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Capt. Quicksteel

I need some opinions. I need a new bowmount electric. A few years ago we discussed spot lock or pin point and a lot of guys on this forum thought they reacted too slowly and then over corrected so it wasn't very useful on a lake like Vermilion. Anyone have any recent experience? Have they improved at all?

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gimruis
Posted (edited)

Spot Lock is not the end all, be all.  It is greatly improved in terms of GPS accuracy than it has been with the introduction of the Ultrex, however.  My parents have a Terrova that is about 5-6 years old and its probably what you were referring to in your post in reacting "too slowly."  Other factors can affect a bow mount's ability to use Spot Lock such as current, wind, waves, boat weight, etc.

Edited by gimruis
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Cliff Wagenbach

I agree with gimruis.

My Terrova is at least 5 years old but under the right conditions the spot lock works great.

Wind is the big factor with my 85# thrust motor. The higher thrust motor (36 volt) will probably work even better in the wind.

Newer models are probably much better also!

Cliff

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Sorgy

The 2017 versions of the Terrova and Ulterra that have the Bluetooth connections are much improved. I love the spot lock on my 2017 Terrova. It also has the lift assist and that is not that huge of a concern for me. It does raise the motor up another 4- 6 inches.

I think the spot lock only comes in the I-Pilot or I-Pilot Link.

Happy with my purchase after 1 season of limited use on it.

 

Steve

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james_walleye

I got a terrova last year.  I love the spot lock.  Used it all the time for slip bobber fishing. 

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Reid Saarela

Last year was our first year with the spot lock feature in our boat, and agree with Jamie. Worked excellent for hovering on reefs while slip bobbering as long as the wind wasn't too bad! It did act a little funky sometimes though; it would swing the boat around at times not necessary.

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jkrash

My Ulterra has spot lock, it's 2 years old and works great for keeping me off the shore when unhooking a fish in the net while in big wind & waves, that's about all it's good for. That being said the new Minnkota Ulterra has a new spot lock feature which is suppose to be more accurate,  it comes with an external GPS puck and it should keep your boat from wondering. I'm thinking about upgrading to the new model.

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Skibo

All of the 2017 and newer iPilot units with Bluetooth come standard with the external GPS antenna (has to be mounted and powered), which gives the Spot-Lock a 5'+/- lock range.  My old Minnkota Terrova was good for about 5-15', which actually worked really good for jigging on reefs.  The new one holds so tight that you don't get to cover any ground except what is right under your boat.

If you buy the iPilot with iLink and have a Humminbird locator, you can slave your Minnkota to the map on the Humminbird.  Awesome feature.  It allows you to draw routes, follow contour lines, set it to off-set shorelines, etc.

https://minnkotamotors.johnsonoutdoors.com/accessories/trolling-motor/heading-sensor-bluetooth

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OhioVike

I suppose a key is to have appropriate power for your boat with the bigger the better. Being aware that GPS systems are not capable of pin point accuracy, you will always have some movement and depending on day (signal reception) it could be as much as 30'.   Two anchors works best if you can reach the bottom.  I use spot lock when we hit a big fish, are at the beginning of troll and setting up the lines and on calm days jigging or bobber fishing.  It is not great but if you can't anchor, you can't beat it.  Either way, I like the option.  

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Hookmaster

I've had it for 2 years and used it a lot last year. Rigging mid-lake humps/flats and hook a fish, hit spot lock and land the fish to stay on the structure rather than drifting off. Fall fishing crappies, find a good school and hit spot lock to stay over them, very effective. I wouldn't give it up. I wonder if Minn Kota sells the parts to upgrade older units to the better precision.

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StillFishin'

One other feature that was added in 2017 is “jog”.

Once you spot lock you can jog 5ft in any direction and it will spot lock at the new location.  Nice feature.  I now leave my anchor on dry land and may never use one again.

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Capt. Quicksteel

Thanks for the info....

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SkunkedAgain

I bought a Minnkota last year but not with bluetooth. It works just fine on my 165 Navigator when I want to stay in a general area. However, I've learned not to use it near rocks as the wind can swing your boat around and Spot Lock kind of draws a radius around your spot. It moves. I've also found that GPS isn't always accurate on Vermilion in areas. However, I set tracks all of the time to follow a weed line or shoreline. I love setting a track and then letting my boat follow it repeatedly while I pitch topwaters into the weeds. 

I'm happy with my upgrade.

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PRO-V

We've used it on a 19' ProV side by side with our friends Ranger. It holds the Ranger way better since it is a bit heavier, sits lower in the water catching less wind. Same model motors.

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bassbouncer

2017 and newer ulterra and terrova are awesome. I had an older version and the new version is way better. Way more accurate and the jog works flawlessly

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D11R

If it helps the discussion, the new Minn Kota motors with spot lock do have an external puck that must be mounted and powered to a 12 volt source.  They are not a GPS antenna as previously mentioned but an electronic compass.  It’s information is then linked to the motor via blue tooth.  Once paired with the motor, you need to go through a configuration process on the water that involves driving the boat in circles.  A “soft” install is recommended until you determine that your mounting location is ok.  Spot lock will work without it but you need to have it to use the jog feature.  Mounting has some restrictions as the trolling motor, electronics and some major wiring will interfere potentially with the “compass”.  I was surprised to have this when I bought my new Terrova.  I think it is something that is not marketed and frankly avoided in describing the new features of the trolling motor.  

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