When it comes to bass fishing, having the right equipment is crucial for a rewarding outing. Among the myriad of gear, a trolling motor stands out as an indispensable asset. It provides the much-needed propulsion, control, and stealth, making maneuvering in the waters a breeze while ensuring your prey remains undisturbed. In this article, we go over in depth the top 5 trolling motors that have proven to be the favorite for bass fishing.
Minn Kota Ultrex Trolling Motor
The Minn Kota Ultrex Trolling Motor has been recognized for its performance and features which cater to modern angler needs. Here are some detailed aspects of the Minn Kota Ultrex Trolling Motor:
Motor and Performance
The Ultrex can be wired into a 24-volt or 36-volt system, with the amount of thrust depending on the voltage level chosen. With a 36-volt system, it provides 112 lbs of thrust, and with a 24-volt system, it offers 80 lbs of thrust
It is often described as a cable steer trolling motor that is motor-assisted, combining the feel of a traditional cable steer trolling motor with the additional functionalities and performance of electronic motor assists to the shaft
The spot-lock feature is acknowledged as a game-changer by anglers as it allows them to lock into a position with a GPS anchor, which is particularly useful when they are landing a fish and don’t want to spook other fish nearby. The spot-lock can be set from anywhere on the boat using a foot pedal, app, remote, or Humminbird fish finder
The Ultrex has a Digital Maximizer feature that helps in extending the battery life by delivering only the amount of power needed, ensuring a longer run time on the water. The i-Pilot link remote also provides information on the remaining battery life, which is quite handy
This feature enables the integration and control of the Minn Kota Ultrex with Humminbird Sonar and Minn Kota Talons from anywhere on the boat using an app, remote control, or Humminbird fish finder. It also allows for functionalities like following depth contours, setting spot-lock, recording paths, and automatically navigating to prime fishing locations
The Ultrex offers the option to use a sonar transducer brand of choice, although full capabilities of the One-Boat Network are available only with Humminbird brand sonar
Ease of Use
Features like Lift-Assist and Steering Lock contribute to the ease of use. Lift-Assist helps in easily lifting the Ultrex with less force, while the Steering Lock ensures the motor stays in the desired direction even when the foot is taken off the pedal
The Ultrex is praised for its responsive cable-steer trolling motor system, providing precise boat control and comfort for all-day use
The Minn Kota Ultrex has been around for a few years but continues to be a prime choice for anglers looking for a quality trolling motor due to its overall performance and user-friendly features
Installation and Durability
The installation is reportedly easy with clear instructions provided. The motor is known for its sturdiness and smooth movements, and it’s also highlighted that this trolling motor tends to last longer on battery power than most, which is a crucial factor for anglers on long bass fishing trips
The Minn Kota Ultrex Trolling Motor encompasses a blend of traditional motor feel with modern electronic enhancements, making it a viable option for those looking to have precise control and added functionalities during their bass fishing expeditions.
Garmin Force Trolling Motor
The Garmin Force Trolling Motor is known for its power, quiet operation, and technological sophistication, making it a top choice for serious anglers. Here are some detailed aspects of the Garmin Force Trolling Motor:
Power and Performance
The Garmin Force Trolling Motor can run on either 24 volts or 36 volts and is described as being fast and powerful. It is stated to provide 30% more thrust compared to competitors’ 36V configuration according to independent testing by Garmin
Thanks to its brushless motor, the Garmin Force operates almost silently, which is a significant advantage when trying not to spook fish
Known for its long battery life, even at high power settings, which is vital for longer fishing expeditions
Features like wireless chartplotter integration, integrated transducer, and autopilot functionalities including anchor lock and cruise control, make this trolling motor technologically advanced. It also provides three hands-free control options for ease of use
Compatibility and Integration
The trolling motor is known to integrate well with other Garmin electronics, although this exclusive compatibility can be a limitation if you are using fish finders or other electronic devices from different brands
Ease of Installation
Comes with all necessary assembly and mounting hardware included, making the installation process straightforward. It’s a bow mount motor and can be installed on either the starboard or port side of the boat, although port-side installation is recommended
The trolling motor offers a wireless foot pedal and handheld remote for control, providing a user-friendly experience. The foot pedal, however, has been reported to be overly sensitive and might require some getting used to
Durability and Versatility
The trolling motor comes with a long shaft (available in two lengths: 50″ and 57″) which improves its versatility and is made of fiberglass, adding to its durability
Priced at $3,099.99 MSRP, the Garmin Force Trolling Motor is on the expensive side, but given its features, it’s aimed at serious fishermen who see value in investing in high-quality equipment
The responsiveness of a cable-steer motor and excellent customer service are among the pros highlighted by users. However, some early models had latching and software issues, which have been addressed in models manufactured after 2020
It comes with a 3-year warranty and a limited lifetime warranty on the shaft, providing a level of assurance to the buyers
The Garmin Force Trolling Motor is a high-end, technologically advanced trolling motor that is well-suited for serious and competitive anglers. Its quiet operation, powerful thrust, and seamless integration with Garmin electronics make it a compelling choice for those willing to invest in top-notch fishing equipment.
MotorGuide Xi5 Wireless Trolling Motor
The MotorGuide Xi5 Wireless Trolling Motor is acknowledged for its high performance and a suite of features that cater to both avid anglers and boating enthusiasts. Here are some detailed aspects of the MotorGuide Xi5 Wireless Trolling Motor:
Motor and Performance
The Xi5 series includes both freshwater and saltwater models, varying in size but maintaining similar features across the range. They come in three configurations based on thrust capacity: 55 pounds, 80 pounds, and 105 pounds. The motor is electronic and has wireless capabilities, with the electronic components sealed with a high-tech coating to protect against moisture
The motor utilizes 12v deep cycle marine batteries, with the number of batteries dependent on the model. A 36v motor uses three 12v batteries, while a 24v motor uses two 12v batteries. An LCD display on the motor helps keep track of the battery charge, displaying a warning when the charge is low, which is a helpful feature to prevent getting stranded due to battery issues
The Xi5 motors feature a composite shaft that can bend upon encountering underwater obstructions without breaking, and is resistant to rust and corrosion. The shaft lengths range from 42 inches to 72 inches, allowing for a selection based on the boat’s size
Wireless Steering Foot Pedal
The motor comes with a wireless steering foot pedal that employs ball bearings to reduce friction and wear. It has a speed control feature with variable speed settings between 0 and 10, along with a power button, anchor button, and motor on/off switch button. The pedal operates on two Double-A batteries and comes with a wireless handheld remote control for additional steering options
Pinpoint GPS System
Some Xi5 models are equipped with a pinpoint GPS system for easy navigation, featuring cruise control, route record, heading lock, job, and anchor functionalities. It also includes two digital compasses to aid in navigation
Certain Xi5 models come with a sonar system with a built-in transducer to provide a clear view of underwater activities. It can detect obstructions underwater and also fish, which is a significant advantage while fishing
The MotorGuide Xi5 is considered a great choice for individuals on a tight budget but still seeking a high-quality trolling motor. It offers a decent battery life that lasts several hours on the water
Control and Monitoring:
The motor features an LED dashboard on the base of the trolling motor mount, allowing monitoring of several trolling motor functions including power on/system ready, propeller on, Pinpoint GPS on, and battery life
The MotorGuide Xi5 is acknowledged as a high-performance trolling motor packed with features that make it a great choice for fishing and boating enthusiasts, offering wireless control, Pinpoint GPS, power steering for easy maneuvering, and digital variable speed control for smooth and quiet operation
The MotorGuide Xi5 Wireless Trolling Motor encompasses a blend of durability, performance, and user-friendly features, making it a viable option for those looking to enhance their fishing or boating experience.
Lowrance Ghost Trolling Motor
The Lowrance Ghost Trolling Motor is a high-performance, premium trolling motor known for its quiet operation and powerful thrust, making it a top choice for serious anglers and professionals. Here are some detailed aspects of the Lowrance Ghost Trolling Motor:
Power and Performance
It operates on either a 24 or 36-volt system, providing up to 97- and 120-pounds of thrust, respectively, and allows for future battery and charger upgrades
The Lowrance Ghost offers up to 25% more thrust power than most motors, allowing for swift movement from one spot to another. Its advanced brushless motor not only provides an increase in thrust power but also ensures that the motor operates quietly, which is crucial for not disturbing fish
The brushless motor technology in the Ghost helps significantly reduce noise, making it one of the quietest trolling motors on the market. It allows anglers to glide through the water silently, which is advantageous for not spooking fish
Due to its brushless motor, the Ghost can provide longer run times, up to 60% more, thus ensuring that anglers can spend more time on the water without worrying about charging the batteries
Zero Sonar Interference
One of the key features of the Lowrance Ghost is its zero sonar interference which ensures that anglers get the clearest, interference-free sonar views, making it easier to spot fish
The Ghost comes with customizable foot pedal buttons and multiple control options including a remote control for easier handling. The trolling motor’s fly-by-wire steering provides a smooth cable-steer motor feel without the mechanical cables that might wear out over time
Integration with Lowrance Electronics
The Ghost is designed to integrate seamlessly with Lowrance electronics, enhancing the overall fishing experience. It also features a 360-degree breakaway mount and automatic realignment which is beneficial for preventing damage and ensuring proper alignment
Spot-Lock and Autopilot Features
Premium features like spot lock and autopilot are included in the Lowrance Ghost, enabling anglers to lock onto a fishing spot or set a course and let the motor navigate
Being a premium trolling motor, the Lowrance Ghost comes with a hefty price tag, starting at $3,249 MSRP which might be a consideration for some buyers
The customer feedback on Amazon indicates that users find the integration with Lowrance electronics, the quiet operation, and the accurate spot lock feature to be game-changing aspects of the Ghost trolling motor
The Lowrance Ghost Trolling Motor is packed with advanced features aimed at enhancing the fishing experience. Its quiet operation, powerful thrust, and seamless integration with Lowrance electronics make it a compelling choice for those who are serious about their fishing endeavors and are willing to invest in a premium trolling motor.
Newport Vessels NV Series Trolling Motor
The Newport Vessels NV Series trolling motor is recognized for its high performance and affordability, making it a suitable choice for small to medium-sized boats. Here are some notable features and aspects of the Newport Vessels NV Series trolling motor:
The motor offers varying thrust options such as 36, 48, 55, or 86-pound thrust depending on the model you choose, which is suitable for different boat sizes and purposes
It’s equipped with speed adjustment features having 5 forward speeds and 3 reverse speeds which allow for a decent top speed and good control on the water
The motor comes with a 30-inch composite fiberglass shaft which is durable and sturdy for handling aquatic environments
It’s built with stainless steel and zinc hardware, a heavy-duty aluminum head, a heavy-duty nylon mount, and a fiberglass shaft, making it capable of handling small loads and being resistant to saltwater corrosion
The NV Series is highlighted for its competitive pricing with a mention of $399 MSRP for the 86lb thrust model and $249 MSRP for the 55 lb model, making it a flagship trolling motor for Newport Vessels due to its affordability
Ease of Use
The trolling motor has an ergonomic 6-inch telescoping handle that is comfortable to use, providing an easier handling experience
The NV Series has been rated 4.6 stars out of 5 on Amazon by thousands of users worldwide, indicating a high level of customer satisfaction and proving it to be a solid choice for small to medium-sized boat owners
It’s built with materials that can withstand saltwater environments, making it a versatile choice for both freshwater and saltwater applications
These features, along with its affordable pricing, make the Newport Vessels NV Series trolling motor a commendable option for anglers and boaters looking for a reliable and efficient trolling motor for their fishing or boating adventures.
Trolling Motor Supporting Systems and Technology
Although the following is not a trolling motor, it is worth an honorable mention. As it supports the overall trolling motor operations and enhances the bass fishing experience tremendously.
Power-Pole Charge Marine Power Management Station
The Power-Pole Charge is not a traditional trolling motor, but a comprehensive power management station that oversees the energy distribution between all your boat’s devices, including your trolling motor.
Optimized Power Distribution
It ensures that the energy is aptly distributed, thus maximizing the efficiency and lifespan of your trolling motor.
With real-time monitoring, you can keep tabs on the power levels, ensuring you never run out of juice in the middle of the water.
Top Trolling Motors For Bass Fishing
Investing in a high-quality trolling motor significantly enhances your bass fishing experience. The listed trolling motors stand out in terms of power, precision, and durability, making them worthy investments for both amateur and seasoned anglers. Whether you are seeking seamless control, efficient power management, or quiet operation, these trolling motors have got you covered.