Controlling your drift with a Minkota i-Pilot

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    Posted: 20 Jul 2021 at 8:03pm
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Thought I would share how I use my Minkota to slow my drift when slow pitch jigging.
1. Determine the direction of your drift and position yourself up wind/ up current from your target ie. over structure or bait.

2. Engage spot lock and wait for your boat to swing into a settled orentation (pointed in a stable direction)


3.engage Autopilot button


4. Adjust prop speed until you are drifting (backwards) at the desired speed (jigs are vertical)



This method gives you quite a lot of control over your speed over ground and let’s you use lighter lures and still keep a straight up and down presentation.
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote DIY Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Jul 2021 at 8:39pm
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I am considering getting a Minn Kota Ulterra 80lb on a 5.6m glass boat and have been wondering how it would replace a sea anchor. I have the sea anchor tied off roughly mid ship and this allows me to drift side on. Can I achieve this with a minn kota? I also fish in the Manukau and wondering if it would hold my boat in the current successfully.
Oh what a smasher - two eggs and a rasher!
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With a bow mounted trolling motor you will tend to drift stern first basic physics.
As to the current it should hold with spotlock. The only time It hasn’t been able to hold for me is when the wind speed was getting up around 20 knots. Windage seems to be more of an issue than current. I have held quite easily in heavy current below the Waipapa Dam.
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote DIY Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Jul 2021 at 1:07pm
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If you set the bow mounted minn Kota at right angles to the boat and drift with just enough power to slow you down I wonder if it would hold the boat side on?
Oh what a smasher - two eggs and a rasher!
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Crochet Cast Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Jul 2021 at 8:49pm
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DIY I’ll have a play and see if I can get a sideways drift. I think it might be possible but I think you would lose some of the control over speed over ground. I’ll give it a crack and see what happens.
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Thanks for that, 90% of my fishing is sideways drifting casting micro jigs ahead and dragging kaburas behind. If a minn Kota can do that then I’ll seriously consider it. My other fishing is carrot hunting in the Manukau. It’s a big investment so want to make sure it works for me.
Oh what a smasher - two eggs and a rasher!
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This thread is gold. Haven't tried the technique yet as just getting familiar with the Minn Kota, but will give it a go next time. I think it would use less battery than holding stationary?
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It may be obvious to long term users, but I think you have to press the propeller button before the plus and minus buttons to get it to work. Haven't been able to get this to work over the last few trips and think this was the missing step. There is also a difference between "Legacy" and "Advanced Autopilot" modes, worth checking out on YouTube. On a positive note, think I've got my head around the basic iPilot controls. Spot Lock, move left or right at different speeds. Used it to perfectly "troll" down a weedline when chasing squid the other day. To use an over-used term, it's a game changer!
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MB there is actually an auto prop on check box hidden in the menus so depending if it’s checked or not will determine if you need to hit the prop button or not.

Once you get the hang of “trolling” down the weed line try recording your track. Then you can follow the track again at anytime and be completely hands free.
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Thanks. Obviously, I still have a lot to learn. 
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yes did this a couple of days ago along the Marsden Wharf. Had a request for a trev for a curry dish and I heard they hang out here. The current was going out fast and it was windy. Just had Minn Kota pointing into current at 6 and a half knots and we found the bottom and started catching snapper that we could see on the sounder. The wind gusts had me correcting constantly so my mate was doing the catching and me driving in the end. No trevs but some decent snapper. 
The gods do not subtract from the allotted span of men's lives the hours spent on fishing - Assyrian Proverb
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Best thing I have found to use the Minn Kota is to prospect with sounder. Then anchor lock the Minn Kota and drop baits into the sounder marks. Sounds simple and it is but boats around us had to rattle chain and anchor to stop on top as was windy. They got zero and we binned up on tarakihi and snapper.  This has happened 3 times so looks like shy fish are now catchable for me.
The gods do not subtract from the allotted span of men's lives the hours spent on fishing - Assyrian Proverb
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Nice. Another top tip I was given (by Redfinger I think) was to keep the outboard ticking over in neutral while using the Minn Kota in order to keep the battery topped up. Obviously only applies to 12V systems and probably not ideal for shallow water fishing, but for other situations...
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I don’t seem to have a battery life issue. I have two for the minnkotta and smart battery can use some of the house battery too. If fairly calm i can almost do two full days use with only a small amount of charging moving to a new fishing spot. On a windy day one full day when the Minn Kota is going up to 10 knots and swell has it chewing air from time to time.  One negative is since I don’t use a anchor these days I have to do more regular anchor windless maintenance to ensure its working ok. 
The gods do not subtract from the allotted span of men's lives the hours spent on fishing - Assyrian Proverb
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Crochet Cast Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Oct 2022 at 3:31pm
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Another tip.
Although it’s a really bad idea to have your Minn Kota down when under power from the main motor. ( I’ve forgotten that I hadn’t pulled it up and wondered why I’m struggling to get on the plane. Doh. )

If your wanting to move position against current and the trolling motor is struggling. Dropping the outboard just into gear and driving with the Minn Kota is sometime all you need.

Much quicker than pulling up the trolling motor driving up current and putting the trolling motor down again.
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Just be careful, my regular fishing buddy wrecked his Minn Kota doing that, he's a rough bugger though!
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My Minn Kota does 10knots so haven’t needed extra boost. Gezz that would p#ss me off driving away with Minn Kota down!
The gods do not subtract from the allotted span of men's lives the hours spent on fishing - Assyrian Proverb
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10knts is super impressive I don’t think I can get to 4knts. What your set up RD?
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minn Kota ulterra 80. Now you mention it I will check speed on gps as not 100% confident. I plan to slow troll livies in a few trips so good tester. I have 4 batteries on the boat not sure if that standard that includes starter and house but with smart battery control 
The gods do not subtract from the allotted span of men's lives the hours spent on fishing - Assyrian Proverb
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