decided to replace my bow mount Minnkota all terrain trolling motor for the
2006 Musky season. I was not disappointed with the Minnkota but the years of
use and abuse had taken their toll and it was time to replace it before it
became a problem.
Since I was pleased with the Minnkota product performance, I decided to
buy a Minnkota again. I immediately discovered that the feature that I
wanted, namely the ability to operate the bow mount trolling motor from the
back of my 18 foot tri-hull, was not available in an all terrain model.
It became obvious that I was going to have to make some mechanical
compromises if I was going to be able to operate from the back of the boat.
I settled on one of the Power Drive 12 volt models and I got the quick
release bracket along with the wireless co-pilot. I had high hopes for the
motor and the flexibility that it would provide me on the water.
After mounting the new trolling motor on my boat and adding the wireless
co-pilot to the motor, I was ready to hit the water for a test.
It became immediately apparent to me that I was going to get some
additional exercise with this new trolling motor. Unlike the all terrain
that had a quick deployment cord, this motor, because of the power head,
required that I bend down and disengage the locking handle, allowing the
motor shaft to slide forward and deploy…inconvenient but tolerable until
I tried to slide the shaft forward.
It would appear that no one from Minnkota ever tried to use this
motor in a fishing environment because the motor shaft does not freely
slide forward once the locking handle is released. In order to deploy
the motor, I was forced to have to vigorously put forward pressure on
the power head as I shook it from side to side to free the shaft so that
it would slide forward. This was a real pain in the butt…When I got back
to the dock, I got some silicon lubricant and sprayed the shaft but it
did not resolve the problem.
The wireless co-pilot turned out to be useless for me as a Musky
angler…I am used to having both hands involved with casting and working
the lure during the retrieve so the foot control was going to have to be
the control mechanism. Luckily, the cable for the foot control had
sufficient length to allow me to operate the motor from the back of the
As with deploying the motor…removing it from the water in preparation
to move to another spot had me bending, stooping and fighting the motor
to get it secured.
As the day went on, I got used to the inconveniences of the new
trolling motor but my displeasure did not diminish. Like many Musky
anglers, I like to fish at night. Moonless nights in the pitch of the
evening can be an exciting time. The all terrain trolling motor had a
little light in the head of the motor that illuminated when the power
was applied to the motor. As day light became thin, I moved up to the
front of the boat so I could get a better feel of the trolling motor
activity and the direction orientation of the trolling motor.
Immediately I became aware that there was no "Power On" indicator on the
power head. As the night turned to pitch, this became a real pain in the
It is apparent to me from using this trolling motor that it was never
field tested in the Musky fishing environment. What am I going to do? Well,
I did send a letter to Minnkota complaining about their trolling motor
design and as you might suspect, I got no reply...so
I am stuck with this less than functional trolling motor.
I can’t return it
because it is inconvenient and lacks extended functionality…it does move the
boat and it performs to specification. During the off season I will install
an LED on the power head to provide an indication of power applied and
direction orientation…something that Minnkota should have done from the
As you might imagine, I am not recommending this trolling motor for Musky
fishermen. I am sure that there are some of you out there who have these
trolling motors and who have managed to accommodate the inconveniences of
this trolling motor. My point is that we should not have to change the way
we fish because the trolling motor manufacturer did not do adequate field
testing. We are on the water to fish, not fight the trolling motor.