Looking for a trolling motor for your bass boat? You’ve come to the right place!
Most bass boats are a little too large and bulky to paddle, but small enough that they may not need a full-size outboard motor. On the other hand, maybe you’d prefer to use your outboard motor for getting around, then use a trolling motor for fishing.
Whatever your particular reason, having a trolling motor for your bass boat will likely be a good investment.
Of course, you want to get the best one you can find, right? The best quality, the best value, the best individual trolling motor for your specific boat.
That’s where we come in.
In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the top bass boat trolling motors on the market, as well as some things to look for when choosing your trolling motor.
Are you ready to get started?
Table of Contents
- What to Look for When Buying a Bass Boat Trolling Motor
- Top 3 Picks for You
- Bass Boat Trolling Motor Reviews
- 1. Most Dependable Brand: Minn Kota Endura Transom Mount Trolling Motor
- 2. For Large Boats: AQUOS Haswing Cayman Bow Mount Trolling Motor
- 3. Budget Choice: Newport Vessels L-Series Transom Mount Trolling Motor
- 4. Quiet Electric: MotorGuide Xi3 Bow Mount Trolling Motor
- 5. Most High-Tech: Minn Kota Ulterra Bow Mount Trolling Motor
What to Look for When Buying a Bass Boat Trolling Motor
If you’ve never bought a trolling motor for your bass boat, you may be a little overwhelmed by all the options out there. How can you possibly narrow it down to a few trolling motors, much less choose the best one?
Ultimately, you’re the only one who can choose that best trolling motor for you. But, to help make your decision a little easier, here are a few things to consider when shopping around for your new trolling motor.
Bow Mount Vs. Transom Mount
Trolling motors are generally divided into two categories: bow mount and transom mount. As the names suggest, bow mount trolling motors are mounted on the bow of the boat, while transom mount trolling motors are mounted on the transom.
Which one is better for a bass boat?
It depends on the size and style of the boat.
If you have a larger bass boat, especially one with an outboard motor mounted on the transom, you’ll probably want to go with a bow mount trolling motor. These types of trolling motors are generally more powerful and efficient than transom mount trolling motors.
That said, if you have a much smaller bass boat and no outboard motor, you may be able to get away with a transom mount trolling motor. These trolling motors are generally less expensive and simpler to install than bow mount trolling motors.
Trolling motors are generally rated by their thrust, which refers to the amount of power they produce. As a rule of thumb, you need about 2 pounds of thrust for every 100 pounds of the boat (including passengers and gear).
So, if you have a 2,000-pound bass boat with an added 500 pounds of gear and passengers, you would need a trolling motor with at least 50 pounds of thrust.
Most trolling motors provide anywhere between 30 and 80 pounds of thrust--some produce more, while others produce less. Always pay attention to the thrust when choosing your trolling motor to make sure you’re getting the right amount of power for your boat.
Most trolling motors are 12V and 24V, meaning they require 12V or 24V batteries to run. If you have a 24V trolling motor, you can power it with two 12V batteries wired in series.
24V trolling motors are generally more powerful than 12V trolling motors, so they will be best for larger bass boats.
That said, 12V trolling motors are a lot easier to find, generally less expensive, and will likely be powerful enough for most small to medium size bass boats.
The shaft length is an important measurement to understand when selecting your trolling motor.
If your shaft is too short, it will cause the motor head to pop up out of the water, which may cause damage. If the shaft is too long, it may scrape the bottom in shallow waters or be damaged by underwater obstacles.
That said, it is better to have a shaft that is slightly long than one that is too short.
To determine the shaft length you need, measure from the spot where you plan to mount the trolling motor down to the waterline, then add 20 inches. So, if your initial measurement is 30 inches, you’ll need a trolling motor with a shaft of at least 50 inches.
It’s also worth noting that some trolling motors have adjustable shafts, so you can set them to the length you need not only for different boats but for changing water conditions as well.
Top 3 Picks for You
Bass Boat Trolling Motor Reviews
1. Most Dependable Brand: Minn Kota Endura Transom Mount Trolling Motor
Minn Kota’s Endura trolling motor is a top choice for small to medium size bass boats. It is a cable steer trolling motor, controlled via a telescoping tiller and a few basic button settings.
This trolling motor comes in shaft sizes of 30, 36, and 42 inches. Thrust capabilities range between 30 and 55 pounds. With these different options and combinations available, you’re sure to find a size that will fit your bass boat like a glove.
Minn Kota is a top brand in trolling motors. The quality and value of their products simply can’t be beaten. All of their trolling motors, including the Endura, come with an indestructible shaft that is guaranteed to last for the lifetime of the motor.
In fact, all of the materials used in this trolling motor are strong, high quality, and resistant to warping, flexing, and damage from UV radiation.
This trolling motor is ideal for most anglers with small to medium bass boats who are looking for top quality and dependability at an affordable price.
Some of the motor’s key features include 5 forward/3 reverse speeds to help you get around and conserve your battery; a lever lock bracket that makes backtrolling a breeze; and a powerful 2-blade propeller to cut through underwater vegetation.
It’s worth noting that this particular trolling motor isn’t meant for saltwater use. If you use it in saltwater, it may work for a while but will likely corrode and become unusable long before its time.
What We Like
- Minn Kota is a top trolling motor brand.
- This trolling motor is a great value: affordable but made of quality materials.
- The trolling motor includes some great features.
What We Don’t Like
- This trolling motor shouldn’t be used in saltwater.
2. For Large Boats: AQUOS Haswing Cayman Bow Mount Trolling Motor
The AQUOS Haswing Cayman trolling motor is another great option for bass boats. In particular, this trolling motor is a fantastic choice for medium and large bass boats, as it is a 24V system that provides 80 pounds of thrust.
This trolling motor comes in shaft sizes of 48, 54, and 60 inches. It is an electric trolling motor that can be operated via foot controls or wireless remote, which gives you the option of manning your trolling motor from anywhere in the boat.
This trolling motor can be used in both freshwater and saltwater, as it is made of corrosion resistant materials and is coated in a sacrificial anode to protect the metal components.
This is a great trolling motor for anyone with a larger bass boat who’s interested in the convenience and high-tech features of an electric trolling motor.
What high-tech features, you ask?
Just a few of this trolling motor’s features include a variable speed setting which allows you to customize your speed; cruise control, which lets you maintain that speed automatically; and a quick release bracket for easy installation and removal.
The motor’s main drawback is that it doesn’t have a power button, so the only way to turn it off and on is to hook up and unhook the batteries.
What We Like
- This is a large, powerful trolling motor for larger boats.
- The trolling motor works great in both fresh and saltwater.
- The trolling motor comes with lots of great features.
What We Don’t Like
- This trolling motor doesn’t have a power button.
3. Budget Choice: Newport Vessels L-Series Transom Mount Trolling Motor
The L-Series trolling motor by Newport Vessels is a more inexpensive, cable-steer option that is ideal for medium and large bass boats. It’s a simple, transom mount motor that endeavors to provide all the features you need at the best price possible.
This trolling motor has a 40-inch adjustable shaft, which may nevertheless be too short for some bass boats.
That said, if you have a shallow boat and a need for some serious power, this may be the trolling motor for you. Depending on the model you choose, it provides 62 or 86 pounds of thrust.
This trolling motor comes with a telescoping tiller for hand control and has 8 total speed settings--5 forward and 3 reverse. The 86-pound model is a 24V unit, giving it the power it needs to push your boat through the water.
This trolling motor is ideal for anyone with a larger bass boat who’s on a bit of a budget, but who doesn’t want to skimp on quality or features.
Some of this motor’s features include an LED battery meter so you know when your batteries are running low; a quiet motor head so you don’t have to worry about scaring the fish away; and an industry-best 2 year warranty.
That said, it has a lot of plastic components that would probably be better if they were made of metal, so this trolling motor may not be as durable as some of the others on this list.
What We Like
- This is a powerful yet inexpensive trolling motor.
- The trolling motor comes with a 2-year warranty.
- The trolling motor has some nice features.
What We Don’t Like
- The trolling motor isn’t as durable as some of the others reviewed in this article.
4. Quiet Electric: MotorGuide Xi3 Bow Mount Trolling Motor
MotorGuide’s Xi3 trolling motor is another electric option, and it comes from another well-known brand. It’s much more expensive than the other trolling motors on this list, but as you’ll see, it comes with plenty of specs and features to justify the price.
This trolling motor’s shaft sizes range from 48 to 60 inches, and thrust capabilities range from 54 to 70 pounds.
Though electric trolling motors are often known for being noisy, this trolling motor runs about 40 percent quieter than the competition. It comes with a step release lever so you can easily stow and deploy the trolling motor with a single step.
This is the perfect trolling motor for serious anglers willing to pay a premium price for a premium product.
Some of this motor’s top features include optional sonar and GPS, which will help you retrace previous routes and find where the fish are biting; an LED dashboard so you can keep track of multiple functions; and a wireless remote so you can operate the motor from anywhere.
The main drawback of this motor is that you cannot turn it when traveling at top speed. This may be a safety feature, but some owners have found it to be rather annoying.
What We Like
- This trolling motor is quieter than other electric trolling motors.
- The trolling motor boasts lots of high-tech features.
- The wireless remote makes for convenient operation.
What We Don’t Like
- The motor won’t turn at top speed.
5. Most High-Tech: Minn Kota Ulterra Bow Mount Trolling Motor
The Minn Kota Ulterra trolling motor is another top offering from Minn Kota. It’s a high-tech, electric trolling motor that will work great for larger bass boats.
- The only trolling motor that can automatically stow and deploy itself with the push of a button, the Minn Kota Ulterra provides convenient control via the included i-Pilot remote or foot pedal.
- Trim the Ulterra up or down at the push of a button to adjust to changing fishing conditions.
This trolling motor provides 80 pounds of thrust and has a 60-inch adjustable shaft. It has a 24V system, so it’s sure to provide all the power you need.
This trolling motor comes with Minn Kota’s i-Pilot GPS system, which you can use on its own or in conjunction with a Humminbird fish finder. The motor is controlled wirelessly via a touchscreen remote but also comes with a foot pedal in case you’d rather control it that way.
This trolling motor is perhaps the best option available for anyone who wants the most features and is willing to pay for them.
Awesome features include automatic stow and deploy and shaft adjustment so all you have to do is push a button; a spot lock function which allows you to “anchor” in one spot without using a physical anchor; and sonar capabilities that help you find the fish.
The motor’s main drawback is that some users have reported that the stow and deploy function has a tendency to get stuck.
What We Like
- The i-Pilot function is really nice to have.
- This trolling motor is highly compatible with Humminbird fish finders.
- It offers both remote and foot control options.
What We Don’t Like
- The automatic stow and deploy gets stuck sometimes.
If you’re looking for a premium trolling motor, our top recommendation is the Minn Kota Ulterra because it offers the greatest number of features and comes from the top trolling motor brand.
On the other hand, if you’re looking for a good budget option, the Newport Vessels L-Series is probably the motor for you.
And there you have it!
After reviewing this list of top bass boat trolling motors, you should have a much easier time knowing what to look for and how to pick the best trolling motor for you.