An anchor is an excellent piece of safety equipment to carry and is totally essential if you plan to fish static baits. As a safety item they can be used to sit out a period of strong tidal flow, conserving energy until after the peak flow time has passed. The same applies to prevent an angler getting pushed towards rocks, the anchor can be dropped and help radioed from a static platform. Fortunately neither application has applied to any of my adventures to date.
Where an anchor really comes into its own is creating a static platform to fish baits from. Jigging and fishing lures undoubtedly produce good fish but some species will not be caught if the kayak is drifting. Used in conjunction with an anchor trolley, the anchor facilitates static ground fishing and I won’t leave the shore without one.
I use a folding 3lb/1.5 kilo grapnel anchor. These are widely available from any kayak fishing supplier or chandlery store. Mine is attached to approximately six feet/two metres of relatively heavy chain and this extra weight effectively nails the anchor to the sea bed and allows the teeth of it to ‘bite’ into the substrate. Used in conjunction with a diver’s reel and a marker buoy, I have a setup that allows me to anchor comfortably in depths of water up to and including 100 feet/30 metres.
One word of warning about anchoring – dropping and hauling anchor can potentially be some of the most dangerous aspects of kayak fishing and should not be considered by a novice. Anchoring will unquestionably increase your catch rate but it should not be attempted without being shown by and practiced with an experienced kayaker that knows how to employ the methods flawlessly, especially in areas where the angler encounters strong tidal flows.