AN AMATEUR Gladstone crabber says you can't leave your crab pots out overnight otherwise "scum" will come along and raid or steal them.
The man - who wanted to remain anonymous - said people were stealing crabs in every waterway around the region but didn't single out whether professional or amateur crabbers were to blame.
With crabbers using floats or tie-offs, some crabbers have been forced to baby-sit their pots to make sure other crabbers don't come along at night and pinch their catch.
"You can't blame all of the professionals because there are definitely plenty of recreational guys out there doing it," he said.
"Sometimes it's a territorial thing where they don't want anyone crabbing in their spots and they try to muscle you out but you've also got to remember that crabs can go for $50 bucks a kilo.
"It's always an opportunistic thing but if you're a pro and times are tough and you see a float and you're a dodgy bloke - you know what they're going to do," he said.
Just last week the man went out crabbing on Sunday with mates and set 12 pots in a few systems and when they returned on Monday seven of his brand new pots had been stolen.
He blamed his use of floats for the theft.
"It's happening all over and you can kind of accept your pots getting raided but when they clean cut your floats and steal the whole pot, it pi**es you off," he said.
Brand new pots can cost between $30 and $40.
"It's pretty hard to catch anyone doing it and if you don't have any evidence then fisheries won't do a thing," he said.
"I understand there's not much they can do about it but they should be smarter about it and more proactive."
The man said he would continue to go crabbing despite losing his pots.