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The Danger of Anchoring a Fishing Boat From The Stern

The Danger of Anchoring a Fishing Boat From The Stern

You might have noticed that most boats at the sandbar anchor from the bow and occasionally from both the bow and the stern, but never just the stern.

In this article, we will discuss the proper method of anchoring and the danger of anchoring a fishing boat from the stern.

The Dangers of Stern Anchoring

There are several key risks of anchoring your fishing boat from the stern rather than the bow:

  • Swamping – The square, flat shape of the stern allows waves to easily break over the transom and splash into the boat, potentially filling it with water. This risk is increased by the weight of the engine on the stern.
  • Structural Strain – The turbulence created by anchoring from the stern puts excessive strain on the boat’s frame and components like doors and hatches.
  • Rudder Damage – The lower position of the stern exposes the rudder to more forceful water pressure, increasing the chances of damage. The anchor line can also snag and break the rudder.
  • Maneuvering Issues – It’s much harder to adjust the boat’s position when anchored from the stern than the bow. This makes it difficult to avoid collisions or drifting into danger.
  • Capsizing – The imbalance and lack of control raises the risk of the boat tipping over when anchored improperly.

How to Anchor a Fishing Boat Safely

To keep your fishing boat secure and avoid the dangers of stern anchoring:

  • Position the bow into the wind or current before lowering the anchor.
  • Only drop the anchor from the bow, never the stern. Use a bow cleat to secure the line.
  • Use 7-10 times more anchor line than the water depth.
  • Set sightlines onshore to reference in case the boat drifts.
  • Periodically check the anchor line and knots for wear. Consider splicing rather than knotting.
  • Check weather forecasts before heading out.


Properly anchoring from the bow gives you much greater control and visibility when fishing. It also reduces strain on the boat and prevents swamping. Follow these tips to safely secure your fishing boat and avoid the pitfalls of stern anchoring.

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Picture of Steve Momot

Steve Momot

Steve is an accomplished professional photographer and marketer who specializes in the Fishing, Yacht, and Boating industry. With a strong presence as an influencer and marketing expert in the Marine Industry, he has made a significant impact in the field. Additionally, Steve is the original creator and co-founder of Sportfishtrader. Prior to his career as a marine photographer, he gained extensive experience as a licensed boat and car dealer in South Florida.

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