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MinnKota I-Pilot performance on the water

Ray's picture

By Ray - Posted on 08 February 2010

I had some time to try out the Min-Kota I-pilot this weekend. Although I could not spend a lot of time testing all the features I did give the Spot Lock feature a real workout. Spot lock uses the internal GPS receiver on the I-pilot to hold the boat on a GPS point you create within 6 feet. When I read about this feature I could think of numerous uses so I could not wait to try it out.
I was planning on trolling for the day so my first test of the spot lock feature was to have it hold the boat in position while I deployed my 6 trolling poles in a 15 mph wind. So I got into position where I wanted to start trolling, pushed the button and began getting the poles out and getting them baited and adjusted in the rod holders. I was amazed how the trolling motor held the boat right where I had marked.
My next trial was while I was trolling. When I hooked a crappiei I pushed the Spot Lock button and let the boat hover over that area while I landed, put the fish in the live well, re-baited and redeployed the rod. If you have trolled alone, much at all, you know how this goes in a 15 mph wind. Well no more drifting away. The trolling motor held the boat within, I would say 8 to 10 feet, under these windy conditions. There is a little problem with this and that is with the boat holding, there was almost always another bite while I had my hands full.
Next test will be to see if the Spot Lock feature will hold me over one of my stake beds or brush pikes close enough I can effectively vertical fish it hand poleing.
One thing with this feature that you must be aware of is; it does not control the back of the boat so you really have to use it going into the wind. If the wind changes it will still spin the back of the boat around but the front will stay close to the marked spot that is certain.

Carl Painter's picture

I'm saving for a Terrova with i-pilot now. Can't wait, sounds like it's the best fishing tool out there now.

Woods's picture

Carl, dig up one of those fruit jars full of money you have buried and buy one.

Ray's picture

May have to be one of those gallon jugs. Man those things are steep.


Big Papa's picture

Ray how stable is the boat when you stand or walk to the rear. Have you tried setting a route on the trolling motor for hands/foot free fishing?

Ray's picture

It is a very stable boat. I did decide to go to the back and run the remote while Tyler handled the poles. The front picks up about 6 or 8 inches when I go to the back.
I will be trying the route setting on my next trip.


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Tangle of line on a baitcasting reel due to spool overrun. Also known as a 'birds nest'

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