BlogApril 2021

How do most Anchors Hold a Recreational Boat in Place?

How do most Anchors Hold a Recreational Boat in Place?

By Andy Whitcomb

Apr 12, 2021

Different anchors work better than others, depending what type of boat you have. Here is how and why some anchors are used and where.

Recreational boat control is an important part of how to boat. Take fishing for example. When you find that particular location of cooperative fish, you will want to be able stay there. Even in big open water, these hot spots can be surprisingly small. So if you know the answer to the question, “how do most anchors hold a recreational boat in place,” you will have a better idea for the selection of your anchor for recreational boats.

“But an anchor is an anchor, right?” Nope. Boat anchor systems vary because boats and conditions vary.

Bottom Composition

For example, the best boat anchors for lakes with mud or silty bottoms are fluke anchors, also known as Danforth anchors. They are relatively light and easy to store because they fold flat. When deployed, the flat surface unfolds and acts like a shovel, digging into the softer substrate. For rockier areas or rivers, you may need to consider a grapnel type anchor, which has arms that grip rocks when it is tipped and dragged sideways.

Wind and Boat Size

Bigger boats, in bigger bodies of water, will require anchors with bigger holding power, as can be seen with any fluke anchor size chart. However, in small, shallow areas the anchor for recreational boats such as Jon boats on a little farm pond or protected backwaters can be a small but relatively heavy weight such as a mushroom anchor or even ye’ old cinderblock. One the other end of the scale, tournament bass anglers now rely on slick electronic shallow-water anchor systems which use hydraulics to shove a rod or two into the bottom. When the fish stop biting, just press a button or pedal and the rods raise to let the angler move to the next likely location.

Length of Stay

It is a good idea to have a range of anchor options available in your boat. The anchor used to help remain moored overnight probably won’t be the same anchor that you’d use if you were making many stops and needed to pull up and move quickly.

Once you have an idea of how do most anchors hold a recreational boat in place, you should learn a knot or two to make sure the anchor doesn’t just become fish structure. Then, if your boat registration is up to date, all you have to do is find the fish and you’ll be able to stay there for as long as you want.

Andy Whitcomb
Andy Whitcomb
Andy is an outdoor writer ( and stressed-out Dad has contributed over 380 blogs to since 2011. Born in Florida, but raised on banks of Oklahoma farm ponds, he now chases pike, smallmouth bass, and steelhead in Pennsylvania. After earning a B.S. in Zoology from OSU, he worked in fish hatcheries and as a fisheries research technician at OSU, Iowa State, and Michigan State.