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  • Anchor Line Length?

    I haven't halibut fished with an anchor for a few years now, but would to to start again. I recently acquired a large length of rope that I want to use for the anchor. My boat is an 18' Valco Bayrunner. I only fish the Cook Inlet and rarely fish over 125 feet. I do have an anchor with chain attached. I don't have tons of room so really don't want too much extra laying around. What do you guys think would be a good length I should cut off?

    Thanks....
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

  • #2
    Optimum length would be 7 times the depth you are anchored at, but I usually go with about 3 times the depth and that sometimes drags the anchor for awhile depending on current strength. The more scope the better. With more chain you can get away with less scope for the most part.


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    If you think you're free, there's no escape possible.

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    • #3
      Depends on what kind of bottom (rocks,gravel, mud) and what kind of anchor you have. I used to anchor up in the sound using a bruce anchor in 350 ft of water and barely used 500 ft of line. Before I switched to the bruce I used a danforth and it took almost 1200 ft of line at that depth to get a good set because it was a poor anchor for rocky PWS.

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      • #4
        I sure cut down on line length too, once I switched from a Danforth to a Bruce. But I think the 3:1 is about right for good anchoring bottom- more if it's not so good. The big determinant for me is chain. I like a good heavy chain and plenty of it. Bare minimum for me is a boat-length of 1" chain, and more or heavier is better for rougher days.

        Also helps to use a "surge" buoy. Set your anchor, back off for the scope you think you need, then attach a 18-24" buoy to your anchor line and let out about another couple of boat lengths of line before tying off the line. Really smooths the boat ride when anchored in chop, while also helping to prevent the pounding of your bow from dislodging the anchor.
        "Lay in the weeds and wait, and when you get your chance to say something, say something good."
        Merle Haggard

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        • #5
          We typically anchor up around 300' too. But we barely use more than 350-400' of line. We have a Bruce anchor and don't see the need to toss out much more line than the depth. It's not like we are anchoring up for the night. It's just fishing for halibut. Who cares if ya drift a little? And we rarely do.
          27' Wooldridge Super Sport Offshore Pilothouse PRIME TIME!
          Kodiak Custom Fishing Tackle Pro Staff
          Heavy Hitter Fishing Crew
          MMSI# 338232859

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          • #6
            In the sound with the small tides, yes I only toss out an extra 50' or so. Cook inlet is different. Like said above. Use a Bruce (claw) anchor and not a danforth. Chain should be about 25' minimum. With that you can generally hold still at 3:1 with the tide running pretty good.

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            • #7
              I have a 20' Bayrunner and fish out of Deep Creek, I use a Danforth anchor, 12' of chain and normally put out x2 depth but only fish 80 a 100'. Never a problem.

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              • #8
                I carry 600' of line on my 23' bayliner.
                It is rare I would ever need all of it but its nice to know it's there if I feel I need it.
                I have a bruce style anchor and ~10' of chain.
                remember your anchor and line are a safety device as well.
                If your motors die you can at least throw out the anchor and line so you don't get bashed into the rocks or drift in front of a big ship etc. and wait until help arrives.
                "The closer I get to nature the farther I am from idiots"

                "Fishing and Hunting are only an addiction if you're trying to quit"

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by BrownBear View Post
                  I sure cut down on line length too, once I switched from a Danforth to a Bruce. But I think the 3:1 is about right for good anchoring bottom- more if it's not so good. The big determinant for me is chain. I like a good heavy chain and plenty of it. Bare minimum for me is a boat-length of 1" chain, and more or heavier is better for rougher days.

                  Also helps to use a "surge" buoy. Set your anchor, back off for the scope you think you need, then attach a 18-24" buoy to your anchor line and let out about another couple of boat lengths of line before tying off the line. Really smooths the boat ride when anchored in chop, while also helping to prevent the pounding of your bow from dislodging the anchor.
                  That buoy setup also allows you to quickly/easily drop off the anchor and chase a fish or avoid collisions with ships, trees, and anything else you might encounter on anchor.

                  Big_E

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by vaaler View Post
                    That buoy setup also allows you to quickly/easily drop off the anchor...
                    You got it! We do a lot of mooching while anchored, and both kings and silvers seem to have sonar guidance for anchor ropes. Same for big halibut. If we get a big one on, we toss the whole anchor line and move away from it. Kinda nice to do that if you're harpooning big halibut too. We buoy the end of our harpoon line and just let the fish run free rather than keeping it tied off to the boat. Virtually eliminates halibut pulling free from the harpoon. We never keep anything over about 70# for ourselves, but we sometimes have guests who want bigger fish. Extra folks onboard also means extra confusion while handling big fish, and it's just nice to go at it a little more casually with the buoyed harpoon line.

                    One fine tuning point for tossing the anchor line:

                    We keep a small "fender" buoy on the bitter end of our anchor line. That means when we're recovering it all we can go right to the end of the anchor line and begin coiling line into the anchor locker from there. Man, is that little buoy ever a labor-saving device!
                    "Lay in the weeds and wait, and when you get your chance to say something, say something good."
                    Merle Haggard

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                    • #11
                      Researching anchors/ chain etc for a 24' boat and this is a good thread...... sure wish I could remember what size boat everyone has..... :question:

                      Replies with a quote to your post would be excellent.......!
                      "FREEDOM" Only those that are denied truly know what it means.

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                      • #12
                        Last boat was 26'. We had 600' of 1/2" rode and 40' of 1/4" chain with a 22 lb bruce anchor. Worked well pretty much any weather we anchored up in. I'm going with the same setup on our new 27"er now.
                        27' Wooldridge Super Sport Offshore Pilothouse PRIME TIME!
                        Kodiak Custom Fishing Tackle Pro Staff
                        Heavy Hitter Fishing Crew
                        MMSI# 338232859

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Hoyt-Hunter View Post
                          Optimum length would be 7 times the depth you are anchored at, but I usually go with about 3 times the depth and that sometimes drags the anchor for awhile depending on current strength. The more scope the better. With more chain you can get away with less scope for the most part.
                          I'm not dealing with heavy currents, so I go 3x my anticipated anchor depth. We seldom anchor deeper than 200', so I only have 600' of line. Big difference from many folks on here, I believe in plenty of heavy chain to help the anchor do it's work. The rule of thumb is a minimum of boat length for how long your chain should be, and 2x or 3x is better for rough water or strong currents.

                          Our boat is a 20' Hewescraft Open Fisherman, not all that different than a Bayrunner in terms of weight. I'm using 20' of 3/8" chain and an 11# Lewmar claw anchor. Sounds light, doesn't it? But that's the weight Lewmar recommends for 19'-23' boats. Along with that length of heavy chain it really works. Much heavier Danforth-style anchors have failed to hold on my waters, while I almost never lose my sets with that small claw. The smaller claw also takes up lot less space in the boat and is easier to handle. I rig it for "break-free" recovery with the chain shackled to the forward mount hole and a wire tie to secure it to the hole at the tip of the shank. Never come close to losing it.
                          "Lay in the weeds and wait, and when you get your chance to say something, say something good."
                          Merle Haggard

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                          • #14
                            Depends on where you're fishing. Here in Kodiak I carry 550, but rarely use more than 300 of it. Deepest I anchor is 180. I was running 20' of 3/8 chain and 500' of 7/16. Now running 20' of 5/16 chain as that's what my windlass calls for. Still no problems at all, 33lb bruce anchor. like BB said, we don't have heavy currents here, most of my fishing is 120ish fow.
                            Life's too short for an ugly boat

                            Blaze N Abel Charters
                            Kodiak, AK
                            www.alaska-fish.com
                            https://www.facebook.com/BlazeNAbelCharters/?fref=ts

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Abel View Post
                              Depends on where you're fishing. Here in Kodiak I carry 550, but rarely use more than 300 of it. Deepest I anchor is 180. I was running 20' of 3/8 chain and 500' of 7/16. Now running 20' of 5/16 chain as that's what my windlass calls for. Still no problems at all, 33lb bruce anchor. like BB said, we don't have heavy currents here, most of my fishing is 120ish fow.
                              What size boat?
                              "FREEDOM" Only those that are denied truly know what it means.

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