Why do you need an anchor? While this doesn’t require a lengthy explanation, suffice to say, an anchor can make your float trip! Having floated with and without an anchor a few times we know the benefits of using one.
- Control: An anchor allows the sternsman control over a potentially problematic situation. You are cruising down the river and the bowman hooks up on a dandy fish. You look ahead and see a boulder festooned stretch of river awaiting you in about thirty seconds. The current is too swift to back paddle. You want to photograph the fish, but can’t steer and photo at the same time. You simply drop anchor any time someone hooks, especially when you do!. Suddenly the whole swirling dynamic becomes simplified. Take your time, enjoy the fight without stressing about down river issues.
- Work Prime Areas: You come upon a super section of water but the current puts you through it before thoroughly explored. Solution: take a number of anchor positions along the way. This allows both fisherman to try different techniques until the best one is discovered. Don’t blow through great spot too fast!
- Slow the Drift: With a chain-type anchor you can lower it to drag along the bottom and slow your drift speed instead of stopping altogether. These are very effective in fast water. Experiment to see if the fish seem sensitive to the sound emitted by an object dragged along the bottom. A rubber coating will dampen the sound. However, over time the coating will need replacement. Be aware of any alien noises you impart into the scenario.
- Anchor Style: I’ll gladly use anything as long as it will stop the boat! Homemade anchors, store bought - it doesn’t matter. On many trips we simply bring along a tough mesh bag, big enough to hold several softball sized rocks. If an anchor is needed, pull over and throw some rocks in the bag. Tie on a rope and you are golden. I personally use an rubberized ten pound mushroom, which is probably overkill. Anchor weight depends on the current and depths. Since on rivers you will typically be dropping in a few feet of water, a five pound weight will stop most canoes. A ten pounder is used for jon boats and other larger craft.