A wire mesh lobster trap having a pair of concrete runners positioned
on, and extending below, the side edges of the trap and a method
for producing same are disclosed.
1. A lobster trap of the type formed from a wire mesh forming a
box-like structure including four sides, a bottom and a top, at
least one opening in at least one of said sides to admit lobsters,
first and second lower side edges interconnected with said wire
mesh bottom, each of said first and second lower side edges being
substantially parallel and formed by the junction of the bottoms
of the said sides of said wire mesh structure and the said wire
mesh bottom comprising:
first and second runners molded of concrete, said first and second
runners encasing, respectively, a portion of said first and second
lower side edges of said wire mesh sides and a portion of said wire
mesh bottom, said runners extending below said wire mesh bottom
and forming combination weights and runners defining the bottommost
surface of said trap.
2. The trap of claim 1 wherein said first and second weight-runners
are generally elongated and rectangular in shape.
3. The trap of claim 2 wherein said first and second weight-runners
have a substantially smooth bottom surface.
4. The trap of claim 3 wherein said first and second runners are
each formed as a result of pouring concrete in a mold positioned
around a lower side edge of said wire mesh and a portion of said
base thereby defining combination weight-runners for said trap.
5. A combination weight and runner on a lobster trap made of wire
mesh, said trap having first and second sides including first and
second lower side edges and a bottom having sides contiguous with
said lower side edges of said sides, comprising:
a rectangular elongated combination weight and runner made of concrete,
said concrete encasing a lower side edge and an adjacent portion
of said base, said concrete extending below said wire mesh of said
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
1. Field of the Invention
This invention resides in the field of lobster traps and more particularly
relates to concrete runners that are formed on the wire mesh of
the lobster trap.
2. Description of the Prior Art
Lobster traps typically have "ballast" which are often
three or four clay or concrete bricks fastened inside each trap.
The function of ballast is to add weight to the trap to keep it
from moving on the ocean floor and to help the trap sink "right
side up." Traps also have "runners," normally two,
which are usually hardwood strips attached to the underside of the
trap, which wood strips perform a skid function, protecting the
bottom of the trap from the substantial abrasion that traps are
subjected to on the rocky ocean floor, but such wood strips are
buoyant and must be counterweighted by the brick ballast. The runners
also protect the gunwale of a boat as the trap is dragged onboard
over the gunwale from being scratched and abraded by contact between
the traps and the gunwale.
Wire lobster traps are also quite susceptible to bending, especially
on a side of the trap having a head opening or openings. "Heads"
are the interior net structures that allow lobsters to enter the
trap and are designed to prevent the lobsters from escaping. Up
to one-third of the side of the wire mesh trap can be cut away for
such head openings to allow lobsters' entry into the trap. This
cutting away of the wire mesh creates a substantial weakening of
the side of the trap, leading to flexure and bending of the wire
U.S. Pat. Des. 365135 to Elliott discloses a lobster trap skid
that is fastened in pairs to the bottom of a trap, but which skid
does not strengthen the wire mesh of the lobster trap to which it
U.S. Pat. No. 2530449 to Bush describes a crab trap having a
concrete block attached to the base of the trap. The wire, though,
of the crab trap extends beneath the block, thereby eliminating
any skid function of the block as the wire of the trap would contact
the gunwale of the boat or the ocean floor.
Great Britain Patent 1505354 describes a trap having a metal
frame that facilitates sinking of the trap, the frame acting as
a weight under certain conditions, but no skid function is disclosed.
Canadian Patent 672575 describes a trap having tubular members
which are filled with cement, helping to interlock arcuate members
with transverse base members, but such traps have little structurally
in common with the wire mesh lobster traps now in use.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
It is an object of this invention to provide lobster trap runners
made of high strength concrete, where the concrete is molded into
the bottom side edges of the trap. By molding the concrete onto
the bottom of the wire mesh trap, the trap acquires improved structural
strength. To overcome the bending problem discussed above, concrete
is molded with the bottom of the corner wires of the trap therein
along the entire length of the trap on two opposing sides. The wire
mesh is held securely, and the trap is thus reinforced because the
concrete provides resistance to the bending of the wire mesh along
the length of both sides of the trap.
It is a further object of this invention to provide lobster trap
runners of sufficient weight so that the trap has a low center of
gravity, causing the trap to land upright on the ocean floor. There
will also be less "drag" or resistance to movement through
the water on the bottom of the trap when using the runners of this
invention, helping the trap sink right side up.
It is yet a further object of this invention to provide lobster
trap runners having a skid function, thereby providing a longer
life than traditional wood runners. Such longevity is due first
to the fact that concrete runners are not susceptible to worms which
eat wood runners. Secondly, the concrete runners of this invention
do not utilize nails or staples used to fasten prior art wood runners
to the trap which fasteners tended to have a life of only two to
It is yet a still further object of this invention to provide a
lobster trap which will cause less damage and mutilation to lobsters
inside the trap due to the elimination of bricks being used as ballast.
In prior art traps lobsters can get caught between shifting bricks
used as ballast or between such bricks and the side of a trap or
caught between the brick and a head in the trap, causing damage
to the lobsters.
It is yet a still further object of this invention to provide permanent
identification of the traps through imprinting a name and/or license
number of the owner in the wet concrete during the formation of
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
FIG. 1 illustrates a perspective view of a lobster trap with the
runners of this invention installed thereon.
FIG. 2 illustrates a perspective enlarged sectional view of an
end of one of the runners illustrated in FIG. 1.
FIG. 3 illustrates a perspective enlarged sectional view of a mold
casting of a runner in place.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT(S)
FIG. 1 illustrates a perspective view of lobster trap 10 having
first and second sides 40 and 42 rear end 44 front end 46 top
48 and bottom base 50. Trap 10 is generally box-like in shape formed
of wire mesh 18. Frame 22 if present, is formed of wire and can
be thicker than wire mesh 18. Lobster trap 10 can be formed without
a frame from wire mesh sections joined together. Seen on the sides
of trap 10 are head openings, such as opening 12 through which
lobsters can enter the trap. Other head openings can be formed in
the trap sides. First and second runners 14 and 16 are formed, respectively,
on first and second lower side edges 52 and 54 at the base of trap
on first and second sides 40 and 42.
FIG. 2 illustrates an enlarged view of the front portion of first
runner 14. As seen in this view, first runner 14 in a preferred
embodiment, can be generally rectangular in shape, having rounded
comers 36 at each end to prevent catching of the runners on the
gunwale of a boat onto which the trap is loaded. First runner 14
can be made of concrete and is molded onto the bottom of trap 10
at lower side edge 52. The concrete is molded around the bottom
comers of the wire mesh trap along the entire length of both side
edges of the trap. Concrete first runner 14 extends outward beyond
and below comers 28 of the wire mesh of frame 22 and extends rearward
along the lower side edge of the trap. For example, at the comers
of the trap where wire 24 meets wire 30 and where wire 26 meets
wire 32 the mesh is embedded in concrete, forming first runner
14. By covering all the wires at the base of the side edges of trap
10 and extending therebelow, the concrete runners of this invention
can perform a skid function, protecting the trap's wire mesh from
abrasion caused by contact with the rocky ocean floor as well as
protecting the gunwales of a boat from scratching due to contact
with bare wire mesh. Bottom 20 of runner 14 is generally smooth
and can be flat or rounded as well has have identification indicia
The concrete runners of this invention can be made of high-strength
concrete and molded, as seen in FIG. 3 onto the bottom side edges
of the trap, extending slightly below the trap's wire mesh, also
extending inwardly and outwardly on the outer side of the side edges
of the trap. Mold 56 seen in FIG. 3 can be used to form one of
the runners. It can be made of metal, such as aluminum, or rubber
or other equivalent material in which the mold can be fabricated.
Defined within the sides of mold 56 are slots 58 corresponding in
thickness to the thickness of the mesh wire of the lobster trap
and spaced apart a corresponding distance to receive the wire mesh,
each adjacent wire within such adjacent slots 58. The narrowness
of slots 58 helps prevent the thick consistency of the concrete
from leaking out mold 56. In some embodiments an inner rubber-like
dam 68 can be positioned behind the slots in mold 56. Dam 68 can
have a plurality of narrow slots 69 aligned with slots 58. Narrow
slots 6 which can even have the slot sides contact one another,
help in holding the concrete in mold 56. Dam 68 can be slid into
channel 72 formed in mold 56. The wire of the trap can be oiled
to act as a lubricant to more easily pass into slots 69. By embedding
corners 28 of wire mesh 18 along the trap's parallel first and second
lower side edges 52 and 54 concrete first and second runners 14
and 16 serve to reinforce the strength of the trap by holding wire
mesh 64 securely and preventing bending or flexure along the length
of the trap especially near head openings 12. First and second runners
14 and 16 also act as ballast without the accompanying problems
associated with traditional lobster trap ballast, such as bricks
discussed above, by imparting a low center of gravity to the trap
which helps the trap land correctly on the ocean floor.
Although the present invention has been described with reference
to particular embodiments, it will be apparent to those skilled
in the art that variations and modifications can be substituted
therefor without departing from the principles and spirit of the