Anchoring and Docking
- Marine/Boat Anchors, Fenders, mooring Buoys, Anchor Parts and Accessories for sale

STEALTH-Design Anchor >>


Problems - Anchoring Problems, Facts and Rules

Fisherman type - Fisherman anchors, characteristics & advice for selection

Columbia River Anchor - How to

Anchor type & info

Columbia River Anchor

Columbia River Anchor Setup

a Typical Columbia River Anchor Setup include:

- Rocking Chair style anchor - in most cases a 25lb depending on bottom conditions and boat size.

- Anchor Chain - 3' to 10' of anchor chain

- Anchor Nest - or Also device to hold your anchor on the bow. Bow Roller, Holder etc

- Rope - 300' of 3/8" Rope (Solid Braid Nylon).

- The combination Buoy Ball with an Anchor Puller

- Boat Cleat that will allow you to secure your anchor line & rode

- Anchor Rode Bag or Anchor Rope, A mesh bag works good

- Small Buoy for Anchor Rope Bag

what you learn while use a Columbia Anchor system:

1: Lots of little things to consider when doing it by yourself.

2: Deploying the anchor by yourself is actually quite easy.

3: Unhooking by myself to fight a fish will be interesting the first time it happens for real. I’m not sure which step will come first but I’m sure there will be a steep learning curve.

4: The hardest part about doing this alone - BY FAR - is retrieving the bag to tie back off after (presumably) landing a fish. A dock hook is a must have (must buy).

5: Using the boat to lift the anchor is pretty straightforward and easy. Retrieving the anchor by yourself is NOT easy. It requires quick hands and a good deal of luck to keep the boat straight.

6: Anchor fishing is so much more relaxing than trolling. Why I waited so many years to try it is beyond me. I’m looking forward to bringing a good book and trying it for real in a couple weeks.

7. Anchoring and hauling anchor is a major source of boating accidents and it deserves care and attention. Always wear pfd and pay attention to details every time.

How to use a Columbia Anchor system:

Length between boat and ball

Less length between boat and ball, 10 ft is ideal. 10-15 feet is plenty, even for huge boats.

It really depends on many factors, current, wind being the 2 biggest. But with 150 ft of line out I personally like to leave the ball as far back as possible to lesson the angle of the rope. You can use a rope pinch so all you have to do is tug it and throw the rope..shouldn't take more then 5 seconds to drop the ball.

That being said, on my tag end of my setup you can use a very small buoy and a carabiner and just hook it to a cleat, then when you unhook quick, just throw it overboard and the carabiner floats.

U can get them for cheaper, but get a pike pole, for rope fetching less chance of falling over board.

In shallow waters

Zip ties

Zip ties will weaken over time and bonneville current is 2 to 3 times stronger than what you experience im river and always replace your zip ties before going - you can use 2 mediums.

You want a flat rope angle and leave kicker on in neutral for a while until you feel comfortable you are in the spot you want and are holding especially if boats are below like at shad rack. The bigger anchor holds better and we make sure to get enough rope out so boats passing leaving a wake don't break us loose.

Up your anchor weight.

And also add more rope out to less the rope angle. .you want it to lay as flat as possible.

Due to the quicker current

You have to go up farther drop and run kicker in reverse while releasing line so anchor will lay flat and catch, put your kicker in forward when you get close to anchor spot...always 1st test anchor a couple boat lengths above the hog line by using kicker to keep you even while the person releasing anchor pulls on it and ties it off...idle kicker down and if its stuck, idle it back up and release a little more line and throw ball and slide into spot - Never recommend this at bonneville, takes 2 people that know how to do it right. If it doesn't stick run back up and pull anchor and repeat.

It is a lot quicker process then anchoring downriver in less current and can easily go south if someone panics. Usually you can stick 1st try but have had to redo it due to the anchor skipping too far down or being too far off to slide into hog line. Everyone should have life jackets on while this is being done and all the.anchor rope rebagged to prevent getting caught in loose rope. And always have extra zip ties and be prepared to lose anchor if it wont come unstuck. Boat is not worth losing for a $100 anchor.

After you've lifted the anchor and you are pulling in the slack, set the engine to idle in reverse, it keeps the line out in front of you, so less chance of tangling. These work great for a quick release. You just pull and toss and float out away from the anchor. Of course use lots of floats on your line.

boat calm cleat

There is also a knot you can tie onto a clear where you use the tension of the line to pinch a tag loop.

If you’re line fishing

Is when you drop early on the line, dont ever shear over to correct a bad drop. Take the time to pull and drop again so your rope is always straight out. If you shear, and the next guy comes in doesnt notice your shear, he’ll drop where he thinks is cool, and it might be right on top of your anchor because you’re sheared over. Stuff like that really causes problems.

With a bigger boat

With a bigger boat, you like to keep an longer length between ball and boat. Big waves can bounce a boat and dislodge the anchor off the bottom. A longer length gives some wave absorption.

Quick Release

Get one of these. Makes everything much faster and safer

Release from your Columbia River anchor

That pic is in the open position. You just put a loop in your anchor line where ever you want. Hook the loop into this hook and when you want to release just pull the release line and it pulls the hook open and releases your anchor rope. No need to run to the front of the boat and untie the anchor. Also faster in emergency when you want off the rope fast. IE a log or stump coming into you or a disabled boat.

Just made this short video of the quick release in the nest.


You could run a line through the helm to pull it from the captain’s seat. release line will go to the back of the boat so you can operate from anywhere you want. Of course the release line would be run to the back of the boat where you and your rods are. No need to go to the bow to release.

Typically have the rope over the windshield and if the top is on we run it over the windshield and under the top then weave it between the fabric and hoops so it hangs down in the back. You gotta pull pretty good so it's not something you are going to have an oops with.
Just be sure you rig the extra anchor rope in a bag and set off off to the side of the anchor nest so it don't hang up on anything as it pulls in.

Experience - Setup: A rope bag, a rope clam clear, a tag line with a small float attached to the end of the rope in the bag.

Might not be the best way for everyone else but it works for me.

Once you get anchored start your kicker and let it run for about 5 minutes so it is warm and ready to go. You will most always be using a drift sock, make sure you have it rigged in a 2 rope system and keep it close to the boat. Put your net together and have it ready.

When you hook a fish start the kicker get it up on a high idle, pull the back rope on the drift sock, being able to get this in with 1 arm pull will make life easier. Grab your tag rope with the float on the end (I keep mine on the roof of my top) give it a yank so it pops out of the clam cleat and give it a toss to clear bow of boat. Back to the kicker to idle it down and fight the fish, at this point I get the net where it is ready at arms length.

Once you are done with fish, make sure you have a boat hook, open top and windshield so you have quick easy access to the bow head up to your tag float when you get about a boat length from it slow down to just making progress against the current keep going until you think the float has touched the actual bow of the boat. Kick motor in neutral and get up on the bow quick the boat will have to travel several feet to be out of your reach so you should have plenty of time to get to it and get re-chocked up.

Pulling the anchor, as you know with the puller you pull along side the float and then use some throttle while slightly steering away from it till the ball reaches the end of the rope (I use a white and green braided rope the paint about the last 5' of the rope the brightest orange or red spray paint I can find, when I see the bright color on the rope I know the float is all the way at the anchor.) If I am hog line fishing I steer my boat out into the middle of the river away from all the other boats, mindfully I am pulling my anchor behind me so give plenty of room. Once away from everyone kick the motor out of gear and pull the float and anchor to the boat and head for the dock.