4 is a longitudinal sectional view taken on line 4--4 of FIG.
1 and looking in elevation upon the clip device.
FIG. 5 is a top perspective view of a fragment of the top of the
mesh lobster trap and of the device with the warp rope extended
through the device preparatory to its launching into the sea.
FIG. 6 is an illustrative perspective view of a lobster trap with
the warp rope having been assembled to the clip device from the
side of the boat by the fisherman preparatory to its release to
the sea, the trap assuming an inclined pitch that is maintained
as the trap is lowered to the sea bottom.
FIG. 6a is a top perspective view of the trap in partial descent
to the sea bottom.
FIG. 7 is a top perspective view of the trap fully landed upon
the sea bottom with a lobster looking for access to it to devour
FIG. 8 is an illustrative perspective view of the lobster trap
lying upon the sea bottom with the fisherman thereabove in a boat
with the tope taut and about to quick pull the rope to upend the
trap for the pull at the trap to the edge of the boat.
FIG. 9 is a fragmentary perspective view of the upended lobster
trap partially raised being pulled upwardly from bridal end by the
FIG. 10 is a top perspective view of the device having been opened
with the quick pull of the warp rope and the rope released and made
ready to use for pulling the trap as illustrated in FIG. 9.
FIGS. 11 and 12 are respectively top plan and side elevational
views of the base plate part of the device.
FIGS. 13 and 14 are respectively side elevational and top plan
views of the snap-clip part free of the base plate.
Referring now to the FIGS. 15 represents a vinyl-coated wire mesh
lobster trap shown generally in full illustrated in FIGS. 6 6a,
7 8 and 9 and that has a top mesh portion 15' to which snap-clip
device 16 of the present invention is attached, along with an elastic
cord 17 by which the snap-clip device is tensioned to retain warp
rope 18 that extends from a bridal rope 19 spanning one end of the
lobster trap 15 and by which the lobster trap is upended, lowered
to and pulled from the sea. With a mesh door being provided in the
top mesh portion 15', that is opened to remove the lobster catch
therefrom, the clip device 16 of the invention will be secured to
the door that will be opened from one side thereof and locked when
closed by any suitable means. A hand grip plate 20' which may be
grasped for opening and closing the door is provided therein.
This snap-clip device 16 comprises two parts, a base plate part
21 and a snap-clip part 22 that is pivoted upon the base plate part
21 and held closed thereon by the elastic cord 17 about the warp
rope 18 extending from the rope bridal 19. The base plate is adapted
to be clipped to the wire mesh top portion 15' in mesh door 20 between
two transverse individual mesh bars 15". For this purpose spaced
parallel hook projections 23 and 24 depend from the bottom face
of the base plate 21. The projection 23 is hooked over a transverse
bar 15" of a two-inch square mesh top with the bars two inches
apart as shown for all illustrations and the depending hook projection
24 is left available for one and a half inch square mesh when the
traps are so formed from such dimension wire mesh are with mesh
door 20 being of the small dimension. While the hook projection
23 or 24 will be accommodated by one mesh bar 15", a transverse
recess 26 at the forward end of the base plate 21 will accommodate
the next parallel bar 15". On sliding the base plate recess
26 over its transverse wire bar and depressing the plate hook projection
23 down over its corresponding bar 15", the base plate and
the entire device 16 is made secure to the door 20 in the top 15'
of the lobster trap 15. The device on being elongated or increased
in size could be extended between spaced bars 15" with a bar
15" cut away to provide more space between mesh bars 15"
for such larger size mesh device.
Base plate 21 has an intermediate square hole 21' closed at one
end by a reduced diameter bar portion 27 leaving a cut-away edge
28 and over which the snap-clip lever part 22 is placed to pivot
upwardly from the base plate 21 against the tension of the elastic
cord 17. On the rear end of the snap-clip 22 is long drop or depending
portion 29 through which is a lateral hole 31 that accommodates
the elastic cord 17 running therethrough. The clip depending portion
29 is recessed at 32 to accommodate the pivot bar portion 27 of
the base part 21 and in which it is restrained by elastic cord 17
pulling rearwardly upon the snap-clip lever being bowed upwardly
to accommodate the warp rope 18. Extended forwardly on is clip lever
22 a raised lip 22' that extends over the edge of the base plate
to facilitate the extension of the warp rope 18 thereunder and rearwardly
into position within and upwardly bowed area 34 of the snap-clip
22. The snap clip part 22 extends forwardly between spaced crossed
triangular raised protrusions 36 and 37 which restrict but does
not prevent some sliding movement of the warp rope 18 as it is applied
and released from the snap-clip device. It can be seen that the
elastic cord holds the snap-clip lever 22 upon the base plate 21
and continues to hold the device itself to the top mesh portion
The rear end of the base plate has spaced depending projections
38 and 39 that slide down over spaced longitudinal-extending wire
mesh bars 15"' to retain the device against lateral shifting
upon the mesh top 15' of the lobster trap 15.
The elastic cord 17 is waterproofed with a plastic covering and
is elongated on running through the hole 31 in the depending portion
of the snap-clip lever to be connected at its ends by respective
loops 17' and 17" with a twisted wire 17'" thereabout,
FIG. 1. The loops are spaced and extended over a cross bar 15"
of the top 15' of the trap several mesh squares distant from the
snap-clip device 16 already fixed thereto. The elastic cord 17 pulls
the snap-clip part 22 to a closed position about the warp rope 18
FIG. 5. The bridal rope 19 is connected across the end of the lobster
trap and the ends are respectively fixed thereto in a suitable manner
at 19' and 19", FIGS. 8 and 9. The warp rope 18 is fixed at
18' intermediate the length of the bridal rope to effect a pull
thereupon to launch and pull the lobster trap.
In operation, the fisherman 12 in boat 43 will have run warp cord
18 under lip 22' of snap-clip 22 to be attached in the manner best
seen in FIG. 5 and retained by tension of elastic cord 17 upon the
sanp-clip lever. The lobster trap 15 will have been baited and as
it is held by the attachment of the warp rope made to the clip device
retained on the trap top 15' a central location between the side
of the trap and removed from the longitudinal middle closer to one
end of the trap than to the far end. In this connection the trap
as it is submerged will be inclined with its far end 15a down and
so held as it is lowered by the fisherman 42 and upon this far end
15a striking sea bottom 46 to come to rest thereon in a upright
manner with the holes 44 in the trap accessible to lobsters crawling
along the sea bottom. This is best illustrated in FIGS. 6 7 and
8. Control of the lobster trap in its descent will not have been
lost and upright landing of the trap upon the sea bottom is ensured.
The warp rope 18 will still remain hitched to the clip device 16
until it is quick pulled to raise the trap.
When the catch of lobster is to be pulled the warp rope 18 the
rope will have been gathered from a buoy by which the rope has been
maintained from the sea surface to mark the location of the trap
thereunder on the sea bottom 46. The procedure of pulling the trap
from the sea bottom is best illustrated in FIGS. 8 and 9. With rope
in hand the fisherman will make a quick yank upon the rope 18 to
free it from the snap-clip device upon the top 15' of the trap 15.
With pull the trap will be upended on its far end 15a and pulled
by its bridal 19 in the manner shown in the raised position in the
sea water in FIG. 9. The trap will reach the boat edge and will
be pulled in a flat manner over the side of the boat and thereinto
from where the entangled lobsters upon opening mesh door 20 by its
handle 20', will be taken from the top of the trap through the door
It should now be apparent that there has been provided a way of
easing the handling of the more heavy metal mesh lobster traps in
the sea water and that their proper placement, upon being launched,
will be had upon the sea bottom.
While various changes may be made in the detail construction, it
should be understood that such change will be within the spirit
and scope of the present invention as defined by the appended claims.