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How Trolling Motors Are Changing Tarpon Fishing

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Interesting article lots of guides throwing in on the subject in the comments section as-well.


Personally I experimented with a TM last year and found posting up or poling a superior approach you don't get as many shots but they are quality shots and if it gives the guys behind me in the line up a better shot all the better.



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Back when I used to go out with a guide in the 90's here in TPA we used a trolling motor; seems now that the big difference is that everyone is getting on or pushing their way into the fish. So before 1 boat, now 3-4 feels like the norm.


I disagree with the article in that we had 5-6 boats all who knew the routine of the hop scotch and we pulled out 2 fish out of a pod of 30. One was using his 4 stroke motor. Another was cavitating his trolling motor like nuts. So pushing them all down and not getting bites just wasn't applicable in that case.


To me the game changer which was not mentioned was the IPilot. Couple months ago I was on the bridge and a fella didn't anchor - just used his IPilot to stay in one place. That I didn't think was too cool; he was one bunk away. To me the bridge is no place to use an IPilot when you know you're going to hover in one place.


So...I checked with some well versed guides and got their thoughts. The consensus was that there is enough noise at the bridge that the IPilot won't make a difference. I somewhat disagree mainly because the IPilot is not a steady motor noise. It's on/off, twist, on faster, slower...regardless that's the new game and I guess we and the fish will get used to it.


Personally I think we'll be night fishing sooner than later.


All that said, I wish the Southside of Tampa wasn't growing as fast as it is, but it's progress, and there's no stopping progress. Same thing with technology be it using trolling motors, side imaging, drones (just a question of time)...if it gets people on fish it'll be done. Doesn't mean I'm keen on it, but it's just the way things are.


I'm gotten used to people using a TM to get on fish; even if "I spotted them" first. It's the motoring right on top of them that bugs me. If everyone knows the game it's doable.

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They do have a negative affect on a push of fish especially where we are fly fishing in shallower water more then not. That being said its more a problem of poor etiquette and chasing fish, as Jbdba mentioned, a TM just magnifies the affect of doing it wrong.


I got to say early in the season I got pretty ticked off at some dude and I normally don't get worked up because its part of the game, but this was just flat out disrespect. This is on a weekday mind you and there is two of us on a stretch of beach. He sees me jump a fish, motors in, cuts me off and then does circles around my position with his TM at 40 yards chasing the fish!


I said hey man do you see me here? I get the typical response from this type, you know the type that measures his self worth in how many fish he catches, the experience and everyone else be damned, "you don't own the beach" I said "yeah dude I know but do you want me to cut off your position and motor around you with my skiff? then don't do it to me", negotiations failed and I said something like, "you can put your big boy pants on and swim over, but your going to limp back" and he left.


This kind of tool will never get it and never have success at it because he cant see the right way to do it through his superior ego, had he had the ability to accept the premise he was making a mistake he might have made a friend or learned a little something like chasing around fish with a TM wont work.

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