I still remember a day in the St. Augustine marsh when a couple of redfish tournament anglers discussed this contraption that dropped down off the back of your boat and held you tighter than a staked-out push pole. Flash forward nearly 20 years and Power-Pole’s impact on shallow water fishing has been nothing short of revolutionary.
The company founded by Brandon angler John Oliverio has demonstrated a passion for development, as evidenced by a lineup of full-size models engineered depths of 4 to 10 feet, along with a kayak and small skiff-friendly Micro Anchor.
One of Power-Pole’s most significant developments has been its proprietary C-Monster, a wireless operating system built into all new models and administered through an iOS and Android app. Controlling multiple deployment variables, as well as dual unit coordination and diagnostics, C-Monster enables anglers to customize their angling experience.
“It’s really the smarts in the parts,” said Vice President Robert Shamblin. “It’s what gives you all the features like speed control, independent or dual pole selection from the remote controls.”
Anglers have enhanced the product’s mystique with creative applications. Here’s a roundup of Florida-friendly Power-Pole strategies.
On the Ready
For maximum stealth, Capt. C.A. Richardson, of St. Petersburg, often drops his dual Power-Poles to within inches of the bottom. When he needs to stop, his poles close the distance quickly, silently and with less jolting. “I’ll use the C-Monster app to set the slowest (deployment speed) so the spike goes in quietly with no vibration and I don’t throw anyone off the boat,” Richardson said.
To Drag or Drift
Capt. Geoff Page, of Venice, will set his Power-Poles just low enough to drag through sea grass. Unlike damaging props, the spikes slip through with no environmental harm, but the momentary resistance slows his drift.
And to that point, Power-Pole’s Drift Paddle accessories allow even greater control over drift speed and direction. Richardson will lower one deeper to grab more water and angle the boat according to his positioning needs. Equalizing the depth and angle of both the pole allows him to drift parallel to a target zone.
Hold Your Ground
With or without Drift Paddles, twin Power-Poles enable you to pin the boat with two anchoring points. This is particularly beneficial when working oyster bars, mangrove shorelines or any lateral target where everyone aboard wants equal access. And don’t forget the parking brake. Capt. Rob Gorta, of St. Petersburg, fishes a lot of inshore tournaments and the afternoon dock cluster presents a lot of hull-bumping risk. Nosing into the dock and sticking the poles, he said, holds his stern fast.
Where There’s a Will
If two Power-Poles exceed the budget, anchoring with one and bumping the trolling motor will suffice. However, Page suggests this option: Install a full size unit on the stern and a Micro Anchor on the bow.
“This will stop that boat and pin it laterally to the shoreline for equal exposure so everyone gets a wind-aided cast to the structure,” Page said. “This also helps when you’re catching bait because you can chum more effectively.”
Get a Grip
Bass anglers use their Power-Poles for brief stops by reaching across logs, laydowns, dock cables, etc. to hold their position for specific casts. For longer presentations, reigning Forrest Wood Cup champion John Cox will stick his poles half way when flipping vegetation. If he gets bit, he won’t get pulled into the cover and blow out the spot; but if he needs to advance and retrieve an entangled fish, he can quickly free the boat.
Better on Beds
Here’s a cool trick from FLW Tour pro J.T. Kenney, of Palm Coast: Sight fishing the spring spawn or bass targeting bream beds often necessitates quick response to avoid drifting over a target. Quickly dropping his Power-Poles helps, but Kenney goes a step farther by leveraging the spikes’ inherent action to better his position.
Soon as he spots a fish or bream bed, Kenney drops his poles and lets the boat slide forward on the flexing spikes. In a few seconds, the boat will ease away from the target on the back flex. When he feels this reverse motion, he’ll lift his poles just high enough to let the boat slide back a few feet and then redeploy them to establish a new position with greater distance and better angles to the target. FS
First Published Florida Sportsman November 2016