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Anchoring in the Gulf of Mexico? Tampa Bay Area

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  • Anchoring in the Gulf of Mexico? Tampa Bay Area

    So, after leaving my second Bruce anchor in 45 feet of water the other weekend, I'm obviously doing it wrong. I'll get some pictures when the new anchor mount comes in (separate issue; the clear coat was peeling and Anchor Caddie is sending a free replacement!)

    In Charleston, SC, with a muddy bottom, I never had issues popping it up. I used a few zip ties and the chain is tied to the front of the anchor, not the end of the arm. If it set too hard, the zip ties would pop and reversing the pull would pop the anchor.

    In the Gulf off Clearwater, It would set hard and pull the ties every time. So, I used a loop of galvanized electric fence wire. It should have been relatively easy to pull apart, but I have managed to pop the rope twice. The first time may have just been old rope, but the second one popped new 5/8 braided line.

    Am I simply using the wrong anchor for the bottom? I have an 15 pound plow anchor that I will be hanging next. I will rig it the same, but with a zip tie instead of the wire. Any suggestions are welcome!

  • #2
    I use a danforth style anchor with 20' of chain on it and I have yet to lose it on my boat. I have only ever lost one and that was my dad's but I got it hung in a wreck. I didn't put out enough line and it drug into the structure before it dug in and at that moment it belonged to the reef. I have never used the plow anchor type but a buddy of mine does and he rigs his the same way you do with the zip ties and he doesn't seem to have any troubles, and we're always fishing in the Gulf out of the Tampa area.
    '90 Tuppens 231 Polk City, FL


    • #3
      We typically anchor on rocks and other snaggy structure where we fish. I’ve been using the same grapnel type anchor for 15 years without losing it. Combined with anchor ball it’s easy to retrieve. The key to getting the anchor ball to work properly is to have plenty of chain.
      I rig it from the top like you described, and zip tie chain to the ring at the base of the shaft. Usually one zip tie, sometimes two depending on the seas, depth, ...etc.
      Click image for larger version  Name:	C0FA7F47-CB18-49E2-A008-C9F28CD20DD6.jpeg Views:	0 Size:	4.4 KB ID:	547803
      Last edited by kgfisher; 09-26-2020, 06:21 AM.
      M20 project-Finally Splashed!


      • #4
        I am very new to boating so I apologize if this is common knowledge, but I have settled on a way to get my 8lb fluke type anchor out every time with little fuss.

        In South East Florida, we have a variety of bottom from sandy to muddy to reef to grassy, whatever. Obviously the sand is easy, you just have to pay out plenty of rode to get it to hold. On reefs is where it can get stuck. My friend brought his anchor ball with him a few times and I wasn't particularly impressed with the results. It actually bent the anchor stem. So after coming to the conclusion that the anchor with plenty of rode has too much leverage, I gather in all the rode and get the line as vertical as possible to eliminate the mechanical advantage it has. Then use reverse and sometimes steering it to get it to unhook. Has worked very well so far.

        Of course this has been at a max of 100' of depth so I can't say what it would do in deeper waters. Like I said, new to boating so I have a lot left to learn.
        95 232 w/225 Opti Hollywood, FL


        • #5
          I use a grapple in the Keys and a fortress FX 11 in the gulf. both rigged as you described and both with 20+' Chain. the Nice thing about the Fortress is it is Aluminum, it has a lifetime warranty aSo if you bend it getting it out of the rocks or anywhere else Fortress will send you new parts for it

          1983 Mako 254/1999 Sport Nautique GT-40/1997 Sea Doo GSi/ 1984 Surf Jet


          • #6
            Like Z Man, grappel in the Keys where everything is snaggy reef

            aluminum out of Tampa