How to Choose a Trolling Motor

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    • 1). Determine the type of trolling motor you will need. Is the boat a small, open boat, such as a row boat, or a large boat, such as a bass fishing boat? Is the boat lightweight? These factors will help you know if you need a bow or transom-mount motor and its approximate thrust. Measure the boat to determine length and depth.

    • 2). Know your price range. There's no sense in looking at autopilot trolling motors with a built-in transducer if your budget is less than $500.

    • 3). Consider where you'll be fishing. A calm, secluded lake will require a trolling motor with much less thrust than will a lake known for the windy conditions or a raging river. Overpowering wastes money, under-powering can render a trolling motor nearly useless.

    • 4). Determine how much battery space and carrying capacity your boat has. Batteries are heavy and take up a lot of space. Knowing how many batteries you can carry to power your trolling motor will help refine your search. You likely won't want a 36-volt trolling motor in a 16-foot fishing boat, for example.

    • 5). Make a chart of your desired features and compare that to the manufacturer's specifications.

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