Feb 10, 2018
Taking Boat Control to a Whole New Level
By: Glenn Walker
Regardless of the species of fish you pursue, there is a common skill set that an angler needs to perfect, boat control. Being able to control your boat, whether you are in the shallows or out deep, having proper boat control will many times dictate how successful a day of fishing it will be for you.
Fishing offshore has always been something that some anglers shy away from, for one primary reason…boat control. When you are away from the bank, you are at the mercy of the wind, meaning, to present your bait correctly to the fish below; your boat control needs to be on point! If your boat is out of position, you can’t make that key cast, if your boat is moving too fast away from that key spot; your lure isn’t sitting in the strike zone long enough.
Whether you are an offshore junky or a reluctant angler when it comes to fishing offshore where you are exposed to the wind and no immediate target to cast at, Minn Kota’s Ultrex Trolling Motor has made fishing offshore easier, by allowing the angler to maximize their boat control.
By keeping your boat in the precise fish catching spot via the Bluetooth enabled Heading Sensor, Spot-lock; your boat will be in the exact position needed to replicate a productive cast. But, to do this, you (as the angler) need to be alert and pay attention to landmarks on shore or to a landmark in the water. Having a visual cue of where to cast is critical as sometimes if your lure doesn’t hit that exact casting target you won’t get bit.
Now if there is no landmark on shore or in the water to relate to, this is when a marker buoy near your casting target comes in handy. But again, you need to have a sense of how close to the buoy you are casting and to make your best attempts to not hook the buoy line.
Many times, when you are fishing offshore and boat control becomes an issue, it is because the wind is blowing and your boat is rocking up and down because of the waves. This not only can cause a safety issue for anglers losing their balance and falling in, but it also can keep an angler from focusing on their cast and what their lure is doing below the water. By relying on Spot-lock, you can keep both of your feet flat on the deck of the boat, meaning you can focus on that cast you just made and not worry about losing your balance.
If you spend any amount of time fishing offshore, mastering the craft of boat control can be expedited by relying on the technology available to us as anglers today!
Boat control in shallow water….yes it is a thing and it is important. Being able to control your boat when fishing in shallow water is important, as you do not want to be bumping into or running over the productive fish holding cover. Maneuvering around with a bow-mount trolling motor that has variable speed like the Ultrex keeps you in control at all times.
But, if you want to stay in one spot when fishing up shallow, a shallow water anchoring system like the Minn Kota Talon’s are an absolute must! One of the original uses for shallow water anchors was for anglers to be able to stay in one spot while targeting bass that are on a bed. You can keep your boat in the ideal position for you to make the right pitches to provoke that bedded bass into biting, all while maintaining a quiet profile in the water.
Another scenario in which shallow water anchors come in to play is when an angler is docking their boat at a boat ramp. Whether you are pulling up to a dock or putting your boat up on a nice sand beach, deploying Talon’s will keep your boat secure and in place.
When fishing in shallow water, you are likely to be in or very close to heavy cover, such as vegetation or laydowns. In these situations, you won’t want to have your trolling motor prop coming into contact with the fish holding cover, instead you’ll want to stay put by having your anchor spike come in contact with the bottom.
As the spring fishing season is on the horizon, now is the time to examine these boat control solutions I talked about as you can look at getting your boat setup for next fishing season now, so you can be ready to capitalize on that hot bite as soon as the season opens!
Glenn has been fishing tournaments for over ten years, spreading his passion and knowledge of the sport via articles and videos. He keeps busy fishing events across Minnesota and on the Mississippi River. Glenn's sponsors include: Bass Boat Technologies, Ducky Products, Humminbird, Mercury Marine, Minn Kota, Plano, Rayjus, Seaguar, Simms, Snag Proof, T-H Marine, The Rod Glove, TroKar, War Eagle Custom Lures, Witch Doctor Tackle, Wright & McGill and Zoom Baits. For more information check out glennwalkerfishing.com or on Facebook at facebook.com/glennwalkerfishing.