Trolling Motors: Freshwater Fishing Accessories & Gear

A trolling motor is a small electrical motor, located on the bow or stern (sometimes both), that’s used for moving a fishing boat through the water silently, to prevent startling the fish.

Trolling motors are readily available in 12 volt, 12/24 volt, 24 volt, and 36 volt configurations. More voltage implies a bigger electrical motor, which equates into more useable power at the propeller.

Unlike an outboard engine, a trolling motor’s power output is determined in pounds of thrust, instead of horsepower. The higher the pounds of thrust, the more powerful the trolling motor is.

Therefore, a 36 volt trolling motor that’s rated at 100 pounds of thrust is a lot more powerful than a 12 volt trolling motor with 40 pounds of thrust.

Power: More is Much betterTrolling Motors: Freshwater Fishing Accessories & Gear
When selecting a trolling motor, get an unit with the highest output as you can. It’s far better to have additional power and not require it, than it is to require more power– and not have it.

Generically speaking, every 400 pounds of your boat’s weight needs about 5 pounds of thrust from the trolling motor to move it.

A trolling motor uses electrical power to create power; this electricity comes from the batteries on your boat. In addition to the battery for beginning your boat’s engine, intend on a minimum of one more deep cycle battery for the trolling motor.

Do not use the same battery to start the engine, and to provide power to the trolling motor. Why? After a long day of fishing, the trolling motor will have consumed most of the battery. When it’s time to go home, you’ll turn the ignition key just to discover that the engine won’t begin, ’cause you drained pipes the battery.

If you’re opting for a higher voltage trolling motor, or if you’ll be utilizing the trolling motor for hours on end, you must seriously think about several deep-cycle batteries to feed your trolling motor’s starved electrical hunger.

Shaft Length
The range from the bow/transom of your boat identifies the trolling motor’s shaft length:

You can steer a trolling motor by hand with a tiller manage, or by foot, with a foot pedal. The option depends on your boat and your personal preference.

  • Tiller guide motors are the easiest to set up– and to remove– because they clamp to the boat with a couple of thumbscrews. You can also mount a tiller guide trolling motor on the bow, stern, or both if you wish to.
  • Foot control trolling motors require a folding installing bracket on the bow– we have actually never seen a foot control motor situated anywhere else on a boat. The majority of foot controls use mechanical cable televisions to move the trolling motor– press your toe to turn the motor (and the boat) one way, rock your heel back on the foot pedal to steer the motor in the opposite direction.

If you ‘d rather concentrate on fishing than steering the boat, you can get a trolling motor that steers the boat with no help from you– a modern autopilot setup for the serious, well-funded angler. Very cool.

Final Comment
Trolling motors truly don’t troll– they’re a way of keeping you fishing.