Anchoring Systems: Anchor vs. Power Pole vs. Integrated GPS

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Anchoring used to be as simple as tossing the hook over the side, but these days, you can choose from a traditional anchor, systems like the Power Pole, or even an integrated GPS system that uses your engine or trolling motor to hold your boat in one spot. Which is the best one? That depends on where you are, and what you’re doing.

How will you get your boat to stay put? An anchor, Power Pole, or integrated GPS is the answer.

ANCHOR – The traditional anchor is still the best way to go in many situations. It’s reliable, simple, and inexpensive. Of course, you also know the weaknesses: different bottom types require different models, sometimes they pull free, it’s a hassle to raise and lower them, they make the boat messy, and your boat swings back and forth on the anchor line instead of staying in exactly the same spot.

POWER POLE – This is a new form of anchoring, and it’s an extremely useful one. The pole hums down from your boat and into the bottom, keeping you in the exact same spot at the press of a button. In relatively shallow water where pin-point positioning is a must, these are tough to beat. Down-sides? These things are expensive, and can cost thousands of dollars. And, they’re limited in depth range (depending on what size and type you buy). Finally, they’re a bit more complex than the dirt-simple anchor, which means there’s more stuff to go wrong.

INTEGRATED GPS – Systems ranging from twin-inboard propulsion (pod drives like the Zeus), to outboards (Mercury Skyhook), to electric trolling motors (such as Minn Kota’s Spot-Lock), make it possible for you to hold your boat in place by pressing a button, and letting the power system do all the work. This is most certainly an easy way to get the job done, especially in very deep waters, but your boat has to be rigged with a propulsion system that offers the function – unless you plan on re-powering. On the flip side, using these systems means engine noise and prop-wash can become factors that affect the fishing. And in some cases, strong winds or tides can make the performance less than spectacular.

So, which one’s best for you? That’s your call. But consider the strengths and weaknesses of each, before you make your choice.

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