Boat control in shallow water…. yes, it is a thing, and it is important. Being able to control your boat when fishing up shallow is important as you do not want to be bumping into or running over the productive fish holding cover, so maneuvering around with a bow mount trolling motor that has variable speed always keeps you in control.
With the Minn Kota Ultrex, you can prowl the shallows and keep a low profile because the motor is quiet, and when you encounter cover such as vegetation the Ultrex will power right through it, keeping you on pace to cover water looking for that next kicker bass.
But if you want to stay in one spot when fishing up shallow, a shallow water anchoring system like the Minn Kota Raptor’s or Talon’s are an absolute must! One of the original uses for shallow water anchors was for anglers to be able to stay in one spot while targeting bass that are on a bed. You can keep your boat in the ideal position for you to make the right pitches to provoke that bedded bass into biting, all while maintaining a low sound profile in the water.
Another scenario in which boat control comes into play in a shallow water is around boat docks. By approaching a boat dock you want to fish under full control with your trolling motor, you can identify where you want to make your pitches to the dock, then once you are in position, you can deploy your shallow water anchors, so you are in the right position, so you can present your bait with ease, set the hook without having your line over or around an abrasive item, such as a dock support or chain, and finally since your boat is pinned down, you can fight the fish directly to the boat and keep them from wrapping you around the boat dock.
Two “maintenance” situations in which shallow water control is a must and aided with shallow water anchors is when you are launching or loading your boat. Many times, tournament anglers’ pre-fish on their own, with the Raptor’s or Talon’s, you can back your trailer into the water, ease the boat off and put it at the end of the dock or just off from shore, deploy your shallow water anchors and know it will be easily accessible after parking your truck.
The other situation is when you are in a tournament and need to cull your tournament limit, or in the case of the Champions Tour, enter your fish catch into the Reel LiveWell App. You don’t want to be drifting into the fish holding cover, nor do you want to be moving away from it, as that will waste valuable time to return to your previous location.
When fishing in shallow water, you are likely to be in or very close to heavy cover, such as vegetation or laydowns. In these situations, you won’t want to have your trolling motor prop meeting the fish holding cover, instead you’ll want to stay put by having your anchor spike meet the bottom.
As you prepare for another season of bassin’, keep these shallow water stealth tactics in mind and if you haven’t yet, check out the Minn Kota Raptor’s, Talon’s and Ultrex.