Types of Anchors

Various types of anchors are used with freshwater fishing boats. Our page will help you become familiar with these differences so that you can make your best anchor selection.  Don't think of just the weight but also the anchors "Digging In" ability.   Anchoring to a several hundred pound weight will hold your twenty foot fishing boat securely, but you will have a hard time raising that anchor up to your boat in order to move about.

Small Types of Anchors

The term small anchor has at least two common meanings describing two types of anchors.  One meaning is used to distinguish large vessel anchors from the small anchors that are commonly used on pleasure craft including most freshwater fishing boats.  Secondly, there are a variety of very small anchors (two -four pound) which are specifically designed for use on personal water craft such as float tubes for fishing, or one person pontoon fishing craft, and kayaks.

Common Types of Anchors

Your choice of an anchor is based on a handful of factors - size of boat, type of bottom surface where you will be fishing, water current and typical wind velocity are several of them.  Explore the following table and learn more:

Common Types of Anchors Definition, Use
Mushroom Anchor Resembles an upside down Mushroom. Relies on its weight for holding power with a minimal amount of resistance because of the Mushroom Lip. Best on soft bottoms, and in light wind or current. Or when you increase the size or mass of your Mushroom Anchor for extra holding power.
River Anchor This is a derivative of the Mushroom Anchor. Generally these have 3 flukes that are formed in place of the Mushroom Cap. Not sharp, they will still dig into soft river bottoms. They will also grab onto some rocks. A good 5:1 Scope works best. In heavy current or high winds you may find other anchors work best or possibly using a two anchor system. (Scope describes the ratio of length of rope let out vs the depth under your boat.)
Grabber or Spike Anchor Typically these anchors utilize 4-6 spikes, resembling 1/2 inch nails sticking out of the main body of the anchor. These have a tendency to grab or stick into the bottom better than the river anchor. Often there is a build in method to slip the anchor ring back in order to remove the anchor with more ease. A good Scope ratio is also helpful in making this work optimally.
Cleat or Fluke Anchor These anchors offer great holding power, when the flukes can dig into the bottom. Many of these anchors also have a built in mechanism that breaks or reversed the plane of the anchor line when ready to remove the anchor and begin its retrieve. Not the best on Grassy Bottoms.
Navy Anchor These generally are heavy anchors that have a very traditional look. Generally featuring two heavy weight flukes many anglers swear by these. Not as common on fishing boats since they rely more on their weight for holding power. Pretty good in grassy bottom areas.
Plough Anchor The term describes an anchor whose digging portion looks similar to a plow used in farming. These are relatively new but report great holding power. Perhaps not as good on sandy bottoms as they don't go as deep as other anchors.
Claw Anchor Considered an all purpose anchor that usually works in a variety of conditions. Relies on one fluke to dig into the bottom but also resets itself should the boat turn.

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Mushroom Anchor

The mushroom anchor resembles an upside down Mushroom.  Here are two types of anchors from this group.  They rely more on their weight for holding power with a minimal amount of resistance because of the Mushroom Lip.  Best on muddy and softer bottoms, and in light wind or current - or when you increase the size or mass of your Mushroom Anchor for extra holding power.   Two great options below:

Greenfield Mushroom Anchors are preferred by many experienced boaters. These rock-solid anchors are ready to go overboard, thanks to the super durable mar-resistant vinyl coating, which prevents damage to bass boat finishes, or a special rust-resistant aluminum paint. Available in 8, 10 and 15 pound weights, and either black vinyl coated or rust resistant silver painted.

River Anchors

 SeaSense River Anchors penetrate the bottom better than regular mushroom anchors. This SeaSense River Anchor will also catch and hold better on rough bottoms. Black vinyl-coated to protect the finish of your boat. 12, 15, 20 or 30-lb.  

Grabber / Spike Anchors

When looking at types of anchors that will hold your craft still, you must look at a spike anchor.  The five "grabber" prongs on this Greenfield Spike Anchor get a quick hold on your location while the centrally weighted shaft gives plenty of drag to keep you solidly anchored over your favorite fishing spot. The coated exterior is rust- and corrosion-resistant to ensure hours of dependable use. Made in USA.Available: 14 lbs for boats up to 14 ft; 18 lbs for boats up to 20 ft; and 25 lbs for boats up to 30 ft.

Cleat or Fluke Anchors

Shown here is a Digger Anchor in the group of Flake or Cleat anchors.  Grabber cleats or "diggers"  on the Digger Anchor put constant downward pressure on flukes to set fast in rough and windy conditions.  Let out approximately 5 times the amount of rope to water depth for quick anchor sets. No chain needed. Available: 10-lb. model suitable for boats to 16 ft;  12-lb. model suitable for boats to 20 ft. and 15-lb. model suitable for boats to 36 ft.  Read more about these cleat anchors on line today thru the links above.

Navy Anchors

The navy anchor has been in use for decades, and has been used for larger vessels.  the 20 pound anchor is great for a boat up to 24 feet.  Chain is recommended for proper hold with this anchor.  Greenfield products have been made in the USA since the 1950's.  Click the link above for more information.

Plough / Claw Anchors

Seachoice Claw Anchor. All - purpose anchor for a variety of conditions.  Also hot-dipped galvanized for maximum corrosion protection. The Seachoice Claw Anchor is designed for use in various sea beds, tides and wind conditions. Stows easily on bow roller.  Six sizes  for up to 47 foot vessels.  4.5 lbs up to 18 foot; 11 lbs 23 foot; 16.5 lbs up to 30 feet and more.  Read more about this great anchor on line now....


All of these types of anchors work.  Selecting anchors that have a way to dig or wedge into the bottom offer you the more holding power with less weight.  All of these anchors are reasonably priced.  There are other types of anchors used for even larger vessels.  These reported here are most common for freshwater fishing boats.

Click on the links below and read more about Anchors:

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