Stay Put: Shallow Anchoring Systems
By Michael Vatalaro
"Quick" and "quiet" have never been used to describe a Danforth with a six-foot section of chain leading to the rode. But shallow-water anchor systems like the Power-Pole, and Minn Kota's Talon are just that.
Fast and, importantly for fishermen, stealthy, the basic design incorporates a long, flexible yet sturdy spike, which is pushed vertically into the bottom, either mechanically or manually, usually at the transom. The spike sticks the boat to the bottom much like a pushpin sticks a note to a corkboard. This type of anchor doesn't harm the bottom and most models are effective to depths of six or eight feet.
Stick It Anchor Pins
Flats guides in Florida Bay have been using their push poles as makeshift anchors for years, driving them into the bottom and roping off to hold their skiff in place.
Stick It took the concept and made it simpler with the addition of a bracket that can be mounted at the bow or transom, through which you push a much shorter and more manageable pole with a nice handle at the top. Called the Brake, it's a simple and effective way of staying put, and because you supply the muscle, there's nothing mechanical to maintain. $139.95 | www.StickItAnchorPins.com
Power-Pole Pro Series
Power-Pole anchors have caught on in the bass-fishing circuits with many pros' boats now sporting two at the transom. Hydraulically activated, the system can fully deploy in six seconds, and the Pro Series models are rated to keep a 26-foot boat in place in winds up to 30 knots. Available in six- and eight-foot versions, Pro Series models are also remote-control ready, should you want to deploy the Power-Pole while walking around the deck. A powder-coated finish and stainless hardware help fight corrosion. Comes with a five-year warranty. From $1,299 | www.Power-Pole.com
Minn Kota Talon
Introduced in 2010, the Talon offers electromechanical operation rather than hydraulic, and has an automatic, one-touch up or down feature that allows you to push a button and get to fishing. It comes standard with two wireless remotes, and will warn you if you start the engine with the spike still in the down position. Built from extruded aluminum, the unit has a two-year warranty and the fiberglass-composite spike is guaranteed for life. Available in six- and eight-foot versions. From $1,299 | www.minnkotamotors.com
Take a look at five steps to simple, reliable anchor sets on small boats
A test of 11 different anchors to determine the holding power in a typical soft mud bottom
How to anchor your boat just off the beach, offering access to and from the boat via the stern
That Big Anchor In The Sky
Minn Kota i-Pilot Wireless GPS Trolling System
A new version of the i-Pilot just released in July takes an innovative system and makes it more user-friendly, with twice the memory and a bigger screen.
The simple version is, your trolling motor now knows where you are, thanks to a GPS interface, and will do everything in its power to keep you within five feet of one spot, if you tell it to, through a handy remote.
It can also retrace a route, recall a previous spot where you "anchored," and will take you back to it. It can act as an autopilot, keeping a course and speed while adjusting for wind, current, and waves.
It is compatible with several models of Minn Kota trolling motors, or can be purchased installed on a new trolling motor. $449.99 as an accessory to an existing motor | www.minnkotamotors.com