Capt. Nick Poe isn’t necessarily a fan of the look of his dad’s PVC pipe anchor caddy system that’s a fixture on many of the boats at Big Lake Guide Service, but he can’t really argue with its effectiveness.

“All the boats that I’ve bought, I don’t put one on there to start, and then a month into running them, I’m like, ‘Man, I really want to put the pipe back,’” the 28-year-old Poe admitted. “I just hate drilling holes in a new boat.”

He said his dad — Capt. Jeff Poe — came up with the idea more than 20 years ago, and it’s a lot easier, faster and quieter than storing and anchor inside a hatch.

Like lots of great ideas, it’s pretty simple: Just cap off one end of a 2-foot piece of 3- or 4-inch-diameter PVC pipe and bolt it vertically in a convenient location on the deck where it’s easily accessible to deploy while you’re fishing. 

The anchor slides right in, and an adjacent cleat on the gunnel is used to tie off the rope.

“You’re not opening a hatch, with the risk of dropping the lid and making a bunch of racket,” Poe said. “And you’re not rattling an anchor around to get it out of the hatch, either.”

On a recent speckled trout trip to Big Lake and Black Lake, we drifted along in Poe’s 24-foot Haynie — until we got a bite. 

At that point, the guide would instantly put his 16½-pound Lewmar claw anchor quietly into the water.

“It just saves a bunch of time,” Poe said. “You get a bite and it’s in the water immediately. With a hatch, you’ve got to dig all the rope out, and it’s a pain in the butt.”

And, at least for the conditions around Big Lake, Poe said a chain isn’t necessary for the Lewmar claw anchor.

“I haven’t found any bottom that it won’t grab yet,” he said.