The trolling motor is an exceptional lightweight device that is designed for moving your boat through the water at a slow, quiet, and consistent speed. It is a different kind of motor than the gasoline motor that is usually attached to the back of your boat for propulsion. Both of these play important, but different roles, in helping you to get to your best fishing location. Your gasoline motor is for moving your boat as fast as possible to your best fishing location, while the trolling motor moves the boat in a quiet way so as to not disturb the fish in your selected fishing location.
Having a simple design, the trolling motor's whole reason for existence is to make the life of a fisherman much easier. It is attached to either the bow or transom of your boat. As you might think there are lots of different sizes of trolling motors because there are lots of different sizes of boats. Some trolling motors are designed for use in freshwater, while others are made for use in saltwater. The trolling motor is powered by a battery which does not come with the motor when you buy it. That is something that has to be added in order to produce power for the trolling motor.
The battery that is used for powering your trolling motor is usually a 12-volt, 24-volt, or 36-volt deep cycle battery. The deep cycle battery is designed for marine use. It will discharge all of its capacity to send power to the motor. It can supply this full charge only for a short period of time and needs to be recharged after use. This is different from a car battery that sends only a small amount of power to start a car engine. The electric motor of the trolling motor is submerged in water at the end of the shaft of the trolling motor in a watertight case. The propeller is attached directly to the electric motor just outside the protective case. The amount of thrust that your trolling motor will give your boat depends on the voltage that is provided by the battery. If you have a battery that is 12-volts the amount of thrust you get is usually 45 or 55 pounds. If your battery delivers 24-volts it usually supplies 70 or 80 pounds of thrust. With a battery that gives 36-volts your trolling motor will have 112 pounds of thrust. These are general specifics, and there are a few variations to these specs.
You may want to know with the boat that you have, how much thrust should the trolling motor provide to work best? This is a question that requires the evaluation of more than one variable to get the right trolling motor to meet your fishing needs. You must determine what your boat is wired for – 12-volt, 24-volt or 36-volt. Most bass boats and bay boats are setup with 24-volt or 36-volt wiring which means the proper trolling motor should be a minimum of 70 or 80 pounds of thrust, but it could also be 112 pounds of thrust. Another variable to review involves the environment in which you will fish. If you fish in stronger current or where there can be wind you may need to employ a trolling motor that supplies more than the minimum of thrust for your boat. You may fish in various places so sometimes it is hard to know exactly what will be needed. It is always better to have a little too much power, rather than get caught in a situation where you do not have enough power for your boat.
Depending on your fishing needs, your trolling motor can be controlled by a foot pedal or by a hand control. A hand controlled motor has a tiller extending into the boat from the top of the unit, like the one pictured above. Speed for this motor is controlled by a knob on top of the unit or it is built into the tiller. Most of these hand controlled types are attached to the boat by a clamp at the back of the boat. Foot controlled motors are more complicated, like the one shown above, can be much more efficient. These units allow you to be “hands free” to catch fish and land them! The foot control for this unit has speed control and on/off ability built into the foot pedal. Steering is handled electrically through a servo motor. The foot-controlled units usually require a special bracket to attach it to the deck of the boat.
Innovations in technology have drastically improved the abilities of trolling motors. Now your trolling motor can be maneuvered from a wireless device that will control the speed and steering of the unit. You can use a key fob as method of controlling a trolling motor. Due to the new stuff that has been added to trolling motors in the last couple of years it may take you a short while to learn to use all the features of your's, but it is well worth while to do so.
All of the features of your trolling motor are designed to help you catch fish. The thrust that is used to move your boat is delivered in silent fashion. Even when the propeller is pulling or pushing your boat through vegetation there is no noise to excite the fish that are nearby. Being able to use either a hand control or a foot control to maneuver your boat gives you the option to do that they way that you prefer. The foot control does give you the ability to have both hands free in order to catch fish. Now technology has been added to the latest models of trolling motors so that you can cause the motor to hold your boat at a given position as long as you want. This gives you the opportunity to fully fish an area before moving on. Built in GPS can assist in locating your boat at a given location for the same reason. Now trolling motors can have an interface built into them that allows you to see either straight down under your boat with very good clarity or out to the side of the boat for a good distance.