The Power To Pull
By Phillip Gentry
It would be hard to define a specific “season” when trolling for crappie. No matter what you are pushing or pulling behind your boat, trolling is an effective crappie fishing tactic year round but even more so during the summer months when days are longer and temperatures are hotter. B’n’M pro staff manager Kent Driscoll couldn’t agree more.
“Everybody is pulling crankbaits or they’re power trolling heavy weights or even just long lining jigs during the summer,” said Driscoll. “All of these tactics catch fish and it keeps you from sitting still in one place in the heat, so it’s also a form of air conditioning, which means you’re more likely to stay on the water longer.”
For years, Driscoll trolled using his outboard trolling motor to push the boat. Reducing wear on his outboard, not spooking fish when trolling in medium to shallow water, and the advancements in trolling motor technology have convinced him that greener fishing for crappie yields better results.
“I was one of the first guys to slap a trolling plate behind my outboard and use it to troll all day,” said Driscoll. “Several things have convinced me that using an electric trolling motor is the way to go.”
Whether he’s towing crankbaits behind his War Eagle boat or long lining jigs, Driscoll said finding a power source to supply electricity to his Minn Kota Ultrex trolling motor for a full day of fishing was a big challenge.
By switching over to heavy duty golf cart batteries, Driscoll found the power to allow him to troll longer at faster trolling speeds.
Having worked through several popular boat battery brands, Driscoll looked into a heavier duty deep cycle battery and found what he was looking for in a US Battery 12-V golf cart battery package. U.S. Battery’s Flooded Lead Acid batteries are engineered and proven to provide the fastest cycle-up to full rated capacity, and have the highest total energy delivered over the life of the battery.
“I can get a full day of pulling crankbaits at 1.5 – 2.5 mph from my 21’ aluminum War Eagle, I’m talking 8 hours of solid fishing,” he said. “If I’m pulling jigs, I can get 8 – 12 hours pulling at speeds of .7 – 1.2 mph.”
Driscoll said several additional factors help him get the most out of his batteries and his fishing. Always trolling with the wind, good battery and terminal maintenance, and keeping the batteries fully charged are some of the examples he gave.
The Silent Stalker is a fabric hull cover designed to reduce the noise of wave slap on the boat’s hull.
“Trolling into the wind will kill your batteries, I don’t care how good they are,” said Driscoll. “I also don’t like the slap on the hull when I’m trolling into the wind. That’s one of the reasons why I use the Silent Stalker on the bow of the boat.”
The Silent Stalker is a custom made-to- fit boat hull covering made of very durable textile fabric. The fabric deadens the noise of wave slap against the bow of the boat and keeps from spooking fish.
Driscoll also advocates regular checking of the battery terminals, wiring and water levels in his trolling motor batteries.
“I keep all of my batteries connected and plugged in to a Minn Kota 4 bank charger when I’m not on the water fishing,” he said. “This maintains the charge and by keeping the terminals clean and the connections tight, it prevents you from losing power on the water.”
Driscoll also touted the 80 pounds of variable speed thrust available on his Minn Kota Ultrex trolling motor.
“I can use either the foot control pedal or the iPilot remote, which allows me to fish hands free from all over the boat,” he said. “These motors also do a great job in their energy efficiency rating. That’s keeps me trolling longer.”
With power to troll, B’n’M’s PST rods gives crappie anglers the power to land big crappie.
The final piece of the puzzle are the actual rods Driscoll uses when he’s trolling. For pulling crankbaits, he’s a fan of B’n’M’s Pro Staff Trolling rods. These tried and true models come in a variety of lengths that let Driscoll space out his crankbaits and pay more attention to his fishing.
“If I’ve got somebody with me in the boat, I usually put rods out in order by length - 20 foot, 16 foot, 12 foot, and 8 foot,” he said. “That allows me to man the two 20 footers from the front of the boat and watch the depth finder and steer. Whoever is in the back will have plenty to do manning 6 rods, especially when we get on the fish.”
B’n’M not only provides you with the gear and tackle you need to make you a better angler, our seasoned pro staff team are always looking for better ways to catch fish using the most proven methods and gear on the market. Check out our website at bnmpoles.com
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