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Whether stalking your next fishy victim or blissfully cruising across the surface of the water, trolling motors are here to help you out.

Unlike their namesake, trolling motors are quiet devices designed to steer your boat with the utmost precision.

Fish are not spooked nor alerted with their presence, making trolling motors a good choice for any angler for making those maneuvers that could predict whether a catch is likely to be made.

And for those not into the sport of angling, their silence also gives the added bonus of giving you the peace and quiet as you glide across your local lakes.

#Step 1Location of Placement

The location of placement of the trolling motor can have various perks and drawbacks, greatly affecting fishing capability.
There are three possible mounting locations:

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

If your main goal is to drag the bait, then it is more practical to have the trolling motor installed at the front of the boat, minimizing the noise, and making it less likely to alert fishes.

#Useful Hints:

  • 1
    Pontoon boats, because of their unique design, can have different requirements. Attaching a trolling motor on this boat require the shaft to be extra longer, due to the height.
  • 2
    Because trolling motors need to be some distance underwater for maximum effectiveness, there’s always a chance for the propeller to get lodged with underwater debris. Make sure to instantly stop the gear once it happens to avoid the risk of device damage.
  • 3
    Some fish don’t require trolled bait, allowing you to install it anywhere you like.

#Step 2Installing the trolling motor

Once you decided the right location of placement, it is time for installation.

The easy part is that most trolling motors come with a clamp for easy installation. All you had to do is to clamp the motor on the side of the boat and you are set.

For those that do not come with a clamp, they come with a bracket in which they could be anchored on the boat.

Anchoring them merely requires a power drill, a screwdriver, and a few nuts and bolts.

First, you align it and mark the holes with a pencil. Then you drill the marks and put the motor in. Finally, secure it in place.

  • 1
    Most trolling motors are designed to clamp, or attach, on the front end of a regular boat, on their V-shaped front ends. For pontoon boats, a metal attachment can be placed on their front ends to serve as the placement for these motors. Some shops sell these specifically designed for pontoon boats.
  • 2
    Make sure the propeller is aligned horizontally in the water for maximum effectiveness.
  • 3
    Another method is to attach the trolling motor aligned with the captain’s console.
  • 4
    Another hint for side attachments is to determine which hand you use to fish. If you are right handed, then install the motor on the port side, and vise versa.
  • 5
    Also consider foot controlled trolling motors. They are installed and operated differently.

#Step 3Power it Up

The final step for the installation involves hooking up the motor to the boat’s battery.

Useful Hints:

  • Connecting the trolling motor to the battery could cause it to drain twice as fast. Small as they are, these devices, could deplete an entire charge with constant use.
  • Consider using a secondary power source dedicated to the trolling motor. Such simple power interruptions can and will interfere with fish finders. If you are going to use the motor for hours on end, make sure to use multiple deep-cycle batteries.

You have successfully installed the trolling motor. Make sure to couple that up with its fish finder partner of choice and get out there!

#2, Things to know about Trolling Motors

Main Source of Thrust

Some trolling motors are made to entirely replace the engine altogether. They are overall more expensive but can remove the need for troll motors.


Some trolling motors, especially the high quality ones like Minn Kota and the MotorGuide can communicate with their respective fish finders to help track fish. If you’re in for the fishing experience then make sure your gears are compatible.

Such gear can also map your fishing locations and can even auto-pilot to that direction. Do take note that fish finders can be power hogs themselves and sometimes tend to shut down in time with power interruptions on the boat.

Installing basic low-end motors will not have any noticeable problems but will not be able to communicate with your fish finder, decreasing its overall effectiveness.

Wireless Features

Along with its capability to connect to its respective fish finder, some of Minn Kota’s and MotorGuide’s motors also come in a handheld device to control it wirelessly.


Trolling Motors are built to have rather small propellers, as any larger and it would generate enough underwater turbulence to scare off your target fish. Therefore, it is important to pick powerful motors with enough force to propel your boat around. Bigger boats need bigger trolling motors.


Cleaning of the trolling motor simply consists of pouring hot water over it and scrubbing all the grime off.

Underwater debris

Some trolling motors are built to withstand all sorts of freshwater-based damage with some being able to cut their way out if ever they get entangled by aquatic reeds.

But if the case arises, do take note that it’s better to just stop the machine altogether and remove it manually to cut the risk of overheating.

Saltwater Angling

Salt water is corrosive and requires especially hardened materials ready to weather the extreme conditions at sea. Trolling motors designed for freshwater use stand no chance against the ocean and would deteriorate in a matter of weeks.

But this is not the end for anglers, for there are also motors designed to be taken out to sea.

Do note that they are way more expensive, however

Video:How to Install a Trolling Motor - Aluminum Boat Project #7

Video Credit: Lawren Wetzel

The All-In-One Pack

Wrapping up this tutorial, do bear in mind that some high-end angling boats out there come pre-packaged with all the high-tech goodies you are bound to like. Starting with the trolling motor-fish finder duo, there are also the options of auto-piloting, data tracking, and many more. All those combined for the ultimate angling experience.

How to Install a Trolling Motor?
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I am an avid outdoorsman with experience in naturalist education, outside adventure education, ski instruction, and writing. In addition to my outdoor hobbies, I started this blog to provide advanced material, guiding you towards a better and more comfortable outdoor experience. I enjoy sharing my experiences of backcountry education teaching and guiding through writing. To contact Davis, visit the contact page. and About Us.