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I Love microskiff.com!
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What are your thoughts on this? Let’s say for bonefish, reds, permit and tarpon. Comparing to a push pole.
 

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People are having to buy clear tip lines and skiffs that are almost silent while poling for a reason. A trolling motor is for deeper water and if there has been a bunch of idiots running over fish all week a trolling motor is going to spook them. I don’t know about where you fish but all the areas I fish get a lot of boat pressure. If you can pole I would...
 

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BBA Counselor
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Here in Tampa bay I rarely see guys poling. This is the boating capital of the state last time I checked, so the fish are fairly accustomed to noise I think.
I have not noticed a big difference in success between drifting, trolling, or staked out.
So I would say here they don't spook anymore when used appropriately.
 

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So much depends on that old marine's standard answer about what to do when things get ugly... "Sir, it depends on the situation, the weather, and the terrain..." I wasn't a marine (I was Army - all those years ago...) but the answer says it all...

In clear waters where five feet is deep water - or in areas where fish are very heavily pressured - even turning on a troller near fish might not be such a good idea... unless you're in deeper waters. Even then you're well advised not to do any stopping and starting - just keep your troller to a slow steady pace - then shut down 200 feet away from fish or so and pole in... As you get into depths where poling isn't practical -or conditions like wind and distance make it really difficult to get onto fish - that's when a troller comes into its own -even in clear water - but all you're doing then is trying to get well ahead of moving fish - then shutting down and waiting for them to come to you... Nothing I've just said applies to bones or permit - unless they're in deeper waters and you can actually see them well in advance (not likely, but occasionally possible....).

Now let's take that troller into the areas I fish - the interior and coastal areas of the 'glades where the waters are dark - and many days you might not see another boat all day long... Much different situation since a trolling motor that allows you to glide along a jungle shoreline just close enough to toss lures or flies at structure... can put you on fish all day long as long as you're in around four feet of water or more.... Add to that the current state of trollers - that spot lock feature is invaluable for fishing up inside rivers or at the mouth of creeks - or just within casting distance of a shallow wreck or an inshore marker of some kind... Another great use for a troller is to get you out into big open bays where you can see big tarpon that you'd have to pole for thirty minutes to reach - without that troller... The troller is then used to get within 200 or 300 feet of the fish, shut down -then you pole into casting position...

All of the above might be why we just installed my first troller in 20 years onto my old Maverick skiff (had one years ago - but it was more trouble than it was worth...).

It's a remote controlled Minn Kota Terrova, 54" , 24 volt model with an onboard PowerMania 20 amp dual bank charger and a 60 amp breaker.... Done without a troller for many years - but I'm getting older now (over 70) and these new motors are pretty darned impressive...
 

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1652 G3, & 1756 Lowe tinnys
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I read a Bass article some years ago about trollers. The main point that I came away with was....intermittent Start/Stop action seemed to bother the fish far more than a constant running TM. That confirms the above comments.
 

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I don’t run one. I could see it useful for crossing deep areas between flats.
Fishing deep structure and docks. Or deeper areas where you are fishing towards shoreline.
But to use one on a shallow flat to chase reds and bones. I don’t think it’s a good idea.
 

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Do trolling motors spook more fish than a guy poling? Sure

Can you catch fish when using a trolling motor? Certainly. Its all about the conditions and how you use it.
 

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My experience seems to be leaving the trolling at a set speed . Like white noise in the background. I fish the mosquito lagoon and have had reds within 10ft of me on trolling motor and caught them.
 

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I Love microskiff.com!
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So much depends on that old marine's standard answer about what to do when things get ugly... "Sir, it depends on the situation, the weather, and the terrain..." I wasn't a marine (I was Army - all those years ago...) but the answer says it all...

In clear waters where five feet is deep water - or in areas where fish are very heavily pressured - even turning on a troller near fish might not be such a good idea... unless you're in deeper waters. Even then you're well advised not to do any stopping and starting - just keep your troller to a slow steady pace - then shut down 200 feet away from fish or so and pole in... As you get into depths where poling isn't practical -or conditions like wind and distance make it really difficult to get onto fish - that's when a troller comes into its own -even in clear water - but all you're doing then is trying to get well ahead of moving fish - then shutting down and waiting for them to come to you... Nothing I've just said applies to bones or permit - unless they're in deeper waters and you can actually see them well in advance (not likely, but occasionally possible....).

Now let's take that troller into the areas I fish - the interior and coastal areas of the 'glades where the waters are dark - and many days you might not see another boat all day long... Much different situation since a trolling motor that allows you to glide along a jungle shoreline just close enough to toss lures or flies at structure... can put you on fish all day long as long as you're in around four feet of water or more.... Add to that the current state of trollers - that spot lock feature is invaluable for fishing up inside rivers or at the mouth of creeks - or just within casting distance of a shallow wreck or an inshore marker of some kind... Another great use for a troller is to get you out into big open bays where you can see big tarpon that you'd have to pole for thirty minutes to reach - without that troller... The troller is then used to get within 200 or 300 feet of the fish, shut down -then you pole into casting position...

All of the above might be why we just installed my first troller in 20 years onto my old Maverick skiff (had one years ago - but it was more trouble than it was worth...).

It's a remote controlled Minn Kota Terrova, 54" , 24 volt model with an onboard PowerMania 20 amp dual bank charger and a 60 amp breaker.... Done without a troller for many years - but I'm getting older now (over 70) and these new motors are pretty darned impressive...
Never thought I'd see the day you had a trolling motor on your Maverick! What's next--twin PowerPoles? :)
 

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Sight Fishing South Florida
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Sight fishing in Biscayne Bay and the clear waters of the Florida Keys, Zero place for these horrific devices. In the open bays of the interior of the glades, absolutely looked down upon.


Yes, they spoke fish for your boat and everybody else on the flat with you.
 

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Notice I didn't say one word about being "on the flats" using a trolling motor... In fact during winter when there's great fishing up really shallow - on those days the troller will stay home... At least that's how I roll - and like everyone else I've seen more than my share of folks using trolling motors where they're absolutely not appropriate...
 

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I use a TM in N.E. FL and never catch any fish, I guess this is the reason! ;)
 

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Just had this discussion with a new skiff owner... he was asking about Bone/Permit in areas of B-Bay well known for catching them saying he's not even seeing fish. I asked where, when/tides, and was he poling, trolling, or idleing ... his answer was no he was using his high tech trolling motor, you know one of those fancy ones with the remote on the neck strap with all the spot-lock, automatic up/down/deploy/speed/turn action, follow the gps tracks, and said they are quiet as a mouse and don't spook the fish like the old ones do.

I said no I have no idea why you are not seeing fish where others are catching them.
 

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Here in the Louisiana marsh if a trolling motor spooks fish I'd never know it. They don't seem to be spooky at all. Even in some of the clearer shallow ponds I can finesse the TM to work a bank and it doesn't seem to spook the reds.
 
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