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  • Super User

Hey y’all,

 

I just shot a reply on another thread and it made me think of a question that I’ve had but haven’t asked yet. I’m curious to get people’s thoughts on how much anchoring disturbs fish in the surrounding area and how long you think it can take a fish to “forget” or disregard the anchor after anchoring and assuming that the fisherman is quiet in the boat.

 

I feel like there are a lot of variables here and also some things that just can’t be measured or explained so answering in a purely anecdotal sense is totally fine with me and probably even appropriate. Just want to see what everyone’s thoughts are. I started anchoring a lot more over the past year and don’t have enough experience myself yet to answer my own question.

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I’m usually pretty careful as far causing disturbances in the water when I fish, but I’ve never really put much thought into the anchor. If you’re not heaving it so it lands like a cannonball and instead just lower it into the water gently, I wouldn’t think it would cause too much of a disturbance to the fish. Some more experienced anchorers may correct me but in my opinion I don’t think it would disturb the fish too much unless you drop it on their head. 
 

I have however seen schools of fish completely scatter when bumping my TM from 1-F to 1-R. 

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  • Super User
Just now, Jar11591 said:

I have however seen schools of fish completely scatter when bumping my TM from 1-F to 1-R.

That’s really interesting, thanks for your response. 

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  • Super User

In my canoe I am an anchor user & abuser.

10 mushroom gets it done.

In The Pro-V Bass I use the Talons.

One of most basic and non-negotiable rules in my own bass fishing

is to always remain undetected; whatever that takes.

Once I start getting bites, all bets are off but until then I'm laying low.

Accordingly I do not anchor 'on' fish always a long cast away.

I slip the deal in & out of the water vs the old heave hoe with hang time. 

Bottom line anchoring is just about a must for me.

Presenting baits from a stationary platform seems far more effective

and has put plenty of respectable fish on the end of my thumb.

https://youtu.be/02fPoZHOri8?t=1151

YMMV

:smiley:

A-Jay

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  • Super User

Just slip it over the side and move the boat until it catches. 
 

Never thought using an anchor would disturb them as much as most everything else if done with care. 

 

 

 

Mike

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  • Super User
10 minutes ago, A-Jay said:

I do not anchor 'on' fish always a long cast away.

 

👍

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  • Global Moderator

My buddy from Illinois said you can watch the fish reaction easily in Great Lakes canals and the TM scared them but the anchor didn’t most of the time 

 

But yeah I always chill out for a few minutes and re tie lures after I initially drop it 

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  • Super User

I'll be perfectly honest, I don't use my anchor much anymore because I have a talon.

 

Its still in my boat for safety/emergency purposes.  When I did use is occasionally, I did not heave it in.  Just slide it over the side of the boat and let out the amount of rope so it can grab something.  Years ago I used to do a lot of slip bobber fishing for walleyes, both day time and night time, so we almost always used an anchor.  We often fished in choppy or rough water too, so we would sometimes have to let out up to 75 feet of rope for the anchor to grab too.

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Greetings and Happy New Year!


Since I'm angling from a kayak I occasionally use an anchor. I'll deploy it when I'm within a cast's distance from my intended focus area. I lower my 1.5 lb anchor smoothly to minimize disturbance and also to get an idea of the depth. Once I feel the anchor reach bottom, I'll add roughly 30% slack line so the small quad claws can do their thing down below.

 

Even with that amount of anchor line slack I'm not too concerned with disturbing the focus area within casting range. I rarely vertical fish to where my target focus is where I"m hovering directly above.

 

I initially had disturbance concerns as you have inquired about. Then during one of the summer time angling adventures I was angling in reasonably clear water near a dam with rip rap rocks. There were plenty of sunfish I could see holding near the rocks. I figured if I lowered the anchor it might scare and disturb the peace down there. Yeah, a couple of them darted as the anchor reached bottom generating a small dust cloud. Within seconds things returned back to what I saw prior. The first lowered jig got hammered so no harm no foul.

 

I suggest an overall goal to improve angling success is basically to minimize disturbances. Depending on your angling goals, the significance of disturbing the peace may be a concern. Each environment is different when it comes to resilience so your mileage may vary. Smooth and easy has worked for me and mostly parallels my personal nature too.

 

Best fishes to ya for the new year! Be well and cheers!

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I honestly never anchor. I haven’t in years and don’t even think about doing it. Even before I had spot lock I did not anchor.  Can dropping an anchor disturb fish? Im sure. I am also sure it causes a lot less disturbance than a TM on spot lock because it’s once and done. Anything, everything, and nothing  can affect a fish wanting to eat. If I’ve caught fish doing what I do I can’t be 100% wrong on how I approach it just 90% wrong. 

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  • Super User

I learned to fish in 50’s when anchoring was considered normal along with trolling. 

Working on a boat landing as a teenager renting 16’ wooden row boats it’s 5 1/2 hp outboards we always had a short lesson on how to start the engine and anchor the boat. Lower the front bow anchor until it hit bottom, back the boat until the rope was the proper angle, then lower back anchor when the front anchor was holding bow into the wind. Easy procedure and most followed it. These were trout anglers using bait and usually caught fish. Anchoring quietly is simply safer then trying to toss a 20lb navy ancho like a depth charge!

Bass fishing anchoring comes in handy at times you want a quire stationary platform to fish from.

Bill Murphy was the expert anchoring and describes his technique in detail In his book In Pursuit of Giant 

Bass.

Tom

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I've never noticed it as causing a problem, and I anchor quite a bit.  However, it's always windy here, so the sound of the anchor is nothing compared to the sound of waves crashing on your boat.  And I'm honestly more worried about the shadow I cast than the sound of an anchor or waves.  


And the sound of something breaking the water once is a natural and common sound in the lake.  Be it a fish jumping or a bird landing or taking off, it's not the kind of thing that I think would spook fish for very long.  

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Fish a lot of large ponds and often anchor by gently lowering the anchor. If the wind is correct, I will drift downwind anchor and then drift and anchor again usually following a weedline or drop off. I have spot lock , but prefer anchor when conditions are right. Not sure the bass even in large ponds (30 to 50 acres) don't know your on the water. Quiet is golden.

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The ones that get spooked are usually swimming or suspended in my experience…hell, I can’t catch those anyhow. 
 

But the old ‘here she comes’ toss is just dumb even if there’s no fish

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  • Super User

I've never anchored in a lake while bass fishing.

Cat fishing yes - river fishing yes.

 

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  • Super User
2 minutes ago, Bird said:

I've never anchored in a lake while bass fishing.

Cat fishing yes - river fishing yes.

 

How many Rivers did you catch?

Tom

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  • Global Moderator

I anchor pretty often in the kayak and don't notice it scaring the fish when I do it. 

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  • Super User

I've anchored in areas I new were productive on a tournament before I had a spot lock trolling motor.  Set up, hung the anchor, shut off the sidescan transducer and picked away.

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  • Super User

I anchored all the time in the canoe - didn't seem to affect my catching.

 

I've got a 15# mushroom anchor in the F-9 - I've lowered it over the side here and there when I want to stay on a spot for a while...doesn't seem to matter to the fish.

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On 1/11/2023 at 11:34 AM, Alex from GA said:

When I'm in FL rivers I often use an anchor.  Not so much in GA lakes.

 

In the boat, anywhere with current I’ll anchor. I don’t think I’ve ever dropped anchor in the boat on a lake

 

In rivers if there is a good eddy, two intersecting currents, or slack water parallel to the main current I’ll drop anchor.

 

Saltwater probably gets the most anchoring from me. Find a pothole on a creek mouth, drop anchor a cast length away, wait for the tide to start moving, reel in fish.


In the kayak, anchor and wind was my trolling motor spot lock. I really liked to fish grass flats mixed with other cover (laydowns, lily pads, etc.) where you have a hundred or more yard stretch that could hold fish.
 

Get up wind and get your anchor ready to drop, let the wind push you through the flat, then drop anchor anytime you get to compounding cover features and work them thoroughly. Pickup anchor and continue drifting, working the flat until you get to the next compounding feature and drop again. Once you’ve drifted the whole flat, paddle back to the top and shift 15-20 yards either direction to make a new drift in the same area and hit new cover or different angles from the first drift.

 

Most of my kayak LMB came fishing like this.

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2 hours ago, bigbassin' said:

 

In the boat, anywhere with current I’ll anchor. I don’t think I’ve ever dropped anchor in the boat on a lake

 

 

I use my anchors frequently in lakes just as often as I do in rivers and creeks. I do have to deal with wind up here and anchors are my answer.

 

Unfortunately, I cannot afford power poles and use anchors to position over/near a particular spot. A cheaper solution but it works. 

 

 

 

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