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Struggling to stay in one spot on a kayak


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20 hours ago, casts_by_fly said:

For you guys who are using anchors, what weights are you able to get away with?  I see 5 lb mentioned above.  Can you get away with less?  I have an autopilot so don't need it most of the time, but I have one spot that I want to get shallow and fish uphill for some spooky fish.  I'll be sitting right about the limit for the trolling motor depthwise so I was thinking to drop an anchor on my approach in and sit silently while working some edges.  The wind is consistent so not worried about a trolley setup.  I was thinking a 2' chain might be enough at about 3#.

5lbs is a good weight.  Though, a lot of how well an anchor holds depends on the bottom composition and the anchor design.  It's not so much the weight of the anchor, but how it grabs the bottom.  And different anchor designs work best with different bottom compositions.  

 

If you're fishing shallow, like less than 6ish feet of water, then I'd recommend a stake out pole.  In my opinion, those tend to hold better than traditional anchors in shallow water.  But, again, it depends on the bottom composition.  It it's loose sand, you need to be able to set the stake out pole pretty deep to hold.  And if it's concrete, shale, or some kind of bottom a pole won't penetrate, then it just won't do anything.  They make purpose made stake out poles, but I prefer the fiberglass tree stakes you can find at most big box home improvement stores.  I just glued a PVC T-adapter to the top of an 8' one and use that.  It was a lot cheaper to get into that way, and works just as well as the more expensive, purpose made stake out poles.  Though it taught me that in the lakes I fish, there are very few places where one would be useful.  So I rarely even take it out with me anymore.  

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I've been using a 8lb dumbbell for anchoring & 70' of 1/4" rope. Works pretty well and it's easy to clean when it gets mud or veggies on the line or anchor. Still on my original one after 8-9 years.

FM

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31 minutes ago, Bankc said:

5lbs is a good weight.  Though, a lot of how well an anchor holds depends on the bottom composition and the anchor design.  It's not so much the weight of the anchor, but how it grabs the bottom.  And different anchor designs work best with different bottom compositions.  

 

If you're fishing shallow, like less than 6ish feet of water, then I'd recommend a stake out pole.  In my opinion, those tend to hold better than traditional anchors in shallow water.  But, again, it depends on the bottom composition.  It it's loose sand, you need to be able to set the stake out pole pretty deep to hold.  And if it's concrete, shale, or some kind of bottom a pole won't penetrate, then it just won't do anything.  They make purpose made stake out poles, but I prefer the fiberglass tree stakes you can find at most big box home improvement stores.  I just glued a PVC T-adapter to the top of an 8' one and use that.  It was a lot cheaper to get into that way, and works just as well as the more expensive, purpose made stake out poles.  Though it taught me that in the lakes I fish, there are very few places where one would be useful.  So I rarely even take it out with me anymore.  

 

I would love to have a PP micro.  There are a lot of places on my lakes where it would be useful, mostly in shallow clear and weed water where I'm making a lot of pitches to cover.  We have a lot of natural lakes with soft bottoms, clear water and lots of grass.  There are a couple places I can think of immediately where it would be immensely useful.  I'm using spotlock now but a pole would be better.

 

Alas, the spot I'm talking about above is not that.  Its hard bottom with mixed sand, gravel, and rock.  I'd struggle to get a piece of rebar to go into it let alone a pole, hence my anchor question.  I'll have to keep an eye out for a cheap one on either marketplace or just make one from concrete and a coffee can.

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Wind is the bane of kayak fishermen. I won't even go to bigger bodies of water if the winds will be sustained over 10 MPH. Occasionally, if there is vegetation or stumps, etc. around I'll use them as an anchor. You learn after a while how to use the paddle with one hand to make corrections and not put the rod down. I suppose a drift sock would help, but you'll still move. You can also seek shelter in coves if there are any and fish shallower places. Other than that and using an anchor, which to me is more of a bother than paddling, I just deal with it. Paddle, paddle, paddle, cast, repeat.

 

That's a great buddy who buys his friend a fishing kayak, even a cheap one. I will say, having owned a 12' and now a 10' kayak, the 12 footer tracks and takes the wind better. 

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Anchor trolley is pretty much all you need flatwater fishing.  If you really want to lock down your spot then you will need another anchor off the bow or stern to prevent your kayak from spinning in the wind.  RIvers are a different animal entirely and I use a anchor wizard set up with a da'bomb anchor directly off the bow., makes life easy.  If that weight can't hold me in place then I probably shouldn't be anchoring there anyways.

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I would recommend getting a trolley system, an anchor, and a driftsock. I used to have the same problem. If you want to fish a specific target, throw an anchor out and then use the trolley to position your boat to your liking. I only have a trolley system on the starboard side, which I can get by with 90% of the time. 

 

If it is extremely windy, take advantage of the wind by using a drift sock. I have a really cheap one that was free from MooseJaw. Just make sure you get something that is easily collapsible so you can pull it in in a moments notice. 

 

P.S. - keep a knife handy just in case you need to cut the rope for your drift sock/anchor line. Having a lot of line in a small kayak can definitely get cumbersome, so form a system for line management and you'll be good to go.

 

Hope this helps.

Steve 

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I use a 1 1/2# grapnel anchor and with sufficient line deployed works really well. The pond I fish is small but because of the surrounding geography , wind is constantly changing & swirling. When I don't wish to use the anchor, I use a drift chute to slow my drift to a very slow crawl. I do have an 8', 2 piece stake out pole but don't use it hardly ever. I also have a brush clamp that I'll use when close to shore and can clamp it onto anything solid.

 

Anchor line management is something you'll want to consider. You can make one DIY or purchase the below.

yakattack-sidewinder-1__77525.jpg.60632939ee6446920c1e190425ccdef9.jpg

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Crow Horse posted a collapsible kayak anchor rigged to break away when snagged and pull up backwards. Most are listed at 3 1/2 lbs, around $25 complete kit.

Tom 

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