As a fishing guide at St. Simons Island, GA, I have to be versatile. I might find myself at a wreck 15 miles offshore in the morning and then catching Trout up the rivers in the afternoon. After purchasing a 243 Everglades, I decided it was time to give the Minn Kota I-Pilot a try.
I was a bit skeptical to say the least. We have tides that swing as much as 10 feet in just a 6 hour period which creates a lot of current to deal with, not to mention having a stiff wind from time to time. My new boat is also a pretty heavy boat, and having a T-Top only adds to the wind exposure.
After using the I-Pilot for about 75 hours on the water now, I can tell you that I won’t own another boat without one. I have yet to use the anchor in my boat. If I stop somewhere and plan to stay a while I just hit the anchor button and let my trolling motor do the work. I have the 101 pound 36 volt I-Pilot, and I have yet to come close to killing the batteries.
One thing I can say is that I haven’t even started to use this tool to its full potential. With the ability to store waypoints and follow tracks, I’m sure that I will find more cool ways to use it.
Overall I give this trolling motor 4.9 out of 5 stars. I’m docking them a tenth of a point for having so many buttons on the remote… talk about splitting hairs!
I’ve said this to several people lately; You can buy the best reels, the nicest boat, tie every knot perfectly, and have the latest hot bait, but it won’t make you a better fisherman. The I-Pilot makes you a better fisherman. When you can work a bank, stopping periodically to investigate a bite, and then move on the find the next school… you catch more fish. When you are at a spot that isn’t producing and you don’t have to pull that heavy anchor before heading out to find the fish, you spend more time fishing where the fish are. I highly recommend this product to anyone that loves to chunk and wind.
I’ll update this blog from time to time as I learn more about the Minn Kota I-Pilot.
Capt. TJ Cheek