A trolling motor is an electric powered outboard engine that is attached to the bow of a small boat that provides a secondary mode of propulsion. It consists of an engine that is enclosed in a waterproof casing that's attached to a prop shaft that, when submerged it prevents engine overheating. A propeller is attached to the other end of the shaft. This provides advantages for fishermen that larger gasoline powered engines cannot provide: precise boat control and quiet operation. It allows the helmsman or fisherman to maneuver precisely a boat so an angler can cast a fishing line and bait to an exact location. For example, if a fisherman sees an heavy insect activity near the water surface of a lake, it might be an indication of heavy fish activity. He can then deftly position the boat in that area in hopes of capitalizing on a feeding frenzy. The other advantage relates to the small size and electric operation. Trolling motors do not have the loud rumble of a 75hp engine, and will not scare off fish upon your arrival, especially when running along shallow areas of a lake. The bottom line is the better your ability to both control the boat and remain silent, the greater your potential to catch a lot of fish.
Types of trolling motors
Water type plays a critical role in determining whether you get a freshwater trolling motor or a saltwater trolling motor.
Mode of steering
They 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-Hand-Controlled trolling motors are motors attached next to a 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-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 Wireless remotesremotes are offered on higher end models and allow a fisherman to move freely on the boat and still be in a position to steer, and accelerate/decelerate. You can record a successful fishing path and replay that path later not having to worry about course correction due to currents or wind. This is particularly useful for fishermen who seek to run along bass migration paths from deep water to shallow water.
Choosing The Right Trolling Motor
Different types of trolling motors exist hence it's important to choose that which suits you most. Make a choice between an hand controlled (transom mounted) or foot controlled (bow mounted) motors, remote motors, freshwater trolling motors and saltwater trolling motor. Your boat size and the water type will greatly determine which trolling motor you should get. The greater the distance between the water line to the mounting deck, the longer the required shaft length.