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Trolling Fin/Skeg

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I normally troll LSC for eyes through the summer. In the spring I troll up in Huron for lakers and salmon. 

In LSC, my iPilot/Minn kota 55 trolling motor is good for eyes at speeds less than 2mph, but for bigger fish up in Huron I have to use my rear motor and take it down to 3-3.5mph. Trouble is, using the rear motor I had to steer manually again and that's a huge pain when you fish alone. Until.. I saw a trolling fin/skeg someone had made and fastened to their trolling motor / iPilot combo last year, and I made a crude one to try it out. It worked great - with the rear motor moving me forward at 3-3.5mph, I straightened my steering wheel out, put my trolling motor in the water in the front with the iPilot active (with the prop off) - set a course - and let it steer for me. Super cool. Worked like a charm and I hauled in Lakers all day each time I went out.

In the fall, my father in law took my crude fin/skeg back home to Germany with him and he crafted a new aluminum one with more surface area and much more robust (pics below). I can't wait to get out there and try it. Just wanted to share in case anyone is thinking about doing this. If you have to use your rear motor and want to focus on fishing its the way to go. It works great.

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3-14-2016 6-48-05 PM.jpg

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I did the same thing a couple of years ago. The benefit of the rudder is that you only use power to turn the shaft and no power running the prop. No worries about battery drain.

With the rudder design, you should have no more than 10% of the fin ahead of the motor shaft or you will get to much bite on the front edge. Also, you can't go too long (downward direction) because the fin will dive slightly sideways when it knifes down into the water in wavy conditions. This puts a lot of strain on the motor shaft.

What's really great about this is that the front of the boat tracks very well into the wind and you are not constantly fighting bow drift.

IMG_1362 - compressed.jpg

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