Posted by Matt Ball on September 06, 2017
Driving home from this past weekend’s KBF New River two day tournament I had a few hours to reflect on my 5th place finish and think about what I did right and what I could have done a little better to improve my finish. I will leave the things that I could have done better for another time but want to share one of those things that I felt had a big role in my strong finish against some of the best anglers in the country when it comes to Smallmouth Bass fishing.
The one thing this weekend that I feel had a big impact on my ability to catch fish was an awesome product called the Anchor Wizard. Now I have had this item on my kayak for 2 years and always used it without much thought to the advantage it plays in boat position. This became very clear to me on day one of the tournament when I got my anchor snagged and had to cut it loose. I went no more than one hour without an anchor and knew real quick that without it my chances were slim.
How can this make such a difference you ask? Well, during pre fishing, myself and my good buddy Coy Lehman, a Wilderness Systems Pro Staffer, had figured out that the good fish were holding just above and below the faster moving water. The only way to effectively fish these spots was to deploy a front anchor which placed the front of the boat upstream allowing you to bring your bait with the current to the bass waiting to ambush its prey. Without the anchor the amount of casts you could get in these areas was very few. Now I know most people will say not to use an anchor in the current and yes it is a tricky and sometimes dangerous tactic and some common sense needs to come into play here. However, in the right conditions, holding just above the riffle in the push water or just below the rough water is key to finding Smallmouth and a lot of times the big ones.
The benefit of the Anchor Wizard off the bow of your boat is it allows your boat to handle the current moving past your boat and gives you a better presentation. It is also much safer than dropping an anchor from the stern in the current. The thing to remember is to keep a knife handy to cut the rope if things get sketchy. Also I don't recommend using a grapnel type anchor for this method. I prefer a 5 to 8 lb dumbbell or kettle bell which is much less likely to get stuck. After snagging and having to cut my anchor loose this past weekend I was forced to use a large river rock tied off to hold me in position and it worked quite well. The convenience of the ability to crank up the line with one hand, free my anchor, and then move position made finding the sweet spots much easier and led to more fish in the boat.
With all the accessories available today to improve your time on the water The Anchor Wizard ranks right near the top. Check out the Anchor Wizard along with tons of other great must have products at Fishing Online.