Essential Outdoor Skill: Anchor to Fish a Reef

Mid-lake reefs, humps, and bars attract walleyes, smallmouths, pike, yellow perch, and other gamefish. But trolling around spooks your quarry during prime low-light conditions when fish are foraging up in the shallows.

Slip-bobber fishing offers an effective solution to this challenge. But when you anchor up, you're stuck in one spot, and as we've established, moving around can shut down the bite. Instead, use this trick to set two anchors and be able to adjust your position silently and subtly to probe other spots on the reef. You'll need 200 feet of rope for each anchor.

Motor into position upwind of the reef. Keep the boat in deeper water but within casting distance of the target structure. Place one anchor out from the bow of the boat, and let out rope as you use your motor to back across the breeze. When you're almost out of rope for the bow anchor, put out your other anchor from the stern and cut your trolling motor.

Let out rope for the stern anchor as you gather rope from the bow anchor, to position your boat crosswise to the reef, midway between the two anchors. Cast slip-bobber rigs to the reef. The breeze helps carry your bait toward the structure. Explore different depths.

To reposition your boat along the reef, feed rope from one anchor while pulling in rope from the other. Now you can probe new spots along the structure without revving up engines and spooking fish.