How to Use an Electric Trolling Motor

One of the most important equipment that can be installed on your fishing boat is an electric trolling motor. A trolling motor contains a propeller, controls and an electric motor. This self contained-unit is attached to either the stern or the bow of a boat. It helps the angler to catch more fish by bringing the boat within the vicinity of the fish more stealthily.

Trolling is a fishing technique that involves drawing one or more fishing lines through the water using lures or fish as bait. Trolling can be done while on a moving boat or by winding the line from a fixed position. This method is used to catch pelagic fish like mackerel, kingfish, and salmon.

Purchasing and Using an Electric Trolling Motor

The Electric Trolling Motor can be used for a lot of purposes:

  • It can be used as a primary motor that will help in moving your boat.
  • In case the gas motor fails, electric trolling motors can act as a backup motor.
  • You can use it to move your boat across short distances while looking for a new fishing spot.
  • During fishing, trolling motor can be used to slowly move along a fishing structure.
  • The motor can help in holding the position of your boat on top of a fishing structure.

There are various aspects of an electric trolling motor that you must consider while making a purchase. These factors will be determined by how you use the trolling motor:

  1. Length of the shaft or tube: The tube of the motor must be of the appropriate length so that the prop can be submerged into the water for a depth of one foot. The shaft should not stick out on the side of the boat or interfere with the rod holders and electronics.
  2. Motor Voltage: Electric motors mostly come in two variants – 12 volt and 24 volts pending on the voltage, you will be needing one or two 12 volt batteries. For a more powerful motor, you should use a high volt device. A higher voltage also means more running time between recharging. To wire the battery to the motor, attach the red and black wires from the motor to the positive (+) and negative (-) ports of the battery.
  3. Pounds of Thrust: This refers to the amount of energy that can be produced by your motor in order to drive the boat through the water. A lot of factors should be taken into consideration while choosing the pounds of thrust required; these factors are the speed of the wind, the weight of the boat and the force of the water current.

The pounds of thrust will be determined by the voltage of the motor. A 12-volt device can produce up to 55lb of thrust. You can get 80lb of thrust on a 24-volt motor. A thrust of 40-55 is compatible with a 14’-16’ fishing boat, while a heavier fishing boat such as 16’-18’ will require a thrust of 70-80.

Mounting the Motor

The motor can be attached either to the stern or the bow. Each of these methods has its own relevances.

Stern Mount

You should mount the electric trolling motor on the transom or the back of the boat if you intend to use it as the primary motor or for moving short distances. By setting it up on the back of the boat with electric trolling motor mounting brackets you will have better control over it by hand. The transom motors are easier to run as they are controlled like an outboard motor.

Bow Mount

For most of the cases, the trolling motor is attached to the bow of the boat. This is much more efficient because the boat is being pulled through the water instead of being pushed. You will also have better control over the boat by being able to minimize over-steering. By fishing from the front you will also be able to look out for underwater obstacles.


You can ensure that you have the best trolling motor for your boat based on the several factors mentioned above. You can purchase different varieties of electric trolling motors based on the capacity of batteries and the purpose for which the trolling motor will be used.