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    Scott Bonnema Answers Your Questions About the New Minn Kota Ultrex
    Articles, Blog

    Scott Bonnema Answers Your Questions About the New Minn Kota Ultrex

    September 11, 2019

    Hi, Minn Kota pro Scott Bonnema here. Wanna talk to you today a little bit about
    the brand new Minn Kota Ultrex trolling motor – recently released in the marketplace. A few of the Bassmaster Elites have had the
    opportunity to use them lately. I’ve had the opportunity now to use it for
    a few weeks, in tournaments as well. I found that, doing a lot of the on the water demonstrations
    and discussions with anglers, there’s a lot of questions and I want to just try to point
    out a few things real quick for you. First off, the Ultrex is an independent unit. It is operational regardless of which ultra
    sonic SONAR unit you’re using. The GPS technology is built into the head
    of the trolling motor and it has accuracy to within a 3-foot circle. So when we hit Spot-Lock, we have the ability
    to stay in that exact position. The other thing that you’ll find is that you
    operate it exactly the same was as you utilize your standard units today – the Fortrex for
    example. The difference is it has a cable steer as
    well as electronic control in the head of the unit which allows us to have power steering,
    so it’s really easy to use. There’s no fighting the trolling motor and
    it’s exceptionally fast. We’re gonna dump it in the water in a few
    minutes and show you how that works. But having said that, the other function or
    feature that we have, is a handheld remote. So all the operations of the trolling motor
    from the foot can also be done now remotely from anywhere within the boat. So if you have your family with you, or if
    it’s really rough and you just wanna stand in the back and fish, you can Spot-Lock it,
    you can adjust the speed, move forward, reverse, etc. from the handheld remote. It also tells you the GPS signal strength
    you have, it tells you how much power you have within your batteries, as well as the
    speed and position. So that’s just a handheld remote that you’ll
    start to see bass anglers start to use in the future. The unit’s available with a 45-inch shaft,
    a 52-inch shaft, or a 60-inch shaft. As a bass angler, I’ve always liked to stay
    with the shorter shaft, but as an example I’m planning to go with a 52-inch model now
    with a 112-lb. system for next year, because when you are in the big waves, and you really
    want to use that S pot-Lock technology if it’s real windy as an example, that allows you
    to stay in the water. A thing I want to point out though that’s
    a huge benefit of this – because we have an electric motor, and cable steering, when we’re
    in real rough water now, we can hit Spot-Lock we don’t have to stand in the front we can
    kind of step back a little bit if we want and have a little more comfort in our fishing
    but because that cable motor is there, when we set its location, it stays locked in that
    position. So if it comes up and down out of the water,
    the trolling motor does not fight back and forth – it just stays in one locked position
    and goes up and down. It automatically will move left or right to
    keep us on that position. A huge feature when you’re actually in the
    water fishing with it. So again – handheld technology, high speed
    movements, precision locking, GPS technology, built into the unit, available in 80- or 112-lb
    thrust technology – I think you’re gonna find it to be an awesome tool. One of the other quesitons I get is guys saying,
    “hey – I’ve got a Fortrex. You know, what do I do? Do I keep that Fortrex, do I buy a new Ultrex?” My recommendation to guys – because this is
    such a game changer, and truly will change the way we fish, I’d recommend, guys, keep
    your Fortrex…keep it as a back up unit – just in case something were to happen on the water
    and you break something. We have the ability to take the allen wrench
    out, and with this new bracket design we can slide the Ultrex out and/or we can put the
    Fortrex onto it, and lock it in place. So we can utilize the same bracket for the
    Fortrex if we needed to have it. So again – keep it as a spare unit. Put it on only in the case of an emergency,
    and you’re good to go. So let’s dump in the water and we’ll go show
    you how simple it is to use. Ok so we’re on the water. I wanted to show you quickly some of the simple
    features of this new Ultrex. It comes standard with stainless steel, plastic-coated
    cables for control. It has the same heavy-duty bracket that Minn
    Kota’s had for a long time with lift-assist, one-handed operation, locking feature, for
    stowing, and deploying the trolling motor. The transducer is built into each and every
    unit – it’s got a built-in Universal Sonar into the unit. The difference you’re gonna see right away
    is that the whole head will move. Because it’s an electric, power-steering style
    unit – we have a power switch here to turn the power on or off – simply turn the power
    on, and now we have sensor controls in the head and so we can simply, with one finger,
    operation, the harder you push, the quicker it responds. Very very fast. And very quiet. Operate it exactly the same way you would
    operate your standard Fortrex units – you got the power control built into the foot
    pedal, directional controls – very simple. In addition, we have the speed setting on
    the side. So you operate it just as you always would
    have. The difference is Spot-Lock technology. Now that I have found a spot – let’s say I’m
    fishing – all I do, literally, is tap this button. You notice on the control that the Spot-Lock
    function is now enabled. This trolling motor will now stay within a
    3-foot circle as to its location, and will automatically make that adjustment. You see it operating on its own right now. So depending upon the wind – whether it’s
    wind or current – if you find that location, it will automatically stay at that spot. It automatically ramps up or decreases the
    speed for the trolling motor to stay at that location. One of the questions we’ve been getting is,
    “well does that really chew up the battery?” The reality is no – it uses less battery because
    it’s slowly ramping up and slowly backing off instead of high speed movements – so it’s
    very, very smooth in its operation. It’ll use less battery in the long run. To get out of Spot-Lock – so now I’m fishing,
    I can literally walk around in the boat, I can go retie, maybe, as an example, I just
    fished a tournament, caught a fish, it was very windy, I hit Spot-Lock, literally walked
    away, went back, did the fish management in the live wells, walked right back up, made
    another cast, caught another fish – I did that three consecutive times. No other technology would allow me to do that. So it’s that simple. Now let’s say I wanna move over. All I do to get out of Spot-Lock is just touch
    the pedal. Once I’ve done that, Spot-Lock is now disengaged,
    and I’m moving. I can go anywhere I want to go. Once I get to another spot, all I do is tap
    the button. Now those are the simple ways of operation
    that we would do as a normal bass angler. The same functions can be done from this handheld
    remote. So if I wanna stand in the back of the boat,
    let my buddies up front, or my kids, or if I just want to operate the boat from the back,
    I can do all of those same functions from the handheld remote. I’ve got high speed bypass, I’ve got jogging
    capabilities – and that’s what the handheld will allow you to do. It shows you the speed, the trolling motor,
    if it’s running, it’s location, it’ll show you within a foot-and-a-half of where you’re
    at from the spot that you put into it. The other thing that the remote allows you
    to do, is you can put in sixteen separate spots. So if you have sixteen different areas, you
    can hit GoTo spot number 1, as long as you’re within a quarter mile of that spot, this trolling
    motor will automatically go to that spot and stay within a three-foot circle of where you
    had entered it. It also has the ability within the remote
    to put in sixteen tracks – and you can put sixteen tracks, each up to two-miles long,
    in here. So you would record it, and then end it, and
    then you can recall those standard in the control. One of the additional features that we have
    on these models is called i-Pilot Link. And that’s the function where you would need
    the Humminbird electronics. The trolling motor will link directly to the
    Humminbird units, and in that case, what’s cool about it is that if you have hundreds
    of waypoints, you can simply say “I wanna go to waypoint 422,” and you can point it
    out and it’ll just go to it. And so you’ll be able to operate the same
    functions from your Humminbird unit and link all of your data points to the trolling motor. And that’s a separate feature of the i-Pilot
    Link system that is available in these Ultrex units. So, again, they’re available in 80-pound thrust,
    112-pound thrust technologies, various shaft lengths are available. They also have the ability to upgrade from
    i-Pilot to i-Pilot Link, which will tie you into Humminbird units. Short of that, the trolling motor is completely
    independent and can be operated accordingly. That’s really all there is to it. Simple operation, extremely fast and quiet. It is truly a game changer for the bass fisherman.

    Using Spot-Lock on a 25ft Center-Console
    Articles, Blog

    Using Spot-Lock on a 25ft Center-Console

    August 19, 2019

    Well Cleveland Light, obviously there are
    tons of rocks but they’re all in patches and so the fish are relating around those. They’re not broad spread around so that’s when you’d use a drift but now I don’t want to drift I want to stay right on those so by pressing a button on the
    remote even a 25-foot boat big, boat T-Tops like this that boat will stay put
    on that spot and not move a couple of feet. Well I see a lot of fish right here on the bottom So i’m going to let you control this and let the New England guy who does the fishing. New England guy go do that I’m gonna do
    something here, I’m gonna touch this screen I’m gonna mark a waypoint right
    there because I don’t want to lose those fish that’s a really good spot. For all the guys that aren’t anchoring we kind of drift over these fish and you get one
    shot at them before you’re off and then you’re hoping to pick up another rock
    pile below you well right now we’re able to get right on top of these fish. Now it’s time to Black Sea Bass. What I like about that jig, you want to
    talk about fishing vertically that one’s made to sit there and dart and dance and
    so it’s gonna move down there the way the line comes off the top of the jig head
    should give me some good action, I think so. That just happened too! Look at the colors between the red and the green the white. In a minute or two if that boat does
    not change course you’re gonna get rolled over, but you don’t have an anchor
    now so the beauty is you’re safer you just move you don’t have to worry about
    untying a cleat, throwing a ball in or anything. All right, I think he’s seen us. (Shouting)
    Nothing to see here! Nothing to see here! That’s a keeper. Look at that.

    Small Boats Can Fish Big Too
    Articles, Blog

    Small Boats Can Fish Big Too

    August 12, 2019

    One of the neat things about having a boat
    is when it’s your boat. I live in Illinois where there are horsepower restrictions, but
    I don’t want to be restricted by my boat. I’m able to take a smaller boat and have everything
    that I would have on a big 520c and I can do it in this small boat. We’re going to take
    a walk through this boat and I’m going to show you exactly how I set it up, why I set
    it up it up the way I did, and some of the neat features that we’ve got on this boat.
    Let’s start at the transom. One of the things about a little boat is you’ve got to be able
    to get it going. One of the things I’ve done is I’ve got a nice Mercury Outboard. I’ve
    also got a Power Pole. Skinny water is an advantage with a little boat. You can get in real skinny
    water, put the Power Pole down, and be able to stop and fish a fish a little bit longer
    than you could otherwise. Also on this boat I have a jack plate, which gives me 1 or 2mph
    better which is really neat. Let’s step down and take a look at the console. One of the
    things that is very important is you’ve got to have electronics at the console level.
    I happen to like the fact that you’ve got the capability to network my unit from front to back. That allows me
    to set a waypoint here as I side image and then be able to have that same waypoint in
    the front. When I go up to the front you can see I’ve got a larger unit up in the front
    and that’s because I spend a lot of my time up here in the front of the boat. The other
    thing I really believe in is the Hydrowave. The Hydrowave whether you catch fish with it or not it’s
    one of those things where it’s a competence thing for me. The other thing that is very
    important is you’ve got to have enough power to get you around in shallow water or deep
    water. That’s why I like the Fortrex Trolling Motor. When you look at a boat like this you’ve
    got to have all of your controls right here in the front with you. You’ve got controls
    at the console, so you’ve got to have the same controls up front. One of the very important things
    about that is you want the capability to be able to use a small boat just like you would
    in a big boat. Except you don’t have the affordability issue you have with a big boat. I can take
    this small boat and I can fish anywhere in the country and be able to fish comfortably and with the
    right skills, abilities, and techniques. All of the things that are important in a big boat,
    except it doesn’t cost as much.