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Do You Have To Use A Marine Battery For A Trolling Motor?

Do You Have To Use A Marine Battery For A Trolling Motor?

Your trolling motor has been like a best friend. It gives you full command of your boat.

With it, you have out-maneuvered even the smartest of fish. When the fish try to slip away, you have been able to steer your boat in the right direction, all but forcing the fish to gravitate to your bait and hop on the hook.

You have been shopping for a new battery for your trolling motor. You want the best price and the most power in your battery.

But does the battery you use have to be a marine battery? Let’s find out. 

Is A Marine Battery Necessary For A Trolling Motor?

VMAX857 AGM Battery 12 Volt 35AH Marine Deep Cycle HI Performance Battery

Marine batteries are necessary and critical to your fishing success. The reason is the internal plates that generate electricity inside of the battery.

These plates are stronger than the plates in other batteries. They are also more elevated. So they are better at producing electricity.

Marine battery plates do not become short-circuited due to unsteady motion.

When you are driving your car, you may speed up or slow down. Usually, your overall path is in a straight line. 

Of course, you need to make turns, and you may encounter an occasional bump in the road. But then you straighten your car and move forward in one direction.

When you are riding in your boat, the path is repeatedly altered. Your boat bounces along the water. When chasing fish, you may need to make quick turns.

But what happens when you encounter a nearby watercraft, especially one that is bigger than your boat?

His wake comes rolling in. Up and down you go, just like a painted horse on a merry-go-round.

Weather conditions also affect the movement of a boat in a way that they do not affect a car. In a car, you just put on the windshield wipers and slow down. Your path still goes forward.

But in your boat, rough weather can cause havoc in your path. You may tilt sideways. You may plunge downward and then pop back up. In extreme weather, you may even spin sideways.

So marine batteries are mandatory for trolling motors because their strong and elevated plates can handle constantly changing motion.

How Important Is A Marine Battery To A Trolling Motor?

a marine battery for a trolling motor

Marine batteries are also important because of the job they do. The primary purpose of a car battery is to get the car started.

Once the car motor is turned on, the work of a car battery is done. The workload is then transferred to the alternator.

The alternator is responsible for keeping the radio, lights, dashboard clock, and any other electronic devices going.

But the duties of a marine battery are different. It needs to start the motor, and it needs to supply power to your onboard components.

Your GPS, fishfinder, radio, and other onboard components receive their power from the marine battery.

Imagine being out on the water with a car battery, trying to run your motor. The fish are all around you, but you can’t see them because the fish finder is not working.

You need to report a water hazard. But you can’t, because your radio is not working. You have mapped out a fishing hot spot, but you can’t find it. Your GPS is not working.

The workload for a marine battery is so extensive that many boaters choose to have two batteries. One battery is used to get the motor started, and one is used to keep the components going.

two batteries to keep the components going

Marine batteries come in different sizes. To make it easier for you, your boat manual will stipulate the correct sized battery for your boat.

There is a battery group size for every boat, according to Aquio Energy. Group size designations range from 22NF to 65. The maximum cranking amps increase as the group size increases.

So you must use a marine battery, and it is best to use the appropriate one for your boat.

Additional Benefits of A Marine Battery

24v 60Ah LifePo4 Battery Deep Cycles with BMS Lithium Iron Phosphate Battery for Trolling Motor

These benefits only scratch the surface of the true importance of a marine battery.

Marine batteries require little maintenance. Instead of constantly checking your battery, having a marine battery means you can spend the bulk of your time enjoying your boat.

It takes a marine battery approximately twenty hours to discharge to 10.5 volts. This means the battery will charge quickly.

Since marine batteries are lightweight and have a sealed case, they are easy to transport. Do you remember the last time you needed to remove your car battery to take it to the auto parts store for charging? It was heavy, wasn’t it?

Marine batteries are so important that one is not enough. Many boaters even choose to implement a switch system to give them easy control of all the batteries they are using.

battery switch

This requires the use of two switches, an on and off switch and a four way switch, according to The Fisherman. When you rely on this dual switch system, the operation process is simple.

Begin by turning the on/off switch on. This will start your electronics.

Next, turn your four-way switch to position number one.

Start the engine.

With the engine running, turn the four-way switch to the “both” setting. Both of your batteries will charge.

If you decide to turn your engine off and let your boat drift, simply turn the four-way switch off.

When you are ready to restart the engine, turn the four-way switch back on and then select the “both” setting again.

When you return to the dock, turn both of the switches off.

The Dual Purpose Battery Option

Optima Batteries DH6 YellowTop Dual Purpose Sealed AGM Battery

While marine and deep cycle batteries are the best ones to use for a trolling motor, you can also use a dual-purpose battery.

A dual-purpose battery will start your motor and run your components.

If you need to put your boat into storage, dual-purpose batteries are great because they typically respond quickly after a layoff.

Some batteries go dead after facing storage in back-to-back years. But not dual purposes batteries;they just keep on responding.

They are simple to use. Basically, it’s just a starting battery with an extra post. They are also comparably inexpensive.  

Some boaters say the effectiveness of a dual-purpose battery depends on how many electronics you are using. You can get by with a dual purpose if you are simply trolling.

But if you want to maximize your boating experience, and need significant power for multiple components, your best option is still a marine or deep cycle battery.


Marine batteries are necessary for trolling motors because they are built to handle constant motion that is not in a straight line. Angling has its moments of relaxation. But when the action starts, you and your battery better be ready.

Wake, weather, and the sudden turns that are sometimes necessary when chasing that prize fish, mean that your battery needs to be able to handle a quick change of motion. Marine batteries can do that.

You need a battery for your trolling motor that can both start your engine and run your GPS and other electronics. A marine battery can do that, too.

An alternative is a dual-purpose battery. Those will work well if you aren’t running a lot of electronics.

But did you purchase your trolling motor to limit yourself? Of course not!

If you bought it to roll with the wake, use the best in technology and fill your tub with fish, then you need a marine battery.