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How to Choose the Best Trolling Motor for Your Boat

Did you know that in 2017 over 49 million people went fishing at least one time? If you are part of this statistic and are looking to go fishing on a boat you want to make sure that your boat is not scaring the fish away. This is why looking for the best trolling motor is key.

Keep reading for our top tips on choosing the best trolling motor for your boat. 


When you are making your decision you want to take a look at the thrust. This is what will measure how much the motor will drive the boat across the water. The bigger the boat you have, the more pounds of thrust you will need. 

Usually, for every 200 pounds of weight, you want five pounds of thrust. You also want to make sure that you choose a trolling motor that has more than the minimum thrust that your boat needs. This will help you if you ever run into bad weather or adverse conditions while you are out fishing.


The next thing to take into consideration when you are choosing the best trolley motor for your boat is the power. The amount of battery you need in your trolling motor depends on how big your boat is. 

Choosing the best trolling motor battery is important because without enough voltage you will not be able to get anywhere. The smaller 12-volt batteries are good for canoes, kayaks, and small boats. For bigger fishing boats you will need either a 24 or 26-volt trolling motor. 

Hand and Foot Motors

When you are trying to figure out how to use your motor you have options of units with remotes, hand controls, or foot pedals. Foot pedals are popular because you can keep your hands free to hold a fishing rod if you please. If you are looking for the best trolling motor for a bass boat, a foot pedal will let you navigate around the deck while casting from the bow.

Keep in mind that foot pedals are more expensive and they also take up more room.  

Shaft Length

It is important for the trolling motor propeller to reach the water. The shaft length is also important to help you have the most control of your boat. If it’s too short then you won’t have enough to operate the boat and if it is too long you will run into a problem when you hit shallow water. 

If you have a large boat where the deck is further away from the surface of the water, you will need a longer shaft. If you are fishing from a kayak or a canoe then you won’t need much length. 

The best thing to do is to take measurements of your boat while it is in the water. Measure the distance from the top of the transom to the water’s surface. 

Bow-Mount Motors

If you tend to fish in an open bow-rider or on a bass boat then a bow-mounted motor is convenient. If you are fishing on a small boat or on a light sailboat then the trolling motor will double as an extra engine and can be mounted on the transom where a tiller operates it. 

Fresh Water or Saltwater Fishing?

Where do you prefer to fish? If you prefer to fish in saltwater then you will want to look for a saltwater motor because it is protected against corrosion and it has better seals on the electrical components and the mechanical components. Saltwater is a lot more corrosive than freshwater and will ruin motors that are not made for saltwater.


Something else you will want to take into consideration is any extras that you want your trolling motor to have. Some trolling motors have a feature called i-Pilot which can help make your fishing more fun. 

I-pilot uses GPS to lock onto fishing spots, command your speed and steering, record paths you like, retrace paths taken, and plenty more. All of this can be controlled from a wireless remote with an LCD screen. 

Another extra that you can opt for is called i-Pilot link. This gives you all of the i-Pilot features plus it allows you to connect your trolling motor to your fishfinder. There is an extra feature called circle mode that will make your boat circle around a spot.

This will come in handy if you find a spot that you want to cast and stay the same distance from that spot. You also have options like BackTrack where you will have the ability to go back over the paths that you took the last two miles if you had any hot spots you want to return to. 

Autopilot is another popular extra feature. This will help your boat stay on course while the motor corrects for waves, currents, and wind automatically. 

Ready to Shop for the Best Trolling Motor?

Now that we have shared tips on what to look for when selecting the best trolling motor, you can make an informed decision on what you need. Don’t forget to choose something that has enough power for your needs to help you get the most out of your fishing adventures. 

If you are looking to enhance your fishing journey, even more, we have tips on how to incorporate a GPS fishing tracker into your boat. 

Did you find our article helpful? Please come back soon and check out the rest of our travel section for some fun places to fish this summer.