Berleying and anchoring - how to and what not to...

General Kayak Fishing Discussions
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Posts: 19
Joined: Wed Apr 18, 2018 11:48 am
Kayak Make: Phoenix
Kayak Model: Hornet
Location: Whangaparaoa

Mon Jan 21, 2019 10:17 pm

Hi Guys I tend to drift and soft bait - have played with slider rigs and some jigs - fanky, inchuku etc.

However went out last weekend fishing with a top chap who generally catches when I dont. we both didnt.....

Looking on the trip reports for that weekend could help but see the amount of kayakers who (even though they mentioned how slow it was) still caught a feed and produced the goods to take some fish home for dinner. most if not all seemed to be berleying.

I haven't ever berley'd on the yak or anchored. (just been happy to drift and soft bait) .

looking at trying this option all thoughts and stories welcome....(some epic tales would be great)

I'm fishing close to home in 2mtrs - 20mtrs max mostly around 6-8 mtrs on the foul line of a reef or 9-20mtrs drifting over sand.

My initial thoughts are

1 - Find a hole, outcrop. drop off and sit up current, anchor and berley so current takes trail over where I think the fish may be holding and hang tight for up to 2-4 hrs with a lure/soft bait cast into the current path.

2 - Anchor anywhere there is a strong current (thinking deeper over the sand) and do same

3- Set berley - with its own buoy, anchor rig. park(anchor up current and cast next to berley setup?)

4 - cover myself in berley - tie anchor to feet and purchase life insurance.

as you can see I have no idea what I'm doing.


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Bear Jules
Posts: 166
Joined: Sat Nov 03, 2012 8:46 pm
Kayak Make: Ocean Kayak
Kayak Model: Prowler 13
VHF Call Sign: -
Location: Upper Hutt Wellington

Tue Jan 22, 2019 12:37 am

Hi Gavmania. For me I have always anchored, bait and burleyed so I can't comment on softbaiting / drifting. I fish predominantly over sand in around 12-13m of water so I rely on the burley to attract fish to me so for me it's a must.

I purchase 2 burley bombs (sometimes make my own with a mulcher) and have one that is in a burley pot (blue barrel type from the warehouse) which is connected to the anchor rope. I tie a loop in the anchor rope 2m from the end of the anchor chain. Very important: tie the burley pot to the rope with light nylon 15-20lb. This is so if a decent size shark gets hold of it you won't get taken for a ride or capsized. It will break at that weak point. (I recently pulled up my anchor rope with no burley pot attached so something with sharp teeth got it) .Also I always have my anchor rope coming off the front or the rear of the kayak to position myself via the anchor trolley (running rig) never in the centre.

The other burley bomb I use on the surface in the mesh bag which I break up somewhat and dunk it in the water on a regular basis as a constant stream of goodness going down current. I don't ever have the burley just hanging off (tied onto) the side of the kayak (like my mate does!!) for the reason of a large predator grabbing it potentially. Eeek!

So with burley at the top and bottom taken care of I also take old pilchards and cut them into small chunks and throw a handful in on occasion.

I like to use a good amount of burley because I'm not fishing next to structure so I have to get the fish come from wherever they may be hiding.

Your idea of a separate float / anchor rig could be a good one too I just try to keep things simple.

I have tried a separate rope with burley attached at the bottom but keep getting my fishing line snagged on it so gave up on that. (It was tied on to my kayak not with a float ie remotely)

Another tip is to break up with your bait knife the burley sausage so it can disperse better when below. I have had the problem of after 4hrs fishing bringing the burley pot in and there's still 3/4 left. That's even in a reasonable current too.

Best thing is to make your own I feel out of old fish frames, old pilchards, bran, fish oil, rice etc. I purchased a brand new mulcher from trade me for this specific task and works a treat. It paid for itself after 2 sessions. I calculated it out with the price of a burley bomb at $8.50....

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Posts: 121
Joined: Fri Dec 26, 2014 10:14 pm
Kayak Make: Prowler
Kayak Model: 13

Tue Jan 22, 2019 7:06 am

I tie mine to the anchor rope to ensure it stays well behind the kayak and fishing lines. I have hung it over the back but it does regularly get caught up in the fishing line.
The stronger the current, the closer to the bottom I place it.
I've tried all sorts of burley; salmon, kina and pig pellets mixed with tuna oil. Uncertain as to which is best.

Posts: 132
Joined: Tue Aug 29, 2017 9:11 pm

Tue Jan 22, 2019 2:34 pm

I think you've got the right idea already.

If you're in deep water, drop the burley down to the bottom. If you're in shallow water (5m or less) you can have it dispersing from the top. Use a slip knot though so if something does grab it, it can take off.

All you really have to make sure is that you are blasting an area you think holds fish (or if on the sand just blasting heaps) and making sure your baits end up floating down the trail. Cast way back, as far as you can, the better fish are on the fringes. (not always but generally)

If you're not catching, there's either no fish there, your baits are not in the burley trail, or the burley is missing the target area.

Good luck, it's great fun.

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Posts: 148
Joined: Thu Mar 27, 2014 12:53 pm
Kayak Make: reload
Location: West Auck

Tue Jan 22, 2019 9:58 pm

Gavmania wrote:
Mon Jan 21, 2019 10:17 pm
2 - Anchor anywhere there is a strong current (thinking deeper over the sand) and do same
Have had a few experiences where I would have to mention...... careful doing that if the wind picks up on the bow or stern quarter, pulling up the pick, you are doing so either side of you & with the wind at the quarter, it can feel a bit hairy as you will still be hooked into the bottom while pulling up the slack before dislodging it

I`m on the look out for a sliding foam float, that once starting to pull up the pick, the float will go down current to the pick directly below it, so its pulled up either front or back, not side on

I tie a weighted rope off to the yak handle on my reload, then drop off an almost thawed out berley bomb at any given depth, it never sits on the bottom, give it a few tugs regularly to spread out the stuff
I never use frozen berley, as it does not spread out fast enough & when the fishing session is done for the day, usually there's heaps of berley left, when it should have all been used..... thaw it out first!!

Posts: 132
Joined: Tue Aug 29, 2017 9:11 pm

Wed Jan 23, 2019 2:16 pm

I would second that - anchoring in swift current is definitely a bit hairy and I don't do it. There's not really any room for error when bringing the anchor back up and between you pulling the rope and the current side on to the kayak, you can tip out quite easily.

I read somewhere that some people attach a cleat or something to the front of the kayak, and run the rope through/over that when pulling up the anchor. This way you are not side-on to the current and the downward force of you pulling against the anchor is distributed lengthways (maybe someone else can explain this better) - the same reason you try and point your fishing rod to the front of the kayak when you are fighting a large fish.

Posts: 337
Joined: Wed Nov 27, 2013 9:19 am
Kayak Make: ocean kayak
Kayak Model: 4.1 ultra
VHF Call Sign: -
Location: napier

Tue Feb 05, 2019 11:54 pm

I anchor a lot , fishing mostly over a sand bottom, & relatively shallow, 5m to 15m. There are basic rules for me .
i never anchor in a big swell, & I use a running rig , also I try to keep myself ' head to wind", from my sailing experience this way you can see whats coming .
using a running rig is the best way to do this . You mount a pulley at the ends of your boat ,& have a continuos line running thru them . at a centre point fix a clip that you can connect to your anchor line to . In my case I have about 100mm of line with a snap lock type dog clip. So, I set the anchor , & clip a float on the surface, I back off this as far as I can, up to 4 boat lengths , & then pull the connection to the front or back of the boat ,as conditions dictate. As I said previous , head to wind is my preferred stance ., & I put a half hitch into the anchor line , clip it in the dog clip, crank it forward or back .
So..... There you are, pegged down.! if you anchor up short , i.e. your line is directly below you, you will have less tolerance for swell, & the boat will chop up & down, ( wet arse ), also in a nano second an active fish can wrap your anchor line . An oblique angle is best . Always consider your options from a personal safety aspect.
Berley; I use it all the time . On a separate line & loosely attached . I like to raise or lower it in the water column & I find the commercial berley cages way too big . I use milk containers , olive containers , any plastic container with holes cut into it. For me a berley pot is low value , & to stop waste & stop getting your boat skanked up I use smaller units . If your boat is well organised , you can carry several , & refreeze the ones you don't use., just make sure you don't reintroduce them into the freezer next to the bread rolls or some delicate vegan delight !!! tight lines , I hope this is useful!

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Posts: 434
Joined: Mon Jun 01, 2009 8:42 am
Kayak Make: Viking
Kayak Model: Profish Reload
Location: Taranaki

Tue Feb 19, 2019 8:58 am

I bait and burley in Taranaki every trip. Keep it really simple.

Weighted burley cage holds 1.5kg bomb, that is set 3-5m off the bottom. Smaller one is surface burley.

Two bungies attached to back of yak. One for anchor and one for bottom burley. Keeps it out of the way of fishing lines.

Need separate anchor line and burley line.
Viking Reload
Viking GT
Taranaki Kayak Fishing Club link:

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