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lugarshepard@yahoo.com

boat control and speed

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I have a 20 foot Trophy with a 125hp mercury. Also has a trolling plate on it.  My problem is i have a very hard time controlling the speed and the boat itself. I fought kepping it straight all morning till i said forget it. Only run 2 downriggers and lines got tangled once. I try to run 2  2.5mph but watch it fluctuate up to 3.5mph. Is this normal or is it i don't know what im doing yet.

Thank You for any opinions or ideas.

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Is it gps speed or fish hawk speed? GPS speed will be all over on choppy days, maybe look into a auto pilot option.. auto pilot takes a lot of frustration out

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trolling plates take a lot of your steering away also. a pair of trolling bags may help alot.

 

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A set of bags will help a tremendous amount. They will allow for higher rpm and therefore thrust allowing greater control. They also help with stabilizing speed in a downwind/tailing wave troll. Get bags on the larger size for your boat. The added rpm won’t cause a significant increase in fuel consumption but will have the added benefit of allowing your engine to stay cleaner. Tie the bags as close to 1/3 back from the bow if possible with the tails even with the transom.  
 

most importantly if you do get bags tie another line on the tail and to your back cleat. When retrieving just lift on the tail line and they come right in.

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Get rid of the plate and use bags

Sent from my SM-G950U using Lake Ontario United mobile app



Troll with the wind. Going into or sideways with the wind requires a dedicated wheels man who pays complete steering control. Pull your lines and run back into the wind to go back over a hot spot. The time lost untangling lines is not worth it if you do not have a full time driver on the wheel.



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A set of bags will help a tremendous amount. They will allow for higher rpm and therefore thrust allowing greater control. They also help with stabilizing speed in a downwind/tailing wave troll. Get bags on the larger size for your boat. The added rpm won’t cause a significant increase in fuel consumption but will have the added benefit of allowing your engine to stay cleaner. Tie the bags as close to 1/3 back from the bow if possible with the tails even with the transom.  
 
most importantly if you do get bags tie another line on the tail and to your back cleat. When retrieving just lift on the tail line and they come right in.
Now that's the best advice you can get. My boat will troll slow enough with out bags, but i run them all the time. They help so much , help control speed,and make your motor run better. Trolling plates suck think about it, what makes a boat steer is the thrust of water coming off the prop. With a plate it comes out all over, out the sides , the top and the bottom. So how can you steer very well with it.? Take that plate off and sell it for scrap, and get some good bags and rig them just like he said. And always run them both. Trust me you will be glad you did.

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The trolling plate maay well be the problem with steering but I should think a 125 should be able to get down better and roughly maintain speed without the plate. I can troll at 1.8-1.9 (550 RPM's) with my 135 Merc two stroke. the idle adjustment on the motor may need a look.

Edited by Sk8man

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Be cheap and throw a cpl buckets off the back.... ditch that trolling plate


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Ditto on the buckets 

 

I use 1 on each side on my 21 trophy w/ 230 IO  for 35 years . 

 

I posted on here how to make them a while back 

 

Tie them to  mid ship cleat and adjust rope so they are about 4 ft from the transom running on the sides . 

 

They are as big a part of my equipment as anything on my boat and are in and out of the water all day to fine tune my speed . 

 

As far a trolling straight , that's on the driver . Driving the boat to get fish to bite is an art form IMO . I get as many hits or more trolling into waves,as going with them . 

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Def. some bags on each side of the boat.  Also, some brands of GPS(Lowrance) have a speed that jumps all over the place.  I installed a Garmin that seems to be a lot less jumpy.  I also use a Furuno GP-39 for speed and location.  The Furuno speed seems to be much more stable and predictable.  I turned the speed off on the Lowrance, and only use it for my chart.  

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Just troll downwind. Stop, clear your lines and run upwind and get back to trolling. Unless you have a good wheels person on the wheel continuously, your boat turns sideways too often.

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4 hours ago, jimski2 said:

Just troll downwind. Stop, clear your lines and run upwind and get back to trolling. Unless you have a good wheels person on the wheel continuously, your boat turns sideways too often.

That s crazy . A lot of ,in fact most of the hits I get are going into the wave .Mostly because I head west out of port and head to my fishing grounds which are farther than I drop lines . 

Learn how to do it . Without speed you should be using speed forgiving lures and turning a lot . 

 

SOG is pretty much worthless unless you note  the direction of troll on the hit and duplicate the direction . Even that is hit and miss because a few degrees either way can seriously  affect your down speed . 

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Save the money and Get a speed probe / surface temp  add on for your depth finder . 40 to 70$ . It's not a fish hawk but will be a huge help. 

 

I love my buckets . Would not be without them . I attribute a,lot of my fish to them. And they are free. 

 

 

Edited by HB2

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As others have pointed out, add drag to both sides of the boat. Sure you can use chutes, but I know guys in the past have spoken about putting in 5 gallon buckets with holes drilled through the bottom.  That drag, on both sides, will help to keep the boat stabilized, not only going straight, but side to side rocking.

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Get the bags, they will also stabilize you in rougher water. When you can afford it get a fish hawk. With all the underlying currents on the lake.

Many times my surface speed was 3.2 and speed at the ball was 1.5 or the reverse. With the high water these days and the out flows, there is a lot of current to deal with these days.

Good Luck!

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Trolling bags are a huge addition to your boat. They add stability along with helping control boat speed. They are worth every penny. The important thing is make sure you ask for the recommended size for your boat. Amish outfitters will help you with that. Too little or too big a bag will create a burden.

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