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What you need to know for 01/23/2018

Boating: Anchor winch very useful to help give back a break

Boating: Anchor winch very useful to help give back a break

With the exception of a personal water craft, all mechanically propelled vessels must carry an ancho

With the exception of a personal water craft, all mechanically propelled vessels must carry an anchor and line of sufficient weight and strength to provide the vessel with safe anchorage.

For most motor boaters, especially those who are not anglers, they seldom use their anchors, but those of us who fish, do. Actually, I would say that the live-bait anglers use them the most.

Pike fishermen, for example, who are tossing out a tennis ball-sized bobber with eight- to 10-inch shiners/suckers beneath them outside a weed edge, do. Usually, after an hour or so, if there is no action, they will move to another location.

Depending upon how many of these anchor down/anchor ups there are, your arms and backs can be a bit sore. Make 10 stops in a day, anchoring at each one with a 25-pound anchor would equal a total 200 pounds, the results of which you will usually feel the next morning.

I am not really a live-bait angler, but I do a lot of stop-and-go fishing. When I catch a bass, especially a smallmouth, in the Hudson River, Mohawk River, the Great Sacandaga Lake and even Saratoga Lake, I drop a buoy marker and the anchor. Now considering I am on the water at least eight hours a day three to four days a week, frequently dropping and lifting that anchor takes its toll.

I have several areas on all of the rivers/lakes I fish that harbor large numbers of schooled smallmouth bass. I have one area in the Hudson River which actually gave up a 102 smallies in one eight-hour day. However, it took nine moves, each of which required the use of an anchor.

We went through a lot of wacky worms that day. And after doing this for the past 10-plus years, it has caught up with me, and thus, Aleve has entered my life.

As a one-time avid bass tournament participant, I envy those big bass boaters I see with the new power poles, but I do not envy the four-figure prices tags on these units.

I also tried using the electric trolling motor to hold on these spots, but the noise and vibration of that spinning prop did affect the fish bite, as well as drawing the batteries down much more quickly. So I was destined to go back to lowering and lifting the anchor and following up with the Aleve.

But recently, I found an open Bass Pro Shop catalog next to my dinner plate, left there by my wife. Circled in red was a photo of their BPS Fisherman Anchor Winch. That evening, right after dinner, I placed the telephone order.

This unit is designed to handle anchors up to 25 pounds; which is what I have. The unit itself measures just 10x93⁄4 x 53⁄4 inches, which fits perfectly on my deck. It features an anti-reverse with an internal clutch that prevents free spooling, retrieval rate of 65 feet per minute and it comes with 100 feet of 3⁄16-inch nylon anchor line and runs on 12 volt DC power, which I have attached to electric trolling motor batteries.

As for the anchor, because I primarily fish the upper Hudson River which always has a current, I chose a river anchor. It is designed for the currents and heavy drift conditions.

There is a grapnel style that is ideal for small boats and dinghies, a mushroom that offers effective holding power in mud and weeds (good for Saratoga Lake). For rocky bottoms, the Navy anchor is very good and will also penetrate weeds. For extreme penetration in sandy or loose gravel bottom, the Fluke anchor is your best choice.

Fishing is supposed to be relaxing and fun. and an electric fisherman anchor winch will make it less painful. Your back will thank you for it.

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