Canoe anchor

What’s a simple solution for anchoring the OT guide 147 when lake fishing?

Without any current you have a lot of options. A simple three pound anchor tied to a thwart or seat and thrown over the side works. So will a bag of rocks.

Of course anchoring fro a side point in current can be incredibly dangerous so just restrict it to ponds and lakes.

Look up Anchor Pulley Systems online…
They are needed when fishing from a kayak or Canoe, to move the anchor to the bow or stern of the canoe, to accomodate wind and current.

Also, look into making a cheap “Cajun Anchor” I bought a metal rod wire fence post (Round rod with a point on one end, and a series of small holes through it, every 3 Inches down the rod.) I looped 150 lb Nylon coated Braided Wire (Used for Tuna and Marlin fishing) and crimped the ends to form a loop through the top most hole in the rod. I then tied the anchor rope to the loop. Total cost, due to having to buy a whole role of braided wire leader and crimps, $20.00. If you can locate a short length of the wire (1 foot is more than sufficient) and crimps, you could make this for about $5.00.

Cajun anchors are nice, because you drop them strait down without making much noise, they stick in all but the hardest bottoms, and they never get stuck…


My < $3 solution for my yak
was a 2 lb neoprene dumbbell with a piece of 40 ft poly line. Just wrap the poly line around several times and tie it off tight to the dumbbell and then tie the line to the canoe somewhere with a mooring hitch or similar slip knot. If you have to untie it, the poly line floats, so no need for a separate float on the end.

For moving water, a real anchor is always better.


second the dumb bell
Walmart $3.00 for the dumb bell $2.00 for the rope.

I like the round types of achors …
… in a canoe .

There are two styles I’m familiar with . One is completely round (looks like a mushroom) , the other is round also but has three seperated ears (looks like the radiation symbol) .

These are usually coated with a heavy poly skin . I prefer the one that looks like the radiation symbol because it clears bottom mud and stuff off easier when pulling up and stowing away in the canoe , and I believe the ears grab the river bottom better than the fully round type .

I use a 12 lb. but you don’t need one that heavy , especially in a flat water lake … they make both styles in a couple sizes lighter I believe .

Personally I call these styles river and lake anchors . Very easy on the hands to deal with . My anchore rode (rope) is rope only (no chain) . 1/2" braided nylon line , also easy on the hands and rolls up well (user friendly) .

I secure the rode to the bow or stern deck plate where the hand grab is . No need to go through trying to tie it to the canoe , just make a long “loop” in the canoe end of the anchore line . There are several options you can achieve with the loop method , but the main objective is that it makes attaching to the boat quick , simple and easy (put the loop under whatever you want to attach to and the other end of the line just goes through the loop , when it draws up on the attach point , that’s it) . You can make the loop long enough to allow the achore to pass through it , or shorter and tie the anchore on each time seperately . You can make the loop long enough so that it stradles the bow or stern point and slips over the end of the canoe completely (this will keep the line centered off the boats end) .

I recomend “ALWAYS” having a “SHARP KNIFE” on board and ready when using an anchore , especially in rivers and especially in rivers downstream of dams that release water for hydro. elect making .

Such river sections can rise rapidly and you may not be able to haul in your anchore (it might be stuck or for other reasons) … you might have to cut the anchore line fast to avoid having your boat drawn down due to stuck anchore .

I made a very effective anchor from a retractable dog leash. I use light weights soft metal chain hooks from the hardware store, one pound or less. The leash length is 25’, so works in all waters I fish.

Very handy retracts and stores easily.

I use a 5# vinyl coated mushroom with 1/2" line. I found a wood anchor controller at my canoe dealer (scrounging in a box of miscellaneous canoe parts) which allows me to raise or lower with one hand. It has a self-locking roller and wedge assy. I was lucky, the wood parts of the unit go nicely with the wood trim on my Mad River Explorer.

All I had to do was drill a hole in the center of the bow and stern decks to allow mounting at whichever end was best suited to the expected fishing situation. The anchor hangs above the water when fully retracted. The wood frame locks under the gunwales while a hand screw holds it to the deck. If the wind causes dragging, I just let out more line which allows the anchor to dig in better.

Be sure to tie the free end of the anchor line where you can reach it so you don’t lose your rig, LOL! The whole rig takes 5 min. to install or remove.

canoe anchor
ECI in Minnesota is reintroducing a freefill anchor design this month, just don’t have the website ready yet.

Originally designed to be filled with steel slugs and sealed for weight 12-22 lbs. and sold thru marinas.

ECI will be marketing this unit as a freefill model, ie, use pebbles or sand from the beach to fill the ballast upto 13 lbs. and plug the hole. Has side flukes just like the bigger anchors to bite into the river or lake bottom. Made of 100% recycled regrind plastic housing, empty weighs approx 1#. Just add the ballst and the rope, otherwise tether to the kayak or canoe, it floats like a buoy when empty. I will send one, only to you if you will promise critical response and your ship-to address.

Best anchor made
I use 4 Golds Gym 50 lb rubber coated workout plates, They already have a hole in them so just thread 1" thick galvanized logging chain through it and secure with a railroad bolt. The other end you can attach to your canoe carrying handle with some sewing thread. Works for me anyways and the rbber coating doesn’t scratch up your canoe bottom.

what’s a railroad bolt ??
… sounds almost as good as the front disc hub from a 2-1/2 ton truck we used for awhile … maybe even better , that rubber coating has to be easier on the hands huh ??

50 LBS???!!!
And you use FOUR of them!!

Goodness gracious. How big is your canoe, and what sort of forces is it subject to in a lake that you need 200lbs of anchor to keep it steady?

That’s a lot of anchor.

That said, they would make nice ballast…

  • Big D

Cheap solution
A one-pound coffee can poured full of concrete, with an eyebolt inserted to tie the rope to, was a popular solution among my canoe fishing buddies a few years ago. (Back when a can of coffee was actually a pound.)

there ya go , best yet idea …
… concrete in the can !! Funny how such great and practical solutions just some how get away from us with all these new age , take your pick candy store fancy options .

That really was a good post there Dsorgnzd .

I remember my uncle making exercise weights for me to use out of concrete in cans with pipe bars in them .

Another Idea
Take a look at the two links below. I rigged up this system for just under $40. Now I have both bow/stern anchors. I ended up using different materials to keep costs down.

Works great and I like the looks of it too. I took my daughter fishing this past weekend and the anchors proved to be incredibly useful since I had to focus on helping my daughter the entire time.

Plastic jar anchor
I use a peanut butter jar packed with wet sand. Add a little water to make sure all the air is out. Drill a hole in the lid and run your anchor line through the hole and knot it. For a loop drill 2 holes and make a loop out of a short piece of line with knots. If it hangs, you can usually pull the knot through the lid or the lid will come off.

I have used concrete anchors in the past but I use plastic instead of tin. Quieter and does not scratch up the boat.

Milk/Bleach Jug
Just take an empty milk jug or bleach jug with a good length of rope with you. When you get out where you are going, fill the jug up with gravel, small rock, or sand. No weight to carry until you get to your paddleing destination.

Some times an anchor has to be released in a hurry. I keep a float on my line so if I have to toss it, I can find it. Any system that traps the anchor line is inherently dangerous. If you use an anchor trolley learn to tie a release knot or double the line back to the cleat. Otherwise, keep a knife handy.

Brake drum
I have the same boat, and use a old brake drum that is 12" across. got it from a friend changing the brakes on his truck for free. Spray painted it with rustoleum black paint to keep it from being rusty and put a carabeiner thru one of the stud holes to tie the rode to. It has worked everywhere for me. Lakes, streams and the river. Cost me 0 dollars too.