Take a look in any angler's boat and the one thing that you will almost always see is an anchor. Watch any angler fish and the one thing you will almost never see them use is that same anchor. It seems like, for most anglers, anchors are something that we have but almost never use. That's too bad. When used at the proper time in the right way, an anchor will allow us to be more effective anglers.
Knowledgeable anglers will state that mobility is one of the keys to fishing success, and I agree one hundred percent. We shouldn't wait for the fish to come to us, we have to go after the fish. When anchoring, it's important that we don't stay on one spot too long. Give the area a good chance to produce, but if nothing happens within a half hour at the most, it's time to move on to another anchoring position.
There are several situations when anchoring will be productive. When the fish are confined to small structures that you can pinpoint, anchoring will almost always be better than trolling or drifting, especially when it's windy. Instead of drifting or trolling over that small structure, then turning around and going over it again and again, it's better to anchor up and cast to the location. By doing so, your bait is always in the fish zone. Here's the procedure for setting the anchor to fish a small structure.
Use your sonar unit to determine the location of the structure. When the have found the spot, drop a marker buoy either right on the spot or off to the side of it a little bit. Then move upwind of the spot. It works best to move upwind farther than you think necessary. Set the anchor quietly into the water and feel for it to catch. Let out some anchor rope until the boat is within casting distance of the marker buoy and tie off the rope. Once your anchoring position is set, I like to retrieve the marker buoy by snagging it with a crankbait. I prefer to get the marker out of the way so it won't get in the way of our fishing.
When working from an anchored position, I like to start casting with a crankbait. Crankbaits allow us to cover the water fast and catch the active fish.
As well as crankbaits work, probably my best producer from an anchored position is a Buck-Shot Rattle Jig tipped with a three inch Power Grub. This combo can be worked quickly, but it will also appeal to the fish that aren't aggressive enough to attack the crankbait.
Plenty of good heavy rope is necessary for effective anchoring, but perhaps the most important thing you need to be effective at anchoring is a fishing partner with a strong back. For maximum effectiveness, you will want to change anchoring positions frequently. Experiment with the forgotten technique of anchoring and it will make you a more successful angler.