How to Use Marker Buoys

Learn how to plot your next bass fishing sweet spots with a marker buoy. Discover how and when to use these critical fishing accessories with these Pro Tips.

To be a successful fisherman, you first must find the fish before you can catch them. And once you locate your feeding school, the last thing you want is to lose your sense of location.

Marker buoys can be a great piece of fishing equipment to serve as visual waypoints for fishermen. These fishing accessories can help you stay in line for your next cast and centered on landing your next trophy.

DICK’S Sporting Goods Associate and tournament bass angler Brendan Conlon states that marker buoys are elementary in design but can play a monumental role in your success on the water.

“If you’re not familiar with marker buoys, really they’re pretty simple,” he says. “It’s just a bright-colored floatation device with some rope and a weight at the bottom.”

As Conlon says, marker buoys aren’t advanced pieces of fishing equipment. They’re simply two bulbs or floats attached at the center with a connected nylon or braided line and an anchor weight. Performance is pretty universal regardless of buoy shape and anchor weight. Just be sure that your line length is longer than your water depth.


Using a marker buoy is as simple as its design. If you come across a structure on your depth finder, like a stump, ledge or area of dense cover, simply toss your marker buoy overboard to identify the spot. The anchor weight will drop to the bottom, holding the location as your buoy floats above the water.

“What it’s going to do is give you a visual reference point as you’re working around the area to kind of keep yourself centered and not drift off and not get lost,” Conlon says.


Having a few marker buoys at your disposal can be great when you’re out on the water. Their simple design makes them a quick, easy way to mark key fishing spots. Also, the bright visual on the water can be much easier to identify than a digital waypoint on a screen. This can be especially true when you’re already navigating and looking at the scenery, not at your GPS.

Conlon also notes that marker buoys can be great fishing accessories for boats that are not able to hold location as well.

“These are really great if you’re in a kayak or a canoe, float tube, anything like that where you might not have as much control over your boat position,” he says.


While marker buoys are fantastic visual waypoints, they can also be targets for other fishermen looking to find fish. This curiosity can lead to unwanted company in your honey hole, or even force you out due to heavy traffic. To keep your waypoints hidden from nosy anglers, Conlon suggests modifying the color scheme to throw them off the scent.

“Paint it black, paint it green, something that’s going to make it a little less visible to other people that you’re fishing something specific,” he says.

Put a pin in your favorite fishing spot by dropping a marker buoy off the side. Use these angling Pro Tips to help you understand these simple and effective fishing accessories.