BY Chris Erwin
For the last ten years, I have done an article on what outdoorsmen are putting on their wish list for Christmas. This year has been abnormal in so many ways I decided to do it a little differently. I might add I do not receive anything for reviewing products, including discounts or any other compensation.
Some of you have no idea what Spot-Lock is, and many of you already have it or want to buy a trolling motor that has it as a feature. Spot-Lock is an electronic anchor. In 2016 Minn Kota came out with the feature, and it has forever changed how many people fish. They put it on their high-end models, the Ulterra, Power Drive, Ultrex, and Terrova. Since then, it has become so popular that Motorguide Tour Pro, the Garmin, and the Lowrance Ghost have all produced their Spot-Lock models.
All of the new trolling motors can be operated by the pedal or remote, so you can be anywhere in the boat and still run your trolling motor. A tap on the remote or a click on the Spot-Lock button and your trolling motor takes over on its own to keep you anchored within three feet of that location. The unit has a built-in GPS. Once you hit the stop-Lock the trolling motor keeps you there even in a high wind. You can change baits, put a fish in the Livewell, or anything you want to do, and the boat stays on your spot.
The Ultrex also has Bluetooth that can connect to your compatible fishfinder. You can pick a way-point, hit the “go-to” button, and the trolling motor will take you to the location on its own, then tap the spot-lock, and it will hold you there. Spot-Lock frees you from the front of the boat. I wish this were out when I was guiding fishing trips so my clients could have been in the front of the boat while I operated the trolling motor from the back.
I am excited to add this tool to my fishing this coming year and the Helix Si-DI fishfinder. I hope to be able to do an article on this innovation this coming year.
Dept. Of Fish &Wildlife Christmas Tree Program: The other thing I wanted to remind everyone about is the annual Christmas Tree program. If you would like to donate your natural Christmas tree, you can take it to one of the Two dozen locations where they will become fish habitat in the coming year. Trees must be clear of all decorations and any artificial add-ons; the sites near us will be the Yatesville Fishing jetty. You can call Jason Rullell @ 606-889-1705 for any questions you may have. The other location is the Grayson Lake USACE Emergency Spillway that will be coordinated by Tom Trimmenman at 606-783-8650. They will be accepting trees until Jan 15th from 8 am to 5 pm.
The Dept. of F&WL usually receives about 1,500 trees a year that makes up part of the habitat program; this adds miles of habitat and fish attractors to our lake here in Kentucky. You can go to https://fw.ky.gov/Education/Pages/Department-Lakes-with-Fish-Attractors.aspx to get the list of lakes and download the maps to show you just where to fish; they include GPS locations.
I want to take just a minute to wish you all a Happy New Year, I hope this year frees us from this pandemic, and you can once again go about your lives as we once did. Until then, please be safe, wear a mask, and protect your family. I hope to see you on the water soon, may God Bless you and our country.