If you want to up your trolling fishing game, then you’ll want a trolling motor to help you more effectively navigate the waters.
Trolling motors can be used for a variety of purposes, but their main function is to effectively and quietly move your boat around fishing waters.
There are several different types of trolling motors, so you must pick one that suits your angling needs. Factors like the type of water you are fishing in and the location you want to mount your motor will determine which trolling motor will work best.
Keep reading to learn more about the differences between trolling motors to help you make an informed decision about which one you’ll need for your boat!
Trolling Motors Are Designed for Different Situations
While trolling motors exist to serve the same basic purpose, not all are ideal in every situation.
Because of this, there isn’t a universally “best” trolling motor, as this will always depend on what setting the motor is used in.
However, there are trolling motors that are best suited for you if you only stick to one type of water and consistently use the same boat to fish from.
On the other hand, if you aren’t using a trolling motor to fish, then this isn’t quite as important. Trolling motors can be used just to propel your boat through the water and are ideal for crafts like a kayak and canoe.
We’ll focus on the use of a motor for trolling fishing as this is primarily what it is designed for.
Saltwater or Freshwater?
The first question you need to ask yourself is what type of water you want to fish in.
Bodies of water are either made of freshwater, like a lake, or saltwater, like the ocean. The reason for this is that freshwater and seawater behave quite differently and therefore have different requirements for a trolling motor.
The main reason for this is that the salt in saltwater is corrosive. This can be extremely damaging to your motor and can quickly destroy internal electronic components if you use a trolling motor not suited for saltwater.
Trolling motors were created for freshwater, but anglers have discovered that a trolling motor can be just as effective in open saltwaters. Because of this, you need to consider what body of water you will be trolling in and make your purchase accordingly.
How Much Power Do You Need?
Another critical question is how much power you need.
Thrust is a term typically associated with flight and is used to explain how much force is being applied to propel a plane through the air.
Thrust is also relevant for moving through water and for trolling motors. The amount of thrust you need will ultimately be determined by the size and weight of your watercraft.
Generally speaking, a larger and heavier boat will require a trolling motor that can produce greater thrust. For every 50 pounds of weight on your boat, you should have a pound of thrust to effectively move it through the water.
You need to take into account the weight of your boat with all of your fishing supplies and yourself inside of it. If you plan on fishing in areas with a strong current and wind, then extra thrust will be required.
Where Do You Plan to Mount It?
You should also consider where you plan on mounting your trolling motor.
There are three primary locations for mounting; your engine, the transom, and the bow. Which location you choose may not be up to you due to the size and shape of your craft.
The most common mounting position is on the transom, which is the rear, flat portion of your boat. It will be placed next to the engine if you have one.
The reason for this is that it is the easiest location for the propellers of a trolling mount to fully submerge. The propellers will need to be at least 9” below the surface of the water.
When your boat is powered by an engine, the bow will naturally raise above the water while the transom will lower.
A transom-mounted trolling motor is simply a natural fit for how most crafts are designed. You can use different mounting locations, but you will need to find a specific trolling motor model that fits the dimensions and requirements of your boat.
What Control Style Do You Prefer?
The last item to consider is what control style you desire in a trolling mount.
There are three different ways to control trolling motors; cable steering with a foot pedal, hand steering through a tiller handle, and an electronically steered motor. Each motor you find is typically designed to be controlled only one way.
Cable steering trolling motors are arguably the most popular due to how natural they are to use. While trolling, you may be inclined to hold your fishing pole. This frees up the use of your feet, which makes for great tools to control a trolling motor.
Hand-controlled trolling motors are a little more awkward because you’ll need to have at least one hand free to control the motor. It is certainly doable, but it requires a little more finesse.
An electronically-steered motor is a great choice either way, but it can take away from the immersion and manual approach to fishing.
If you’re constantly moving around, an electronic-steered or even a cable-steered trolling motor is the way to go. If you aren’t, then you may prefer a hand-steered motor due to having a lower cost and having ample time to use it.
There are several different types of trolling motors, although they are all effective tools for quietly moving through the water to aid in trolling fishing.
You’ll need to think about several different factors that will impact which style of trolling motor is best for you.
This includes the choice between fishing in saltwater or freshwater, how much thrust you’ll need due to boat weight, where you can place a trolling mount, and what steering-control style you prefer.
Trolling motors are a necessity for effective trolling fishing, so think carefully about what style will suit your needs best!