Every Boater Needs an Electric Trolling Motor
In pursuit of the perfect walleye or muskie? Then you already know the benefits of a good electric trolling motor. Saltwater or freshwater, these quiet little motors help you find the right spot without scaring away the fish. While they are great for fishing, these motors come in handy as a backup motor in case your outboard quits on you. They are also a convenient and easy way to propel smaller boats short distances without making a giant ruckus. So what kind of trolling motor is best for you and your boating needs? Let's take a look at different motors and their applications.
Fishing From Your Kayak
It used to be that Kayaks were only used for white water rafting. Not anymore! Sports enthusiasts have discovered the joys of fishing from kayaks. They are portable, versatile, and easy to use. Additionally, they are a lot cheaper than a bass boat and handle shallow water superbly. You can always paddle your kayak out to the best fishing spots, of course, but you'll get there a little faster and save your arms for pulling fish if you mount a kayak trolling motor on board. Motors designed specifically for kayaks have the following advantages:
- Built to accommodate the low profile of kayaks
- The adjustable 24" shaft allows for proper depth placement
- Flexible battery placement for compatibility with transom mount kayaks
- Five forward speeds and three reverse speeds ensure smooth movement
Fishing From Your Dinghy
Whatever type of dinghy you have, a trolling motor for dinghy boat is a great idea. Dinghies make nice fishing boats because they are small and easily maneuvered, yet capable of traveling some distance from shore. Adding a trolling motor to your dinghy provides you with more options for finding farther fishing grounds as well as giving you a little backup power. A 12v trolling motor is adequate for most dinghies, providing enough thrust to propel a boat up to 16 feet long. It also has the advantage of being the least expensive and easiest motor to run. Some features of these motors include:
- Up to 62 pounds of thrust
- Works in saltwater or freshwater
- Two and Three blade propellers
- Adjustable shafts
Fishing From Your Bass Boat
Sometimes you have to go big or go home. If this describes you, then you probably already have a nice outboard motor on your boat. That's great for getting you far away from shore, but if you want to adjust your position by just a few feet or move slowly through the water with your lines out, firing up the outboard doesn't make much sense. A 24v trolling motor is just what you need to move quietly and not scare the fish. This motor is big enough and delivers enough thrust to move boats over 16 feet in length, yet is still efficient and much less noisy than a gasoline powered engine. Motors of this size can deliver up to 86 pounds of thrust and is a good choice for fishing skiffs, pontoon boats, sailboats, and other midsize vessels.
Getting the Most From Your Trolling Motor
Once you've purchased your motor, keep it in tip-top condition. You want to be first on the water when the fish are calling. There are a few basic maintenance steps you should always take to ensure your motor is ready when you are.
- Check the plug and connections to the battery for any signs of corrosion or wear. Clean connections and make sure they are tight.
- Clean under the prop, clearing out any grass, weeds, and caught fishing lines.
- Grease any metal parts that come in contact with each other. Grease the locking pins.
- If you frequently fish in rough water, install a mount stabilizer or a strap to keep your motor secure.
- Check your props for dings and dents. Small ones can be filed out. Large ones necessitate replacing the prop.
- Make sure the mounting brackets are tight.
- When fishing in saltwater, always inspect for signs of corrosion afterward. Apply corrosion inhibitors if necessary.
Storing Your Trolling Motor in the Off Season
Whether your motor saw lots of action in your favorite fishing hole, or it was used only once as a backup when your outboard stranded you on a lake, proper storage in the off season will extend its life. If you've got a trolling motor for inflatable boat and the boat is deflated for storage, clearly you will take the motor off and put it on a shelf in your garage or shed. If your boat spends the winter in an enclosed space, such as a boat house or garage, you can leave the motor mounted. However, if your boat will be parked outside, covered by a tarp, you should take the motor off and bring the motor inside. Exposure to temperature extremes can cause the plastic motor cover to become brittle and crack or break.