December 21

Remote Control Trolling Motor: A Comprehensive Guide

In recent years, advancements in technology have revolutionized the way we approach fishing and recreational boating. One such innovation is the remote control trolling motor, a game-changing piece of equipment that is rapidly gaining popularity among avid anglers and boating enthusiasts alike.

Remote control trolling motors offer users unparalleled maneuverability, precision, and convenience, making them an indispensable addition to any modern fishing or boating setup.

A remote control trolling motor typically operates via a wireless remote or foot pedal controller, providing users with the freedom to move around their vessel while still maintaining full control over their motor's speed and direction.

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This not only enhances the overall fishing experience but also improves safety and efficiency, as boaters can now keep their hands free for important tasks such as casting and reeling in fish, or navigating through tight spaces.

Moreover, modern remote control trolling motors come with a variety of advanced features, such as GPS and autopilot functionality, allowing users to set precise routes and maintain consistent speeds.

These features make it easier than ever before to fish in challenging conditions or explore new areas, ultimately giving users a significant advantage in their quest to find and catch their desired target.

Types of Remote Control Trolling Motors

Freshwater Trolling Motor

Remote control trolling motors for freshwater use often come with specific features to enhance their performance in calm, freshwater environments. They typically come in 12V, 24V, and 36V options to cater different boat sizes and motor power requirements.

Some of the key features and benefits of freshwater trolling motors are:

  • Bow or transom mounting options for better maneuverability
  • Corrosion-resistant materials to prevent damage from the freshwater environment
  • Variable speed controls, allowing for better energy management and customization for various fishing styles
  • Quiet and efficient operation, helping to avoid disturbing fish and other aquatic life

Saltwater Trolling Motor

Saltwater remote control trolling motors have many similar features to their freshwater counterparts, but they also have modifications designed specifically to handle the harsher conditions of saltwater environments. These motors often come in 12V, 24V, and 36V options as well to accommodate different boat sizes and power requirements.

Specific features and benefits of saltwater trolling motors include:

  • Robust construction using corrosion-resistant materials, such as stainless steel and anodized aluminum, to withstand saltwater exposure
  • Advanced sealing systems to protect internal components from saltwater ingress and damage
  • Sacrificial anodes to protect critical components from galvanic corrosion, increasing the motor's overall lifespan in saltwater conditions
  • Anti-corrosion coatings on metal parts to further increase durability

While there are unique variations between the two types of remote control trolling motors, both offer reliable, efficient, and quiet propulsion systems tailored to their specific environments, providing anglers and boaters with the perfect solution for their respective use cases.

Top Brands

Minn Kota

Minn Kota is a leading manufacturer of trolling motors, known for their innovation and high-quality products. They offer a wide range of remote control trolling motors designed for various boating and fishing applications. Minn Kota's trolling motors are equipped with advanced features such as iPilot GPS technology, allowing for precise boat control and navigation.

Some popular Minn Kota remote control trolling motor models include:

  • Terrova: This motor offers stow and deploy assisted technology, making it easy to launch and store your motor. It also features a touchscreen remote control, offering full control of your boat.
  • PowerDrive: Designed for smooth and quiet operation, the PowerDrive motor provides reliable performance at an affordable price point. It comes with a foot pedal remote control for hands-free operation.

MotorGuide is another well-known brand in the trolling motor industry that offers reliable and efficient remote control trolling motors. They have a strong focus on providing precise control and quiet operation to enhance your boating experience. MotorGuide's lineup of remote control trolling motors is known for their durability and ease of use.


Notable MotorGuide remote control trolling motor models include:

  • Xi5: With features such as Pinpoint GPS navigation, the Xi5 offers precise boat control, allowing you to focus on fishing. It is designed for quiet operation and offers a wireless foot pedal remote control.
  • Xi3: The Xi3 is a lighter and more compact motor, making it perfect for smaller boats. It still offers advanced features such as wireless remote control and quiet operation.

Both Minn Kota and MotorGuide are dedicated to providing boaters and anglers with top-quality remote control trolling motors. They are continuously improving their products to make your time on the water more enjoyable and productive.

Key Features and Technology

i-Pilot GPS

The i-Pilot GPS system integrates into your trolling motor, providing advanced navigation capabilities. This feature allows users to plot courses, set direction, and control motor speed. The system stores GPS coordinates for later use, enabling anglers to revisit their favorite fishing spots effortlessly.


Spot-Lock is a game-changing technology in remote control trolling motors. When activated, the motor maintains its current position and holds the boat in place. This feature is especially advantageous in windy or high-current conditions where constant manual adjustments might be necessary. With Spot-Lock, anglers can focus on fishing rather than adjusting their boat's position.

Heading Sensor

The heading sensor is an essential component of remote control trolling motors, as it accurately determines the boat's direction. This feature uses a reliable electronic compass to provide precise directional readings, allowing the trolling motor to maintain a consistent route.


CoPilot technology enables wireless control of the trolling motor. Using a compact remote, users can easily adjust boat speed, change direction, and activate Spot-Lock or other features without manually operating the motor. With CoPilot, anglers can control their trolling motor from anywhere on the boat.

Pinpoint GPS

Pinpoint GPS technology offers a high level of precision in boat positioning and navigation. By using GPS coordinates, this feature allows the trolling motor to navigate to specific locations and maintain accurate routes. Pinpoint GPS empowers anglers with improved control over their boat's movements, leading to a more efficient and enjoyable fishing experience.

Mounting Options


Bow-mount trolling motors are commonly used for boats with a flatter, broader front area. They provide better control and maneuverability, especially in windy or rough-water conditions. Bow-mount motors usually come with a foot pedal, remote control, or both, allowing for hands-free operation.

To install a bow-mount trolling motor, find a spacious and accessible location on the bow of your boat. Ensure proper functionality and weight distribution by aligning the motor with the centerline. Selecting the correct shaft length is essential for optimal performance. Measure the distance from the mounting point to the waterline, and then add 16-22 inches for small boats or 22-28 inches for larger vessels.

Transom Mount

Transom mount trolling motors are suitable for smaller boats with only a little space at the stern. They are easier to install and significantly more affordable than bow-mount motors. However, transom motors may not offer the same level of control and maneuverability as their bow-mounted counterparts.

Installing a transom mount trolling motor requires choosing an appropriate location on the stern of your boat. Ensure that the motor can be raised and lowered without interference. As with bow-mount motors, selecting the correct shaft length is vital. To measure the required shaft length, measure the distance from the mounting point to the waterline, then add 16-22 inches.

Regardless of the type of mount you choose, make sure to follow the manufacturer's guidelines and recommendations for installation, maintenance, and usage to ensure a safe and enjoyable boating experience.

Selecting the Right Remote Control Trolling Motor

Boat Size and Type

When choosing a remote control trolling motor, consider the size and type of your boat. Remote control trolling motors are compatible with various boat types, including kayaks and pontoons. Here are some general guidelines:

  • Kayaks: Look for a trolling motor with a lower thrust rating, as kayaks are typically lightweight and require less power.
  • Pontoons: Due to their larger size, pontoons require more powerful trolling motors.
  • Other boats: Evaluate your boat's size and weight capacity to ensure you purchase a motor with an appropriate thrust rating.

Battery Power

Remote control trolling motors are powered by a battery, so considering battery power is crucial. Keep in mind:

  • 12V: Ideal for small boats and kayaks, these batteries provide sufficient power for short trips.
  • 24V or 36V: Suitable for larger boats like pontoons, these batteries offer more power and longer run times.

It's essential to choose a battery that matches your trolling motor's voltage requirements for optimal performance.

Speed Control

There are two main types of speed control for remote control trolling motors:

  1. Variable speed control: Allows for fine-tuning speed adjustments and smoother operation, providing more control and efficiency.
  2. Fixed speed control: Offers fewer speed options (typically 5 forward and 3 reverse speeds), but it costs less and is simpler to operate.

Consider how frequently and in what conditions you'll use your trolling motor when selecting the appropriate speed control system.

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Compatible Accessories

Fish Finders

Fish finders are an essential tool for anglers to locate fish and identify the underwater terrain. Many remote control trolling motors are compatible with fish finders, allowing you to get real-time information about fish locations and depths, along with water temperature and speed. Some popular fish finder models that can be used with remote control trolling motors include Lowrance, Humminbird, and Garmin.

Micro Remote

A Micro Remote is a handy accessory that offers ultimate convenience and control while using a remote control trolling motor. With a compact design, it can be attached to your belt, wrist, or neck for easy access. The Micro Remote provides quick access to important motor functions, such as speed control, steering, and more. Many remote control trolling motors are compatible with Micro Remotes, making it simple to streamline your boat's handling.

i-Pilot Link

The i-Pilot Link is an advanced system that combines GPS technology with your trolling motor and fish finder. By integrating these components, the i-Pilot Link can provide features like Autopilot, Spot-Lock, and route planning. This powerful accessory allows you to map out your fishing route, maintain a specific speed, or hold your boat in place over a known fishing spot. Compatibility with i-Pilot Links can vary by manufacturer, so check specifications before purchasing to ensure your remote control trolling motor works seamlessly with this advanced accessory.

Budget and Customer Service

When searching for a remote control trolling motor, considering your budget is important. There is a wide range of prices for trolling motors, starting from around $100 to over $2,000. Factors such as the motor's power, features, and overall quality determine their costs. It is crucial to find a motor that fits your needs and budget.

  • Entry-level trolling motors (<$300) usually provide basic functions and lower power for smaller vessels.
  • Mid-range trolling motors ($300-$1000) offer better features, power, and quality suitable for various boat sizes.
  • High-end trolling motors (>$1000) are designed for anglers who require advanced features, high power, and cutting-edge technology.

Customer service is another important aspect to consider while purchasing a remote control trolling motor. As these motors are a technical investment, you'll want to choose a company that offers excellent support and assistance. Make sure to research the manufacturer and read user reviews to gauge their customer service quality.

Some key factors to look for when it comes to customer service:

  • Availability of support via phone, email, or live chat
  • Prompt and helpful responses to inquiries
  • Flexible return or exchange policies
  • Proper warranty coverage on their products

Many manufacturers also offer free shipping, which can be a deciding factor, especially for budget-conscious buyers. Keep an eye out for shipping promotions that may cut down on costs while ensuring your motor arrives safely at your doorstep. Remember, your chosen remote control trolling motor should strike the right balance between budget and customer service to ensure a satisfactory experience.

Popular Models

Minn Kota Terrova

The Minn Kota Terrova is a reliable and efficient trolling motor designed for both saltwater and freshwater use. It features the following capabilities:

  • i-Pilot GPS system, providing precise positioning and navigational control
  • Universal Sonar 2 technology for optimized fishfinding
  • Stow and deploy mechanism for effortless operation

This model comes in a variety of thrust options, allowing you to choose the perfect size for your boat and fishing needs.

MotorGuide Xi3

MotorGuide's Xi3 is a wireless control trolling motor that offers a compact and efficient design with several innovative features:

  • Pinpoint GPS technology for accurate navigation
  • SecureStep system for easy stowing and deploying
  • Whisper-quiet operation

Available in both saltwater and freshwater versions, the MotorGuide Xi3 offers durability and convenience for any angler.

Minn Kota Ultrex

The Minn Kota Ultrex combines the power of the Fortrex motor with the advanced i-Pilot technology, creating a high-performance trolling motor:

  • GPS-powered Spot-Lock for precise anchoring
  • Power steering for improved control and handling
  • Lift-Assist for easy stowing and deploying

The Ultrex is available in various thrust levels and shaft lengths, catering to a range of boat sizes and fishing preferences.

Minn Kota PowerDrive

Perfect for smaller boats or as a secondary motor, the Minn Kota PowerDrive provides reliable performance at an affordable price:

  • Deploy-assist lever for quick launching
  • Redesigned foot pedal for easy and comfortable steering
  • Compatible with i-Pilot and other Minn Kota accessories

The PowerDrive comes in several different thrust options to accommodate various boat sizes and horsepower needs.

Fishing Tips with Remote Control Trolling Motors

Remote control trolling motors offer fishermen an efficient and effective way to navigate water when fishing for species like walleye. These devices can be particularly useful for anyone looking to improve their technique and find better fishing spots.

One notable feature of remote control trolling motors is their GPS capabilities. With GPS, a fisherman can easily navigate to specific locations and even set a waypoint for their favorite fishing spots. This technology allows users to save and share precise locations for a more consistent and enjoyable fishing experience.

When it comes to bait selection, remote control trolling motors can provide the ideal means for testing different types of bait to make the most of your fishing trip. By adjusting the motor's speed and steering according to fish preferences, you can effectively experiment with various baits to find the most successful one.

Another useful feature is the spot lock function, which can be particularly helpful when targeting walleye. Spot lock allows the trolling motor to maintain a specific position in the water, combating wind and current, enabling the fisherman to focus on fishing without the need to constantly adjust their position. This can be a game-changer when fishing in challenging conditions or when trying to catch elusive fish species.

In summary, remote control trolling motors offer a range of advantages for fishermen, whether it's through GPS capabilities or spot lock features. By utilizing these features and adapting bait selection, you can improve your fishing game and increase your chances of a successful trip.

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Maintenance and Troubleshooting

Proper maintenance of your electric trolling motor will help ensure its longevity, especially in salt water environments. To begin, regularly inspect your motor for any signs of wear, corrosion or damage.

  • Rinse the motor with fresh water after every use in salt water.
  • Check the propeller for any debris or fishing line that might be tangled around the shaft.
  • Periodically inspect the steel components for any signs of rust or corrosion. Clean them with a mild detergent and water, and apply a rust-preventative if necessary.

When it comes to troubleshooting, here are some common issues and their possible solutions:

  • Motor not running: Check battery connections and ensure the battery is fully charged. Make sure the power switch is in the correct position.
  • Motor running slowly or not reaching top speed: Check for debris around the propeller or verify the motor height to ensure the prop is submerged properly.
  • Motor stops abruptly: The motor may have overheated. Allow it to cool down and restart it. If the problem persists, check the propeller for any debris or obstructions.
  • Steering issues: Inspect the steering cable for any signs of wear or damage. Lubricate the steering components with a recommended lubricant, such as white lithium grease or mercury grease.

By following these maintenance and troubleshooting tips, you can keep your electric trolling motor running smoothly and efficiently for years to come.

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