Get Off that Anchor

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Sometimes when we're anchored, we hook a fish that threatens to spool us unless we follow it. To solve the problem, I bought an inexpensive orange "bullet" float and ran a 3' to 4' piece of 3/8" nylon anchor line through the center hole. Then I spliced a loop in each end of the line (a big loop that is large enough to attach to the bow cleat on my boat and a smaller loop sized so a double piece of anchor line will fit through it). To drop the anchor line in place I simply pull a loop of anchor line through the smaller loop of the float line and put the loop over the float to make a loop-to-loop (cat's paw) connection to the anchor line. Then I throw the float overboard, release the boat from the anchor line and follow the fish. Or I can pass the loop in the end of the anchor line through the smaller loop, over the float and tighten the resulting loop-to-loop connection. Either way, we can quickly drop our anchor to follow a fish without worrying about losing the anchor and rode. Just remember to hit the man-overboard button on the GPS to make it easier to find the float when the fight is over.

- John Henry David, Neptune Beach, Florida