I had the unfortunate experience of fishing an Idaho Lake a few weeks ago when the wind started blowing and gusting like crazy. I was fishing in my pontoon boat and I was soon swinging and swaying with the wind. Trying to cast and present my flies where I wanted to was downright impossible. I essentially gave up. There were some other people fishing out of double anchored boats and they were fishing comfortably and having no problem at all. They were catching fish and I was trying to just stay in one place. Luckily the wind died down and I was able to continue fishing. I’ve learned my lesson.
My older “Water Skeeter” pontoon boat and most other pontoon boats come with a rear anchor system which is helpful with controlling stillwater presentations. Until the wind really starts blowing that is! I’ve found that whether you are fishing out of a pontoon boat, float tube or boat, line control during the retrieve is critical. When the wind starts blowing rear anchored pontoon boats spin and sway around the rear anchor, which really challenge your presentation control and for me, my patience.
To solve this problem I purchased a “Scotty” Anchor cleat with an additional rail mount accessory. By adding a second anchor cleat to the front frame of my pontoon boat, it has really helped the spinning and and swaying when the wind comes up. I had to fuzz with my rail mount a bit, but it works really well. I mounted my forward anchor on the left frame rail, just before the right angle turn for the foot peg. My theory was that as a right handed caster this placement keeps my fly line away from the anchor cleat. So far this has worked out well.
I am using a 5 lb. pyramid anchor that I had laying around and it seems to hold well enough. It definitely has kept the swaying around down. I’ve found that if I first set rear anchor I can then lower the front anchor and I’m good to go. My frustration with the wind has literally blown away. I can now concentrate on the fishing.
The sad part is that I’d already purchased the “Scotty” Anchor cleat before I’d gone fishing on that lake in Idaho, I just hadn’t mounted it yet.