I had a little time to speak with Red and he said the doubling anchoring by party boats easily goes back to the early 1950s. He also added that the noted hardcore blackfish captains of the era of Harry Philips, Billy Doll and 'Lupo' (Frank Knuth) were the most noted and were just as deadly in squaring up on a wreck with a single anchor. Interestingly enough he mentioned that the best he saw was Captain Herman Huckemeyer of the Helen H!
This was sent to me by one of the members of FISHING UNITED .com on this topic:
Read your piece about double anchoring.
My friend Charlie Brown, now 85 years old, who had a charter boat in Narragansett Bay for many years, and fished in the Bay since he was a young boy, said he had been using a unique double anchor system for as long as he could remember. He would put his regular anchor in the sand and then back down close to a jetty or one of the rockpile buoys in upper Narragansett Bay and throw a two by four tied to a light rope into the rocks.
He actually drilled a hole in the middle of the two by four and then put the rope through the hole and tied a big knot in the end of the rope so it wouldn’t go back through the hole. That was the second anchor. This would keep the boat exactly on the spot he wanted to fish.
The upper Bay is very protected water and it never seemed unsafe. When he left he would use the engine to break the rope and then go pull his anchor. Every few weeks he would ease around the back side of the buoy and collect his two by fours.
Some of the most amazing shallow water (5-8 ft depth) fishing you ever saw, and if you weren’t right on the spot you could just take pictures. I bet it would have been perfect for today's jig fishing. This was the late 80’s. That shallow water spring fishing in the upper Bay died by the early 90’s, after Charlie (and a very few others) had been doing it for decades. I fear that we contributed to killing it with all the fish we took in the era before catch limits.
I remember fishing on the Elmar in the early to mid 60’s and they would drop two anchors. Tommy Marconi did it and Harry Phillips did it, at least when he was running the boat for Tommy (early 70s) after he sold it to him. I think I have a memory of Billy Doll doing it around that time too, but am not sure. As you say Capt Al certainly was doing it for years.
I also remembered that Buddy Dorman had two boats in Pt Lookout in 1965 or 1966 when I was working on the Angler in the summer. One of the boats, the Viking Skipper bottom fished and he ran that boat and did the 2 anchor thing.
One more. George Porter (Jay’s brother) who ran the Angler at night for bluefish and during the day the rest of the year was a two anchor guy starting 1964 or 1965. Or maybe earlier, that is when I saw him do it. Artie White owned the boat, but he ran a charter boat in Florida, and was only on the Angler from June - mid October. George was a very nice guy, and as calm as his brother was wild.
A very big thanks to those who send this historical references to me. Does help to give a few clues on what went on "back in the day."