Trolling Motors for Kayaks

Trolling Motors for Kayaks – FAQs Answered

This article cover trolling motors for kayaks. Within the article, I provide FAQs answered in detail with added trolling motor product reviews and charts to provide the information you need.

Minn Kota Ulterra Freshwater bow-mount trolling motor with Universal Sonar 2 and i-Pilot GPS
* 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.
* Using GPS to lock onto fishing spots with Spot-Lock, record paths, and command speed.
* The i-Pilot Link system allows you to control your motor from the touchscreen remote.
* Offering optimal sonar performance to help you find fish.
* This Minn Kota Ulterra has a 45-inch shaft length, features 80 pounds of thrust (24 volts).
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Time flies so fast, we may still feel the cold from winter, but soon enough, we will feel the warmth of spring and summer. Kayaking is one of the most fun activities you can do during those warm seasons. Too tired to paddle or pedal? That’s okay! Today’s modern technology has a solution for that, trolling motors for a kayak.

We will be exploring trolling motors for a kayak in this article. If you are one of those who wanted to try something new for your next activity, it will be a good read for you. 

Can a Kayak Have a Motor?

Yes, a kayak can have a motor trolling motor. We all know that traditional kayaks are longer and more modern ones smaller. Typically they can only fit one or two-person and just enough space for storing essential gear. Some of the kayaks built these days do have the capacity to carry the additional weight of trolling motors.

Can You Put a Trolling Motor on Any Kayak?

No, you just can’t put a trolling motor on any kayak. It would be risky. Kayaks, especially the traditional kayaks, were designed to be small. With some, even small motors and batteries might be too inappropriate for the kayak. This suitability is especially so if you get a kayak designed for fishing.

Can I Put a Motor on My Kayak?

Yes, you can mount a trolling motor to your kayak. Mounting a trolling motor on a kayak is easy on some kayaks and more demanding on others. But, as previously said, some kayaks are not meant to carry so much weight. So, I suggest, before attempting to mount anything to your kayak, you will want to check your kayak’s weight limits.

Can You Troll from a Kayak?

Yes, you can troll from a kayak. Kayak trolling in shallow water is my preference and can be very useful. Having control of the depth your lures run at is vital in helping you catch more fish when kayak trolling.

Here Are Some Kayak Trolling Tips:

  • When kayak trolling in spring and fall, note the speed when you get a bite and then repeat it. Fish may prefer a specific speed at a set depth. Remember that speed is critical but, you can use GPS to monitor rate; you can also pedal faster for a few minutes, then slower.
  • In spring, fishing in the river is the best when the water is muddy, and the electric motor makes it easy to maintain speed and direction when heading the river.
  • If you’re kayak trolling in late summer, it is best to paddle fast enough to keep the bait near the surface and then run a second bait deeper.

Do Trolling Motors Scare Fish?

Not precisely the trolling motors, but the sounds coming from it. If you’re aiming to catch big fish, being quiet is more important, but it does not mean making any noise. It means making unnatural noises. And yes, trolling motor sounds are strange sounds, and they might scare the fish away. You can’t turn off your trolling motor when fishing, but you can put it on steady. That way, the abnormal noise coming from it is constant and lower. Maybe they’ll figure out that it’s not going to hurt them.

Watersnake - ASP 18 and 24-pound thrust 12V saltwater trolling motor, transom or kayak mount
* Watersnake saltwater electric outboard motor.
* Weighing only 4.85lbs (2.2kg).
* It is the ideal trolling motor to use on kayaks.
* Battery not included.
* 24” shaft, adjustable mount fitting that makes for easy attachment.
* Anti-impact clip system.
* This easy to steer motor uses a hand tiller with an extendable handle.
Electric motor with 24lbs thrust, kayak bracket mount included.
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Where Do You Mount a Trolling Motor on a Kayak?

Kayak trolling motors are designed to be installed on the bow, stern, or gunwales of your kayak. But, it depends if you want a hands-free operation for your kayak or not. If you desire a hands-free operation, mounting your trolling motor on the bow or stern of your kayak is probably the best you could go. If you want to use your hands or feet to operate your motor, you might want to consider a gunwale mounting location.

If you decided to go for a bow mount motor, your next decision would be to operate it by hand or foot. Here’s a comparison that might help you decide.

Control TypeAdvantagesDisadvantages
Foot Control· Hands-free Usage
· Easy to Use
· Can be anywhere in the boat
· More clutter on deck
· More parts to break or malfunction
· Slower response time on some models
Hand Control· No clutter on deck
· Real-time response
· Hand not always on your rod
· Can only be used from bow

Is It Legal to Put a Trolling Motor on a Kayak?

Yes, it is legal. However, there are laws that you must follow. For example, in California, a kayak without trolling motors does not need to be registered. Still, once you installed a trolling motor for your kayak, it will be subject to registration. License to operate also comes in the picture. A motorized boat with an engine of 15 horsepower or more driven by a person 12 to 17 years of age must be under the direct supervision of a person at least 18 years old. Both should have a California Boater Card. You must also check your state’s law to make sure that you are not abiding by any.

What Size Trolling Motor Do I Need for a Kayak?

It will depend on your kayak size, but you need a minimum of two pounds of thrust per 100 pounds of weight to be moved. Most trolling motors are made for small boats. This means they have more than enough power to drive your kayak through the water.

How Fast Will a Kayak Go with a Trolling Motor?

5 mph. It is the trolling motor’s maximum speed no matter how many lbs (pounds) of thrust it provides.

Higher thrust 12V trolling motors are designed for the heavier boats. Remember, the maximum speed of a trolling motor is five mph regardless of how many pounds of thrust. Assuming perfect conditions, the use of the best fuel, i.e., the distillate marine diesel and moderate load, 55-pound trolling motors are likely to attain a maximum speed of only 5 miles per hour. This would take around two hours for the deep cycle battery charge to get wholly depleted.

What Size Battery Do I Need for a 55 Lb Thrust Trolling Motor?

A group 27 size battery will be suitable for a 55 Lb thrust trolling motor. Most trolling motor batteries fail due to a lack of proper charging. We suggest selecting a 12-volt deep cycle marine battery with at least a 110 amp hour rating. The higher the amp-hour rating, the more run time you will receive.

How Long Does a Trolling Motor Battery Last?

The larger the rating, the more power the battery can hold. The more power it can keep, the longer it will power a motor at a given speed. For example, a 100-ampere hour battery would supply 25 amps of power for 4 hours (25 amps * 4 hours = 100 amp hours) before running out of energy.

Minn Kota edge bow mount foot control trolling motor with latch and door bracket
* Indestructible Composite shaft that is for life
* 5 forward speeds
* Latch and door mount for easy removal
* Heel-toe/ Cable-Steer foot pedal
* Power Prop (MKP-2)
Sport type: Outdoor Lifestyle
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How Deep Should a Trolling Motor Be in the Water?

The rule of thumb is that the top of the motor section should be submerged 12″. In general, shaft length selection is more critical with bow-mount motors versus transom-mount motors. Most boat transoms are similar in their distance to the water, and Minn Kota’s standard transom shaft lengths should be adequate.

Gunwale Guide

TGunwale to WaterlineRecommended Shaft Length
0” to 10”30”
10” to 16”36”
16” to 20”42”
Over 22”Consult Factory
Image Source

Bow Guide

Bow to WaterlineRecommended Shaft Length
0” to 10”36”
16” to 22”42” to 45”
22” to 28”48” to 52
28” to 34”54”-62”
Image Source

Can You Use a Car Battery for a Trolling Motor?

Yes, a regular car battery will work. It just won’t work for as long as a deep cycle battery would. A trolling motor battery is designed to deliver a modest amount of current for a more extended time. It would be best if you had a deep cycle battery only because it will take a longer time to draw the battery down. 

Do I Need a Separate Battery for My Trolling Motor?

It would be best if you had a separate battery for the trolling motor. As a regular cranking battery cannot match up to it and power the high levels of currents required by an electric trolling matter, it is better to turn to a separate deep cycle ‘house’ battery instead.

What’s the Difference Between 12 Volts and 24-Volts Trolling Motors?

The 24 volts have more power than the 12 volts, usually lasting longer in the wind. The disadvantage of 24 volts is that it is more expensive, weighing more than the 12 volts. Also, it still depends on how and where you will use your kayak.

How Often Should I Charge My Trolling Motor Battery?

Battery and boat manufacturers recommend that you fully recharge you’re trolling motor battery as soon as possible after use. Batteries left to sit with less than 12.4 volts are prone to the formation of lead sulfate inside the cells, severely impacting their performance and lifespan.

Is It Bad to Run a Trolling Motor Out of Water?

The water around it cools your motor while running it out of the water for a very short period would be okay. It would take a long time to drain the battery running the engine out of the water with no load. Why risk damaging a costly trolling motor to drain the battery down.

What Is the Difference Between Saltwater and Freshwater Trolling Motors?

Saltwater trolling motors will work like freshwater trolling motors but can cope with saltwater. The stainless steel and other corrosion-resistant properties keep it from becoming a big piece of rust. 

Also, it is okay to use your freshwater trolling motor in saltwater occasionally. You will need to carry out maintenance to ensure rust does not occur.

MotorGuide Xi3 Wireless Freshwater Bow Mount Trolling Motor
* Wireless remote control.
* The innovative mount features an easy-to-read LED dashboard.
* Let's you quickly check the status in any light conditions.
* The efficient motor provides best-in-class quiet operation.
* 40 percent quieter than the leading competitor.
* SecureStep system lets you stow and deploy the motor safely a
* The freshwater motor delivers 55 pounds of peak thrust.
* 48-inch-long composite shaft with a 3-blade Machete propeller
* This 12-volt motor has a maximum draw of 52 amps
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How Do I Choose an Electric Trolling Motor?

It would help if you considered the trolling motor’s weight suitable for your boat’s length and power rating; remember that working your boat through wind, high waves, or weedy conditions can be impossible with insufficient power. 

You may refer to the table below for reference,

Minimum thrust Required
Boat Length in FeetPounds of thrust Required

Consider the motor voltage and batteries. This may also depend on your boat’s length. For 16 feet or smaller, a high-thrust 12-volt model could work. For the longboat, you may consider choosing a 24 or 36-volt model. A battery designed for an electric motor will ensure that you receive the maximum power and longevity you needed.

Here Are Some Trolling Motor Features You Should Consider:

Self-Directional Motors

This self-directional motor is a feature that will allow a total hand and foot-free operation. It will follow shorelines or depth contours using its GPS coordinates. It will steer you in a straight line even when the winds are howling.

Built-In Battery Gauge

This gauge will allow you to check the battery life quickly. This gauge will help you when estimating the fishing time left. Alternatively, it will tell you when to clamp the charger on.

Digital Displays

Some high-end models come with digital screens that would display complete readouts of speed and depth.

Which Is the Best Electric Trolling Motor?

When it comes to the electric trolling motor, Minn Kota seems to dominate the worldwide web.

Minn Kota Endura C2 30 Freshwater Transom Mounted Trolling Motor 

It is the best trolling motor for freshwater fishing, made with a high voltage freshwater motor with a transom-mounted trolling system. There are vibrations, but still a quiet motor. Battery life lasts about eight hours. (Source)

What is the best trolling Motor for a Kayak?

We will help you narrow your list among the overwhelming selection on the world wide web for the best trolling motor for a kayak. To help, we have also provided direct links to Amazon.

Here Are the Top 5 Best Trolling Motors for a Kayak

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Trolling Motors for Kayak Concluding Remarks

Traditional kayaking is not bad, and it is useful in so many ways. One of the best benefits is that you can exercise while you are relaxing and embracing the serenity. It is also not wrong to trust and rely on modern technology, with caution, of course. Like, investing in a trolling motor for a kayak.

Motorizing your kayak can be a game-changer. It involves following the law and researching. Trolling motors for a kayak gives your arms a little break. It could also give you a chance to take some photos, focus on fishing, or appreciate the peace in the middle of the lake.

If you decide to upgrade your kayak, remember the things that we have discussed. Follow the law and never compromise your safety. Enjoy kayaking!

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