So, I no longer blame the cat. I am pretty damned sure it was a coon, due to the scratch marks themselves and a piece of hair. When a cat scratches shit it does it like its on speed or something, taking several passes at the scratching surface with both paws. This didn't look like that, it was about five or six total scratch marks, and they line up perfectly if one were to imagine a big fat coon trying to climb up the tube, slipping a little, and digging in such that one or two claws from each paw scratched the tube. I asked myself what the hell a coon would want to climb up on my boat for, then remembered it was right around the time of the whole salmon, gear, dirty mcdirt, egg goo escapade. I think that fucker smelled the egg goo and wanted a go at it....I also found a piece of hair, suspiciously gray turning to brown with a black bar near the top and a lighter brown on the other side of that. The boat has now paid me back in all possible ways, inflicting pain upon itself even. Point taken, again...and until further notice there shall never be bait in or around that boat again.
Most pertinent Harry quote: "Let's blame the racoons." - this was said right after I told him about the boat, damned guy is like the Nostradamus of the Carribean.