Get a Good Anchor

A good anchor system, that you can operate easily with one hand, is essential for river fishing.

A good anchor system is essential for river fishing.  Whenever a craft is not being controlled by oars, a motor, paddles or your feet, it will quickly drift out of position for effective fishing.  Every time a solo angler wants to fish, you need an anchor. When two boat partners want to fish at the same time, you need an anchor. When you want to work a spot longer, you need an anchor. When you are fighting a fish, you need an anchor to keep from drifting willy-nilly downstream.  I anchor my craft dozens of times a day, and I would never fish a river without one.

overhead view of a kayak with anchor system

Any fishing watercraft needs a good anchor

You need a good anchor system, one that you can operate quickly and easily with one hand.  A traditional anchor that must be thrown overboard and then hand-hauled back in is noisy, dirty, slow and very tiring.  This will not do the job. You need an anchor that remains outside the hull and an anchor rope that slides easily through pulleys.

A stern anchor allows you to face downstream and is good for Topwatering, doing the Twitch-and-Tease and the Minnow Swing.  A bow anchor allows you to face upstream and do the Crayfish Hop.  And both of them should operate directly off the bow or stern.  Don’t use one of those side-anchoring contraptions some kayak companies install called “railings” or “trollies.”  They might be okay in ocean tides, but in strong river current they will cause your craft to be pulled over or sideways.  Eight-pound mushroom head anchors work well on many types of craft.  More detailed information on anchor systems and other craft rigging can be found in the book, River Smallmouth Fishing.

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