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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I couldn't find a thread addressing this, so here goes. What is your opinion of investing in a power pole for shallow water fishing? I'm in Jacksonville, FL and will be mainly fishing the creeks off the ICW and St Johns River. I'll get to Nassau Sound once in a while. Most of my fishing will be in current. My boat is an 18ft tunnel hull with 80in beam. I thought I was happy using an anchor until the strong winds of the last week made it difficult to hit my spots. And, my age (65) is becoming less of an asset. Thanks for any and all opinions.
 

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I went on a guided trip and the boat had a 4' power pole on it. I previously had said I would never have one (more stuff to break, more weight on stern) and those are true. HOWEVER, I saw the guide from up on the PP drop that pole upon spotting nervous reds from 40 to 50' out, in a stiff SE wind at stbd stern, and immediately be in position to shoot at those fish without as much chance at spooking them. Then when ready to resume poling, lift it up silently and instantly be on our way. I was suitably impressed to say the least. What a tool to have on an extremely shallow-capable rig.

A power pole (4' length) will be on my next boat.
 

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Zephyr Cove is on FIRE!
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BTW this will be a real help when fishing solo as I do about 99% of the time. I can be poling along, see fish, drop pole, and scramble to bow and grab fly rod with line already out in stripping basket for a shot. Sweet. Or get out and wade if I want to do that.
Man I don’t know what kind of fish you have shots at but the ones I usually pole up on give you about two seconds to make a shot. By the time I hopped off the platform and got to the bow they’d be in another area code!
 

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Yes all true as boat traffic including those damned air boats are making redfish spooky as hell. Really might actually get a shot at one out 20 seen lately. But if I can spot a pod of reds from say 40 or 50' out, and drop the pole immediately, I MIGHT have a shadow of a chance to get a shot. Or not. In a place like Port O'Connor, with about 3000 boats running around on any given Saturday, it can get to be almost impossible.
 

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Only thing better than a power pole is two power poles. Tide or wind can't swing the boat. I have two micros, one in front and one in back. If I had it to do over again I'd replace the micro in back with a conventional 4' power pole. The micro interferes with poling.
 

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I couldn't find a thread addressing this, so here goes. What is your opinion of investing in a power pole for shallow water fishing? I'm in Jacksonville, FL and will be mainly fishing the creeks off the ICW and St Johns River. I'll get to Nassau Sound once in a while. Most of my fishing will be in current. My boat is an 18ft tunnel hull with 80in beam. I thought I was happy using an anchor until the strong winds of the last week made it difficult to hit my spots. And, my age (65) is becoming less of an asset. Thanks for any and all opinions.
They are great
 

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I’ve been poling skiffs for many years and from the start was skeptical of power poles. I’ve always thought that I was the power pole - particularly after I started guiding in 1996. Of course I’m on soft bottom, mostly -and I’m not doing the fishing when I have customers aboard. My opinion has changed quite a bit over the years about them and today I’d recommend them to anyone, particularly anyone with a bigger skiff or any size skiff operating on oyster or hard bottom.

You can’t stake out with a push pole on hard bottom at all - but a power pole will work just fine if you’re in shallow enough areas... That’s the one real shortcoming with a power pole since there’s lots of places with great fishing that your power pole won’t be able to reach but my pushpole will...

I still don’t have one but I finally did break down and get a 24 volt Terrova with anchor lock - and couldn’t be happier since it holds us exactly where we need to be in places where a power pole simply can’t. I’m still my own “power pole” in shallower places... Whenever we might need to stop - I’m poling with the pointed end down so that I can instantly stop us -and absolutely silently...

Hope this helps
 

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Zephyr Cove is on FIRE!
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I’ve been poling skiffs for many years and from the start was skeptical of power poles. I’ve always thought that I was the power pole - particularly after I started guiding in 1996. Of course I’m on soft bottom, mostly -and I’m not doing the fishing when I have customers aboard. My opinion has changed quite a bit over the years about them and today I’d recommend them to anyone, particularly anyone with a bigger skiff or any size skiff operating on oyster or hard bottom.

You can’t stake out with a push pole on hard bottom at all - but a power pole will work just fine if you’re in shallow enough areas... That’s the one real shortcoming with a power pole since there’s lots of places with great fishing that your power pole won’t be able to reach but my pushpole will...

I still don’t have one but I finally did break down and get a 24 volt Terrova with anchor lock - and couldn’t be happier since it holds us exactly where we need to be in places where a power pole simply can’t. I’m still my own “power pole” in shallower places... Whenever we might need to stop - I’m poling with the pointed end down so that I can instantly stop us -and absolutely silently...

Hope this helps
How do you pole in water that’s so deep a 6’ powerpole can’t reach bottom?
 

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Zephyr Cove is on FIRE!
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I'm gonna be contrarian - you guys can drop a PP in front of shallow water reds? Not in my world. You are lucky you can actually swing a rod to make a cast much less drop a PP in 12" of water. Reds in Pine Island would held for the hills.
Same here, I only use my Micro to stop the boat after hooking up because it’s usually windy and a pain to get blown off the shoreline and reposition after each fish. Spooky spooky!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Right now I'm fishing a little deeper, anchoring on the edges of drop offs and around docks, rocks and oyster bars. I'm not much for getting way up in the grass. I'll fish more grass edges later in the year.
 

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Smackdaddy - I routinely pole in rivers that might at times be 12' deep - and every depth shallower... No I'm not exactly poling the flats when we're after big tarpon - and Yes, we've been very successful using only a pushpole...

Here's the drill... I can pole from the tower in eight or nine feet of water using a 22' pole. When we're in rivers I'm able to go a bit deeper since we're only poling with the current (push or troll against the current in a river with big tarpon and they know you're there - and that's exactly how big sharks hunt tarpon, pushing slowly against the current...). The trick is to get down off of the tower and pole from the rear corner of the deck of your skiff... I have to admit that I never had a poling tower on my early skiffs - all those years ago so I'm perfectly comfortable poling from that position. In fact I knew more than a few guys that poled from the bow of aluminum skiffs - all day long.... way back when.

Since I'm already on the deck - staking out, if the bottom will allow it is very do-able with a 22 foot pole in ten to twelve feet of water. Of course there's very few places in Everglades rivers that have a soft bottom - they're mostly pure limestone rock bottoms (but that's another story, since knowing where you can stake out is half the battle using a pushpole in rivers...).

Now that I'm getting older (and still poling at age 71...) I've finally added a trolling motor with anchor lock to my skiff (did without one entirely for the past 20 years or so...). So far it's been great and the anchor lock function in the rivers we fish holding big tarpon has worked surprisingly well. A few weeks back our first shot at them using the spot lock in a river had us hooking four fish (three on bait, one on a lure..) all within 80 feet of the anchor locked troller... Most were on the small side, less than 40lbs - but one was a big girl that I guesstimated at nearly 100lbs. Don't think that my troller would work very well down in the Keys or other places with clear waters - but in the dark waters of the 'glades it's a winner... The troller won't see much use when we're poling shallow sightfishing (mostly a winter-time proposition in my area). I'll still be up on the platform when we're up skinny - but there are a lot of places that hold good fish - that aren't that shallow...
 
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