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What is the Major Danger of Anchoring a Fishing Boat From the Stern?

Last Updated on August 20th, 2020

When anchoring a fishing boat from the stern, a massive wave could strike over the transom. This can lead to the boat getting swamped. In this post, I have discussed several other dangers of anchoring a fishing boat from the stern. I have also addressed some frequently asked questions to help you anchor a boat.

Most fishing boats— whether it is a pontoon, dingy, bowrider, cuddy cabin, etc.— are designed to face the wind and waves with the bow in the frontline. Anchoring a fishing boat from the stern makes the vessel vulnerable to accidents. It also puts immense pressure on the cabin and other outstretched parts.

As you can see from the above image, the stern is the rear end of a boat. It is flat in shape and has several bulky parts (like a cabin, cockpit, and port) adjacent to it. It is the roughest and unsmooth part of the boat. When faced by winds or a storm, it is most likely going to shudder, endangering the vessel and the passengers.

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What are the Major Dangers of Anchoring a Fishing Boat From the Stern

  • If you deploy an anchor over the stern (assuming you have only one anchor available on deck), the vessel will most likely become overwhelmed with water and sink. The vessel would be taking in the high-speed winds and waves on the blunt or unsmooth end.
  • If the same scenario occurs in an offshore location, the boat would still suffer substantial damages. The mooring will prevent the vessel from sinking or toppling over. But, the contents inside the cabin will get smashed due to the rigorous see-sawing of the boat.
  • The vessel will be under excessive strain as the wind will hit the blunt end and not the aerodynamic bow. Even in medium to medium-heavy winds, the passengers inside the boat will feel restless and threatened.
  • The adverse effects of anchoring a boat from the stern are remarkably reduced when in freshwater bodies such as rivers, ponds, and lakes. Unless you are in a Class V or Class VI freshwater body, you are likely to get away with mediocre boat handling skills. However, it will still affect productivity.
  • Anchoring a fishing boat from the stern in stormy weather can also cause significant damage to the rudder or skeg of the vessel. Needless to say, the extent of the loss also depends on the type of rudder attached to the boat.

The Correct Way to Anchor a Fishing Boat

There are several ways to anchor a fishing boat. Before you begin your fishing trip, make sure the anchor is suitable for your boat’s weight and size, water type, the nature of the riverbed/seabed, and the water depth.

Carefully research to find the best anchor rope for the type of environment you are planning to fish in. Also, browse through the instructional manual provided by the boat manufacturer. You may get some helpful insights.

Step 1: Measure the depth of the water with the help of a fish finder. The depth will help you determine the correct swing radius. You also need to make sure how far the boat can drift after anchored in. You don’t want other boats to enter your swing radius and vice versa.

Step 2: Get the rode ready. Measure the rode and mark at the point where it meets the depth of the water.

Step 3: Tie the anchor to the rode (could be a chain/rope). Begin dropping the anchor slowly from the bow of the boat. Do not drop the anchor from either side of the boat or from the stern region.

Step 4: To secure your boat, tie the rode to the bow cleat. For more security, some people use a backup anchor. It is recommended to use one when fishing in stormy weather.

Step 5: Lastly, you need to check whether the anchor has set-in properly. Just dropping it in water won’t do it. Once you set it in the riverbed/seabed, turn on the engine and move the boat slowly in the reverse direction. Stop when you feel the pull of the hook. This process is called snubbing.

Summary

Anchoring a fishing boat from the stern is not an issue when you already have one anchor on the bow and want more stability. But a primary anchor should always be dropped and cleated from the bow.

You may also like to read our guide on right amount of anchor chain and  what to do if a motorboat catchs fire.

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