In today’s industry of fishing products, many new innovative devices have hit the market, consequently making us better anglers. But every once in a while a special concept is developed, where such a product actually changes the way we fish.
Minn Kota has revolutionized the way we fish with trolling motors by bringing us the I-pilot. Now you can focus on fishing and not so much on positioning the boat. With a push of a button, I-pilot will intelligently control your boat so you can avoid the old method of “fish and steer, fish and steer.”
The I-pilot uses GPS technology to automatically control and steer the boat, allowing you to stay tight on structure and locks you on the high percentage paths of your choosing.
Prior to this release, Minn Kota’s Autopilot was the ticket where navigational control of the trolling motor was simply achieved via their patented compass incorporated in the auto pilot system. Just point the boat in the direction you wish to travel and engage the auto pilot button.
This is still a great system but the I- pilot takes it over the top in terms of innovative features and technology.
What makes the I-pilot revolutionary is the smart versatile operations it incorporates, that has never been seen before in a trolling motor.
The Spot-Lock feature is essentially an electronic anchor, holding the boat on a spot. If the boat drifts off due to current or if the wind picks up, the I-pilot will recognize it and activate the trolling motor when it detects a 5-foot variance from the spot it was told to lock-on to.
In addition to the spot-lock feature is Recall, which gives you the ability to return to the exact location at a later time.
The Record a Track feature allows you to record a path in an area of the lake and then retrace it with GPS from either end or come back at a later time. Up to two miles of recording is stored in its memory.
This is a nice feature because you can set the track with the push of one button and let the trolling motor do the rest. Now you can concentrate on fishing while I-pilot steers the boat.
The CO-Pilot is essentially the command center of operations where you are in control of the speed, the steering and the props on/off buttons from a wireless remote.
The co-pilot controller can be used with a lanyard and worn around the neck or simply fits in you pocket so you can fish from anywhere in the boat.
What’s also a great about the co-pilot is that it helps ease the fatigue. When using a traditional foot control motor, standing and fishing all day long on one leg from the bow when waves and wind crash the boat can be very exhausting. It’s nice to be able to take a load off and control the boat with the i-Pilot’s wireless remote.
Included with Co-Pilot is a feature called Cruise Control, where you have the ability to adjust and maintain your trolling speed to dial in and match a bait presentation.
Last but not least, the most important feature, the Advanced Auto Pilot will keep to on a heading and take you to your destination with pinpoint accuracy using GPS technology.
Despite the wind, weather, waves or current the Advanced Auto Pilot will compensate for any variables and keep you on course automatically.
Just point the I-pilot in the direction you want to go and turn on the Advanced Auto Pilot and you can count on the I-Pilot to get you there.
This is a cool feature but just make sure you don’t have anything in your line of sight. GPS will get you there, but navigationally speaking, be aware of any hazards that may put you in harms way.
The I-pilot is a system all by itself that is easily mounted to trolling motors such as the Minn Kota Terrova, Power Drive V2, the Rip Tide Sp and SP bow-mounted trolling motors.
Just replace the head of your Minn Kota trolling motor with the I-pilot head and you are good to go. The I-pilot can also be purchased already incorporated to these trolling motors from Minn Kota dealers.
If you fish from a boat and use a trolling motor, make no mistake, the I-pilot has changed the way we all fish by allowing us to fish for the most part hands and foot free. It’s like having a guide control the boat so can concentrate on fish.
Technology has made efforts on the water more conducive to focusing on fishing and has taken automation in the fishing world to a new level.
The I-Pilot has a suggested retail price of $399.99 and can be purchased locally at you favorite Aurora fishing tackle supply shops.