Do You Need a Shallow Water Anchor?

If you do a lot of fishing in water less than 12 feet deep, you should consider a relatively new piece of gear to hit the angling scene: the shallow-water anchor, a rigid post that extends down into the river or lake bottom to hold your boat fast in place.

Why It’s Useful

Simple to mount to your transom, jack plate or a bracket behind the outboard, the shallow-water anchor lets you stop your boat on a dime and hold it in a precise location, regardless of wind, waves or current. Realizing how beneficial shallow-water anchors can be for casting to unsuspecting fish, many skinny-water specialists mount one on each side of their transom, giving them the ultimate in precise, quiet boat control. Say goodbye to futzing around with unwieldy anchors and ropes.

How It Works

The two most popular brands are the Power Pole, which uses hydraulic pressure to lift up and down, and the MinnKota Talon, which relies on an electromechanical system to drive a spike into the bottom. Both types can be controlled wirelessly via a footpad or remote fob, so you can quietly drop or raise them from anywhere in the boat. There are several different models designed for depths between four and 12 feet; features include alarms to remind you the spike is still down when you start to move the boat, and a rough-water mode that repeats the initial drive sequence at three 10-second intervals to ensure you’ve locked the boat in place when conditions get nasty. Sure beats hauling on ropes.

Gord Pyzer

Gord Pyzer

Fishing Editor Gord Pyzer is widely regarded as Canada's most scientific angler. Known in fishing circles as Doctor Pyzer, he worked for 30 years as a senior manager with Ontario's Ministry of Natural Resources before devoting all his energies to fishing. A member of the Canadian Angler Hall of Fame, the award-winning writer is also an internationally sought out speaker, tournament angler and field editor with In-Fisherman Magazine and Television. As well, he co-hosts the Real Fishing Radio Show with Bob Izumi. Catch Gord on the Outdoor Journal Radio Show live every Saturday morning 8:05AM EST. If you're in southern Ontario, tune your radio to Sportsnet 590 The FAN AM or visit and listen live online.

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