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Fishnet

Keep me straight

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Trying to run hand downrigger, put out spoons, etc while alone on bass boat is proving quite difficult. Given about 20 seconds off the steering wheel my boat will hang a left. Any ideas how to keep it straight? Would a kicker push it straight with very little attention? $11-15 hundred remote control is a bit much. Would a 40-50 pound thrust electric mounted on rear push 1.9 to2.5 mph?

I have found that I really like the freedom of fishing alone and the drivers I have found..... I’d rather use a machine.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Lake Ontario United mobile app

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A kicker with a Panther remote electro-steer would allow you to steer from almost anywhere on the boat.  Of course if you have to buy the kicker you'll likely be out of your $ range.

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BBass boats are not made to be pushed slowly that is why they bow mount the trolling motors. If you want to pull spoons etc by yourself you may want to look for a used 14’ deep V aluminum fishing boat that is designed for that type of fishing.  Yes a 45lb electric will push your boat fine but it will not fix your problem.

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No feedback steering might work, let go steering wheel walk to the back, wheel won’t move

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I fish out of a 16 ft side console alone all the time with no problem . 

 

First thing is how the boat is set up . Are the riggers and rod holders easy to get at to set / adjust ?  This is critical . 

 

Also you have to be fast and anticipate boat wander . Set up going with the waves . 

 

Keep things simple . I run 2 rods . One on each rigger . I sometimes run 1 dipsey and 1 rigger  . And that's it . And I do quite well .  

 

On the strike , if it's a good fish, I leave it in the rod holder and I pop the rod with no fish and reel it in quickly and put the boat in neutral all at the same time .if you are going into the waves on the strike , turn away from the fish and go with the waves then neutral .  Then play the fish with no boat drag . Have the net ready ! 

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Have you tried using a bungie cord to help hold the wheel straight??

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Posted (edited)

Before my auto pilot days when fishing alone, I came up with a solution that worked well for me.

 

On the front of my Mercury outboard just below the cowl, there are 2 threaded holes in the motor frame. I assume they are used to bolt on some type of bracket to lift the motor onto the transom during installation.  I made and bolted a bracket to the front of the outboard with a hole in it, and used a 3 foot piece of pipe slid into the bracket to make the outboard "tiller steer" while I was setting lines and fighting fish.  The whole thing looked very much like the bracket and pole you would put on the front of your house to display the flag. Once set up, pull the "tiller handle" out and drive normally. The bracket was small enough,no problem with motor tilt or normal operation.  Maybe you can come up with  something like this on your rig..

 

 

20411.jpg.47291862f5a7486d37b8d710b9f15353.jpgaf66101f314ffef45f884dd44635e6fc.jpg.17267678e15e7f50df8d323fd435fba0.jpgamb45s_-00_heavy-duty-aluminum-flagpole-mounting-bracket-.jpg.a0a701ff24e2ea3daa451803ce4e1f84.jpg

Edited by J.D.
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If it is your motor turning you can tighten the bolt on the mounting plate. It will make steering a little stiffer but should work. You just loosen it when you don't plan on trolling.

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Posted (edited)

A kicker is a good idea for trolling/safety regardless of the situation and a tiller extension can be real handy when fishing solo to control both direction and speed from inside the boat. I didn't get mine here but this is what I am referring to:  https://www.walmart.com/ip/Minn-Kota-Extension-Handle/7966282?athcpid=7966282&athpgid=athenaItemPage&athcgid=null&athznid=PWVUB&athieid=v0&athstid=CS020&athguid=21dd6e5b-5b4-16b0e85d9e394a&athena=true

 

Basically you dispense with the bolt and slide it over the tiller speed control snugly.

Edited by Sk8man

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Thanks a lot guys. There are some good ideas here, GREAT ideas. Now to get out of the office to the garage to check things out. Then onto the lake.

I’ll report back with what I find on my 135 hp Mercury.

I also drag 2 5 gallon buckets to slow me down. Anticipate a great weekend fish now!

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Lake Ontario United mobile app

 

 

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If you have a Minn Kota on the bow you can upgrade to "co-pilot" for ~$130.  If won't give you autopilot, but at least you'll have hands-free (remote) steering.

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I thought I "discovered" this trolling/steering technique, but it's used extensively on Erie.

 

I've got an I Pilot trolling motor on the bow of a 19ft aluminum boat and a 4 stroke Merc 90 on the back. I run riggers, pull flatlines and drag some bottom bouncers, often alone. I deploy the I Pilot, aim it in the direction I want to go with its compass activated, and head for the console. I drop my 90 in gear, set the throttle where I want it (usually around 2.2 - 2.5 MPH speed over ground as I'm a walleye guy. Last I put a small bungee from the steering wheel to the windshield support to keep it straight.

 

Now to the back of the boat, to set riggers or feed lines out. I( have a Troll Control on the 90 so I'm able to adjust rpm's in 10 rpm increments and I put a remote paddle switch for that in the back of the boat.

 

I steer via the I Pilot remote and can record a track to retrace my steps if so needed, All my big motor does is provide thrust. Before the 4 stroke repower 2 years ago, I did the same thing using a 9.9 2 stroke.

 

Works like a dream, and I'm always in the back of the boat with the rods.

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By the way, fishing alone at night the I Pilot remote is always clipped to the d ring of my inflatable vest so I know exactly where it is without fumbling around.

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I fished by myself. I started going with the waves and tied a 6 volt light to the steering wheel to keep it from turning on its own. worked good but not as good as auto pilot. but it did hold course good enough to set rods and get my limit in short order.

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A $2 bungee cord to the steering wheel works great.

 

Tom B.

(LongLine)

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The best way to go straight is by using 2 planer boards one on each side ( I use otter boats). The farther away from the boat the better, but even when they are only 10 feet away they will create equal resistance on each side and keep your rig from wandering

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Look at your engine when the boat turns.  Did the engine turn?  Some outboards will turn because of vibration and loose steering.  In this case the engine just has to be held securely.  Others turn because of the exhaust: The anode tab is usually installed at a little angle to the lower unit to help boat performance at higher speeds.  At low speed, the exhaust pushes against it and the difference in water speed/pressure past it causes the boat to turn. In this case you have to "over-steer" a little in the opposite direction and securely hold it there.   Anything you hang off to the side won't help if your being steered in one direction or the other

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My first  autopilot was a bungee cord. Wasn't perfect but it did help me set some rods while fishing alone.

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Before my auto pilot days when fishing alone, I came up with a solution that worked well for me.
 
On the front of my Mercury outboard just below the cowl, there are 2 threaded holes in the motor frame. I assume they are used to bolt on some type of bracket to lift the motor onto the transom during installation.  I made and bolted a bracket to the front of the outboard with a hole in it, and used a 3 foot piece of pipe slid into the bracket to make the outboard "tiller steer" while I was setting lines and fighting fish.  The whole thing looked very much like the bracket and pole you would put on the front of your house to display the flag. Once set up, pull the "tiller handle" out and drive normally. The bracket was small enough,no problem with motor tilt or normal operation.  Maybe you can come up with  something like this on your rig..
 
 
20411.jpg.47291862f5a7486d37b8d710b9f15353.jpgaf66101f314ffef45f884dd44635e6fc.jpg.17267678e15e7f50df8d323fd435fba0.jpgamb45s_-00_heavy-duty-aluminum-flagpole-mounting-bracket-.jpg.a0a701ff24e2ea3daa451803ce4e1f84.jpg

J.D. is GENIUS. YES there are two threaded holes IN the steering mechanism. Metric M8 1.0 I had to chase them with a tap. And of course go to Home Depot to buy two metricM8x1x16mm. And a new flag with pole and mount $10. Cheap mount so soft metal to drill bend and grind off one corner a bit. Can’t wait to give it try!IMG_1049.JPGIMG_1052.JPGIMG_1059.JPG

That mounting system is a custom cut 2x6 wrapped in bunk carpet that slides under rails. Near to the seats as it is here so I have easy access or I can move it to the back of the rear deck. Happy camper today!


Sent from my iPhone using Lake Ontario United mobile app

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Make sure you can turn the motor while on the trailer.... you may need a stronger bracket and pole if not.. I used my setup on a 90 hp. Merc 2 stroke.. ( 303 lbs. for my motor )... steel bracket and pole.

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I also fish alone and use a bungee like said above it’s not perfect but is a lot less of a headache than not having anything!

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