Skip to main content
Home Boating

Remote Control Trolling Motor vs. Hand Control

HeartNShoalHeartNShoal Posts: 937 Officer
edited June 3 in Boating #1
Wanted to bring up this old topic again because I have made some new observations and gotten new input. The question is not about brands but about remotes vs. manuals.

My remote control troller (from my last boat) is starting to show signs of wear, making more noise, head loosening. Maybe it's because I beat the hell out of it but I digress.

A buddy of mine has been showing me while fishing that the hand control is better for fighting fish because you can knock it with your leg or your partner can take over the troller during the action. This makes a lot of sense.

Another buddy has been telling me about the noise the motor makes when you turn it vs a hand control that doesn't use an electric motor to make that movement. I fish a lot of shallow mud and grass flats and without a doubt I've seen these fish spook on many boats including mine when the trolling motor is worked too aggressively.


I have enjoyed controlling the boat from the poling platform and while tying, not to mention how clutch it is on bridges and inlets. I Thought I would never go back. But now that a replacement motor may be coming I want to reassess.

So which trolling motor platform is better for shallow water fishing? Remote control or hand control?

Replies

  • Saltwater JunkieSaltwater Junkie Posts: 1,086 Officer
    Wanted to bring up this old topic again because I have made some new observations and gotten new input. The question is not about brands but about remotes vs. manuals.

    My remote control troller (from my last boat) is starting to show signs of wear, making more noise, head loosening. Maybe it's because I beat the hell out of it but I digress.

    A buddy of mine has been showing me while fishing that the hand control is better for fighting fish because you can knock it with your leg or your partner can take over the troller during the action. This makes a lot of sense.

    Another buddy has been telling me about the noise the motor makes when you turn it vs a hand control that doesn't use an electric motor to make that movement. I fish a lot of shallow mud and grass flats and without a doubt I've seen these fish spook on many boats including mine when the trolling motor is worked too aggressively.


    I have enjoyed controlling the boat from the poling platform and while tying, not to mention how clutch it is on bridges and inlets. I Thought I would never go back. But now that a replacement motor may be coming I want to reassess.

    So which trolling motor platform is better for shallow water fishing? Remote control or hand control?

    Sounds to me like you need a plain Jane technical poling skiff with nothing more than trim tabs and tiller steering. Go ahead and get a trader boat, you won't be the first communist. Hopefully in this venture you'll learn why simple is better for targeting fish on the flats. Then you can keep the big trashy boat to take the little lady to the sand bar:grin ...I feel better now, Thanks!:grin
  • FlatsBoyFlatsBoy Posts: 1,394 Officer
    I did the same thing on my 189. Had the I pilot and went to the hand tiller for that same reason. Never again will I make that mistake. Fishing in current and alone allot I use the trolling motors anchor feature more than the Power Pole for sure. Being able to fight a fish and lock the motor in place so you don't drift off your spot or into structure is priceless. Plus it makes a great way to troll offshore with out using the big motor!
    Stay with the Minnkota I pilot or the new Motor Guide XI5. The XI5 transmission is way quieter and has better features and the spot lock doesn't drift off like the Minnkota.
    Plus it will bolt up to the Minnkota quick release bracket you have now.
  • Egrets LandingEgrets Landing Posts: 953 Officer
    The ipilot is very noisy when turning. The MG is much quieter. Overall the remote control is more useful in my experience. I can turn the boat to deal with issues with a fish on. I have even shot movies with one hand too while reeling and trying to keep the dog from jumping in. However, the ability to steer with the foot or leg is for sure missed sometimes. What we really need is a remote that can also be used as a tiller with the flip of a switch. Why they have not made that yet I don't know. If you want a tiller, I have a MG 80 thrust long shaft tiller that is like new sitting around gathering dust. I used to have the longer shaft because I wanted more of it sticking up just for the reasons you mentioned.
  • HeartNShoalHeartNShoal Posts: 937 Officer
    Yeah, I still can't see why they don't make at least a small manual override on the head. Would be great for emergencies including a lost or forgotten remote.

    Since I am definitely replacing the GPS I guess I'll just keep using mine for now. I'm fishing a buddy's boat with a hand control 7/3 so I'll compare them. I appreciate the offer of the hand control and I will get back to you on it in July.

    Egret's, I think I am going to have to go with the 9" Lowrance due to space constraints. I need to order your chip
  • HeartNShoalHeartNShoal Posts: 937 Officer
    Sounds to me like you need a plain Jane technical poling skiff with nothing more than trim tabs and tiller steering. Go ahead and get a trader boat, you won't be the first communist. Hopefully in this venture you'll learn why simple is better for targeting fish on the flats. Then you can keep the big trashy boat to take the little lady to the sand bar:grin ...I feel better now, Thanks!:grin

    That's what I wanted to begin with but you talked me into the Egret! I'm a victim. I can't believe you didn't properly counsel me on the infernal hull slap, Petey!

    Actually I love the Egret and it does most of what I want very well. If you recall one of my main questions going into the build was poling. I just want a second boat so I can change it up and pole/ fish super skinny sometimes. I know you say it's like two girlfriends, Pete, but I am a Ménage man.
  • Renagade69Renagade69 Posts: 1,234 Officer
    Poling skinny and stealth is the best way. I leave my trolling motor home most of the time. If you want quiet leave yours home.

    Here is a great deal on a smaller boat.
    http://www.boattrader.com/listing/2010-Hells-Bay-Boat-Works-Inc-Professional-656656

    I have the 9 inch Lowrance and its fine. I owned the 12 inch lowrance and it was nicer but I do not miss it. I would buy a Gen 2 . The card slots for the new gen 3 are just too small.
    Hells Bay Estero Bay Boat and Hells Bay Marquesas
  • HeartNShoalHeartNShoal Posts: 937 Officer
    Phil sent me a link to a gen2 9 on sale. I am curious if the straight touch screen has more actual screen space than the model with buttons on the side (I think this one has a touch screen as well).

    I prefer the small buttons for use while running.

    I cannot justify $40K for a second boat. I'm driving my friends crazy asking about different skiff models so I think I'll try the new GPS with FMT for awhile and see how it goes.
  • Renagade69Renagade69 Posts: 1,234 Officer
    There is a zoom in and out hard key. Thats all you need when running. The only thing those keys are good for is if you get caught in a severe rain. The touch will not work. When you loose that expensive FMT chip because its so small you will wish you bought the unit that took the bigger one.
    Hells Bay Estero Bay Boat and Hells Bay Marquesas
  • HeartNShoalHeartNShoal Posts: 937 Officer
    I'm getting the gen2 9". Thanks
  • FlatsBoyFlatsBoy Posts: 1,394 Officer
    Do you have a stereo in your boat?
  • HeartNShoalHeartNShoal Posts: 937 Officer
    Yes I do. Well, an amp and two speakers.
  • mbowersmbowers Posts: 499 Deckhand
    I get way more use out of the I-Pilot's extra features than some knee control of direction with hand control. Even tried fishing the ancient hand control on my old boat and would never go back to it.

    You can get a foot pedal control for the I pilot if you want to use your legs to control it. Putting more manual controls on the head would add more weight in a bad location. There's a mini remote with just basic functions you could strap to the motor top though. If you have two remotes your fishing buddy doesn't even have to move to take control of the motor.

    There's a service bulletin fix for some Minn Kota I-Pilots that don't hold GPS info well (direction or location). Seemed to make mine better after Mike at Master Repair applied the fix.
  • HeartNShoalHeartNShoal Posts: 937 Officer
    Good idea with two remotes. I have two. Never thought of it. Thanks.
  • DarcyDarcy Posts: 1,711 Captain
    mbowers wrote: »
    There's a service bulletin fix for some Minn Kota I-Pilots that don't hold GPS info well (direction or location). Seemed to make mine better after Mike at Master Repair applied the fix.

    Any links to this info. Is it something we can do at home.
    Tx
    "No i'm NOT Darcizzle!":blowkiss


    https://captainsforcleanwater.org
  • mbowersmbowers Posts: 499 Deckhand
    The fix was something to do with twisting the wires from head to motor. Other engineering friends explained that could help remove errors in the signals. I don't know any more info than that. My motor is June 2012 vintage so I'd guess if you're close to that you'd be a likely candidate. I'm not saying it's pin point accurate but it seems better. The real test would be two boats each with a different brand TM and see how they move when anchored next to each other.
  • polepositionpoleposition Posts: 1,053 Officer
    mbowers wrote: »
    The fix was something to do with twisting the wires from head to motor. Other engineering friends explained that could help remove errors in the signals. I don't know any more info than that. My motor is June 2012 vintage so I'd guess if you're close to that you'd be a likely candidate. I'm not saying it's pin point accurate but it seems better. The real test would be two boats each with a different brand TM and see how they move when anchored next to each other.

    This surprises me coming from an engineer. Wouldn't you need a 3d boat as a control? meaning, if you use only two boats, how can we be sure if it is one boat that won't hold, the other or both?
  • mbowersmbowers Posts: 499 Deckhand
    Fair enough you do need an absolute reference. A 3rd boat will probably just add uncertainty. I usually use a rock on the bottom or a piling as a reference. Recording GPS tracks for an hour and then comparing total distance for each track might also tell you which one wandered more distance over that time.
  • DarcyDarcy Posts: 1,711 Captain
    This surprises me coming from an engineer. Wouldn't you need a 3d boat as a control? meaning, if you use only two boats, how can we be sure if it is one boat that won't hold, the other or both?
    mbowers wrote: »
    Fair enough you do need an absolute reference. A 3rd boat will probably just add uncertainty. I usually use a rock on the bottom or a piling as a reference. Recording GPS tracks for an hour and then comparing total distance for each track might also tell you which one wandered more distance over that time.
    :Popcorn:Popcorn:Popcorn:Popcorn. Jk
    "No i'm NOT Darcizzle!":blowkiss


    https://captainsforcleanwater.org
Sign In or Register to comment.
Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

Preview This Month's Issue

Buy Digital Single Issues

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the Florida Sportsman App

Other Magazines

See All Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get the top Florida Sportsman stories delivered right to your inbox.

Advertisement

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All Florida Sportsman subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now