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Kayak fishing provides anglers with an affordable, simple, and effective way to target game fish on all bodies of water. As this style of fishing is gaining in popularity, kayak fishing rigs are becoming more advanced and more capable. Many kayak anglers are familiar with how an electric stern drive motor can make their day on the water much more productive, but anglers looking for the ultimate edge are beginning to use GPS autopilot systems and electric bow mount trolling motors to make it easier to handle their kayaks while fishing. Kayaks equipped with electric trolling motors and GPS autopilot systems enhance the fishing experience in many ways, and kayak anglers are recognizing the case for this technology goes beyond mobility on the water.

With the exception of those rare glass calm days, paddling and peddling can make fishing a challenge, and wind and current can cause you to drift into or away from where you want to be casting. Using an electric motor with a GPS autopilot system can be especially useful for those moments when you want to lock in and stay on fish or to set up a route along a shoreline to methodically cover water and be able to cast or jig hands free.  In addition, kayaks are much smaller than regular sized fishing boats, and using a traditional anchor can be difficult, dangerous, and ineffective. While a pole anchor offers convenience in certain situations, these systems are limited to shallow water applications.  

The ProNav Angler allows you to use your cell phone or tablet to set a “Spot-On Anchor.” Your phone or tablet will communicate with the trolling motor using Bluetooth to keep your kayak anchored on that spot. The motor will automatically adjust its speed and direction to keep your kayak in place, regardless of conditions. Using the ProNav Angler Mobile App, anglers also have the ability to set an anchor point on the map view and save unlimited anchor points. The ease of setting an anchor point allows anglers the opportunity to move around more, trying different locations, without the need to use a physical anchor line. The ability to use a cellphone or tablet can be beneficial to a kayak angler who has limited space on their kayaks, and eliminates the need to make space for other expensive products such as chart plotters.

Heading lock is another feature of some GPS autopilot systems that allows kayak anglers to easily follow specific shoreline or structures while fishing. This allows anglers to troll for fish and continue to cast the entire time. It also makes it easy to fight fish without going off course. The ProNav Angler also provides anglers with the ability to create routes using satellite imagery or Navionics maps. Anglers can set the thrust or speed, and the ProNav Angler will automatically adjust the trolling motor to follow that route. With this feature, it is easy to create routes that follow specific contours, structures, or the shoreline, and anchor you once you complete the route.

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So what motors make sense for kayaks? The smallest 12V bow mount systems available starting around 45# thrust and will work great on just about any size kayak- this size motor weighs in at under 30 pounds including the mounting hardware. Many kayak anglers use lithium ion batteries to save weight on their kayaks, but lithium ion batteries are expensive, ranging from $500 to $1000. Traditonal batteries are lead acid or AGM batteries, which are much more cost effective, ranging from $100 to $200, but they are about 4-5 times the weight, on average. Anglers will have to weigh the trade off of cost vs. weight depending on their needs. 

Some kayak manufacturers, such as NuCanoe make mounting and rigging motors easy with plug and play kits, but in some cases where  good OEM mounting is not an option, kayak anglers will get creative, coming up with good DIY solutions. ProNav Marine has also worked with many of their customers on custom mounting solutions and is happy to provide this service to kayak anglers who would like to get the ProNav advantage. To learn more, call ProNav Marine at 906-523-7007.

If you have any questions please contact us, and we would be happy to chat with you!