Do You Need An Anchor Kayak Fishing?

Kayak fishing has blown up in recent years, and if you have one, you may have noticed how difficult it can be to stay in the same position for any length of time. I was having trouble with this and decided to put an anchor in my kayak to see if it would help. I wanted to share this information with everyone who might have had or does have the same problem I fought.

Do you need an anchor kayak fishing? If you know that you will be taking your kayak out to a place with waves, or even a small current, an anchor will be necessary. Kayak anchors only need to way between 1.5 and 3 pounds at max. Kayak anchors are much smaller than normal boat anchors and either foldable or claw anchors will work the best. Not having an anchor will require you to continuously paddle to stay in one spot, which will wear your arms or legs out very quickly. Having an anchor will keep you in place so you can fish your favorite spot without getting a workout.

How Heavy Should It Be?

The average anchor for a kayak should be between 1.5 and 3 pounds, which might not seem like a lot, especially if you have owned a boat before. The best anchors that work are the foldable ones or the ones that have three or four hooks on it. If you are lake or pond fishing, the hook type of anchor works best because you can hook onto rocks or even bottom foliage and it should keep you in place no problem. If you plan on fishing a sandy bottom most of the time, you can get the normal foldable anchors and go with a little extra weight so you can stay in one spot. Keep in mind that waves and current can drag you a little, so some movement is fine.

How Much Line Do I Need?

When you have an anchor or think of an anchor, you might think of big ships, or boats with long anchor lines, or big chains. Most people kayak fishing will only be in 10 to 20 feet of water at most. The typical amount of line you should carry is around 30 to 40 feet at the very most.

Where I live, the lake bottoms are very gradual, so there is no steep drop-offs. Most people will not fish out in more than 30 feet of water unless there is a very steep decline. If you live around those lakes and plan to fish them, always bring enough line to have the ability to tie off. Never just drop your anchor and hope for the best. Always let your line out slowly so that you can feel when you hit the bottom.

How Do I Actually Anchor A Kayak?

Anchoring a kayak is not that difficult, but I did find this great instructional video on the basics of how to anchor it. Keep in mind that you do not need the extra weight of a chain.

Where Should I Store It?

The great part about kayaks is that they normally have a lot of storage compartments. Make sure that your anchor is very easy to get to, and that the anchor line is not tangled up with anything else in your kayak. I will typically keep my anchor in the front compartment of the kayak out of the way of other gear that I use.

You can also keep the anchor right in front of you in between your legs, but be careful that you do not kick it with your foot, or get hooked. Anchors should be very easy to get to, and very easy to toss out without moving very much in your kayak. The more you move around in the kayak, the more chance you have of tipping it over

What If My Anchor Gets Stuck?

Sometimes, even when you are fishing in a boat, your anchor will get stuck when you are trying to pull it up. This can sometimes cause a person to panic which will make you start moving around and pulling harder. The important thing to know and understand is that you always need to stay calm. The first thing you should try is to paddle ahead of where your anchor is and to pull it backward.

That will normally dislodge the anchor from the rock or debris you hooked. If that does not work, you can go to the right or left of where you are anchored and try again. Sometimes you might get lucky and snag a tree which can be very difficult to untangle.


There are a couple of things you can do in this situation though. The first is that you can try to head to shore and try to pull the branch loose or move the tree. If you are not close enough to shore, you can ask another boater for help, and with a little brute force, you can dislodge it.

Should I Anchor In A River?

Depending on how fast the current is pulling you in a river, it is possible to anchor your kayak. The one thing that you want to keep in mind is that water will be moving more quickly in a river or stream, so you might get lots of water coming up over the top of your kayak into your face and gear.

If this is happening, my suggestion to you is to find a more calm spot on the river and anchor there and fish up or downstream. Having lots of water coming over the front or back of your kayak can cause it to get waterlogged, and could possibly fill up your kayak with water causing it to sink. If you do anchor in a river, be prepared to have to paddle back upstream to get your anchor loose from the rocks that you are hooked onto.

You can also tie yourself off onto trees that might have fallen into the water, but you must make sure that they are stable before you do it, or you could have a tree that starts moving downstream at you. Always plan where you want to fish before you throw your anchor out, as the current will take you further than you think it might.

Where Should I Tie The Anchor?

There are two popular places to tie your anchor to your kayak. The first is the front of the kayak at the nose. This will let you toss your anchor out, float backward a little bit before it grabs, and then you can fish to the left or right of your anchor line.

Make sure that you do not throw your line out near the anchor because your hook can catch the rope, or if a fish does bite and run, it might get wrapped around the anchor line causing you to lose the fish and the gear. The second place to put the anchor is at the back end of your kayak. This is great if you want to drop your anchor and have the line behind you so that you can fish the left, right, and center of your kayak.

This is a great way to fish because you have the whole field to cast, but keep in mind when you want to pull your anchor up, you will either be pulling the anchor from behind, or you will have to completely turn your kayak around so you can pull it in from the front of you. While anchoring to the front of your kayak does limit casting, it is much easier to pull the anchor in when you are finished.

Do I Really Need One?

Knowing whether you need an anchor or not is really up to you, and where you think you will be fishing. If you plan on fishing nice calm lakes and ponds, I would say that no, you really don’t need an anchor.

kayaking on winter

If you plan on going to lakes and rivers where there is a real current, or can be waves or wakes from other boats, I would highly suggest that you use an anchor when fishing. Trying to say in one spot in a kayak can be a bit challenging, and using an anchor can really help you stay put without having to paddle a lot. Having an anchor is a purely personal preference.

What If I Have A Trolling Motor?

Adding motors to kayaks is a really good way to get to your fishing spot without having to use a lot of physical effort. It is still a good idea to use an anchor even if you have a trolling motor because even though you might be able to use the motor to keep you in one spot, it can drain your battery very quickly if you are not careful.

Final Thoughts

Using an anchor in your kayak can be extremely helpful if you plan to fish lakes and rivers that have winds, waves, or a current. There will be times when you want to throw out your line with a bobber, and not really think about it for a bit. Not having an anchor will cause your bait to move as you drift, so an anchor will really help.

It is important to make sure that if there is a current, you do not anchor to a point of where rushing water is coming up over the front or back of your kayak. Having an anchor is a personal preference, but is highly encouraged. One last thing to remember is that you should not really have to anchor anywhere more than 40 feet in most lakes unless you have a very steep decline close to shore