By Gary Thorberg
Fishermen have long known the benefits of having an electric trolling motor. Quiet, clean, and maneuverable, with instant on/off/reverse makes it the perfect choice for fishing. Until recently, the main drawbacks have been limited run-time and battery weight. Enter technology! Various electric trolling motor manufacturers have introduced a new generation of of motors that can offer 4 or 5 times the run-time of previous models! All prior models will drain the battery at a constant rate, regardless of how fast you are going. The new models allow for variable speed with a corresponding variable battery draw. This is very significant in terms of run-time.
Now, enter the lithium-ion battery. At a fraction of the weight and size of a conventional deep-cycle battery, it will provide full power for several times longer than it’s counterpart. Couple this with a Maximizer motor, and you can literally fish ALL DAY on a single charge!
The total weight of the motor and 40ah battery is 30lbs. (A Honda 2hp and a gallon of gas is about 33lbs. in comparison.) This particular motor costs $230, and the battery and charger about $700, for a total of under $1000 (same as the for-mentioned Honda).
A side-mount works well with electric motors. The weight is evenly distributed (battery on one side of the kayak, motor on the other). It is very convenient to have the controls at your side, allowing you to sit in the middle of the kayak, and not have to reach behind you.
I am not an advocate of either gas or electric, as I have both, and will use them for different applications. However, for a day of fishing, my choice is clearly electric!
Click images to enlarge:
More northern kayak fishing insight from Gary »