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Bow Mount vs Gas Kicker

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Bow Mount vs Gas Kicker
I've got a 1988 Starcraft Medalist 15' fiberglass with a 70 hp Mercury and it's a ski boat that I'd like to make a fishing boat. I like to troll a lot for trout and 1.4 to 3 mph are the speeds I typically troll at depending on what I'm targeting. The main motor at it's slowest is 3.0 mph so my options are:

a) trolling plate

b) adjustable kicker bracket with a 3-6 hp outboard

c) 12v 50lb thrust bow mount Minn Kota/Motorguide


a) The trolling plate is easiest and cheapest but I've heard of headaches they cause, not to mention I'm not sure how much I trust a 30 year old motor in the first place.

b) I've found kicker motors from a 29lb 3.3 hp 2 stroke mercury in excellent shape for $400 and a 61lb 4 stroke 6 hp Tohatsu for $800. Is a 3 hp too small? Due to the transom setup I don't want to go over 60lbs for motor weight.

c) The bow mount option would be great for bass and crappie but would I be able to troll for trout all day with that option (like when I go to Hebgen or Henry's Lake) I was thinking a 12v so I could have two batteries to extend trolling time.

What do you experts think would be the best option? $900 is my absolute limit total.
Thanks for any insight. Happy trails.
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Re: [Fish-Offender] Bow Mount vs Gas Kicker In reply to
I have a bow mounted minn Kota and I love it. I use it all the time for trout. I have not used a kicker or a trolling plate, so I am not the best to give advice on this. Last year though I was on a lake and a storm came and it got pretty dicey pretty fast. I had someone on my boat with me who has a gas kicker on his boat. As I was coming in to trailer the boat the wind picked up again and started to push us around a little. But with the bow mounted trolling motor I was able to move my boat just like I needed to. The other guy mentioned how it would have been much harder for him in his boat because the trolling motor mounted on the transom doesnít pull the boat as easily as one on the bow.
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Re: [Fish-Offender] Bow Mount vs Gas Kicker In reply to
kicker 6hp tohatsu
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Re: [Fish-Offender] Bow Mount vs Gas Kicker In reply to
IMO, an electric trolling motor will not last all day, 6 hr is about max time and that might be pushing it, depending on your speed. IMO The gas kicker is you best option, I'd go with the 6 hp. If your main motor ever went out and left you stranded out in the middle of a lake, getting back to shore with an electric might be dicey but as long as you have gas that kicker will get you back. I have both on my boat but started off with the kicker, then added the electric later. What I do now is use both, when I troll the gas motor pushes the boat and the electric steers it with autopilot.


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Re: [Fish-Offender] Bow Mount vs Gas Kicker In reply to
I have a 19 foot deep-vee aluminum with a v-6 inboard outboard. With a 24 volt 75-lb thrust maybe 85 trolling motor (2 110amp hour batteries I believe). Treat the batteries right and you can troll all day for kokanee 1.2-1.5mph. But if i want to go faster for lake trout and such for more than 3-4 hours I had to use my outboard with a trolling plate, that is until I forgot to release it, the second time I really couldn't fix it.

Electric is great, quiet and no fumes, But if you intend to troll a lot at faster speeds for trout I'd get a kicker, Don't believe trolling with a trolling plate is great on an engine.

Electric is great for Kokanee, New batteries every 6 or so years if treated right - good deep cycles are not cheap

Long and short run a kicker may be the cheapest option
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Re: [Fish-Offender] Bow Mount vs Gas Kicker In reply to
6 hp gas . If your big motor gives you trouble . You can still get in .
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Re: [curt69] Bow Mount vs Gas Kicker In reply to
Thanks for all of the replies. If my pockets were deep enough I'd have both and hopefully someday I will have both. I was leaning towards the kicker for the very reason I could limp back to the ramp if/when the main motor conks out.

My next question is what kicker mount would you guys recommend? Is there any that I should avoid? Any that are trailerable or will I have to take the motor off every time I trailer the boat? The mount will probably have to have a smaller footprint due to the room on my transom. I've also heard all sorts of horror stories about force outboards but I found a 1998 2 stroke 5hp for $350 in great shape. Is that something that I shouldn't even consider and hold out for one of the major proven makes? I was under the impression Mercury made the newer models of Force, is that right? Thanks, it's nice to hear real world experience.
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Re: [Fish-Offender] Bow Mount vs Gas Kicker In reply to
I dont know about force kickers, but tohatsu is a good motor if you can still get it.
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Re: [Fish-Offender] Bow Mount vs Gas Kicker In reply to
Mercury owned and built Force till 1999 . From what I understand. None have been made since . That could make finding parts very hard .
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Re: [curt69] Bow Mount vs Gas Kicker In reply to
Since I have used both kinds I totally disagree. I have a 21' big boat, and I have trolled all day on Cascade in 15mph winds and trolled for an entire 8hr day at 1.6 to 1.8 and still had battery power left on my bow mount and I had great control. Last week we trolled with my buddies 9.9kicker in a 5mph wind at lucky peak, and most of my day was spent constantly steering and adjusting speed. Even then with that breeze, the boat turned places we didn't want to go a bunch of times. If you are lacking trolling time with electric, switch to 220ah 6v golf cart batteries. I went from 5hrs troll time to well over 8hrs even with a lot of wind. Best of all would be to use both, but for control, you can't touch a bow mount. You can set speed and easily maintain speed and course.
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Re: [crappyslayer] Bow Mount vs Gas Kicker In reply to
If you do decide on a kicker, (my suggestion) invest in a Trollmaster throttle control. Absolutely the best investment I ever made for my Hewescraft. No more running back adjusting the motor every time you turn into or out of the wind. No more having to kick it into neutral when a fish hits. Try it....you'll thank me!!! Mike
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Re: [Kodiak1] Bow Mount vs Gas Kicker In reply to
Totally agree with you, love mine for sure, saves you a lots of time and effort because of going back and forth to the motor to adjust speed.
Although I don't have one, they also make a model that automatically adjust the speed faster or slower every few minutes to trigger a strike. A friend has one and it works especially well when fishing for kokanee.


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Re: [crappyslayer] Bow Mount vs Gas Kicker In reply to
What kind of bow mount motor do you have and what lb thrust is it? Iíll end up with one eventually for sure, but just trying to prioritize whether a kicker or bow mount comes first. Another factor driving me to the kicker is when I go to Henryís lake or Hebgen for a few days at a time and I donít have electricity. Anyone ever use a generator to recharge your trolling motor battery? How long to recharge if you have done that?
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Re: [Kodiak1] Bow Mount vs Gas Kicker In reply to
Something like that would sure beat sitting on a cooler reaching behind the boat to run the kicker with the tiller handle! Iíll hope to have a setup like that someday. Once I have a kicker and bow mount electric trolling motor that will be my next purchase Iíll save for. Thanks for the recommendations!
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Re: [Fish-Offender] Bow Mount vs Gas Kicker In reply to
Fish-Offender wrote:
What kind of bow mount motor do you have and what lb thrust is it? Iíll end up with one eventually for sure, but just trying to prioritize whether a kicker or bow mount comes first. Another factor driving me to the kicker is when I go to Henryís lake or Hebgen for a few days at a time and I donít have electricity. Anyone ever use a generator to recharge your trolling motor battery? How long to recharge if you have done that?

I am a tournament bow fisherman, so we need batteries to last anywhere from 6 to 10 hours of trolling a day. I have a Minnkota 112 V with three deep cycle marine batteries. I replace them every 3 to 4 years and Iíve never had a problem. I also go to the Columbia River 4 to 5 times in the spring and troll anywhere from 1.2 to 2.2 miles an hour, and also I troll cascade for perch for the week of Fourth of July. In my opinion I would get an 80-112 thrust Bow mount trolling motor. I have fished with people that have just a kicker and people that have both a kicker and about bow mount. I also hardly ever have power at the bow fishing events that I go to, I use a 2000 W Honda generator and it will charge all three batteries with a battery tender in about 6 to 8 hours. I have fish with people that have just a kicker and people that have both a kicker in about amount. I also hardly ever have power at the bow fishing events that I go to, our use a 2000 W Honda generator and it will charge all three batteries with a battery tender in about 6 to 8 hours. A good set of batteries will do everything a kicker will but with better control in my opinion. Good luck
Matt
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Re: [Duck-Slayer] Bow Mount vs Gas Kicker In reply to
Thanks for all of the replies and experiences. Itís much appreciated. I think Iíve decided to go the bow mount route due to the versatility of it allowing me to fish utilizing several different methods for different species. I can also use a remote for the bow motor and control it from any where in the boat. Next year Iíll save up and get a good solid gas kicker and remote controls with the proper budget. Anyone have any recommendations on minn Kota vs motorguide? Thanks again and happy trails.
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Re: [Fish-Offender] Bow Mount vs Gas Kicker In reply to
I have always ran Minn Kota trolling motors. Had a buddy run a motor guide and it would always trip the breaker in weeds or going all out to long.
Matt
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Re: [Duck-Slayer] Bow Mount vs Gas Kicker In reply to
Me to Matt have been running Minn-Kota for 29 years never had to replace one or have one worked on. Motor guides some friends have resulted in nothing but problems. MK all the way.Cool


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