Minn Kota stalking...

Cap'n Fishy

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I can't think I have seen anyone talk about this one on the forum. The likes of Jimmy and I used to get the chance a fair bit, but with changes in hatches and weather, it's not such a common occurrence these last few years. I was out on Menteith on my own yesterday and I managed a cracker of an example, which I describe here, lest anyone want to add their own examples of it...

It was glassy calm and I was fishing dry fly. I was in amongst risers at the back of Arnmach, which got a bit too fixated on a tiny black fly that was gathering among the leaf litter. Would have needed to take off my 14 ginger crippled midge and put on a size 46 to get anywhere near it. So, I decided to look for fish that were behaving differently. With my new set-up I can sit in a balanced position, just in front of the centre thwart, and work the Minn Kota with a 2 m extension tiller...



Putting it into speed 2, I slowly worked my way up the open water towards the heronry, looking for risers. I spotted a guy that was working his way across, right to left, dead slow... laconic... showing his dorsal and the tip of his tail as he went... I turned the boat to get me onto a parallel path, and kept it going until I was just ahead of him. Sometimes they veer off on a different track and you have to change your angle of approach, but this guy was on rails. I cut the power - it's a dilemma whether to cut it and still have the momentum running the boat on - and throwing up drag issues when you cast, or whether to risk putting it into reverse to stop it, possibly with the extra turbulence spooking the fish. Or if you stop it, you might put yourself out of reach of the fish, which will all the time be going away from you...

On this occasion I just cut it and let it run on, so it carried me on towards the fish. He showed again, offering me a bead. I readied myself, but didn't cast until he showed himself the next time. That let me get a cast in front of him. I thought I had given him too little lead and was cursing my poor casting, but he was so leisurely that he hadn't arrived at the spot yet. Up he came and went down with my fly. Bingo! Not many better ways to catch a fish than that! (y) For every time I get it right and it all comes together, there are plenty where I make a hash of it, so that all added to the satisfaction. 😜

Who else stalks fish with the leccy motor?

Col
 

3lbgrayling

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May 17, 2006
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31,233
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Central Scotland
I can't think I have seen anyone talk about this one on the forum. The likes of Jimmy and I used to get the chance a fair bit, but with changes in hatches and weather, it's not such a common occurrence these last few years. I was out on Menteith on my own yesterday and I managed a cracker of an example, which I describe here, lest anyone want to add their own examples of it...

It was glassy calm and I was fishing dry fly. I was in amongst risers at the back of Arnmach, which got a bit too fixated on a tiny black fly that was gathering among the leaf litter. Would have needed to take off my 14 ginger crippled midge and put on a size 46 to get anywhere near it. So, I decided to look for fish that were behaving differently. With my new set-up I can sit in a balanced position, just in front of the centre thwart, and work the Minn Kota with a 2 m extension tiller...



Putting it into speed 2, I slowly worked my way up the open water towards the heronry, looking for risers. I spotted a guy that was working his way across, right to left, dead slow... laconic... showing his dorsal and the tip of his tail as he went... I turned the boat to get me onto a parallel path, and kept it going until I was just ahead of him. Sometimes they veer off on a different track and you have to change your angle of approach, but this guy was on rails. I cut the power - it's a dilemma whether to cut it and still have the momentum running the boat on - and throwing up drag issues when you cast, or whether to risk putting it into reverse to stop it, possibly with the extra turbulence spooking the fish. Or if you stop it, you might put yourself out of reach of the fish, which will all the time be going away from you...

On this occasion I just cut it and let it run on, so it carried me on towards the fish. He showed again, offering me a bead. I readied myself, but didn't cast until he showed himself the next time. That let me get a cast in front of him. I thought I had given him too little lead and was cursing my poor casting, but he was so leisurely that he hadn't arrived at the spot yet. Up he came and went down with my fly. Bingo! Not many better ways to catch a fish than that! (y) For every time I get it right and it all comes together, there are plenty where I make a hash of it, so that all added to the satisfaction. 😜

Who else stalks fish with the leccy motor?

Col

Yup.but not as cool as how your doing it.

Jim
 

bluezulu49

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Joined
May 15, 2010
Messages
64
Location
Dublin, Ireland
This is also the reason I bought a brushless Watersnake engine earlier this year. This engine has a fully variable stepless speed control which enables me to sneak up on nearby fish without the tell tale gush produced by my 5 speed engines. This engine has 70 lb thrust but only uses 5 amps at its lowest setting with the result that I can get a full days fishing with a 95 amp hour battery
 

Wee Jimmy

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Because of the pressure wave produced by the stern compared to the sharp end, I recommend not backing into them if at all possible ,especially so in shallow water. Reversing to stop the boat is another no no.
 

dgp

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Joined
Jun 1, 2013
Messages
400
Location
Wales.
I can't think I have seen anyone talk about this one on the forum. The likes of Jimmy and I used to get the chance a fair bit, but with changes in hatches and weather, it's not such a common occurrence these last few years. I was out on Menteith on my own yesterday and I managed a cracker of an example, which I describe here, lest anyone want to add their own examples of it...

It was glassy calm and I was fishing dry fly. I was in amongst risers at the back of Arnmach, which got a bit too fixated on a tiny black fly that was gathering among the leaf litter. Would have needed to take off my 14 ginger crippled midge and put on a size 46 to get anywhere near it. So, I decided to look for fish that were behaving differently. With my new set-up I can sit in a balanced position, just in front of the centre thwart, and work the Minn Kota with a 2 m extension tiller...



Putting it into speed 2, I slowly worked my way up the open water towards the heronry, looking for risers. I spotted a guy that was working his way across, right to left, dead slow... laconic... showing his dorsal and the tip of his tail as he went... I turned the boat to get me onto a parallel path, and kept it going until I was just ahead of him. Sometimes they veer off on a different track and you have to change your angle of approach, but this guy was on rails. I cut the power - it's a dilemma whether to cut it and still have the momentum running the boat on - and throwing up drag issues when you cast, or whether to risk putting it into reverse to stop it, possibly with the extra turbulence spooking the fish. Or if you stop it, you might put yourself out of reach of the fish, which will all the time be going away from you...

On this occasion I just cut it and let it run on, so it carried me on towards the fish. He showed again, offering me a bead. I readied myself, but didn't cast until he showed himself the next time. That let me get a cast in front of him. I thought I had given him too little lead and was cursing my poor casting, but he was so leisurely that he hadn't arrived at the spot yet. Up he came and went down with my fly. Bingo! Not many better ways to catch a fish than that! (y) For every time I get it right and it all comes together, there are plenty where I make a hash of it, so that all added to the satisfaction. 😜

Who else stalks fish with the leccy motor?

Col
I try to when fishing dries but getting the manouvering right without spooking the fish is not easy but when you occasionly get it spot on and the fly lands just where you want it with an immediate take it is one of the biggest buzzes I get from fly fishing
 

scobo

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Fife
Reversing to stop the boat is another no no.
Aye, any time I've tried that with mine, it creates so much disturbance than any self respecting fish is 6 miles away by the time I get a line out.
Maybe that's a drawback of some of cheaper motors (Bison) ??
 

Wee Jimmy

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Aye, any time I've tried that with mine, it creates so much disturbance than any self respecting fish is 6 miles away by the time I get a line out.
Maybe that's a drawback of some of cheaper motors (Bison) ??

It puts the pure heeby-jeebys up them so it does...especially if it starts cavitating...😱
 

Cap'n Fishy

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Embra
Would love to see more detail of the tiller extension.

I've put links in to all the key parts....

I've actually made 2 of them - a 1 m one for a 2-man boat and a 2 m one for the set-up shown above when fishing solo from the front of the boat. If I get a 'horseshoe' design Sweeney, I have to put my seat so I'm slightly too far from the Minn Kota to operate it, so the 1 m extension is handy for operating the Minn Kota without moving...



The 1 m handle is a 16 mm (od) aluminium tube from Wickes and the 2 m handle is a 10 mm (od) of same. I got 2 different types of Universal Joint off eBay. One has a 14 mm od, and the 16 mm tube has a 14 mm id, so the UJ fits inside it snug as a bug. Three for under 6 quid - what's not to like? (y) That's it shown above. The UJs come with holes and 3 mm grub screws, so I just discarded the grub screws and instead drilled 3 mm holes through the tube, then used 3 mm bolts to secure the UJ. I cut 6 inches off the end of the tube and fitted that inside a length of 40 mm plastic waste pipe. This pipe fits over the older model Minn Kota handle and grips it perfectly. However, the newer Minn Kotas have an annoying flared end to the handle. So, I cut slots in the end of the pipe so that it fits over. I put a heavy-duty cable tie at the end of the slots in case of them running when force is applied. Then I use a wee Velcro strap to tighten the grip. This works well.

The other UJ I got has an id of 10 mm, so the 2 m x 10 mm tube fits inside it, snug as a bug. It tightens with the grub screws supplied. The short ends are held in the pipe by 50 mm x 3 mm nuts and bolts.

My tolerances putting the pipe on the 1 m were a bit neat, and the bolts cut a thread in the aluminium on the way through. They distorted a bit, but ended up so tight there is no play at all. I made the holes a bit bigger when I did the 2 m handle and used a length of acrylic tube to cut spacers for the 50 mm bolts...



The universal joint system of articulation works well enough. I find it is better to set your speed before making a sharp turn, as you lose the ability to turn the speed control once you go past a certain angle.



I added a foam handle grip to the 1 m pole and have ordered stuff for the end of the 2 m pole. It was slipping in my hand in the rain on Wednesday. The 2 m pole is a wee bit bendy. It is best to leave the tension knob on the Minn Kota nice and loose, so it turns easily using the remote arm. The 2 m is also a bit unwieldy, getting it from car to boat and back to car and then into garage. I think a better option will be to get a second 1 m of the 16 mm tube and make a ferrule to connect it to the existing 1 m rod. Then that one will be universal for 1 or 2-man boats.

Col
 

Cap'n Fishy

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It puts the pure heeby-jeebys up them so it does...especially if it starts cavitating...😱

Ha-ha - aye cavitation is a game-stopper all right! I think you can sometimes get away with putting it in speed 1 reverse to slow down forwards progress if you see you are going to overshoot the fish. Or do you not even risk that?

Col
 

Cap'n Fishy

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I've put links in to all the key parts....

Many thanks for your excellent explanation. Pity we don't have Wickes over here.

Not got an equivalent, like B&Q or similar? The drainpipe is pretty universal. Tried Googling aluminium tubes?

Col
 

Wee Jimmy

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Ha-ha - aye cavitation is a game-stopper all right! I think you can sometimes get away with putting it in speed 1 reverse to slow down forwards progress if you see you are going to overshoot the fish. Or do you not even risk that?

Col
I try to avoid any stern first approach if at all possible Col.If Im already in among the fish and have to manoeuvre for some reason, I will do that on speed one with the proviso of it being just a short distance. No doubt it’s a bit ott for some situations but I always like to give myself the best possible chance .A lot depends on the circumstances.Ive seen the fish spook at the lake often enough even when I’m being ultra cautious and other times when you can get away with a bull in a china shop approach.By and large though, stealth is our friend.
 
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