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Trolling with kicker/bow mount combo


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Most of my trolling these days is for walleye on the St Lawrence and I've come up with a technique that I wonder if anyone else has used.

Boat is a Sea Nymph 19.5 ft with a 9.9 kicker and a bow mount Minn Kota Powerdrive V2 w/ I Pilot. The runs I'm fishing and tackle I'm using require me to follow a very specific contour. I've done this over a course of up to a mile so far.

The I Pilot has the ability to remember a track, so I decided to see if I could use it as an autopilot. On a calm, quiet day I left a series of waypoints on the course I wanted to mark. In that I wasn't fishing, I could move around, go back, in and out, and really create my own contour line of breadcrumbs with the GPS. I then went to the beginning, started the record function on the I Pilot and "followed" my trail, beginning to the end, with my main engine. Once recorded, good to go.

Where I'm fishing the current is heavy enough so that the electric doesn't have enough poop to do the job alone so I rely on the kicker to provide the propulsion. First I get going at close to my preferred speed and leave it set in a straight forward position. Then I add the bow mount, telling it to follow the programmed course. That provides the steering.

Kind of neat as I'm able to be away from the helm, controlling the bow mount from the fob on my belt.

I realize this isn't a big lake technique, but for what I'm doing it seems to work out pretty well. When I do get a fish on, I simply hit the anchor button and kill the kicker. Boat stays right where it was, current keeping it pointed straight upstream.

Just wondering, has anyone else done this or anything like it? Any other tricks I might add?

Edited by Prof T
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I do something similar all the time, I even have an electric (Minn Kota EM80 LB) mounted to my main outboard(200 hp), Bow mount Terrova(80) Ipilot link connected to my humminbird 999 and a honda 15 hp kicker. I push from the rear and follow tracks or run auto pilot from the bow, love it ! Use my kicker only when needed and can adjust speed by using engine mount trolling motor...slick!

Edited by muskie magnet
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This technique has become pretty much standard on lake erie for smaller boats.  Some guys are adding an additional fin to the bottom of their terrova to keep it straight on a lower power.  Fishing at around 1.6 and under most guys use just the electric, and above that a kicker and the electric on a 3 or 4 setting. 

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I  do similar when I fish alone and my buddy does the same even when fishing with other people. I don't have the Ipilot but have autopilot. I get the kicker going then turn on autopilot then get the speed I want. It helps a lot when setting rods, fighting fish and netting fish. There has been lots of talk about this subject here. I think many guys do the same.

 

No other tricks I can add but that I do this on both Erie and Ontario so it is a big water technique as well. It can get hairy when combat trolling but still can work if open enough.

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Sound like a good technique, particularly for landling fish alone. Even though I have a kicker and electric I troll with my main engine( only a 60 hp) I've found I often have to adjust my speed with changing current speeds along a trolling run. It defiantly keeps me busy fishing solo when I run 2 long lines, a heavy bottom bouncer and also drive the boat and net the fish. Generally when I hook up. I point the boat to deeper water and keep boat moving slowly into the current. If fish is on a long line I leave them in the rod holder till I get the bottom bouncer in. If it's on the bottom bouncer I leave both long lines in the rod holders and land the fish on the bottom bouncer. If you don't keep moving into the current the long lines can tangle in the prop. It also keeps pressure on the fish if you're moving into the current.

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