Rigging A Wireless Foot Control For Hands-Free Kayak Fishing (Video)

T.J. Russell solves a steering riddle with tech from the bass boat world

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Motorized fishing kayaks have come a long way, but there is still the lingering issue of trying to steer a kayak and fish at the same time. Even by removing the paddle, these motorized kayaks still use a hand-operated rudder or remote control system. Kayak USA host T.J. Russell seems to have solved the dilemma with this video walkthrough for rigging a wireless foot control for hands-free fishing.

Rigging A Wireless Foot Control

In the video, Russell brings bass boat tech to the kayak by implementing a Bluetooth foot-pedal system with his MotorGuide Xi3.

“I grew up running a trolling motor off the front of a bass boat and I’m really good at fishing with both hands and operating the trolling motor and moving the boat where I need,” Russell shares. “But when we added this to the kayak, you have to steer it with the remote it causes a lot of trouble trying to figure out how to fish. If the kayak starts drifting you got to stop reeling and control it, It’s a big mess.”

“So today I’m going to show you what I came up with to be able to use a bass-boat style  foot pedal in my kayak and we should be able to fish hands-free.”

Rigging Wireless Foot Control
Feature Image: T.J. Russell / YouTube

The Recipe For Hands-Free Kayak Fishing

What Russell came up with to steer his Hobie Pro Angler hands-free was to modify the Mirage Drive Cassette used to plug the floor of the Pro Angler. He takes the cassette, and attaches a plastic wheel chalk along with MotorGuide’s foot pedal for the Xi3 to achieve a functional steering system.

“This tire chalk that I use for my trailer, I looked at it and was like man that is almost the angle that I need in order to be able to pop that pedal up at an angle so that I can operate it from a seated position,” Russell shares. “Then I bolted this to the bottom of my foot pedal.”

Of course, there are a few more steps to getting the three pieces mounted to one another, and rigging the wireless foot pedal system for your kayak. Russell walks through the entire process, giving kayak anglers the formula for the mythical hands-free day of fishing.


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  1. This is slick – I need to do SOMETHING in my ‘yak, because the lack of a pedal drive or trolling motor leads me to float-spin down the creek which is very frustrating… I have to go super lightweight though, because I need to lift it above my head and carry it through super shallow riffles.


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