How To Trip An Anchor
By Captain Dave Tilley
As Appeared in The Fisherman's Post
Bottom fishing can be an expensive venture if you are not careful with your ground tackle. Here is a great way to keep from losing all that expensive hardware. It is called Tripping your anchor. Let me say this first, this method of anchoring is for fishing only. This is NOT for anchoring in emergency situations.
When you are out fishing and your anchor gets Hung about the only thing you can do is pull around it and hope you get it back. This is because the anchor is being pulled by the shank. You can easily bend, break or lose your ground tackle in this situation. In order to keep from losing it, you should set it up so when the anchor gets hung you can pull it by the crown instead. How? By Tripping it.
First drill a hole in the crown of your anchor. Then take your chain (You are using chain right? ) and use a shackle to attach it to the hole you made in the crown. Now take the chain and run it up the length of the shank. Leave enough loose chain so the flukes can move freely throughout their entire range but not enough that it can tangle or get in the way of the anchor setting. Now take a stiff wire coat hanger and attach the chain to the top of the shank. Here is where you will have to experiment a little. Try to use just enough wraps to hold you anytime that the anchor is not Hung. You want the clothes hanger connection to be the weak link in the setup.
For example I use 3 wraps on my 25 Aquasport, 6 wraps on the 54 foot Gypsy and 10 wraps on the 65 foot headboat Captain Hook.
Here is how it works. Your anchor has slid all the way into the ledge you were trying to fish on. You go to pull it up but the anchor is Hung. Well it is real easy to get it back. You pull forward on the rode, just like you were using an anchor ball, in an arch. Once you are in front of the anchor, line the boat up straight on the rode and slowly apply engine pressure. The clothes hanger wraps break and now you are pulling the anchor from the bottom by the crown and out it comes. It takes about 5 minutes to put a few new wraps on and away you go to catch that next grouper. Thanks to your Tripped Anchor you still have all that expensive ground tackle and rode.
Tight Lines and Slight Seas