When Do I Drop Anchor?

anchorOn the water, it’s common for anglers to say to themselves, “I should just anchor on these fish and go to work on them.” More often than not, though, they don’t, opting instead to keep moving. This can be a waste of time, however, trying to stay on top of fish instead of consistently catching them. What most of us fail to realize is that while anchoring might not be the most attractive approach to fishing, it can be the most rewarding.

Weather conditions can play a big role in your anchoring success. For example, with strong winds, it can be difficult to stay on top of a group of fish. It can be done with a trolling or outboard motor, but there’s a lot more work involved, even when GPS units are part of the equation. Even with a motor, you’ll likely get bounced or turned, and before you know it, you’ll be quite a distance off that spot, despite your best efforts. You can solve the problem, though, by moving upwind, dropping the anchor, and letting out enough rope to float back down to the spot. With the proper anchor set, you won’t move again until you want to.

Calm conditions can be ideal for an anchor, as well. Here, you can use nearly any presentation. Jigs, live bait rigs, slip bobbers, crankbaits—they can all be worked effectively when you’re anchored. It allows you to target a specific spot without sitting right on top of the school of fish without spooking them. By anchoring off the pod and throwing at the fish, you’ll get a lot more strikes than you would if you were right on top of them.

Keeping an eye out for key geographical features will help you hone in one ideal anchor spots. Specific humps, detailed fingers or points, rocks, wooded cover, and weeds all provide excellent opportunities to anchor and work spots where fish tend to hold.

Now, anchoring won’t completely eliminate your odds of hooking weeds, but it will lessen them significantly. You’ll be more productive dropping anchor and picking fish off the weed edges or out of weed pockets than you will be drifting or trolling through the vegetation, which would cause you to spook fish rather catch them.

The tips outlined today will help you get started on becoming more familiar with using your anchor to improve your fishing prowess. The next time you dropping anchor, my advice is to go ahead do it. It can be an effective tool in your fishing arsenal.