Complete Boat Trolling Motors
Whether you're looking to improve your catch or are trying to find a way to assist with navigation on your pontoon boat, a trolling motor may be a great choice for you. These motors are compact and efficient. They're also fairly quiet, so you lower the chances of frightening off fish with motor noise.What is a boat trolling motor?
A trolling motor typically includes controls and an electric motor that's connected to a propeller. They can be used to navigate a pontoon or other type of vessel at low, steady speeds or to gently maneuver through calm waters. They can make fishing much more successful since they allow fishermen to get in exact positions. Some small, gasoline-powered outboard motors are also referred to as trolling motors. They usually have a manual pull-start and a tiller for steering.
- Bow mounts: A bow-mount motor can attach to the front of a boat as long as there is sufficient space. An electric trolling motor mounted like this can be powerful and useful on boats that are 14 feet or longer because it pulls the boat instead of pushing.
- Transom mounts: These will attach to the back of your boat, resulting in a pushing type of power. These can be used on a pontoon boat, kayak, or canoe.
The installation process is fairly simple and depends on the type of trolling motor you're using.
- Installing bow mounts: You need to use a mounting bracket or plate to attach the housing. Determine the position of your mount by trying to center the shaft and allow for proper clearance. Drill pilot holes and then use bolts to affix everything together.
- Installing transom mounts: This type would be clamped onto the stern, often with a quick-release bracket. The clamp is fully adjustable, so it can work with a pontoon or any other type of craft.
- A 12-volt motor will use one 12-volt deep cycle marine battery.
- A 24-volt motor will use two of those batteries.
- A 36-volt motor will run with three 12-volts.
- Pounds of thrust: This is the power rating used with electric trolling motors. For example, your options could range from the Minn Kota Endura C2, which has 30 pounds of thrust, to the Minn Kota Riptide Terrova, which has 112 pounds of thrust. Smaller pontoons and crafts can use less powerful models. The heavier your vessel or pontoon boat is, the more power you'll need.
- Shaft length: You'll need to measure the height of your bow or stern to determine how long the shaft should be.
- Hand or foot control: Hand control may offer more of a real-time response, but it can only be used on the bow and keeps you from having two hands on your fishing rod. Minn Kota makes a Tilt-Twist Tiller with an ergonomic grip for comfort. A foot pedal can go anywhere, but there may be a slight delay when you use it.
- Gauges and displays: If you like to always be informed, you can opt for a motor with a built-in battery gauge and/or screen that shows speed and depth. With the i-Pilot system from Minn Kota, you can take advantage of GPS technology.