(In Rivers – Lakes – Tidal Waters & More)

You're on the fish.  You've been on them since your first few casts of the day.  You launched at 6:00am – the weigh in is at 2:00pm.  It’s only 10:00am and you have four in the boat.

Trouble is you've been keeping tabs on the guys close to you in the standings and they’re on the fish too.  You know you need – you really need that last “kicker” - to make sure you place.

Problems now begin.  The wind has been a steady 20+ mph the whole morning.  In order to make effective presentations, you have had to stay on the trolling motor to hold the boat in position.

The wind has the water churned up pretty good, so even though you’re only in six feet of water, today, the prop wash from your trolling motor is minimal and hasn’t had any negative effect on your fish.  There are four hours left to go and the wind is showing no sign of letting up.  The tide is going out with the wind at a pretty good clip too.  Now you find that at speed setting number three, you can no longer hold against the wind and tide.  You up the power.  You’re Ok for a little while longer and then you have to up the speed again.

There is a limit to the demands we can put on our batteries.  You now realize your batteries are not going to hold.  You head back into the dock to sit & baby-sit your fish while you wait your turn at the weigh in. 

Most likely, you are not alone.  Later - Four or five limits are brought to the scales and you find yourself on the short end of the Golden Rule.  Just one more fish would have done it …

 How do we avoid days like this?  In order to answer the question we first need to identify “what went wrong” with our day as described.  There really are two problems here that caused our demise, both of which are related.

First, we will often find ourselves having to deal with high winds and strong currents, making it difficult at best to position our boats.  We rely more on our trolling motors on these days than we do on calm days.  As a result we encounter our second problem of the day – battery power.  They gave their all and it just wasn’t enough.

How do we beat the wind and current without taxing our batteries?  How do we keep our batteries at the point where it will satisfy our need for power under even these harsh conditions?

The answers to these questions will provide the solution to our first question – We can avoid days like these!

Here’s how.  Almost nine years ago, JL Marine Systems in Tampa, FL introduced a shallow water anchor system called the Power Pole.  Today virtually all professional Redfish tournament anglers have them installed on their boats.

In the last few years, you will have noticed their appearance on the Bassmaster circuits.  There are currently over 17 pros using them in competition.

The unit installs on either the transom of your boat or is secured to an adaptor plate that is fitted between your jack plate and motor, this depending on the type of boat you have.  It is a hydraulically controlled “arm” that when engaged will deploy to a maximum of 8 feet, almost straight down, perpendicular to your transom.  When deployed it “spikes” the bottom and effectively stops your boat in its tracks.

It is controlled by one or all of three methods.  Raise / Lower foot switch on the bow – a switch at the console and/or a remote control that you can clip to your belt that looks much like the “fob” that you un-lock your car with.

They will work on boats up to 25 feet in length, up to 4,500 lbs.  I run a 196DCX Champion Elite with an 8 foot model.  They are offered in 6 foot as well.

In our above scenario, with a Power Pole you could hold the boat all day long once deployed, negating the need for “standing on the pedal”, thus saving your batteries.

How many times have you landed a fish and stopped to un-hook the fish and put it in the livewell or spent a little more time culling, as your boat drifts off the mark.  When you’re done with the fish you could be 20 – 30 yards or more away.  You now have to motor back over running the risk of disturbing the fish.  Worse yet – you drift right into the bank spooking the very fish you were on.  (I know – that never happens.)  No more … Hook fish – deploy your Power Pole, done, anchored!

When fishing really skinny water or bed fishing, how many times, no matter how careful you were, have you “spooked” fish on your final approach before making that first cast?  Never again … simply get your speed up to where you kill the trolling motor and “glide” into position and then - deploy your Power Pole - done, dead stop, no prop wash to disturb the bottom, silent. 

Raise your Power Pole and move up to the next target and again “glide” into position and deploy.  Cover areas thoroughly, without having to split your attention between holding the boat and fishing. 

You are also using your batteries much less frequently and for shorter durations which results in “finishing the event”. 

For those of you who are using your cranking battery and another battery to make up your 24V bank or another two batteries to make up your 36V bank, excessive draw down by the trolling motor can also jeopardize your ability to run your 12V accessories and to re-start the “big motor”.  Not fun!

Be nice to yourself and your batteries.  Get more control and have more fun fishing.  Get a Power Pole!

Mike Volpe
“Michaels” Marine Electric, Inc.
(609) 476-3233 / michaelsmarelect@mindspring.com
Check out the many applications for your Power Pole on their website @ WWW.PowerPole.com and give us a call.  Order your installation today! 

Life Member of B.A.S.S. / NJ State Federation of Sportsman’s Clubs / United Bowhunters of NJ
Endowment Member of the NRA.
Member and Club Treasurer for Tidewater Bassers for over 10 years.
“Michaels” has been a Member of the NJ Marine Trades Association for 10 years.
This is our 22nd year in business. 
We are certified American Boat & Yacht Council (ABYC) Marine Electricians