November 4, 2019

Why Foot Pedal Trolling Motors Catch More Speckled Trout

This freshwater technique pays off big when it comes to catching limits of speckled trout. Here's why foot pedal trolling motors put more specks in the boat.

Before we get started, it's important to point out that I'm not saying it's impossible to catch speckled trout in any other way.

I am simply sharing that this has worked best for me and, because I've caught a ridiculous amount of fish using this technique, it will probably work for you, too.

At the end of the day, everyone should do what works best for them.

If you're like me, inshore fishing for speckled trout is more than a pastime, and something more like a journey.

You've learned new lessons on each fishing trip, becoming a better angler and being more confident than you were before.

This has certainly been the case for me and, with time, my preference of tackle and equipment has changed, mostly because I've gained new skills I did not have before.

Using trolling motors to position on hungry specks has certainly been part of that journey, and I've fished every kind there is:

  • tiller handle
  • remote-controlled
  • electronic foot pedal
  • cable steer foot pedal

Experience has proven a cable steer foot pedal is best at covering water and presenting artificial lures to speckled trout.

Why Are Cable Steer Trolling Motors Great For Speckled Trout?

Because you have complete command and control over the boat with a single foot.

Nope! There's zero fumbling with a fob or reaching for the tiller handle.

With a cable steer foot pedal trolling motor you are keeping your hands where they need to be: on the rod and reel.

Adjustments in speed and direction are made quickly, positively affecting what is arguably the most important thing when fishing for speckled trout: lure presentation.

These benefits include:

  • knocking slack in the line (very important for jigging)
  • quickly recovering snagged lures
  • keeping your eyes on the fishing line (to detect faint bites)
  • and cover more water, more efficiently

If you're not sure, just watch my fishing trips on YouTube.

Your Foot Becomes Your "Spot Lock"

Spot lock trolling motors are all the rage, and why wouldn't they be?

With one you can keep your boat virtually anchored in one spot, all with the click of a button.

Problem is, they can be pricey.

But foot pedal trolling motors, in their most basic form, are economical and do a great job of catching speckled trout.

A foot pedal trolling motor is basically a "poor man's spot lock".

What About Electronic Foot Pedals?

They definitely work, and I do use one for sight fishing redfish, but they lack the robust responsiveness of a cable steered foot pedal trolling motor.

It's just not the same!

My Favorite Foot Pedal Trolling Motor For Catching Speckled Trout

I've used several foot pedal trolling motors over the years and have found the king daddy of them all to be Minn Kota's Ultrex.

This is because the Ultrex solves the one problem all foot pedal trolling motors had: no spot lock capability.

Implementing cable steering and electronic motor drives on the same trolling motor present a unique engineering challenge.

Simply put, electronic motor drives small enough to use on 24v and 36v systems lack the strength needed to overcome drag in cable linkage and, even if they were, the power requirement would be a huge drain on your batteries.

This is not efficient, so cable steering and spot lock remained separate until Minn Kota introduced advanced sensor technology enabling servos to work with cable steering.

Where To Get Your Foot Pedal Trolling Motor

There are many places you can purchase an Ultrex, but I've found that Amazon has pretty good pricing because Minn Kota sells directly there.

The Ultrex comes with a price tag heavy enough to make anybody recoil in horror, so another great option is the Minn Kota Edge.

The Edge is far more affordable and I've caught plenty of speckled trout with mine.

It's important you know that virtually all cable steer models are only offered in freshwater variants.

You should invest in an electronic foot pedal on a saltwater model If you're not the mechanically-inclined type to conduct preventative maintenance on your trolling motor.

See how my Ultrex has held up in this video.

Over To You

Ultimately, you should use what best suits you and your needs, which could be unique from that of other inshore anglers.

With that said, I am 100% sold on cable-steered foot pedal trolling motors being the best way to target speckled trout with artificial lures.

If you're not sure, you can watch videos on my new YouTube channel to see plenty of them get slung over the side of the boat.

Anyway, what do you think? Do you use a foot pedal trolling motor, or do you think it's a lousy idea? 

Comment below!

Captain Devin

About the Author

Devin is a former fishing guide and lifelong inshore angler. He founded Louisiana Fishing Blog in 2012 to share his ideas as a charter captain and still writes in it today. Since then he's created a fishing university — LAFB Elite — where he teaches inshore anglers how to safely navigate Louisiana's coast and catch more fish.

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  • Hey Devin, is there a way to convert my Minn Kota saltwater tiller handle to use a foot petal?

  • I suppose you could do what you do on any boat, and that’s mount it to a surface.

    There are plenty of options, everything from industrial strength velcro, to friction pads, to using straight hardware.

  • I agree about the bad steering in electronic pedals, but how do you keep a cable foot pedal from flying off the front of a bay boat. Any ideas? Good article. Thanks.

  • Hey Colin, glad you liked it.

    I was never much into foot pedal controls but now I won’t do it any other way!

    Be sure to look for refurbished Minn Kota trolling motors, it will help you save a dollar or two.

    Tight lines!

  • Devin, This video was spot on. I have a Minkota Riptide Ipilot and fought it all day yesterday at the long rocks. Its fantastic for setting up boat position and spot locking in the marsh or moving in and moving spots in close proximity but its not worth a flip to troll and fish at the same time. I turned the air Blue yesterday fighting it. I’m investing in the foot control for it, if it doesn’t work well enough I will be getting a cable steer. Thanks for the video, it definitely was on time for me !! Colin

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