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Bow or Stern? Where to put the trolling motor...

October 23, 2007

Bow mount, stern mount, motor mount-where’s the best place to put your electric trolling motor, and why? It depends on how and where-bay, lake, or backwater-you fish. To find out which position works best and for whom, I spent a day under different types of electric power with walleye pro staffer Scott Fairbairn.

Position: Bow mount ** **

Model: Minn Kota Terrove 80


Purpose: Pulling the boat forward, especially against a strong wind. ** **

Advantages: Provides great boat control; positioned at the fingertips of an angler casting from the bow; less clutter than a stern mount motor once deployed. ** **

Disadvantages: Gets in the way of fly fishers and throwing a cast net; the bow design on some boats won’t accommodate it; in rough seas the prop may ventilate as the boat rises and falls; more cluttered than a stern mount when not deployed.


Best Application: Cast-and-retrieve fishing along shorelines, flats, and structure.

Position: Stern mount ****

Model: Minn Kota Vector 3X ****


Purpose: A low-cost power source. ****

Advantages: More affordable than other mount options; easier to reach and use when operating from the rear of the boat; provides maximum control when “sliding” over structure (slowing the drift) stern-to in the wind or current.

Disadvantages: Provides less control when running straight ahead; creates more stern clutter and can interfere with outboard operation. ****


Best Application: Back trolling; principal power source on small boats; pinpoint jigging on?the drift.

Position: On the outboard’s lower unit ****

Model: Minn Kota EM101 ****

Purpose: To make small speed adjustments when trolling; trolling when an external motor would be unsightly or impractical. ****

Advantages: Uses the boat’s outboard rudder for control; allows slow trolling speeds; stays out of the way. ****

Disadvantages: Draft is full draft of the outboard; doesn’t provide as much forward control as a bow-mount, especially in a head-wind. ****

Best Application: Slow trolling without creating any clutter; the only option for boats not designed as fishboats and unable to accommodate other mounting options.


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