A trolling motor is a small electric powered outboard engine that is typically mounted on the bow or transom of a small boat, providing a secondary mode of propulsion. This provides advantages for fisherman that larger gasoline powered engines canít provide. A trolling motor consists of an engine that is enclosed in a water proof casing which attaches to a prop shaft that, when submerged, prevents engine overheating. A propeller is attached to the other end of the shaft. Trolling motors allow the helmsman or fisherman to precisely maneuver a boat so an angler can cast a fishing line and bait to an exact location.
Trolling motors are designed for either freshwater or saltwater operation. Therefore water type plays a critical role in determining whether to get a freshwater troll motor or saltwater troll motor.
Trolling motors are suitable for freshwater lakes that prohibit gasoline powered engines and are usually 12v or 24v although larger sizes are available. The smaller size is an advantage to a fisherman because it means that the boat can quietly motor up to a school of fish without scaring the fish due to loud engine noise. Unlike gasoline powered outboard engines which are rated by horsepower, trolling motors are rated by pound thrust instead. No direct conversion from thrust to horsepower exists as other variables such as boat speed affect the comparison.
Trolling motors can be controlled and steered in one of three different ways: by hand, by foot or by wireless remote. The correct steering method comes down to personal preference.
Hand Controlled trolling motors are transom motors mounted next to the larger gasoline powered outboard motor. They can also provide the primary means of propulsion for canoes and very small boats. They are equipped with an extendable tiller and twist handle for controlling thrust.
Foot controlled trolling motors clamp onto the deck at the bow and provide a foot control allowing the fisherman to steer, thrust up, down or stop. The foot pedal is attached to the bow mounted motor via cable. This configuration provides certain advantages for a freshwater or saltwater fisherman. It allows the fisherman to sit in a chair at the bow of a boat and dedicate both hands to operating the rod and tackle box while steering the boat simultaneously. Because the motor pulls from the bow versus pushing from the stern, the fisherman can often position the boat more accurately so he can cast the line in a precise location.
Wireless remotes are offered on higher end models and allow a fisherman to move freely on the boat and still be able to steer, and accelerate/decelerate. Some remotes, such as Minn Kotaís i-pilot come with GPS navigation and memory. The GPS navigation allows you to electronically anchor yourself in place. You can record a successful fishing path and replay that path later not having to worry about course correction due to currents or wind.
How do I Choose a Trolling Motor
Many different models of trolling motors exist. In addition to the choice between hand controlled (transom mounted) or foot controlled (bow mounted) motors, boat size and water type will determine which model you should get. The greater the distance between the water line to the mounting deck, the longer the required shaft length. Some motors are designed for saltwater and some for freshwater. A selection guide can help determine which motor is correct. For a complete selection of trolling motors, visit www.trollingmotorsupply.com.