Most moochers from the lower 48 find anchor mooching counter intuitive. You don’t cover new ground and the boat doesn’t move and help keep the bait spinning. You just plunk the anchor and sit there. But, it works and here are 7 reasons why.
1. Your drift is too fast: Wind and current sometimes make it impossible to maintain an efficient line angle or stay over the sweet spot.
2. Spread out the effort: On anchor every angler can pick a location on the boat – fore or aft, port or starboard. We built our walkaround boats with this in mind.
3. Combo fishing: On anchor it’s much easier to hit bottom and stay in contact with it making it more likely to catch halibut and other bottom species while fishing for salmon at the same time.
4. Bottom hugging salmon: Sometimes kings really favor the bottom. On anchor you can hang baits just off the bottom and leave them in the high percentage water.
5. Slow salmon: There are times when salmon like a dead slow bait. Drifting, even at a snail’s pace, moves your bait too quickly through the water.
6. Sitting on the sweet spot: Salmon are highly focused on schools of needlefish (Pacific sandlance). In turn, needlefish can be highly focused on very specific locations on the edges of gravel flats. If you have the bait location dialed in and anchor over it, you’ll be in the sweet spot all the time, not just for part of a drift.
7. Creating the sweet spot: When people start catching fish from an anchored boat, a good deal of commotion gets generated. The hooked salmon flash and thrash creating a visual and a sonic stimulus that attracts more salmon. The cleaning of the landed salmon leads to little morsels of food, scales, and scent drifting down from the boat. The constant motion of mooched herring going up and down in the water column also creates scents and sights that attract fish. Commotion generates more commotion and, over time, the water under your anchored boat becomes the sweet spot.
It’s 20 below (again) so I am planning my trips by the wood stove. Got two kid clients this year and both are looking forward to some epic Alaskan fishing adventures. Angling Unlimited here we come.
PS A certain ice fishing video was a great hit on the lake. As one fellow put it “that little lady puts the spring in my tip-up”
Happy fishing people – wherever you are.
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