GET A HANDLE ON IT
Hand-control, bow-mount motors are the standard for hard-fishing bass anglers-they require less maintenance than remote-control models and cost significantly less. Unless they're rigged right, however, operating them is literally a pain in the back. The basic add-on is an extension handle, such as "The Extender" from T-H Marine (www.thmarine.com). An extension handle clamps to the motor shaft and allows the operator to steer without having to bend over. Extension lengths are adjustable to 30 inches. Other models from Minn Kota and Bass Pro Shops allow longer extensions and attach directly to the tiller, providing twist-control of speed as well as steering. Prices are $33 to $38. Foot-control motors leave both hands free and seem almost to operate themselves once you get used to them. I prefer the "flat pad" electric control models, which are like power steering. Your foot feels more comfortable when you stand to fish, too. Some pros prefer cable controls, however, because of fewer breakdowns and a more positive "feel" in the steering. A solution to the angled pad is to inset the foot control into the deck-several bass-boat companies now build in a slot just for this purpose.