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Daily fishing report

By BRENT GASKILL

© St. Petersburg Times,
published August 26, 2001


Anchoring properly is a fundamental task for boaters. It is a necessity for some types of fishing and a safety issue for all vessels. But the lack of ground tackle on many boats is surprising.

The Danforth style anchor is the most common for our area. The trick to making these anchors work is the chain. A short length of light vinyl-coated chain purchased from a local marine retailer will not work well in open water. Heavy, three-eighth-inch chain, at least 6-8 feet, is needed to hold the anchor down and make the flukes stick. For lightweight aluminium anchors, even more chain may be needed.

The anchor line is called the rode. The amount of rode let out in relation to the depth is called scope. The Coast Guard recommends a 7-to-1 scope for safe anchoring: The prepackaged 150-foot lengths commonly sold to new boaters is good only for depths up to about 20 feet. Less scope can be used for fishing, but anchoring in 50 feet of water with 150 feet of line can be difficult.

My advice is to not skimp on the anchor. Make sure you have enough chain and rode to safely fish at the depths for which your vessel is designed.

-- Capt. Brent Gaskill charters the Summer Vacation out of St. Petersburg and can be reached at (727) 343-1765 or by e-mail at gaskill@tampabay.rr.com.

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