Fishing & Boating News

Getting Nowhere Fast!

by: Ron Anlauf,

Pro Angler Mark Courts stayed put to nail this giant walleye.
Photo by Ron Anlauf
(Mar. 27, 2014 - Braham, MN)

There comes a time when you just have to stay put, especially if you're trying to put a hurt on a boat full of walleyes, work a bedded bass, or maybe keep chucking a bait at a monster musky. In this fast paced world of run and gun techniques and chasing down active fish; there are times when you might fly right on by the best thing going which might not be going anywhere all!

Anchoring up or dropping the hook is what we're really talking about which can be the perfect method for extracting fish when you've got them pinned down. Likely "pinned down" hop spots include rocky reefs and weed flats in natural lakes, timber and weed flats in freaks of nature like Devil's Lake in North Dakota, and wing dams in bigger rivers. The common denominator in all of the above is that you're likely to find smaller specific spots where most of the biters are holed up. When it happens you can really cash in if you concentrate your time and effort on the "spot on the spot". It's also where anchoring up comes in to play which allows you to give a spot your undivided attention.

Conventional anchoring methods include dropping an anchor upwind and then letting out rope and drifting back until you end up where you had hoped to be.

It works but takes a little time (maybe a lot) to get proficient at it and there is still the matter of "swing". Swing happens when the wind moves your boat back and forth and could be thirty feet or more in total when you have a lot of rope out. The answer might be dropping another anchor on a short rope but that can be a hassle and you run the risk of spooking fish if you have to drop it in the middle of your hotspot. Unconventional anchoring comes in the form of high tech electric trolling motors like the Minn Kota Terrova with Spot Lock that uses Global Positioning to stay put as well as the latest and hottest equipment like the Minn Kota Talon which is simply a pole that is deployed with the push of a button and stays in contact with the bottom.

Pole type anchors were originally developed for salt water anglers fishing shallow flats who wanted to stay put and cast to their quarry. Bass anglers picked up on it and starting using it with much success and the "bottom stickers" have become the norm for the best equipped boats. In fact; many are now using two pole type anchors to keep them positioned exactly where they want to be. Even walleye anglers have seen the need and why professional angler Mark Courts of Harris, Minnesota has at least one Talon mounted on his big twenty-one foot Ranger at any given time. Mark on staying put: "Early in the season there are many times when we find walleyes stacked up in the weeds and the spot where the fish come from might be as big as a bread box. By dropping the Talon I can stay right on the spot and really work it over and make the most of the situation. I'll even pull my kicker off the boat and mount up another Talon in its place when the shallow fish are really going. Even with a pole type anchor on the transom you can still get a small amount of swing and the extra Talon really pins it down. The two pole setup is perfect for the working the front of wingdams especially if there's a blowout where walleyes can really stack up. And with the new three-stage twelve foot Talon you can now effectively fish in even deeper water and really opens up the opportunities for use. I'll use the Talon to hold me in perfect position while casting out of the front of the boat. Up front there's no engine to worry about getting into when you do hook up with a big fish. Same thing goes for musky anglers who want to stay put and work out of the front of the boat. You can hook up, hang on, and have fewer obstructions to worry about. When I do get into water too deep for the Talon I'll switch over to the Terrova and use the "Spot Lock" feature to take over the boat control."

You wouldn't think a pole that sticks straight up down would be that effective and be durable enough to take the strain and abuse of holding a big boat like Mark's in place but according to him the Talon is definitely up to the task. Mark on taking a beating: "The Talon is virtually indestructible and has a lifetime warranty on the fiberglass pole. It also has modes that react differently to bottom content and conditions. In the soft bottom mode it can sense contact and will only go so deep before stopping. In the rough water mode pressure is monitored and reacted to so it can stay in constant contact with the bottom." See you on the water.

Ron Anlauf