The Struggle is Real, but the Solution is Easy
By Gary Parsons and Keith Kavajecz
Like you, we have our struggles. One of those struggles is eating too much ice cream when we are on the road. The cool treat seems to bring us good luck at tournaments and we’re afraid to jinx ourselves to save a few calories.
We also used to struggle with anchoring and boat control while fishing. This was before we were introduced to the Power-Pole Shallow Water Anchor. If you have seen our boats the past couple seasons, you have noticed they sport these tall apparatuses on the transom opposite the kicker motor.
They have been very common on bass boats for years, and are now being mounted on walleye boats on a regular basis. They are also easy to use. With the push of a button, the device scissors out and down, and drives a fiberglass rod into the bottom.
For presentations like slip-bobbers, pitching jigs to shallow shoreline breaks, or tossing crankbaits along weed edges, the Power-Pole works great!
We all know the challenges of a traditional anchor. It is often difficult to park your boat on “the spot”. The boat may swing because of the rope, and the anchor may drag on a windy day.
It can also be physically demanding if you have to pull up and throw out the anchor multiple times as you change spots.
The Power-Pole makes it easy to anchor, move, and re-anchor when working a specific area. There is no commotion from tossing out a traditional anchor or running a trolling motor in shallow water.
Once we get deeper than 8 feet, instead of using the Power-Pole, we use the “anchor mode” on our MotorGuide Xi5 bow mount trolling motor to hold us in place.
There are many walleye presentations that rely on the angler being able to put the boat over the right spot at the right speed in order to get bites.
To accomplish ideal boat control, walleye anglers have many tools at their disposal, but one boat control device we have come to rely on a great deal is the Power-Pole Drift Paddle. It attaches to the spike on the unit and gives you a boat control tool that can be used in a number of ways to keep you on fish.
There are a couple key scenarios where the Drift Paddle would be used and we think you’ll see how this unique accessory can become an integral part of your walleye fishing.
In the first scenario you are trolling open water in early summer using spinners. The wind is up to about 15 to 20 mph, and as you troll with the wind, it becomes difficult to maintain a good slow speed for the spinners because the wind is pushing you so much. With the Drift Paddle attached to the Power-Pole, you simply deploy it into the water creating drag that helps slow down your trolling speed.
You can even control the amount of drag it creates by how far down into the water you lower the paddle. Deploy it only half way and it slows you down a little; deploy it all the way down into the water and we have actually been able to slow the boat down as much as a mile to a mile and quarter when trolling with our big engines.
Another advantage of using the Drift Paddle in this scenario is that with the paddle down, it dramatically decreases the “surge” effect the waves have on the boat as you troll. That’s a big deal, especially when trolling spinners, as the surges can affect how the spinners are running, and in dingy water can make it difficult for the fish to track down your bait.
By eliminating or at least lessening the surging, the spinners run truer and therefore are more effective. Not to mention it just makes for a more comfortable ride for the angler.
In the second scenario you have found a school of walleyes scattered along the break off a large shallow main-lake flat and determined that a controlled drift approach would be the best bet for approaching and boating a few of these fish.
One of the great features of the Drift Paddle is that it has seven quick-change positions that cover a full 180 degrees, allowing you to set the paddle at the angle you need to help the boat drift on the path you want it to.
Controlling the boat’s path from the bow mount trolling motor, when you need to move the in or out on the break, the Drift Paddle easily cuts through the water making positioning so much easier than having to drag a drift sock as we used in the past.
Drifting with the paddle off the back and our bow mount trolling motor up front, we have ultimate control of the boat!
Another advantage to the Drift Paddle over the drift sock, in both scenarios, is when a fish is hooked and being brought to the boat. The paddle can be easily lifted out of the way with the touch of a button by using the key-fob remote control that we wear around our neck when fishing.
The Drift Paddle is very tough. It’s made of a space age UV stable polymer that flexes with the spike for increased stability, features stainless steel and bronze hardware for durability and silicon rubber bumpers for quiet operation.
Could you do the same thing with a drift sock? Sure you could, but with a lot more work and much less versatility. Not to mention, any of you that have used drift socks know the mess they can make when you bring them in the boat, getting everything wet.
The Power-Pole and Drift Paddle gives so much versatility and control to walleye anglers. We believe that adding one to your boat is one of the best things you can do to ensure your success at getting your Next Bite.