Do You Need An Anchor For Kayak Fishing?

Do You Need An Anchor For Kayak Fishing

Kayak fishing is a sport that’s enjoyed by millions of people worldwide. However, there are many accidents that could have been prevented by using an anchor. And with the help of this guide, we’ll help you find the right tools needed to kayak safely.

Anchor Type

Many anglers that are new to kayak fishing tend to go for a heavy anchor. After all, the boat is light enough that a heavy anchor will keep it weighed down. However, this is not accurate. Heavy anchors can drag to the bottom of the river or like without causing damage to the boat’s underside. Kayak anchors need to weigh no more than 3 pounds.

Folding anchors are the best tools to use while on a kayak. With this anchor, four hooks are folded outward and lock right into place. In an area with heavy current, a 1.5 anchor will do the trick. Pretty much the same is true for canoes if you prefer fishing from those over kayaks.

Kayak Fishing


The length of a kayak will determine its speed. Longer kayaks can sail faster. This is due to the hull speed principle.

Longer kayaks are good for traveling in a straight line. While this is preferable, you’ll want to have rudders with your long kayak to increase the steering. This is true if you’re dealing with harsh winds on a daily basis.

Longer kayaks have more storage room. If you’re planning to do some extended kayak camping, you’re going to need more space. Some of the longer kayaks can fit a child or an extra dog.


The width of your kayak will determine its stability. The wider it is, the stable the kayak will be. Most fishing kayaks have a width range between 28-48 inches. This way, the stability is described in 2 factors: Primary and secondary stability.

Kayak Stability

Kayak stability is broken down into two categories. They refer to how the kayak has worked in different conditions. It implies how resistant the kayak is to tipping over.

Initial Stability

This refers to your kayak’s stability in flat water. It measures how resistant it is to rolling with limited movement.

Secondary Stability

Secondary stability measures the stability when you lean over it or when in rough water. For instance, if you’re sitting in a kayak and lean to a side, you’ll notice that the kayak should stop moving. This doesn’t mean that you start leaning with full force. You will start leaning at one side until the boat reaches its second stability point.

If you feel that your kayak will tip over easily, then you can say it has a weak secondary stability. However, if you take the kayak and it doesn’t tip when you lean over it, then it has a good secondary stability level.

Kayak Visibility

The visibility of your kayak is important in low lighting conditions. If you want to kayak during dusk or in the evening, make sure to have a light. Even if kayaking at night isn’t apart of your plans, its good to have one in case you get caught out late.

Kayak lights are usually mounted on top of a pole. It can be as simple as a PVC setup with lights operating on the top. There are a lot of DIY guides on how to create one.

Visibility at night isn’t the only concern. If you’re going to travel to areas with a lot of boat traffic, then you’ll want to stay visible at all times. This is where you should consider getting a high visibility flag.

You would think that in the daytime, it would be easier for other boats to view each other. However, that’s not the case. There is a myriad of incidents where the kayakers were hit with powerboats overnight.

One way to avoid this is through using a high visibility flag. Fortunately, the kayak can act as a flag pole as well.


Weather can change quickly in a short time. If you’re fishing in a river or a large lake, you have to be aware of weather conditions. Having your kayak flipped over by a wave happens often. In cold water, this can be a life or death scenario. We suggest that you travel with a friend. Alternatively, using a VHF radio is a lifesaver.

Personal Flotation Devices

If you’re a casual or professional kayak angler, using a PFD is a must. Whether you’re out for a simple paddle or fishing, make sure you stay safe. For kayak anglers, PFDs are great for storing gear and are known as life-saving devices.

Also, you’ll be in a kayak for hours. You need to understand how your PFD is going to rest on the back seat. If your PFD’s back portion is bulky, you’ll have to keep this in mind when selecting a kayak PFD.

Kayak Anchoring

Anchoring the kayak doesn’t seem like a major issue at first. But it’s important to be precise when looking for a fishing location. This reduces the amount of necessary storage space. They are great for shallow areas.

A drawback of using a grapnel is that they can be hung up on debris. One good way to release your hung up grapnel is to find one that can be in a rigged breakaway style.

Anchor Trolleys

Anchor trolleys is a good benefit once you’re attempting to anchor your kayak. Anchor trolleys will help you with positioning the kayak when facing away or towards the wind. If you want to change your positioning, drop your anchor, and pull the trolley cord.

This allows you to pull your anchor attachment point to the stern of the bow of your kayak. So once the anchor is connected to the bow, the kayak will start to face the wind. If the attachment point is different from the stern, the kayak will start to face away from the wind.

Anchoring the Rivers using Anchor Poles

Anchoring kayaks in moving river is a challenge. But sometimes success will be rewarded. Positioning your kayak so you can fish in an area is an important key to success. On the other hand, using regular hands is a problem,

Your anchor poles can be made of anything from PVC poles, to high tech remote controlled and battery-powered versions. The best thing about anchor poles is that they can be lowered and used in a fishing area. On a DIY set up, it is made through cords that can be pulled and released and can raise onto the pole. This method can be used to drop an anchor and can be used in a good location.

How Are Anchor Trolleys Made?

Anchor trolleys have 3 different parts. It has a ring, a pulley, and a rope. The rope moves through the pulleys and is attached to the ring. Once the rope is in place, you can attach it to the anchor or the anchor rope that’s tied to the ring.

This is important when fishing in water that has current or larger bodies of water.

Creative Ways People Use An Anchor Trolley

There are some people who place an anchor trolley on two sides of the kayak and place an anchor int the front and back, which keeps them in one place. If you’re planning on fishing in shallow water, you can use a stake out pole to replace the anchor. Some times there are push poles and garden spikes that you can place in the lake bottom to keep you in place.

Anchor trolleys allow you to stay in one spot. Also, it allows you to stay safe on the water by attaching the anchor rope to the ring. If your anchor rope becomes stuck, just detach it.

Another interesting thing we’ve seen people do was place a rope on the end of the anchor rope next to the carabiner. Which is helpful because if you’re in a difficult spot and need to detach the anchor rope, you don’t have to lose the anchor and the rope, and it allows you to detach it.


Overall, having an anchor is needed for kayak fishing. Fishing requires equipment such as fishing rods, improved motors, and a heavy anchor to ensure that you get the most fish during your trip.

Always remember to stay safe when out there. If you’re going to fish, make sure you research the location and use the right bait for getting the fish you’re looking for. And with an anchor, it will help make your fishings efforts even better.


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