Best Anchor Lock Trolling Motor

Trolling is the number one fish-catching method for anglers fishing from a boat. More fish are caught trolling than by any other method, except possibly baiting fishing.

Trolling gives a lure or bait the natural action that entices a fish to strike. It is a basic fishing method to search for and catch fish-many kinds of fish in many different situations.

Due to the advancement of technologies, there are trolling motors that have been equipped with GPS navigation systems and automatic sailing operations. The best anchor lock trolling motor with an artificial lure behind the boat is one of the best strategies for locating concentrations of game fish.

You can set your destination and the trolling motor will sail automatically to your destination. While the right GPS trolling will make it absolutely easy and fast, choosing the right one is very important.

Minn Kota Ulterra Freshwater Bow-Mount...
MotorGuide Xi3 Wireless Freshwater Bow...
MinnKota RipTide PowerDrive With i-Pilot...
Minn Kota 1358790 Powerdrive 45_BT...
Minn Kota Ulterra Freshwater Bow-Mount...
MotorGuide Xi3 Wireless Freshwater Bow...
MinnKota RipTide PowerDrive With i-Pilot...
Minn Kota 1358790 Powerdrive 45_BT...
Minn Kota Ulterra Freshwater Bow-Mount...
Minn Kota Ulterra Freshwater Bow-Mount...
MotorGuide Xi3 Wireless Freshwater Bow...
MotorGuide Xi3 Wireless Freshwater Bow...
MinnKota RipTide PowerDrive With i-Pilot...
MinnKota RipTide PowerDrive With i-Pilot...
Minn Kota 1358790 Powerdrive 45_BT...
Minn Kota 1358790 Powerdrive 45_BT...

Reviews of the Best anchor lock trolling motor


Best Anchor Lock Trolling Motor

As the price of trolling motors is dropping low, you will find it hard to choose the right one for your boat. We are reviewing several of the best trolling motors in the budget range that are definitely going to help you choose the best out of a hundred.

Here are the reviews of the top 7 spot lock trolling motors for you to compare and judge which works for you the best.

Minn Kota Ulterra Freshwater Bow-Mount Trolling Motor

Minn Kota Ulterra is all about GPS controlled trolling motor that comes with all the things necessary in the box. You are not only getting a powerful automated trolling motor, but you are also going to get a footswitch that is super easy to use and install.

What makes it the best GPS controlled trolling motor is its easy control and powerful navigation.

The whole unit is super compact. You can either install this permanently on your boat or you can take it off while you have done fishing for the day.

You can buy this motor and pair this with a separate fish-finding GPS navigator. Your job of touching your motor is done there. This unit comes with an easy and automatic remote control which is called an i-pilot. This makes your job more convenient and frustration-free.

This remote has a display and using the buttons, you can easily navigate through the IO very easily. You can deploy this motor under very narrow depth as well which is a nice touch for any kind of lake.

Also, the Sonar Imaging that comes with this Ulterra model provides an excellent view to find the right area for fishing. With it the spot lock features will let you get on the right spot on top the areas where fishes are.

For better indication, you will also see light indicators if the motor is ready to go or not. The footswitch control has all the advanced control buttons that will be necessary for a smooth cruise.


  • You have a whole lot of controls over your trolling motor using the remote and pedal
  • The built-in transducer is able to see a lot of underwater scenarios in deep water
  • Comes with wireless foot pedal
  • i-Pilot GPS system makes automatic trolling easier
  • The bow-mounted design is great for fast installation and removal
  • The Gps performances is as strong as the Minn kota Ultrex model.


  • This is not a good motor to use on cold water

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MotorGuide Wireless Trolling Motor

MotorGuide wireless trolling motor is like a next-generation trolling motor with the best technologies packed inside. Anglers call it the best wireless trolling motor because of the super easy and accurate anchoring.

MotorGuide makes fishing in a lake or ponds a lot easier in reaching places to places that can be challenging if you only have one or a pair of paddles for boating.

What makes it the best MotorGuide trolling motor with spot lock features?

Well, it has all the control and techs to be on the top list. A good trolling motor will be an absolute choice for you if you want fast transportation through the lake.

The most amazing feature of this bow mount trolling motor is the wireless remote. You will find these trolling motors are different shaft sizes which is another plus point to buy this unit. You will also see thrust differences while purchasing.

The remote has all the controls you will ever need to have to sail through the rivers. While you have the remote hanging on your neck, with a push of a button, you can easily go on anchor mode where it keeps the boat stationary precisely.

You can also save presets and coordinates that are going to help you get to the place where you have been. This feature is going to help you in peak seasons when you have to come fishing daily.

The overall built quality is quite nice. This does not feel like corrosion or water damage is ever going to be a problem after using this motor for several years.


  • Wireless control is like freedom for anglers on boats
  • Comes in various shaft size and thrust power
  • Xi5 Wireless works with new techs
  • The modern equipment is great of this bow mount motor
  • A lot of cruise controls for different modes
  • Has a lot of indication lights for monitoring the overall status of the set


  • This unit is going to be expensive for budget runners

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Minn Kota Riptide PowerDrive

This is another advanced anchoring motor by Minn Kota. People consider this as the best GPS trolling motor because of the most advanced remote control available in this price range. This is the best trolling motor to have on heavy currents.

With just a push of a button, your boat is going to stay put and you will not have to worry about trolling manually. Its digital anchor works using both a GPS navigation sensor and compass control that helps you to stay in a stationary direction too.

The thing most anglers love about this motor is the motor power and the battery life. You can easily get three days of trolling on efficient mode. All the elements that go underwater have a white coating.

In the spec sheet, it is said that this is a multi-layer coating that is not letting corrosion do any damage to the shaft and the propeller.

The remote control has a lot of buttons cramped which is a great thing to accommodate a screen on the remote. You are going to see all the status on the screen that is happening in your motor unit.

The autopilot system here is top of a line navigation system by Minn Kota. It ensures more accuracy and fewer errors.


  • It comes with an advanced remote with a screen on
  • Maximum accuracy with GPS and compass sensor
  • This minn kota trolling motor comes with brief manuals
  • Has multilayer coating on to prevent any damage or corrosion


  • Does not come with a foot pedal controller

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Minn Kota 1358790 Powerdrive

While you are purchasing Minn Kota Powerdrive, the best thing you are getting from this trolling motor is the thrust power that many motors are not able to provide at this price range. The price is at a great value because of the wired remote and footswitch controller. This is a perfect choice for you if you want a permanent solution for your fishing boat trolling motor.

This is a straightforward trolling motor unit that you should buy first before you jump into any kind of advanced motors. The footswitch pedal has all the controls you need. This even has a momentary-on switch that comes in handy when you are going along a straight distance. The left and right switches are big enough to have under your feet. This does not lack any trolling power when it is on full working mode. You are able to push it to the limit just by using the footswitch controller. The propeller is designed in a way that does not make a lot of noise. The motor is also made to be working super silent.

The overall quality of this motor is unbeatable if you are only considering the power and the quality.


  • The overall built quality feels super nice and smooth
  • Simple easy to use footswitch controller
  • Does not cost a lot of money


  • This is not that advanced and automated by GPS navigation

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AQUOS Haswing CaymanB 12V 55LBS Trolling Motor

If you want the most silent trolling motor with bare minimum power consumption and still want to get full control in your hand, this is the one you would get. AQUOS CaymanB is a remote control trolling motor that has the expanded versatility most anglers want to have. You are only going to get a lot of accessories and attachments with it, you can also get a quick-release bundle to match the motor with whatever boat you have.

Though this boat does not have GPS navigation built-in, this still has advanced controls on the tip of your hand. It comes with an easy-to-use remote control. You can remotely cruise through the waves and control all your parameters. The most interesting thing that people love about this motor is the variable speed control. The speed range is large and it is great for the stability in various types of water and power efficiency as well. The footswitch does not only have all the controls, it also has a display that shows the status and parameters.

Another thing people also love about this motor is the capability of changing the height and depth of the shaft. You will not need any special tools to change the height.


  • Easy to use and navigate footswitch control
  • Excellent cruise control in heavy waves even in low-speed mode
  • It is a lightweight unit that you can even use on small boats


  • Does not have automatic cruise control and GPS navigation

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MotorGuide 940700140 Xi3

If you are planning to go for a budget range trolling motor with a remote control to control your boat, MotorGuide Xi3 is the one you should target.

The most fun fact about this motor is that this is quiet as heaven. You can trust it fully and it will still give the thrust without bubbling.

The main reason for the smooth and silent operation would be the propeller design. This comes with a very small and simple to use remote control that is not clogged with a lot of buttons.

This is very simple to use and it seems like this would be the best spot lock trolling motor for people who are beginners and want to start with automated trolling motors. The included footswitch has simple controls the fully control the motor.

This motor even has a lot of indicators on the dashboard which helps to see the status here. You can easily see if the motor is stuck in weeds or beneath the water. While it is stuck, you will also hear audible feedback.


  • Very simple and easy to use remote control
  • Does not make a lot of noise while operating and has less bubbling in the propeller area
  • This does not cost a lot of money which is perfect for beginners


  • This is not recommended to use on saltwater which might damage the metal parts

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Haswing Black Cayman 12V 55lbs 48

Consider Haswing Black Cayman as the best anchor lock trolling motor as it has all the bells and whistles for the best experience. This is like the best package of trolling motor that you should consider buying if you are buying a trolling motor for your newly bought boat. You are going to get a motor mount in the package that is a nice addition to a full setup.

The boat mount that you get in this package is an awesome addition. This lets you easily deploy and tow your motor as you are starting your fishing session or ending fishing for the day. The variable speed is nice and consistent. While you are on a boat on a tide, this will keep a constant speed to keep you locked on the specific location. For a small motor like this, you can easily control boats that go over 2500 lbs.

The battery life of this is also great and the battery drain is almost harmonious at any speed. The remote you get has long-range coverage and the footswitch you get in this package is nicer than the remote itself. This footswitch has a display to show status.


  • Controls along with a small monitoring display are super helpful
  • The boat mount that comes in the package is convenient to use
  • You can charge your devices with the battery through USB cables


  • Does not have pin point location and you will need to adjust the direction and speed manually

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What Is Spot-Lock/GPS/Anchor Lock Feature In Trolling Motor?

What Is Spot-Lock/GPS/Anchor Lock Feature In Trolling Motor?

A spot lock trolling motor is an alternative to the anchors that have been used for many years by anglers. This is like a digital device that will ensure that you are in a momentary place and your oat is not moving at all.

Generally, when you anchor, the heavy anchor part submerges into the rocks and stuff underwater. Now when you are using an automated GPS navigated automated trolling motor, that will have several sensors and devices consist of a compass and GPS system inside. These trolling motors sometimes have transducers that show you what is under the water. A GPS-guided trolling motor will keep the motor and propeller on while it is on anchor mode.

While the anchor motor is on, the machine and program inside will try to keep the boat on the exact GPS coordinate point where you have set it to be. The motor turns on and off automatically and turns using servo motors towards the direction by itself depending on its need.

A GPS electric trolling motor will definitely be a better choice than the traditional anchor because of the weight you are not carrying with you.

Benefits of The GPS Anchor Lock Trolling Motor

A few American anglers still continue to catch fish without use of sonar equipment. In at least one extreme case, there is a bank executive who has been exposed to all the heavy-duty operational niceties of multiple-unit sonar gear, and he still insists he can catch as many, if not more, fish without GPS than most anglers using several units on their boats.

A point which he gleefully has proven on more than one occasion.

However, this will be an attempt to justify the money you have spent, or are about to spend, on gps controlled trolling motor. The use of sonar gear must be done with an eye for moderation.

Numerous Features

The unit will be capable of performing a number of feats in underwater conditions that are unlikely to be experienced by typical johnboat, pontoon boat, and kayak users who rarely venture far from shore. However, you will pay for the gps sensor, Spot-Lock, heading sensor, AutoPilot, Digital Maximizer, touch-screen remote built into the trolling motor, with an excellent benefit.

Automation for Fishing

The most amazing advantage you get from a GPS anchor trolling motor is these are more convenient than most other trolling motors out there. With the GPS installed inside the motors, you are able to get an automated system.

The automated system can cruise you automatically to your destination. This feature might be rare in the budget models but you can definitely get this feature from many models out there.

Don’t Have to Carry Anchor Lock

A trolling motor with a GPS anchor will reduce the hassle of carrying a huge anchor in your boat. This is almost the main reason people are interested in buying GPS anchors so much. A simple anchor can weigh at least 20 lbs. which is a huge carry and hassle to deploy.

Satellite Images and Map of the Lakes

The last thing people take advantage of these GPS trolling motors is the convenience and ease of use. It comes with lots of satellite images and maps of the known lakes that will make finding fish easier.

Due to many research and product developments, GPS trolling motors are becoming more user-friendly and preferable choices to buy.

You can save a location with just a press of a button. Sailing is also smooth and easy and fast as pressing a button. With the best sensors inside, you can get a pin-point stationary positioning very easily.

How to Find the Best GPS Anchor Trolling Motor?

How to Find the Best GPS Anchor Trolling Motor?

It is easy to find a trolling motor that does not have GPS anchors and other smart features. As GPS anchor is an advanced feature with a lot of technologies involved, you will have to consider several things to make sure that you are buying the best trolling motor with spot lock features. Here we have a list of things you should be considered before you place your order.

Does the trolling motor have all the features?

While you are going through spec sheets of several different GPS navigating trolling motors, you should be aware of the features. When the motor has a feature like GPS and compass sensor on board, that will definitely be an expensive unit.

The price can be five to a thousand dollars expensive than a normal trolling motor. This is where you should think and decide if you really need an automated GPS anchor or not.

If you only need a remote-controlled trolling motor with only a cruise control and nothing more, you can set your budget around a thousand dollars.

How is the power delivery?

Great power delivery will definitely give you the advantage of getting to places as quickly as possible. You should also keep in mind that the higher the power delivery will be, the more noisy and shaky that motor will be.

So it will be a great choice to get a trolling motor that has variable power delivery where you can change the velocity of the motor on the go.

Before you purchase make sure that the motors are noiseless and do not make a lot of foam while it is running at full thrust.

Is the battery life enough?

Due to the use of lithium-ion batteries and brushless motors, the battery life of electric trolling motors has been efficient and a lot longer than average. Generally, you will find motors that are equipped with a 12V battery and smart power management circuits.

The battery life should be good enough to sail for a whole day and still have a bit of battery left in it. This is for a safety issue. After you purchase a trolling motor, you can check the battery life by testing it. If the battery life goes around five hours that might be a good to go trolling motor for a whole day ride.

Monitoring indicators and display

Monitoring the status of a trolling motor will be necessary when it is about the battery life. You should always make sure that you are having an indicator light that shows how much battery is left in the battery. When the indicator will go red, which should be your signal to sail for the dock.

There are some units out there that have a display. This shows the status, speed, and direction of the motors. It will help you guide you better in the water.

How do you control the motor?

The way you control the motor should be easy and accessible. A remote control system will always be a plus point if you want to go easy and straightforward.

An additional footswitch control will be nice to have for a hands-free sailing experience.

How Much Power Do You Need in Your GPS for Trolling?

Matching sonar equipment to fishing conditions is only logical. If you enjoy capturing trout in water of 30-foot depths or less, you will have a small need for units capable of drawing out ice-age remnants on the ocean floor. A simple gps tracker of the trolling motor unit with a 15-20-foot scale will do nicely.

Conversely, if you love fishing for bigger basses, steelheads, pikes that cruise deep, open waters in the Great Lakes, you will need a more sophisticated gps tool, or perhaps, several of them.

When the bottom depth exceeds the maximum depth shown on the GPS scale, funny things happen. On a graph, you simply watch the bottom disappear from sight on the paper, which is then drawn in at some imaginary point down around your shoelaces.

How Far and How Deep it Can Go?

When the bottom gets too deep for your unit, it starts giving you fake readings; the bottom signals around the face of the dial continue to appear somewhere else which seems appropriate to the unit.

Deep-water gps requirements can be met in a number of ways. You can purchase units with 20-foot or more depth scales.

You can purchase a unit with multiple scales, allowing you to shift route with the automated functions, transforming the depth readout from one set of numbers to another.

In the event of an emergency (such as running over unexpected extreme water depths), you can watch the signals carefully on the display as they make a complete circle around or trolling in a set of directions make out from the set maps.

The quality anchor locks or spot locks trolling motor will give you advantages of deeper and larger area of control but that will cost you more.

The Accuracy of the GPS Navigation System

The Accuracy of the GPS Navigation System

An accurate GPS system will result in having great stability on the water surface. This accuracy can be more precise if you have more sensors on the devices. There are transducers and compass sensors that will guide the motor to a correct location accurately.

Then, it becomes a simple matter to add the two figures together to find the correct bottom depth. If the flasher shows bottom at 25 feet after passing zero, you add the maximum depth on the dial  to determine the actual depth under the boat.

In the case of 60-foot navigations, you would calculate bottom at 60 + 25, the sum of which is 85. Also, the speed of you trolling motor will have an impact of the navigation system.

As the trolling motors would routinely exceed 5 mph in second gear, it was an every-weekend affair to watch the needle make a full circle, pass the blank area where there were no numbers and climb to 3 or 4 mph again. In this speed the GPS normally works with better accuracy.

Technique and Strategy of Using the Trolling to Catch Fish

Trolling fisherman is like a decathlon athlete. The more fields he masters and combines, the greater his chances of success, whatever the event. Ever more sportfishermen regard trolling as the truly big challenge.

This is not only because all-round skill pays off, but, perhaps above all, because trolling in its modern form is one of the most sporting variants of sportfishing activities.

Different Ways of Trolling

Trolling can be done in different a number of different ways from a simple drift boat as well as from an exclusive motor cruiser. Today’s trolling equipment has not only erased traditional concepts and distinctions within trolling. It has also revolutionized the sport in a way that has given boat fishing totally new dimensions. Earlier the “weight” of the gear dictated the depth at which one could fish.

Now, thanks to downriggers, leaf-thin lures can be used at a depth of 350 feet (about 100 meters) with a rod and reel weighing no more than ordinary flyfishing equipment.

Formerly, too, the line had to be weighted with a sinker in front of the lure, to get it down to a depth of 35 ft (about 10 m). But there are many plugs shaped to easily reach this depth today.

Trolling in Different Depth

The boat and the equipment aboard, together with biological facts – the whereabouts of the fish and their behavior in different environments – determine, in large measure, the technique and strategy of trolling in the given fishing waters.

The technique of trolling with gps may involve a choice between surface and depth trolling, or a combination of both. The strategy may consist of how to fish different areas, such as shorelines, deep holes, and skerries.

Your decisions often determine how the equipment should be arranged on board the boat, how fast the boat should be driven, and so on. It is through variation that the senses are stimulated, both on and under the surface of the water.

Trolling enables us to fish over large areas and varying depths, as well as often being successful even in unknown waters. The basic fact under all conditions is that the holding places of fish can change in location – depending on the current, depth, temperature, salinity and bottom configuration.

Moreover, both prey and predatory fish concentrate at points, banks, rises, inlets or outlets, and underwater springs. To find their real positions, you must systematically comb the water by trolling in parallel lines: for example, first north south and then east-west. If you lack modern navigation equipment, landmarks and your own floating markers can guide and assist you in fishing out the water efficiently.

How to Troll with Anchor Lock Trolling Motor

  1. Instead of trolling in a straight line, follow a zigzag course over a drop-off or rise. When you turn, the innermost lure slows down and, if it is a sinking type, goes deeper. However, a floating type will temporarily approach the surface.
  2. A coastal stretch with varying depth contours and temperature zones can be covered effectively with the help of planer boards and outrigger rods, which bring the lures out sideways from the boat.
  3. Junctions are often nutritious and diverse in temperature, so they tend to gather fish. Color contrasts on the surface can reveal how the water flows through a tributary’s mouth. Cover the fishing area and its zones by moving across it in different directions.

Learning the Trolling Water with Gps

Learning the Trolling Water with Gps

For the initiated sportfisherman, trolling is much more than just aimlessly dragging a lure behind a boat.

If you are not using a Gps, guessing can be eliminated by paying attention to the surface features of the water, watching for eddies, temperature spots and birds.

With experience, one also learns to understand the language of the water surface under changing conditions, and can quickly analyze questions about the lure or bait, its depth, and the dragging length of the fishing line.

If you are using anchor lock trolling engine things are bit easy. It is a type of fishing where large areas and varying depths are systematically covered with the sonar system the anchor lock trolling motor comes with.

Using the Boat Better with the Motor

Whether he is surface trolling or depth trolling, and no matter how many rods he is using, it is important for the fisherman to know what effect the maneuvering of the boat has on the lure being trolled. Usually a trolling fisherman zigzags through the water.

This makes the lure change speed and run at different depths without the fisherman having to shift gears or speed up the boat. Yawing causes the inside lure to lose speed, going deeper if it is a sinker, or rising if it is a floater.

Just as important as knowing how to navigate the boat is knowing which kinds of equipment work well together, and how to present lures and baits in a varied and attractive way in well-thought-out trolling patterns.

Using inappropriate equipment can not only lead to problems such as tangles, but also make for inefficient fishing. In other words, the fish may never be attracted to the lure or bait.

Surface Trolling

Trolling in surface water is usually done with unweighted line – that is, with only the lure on the end of the line. This can be accomplished with a rod directly from the boat, called flatline fishing, or by guiding the lure away from the boat with the use of an outrigger or a planer board. With the latter, the range of fishing can be broadened and fish can be reached that otherwise might be frightened away by the water turbulence caused by the motion of the boat.

How to Do Flatline Fishing?

Flatline fishing is the oldest and most common variety of trolling. This is what people normally think of as trolling, irrespective of whether it takes place in running water, in a lake, or on the open ocean.

Maneuvering the Lure

The success of flatline fishing usually depends on how far the lure is dragged behind the boat and how it is maneuvered. For diverse reasons, certain attractive trolling fish congregate periodically over shallow water.

If, at that time, there are several boats at the fishing site, the fish may become especially timid and cautious. If, in addition, the trolling is being done in clear water, the fish can be extremely difficult to entice and the only solution may be to use extra-long fishing lines.

A long line means one that keeps the lure at least 250 ft (75 m) from the boat. This calls for secure hooking, silent lines, and super-sharp hooks. To reduce the wind effect and improve hooking, the flatline may go directly from the tip of the rod to a line release or clip mounted in the boat.

Every year there are, of course, many freshwater, saltwater, and backwater trollers who claim that they catch lots of fish, such as salmon and salmon trout almost right up in the foam of the propeller. They maintain that the fish, far from being frightened, are probably attracted by the boat and motor.

Dragging a Long Line with Remote Control Trolling Motors

In the world of big-game trolling, it is more or less routine to have the lure skip or swim along on the second wave in the wake of the boat. In such cases, a number of different kinds of teasers are normally dragged near the stern.

Simply dragging a long line on a straight course through the water is not very exciting, either for the sportfisherman or for the fish. Variation above and below the surface stimulates the senses. This is where the maneuvering of the boat becomes important. Sometimes an ordinary zigzag is enough to make the lure look like an injured fish.

The Zigzag Methods

Ordinarily, however, the zigzag must be complemented by speeding up or slowing down the boat, or else by yawing sharply. When this happens, the zigzag starts to resemble an S-formation. Another good reason for varying the maneuvering of the boat is that fish which escape from the boat, and then quickly return to where they were before, may very well run into the towed lure and strike

Traditionally, flatline fishing has been classified as surface trolling Today, however, access to the deep-diving plugs makes this classification seem a bit beside the point. The truth of the matter is that these plugs can go down to depths which, in other circumstances, would be called deep-trolling levels.

How to Get the Fish

The extreme shyness of some fish species makes it essential to spread your equipment in a systematic way, particularly when surface trolling. This distribution also helps you decide which lures to use and how to maneuvers the boat. The latter method may go all wrong if you use different types of lines (mono, dacron, wire) in the same trolling pattern, or lures that are too dissimilar.

Normally we describe the trolling pattern as a “W” or “M”. The reason is clear from the relationship between the line ends, as illustrated here. To avoid line tangle, the middle line should be either longest or shortest. These standard patterns have been developed through the decades on trolling grounds all over the world.


In large, deep salmon rivers it is common to fish by harling, which covers the water effectively. An experienced rower can then give the lure a far more attractive action than what a fisherman on the banks can achieve.

The rower/ fisherman crosses the river obliquely against the current, while the lures (flies, spoons, wobblers or natural bait) fish downstream over the holding places of fish. By crossing back and forth, he slowly fishes his way downstream.

A very important point is that the line and lure, at every turn, should be “stretched out” fully before the next crossing begins. The rowing pace and the setback line length will depend on the river’s character and the current strength.


Rowboat trolling is a richly traditional variant of fishing, for attractive sportfish in both flowing and still waters. Its whole secret is to present the bait, lure or fly at the fish’s holding place – whether this is near the surface on a bright summer night, or next to the bottom during a heavy spring flood.


A bird’s-eye view shows how a lure runs in relation to the boat’s zigzag course. The underwater view indicates how the same lure behaves at depth, without increasing the engine turnover or the boat’s speed.

Trolling Options with Spot Lock Trolling Motors

Trolling Options with Spot Lock Trolling Motors

Usually, when we think of trolling, the use of artificial lures comes to mind. Fish will often strike a trolled lure more readily than one that is casted.

Trolled behind the boat, the lure blends in more easily with the prop wash, the wake, and any natural wave or current action present at the time.

Because trolling speed is also more or less constant, the opportunity for the game fish to scrutinize the offering carefully is diminished. Here then, is a brief listing of some of the more popular trolling lures used along the California Coast.

Minnow-shaped Baits

These plastic replicas of natural bait fish catch practically anything that may be near the surface when trolled behind the boat. The Rapalas are the most detailed and are distinctively more expensive than the Rebels, Bagleys, Bill Norman, and Storm counterparts. But take care to closely examine which minnow plug you select.

To start with, it is important to try to match the bait fish indigenous to the area. For instance, if schools of pinhead anchovies are congregating off the coast, it would probably be best to troll silver with black or blue back minnows. On the other hand, if Pacific mackerel are loaded under the offshore floating kelp paddies, then yellowtail trollers would be wise to drag along a mackerel-patterned plug.


The length of the lure can also be critical at times. Here again, think about the size of the bait fish where you to are trolling. A 6-to-8-inch lure most closely replicates the size of Spanish or Pacific mackerel, a 3-to-5-inch plug approximates the length of an anchovy, smelt, or sardine.


The construction of the minnow-shaped lure in itself can also affect its potency as a trolled bait. Most manufacturers market their lures in either floating or sinking models. The floating versions perhaps have a little better action than a sinking minnow.

But the problem is that in rough seas, it is often difficult to get the floater to plane deep enough below the waves and swells. For this reason alone, the sinking models are probably a wiser investment.

Some manufacturers also use metal diving lips to drive the lures below the surface. The metal lips found on many of the saltwater Rapalas, Ciscos, and L&S Mirro Lures are made to withstand the attack of large marine species. The more traditional plastic diving lips simply will not hold up to the constant hammering these plugs get when dragged through schools of hungry game fish.

Speed of Different Baits

Some minnow-shaped baits can be trolled faster than others. You will have to experiment on this note. It is important to generate a solid, throbbing vibration from the plug as it dives to the proper depths. As a general rule, the more line you let out and the faster you troll, the deeper these lures will dive.

There is however, a point of diminishing returns. If you pull the plug too fast, the water pressure will “load up” on the diving lip and the lure will plane to the surface. (When you see your lure “water ski” like this, slow down!)

For trolling purposes, you must keep the treble hooks on these plugs filed to needle-sharp consistency. A large saltwater fish can create a lot of leverage and torque against one of these minnow-style plugs as it shakes its head from side to side. Hence, it is imperative to get a good hook set and as deep a penetration as possible.

Feathered Jigs

Assorted feathered jigs trolled through the wake have been catching saltwater fish for centuries. The simplest construction, a chrome lead head with a few brightly colored feathers and a single hook, performs in under a wide range of conditions. They can be pulled fast and literally skipped through the waves or slowly skimmed under the surface. Here again, that hook has to be honed to perfection.

Variations along this line using bucktail material instead of feathers perform equally well. Although lures such as the Hair Raiser and Banjo Eye Dude have received notoriety in the North as deadly striper baits, they perform equally well on barracuda, bonito, and occasionally calico and sand bass.

More elaborate feathered jigs with lustrous abalone or plastic heads are used primarily for members of the tuna family and sometimes yellowtail.

These trolling feathers are sold both un-rigged and rigged. The un-rigged models require a larger cadmium double hook for proper presentation.

There is a hole running through the nose portion of the jig. Thread your line (usually 30-to-50-pound mono or heavier) through this hole and tie in the double hook. When the albacore or yellowtail strikes the lure, the feathers slide freely up the main line out of the way of the double hook.

This permits the angler to obtain much more leverage on the fish without the cumbersome feathered jig in the way of the hook.

Types of trolling motors

Types of trolling motors

Electronic trolling motors

If you think about more modern trolling motors, electronic trolling motors are the ones you should know about. The advantage of having an electronic trolling motor is that these are lightweight and convenient to use.

Generally, these motors use 12V or 24V batteries when it is about power delivery.

When electronic trolling motors first came out these used separate battery units. Now electronic motors come with battery units built into the trolling unit. All those are rechargeable and after recharging them, you can run for days.

Gasoline trolling motors

These are more of traditional trolling motors. If you look at the design and operations, they are totally different than battery-operated trolling motors. And if you talk about power delivery, these are the most powerful ones in the market. Because of the solid octane or gasoline power, the thrust can go way high. You can even use a small motor on bigger boats.

The reason you should not use a gasoline trolling motor is that these are noisy and kind of hard to operate. You will always have to be present on the handle to operate. Some anglers sometimes have additional motor operators on board which is not efficient.

Different types of mounts

Several different types of mounts separate the motors from each other. Some mounts easily detach the motor from your boats. You can toe easily if you have got these mounts on your boat.

Some mounts are more of a permanent solution for your trolling motors. You can not detach trolling motor easily if your motor is mounted on your boa using these mounts.  These are more heavy-duty and will go further than temporary mounts.


There is no perfect trolling motor that you can consider as the best one to be honest. The preference will change from user to user. Some anglers will like to have more cram-packed features on their motors and leave full control on the motor itself.

Some anglers will like to have more control over their hands and operate their boats by themselves.

It is necessary to keep in mind that the more features you will have the cost will go higher. You should draw your line on features if you have got a budget for your trolling motor. But it is never too late to try out new things. GPS anchor trolling motors are real game changers.

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