How to Anchor a Kayak


When kayak fishing or if you just want to rest when out for a paddle, an anchor is a useful tool. The typical anchor setup consist of the anchor itself, sufficient anchor line for the depth of water you are in and a float at the end of the line, in the event your kayak and the anchor become separated. The right anchor, along with its proper use, can help you safely and securely position your kayak where you want it, even in a fairly strong current to fish or just relax and enjoy the sights.

Select a small anchor that is easy to carry in the limited space of a kayak. recommends a 1.5 lb. to 3 lb. folding anchor that resembles a grappling hook.

Attach between 50 feet and 100 feet of nylon anchor line to the anchor, depending on the depth of the water that you normally kayak in. A good ratio is 7 feet of anchor line for every 1 foot of water. A 100-foot line will easily anchor your kayak in water 10 feet deep or less.

Attach a foam float to the other end of your anchor line. In the event that you must dump your anchor, the float will allow you to retrieve it later.

Paddle to the position where you want to set the anchor. Open the flukes of the anchor and cast it slightly away from you. Wait for the anchor to sink to the bottom and then pull the anchor to set it into the bottom.

Allow the anchor line to pay out until you reach the proper line length for the depth of the water.

Tie off your anchor line to a cleat on either the bow or stern of your kayak using a cleat hitch. Loop the anchor line in a figure-8 pattern around the cleat and then slide the end of the line under the last loop and pull the cleat hitch tight.


If you want to easily choose between a bow or stern anchorage, consider installing a shuttle system on your kayak. This system consists of a set of pulleys attached at opposite ends of the kayak with a looped line on the pulleys that attaches to the anchor line. You can then move the anchor line between the bow and the stern along the looped line and pulley system.


Kayaks are designed to ride along the current. Never anchor your kayak on the side, to prevent the current and anchor from causing your boat to capsize.

Always wear your personal flotation device when kayaking.