Best Trolling Motor for a Bass Boat

Best Trolling Motor for a Bass Boat

Bass boats are popular with anglers because they glide rather than move through the water.

And compared to other fishing boats, they are also easier to handle.

They are relatively small boats but not as small as canoes and kayaks.

Although, they can also be propelled using water paddles.

But most bass boat owners equip their boats with trolling motors for speed and efficiency.

Trolling motors have revolutionized fishing. Some of them come with all manner of high-tech features just to make your fishing adventures fun and easy. But there is no one size fits all type of motor system.

You need to get one that is appropriate for your boat size and weight. In this review, we have discussed how to choose a trolling motor for your bass boat. And we have also reviewed 5 of the best trolling motors available for bass boats.

Top Pick

Minn Kota 1082341 Ulterra

Minn Kota 1082341 Ulterra

  • Sonar System
  • GPS Control System
  • i-Pilot Remote Control
  • Spot-Lock & Autopilot

Trolling Motors for Bass Boat Comparison Chart

PhotoProductFeaturesPrice

Minn Kota 1082341 Ulterra

Minn Kota 1082341 UlterraThrust: 80 lbs
Shaft Length: 45 inches
Voltage: 24v
GPS System: Yes
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AQUOS Haswing Cayman

AQUOS Haswing CaymanThrust: 55 lbs
Shaft Length: 48 inches
Voltage: 12v
GPS System: No
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MotorGuide Xi5 Wireless 80LB

MotorGuide 941700110 Xi5Thrust: 80 lbs
Shaft Length: 48 inches
Voltage: 12v
GPS System: Yes
Check Price

MotorGuide 940700030 Xi3

MotorGuide 940700030 Xi3Thrust: 70 lbs
Shaft Length: 54 inches
Voltage: 12v
GPS System: Yes
Check Price

Garmin 010-02024-00 Force

Garmin 010-02024-00 ForceThrust: 80 lbs or 100 lbs
Shaft Length: 50 inches
Voltage: 24v or 36v
GPS System: Yes
Check Price

5 Best Trolling Motors for Bass Boat (as of November, 2020):

1. Minn Kota 1082341 Ulterra – Best Trolling Motor For a Bass Boat With GPS and Sonar Review

Minn Kota 1082341 Ulterra

The Minn Kota 1082341 Ulterra is an 80-pound thrust motor that can power and run a fully loaded bass boat effortlessly.

It comes with a 45-inch shaft that has a sturdy propeller to help you cut through dense vegetation.

It is a saltwater motor, therefore, it is build using materials that are resistant to corrosion and rust.

So you can take your boat out fishing on saltwater or freshwater with this motor.

It requires minimal maintenance. You can use it for months even years without needing to clean it and it is still going to deliver optimal performance. But it cannot hurt cleaning at least once a year to extend its lifespan. 

The motor comes with a GPS system that is capable of locking onto a fishing spot, recording and saving routes, and steering and navigation.

On the motor head, there is a battery meter that displays how much battery power you have left. And to help you find a good fishing spot, the motor comes with an inbuilt sonar system that provides clear images.

Minn Kota 1082341 Ulterra Review, Pros and Cons

To control your boat and steer it in whatever direction you want, you have the option of using the foot pedal or the i-Pilot remote that comes with the motor. If you are feeling a bit lazy or tired, you can put the motor on autopilot.

So all things considering, this motor is great if you need to operate a large bass boat. And although it is expensive, it is worth the investment.

Main Features

  • GPS Control System
  • i-Pilot Remote Control
  • Auto Deploy and Power Trim
  • Multi-Function Foot Pedal
  • Heading Sensor
  • Sonar System
  • Spot-Lock and Autopilot
  • Weedless Wedge 2 Prop
  • Battery Meter

Pros:

  • Inbuilt sonar system
  • GPS system for easy navigation and to lock on fishing spots
  • i-Pilot remote control for steering
  • Easy to use foot pedal for navigating
  • Quick and efficient deploy mechanism
  • 80 pounds of thrust
  • 45-inch long shaft
  • Uses 24volt battery
  • Ideal for freshwater fishing

Cons:

  • It is expensive
  • It is not ideal for only saltwater fishing

2. AQUOS Haswing Cayman – Best Bass Boat Trolling Saltwater Motor For Money Review

AQUOS Haswing Cayman

The AQUOS Haswing Cayman trolling motor is designed for bass boats that weigh 2750 pounds when fully loaded.

And boats that weigh that much are not so big, so they don’t need much power or thrust.

This unit is a 55-pound thrust motor and it only requires one 12v deep cycle marine battery to work.

You may choose to go with a Lithium-ion battery, but AGM deep cycle batteries are by far the best.

The shaft is adjustable. It is 48 inches long and comes with a 3-blade propeller. So if you move to shallows waters, you can adjust to prevent it from hitting the bottom. It is very quiet, so you don’t risk scaring the fish away.

It is made of aluminum alloy which is resistant to corrosion. So it’s ideal for saltwater and freshwater fishing.

The motor comes with a foot pedal and remote control. The foot pedal is connected to the motor using a cable which is long enough such that you can place the pedal anywhere on the deck.

On the pedal, there is a display screen that displays different levels of speed to help you know at what speed you are moving at.

AQUOS Haswing Cayman Review, Pros ans Cons

And there is an LED battery meter that displays three levels of battery charge: 100%, 50%, and 20%. And the meter helps you to know how much of your battery power is remaining.

The remote control is wireless. You can charge it using a USB cable. It doesn’t matter where you are on your boat, you can use the remote control to operate the motor.

It is very responsive. You can speed up, slow down, and stop by just pressing the appropriate buttons on the remote. So it is quite handy when you don’t feel like using the foot pedal.

AQUOS Haswing Cayman motor has a Wired Foot Control & Ergonomic Lifting Handle

This is a saltwater motor and to protect the metal parts of the motor from rusting, it comes equipped with a sacrificial anode. And the electronic parts are encapsulated to protect them from moisture, dirt, and dust.

For easy transportation, the motor has a lifting handle that makes it easy to lift and carry the motor.

Main Features

  • Suitable For Both Salt & Fresh Water
  • Quick Release Bracket
  • Wireless Remote Control
  • Wired Foot Control
  • Quick Release Bracket
  • Variable Speed
  • Display 3 Levels Of Battery Power (100%, 50%, 20%)
  • Stow / Deploy Pedal
  • Ergonomic Lifting Handle
  • Depth Collar & Motor Fin
  • Aluminum Alloy Shaft
  • 3 Blade Propeller

Pros:

  • Comes with an easy to use foot pedal
  • Encapsulated electronics
  • Sacrificial anode to prevent metal parts from corrosion
  • Variable speed feature
  • LED battery meter to monitor battery power
  • Lifting handle for easy transportation
  • 55 pounds of thrust
  • Rust-resistant and durable 48-inch shaft with a 3-blade propeller
  • Corrosion-resistant construction ideal for saltwater and freshwater fishing
  • Chargeable wireless remote control
  • Ideal for boats that weigh less than 2750 pounds
  • Reasonably priced

Cons:

  • The mounting parts detach easily making it difficult to mount the motor firmly at high speed

3. MotorGuide 941700110 Xi5 – Best Bass Boat Trolling Motor With GPS For Saltwater Review

MotorGuide 941700110 Xi5

The MotorGuide 941700110 Xi5 is an 80-pound thrust motor capable of moving a bass boat that weighs 4000 pounds when completely loaded.

It uses a single 12v deep cycle battery, which you need to buy separately.

It is operated with a wireless foot pedal that is extremely responsive.

And since the pedal is wireless, you can place it anywhere on the boat. It is waterproof and shock-resistant. And it’s built to last.   

MotorGuide Xi5 Wireless 80LB motor has a wireless foot pedal & pinpoint GPS

You can also control the boat using a remote control when you don’t feel like using the foot pedal. The remote is easy to use, it’s waterproof and shock-resistant. 

The motor comes with a pinpoint GPS system that has several capabilities. It is able to lock your boat in a particular position.

It allows you to stay on course and maintain a certain speed.  You can also record and save up to 8 routes

MotorGuide 941700110 Xi5 Review, Pros and Cons

Although the motor comes with several useful advanced features, it is quite expensive. But at least it is quiet, reliable, efficient, and accurate.

Main Features

  • Wireless Handheld Control
  • Easy-to-Read LED Dashboard
  • Digital Power Management
  • HD+ Universal Sonar Compatible
  • Pinpoint GPS Compatible
  • Advanced Navigation
  • Proprietary 3-Coat Corrosion Protection
  • Wireless Foot Pedal
  • Powerful 3-Blade Machete III Propeller
  • Unbreakable Composite Shaft With Lifetime Warranty

Pros:

  • Pinpoint GPS with advanced features for precision and accuracy
  • Uses a 12v battery
  • Comes with remote control for easy navigation
  • 80 pounds of thrust
  • LED dashboard that’s easy to read
  • Steel stainless and aluminum construction for saltwater performance
  • Variable speed function
  • Encapsulated electronics
  • Strong 48-inch shaft with a 3-blade propeller

Cons:

  • It is expensive

4. MotorGuide 940700030 Xi3 – Best Trolling Motor For a Bass Boat With Wireless Control Review

MotorGuide 940700030 Xi3

This particular model is part of the Xi3 series by MotorGuide.

The MotorGuide 940700030 Xi3 is a 70-pound thrust motor that comes with pinpoint GPS.

The GPS system is quite valuable because it makes navigating and fishing so much simpler. It comes with several functions.

And these functions include a cruise control function to help you maintain your preferred speed.

Anchor function to keep your boat locked in a particular position. Jog function that allows you to change your position 5 feet in any direction. And a heading lock function to help you to stay on course.

The motor delivers 70 pounds of thrust, so it only requires one 12v battery to move a bass boat that weighs about 3500 pounds when completely loaded.

The recommended battery type is a deep cycle marine battery. It does not come with the motor. You need to buy it separately.

MotorGuide 940700030 Xi3 Review, Pros and Cons

The motor is controlled using wireless remote control. It does not come with a foot pedal like many similar models. But if you need to get one, there are wireless options available that are compatible with the motor.

MotorGuide 940700030 Xi3 is controlled using wireless remote control

This is a freshwater motor, and it comes with an adjustable 54-inch shaft. The shaft has a 3-blade propeller that is super quiet and strong enough to cut through heavy vegetation.

The only setback is that you cannot take this motor system in saltwater because it’s not made from corrosion-resistant materials. But other than, it’s super affordable and ideal for expert fishermen.

Main Features

  • Wireless Remote Control
  • Easy-To-Read LED Dashboard
  • Digital Power Management
  • HD+ Universal Sonar Compatible
  • Pinpoint GPS Compatible
  • SecureStep System For Easy Stowing & Deploying
  • 3-Blade Machete Propeller
  • Compatible With Optional Wireless Foot Pedal
  • Quiet, Responsive & Easy To Use

Pros:

  • Delivers 70 pounds of thrust
  • Comes with a sturdy 54-inch shaft
  • Three-blade propeller that is quiet and reliable
  • Operated using a remote control
  • Ideal for freshwater fishing
  • Uses one 12v battery
  • Has maximum draw of 42amps
  • Pinpoint GPS with multiple capabilities
  • It is affordable

Cons:

  • Not ideal for beginners
  • No ideal for saltwater fishing

5. Garmin 010-02024-00 Force – Best Bass Boat Trolling Motor For 36v and Remote Root Control Review

Garmin 010-02024-00 Force

The Garmin 010-02024-00 Force is a trolling motor to reckon with.

This heavy-duty motor is capable of moving bass boats that weigh more than 4000 pounds.

It is a brushless motor that uses a 24v or 36v battery system.

Depending on the size of your boat, you can decide which battery power to go with. The 24v uses two 12v batteries and the 36v uses three 12v batteries. The 36v has more power and thrust than the 24v.

The motor does not come with the batteries, you need to buy them to operate the motor. You also need to know how to set up a 24v and 36v battery system.

If you don’t know how to do it, go online and you are going to find numerous resources include video content with step-by-step instructions on how to do it.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CCOm8UBAfxd/

The unit comes with a wireless foot pedal for navigation. The pedal is huge and responsive making it extremely easy to steer and control your boat. This is probably the reason why this motor is popular with newbie and expert fishermen.

Garmin 010-02024-00 Force Review, Pros and Cons

The adjustable 50-inch shaft is ideal for fishing in deep waters. So if you plan on fishing in shallow waters, you can adjust the length of the shaft to prevent the propeller from hitting any obstacles.

It comes with two scanning sonar systems to help you find fish making it easy for you to identify good fishing spots.

Another amazing feature is the Chartplotter, which you have to connect to using WIFI to use it.

And this high-tech function features autopilot control, anchor lock, engine data saving, navigation, and more. You can control the Chartplotter from your tablet or smartphone.  

https://www.instagram.com/p/B3YO9e0AbIv/

One major drawback is the size and weight of the motor. It’s quite large and heavy, so it’s not easy to install. But surprisingly, it’s very quiet and reliable. 

The other issue is the cost. It quite expensive and it could be due to the size and the amount of power and thrust it delivers. But overall, it’s a great motor for newbies who are not looking for a motor that has too many advanced features. 

Main Features

  • High Efficiency Brushless Motor
  • Wireless Foot Pedal
  • Full Color Floatable Remote
  • Cable Management System
  • Built-in GPS
  • Integrates to Garmin MFDs
  • Integrated High Definition Sonar
  • Gas-Piston Lift Assist
  • Coiled Spring Shaft Guard
  • LED Power Indicator

Pros:

  • Uses 24volts or 36volts
  • Capable of moving boats that weigh more than 4000 pounds
  • A sturdy adjustable 50-inch shaft
  • Comes with two scanning sonar systems
  • Brushless motor that is extremely quiet
  • Chartplotter connectivity with numerous capabilities
  • Responsive wireless foot pedal
  • Comes with a wireless remote control
  • The shaft comes with a lifetime warranty

Cons:

  • It’s heavy and massive
  • It’s not ideal for saltwater fishing
  • It is expensive

Buyers Guide

What is a Bass Boat?

A bass boat is a small and lightweight fishing vessel that is commonly used in freshwater fishing. The boat comes equipped with swivel chairs to allow the angler to fish in the position they like, and storage bins for fishing equipment and other gear.

The boat can be propelled using a trolling motor, outboard motor, or water paddles. Most anglers prefer to attach a trolling motor on their bass boats because they are easy to operate and extremely efficient

Bass Boat

Most bass boats are made of aluminum or fiberglass. The ones made of aluminum are smaller, lighter, and less costly than the ones made of fiberglass. But the fiberglass ones have more space and can house large trolling or outboard motors. 

Since bass boats are not large in size, they can accommodate at the most, two people. Also, they are not cheap to operate.

What Trolling Motor Do I Need for a Bass Boat?

Bass boats are not overly large in size but they are also not as small as kayaks and canoes. And for this reason, the best motor for a bass boat is a bow mount motor.

A transom mount trolling motor which is the other commonly used motor would not be ideal for a bass boat since it’s built for small boats like kayaks, dinghies, and canoes.

The Best Trolling Motor for a Bass Boat

Also, transom motors deliver less power than bow motors. And on average, bass boats weight about 2300 pounds, but when at maximum capacity, the total weight can be more than 2800 pounds.

Although there are trolling motors capable of moving boats that weight that much, the length of a bass boat is what makes it difficult to use a transom motor.

How to Choose the Trolling Motor for a Bass Boat?

Deciding what trolling motor to buy for your bass boat depends on a number of factors. And these factors include:

Type of Control

The best motor to use on a bass boat is a bow mount motor and usually, these motors are operated using foot pedals. The wireless types are controlled using either a wireless foot pedal or wireless remote control or both.

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bzql6TiI32x/

So how you want to control your motor is a personal choice. But keep in mind that wireless bow motors are slightly more expensive than cabled ones. So picking the most suitable one also depends on what you can afford.

Weight of Boat

It does not matter what type of boat you have. It can be a bass boat, kayak, canoe, or flatboat, you have to factor in the weight of the boat when at maximum capacity to know what type of trolling motor to buy.

For bass boats, you also need to factor in the weight of the motor. Most bow motors are heavier and larger than transom motors. And take up more space.

The last thing you want is to get the wrong size motor that is going to be of zero help to you. If you are not sure how to go about knowing how much boat weighs at full capacity, get a professional who knows about trolling motors to help you out.

Power

Bass boats vary in length and weight. And the bigger the bass boat, the more power you need.

Once you have figured out the weight of your boat when at full capacity, you can then know how much power it requires to move through the water smoothly.

There are three power configurations available: 12 volts, 24 volts, and 36 volts. For a boat that weighs less than 2800 pounds, a 12volt motor is adequate.

But if the boat weighs anywhere between 3000 pounds and 4500 pounds, you need a 24v motor. Boats that weight over 5000 pounds requires a 36v motor.

They may not be a need to get a 36v for a bass boat as they are not that heavy or large. Sometimes too much power is not a good thing. So stick to the power your boat needs to move through the water smoothly.

Thrust

Motor thrust is measured in “pounds of thrust”. And to know what thrust your boat needs, the general rule is to divide the weight of your boat when fully loaded by 100 and then multiply the result by 2.

Thrust is simply the amount of power your boat needs to move through the water. If you have a big boat, then you need more thrust than if you have a small boat.

So it’s important that you get the accurate weight of your boat when at full capacity to know how much thrust it requires.

Shaft Length

Shaft lengths on trolling motors can range from 36 inches to 72 inches. To know what length is right for your bass boat measure the distance between your boat’s gunnel and the waterline.

On top of the measurement then add another 22 inches. This ensures that the shaft length matches your bass boat.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CCWQIY0gesH/

Some boat experts recommend getting a shaft length that is long because you can always adjust the length to make it shorter. But this is only if the shaft length is adjustable.

What you need to know is that the shaft should be long enough that the propeller stays submerged in water. If the prop is not completely submerged in water, adjust the shaft length to make it longer.

Saltwater or Freshwater

Most bass boats are designed for freshwater fishing, but there are manufacturers that also make saltwater bass boats. The difference between the two is that the saltwater versions are more expensive.

https://www.instagram.com/p/B3o1viMgBK8/

So deciding whether to buy a saltwater motor or freshwater motor depends on what type of bass boat you have. Take into account that freshwater bass boats are not ideal for saltwater. 

Conclusion

Bass boats are not complicated boats. They are small boats you can use for recreational purposes like fishing. The difficulty is choosing the best way to operate your bass boat. If you don’t mind using water peddles, then that’s alright.

But if you want your bass boat to move at high speeds, you need a trolling motor. These motors vary in size and style, and choosing the proper one depends on the weight and size of your boat.

So before you buy a trolling motor, do your research or talk to a boat expert to ensure that you get the right one. You may also need to factor in your budget because some motor systems are ridiculously expensive.

Best Trolling Motor for Bass Boat

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