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Boat control help


Sarge5150

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I have a 18' Smokercraft Phantom.  It is all aluminum with a 90 Honda on it.  The issue I am having is keeping the bow into the wind.  If the wind is pushing 10 or above it is a b!tch to fish out of alone.  In the time it takes to put a rigger down it can just about do a 180.  I have tried drift bags and they helped a little but they require me to troll above idle and there is that typical flat spot in the throttle.  I was thinking about adding a trolling motor to the bow but not sure it would do the trick (and it would be an expensive test).  Anyone have any ideas for simple things I could try?  Thanks.

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I'm also fishing alone most of the time and finally ended up putting an autopilot in. But before I did, I would turn and drop the riggers with  the wind, and then make a turn back.

Edited by sszoldra
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11 minutes ago, dukhnter8 said:

Bow mount trolling motor with autopilot. I have a terova with autopilot it's the bomb for during alone. I also use it when fishing with others. Set a course and you can do whatever in the back. I have the remote so easy to adjust the course. You can find used ones for $1000.

Sent from my SM-G930V using Lake Ontario United mobile app
 

I have many questions lol.

 

Do you only use the troller when you are rigging?

How many volt system?

Does it last for a full day fishing?

What kind of boat are you running it on?

Thrust rating?

 

Thanks for the info.

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I have a 17.6' starcraft superfisherman. Minn kota Terrova 24 volt so 2 batteries, 80 lb thrust, depends on what setting but only killed the batteries once. That was a windy day, I also have my fish finders hooked up to those batteries so that may have contributed to it, running 2 helix 7s. I run it anytime I troll, nice to just hit the button then not have to steer much.

 

I run it half speed or less and get a full day out of the batteries. I also have a kicker I use with it.

 

I generally pick up, use the big motor and then fish with the wind when it's real bad. Best money I have spent.

 

I had those days where you're doing circles while trying to get set up and this is the cure.

 

Sent from my SM-G930V using Lake Ontario United mobile app

 

 

 

 

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I have a 18' Smokercraft Phantom.  It is all aluminum with a 90 Honda on it.  The issue I am having is keeping the bow into the wind.  If the wind is pushing 10 or above it is a b!tch to fish out of alone.  In the time it takes to put a rigger down it can just about do a 180.  I have tried drift bags and they helped a little but they require me to troll above idle and there is that typical flat spot in the throttle.  I was thinking about adding a trolling motor to the bow but not sure it would do the trick (and it would be an expensive test).  Anyone have any ideas for simple things I could try?  Thanks.

Run a drift bag off each side in rough water will make boat more stable and allow you to run motor at a higher rpm so you also have more control


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I have a Minn Kota Terrova 80 Trolling Motor, paid about $1600 new for it 2 yrs ago. I use it on my 18ft alumacraft t-pro 185 trolling on lake 0. Works great when fishing alone.It has a wireless remote so I can control it from anywhere in the boat. I use 2 18 inch trolling bags and main motor 150hp yamaha 4 stroke. When landing a bigger fish I put the big motor in neutral to make netting easier and the trolling motor keeps the other lines straight. I'd get the biggest motor you can afford but at least the size I have 80 lbs 24 volt. 

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Another two motor trolled here.  18' Lund w/ 24 V 80 lb thrust Terrova w/ Ipilot Link and 4-stroke 115 Merc.

For slower trolling (1.5 mph and down I use troller only.  This year I started using 2 22" Amish Outfitters trolling bags and the main engine then troller for steering and smaller speed adjustments.  I don't like to run

troller above 5 unless only out for a short time.  Finally, and this to me is the biggest favor you can do yourself, only troll down wind.  Maybe a bass boat won't get pushed around going into wind, but I think most other boats will (although an willing to get trolling bags would help a lot there too).

 

I use troller only at first while setting lines of alone.  Keeping speed down if possible helps so that things are

Not happening so fast.

 

Tight Lines

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For a boat that size I'll assume your multi species. My bow mount (19' sea nymph) is used for all kinds of things. I literally couldn't imagine not having one. It's also another way to get back to the dock if the main or kicker fail as well. Auto pilot is nice, but imo for the big boats. A bow mount can just flat out be used for so many things. Anchor mode, drift fishing, sneaking into a spot etc. My worst day or when trolling into 3's-4's with sustained winds I can get 4-5 hours out of it. If I was diligent in making sure the kicker is doing the pushing it will last even longer. On a normal day trip, I always get the trip out of it, usually 6hours. I have a 24v 60" motorguide paired with my Lowrance but Minn Kota is a fantastic unit as well. 2 Walmart batteries and a good onboard charger.

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2 motors ( main and bow mount TM) with a remote control is game changer for being able to fish alone.  The only time I sit at the wheel is when I’m running to and from.  I will say trolling into wind and waves with an aluminum boat will still suck/take some management.  Those autopilots don’t really like having the wind come straight at them....as soon as the bow turns just a little they over correct hard.  Also if it gets bouncy enough that your prop comes out of the water they can act squirrelly.  As others have said sometimes you just gotta go with the wind and figure out how to get ur speed right.

 

i love the idea of 2 bags off the bow to keep that bow anchored down in the water a bit more and more stable. I have one big bag that I run straight off the back, when trying to slow down when trolling with the wind...but it sound like I should get a second for the bow when trolling against.

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Save  your money. When setting your riggers point the boat downwind and then travel sideways to the wind. Steering a boat especially a light one into the wind is almost impossible. Going into a stiff breeze, taking your eyes off course will end up in a spin around and tangled lines. The wheels man must not be distracted by a fish or crewmen. He has to have 100% concentration on his course for steering straight. If you want to go back over a hot spot pull your lines and riggers and power back beyond it, then troll downwind.

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Also a bow mount electric steer/rear main engine pusher. Mine's a 12 v i pilot, think I bought it in 2006.

 

I troll into river current so I need the gas power. Used to use a 9.9 kicker, but installed 3 years ago a 90 Merc with the Smartcraft gauge/Troll control. Totally pleased and if you're using main engine power for thrust, the 12v is perfectly fine for just steer. Usually run it at 3 1/2 to 4, group 31 battery (Yorkville Battery) and get over 6 hrs. non stop. Highly recommend Pro-Mariner charger. Keeps battery up while at the dock without overcharging.

 

I toy with going to 24 v, but the cost of 2 batteries and the unit, to do what works for me with what I have, is a concern. 

 

A huge help is to use the troll (N) into a specific direction from the remote. Boat still can be "steered", but makes fine adjustments on its own. Once a fish is on (walleye), big motor goes to neutral, trolling motor holds position so you don't drift back over the fish. Current keeps lines tight

 

Boat is a 19 Sea Nymph

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Bow mount trolling motor with autopilot. I have a terova with autopilot it's the bomb for during alone. I also use it when fishing with others. Set a course and you can do whatever in the back. I have the remote so easy to adjust the course. You can find used ones for $1000.

Sent from my SM-G930V using Lake Ontario United mobile app



If it was me get an autopilot it’s much better never have trouble going into the wind or running battery down trolling motors don’t work to well in wind


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I have 24v ulterra 8 hp kicker run kicker .5 mph under target speed finish with trolling motor works ok it rough only troll with it went to autopilot is costly but is so smooth set up is alumacraft trophy 195 still use trolling motor when calm or shallow to keep noise down

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1 hour ago, brianm said:


If it was me get an autopilot it’s much better never have trouble going into the wind or running battery down trolling motors don’t work to well in wind


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I beg to differ...my boat catches more wind than any multi species boat ever made and have thousands of hours trolling in the wind with gas and electric used together...works very well!  I need 36v for my size boat, and battery life isn't an issue either if you charge them.  I don't fish with a mate and have zero boat control issues. If it's blowing close to 20 or above I have to help with the remote as the auto pilot can struggle sometimes, but I still run 9 lines and steer.  

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