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Anchor safely and Anchoring Techniques

4826 Views 14 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  Gator
In light of what happend at the weekend to my anchor and troll system i just wanted to open a Topic on Anchoring safely and good anchoring techniques.
What happen this weekend really open my eyes too the dangers that are out there on the water. just last week i noticed a disclamer on the back well wall of my yak that said "WARNING THIS KAYAK CAN COURSE INJURY OR DEATH. WE CAN NOT BE HELD RESPONSIBLE" bla bla bla you know the kind of thing im talking about a big long winded way of saying be carefull. i read it a pi%$ myself laughing thinking yeah right. :shock:
How wrong was I.
But whats really got me thinking is how unperpared i was if something goes wrong. For example

What i was wearing:
Crocs on my feet
a pear of combat shorts
T-shirt with my PFD over that and a fishing shirt over it all.
If i had of gone in i would of dropped like a penny.
So im going out to get a summer wet suit next weekend, and that and my Pfd is all im going to wear from now on. oh and sun screen of course :D

How many of us are dressed in a way that if you have to jump out of the yak for any reason you would be safe in the water?

Also do any of use practice rolling are yaks and climbing back in on the water?

I think you really have to think about where your going to anchor, not just drop it in the hope it will grip and you'll stop where you want. Think ahead if the anchor doesnt grip where are you going to end up?

And last is, Is anchoring safe from a yak? if so, what is the safeist anchor and troll system we can come up with.

If ive missed anything which i probable have please add to this

Thanks for your time Rik
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I had a rather uncomfortable experience in the surf a few months ago prior to going out I had read somewhere that you should rig to roll and dress to swim and this is something I do without question now I wear a wetsuit of some kind dependent upon conditions and light easily removable clothing over the top if its cold/windy booties on the feet and of course the PFD, I take minimal gear and the gear is strapped down. As far as anchoring is concerned I have arpund 40m of line so if I want to anchor in a certain position I drop the anchor 30m or so away wait for it to catch and then I just let the line out till I am in position. My anchor line has ease of release and there is a float on the end for later retrieval if I have to let it go.
I practice rolling in my local creek as well as moving forward to the front hold, once you have righted the kayak the method of getting on is BBF bellybutton backside feet or you can try and slide on from the rear but I have a rudder so this isnt an option, this is quite clearly described in the links section from memory.
Rik, its great that you are now aware of the potential dangers out there..

I suggest that anyone who gets onto a yak should be a confident swimmer regardless of whether they are wearing a pfd or not. If you cannot swim you should not be on the water...end of story.

Regarding your clothing, I think that what you had on was not a problem, it's only if wearing heavy loose fitting garments (jumpers, boots etc) that a problem would occur. Lightweight shorts, shirts etc worn in conjunction with a PFD should be fine. The guys in Southern Australia obviously need more layers, and are in colder water so they should take care when choosing what to wear.

Regarding anchor positioning - the guys who seem to have had problems have all had their anchors at the side of the yak. If the anchor happens to snag they then get side-on to the current/swell/chop etc and this is a problem. For that reason i'd suggest anchoring from the front or rear (preferable) of the kayak so that if you are caught in a swift current etc, at least the yak is in the most streamlined position possible, front or rear on to the current.

And lastly, carry a knife and if in trouble, cut the bloody anchor line free. Better to replace a $15 anchor than risk your life trying to dislodge the bastard.
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In most cases i anchor to the rear of the yak as far back as i can safelly reach so as to have the front of yak pointing forward :wink: . And to have the anchor rope away from where i'm fishing. You must always take care and plan where you intend to anchor and observe the conditions around you. :idea:

Last weekend I drifted a considerable distance without even noticing in a matter of 10 mins in 20-25 knots of wind. Before i knew it i was in some very lumpy choppy water as i was blown out :arrow: :shock: :shock: :shock: . It took ages to paddle back to shore and I had to go full pelt despite the lack of fitness and pains in my little arms :D the wind kept turning my yak so i had to paddle twice to right side of the yak for every paddle to the left whilst pushing the paddle through the head wind. Kayak selection is also another safety factor had I have been in my smaller yak on the day things could of gotten hairy. This is why i always suggest people purchase a bigger yak as you cannot control the weather, the bigger the yak the more stability :!: :!: :!: the more option are presented :!: :!: :!: the better the fishing.

I practise jumping back on the yak in summer months. Wearing a PFD is a must and a wetsuit in colder areas. :roll:

I'm not sure how I'd cope in the event of a capsize fully loaded up with two rods rigged up in the water plus anchor and gear being thrown around??? Not game to try it and a knife should be kept close at hand! But as mentioned I think with a reasonable PFD and wetsuit on this should keep you out of trouble, should the worst happen and I wouldn't care to much about the yak as it eventually would be found my safety would be the priority.

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Always dress for immersion.....

I wear some board shorts and a rashie when yakking freshwater so if I end up in the drink these items should not impede my swimming ability. I'm a strong swimmer so never considered a PFD essential in the freshwater impoundments
Of course when kayaking in freshwater where there is fast moving water and currents, I would always wear my PFD (as we did on the Clarence River near The Gorge)

When venturing offshore, I will wear my PFD 100% of the time, but likely still just wear my board shorts and rashie, so I'm likely to float/swim pretty well. Eventually I will invest in a wetsuit, but all the other more important safety gear is taking a front seat to comfort.

Re: Anchoring, one of the first things I read when researching kayak fishing before buying my first yak......NEVER anchor in fast moving water......I think Ric's experience illustrates why......
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Unfortunately, due to the change in ownership of this web site and the lack of response by the owners to my requests to remove my email address from all administrative-level notifications and functionality, I have decided to remove my posts on AKFF. Thank you for the great times, the fantastic learning experiences and the many many fish. If you are desperate for the old content of this particular post, it is available below base64 encoded and bzip2 compressed.



I generally anchor only when I am on flat calm waters. If you need to anchor you might want to consider a short bungee (shock) cord between the anchor line and your kayak. Two or three meters of shock cord could absorb any sudden movment without tipping your kayak.

A PFD is a must. I never get on my kayak without mine. I had the opportunity to test my PFD when I flipped my kayak a few months ago. I aggrevated a back injury as I departed my kayak. I quickly found myself in the water without full use of my legs :shock: The PFD kept me afloat until I managed to get back on my kayak.

Another good practice is to spend some time crawling all over your kayak to learn what you can safely get away with. See how far you can lean to the side before it tips. Every time you tip you refine your feel for the kayak's stability. You'll get to know just how far you can safely push your yak. This also gives you plenty of chances to practice reentry technique. All of this will greatly increase your confidence and will mentally prepare you for the unexpected dip in the water.

A good knife can also be a lifesaver. I have one attached to my seat and one on my PFD. I leash everything that I carry topside; paddle, rods, gaff, pliers, radio, GPS.....everything. This is a necessity for transit through the surf zone. All those leashes could save a lot of money if you flip, but they could also tangle up an arm or leg. Having a knife readily available can come in handy if you get wrapped up while in the water.
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Since doing a lot of my fishing in a very tidal bay I have had to refine an anchoring technique that works every time. Also needed to design a trolley that is easy to work. All clips must be able to be operated one handed, under full load and quickly.
Just dropping your anchor over the side, waiting for it to grab and then tying it off side on might work in still or slow moving water but can be disasterous in fast flowing water. The first thing, the current has got the entire length of your kayak to work against you. Assuming the anchor has grabbed the line will have pulled very tight! Water pressure will be building up on the side of the yak and the water will then be able to climb up on the gunnel putting heaps of weight on your upstream edge eventually tipping you over upstream.
Hence the need for a quick release of the anchor line to avoid a swim. Carabiners seem ok but under heavy pressure may be hard to actually unclip from an eye. Precious time can be lost.
The system I use has evolved to this point but is no doubt still a works in progress.
Starting from the anchor. A desnag system in place to recover snagged anchor. Minimum anchor length 100 ft up to 200 ft. Midsized carabiner at end just acts as a stopper. Bottle float on 2 metres line clips to anchor rope.
My deployment setup is to have anchor rope in lap and put anchor over side. Feed rope out smoothly till anchor hits bottom and grabs. Have trolley carabiner at hip level and as rope pays out but well before the end clip rope in trolley and shuttle to back of kayak. Doing all this whilst feeding line out will avoid the tension buildup on trolley and kayak. Before line pulls tight I slide it into a Vee cleat to secure. As line pulls tight the kayak will swing downcurrent and settle gently. To detatch anchor just lift out of Vee cleat and drop in water. Takes 1 second. No clips! Line feeds through trolley carabiner and you`re free of it.
Retrieval comes in a couple of ways. 1 pull rope back through trolley system into lap until anchor comes free of bottom. 2 drop anchor in drink spin kayak around and retrieve facing up stream. Easy in a Hobie! Sorry it`s a bit long winded. Keep safe. Steve.
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Most of my fishing is offshore.
I always take my PFD with knife, whistle, small beacon and UHF marine radio. I also have incorporated into my PFD a Camelback with about 2 litres of water.
Always wear some kind of neoprene (either shorts if very hot, or bib n brace.
Wear neoprene booties.
On top a light, long sleeve top made from a special material that dries rapidly.
If cold I put on underneath a long sleeved thermal top.
Always use a sea anchor. Easier to use and not worrying whether it gets stuck.

Prowler 15
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Agree to John's point that everyone should practise the BBF reentry a couple of times to get the hang of it using an empty yak; once done its like riding a bike and never forgotten.

Other points are well covered so won't enlarge
I agree with all points here, a very good mix of experienced opinions.

:shock: HOWEVER

DGax65 said spend some time crawling all over your Yak. Well I did that when I first got Tugboat home last night and a round trip took me 15 minutes :shock: sh*t she's a big unit.

:D fishing Russ
Russ said:
DGax65 said spend some time crawling all over your Yak. Well I did that when I first got Tugboat home last night and a round trip took me 15 minutes :shock: sh*t she's a big unit.

:D fishing Russ
russ you are a lunatic..... but you crack me up :lol:
I just got a Malibu X-Factor and I think its as big as your Tugboat. I have to stop for a snack on my way up to the bow. Reminds me of that aircraft carrier that I used to serve aboard :roll:
I'll have to agree with Doug, just got my X-Factor and crawled all over it, fore and aft and hung over the side to see what would happen; all without getting wet! I am going to put an anchor trolley on it so that I can just pitch it over and then run it fore or aft with the trolley.
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