Trolling Motors In Saltwater


Question- Should I put a trolling motor on my boat?

A fan writes in with this question on trolling motors:

"I'm thinking of putting a trolling motor on my bay boat this winter to hold me over wrecks instead of anchoring. The boat is 21' chaos. Any suggestions?"


Thanks for the question.  I strongly suggest a trolling motor not just for the wrecks, but also for the shallow water.  They really work great and the new ones have some really cool features that will definitely help you catch fish.

I have never been on a 21 foot Chaos, but I am assuming that the bow is low enough to allow the trolling motor to be well submerged.  This is important because if you will be using it on the wrecks, it will not always be calm out there.  

My advice is to get the 36 v model rather than the 24v.  The 36 v will be more powerful and last longer than a 24v system and you will be much happier with it.  Secondly, get the longest shaft available to make sure that you can get the motor as deep into the water as possible.  Even with just a 1 foot chop, the motor can easily come out of the water while trying to fish.

Also, look at the new motors that have GPS anchor mode.  This will hold you exactly where you push the button, eliminating the need for an anchor on most wrecks if the sea conditions allow it.  Depending on the wind and tide, the trolling motor can now do a really good job of holding your position.  I love the new MotorGuide xi5 motor.

Additionally, the MotorGuide xi5 works in conjunction with Lowrance HDS electronics and you can control the boat through the electronics.  This is a major advantage!

I hope that helps.  Post some pictures of your rig and the fish you catch with the new motor!

Tom Rowland

Saltwater Experience

Send me your questions and they may be featured on the blog as well.  Use the "Ask Us A Question" form or email me directly at  If I dont know the answer...I will find an expert and have them answer.

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