Find The Winning Spot, Then Stay On It.By Mark Courts - July 11, 2017
In the down-current sand flat beyond the dam, Side Imaging pinpointed scattered, inactive fish that were loafing there between meals. I knew from experience that those fish would move up to the dam when they got hungry and settle back to the sand between feedings. Think about people going back and forth to a buffet line - same basic deal.
With the fish located, my co-angler and I snuck up to the dam with the Minn Kota and I hit Spot-Lock to pin us down in the perfect position for a few practice casts. On his first retrieve, my partner tagged a nice 'eye on a crankbait. I promptly followed with another fish on a willow cat. After catching those two walleyes, we backed out of there to avoid beating them up too bad before the tournament. From that moment, I thought about how those fish on my Humminbird HELIX 12 screen were relating to the dam and the sand flat. Knowing where they were holding and how they were using the structure as an ambush position would be critical to bait presentation - and critical to that would be boat control.Minn Kota Ultrex. Now you're asking: A trolling motor won you the tournament? The answer is no, but my trolling motor ALLOWED me to win the tournament.
The Ultrex let me get right in the sweet spot for the perfect cast, and with a press of the Spot-Lock button it kept me RIGHT THERE automatically. I literally fished the entire tournament from Spot-Lock locations within a 40-foot radius. When I needed to make a little adjustment to effectively hit every square inch of productive water, a simple tap on the JOG button on my i-Pilot® Link remote control moved me five feet to the left, right, forward or back - then automatically locked me down again. My foot never touched the controls, so I was able to just sit back and fish!
Now let me tell you, that current was ripping through there - especially on day two when they opened up the flow. My trolling motor's ability to keep me on a dime was mind-blowing. But I wasn't surprised. I had total confidence that it would, because I had just come off another tournament where Spot-Lock had achieved the unimaginable.
The tournament was the Classic Bass Champions Tour on Mille Lacs where the conditions were brutal. The wind was bucking between 20-40 MPH and the smallies were on or around their spawn beds. With 4-6' waves, sight fishing those fish wasn't possible. The trick was to find big boulders with Humminbird Side Imaging, then Spot-Lock within range of the rocks and blind-cast for those big bronzebacks. It worked, and I was able to take 4th place along with landing the big bass award for the tournament. Without Spot-Lock, controlling the boat in that wind would have been impossible.
At Prairie du Chien, I was back with my no-cull limit at 1:00 p.m. on day one and around 11:00 a.m. on day two. That meant I got to babysit my fish for about 5-1/2 hours, wondering the entire time if I'd made the right decision in keeping the right fish. Talk about torture! At the scale, my weights secured the victory as solidly as Spot-Lock secures a boat in fierce wind and current. Minn Kota has changed boat control forever, making it easier to catch fish when it matters most. And I couldn't be happier.