When bow fishing from a boat, one of the most important pieces of equipment you’ll need is a trolling motor. These small and self-contained motors are incredibly useful for fishing, as they are the perfect tool that offers enhanced maneuverability to the user.
With several options and makes of trolling motors available, you’ll need to conduct some research on the best trolling motor for your boat. This buying guide will help you make an informed decision.
Table of Contents
- Buying Guide: Trolling Motor for Bow fishing
- Top 3 Picks for You
- Product Reviews
Buying Guide: Trolling Motor for Bow fishing
Here are some of the factors you should take into consideration.
This will help decide how powerful of a motor you require for your needs. The size and weight of your boat will dictate your need for power or thrust. As a general guideline, two pounds of thrust is required for every 100 pounds of weight.
When calculating the weight of your boat, don’t forget to factor in the weight of the contents contained in the boat. If wind and current are particularly rough in the area you fish in, you’ll need more thrust. It is always better to have more power than a lack of it when it comes to this choice.
How to Calculate Thrust?
Weight of boat (e.g. 1000 lb/100) x2= Minimum Thrust Required (20 lb)
Volts refer to the battery power your trolling motor needs. As a general rule, you will require 1 battery for every 12 volts.
A higher voltage indicates a higher thrust. If you have 55 lbs or less thrust, you’ll require 12 volts, which is one battery.
If you have 60-80 lb of thrust, you’ll require about 24 volts, which means two batteries. If the thrust sits within a range of 100 to 112 lb, you’ll likely need 36 volts, i.e. three batteries.
Shaft length is relative to the size of the boat. For bow-mounted motors, measure the distance from the top of the bow to the waterline.
For transom-mounted motors, measure the distance from the top of the transom to the waterline. For optimal performance, add about 18 inches to your calculated number.
Top 3 Picks for You
These are the best trolling motors for bow fishing that we found.
1. Minn Kota Endura C2 30 Transom Mount Trolling Motor
- Lever Lock Bracket: This solid 10-position bracket features a quick-release lever lock and reinforced composite material that resists flexing, warping, and UV damage
- Telescoping Tiller: Get easy, comfortable, intuitive operation of your trolling motor with the six-inch telescoping tiller.
A make of the renowned brand Minn Kota, this is a freshwater trolling motor that offers highly intuitive controls for easy maneuvering. This product boasts fine technology that offers an unparalleled fishing experience.
You can rotate the lower unit up to 180 degrees by just moving the tiller 45 degrees. This means that you get a bigger result with lesser effort!
If you’re looking for a high-voltage freshwater motor, this is the product for you! It has a maximum thrust of 30 and a voltage of 12.
With a range of speed options, 5 forward speeds and 3 reverse speeds, you are in complete control of the boat, just what you’re looking for.
Minn Kota Endura C2 30 offers an enhanced battery power that lasts about 8 long hours, providing you with a seamless fishing experience.
It comes with an indestructible composite shaft, a Minn Kota exclusive. The power prop provides an extra push, allowing you to cut through even heavy vegetation easily.
What We Like
- It features an ergonomic grip handle that allows the user to easily hold and steer the boat without causing muscle pain or stiffness, allowing a greater degree of control.
- It has a super quiet mechanism and operation that you can’t even hear the motor when it is running.
- It is highly energy-efficient as it will run at high speeds without the battery running out for long periods.
- It provides stealth power and will move against stronger currents with ease.
What We Don’t Like
- The shaft top isn’t sealed, so water may penetrate and eat the motor up from inside.
2. MotorGuide Xi3 Wireless Bow-Mount Trolling Motor
If you’re looking for a trolling motor that provides you ease and convenience while on water, there is no better product than this one! After all, why wouldn’t it be? With a wireless trolling motor, you can experience the freedom of complete control for once.
- Wireless remote control lets you precisely operate the motor from anywhere on the boat
- Innovative mount features easy-to-read LED dashboard that lets you quickly check the status of four key functions in any light conditions
This wireless trolling motor is made by Motor Guide and is one of its most innovative technologies. Fishing in water can be tiresome, but this product makes it easier and less cumbersome.
With its advanced features like an electric steer and a hand-held remote, you can invest your energy in fishing instead of in trying to control the trolling motor. Since the wireless control is a standard feature of the Xi3, it isn’t even like an expensive added feature, as is the case with other models.
It beats its competitors by offering a 40% quieter operation, allowing for an enhanced fish catching experience to the user.
What We Like
- It offers plenty of thrust, making it ideal for a range of boats and conditions like rough waters and currents without requiring much effort from the user.
- It is easy to install and use—much more than the foot-controlled models—without you having to pay an added cost for the name of competitor brands.
- The pinpoint GPS is a great feature once purchased with the product, allowing you to record a range of trails, paving way for an enhanced fishing experience to the user—a feature not available in many trolling motors.
- The wireless remote control feature allows you to operate the motor from anywhere in the boat.
What We Don’t Like
- The makers should have been more careful in clarifying that the GPS does not come with the product—it needs to be added separately.
3. Newport Vessels NV-Series Transom Mounted Electric Trolling Motor
The NV series by Newport Vessels is faring well, and rightly so. This specific product is a versatile electric trolling motor, which works for a variety of boats and conditions.
- EFFICIENT POWER: 55lb Thrust - this 12v electric trolling motor provides excellent power and efficiency for any boater. The high quality build allows the motor to run all day long without overheating,...
- FEATURES: This motor features a 30 inch shaft, a 5 LED battery meter, a 6 inch telescoping tiller handle, and 3 blade propeller. The mount angle, height, and direction can all be adjusted and locked...
It employs both advanced features and premium quality materials to make a sturdy motor that will last you a long time to come, making it worth the bucks!
Due to its sturdy built and constriction, the motor will literally withstand anything you throw its way, making the user’s fishing experience much easier. With a 55 lb thrust, it suits most boats and allows you easy access to fish.
It is a highly popular trolling motor. It features 8 speeds—5 forward and 3 reverse speeds—to offer you a greater degree of control. It is easy to install and use and has a good battery life—all the makings of a stellar trolling motor for bow fishing purposes.
With plenty of great features, this specific product even costs lower than a lot of its competitors, making it the obvious choice. It is ideal for those who want a strong trolling motor without the added bane of noise.
What We Like
- Contrary to what many people believe, it is a quiet motor and doesn’t scare wildlife as much as the other trolling motors do!
- Very easy to use and you can adjust the motor height, giving you more control over the boat and, naturally, greater flexibility.
- It is a much more affordable option than competitors, with more or less the same (and some even better) features.
- The 3 blade propeller allows the boat low-end torque to offer greater mobility.
What We Don’t Like
- The motor tends to overheat a little, but the problem is more apparent in more humid weather conditions.
4. Watersnake Venom 12V Electric Trolling Motor
Watersnake Electric motors designed this electric trolling motor for saltwater anglers. The primary purpose of this electric trolling motor is to provide a simple and versatile design to users. The Venom models like this one feature sturdy shafts, making the product much more reliable. It is perfect to easily work in saltwater.
This product features innovative features that are incorporated to provide greater control and convenience to the user for a better fishing experience.
- STURDY SIMPLE DESIGN: Our Watersnake Venom SXW electric motors provide saltwater anglers with a versatile range of tiller-steer transom-mount motors that are loaded with clever features. The shafts on...
- CONTROL + FEATURES: The 34lb motors have a two-blade propeller. The 54lb motors each run a three-blade propeller. All propeller shafts are stainless steel and the props have a weedless design, so you...
It has a 54 lb thrust and is a 12-volt motor, ideal for a range of estuary and inshore sportfishing boats. It also has 8-speed controls—5 forward speeds and 3 reverse speeds—allowing enhanced control while on water.
One of the innovative features of this product is that it has an ergonomic grip and a digital voltage meter display that keeps you informed of the battery condition.
This product is especially crafted by anglers to be used by anglers, so it is everything you need and more to make your time on the water worthwhile.
What We Like
- It offers sufficient power and will easily send a larger boat down the water with no problem at all.
- It features a three-axle design that allows a greater range of movement so you can easily adjust the motor for optimum performance.
- It has a corrosion-resistant shaft, which is why it can easily work in saltwater without the risk of rust, serving you for a long time to come.
- The three-blade weedless propeller design allows you to move through the water quietly without making any noise.
What We Don’t Like
- You may find that the tilt control is a little different than it appears in the manual.
5. Goplus Electric Trolling Motor 46/55/86 LBS
The product by Goplus offers three different levels of thrust, providing the user much more flexibility. The 46 and 55 lb of thrust gels with the 12 v power system while the 87 lbs of thrust gels with the 24 v power system.
- 【Powerful & Quiet Trolling Motor】The 46/55/86LBS pound thrust to this electric trolling motor gives you a lot of power to push the boat with strong force to generate a wake off and on for several...
- 【Forward & Reverse Speed Adjustments】The 8 speed control system (5 forward speeds and 3 reverse speeds) allows you to fully control the motor through the dial on the ergonomic telescopic handle,...
It offers an 8-speed control, allowing the user much more control over the motor on water, allowing them to switch according to their bow fishing needs.
It has a sturdy construction and build, which is why it is touted as a reliable trolling motor. It works ideally on both saltwater and freshwater.
It is designed in a way that it will easily withstand warping and damage. Hence, it will serve you for a long time to come! The adjustable shaft also gives convenience to the user, allowing you to change and suit the different water conditions.
It has a very speedy operation, giving you peace of mind while out fishing. As a result, you can focus on your main purpose instead of trying to control the trolling motor. It is designed to provide a seamless fishing experience to users.
What We Like
- It has a mounting bracket tilt mechanism, so you can easily adjust the height as per your requirement.
- It has a LED battery indicator, which will automatically alert you if it’s time to recharge.
- It has three different thrust levels, providing you with much more versatility in water.
- People praise its smooth ride with little to no vibrations, allowing you to easily target your fish.
What We Don’t Like
- It is not waterproof, so you need to be careful and try not to get the top wet.
When it comes down to purchasing the best trolling motor for bow fishing, the choice depends on the kind of boat you have and the water conditions. While Minn Kota Endura is a popular brand and has great performance reviews, it may be overpriced.
Though it does offer great value for its money, there may be other options like the Newport vessels NV Series that are both affordable and just as good, if not better than the Minn Kota model. If you believe in brand name and reliability, then Minn Kota should be your first choice without a trace of doubt.
However, if convenience is your ultimate aim, then you should simply opt for the wireless Motorguide Xi3 model.
While there is no right or wrong here, we deem that after an extensive product review, the Newport vessels NV Series transom-mounted trolling motor is a reasonable option as it will offer a near-perfect bow fishing experience.