The Good Kind of Trolling
May 13, 2016
When trying to sneak up on the fish in your favorite spot, your regular boat motor might be just too much. A well-chosen electric trolling motor can give you the edge needed to catch your limit with relative ease, but where to begin? The power of trolling motors is expressed in pounds of thrust, not horsepower. How much thrust do you need? That depends on the length and weight of your boat. The chart below gives an idea of the minimum thrust requirements for boats of different sizes. You might want a more power than the minimum, of course. [caption id="attachment_120" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Chart: fishing-tips-bait-tackle.com[/caption] What about shaft length? We've seen recommendations in the neighborhood of 20 to 24 inches below your boat's waterline, so that's a good place to start. Some boaters calculate shaft length based on the distance between the transom or bow and the waterline. A longer shaft is better in rough, choppy water because it keeps the propeller below the water when the boat bounces on the waves. Obviously, salt water is, well, salty, and salt is corrosive. If you're a blue-water fisherman, choose a trolling motor designed for use in salt water. Such trolling motors are better sealed against water than ordinary motors. Look for props and mounts made to withstand salt water, too. Because it's clean and quiet, electric propulsion is one of the most attractive features of trolling motors. Without noise or fumes, you can glide along silent as a fish - but only if you have adequate battery power. The higher powered the motor, the more power it draws. A 12-volt motor runs on a single battery, but more powerful motors need two or more. A trolling motor strong enough to power a pontoon boat or a biggish sailing craft will probably require three 12-volt marine batteries. Multiple batteries take special wiring configurations, so read your manual carefully. Bow or stern mount? Where you mount your motor depends on where you hang out in the boat. A transom mount doesn't make much sense if you fish from the bow, and vice versa. If you add a remote control, though, you can control your trolling motor no matter if you're fore or aft. Once you've selected your motor, you can also choose extras like foot-pedal controls, chargers, adjustable mounts, and tie-downs. Find trolling motors and accessories for less at Great Lakes Skipper!