Tackle Tales

Minn-Kota – Power Drive Bow Mount

This past winter we mounted a new Minn- Kota 74lb thrust Power Drive Bow Mount electric motor to our largest jet boat. Our 21 foot Customweld Storm is the Cadillac of Jet boats. Every bell and whistle imaginable is loaded on this machine. I was a bit concerned with using an electric bow mount over a tansom mount gas trolling motor being that this boat weighs over 3200lbs when it’s fully loaded. I was unsure if we would be able maneuver our boat with complete control being that we mostly fish rivers with current and lakes that are often windy. After discussing these concerns with several Minn-Kota users and reps, I was convinced to give it a try.

We made a few bow adjustments to our bowrider style bow, mounted a Minn-Kota Quick release plate, 2 – Minn- Kota MK 18 Deep Cycle Dual purpose batteries and the Minn-Kota MK 220 On Board Charger. The quick release plate allows us to remove the bow mount motor easily so when we are fishing for sturgeon or other species that don’t require the motor we can remove and store it. The on-board charger allows us to plug in at night and recharge the batteries so were ready to go the next morning.The Minn-Kota Power Drive uses 24 Volts so we require 2 – MK 18 batteries and the Minn-Kota MK 220 charger that offers 2 banks, 5 amps per bank, 10 amps total output.

In addition to the Minn-Kota quick release plate, batteries and on-board charger we added the Minn-Kota Co-Pilot to the Power Drive Electric Motor. The Co-Pilot is a remote control that lets you control speed and steering from anywhere on the boat. Most of the Minn-kota bow mount motors allow for the optional Co-Pilot to be added. The remote control is about the size of large watch, it can be mounted to your steering wheel, rod or wrist.

I have been testing the Minn-Kota 74lb thrust PowerDrive Bow Mount Electric Motor for just over 2 months now. I have fished still water lakes using the motor to hold steady on shoals and structure and to move the boat parallel to the shore casting fly’s and spoons for trout. I have also used this same set up for back trolling or back drifting for steelhead and trout on several rivers with current. I have also found this set up very useful for fishing back eddy’s and side channels where we often spook fish when entering with our gas motors running.

After putting more than 30 hours on my new Minn-Kota electric bow mount motor, I am truly amazed at the control I have over my 3200 lb Jet Boat. I have used electric transom mount motors for years on smaller boats, I imagined the same type of experience with the bow mount. I thought I would be constantly fighting with the controls, moving from left to right, trying to keep a strait line.

Not so, the bow mount pulls the boat instead of pushing it, when you start to stray off course, 1 touch of the control and your back on track. The 74lb thrust motor is incredibly strong, at full thrust I can push a pretty good wake. After working shoals for more than 16 hours, I still have enough juice in the batteries to go another full day on the water. The new Maximizer technology delivers the precise amount of power needed at any speed unlike other motors that draw constant power regardless of the control setting. This Maximizer technology gives you up to 5 times longer running time that conventional motors.

Electric Motors have come along way since I had last used one. I am a bit ashamed that it took so long for me to figure out what many professional and recreational anglers down south have known for years. Bow mount electric motors are far superior to transom mount motors and gas trolling motors for most applications. Not only do bow mount motors work in freshwater lakes, they also have a application to saltwater trollers and river fishing for salmon, trout and steelhead. Next time your looking to upgrade or add a new electric or gas trolling motor, I highly recommend you consider a Minn-Kota Bow Mount Motor.