Let's talk about using your anchor trolley system. Now the reason that I use the word "system" is when you're anchoring, there are lots of options in how you're going to actually hold yourself in position, move along, and manage your boat position throughout the course of the day.
What I've got set up is a basic float-on-a-line with a blog knot so that the float can slide up and down. And there's a couple of ways to attach that (I'll show you one of those here in a minute).
The simplest way to set this system up, and the most effective (and also the safest) is to actually fold your line over and leave your buoy out trailing behind you.
- Take the loop and bring the loop through the ring for your anchor trolley system. And what I like to do is, bring that loop through and give myself a little bit of slack.
- Find an attachment point for this. It can be a jam cleat, it can be a deck fitting. On Wilderness Systems boats, we have a nice little bungee handle. And this thing connects right back here. And I bring this over the top and lock it in place.
- Simply run your trolley to where you want the boat to pivot from, and now you have a nice clean connection.
The beautiful thing about having a real simple way to connect is, it's also a fast and effective way to dump this anchor line. If I got in a situation where the current was bad or I hooked into a big fish and it was taking me for a ride and want to dump the anchor line and get away from it so I can fight the fish and then come back to it and not lose my anchor, simply pull this tab and the rope comes out clean, the buoy floats your anchor line up and you just come back and retrieve it after you've landed your fish or after you're safe.
Retrieving an Anchor
Let's talk about getting back on anchor. I just talked about dumping the anchor and then going in and retrieving your fish or getting out of a dangerous situation. How do you get back on the anchor? You're going to come back to this buoy and it's going to be fluttering in the current or just laying on top if you're not in current. But current is a situation where you can get hurt.
The way that I do it is, I paddle past it and I actually scoop the buoy with my paddle and bring the line up, and grab it with my mouth. I paddle forward until I put enough slack in the line that I can get back on anchor, by folding my loop over. And as I'm drifting back to a set, run it through the ring and connect it again.
What I never do, NEVER, is paddle up, grab the buoy and try to hand-over-hand myself back into position, pull the line through the ring and reconnect it.
Always set your anchor under slack. Never try to reset your anchor under tension, and that will keep you from avoiding a potentially dangerous situation.