Category Archives: Fishing Product Reviews

Learning Fish Behavior from A Garmin Panoptix

I  have learned a lot from my Garmin Panoptix I installed last November.

This system is a sonar that shows a live picture of what is underwater on the screen, much like shining a spotlight at night shows what is in its beam.  And it shows movement as it happens, not as a line on the screen like older units.

One of my first surprises was how many fish are down there. I see schools of crappie and hybrids and clouds of baitfish suspended over deeper water this time of year.  And I can see fish moving along the bottom, probably catfish and carp.

Fish hovering around stumps, rocks and brush, or holding right on a drop off, are probably bass.

And there are lots of them. But seeing them does not mean they will hit my bait.

Time after time I see my bait move through them and they ignore it. Even worse is when I watch my jig fall on the cast or hop it and see a fish come up to it and follow it back down but never hit it. That does make me change colors, size and baits more often.

When I see fish in brush or on other cover, it makes me make more casts to it. The first tournament I used my Panoptix I saw what looked like fish in a brush pile in front of a dock. Normally i would hit a brush pile two or three times with a bait then move on. But seeing fish in that one made me make multiple casts and I caught a keeper on about my tenth cast!

I have always heard bass move tight to cover in muddy water.  In November and December, Jackson was very clear and I could see bass holding just over rocks and other cover, and they would slowly move around it. But after the rain Jackson muddied up and now I see bright dots indication bass right against the rocks or down in the brush.  And they don’t move, they just sit there.

I know a bait cast out and sinking will swing back toward the boat, and to get it to go straight to the bottom I “feed” line to it as it falls.  That is important when trying to get you bait to the bottom under docks and down to brush.Watching my bait swing back toward the boat as it falls amazes me.  A half ounce jig with a twin curly tail trailer cast on 14-pound fluorocarbon line makes an arch back toward me no matter how much line I feed to it.  It moves back toward me about a foot for every five it falls, so if I cast to a brush pile 20 feet deep I have to cast at least four feet past it to get my bait to hit it.

Another confirmation of fish behavior is the reaction of fish as my boat gets near them. Fish holding over rocks and brush will slowly sink down into it as my boat approaches. In clear water it is very noticeable. Bass over cover 20 feet deep started sinking down into it when my boat got within 30 feet of them.

I saw this happen many times when i moved in to try to jig a spoon or use drop shot. N ow, after seeing it happen, I will try to make very long casts in clear water!

I am just exploring lakes with my Panoptix and hope to learn a lot more in the coming months.

St. Croix Mojo Bass Glass Crankbait Rod Review

You can cast a crankbait on any rod.  But you will be much more efficient, make longer casts, the bait will have better action and you will land more of the fish that hit if you use the right one for the job.

    My St. Croix Avid medium action rods do a good job with smaller crankbaits, but do not work well with the huge ones that are so popular now. A few years ago, I bought a St. Croix Mojo Bass Glass Crankbait rod at a Georgia Outdoor Writers Association auction, and got it for a fraction of the list price.

    It is a fantastic crankbait rod, casting quarter ounce crankbaits easily but handling the biggest one-ounce ones I own.  Both will fly further on it than any other rod I have, even with the same reel and line. 
Its action makes this possible. 
    The action of the rod also makes it easier to land bass on a crankbait.  Bass are notorious for throwing a crankbait, often because the hooks tear holes in their mouth and allow the hook to pull out. A rod that is too heavy adds to this problem, tearing holes when you set the hook. 

    The St. Croix had a medium power moderate action, meaning the rod bends over its whole length, and allows a cushion when setting the hook. Most rods now are graphite, but those fibers are stiffer than fiberglass.  That is the reason St. Croix uses it in their crankbait rods.

    Jamie Koza, owner of The Dugout bait and tackle store in Atlanta and a tournament fisherman, says the
St Croix Mojo is the best crankbait rod he has ever used.  And both is kids, Carter and Rose Lee, tournament winning high school and college fishermen, both love them.

    The St. Croix Mojo Bass Glass crankbait rods sell for about $150 and come in a variety of lengths and actions to suit your needs.

American Hero Speed Stick Rod Review

I won a Fig Rig rod in a Top Six tournament at West Point years ago. That northern company and made muskie rods but decided to get into the bass market.  This six-foot six-inch rod was the most sensitive rod I have ever used for worm and jig fishing.  

    I broke the rod several weeks ago and, unfortunately, the company is no longer in business. So, I went looking for a replacement.  I ordered a St. Croix rod but needed one fast and I went to Berrys Sporting Goods to see what he had.

    After looking at several rods Jim showed me an American Hero Speed Stick rod.  It felt good even though it is a seven-foot rod and I really wanted a shorter rod for skipping baits under docks.  The medium heavy, fast action was right, though, and I got it.

    After using it several times and catching a few fish on it, I am very happy with it.  It cast half ounce jigs and Texas rigs with a three sixteenths ounce sinker well, exactly what I wanted it for.  I can skip ok with it and it has good sensitivity for feeling bites on those baits.  The seven-foot length gives me good leverage when setting the hook.

    The rod weighs more than my St. Croix rods but cost less than $100, about half the cost of my St. Croix rods. Usually the more expensive the rod the less it weighs. 

    It serves my needs well and I am very happy with it.

Hydrowave H2 Review

Hydrowave H2 Review

The TH Marine Hydrowave H2 is a unit that plays a sound through an underwater speaker that is usually mounted on a trolling motor. The sounds it plays are supposed to represent sounds that make fish feed. The Hydrowave H2 has a variety of choices of sounds, from crawfish on gravel, one of my favorites, to deep bait to blueback herring, a good one on herring lakes like Clarks Hill and Lanier.

Does it work? Honestly, I do not know, but I always have it playing during tournaments.

Many of the pros I have done Map of the Month articles with for Alabama and Georgia Outdoor News swear by it, even those not sponsored by the company and have to buy their own units. That means a lot to me, the ones not sponsored using it.

One experience indicates it does work. While fishing a club tournament at Lake Lanier during the herring spawn, I stopped off a seawall where the spotted bass had been schooling. There was no surface activity at all.

When I got up front and put my trolling motor in the water, with the Hydrowave H2 playing the herring spawn, the water off the seawall exploded with several big spots chasing baitfish. Like a dummy, I had not picked up my rod first, and by the time I unstrapped it and was ready to cast, the fish had disappeared. From then on I have my rod ready to cast when putting the unit in the water.

I have had my unit for about two years and have done well in many tournaments when the fishing was very tough. It gives me a little extra confidence when it is on, always an important factor.

The unit is not cheap, costing about $400.00. Is it worth it?

My old unit died last week, out of warranty that last one year, but I ordered another one to replace it. That is how much I believe in it. Since I was replacing an old unit, they did give me a good discount on the new one.

Frustration with My Minn Kota Ulterra

In April, I decided to celebrate finishing chemo and radiation by buying a new trolling motor. I have wanted the Minn Kota Ulterra for several years. My old one worked fine but was a little hard to turn, and my old back did not like pulling it in by the cord.

The Ulterra self-stows and self deploys. You tap a button on the foot pedal twice and it goes into the water. Tap it once and it comes back in. And it has spot lock, a feature that allows you to tap another button and the motor will keep you within a few feet of the spot where you tapped it.

It also comes with a Bluetooth remote to control the motor. You can sit in the back of the boat and use the trolling motor. A commercial for it shows a man by himself backing his boat in the water and letting it float off. After parking, he goes to the dock, has the remote deploy the motor and drive it to him on the dock. Very convenient.

Striper and hybrid guides especially like this feature. In their center console boat they can stay in the middle of the boat, within easy reach of all the rods out, and control the movement of the boat.

I got the motor, had it installed and took it to

Jackson Lake to test it. The foot pedal was very different, but I thought I would get used to it. I loved the self-stow and spot lock just from playing with them.

The motor worked fine the next weekend in a tournament, but the foot pedal was very frustrating.
For 45 years I have used a cable drive trolling motor. Guiding the boat did not require any thought. It was an automatic act for years, just like driving a car.

The new pedal uses a motor to turn the trolling motor. That is nice in some ways, but the pedal has no “feel” like the old one. I constantly turned the boat in the wrong direction and had to look at it all the time to control it, distracting from my fishing concentration. And the buttons were placed badly, it was way too easy to hit the stow button when trying to turn the motor with my heel.

I started to hate it on that trip and my feelings about it got worse.

The next weekend in a tournament, the spot lock feature and remote would not work. When I got home, I sent an online message to Minn Kota support and they told me to take it to Riverdale Marine, an Authorized Service Center. I did, and the control head was replaced.

Everything worked great for eight trips, and
I was starting to get used to the foot pedal. Then, in the Potato Creek Logan Martin tournament, at my first stop Saturday morning, the motor would not deploy. I sat there not fishing, fooling with the motor, for 30 minutes, missing the best fishing of the day because of the motor.

Then, it finally deployed and I was able to fish for a few hours. But the motor acted crazy, trying to stow when I was not touching the foot pedal or remote and doing other things it was not supposed to do, all on its own. I managed to catch two fish under those frustrating conditions.

Sunday morning in the tournament it worked fine for a couple of hours and I caught three keepers. When I decided to move, the motor would not stow. I was stuck in the down position and I was about four miles from the weigh-in site.

I started idling back to the ramp with my three fish, messing with the foot pedal buttons and remote. It finally stowed, and I ran to the ramp area and fished the last few hours with a crazy motor, doing weird things, but I managed to catch one more keeper.

When I got home I had it taken off my boat, fearing to try to use it again. I sent another message to Minn Kota support on their web form and got no response for three days. I started posting my message to them on social media.

That got attention and I received a call from Minn Kota. I explained all the problems and that I did not trust the motor, even if it was repaired and did not want to use it again, even though I really needed a self-stow motor for my back.

The representative offered to swap the Ulterra for an Ultrex, a non-self-stow motor that cost about $450 less – but with no refund of the difference in cost, not to mention sales tax, shipping and irritation.

The next day I called him back and left a message, asking them to swap the lemon motor I bought for a new one of the same model and cost, since I really needed the self stow. Several people said they had the Ulterra and had no trouble with it, so I thought maybe I had just gotten a lemon, and was willing to try again.

So far, no response.

I am looking at all options. There are a lot of other brands out there.

St.Croix PS60MHF Premier Spinning Rod Review

I like this St Croix spinning rod

Like many fishermen my age, my first rod and reel was a closed face Zebco 202 with a matching rod. It was frustrating to use because the line jammed inside it so much.

When I was 16 I got a new-fangled Mitchell 300 spinning reel with a Garcia rod. It was a heavy outfit, and had problems all it own, but it was a big step up. I used it even after I got into a bass club in 1974, it was one of my two rods and reels back then .

Over the years I replaced it with better spinning rods and reels. But I almost stopped using spinning equipment years ago when I got baitcasting outfits that would handle light baits.

For the past couple of years I have been using one of my old spinning outfit to skip weightless Senkos under docks, but the old rods just were not right. I like a short rod for skipping baits and these were less than six feet long, but the action was too light to wrestle bass past dock posts.

A few weeks ago I got a St.Croix PS60MHF Premier six foot medium heavy fast action spinning rod. It is just what I wanted. The fast action tip skips a light bait easily, but the medium heavy weight gives me the control I need to keep bass from hanging me up.

To clarify some terms:

Rod length is pretty obvious. But the other terms can be confusing.

Rod action is how fast a rod bends from the tip. A fast action rod has a light tip that bends easily. A medium action bends less, and a heavy action bends little. Lighter actions are best for lighter baits. For heavier baits, heavier action is needed.

Rod weight is how stiff the rod is. A light weight rod is usually lighter in heaviness, but mainly it bends a lot, often from the tip to the butt, in a parabolic arch. A heavy weight rod will bend little even at the tip. Again, a lighter weight rod is better for lighter baits but the heavier the weight is, the more “backbone” you have to control the fish.

The six foot length is short compared to the seven foot rods many use, but I like shorter rods for skipping. They have a little less leverage, but many of my cast are sidearm with rod tip point toward the water, and the shorter length helps me avoid hitting the boat and the water on my casts.

I have used this rod in several tournaments and caught enough fish on it to know it is just what I wanted. It helped me catch fish at Sinclair and place 4th in the Flint River Bass Club tournament.

The Premier Family of rods come in both spinning and casting, with various lengths, actions and weights to meet most needs, and sell for about $140.00

Disclaimer – I got a discount when I bought this rod. But no discount is big enough to make me say something good about a product I don’t use or like, and I would never reccomend something I do not use with success to anyone else.

St Croix Rod Review – Rod Weight Makes A Difference

My favorite all around rod –
Croix Avid Mediaum Fast seven foot rod – AVC70MF

Image from St. Croix Rods

Fishermen have their favorite rods, it is largely a matter of personal preferences. My favorites are St. Croix Rods. They have a model for any fishing need, and I have several in different models, weights and actions.

I won a St. Croix rod at a tournament in Wisconsin back in the early 1990s and fell in love with it. The Avid model seven-foot, medium weight, fast action AVC70MF is the best all-around rod I use. It works well for topwater baits, crankbaits and spinnerbaits. I also use it successfully for small swim baits and underspins.

The next year I bought two more Avids but didn’t pay careful attention and ordered the medium heavy weigh AVC70MHF, a lucky accident. I used them for throwing the shaky head and jig and they were perfect. I seldom lost a fish on any of my three rods.

I broke the first rod and St. Croix replaced it under warranty for $50. They did not even ask how I broke a two-year old rod, but I am sure I hit it on the side of the boat working a topwater plug based on where it broke, cracking it.

I managed to lose one of the second two I bought, a whole nother story of my stupidity, and ordered two more of the medium action. Since I was mostly fishing shaky heads and small jigs, one of them was dedicated to the small jigs. I kept fishing a shaky head on the medium heavy weight rod.

After losing several fish on the jig, I quit throwing it for a time. I finally realized all the fish I lost were on the medium weight and had not lost fish on the medium heavy rod fishing a shaky head, I ordered another Avid AVC70MHF medium heavy weight fast action rod a few months ago. Since then I have not lost a fish on the jig, including a 4 pounder at Guntersville and many other keeper fish.

Rod weight makes a difference! The slightly heavier weight helps set the hook on the jig and shaky head where the lighter weight is fine for other baits. I fish both shaky head and small jigs on those two rods every tournament now and use the medium weight for most of my other baits.

To clarify some terms:

Rod length is pretty obvious. But the other terms can be confusing.

Rod action is how fast a rod bends from the tip. A fast action rod has a light tip that bends easily. A medium action bends less, and a heavy action bends little. Lighter actions are best for lighter baits. For heavier baits, heavier action is needed.

Rod weight is how stiff the rod is. A light weight rod is usually lighter in heaviness, but mainly it bends a lot, often from the tip to the butt, in a parabolic arch. A heavy weight rod will bend little even at the tip. Again, a lighter weight rod is better for lighter baits but the heavier the weight is, the more ?backbone” you have to control the fish.

I also have a Mojo Crankbait rod and it is perfect for casting big crankbaits, and small ones for that matter. Jamie Koza, owner of The Dugout Tackle shop in Atlanta and well-known tournament fisherman, told me it is the best crankbait rod he has ever used, and I agree. I bought the Mojo Crankbait rod at a Georgia Outdoor Writers association auction, and got it for a very good price.

St Croix rods are not cheap but are all quality rods with a great warranty. But they make a series for most any budget, from their Bass X at about $100 to the very top end Legend Family, made for the deadly serious bass fisherman, at around $420. The Avid Family model I love is about $180 – second only to the Legend, and their Mojo Family is about $130. Their Premier series is about $120.

St Croix makes quality spinning and casting in all the above models and have models for saltwater, salmon and fly and even ice fishing. I have a St Croix Premier spinning rod and five Avid casting rods and the Mojo now, and have ordered a Legend jig rod – just gotta try it out.

Disclaimer – I get a discount from St. Croix but would never use so many of them – at any price – if they did not work for me. I would recommend any fisherman try the St Croix rods in the model and action that they like.

St. Croix Redesigns Legend® Surf Rod

from Traditions Media

St Croix Rods for surf fishing

St. Croix redesigns Legend® Surf rod series to deliver heightened performance and value

Park Falls, WI (August 14, 2019) – St. Croix’s pinnacle surf rod series, Legend® Surf, has been refined for 2020 to offer anglers increased performance at a reduced price. Updates include an all-new Fuji® guide train designed to provide optimal surf fishing performance with improved durability. In the sand or from the jetties, Legend Surf continues its legacy of leading the way in high-performance surf fishing.

The world’s most demanding surf anglers have good reasons to celebrate… twelve of them, actually. That’s the number of premium-performance rod models in St. Croix’s Legend Surf series, and all of them have been newly redesigned with state-of-the-art componentry. Less-demanding surfcasters should be celebrating, too, because new, lower pricing means these legendary, top-tier surf rods are now accessible to more passionate anglers than ever before.

“For years the Legend Surf rod family has been recognized as the pinnacle of factory-built surfcasting rods,” says St. Croix Regional Account Manager Alex Smay. “They’re just a joy to fish. They’re incredibly light and offer performance that is second-to-none.”

Building on Legend Surf’s exceptional performance characteristics and capabilities, St. Croix engineers relied heavily on the expertise of St. Croix pro team anglers to further improve and expand the series for the serious techniques that surf anglers regularly use. “There are a lot of good rods out there if you’re going to throw some bait out in the surf and let it sit,” says Smay.

“But we’ve never been satisfied with that. We really dialed the new Legend Surf series in for plug fishing, working pencil poppers and swimmers, all the wooden lures that surf anglers in the Northeast use, and the poppers employed down in Florida. Anglers who are after seriously big fish in rough and often nocturnal conditions… those are the folks who have really come to appreciate what this rod family has to offer when it comes to casting distances, working the baits in a certain way and fighting big, powerful fish… whether 50-pound stripers or 50-inch snook.”

Smay comments on the key Legend Surf design change: “We had really great componentry on these rods, but in listening to angler feedback, diehard surf anglers told us they actually preferred a different guide train. It’s another example of how we at St. Croix work with anglers to design the rods they want. In this case, changing the guides not only improved the performance and the durability of the rods, but it also allowed us to lower Legend Surf rod prices across the board, making these premium tools available to an increased number of anglers. So, it’s a win-win.”

Renowned surf junkie and St. Croix pro-staffer, Alberto Knie, or “Crazy Alberto” as he’s called, lives up to his name. The Florida surf-caster has spent years warring the surf all along the Atlantic coast. He’s one of the experienced anglers who provided St. Croix with feedback leading to Legend Surf’s design changes.

“As an avid angler and one who likes to target trophy fish, from the initial Legend Surf to the new and improved, the difference is remarkable,” says Knie. “These rods excel in the most extreme and demanding situations.”

Knie has used the new rods for big stripers, tarpon to 150 pounds, 50-pound bull reds, and monster 50-inch-plus snookzilla during his travels up and down the East Coast – all on artificial baits.

“The new titanium Fuji® K-Series KW guides are lightweight and durable, and St. Croix also upped the size of the main guide ring up to 50 mm, which further improves casting performance,” he says. “If you’re looking for specialized, custom-level high-performance rods with extreme castability, the new Legend Surf is it. It’s been fine-tuned over the years to meet the needs of the most extreme trophy-hunting surf anglers in the game. From the subtleties of its finish – which is tremendous – to the unparalleled customer service you get with the 15-year transferable warranty, you cannot go wrong with the components, performance, durability, and all the other benefits that come with owning a Legend Surf rod. They are literally the Best Rods on Earth.”

Designed and handcrafted at the St. Croix Rod factory in Park Falls, U.S.A., Legend Surf series rods are available in ten spinning and two casting models to perform flawlessly in any surf fishing duty. Spinning rods range in length from 7’ to 12’, while casting choices run 10’6” to 11’. Each rod carries a 15-year transferable warranty backed by St. Croix Superstar Service.


7’ one-piece, medium power, moderate-fast action spinning (GSS70MMF)
8’ one-piece, medium power, moderate-fast action spinning (GSS80MMF)
9’ two-piece, medium power, moderate-fast action spinning (GSS90MMF2)
9’ two-piece, medium power, moderate action spinning (GSS90MM2)
10’ two-piece, medium power, moderate-fast action spinning (GSS100MMF2)
10’6” two-piece, medium power, moderate action spinning (GSS106MM2)
10’6” two-piece, medium-heavy power, moderate-fast action spinning (GSS106MHMF2)
11’ two-piece, medium-heavy power, moderate-fast action spinning (GSS110MHMF2)
12’ two-piece, medium-heavy power, moderate-fast action spinning (GSS120MHMF2)
12’ two-piece, heavy power, moderate-fast action spinning (GSS120HMF2)


10’6” two-piece, medium-heavy power, moderate-fast action casting (GSC106MHMF2)
11’ two-piece, medium-heavy power, moderate-fast action casting (GSC110MHMF2)

From striped bass and blues in the Northeast to big drum in the Mid-Atlantic and the outright bruisers of the southern coast, St. Croix’s improved Legend Surf rods offer hard-fishing surf rats the opportunity to seriously step up their game for a new, lower price that comes without compromise. MSRP runs from $470 to $670.


Integrated Poly Curve® (IPC®) mandrel technology
Advanced Reinforcing Technology™ (ART™)
High-modulus/high-strain SCIV carbon with FRS for unparalleled strength and durability
Offset, slim-profile ferrules on two-piece models provide one-piece performance
Fuji® K-Series KW tangle-free guides with SLIM SiC rings and titanium frames for unrivalled, 100% corrosion-proof performance
Fuji® DPS Deluxe reel seat with Back Stop™ lock nut and PVD-plated hoods
Custom neoprene handle provides comfort and durability. Positive grip improves when wet
Two coats of Flex-Coat slow cure finish
Ten spinning and two casting models with rod lengths ranging from 7’ to 12’ cover nearlyall sur f fishing possibilities
Engineered and built for extreme surf fishing performance
15-year transferable warranty backed by St. Croix Superstar Service
Designed and handcrafted in Park Falls, U.S.A.

About St. Croix Rod

Headquartered in Park Falls, Wisconsin, St. Croix has been proudly producing the “Best Rods on Earth” for over 70 years. Combining state-of-the-art manufacturing processes with skilled craftsmanship, St. Croix is the only major producer to still build rods entirely from design through manufacturing. The company remains family-owned and operates duplicate manufacturing facilities in Park Falls and Fresnillo, Mexico. With popular trademarked series such as Legend®, Legend Xtreme®, Avid®, Premier®, Tidemaster®, Imperial®, Triumph® and Mojo, St. Croix is revered by all types of anglers from around the world.

St Croix Avid Casting Rod Review

What is the best all-around casting rod for bass fishing?

Some of my St. Croix rods

In my opinion, the best all-around casting rod for bass is the St. Croix Avid Series seven foot medium fast action rod. I fish spinnerbaits, topwater, jerkbaits, swim baits and crankbaits on that one series and action rod. The Avid Series is reasonably priced for a quality product. If I could have only one rod, that would be it.

I like a little heavier rod for shaky heads and small jigs, so I use the same rod, but in medium /heavy fast action. My hook-up rate with baits that require a strong hook set is better with this rod than with the medium action rod.

The seven foot rod gives plenty of length for long casts and for fighting fish. It is light weight enough to fish all day without tiring me too much.

If all my rods were destroyed in a fire or some other catastrophe, I would start out with two medium heavy rods and three medium rods. I could rig a shaky head and a jig on the heavy rods and a spinnerbait, crankbait and topwater on the medium rods to cover almost all situations i am likely to face on Georgia and Alabama lakes.

St Croix offers a good warranty, with repair or replacement of any rod with a defect. Even if you damage and break your rod, they will replace it for a low price. I have never had a problem with defective rods but I have broken them. It is easy to hit the side of the boat when working a topwater or jerkbait, and they can crack them. The damage may not show up until later when you load the rod up landing a fish but that is the most likely way to break one other than something stupid that shows up immediately like slamming the rod in a car door. Even that is covered.

A St. Croix rod will last you a life time with no problems.

I Love/Hate My New Minn Kota Ulterra Trolling Motor

Minn Kota Ulterra Trolling Motor with 360 scan bracket

I ordered a Minn Kota Ulterra trolling motor from Their service and price was great, the chat person gave me good advice, their prices are competitive and there is no sales tax or shipping fee. The motor arrived in only two days. BUT, I was too excited to really check. Took the motor to be installed and he called me when he got ready to hook up the power.
My boat is wired for 36 volts and the motor was a 24 volt. Glad he noticed before hooking it up!

I contacted MyGreenTackle and they confirmed they shipped the wrong motor. Since it was already hooked up I decided to see how it preformed. It has more than enough power for my boat, and I can use the extra battery for accessories only, solving several problems. Decided to keep it, and MyGreenTackle refunded the difference in price, but I am worried about reserve power.

There was another problem I did not anticipate. I have a Humminbird 360 scan that I love, but there is no way to mount the transducer to this motor since the shaft slides. And my 2016 sonar units are too old to use the Chirp transducer built into the motor, so mounting the old transducer is a problem, too. I could order a newer unit for sonar, and may do that eventually.

I contacted Minn Kota and was told there is no way to mount the 360 transducer and they do not make an adapter. That is strange since both Humminbird and Minn Kota are owned by the same company, but I guess that is big business.

Fortunately, through a little searching I found that Cumberland Crappie makes an adapter for the 360 transducer as well as a bracket for mounting other transducers like Lowrance to it. I got both and got them put on. And although the resulting rig looks crazy, it works so far.

I have used the Ulterra in two club tournaments now and I love/hate my new Minn Kota Ulterra Trolling Motor.

I ordered the self stow unit since I have back problems and it hurts bending over and pulling in a trolling motor. And I really love that feature, as well as being able to trim it up and down easily when in shallow water. And I think I will really like the remote control feature when I get used to it.

I think I am going to love the spot lock, too. It worked fine the first time I fished with the new motor but the second time I could not get it to engage. I will study the manual and hope i am doing something wrong. It would be just my luck to have a defective unit.

I hate the foot control. It seems the buttons were placed in the worst possible position, especially for someone who has been using a regular foot pedal for 45 years. I have hit the button to stow the motor dozens of times when using my heel to turn the motor. And I am used to resting my heel on the back of the pedal and raising my toe when releasing the power button. That starts the stow function and I hve to quickly hit the lower button to stop it and get it back down. I make that mistake constantly.

There is no “feel” with this foot pedal, either. I have used the regular pedal so many years it is an unconscious effort to keep the boat going like I want it to. Now, I constantly have to look at what the motor is doing, very distracting while fishing.

Another thing I do not like is how high the head sticks up while fishing. I hit it repeatedly while trying to side arm cast and skip baits under docks. I hope I can adjust it lower.

Maybe I will eventually get used to the new system.

If i could go back, I would never order an Ulterra for a bass boat. I would stick with the Ultrex, even with my bad back.