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Retrieving an anchor

When it comes to retrieving the anchor, you simply let go the quick release and drift off down tide, pick up your paddle,  paddle back up to the buoy, and grab the dive reel as you go past, slipping the clutch to put the dive reel in free spool. While still in free spool, you clip the anchor line into the carabineer, and run your anchor trolley up to the bow. Now, holding the dive reel, engage the spool, the line will come taught and you’ll be anchored from the bow, but with the spool in your hand, ready to recover the line. As most kayaks have far more buoyancy in the bow, it’s nearly always a good idea to recover your anchor from in front of you.

Some anchor trolleys can be prone to slippage, and when I first started I often felt that the kayak was beginning to be thrown about by the swell, and on looking behind me, noticed that the carabineer has started to slip towards the bow of the boat, meaning that I was no longer anchored from as far back as I would have liked. A short term solution to this is to trap the anchor trolley cords beneath your paddle keeper, if you have one, but the longer term solution is to fix some kind of device to tie off the trolley. I used a neat little plastic cleat called a clamcleat, model number either CL214 or 213 depending on which side of the boat you are fitting it. These neat little devices enable you to just push the cord down into the jaws, and it locks the cord, just pull it the other way to release it.

As already mentioned anchoring can be a risky business, so if you haven’t done it before it always pays to find someone else to fish with who has and watch how they do it. Also look at the conditions, and if you are in any doubt, then don’t anchor, if the tide is chucking it through then it’s always better to find somewhere else to fish.

The key to safely retrieving and setting an anchor is planning. I always go through the steps in my head before I actually do the job for real. As a finishing note on the subject, if, after a few trips with a partner, you do end up going out alone and anchoring on your own, it’s worth having a leash to attach yourself to the kayak, that way if you do fall in, you won’t be drifting away down tide watching your kayak sitting serenely in the distance at anchor.

Anchoring a kayak is a great way to fish and can be superb fun, but it can also be very dangerous, so if you are in any doubt about the conditions,  don’t anchor, fish on the drift or go and anchor elsewhere, and try your chosen spot on another day when the conditions are better.

Recommended book

Discover Kayak Fishing
by Andy Benham

Purchase online!