How to Use a Minn Kota Trolling Motor?

To operate a Minn Kota trolling motor effectively, it is crucial to understand the process of deploying and stowing the motor. By following these steps, you can ensure smooth navigation and maximize your boating experience.

The first step is to deploy the trolling motor into the water. This can be achieved by pulling the cable or cord backwards to release the locking pin and lifting upward on the cord or cable to move the motor from its travel-mounted position to its deployed position.

When it is time to pull up the motor, the cable must be pulled backwards to release the locking pin, allowing the motor to be stowed. Remember to turn on the trolling motor and set the speed dial to your desired speed before use.

Steering the trolling motor is done by applying pressure on the steering pedal. For turning to the right, apply pressure with your toe downwards and heel up, and for turning to the left, apply pressure with your toe upwards and heel down.

It is essential to avoid overworking the motor and batteries. To prevent damage, manually remove any weeds from the prop or shaft. Additionally, make use of an onboard charger with float charging capabilities to ensure a full charge after each outing.

Tips for Maximizing Your Minn Kota Trolling Motor

If you have a Minn Kota trolling motor with i-Pilot technology, you can take advantage of various features to enhance your boating experience. The spot lock feature allows you to anchor your boat in place with the press of a button, while the jog feature allows you to move your spot lock position five feet in any direction. You can also use the i-Tracks feature to record and retrace different fishing routes. The AutoPilot feature enables automatic travel on a compass heading or fixed navigational course, while cruise control keeps your boat moving at a fixed speed regardless of wind or current. Additionally, you can download the i-Pilot app on your Android device or iPhone and sync it to your motor for remote control and software updates.

Spot Lock

The spot lock feature is a game-changer when it comes to fishing. Once you’ve found the perfect spot, simply press the spot lock button, and your Minn Kota trolling motor will use GPS technology to keep your boat right where you want it. This allows you to focus on casting and reeling in your catch without worrying about drifting away. Whether you’re fishing in strong currents or windy conditions, spot lock ensures stability and precision.

Jog and i-Tracks

With the jog feature, you can easily reposition your boat without having to manually adjust the motor. Whether you want to move a few feet to the left or right, or even make small adjustments forward or backward, the jog feature makes it effortless. Additionally, the i-Tracks feature allows you to record your fishing routes and later retrace them with a simple push of a button. This is especially useful when you’ve found a productive fishing spot and want to replicate the same path.

AutoPilot and Cruise Control

The AutoPilot feature takes the hassle out of navigating your boat. Simply set a compass heading or fixed course, and your Minn Kota trolling motor will automatically steer in that direction. This is perfect for long journeys or when you want to focus on other aspects of your boating experience. Cruise control is another great feature that allows you to maintain a constant speed, regardless of changes in wind or current. This gives you a hands-free experience, allowing you to relax and enjoy your time on the water.

By utilizing these features and taking full advantage of your Minn Kota trolling motor’s capabilities, you can enhance your fishing experience and make the most of every outing. Whether you’re fishing in calm lakes or challenging conditions, the i-Pilot technology and its various features provide convenience, precision, and control.

Understanding Minn Kota’s Autopilot Function

Minn Kota trolling motors equipped with Autopilot offer two settings: Legacy Autopilot and Advanced Autopilot. These settings provide different functionalities for navigating your boat. Let’s take a closer look at each setting and its benefits.

Legacy Autopilot

The Legacy Autopilot operates based on a compass bearing and holds the direction you last steered. This setting is useful for maintaining a steady course, especially when you need to focus on other aspects of your fishing or boating experience. With the Legacy Autopilot, you can navigate with confidence, knowing that your Minn Kota trolling motor will keep your boat on the desired heading.

Advanced Autopilot

The Advanced Autopilot takes advantage of GPS technology to automatically follow an imaginary line drawn in the direction you point the motor. This setting offers more precise navigation, allowing you to maintain a specific path even in changing conditions. Whether you’re trolling along a contour line or following a specific route, the Advanced Autopilot ensures accurate boat control without constant manual adjustments.

GPS Enhanced Autopilot

Some Minn Kota trolling motors offer a GPS enhanced Autopilot feature, which combines the benefits of both Legacy Autopilot and Advanced Autopilot. With GPS technology, this setting provides even more accurate navigation and boat control. By utilizing precise satellite positioning, the GPS enhanced Autopilot allows you to focus on your fishing or boating experience while your Minn Kota trolling motor takes care of maintaining your desired course.

Autopilot Mode Functionality
Legacy Autopilot Operates based on a compass bearing, maintaining the direction you last steered
Advanced Autopilot Uses GPS technology to automatically follow an imaginary line drawn in the direction you point the motor
GPS Enhanced Autopilot Combines the benefits of Legacy Autopilot and Advanced Autopilot with GPS technology for more accurate navigation and boat control

Choosing the right Autopilot setting for your needs depends on the type of fishing or boating you plan to engage in. Anglers who require precise navigation and the ability to follow specific routes may prefer the Advanced Autopilot or GPS enhanced Autopilot. On the other hand, anglers who engage in slow dragging or precision contour fishing may find better control with the Legacy Autopilot setting. Consider your fishing style and navigation requirements to make the most of Minn Kota’s Autopilot function.

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Using a Minn Kota Trolling Motor

Using a Minn Kota trolling motor can greatly enhance your boating experience, but it’s important to avoid common mistakes that can lead to issues and hinder performance. By being aware of these pitfalls and taking the necessary precautions, you can ensure a smooth and enjoyable ride on the water.

Forgetting to Turn Off the Power Switch

One common blunder many boaters make is forgetting to turn off the power switch on their Minn Kota trolling motor. This switch is typically located on the foot pedal, and leaving it on when not in use can drain the battery unnecessarily. To avoid this mistake, always double-check that the power switch is in the off position when you’re finished using the motor.

Improper Use in Vegetation

While Minn Kota trolling motors are designed to handle some vegetation, it’s important to use caution and manually remove any thick vegetation that the motor cannot navigate through. Weeds wrapped around the prop or shaft can put strain on the motor and may lead to parts wearing out or breaking. Regularly inspect the motor for any debris and take the time to remove it to ensure optimal performance.

In addition to these common mistakes, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the specific guidelines and instructions provided by Minn Kota for your particular model. This will help you avoid any potential issues and maximize the lifespan of your trolling motor.

By being mindful of these common mistakes and taking the necessary steps to prevent them, you can ensure that your Minn Kota trolling motor operates at its best and provides you with many enjoyable boating adventures.


Using a Minn Kota trolling motor can greatly enhance your boating experience. By properly deploying and stowing the motor, steering with accuracy, and avoiding common mistakes, you can ensure optimal performance and prolong the lifespan of your motor and batteries.

Familiarize yourself with the features of your Minn Kota trolling motor, such as spot lock, jog, i-Tracks, AutoPilot, and cruise control, to maximize your fishing efficiency. These advanced functionalities will allow you to navigate the water with ease and precision.

Additionally, understanding and choosing the right Autopilot setting for your needs can greatly improve your boat control. Whether you prefer the Legacy Autopilot, which operates based on a compass bearing, or the Advanced Autopilot, which utilizes GPS for accurate navigation, you can tailor your motor’s functionality to suit your boating style.

With practice and attention to detail, you can master the art of using a Minn Kota trolling motor and enjoy seamless rides on the water. So, hone your boating skills, make optimal use of your Minn Kota trolling motor, and embark on unforgettable boating adventures.

Richard Dodds
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