Spot-Lock or Power-Poles?

Trolling motors with built-in anchoring systems are just one of the many beneficial technological improvements today’s bass anglers enjoy.

The fact you can tap a button on the trolling motor pedal and hold your boat in position not only allows you to not lose your spot but saves an incredible amount of time.

Does that mean you no longer need shallow water anchoring systems?

Absolutely not. My Minn Kota Ultrex on the bow and Power-Poles on the back are equally valuable but for different reasons. If I had to choose one over the other it would be a tough call.

During the spring and often in the fall when I’m fishing shallow, I rely heavily upon my 10-foot Power-Poles.

I could use Spot-Lock in many spring situations, but the poles provide added benefits.

First, they are stealthier and that’s critical when fishing for spooky or spawning fish. If you come upon bedding fish and hit Spot-Lock, the prop revs, thrusting silt and waves into the direction of the fish. In addition, if the wind is behind you, the trolling motor will want to spin and face the wind, creating more disturbances. Power-Poles will ease down quietly and lock in place — and work well in less than a foot of water.

They help when fishing down a bank too. When I hook a fish, I punch the Poles’ button on the front deck and the poles drop to stick to the bottom. I can play that fish, land it, put it in the livewell and return to the front deck without missing a cast to the same spot where the bite occurred.

Another advantage is how efficient the Poles are for holding your boat in place at the dock or bank when you are launching or loading while alone.

While waiting for the start of a Bassmaster tournament, I will back my boat toward the bank, drop my Poles and wait for my number to be called. That way I’m not idling around waiting for my turn to go.

Sure, you can get by with just one Pole, but two make you more efficient. When there is wind and you just have one deployed, the boat will spin on you. Two will keep the boat from wanting to rotate into the wind.

Obviously, the Spot-Lock feature is a huge benefit when fishing offshore. Before I got the Ultrex, I might drift 100 yards after catching a fish, playing it and getting it into the livewell. And, if there was no waypoint where I caught that fish, getting back to the exact same spot was nearly impossible.

Ultrex’s Spot-Lock feature also comes in handy if you need to retie a lure and don’t want to lose the spot. Simply mash the button, sit on the deck and take care of business. The boat isn’t going anywhere.

There’s no question that both Spot-Lock and Power-Poles have been game changers for the sport. If all you fish is shallow water then perhaps you can get by with just the Poles. And if you only fish deep, then maybe the trolling motor with Spot-Lock is all you need.

But if you are an avid angler who likes to do both, then you’re going to discover both types of equipment will make you a far more efficient angler.