If you want to focus on fishing, you can use one of the many trolling motors with GPS anchor to make your life easier.
Fishing is a joy to many. It can become even easier when using the right trolling motor. This type of motor will allow you to fully focus on your fishing without you having to worry about operating your boat. The GPS anchor will keep you in place so you can cast your line without care. Sound appealing? We’ve got quite a few recommendations for you – four in fact. We’ve reviewed them, and even included a bit of an informative buying guide to make it easier for you to choose.
The right trolling motor will allow you to move through the water without spooking fish. Plus, it’ll just make navigating so much easier with the GPS. So if you’re ready to find the best motor for you, let’s get started!
1. Riptide 55 SP by Minn Kota (Bow Mount)
- Bow mounted
A brand that many Fishers have probably heard of is Minn Kota. They are well known for their incredibly reliable fishing equipment and gear. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that one of the motors we are recommending is by this company. After all, their products are built to last – and to be able to operate properly in almost any marine condition no matter how tough.
- Minn-Kota trolling motor, Owners manual, Warranty card
- New Deploy-Assist Lever
The Riptide 55 SP is a trolling motor with a rugged and robust construction. Despite that fact, it comes in a sleek design with a body that makes it pretty easy to use and operate. Plus, hey, it just looks good too! The thing that makes this unit unique is the fact that it comes with a copilot feature. It’s called the I-Pilot, and it is basically a feature that is Bluetooth operated which enables you to control the direction and the speed of your motor through your cell phone. Well, through an app on your smartphone anyway. With the app, you can expect access to tracking previous paths, recording current paths, and even wireless GPS control.
And, of course, this motor has what you want: its GPS anchor functionality which will lock your boat on a particular location of your choice. This gives you the capability to focus on your fishing instead of having to worry about driving or controlling your boat.
This motor also has deploy-assist, which makes it much easier for you to deploy the motor as needed (by pressing a lever). For your convenience, this unit also comes with a battery meter that you can push to test. Plus, it’s designed to be able to handle impact underwater really well.
- Great for saltwater
- Comes with a lot of accessories
- Deploy-Assist Functionality makes it that much easier to deploy
- Easy to operate/handle
- Blue-tooth app
- Premium price
2. Powerdrive 45_BT by Minn Kota (Bow Mount)
We are sure you aren’t at all surprised by the fact that we’ve included another motor by Minn Kota on this list. After all, the company is so highly reputed! This time, we’ve included the Powerdrive 45_BT, which is a complete beast in the water. It will be able to give you a fishing experience that is not only chock full of fun but also completely hassle-free. This is thanks to the advanced technology of PowerDrive, which gives the motor intense power while keeping its operation smooth. If you have a smaller to medium-sized watercraft, this 12 Volt powered motor will suit.
- PowerDrive 45 Trolling Motor w/Bluetooth - 12V-45lb-48" The PowerDrive was rebuilt to make it tough
- Features: - Redesigned Mount & Aesthetics: PowerDrive has been redesigned with updated technology
Of course, this motor also comes with advanced technology – GPS, that is. With it, you can control your steering much more easily so that you won’t overshoot or miscalculate the necessary maneuvers. You can enjoy safer operation and worry-free fishing thanks to this feature. You can operate your boat through the help of the smartphone application – the very same one used with the Riptide mentioned above. The same features are also available, including the GPS anchor so that you can stay in one spot as you cast your line.
This motor also comes with a battery meter (push to test) which will give you a reading with just one press of a button. That way, you won’t find yourself stranded in the middle of the water since you’ll be able to know when it’s time to head back.
Deploying this trolling motor is easy thanks to the deploy assist functionality included. It also works quietly despite the powerful propeller which is capable of getting through most anything.
- GPS anchor and features, Bluetooth app
- Easy to use and operate
- Powerful propeller
- Battery meter
- Sturdy, durable, and will last a long time
- Cool and quiet operation
- Only for small-medium boats
3. Xi5 55 pound 12V Saltwater Trolling Motor w/ GPS by MotorGuide
Next up on this list is this versatile option from the company MotorGuide. This trolling motor mounts to your bow for your convenience. It comes with a handheld wireless controller which allows you to control your motor from anywhere on your boat. That way, you can be sitting on any part of your boat and still be able to “steer”. Note that the Xi5 was designed specifically for use in saltwater. Therefore, if you want to elevate your fishing experience in the salty sea, you might want to give this motor a try.
- Wireless handheld control lets you precisely operate the motor from anywhere on the boat
- Innovative mount features easy-to-read LED dashboard that lets you quickly check the status of four key functions in any light conditions
This unit features an innovative mount that has an LED dashboard that was designed to be very easy for you to read. This allows you to see the four main functions of your motor no matter what the lighting conditions may be. Therefore, you don’t have to worry if you’re out fishing on a really cloudy day – you’ll still be able to see what your dashboard says. The same applies if you’re out in the bright sun.
One of the biggest selling points of this saltwater motor is the fact that it comes with a GPS that is incredibly accurate. In fact, it’s even considered to be one of the finest of its class. The GPS feature enables your boat to anchor to one spot more precisely – up to 3 times more in fact. If you want to preserve your battery, you can make use of the variable speed control (digital) so that you won’t burn through power. All things considered, we can say that this motor runs like a dream.
Note that this motor has 55 pounds of thrust which makes it suitable for watercraft that are sized anywhere from 16 up to 25 feet.
- Variable control for speed
- Directional control
- Quiet operation
- Sonar integrated
- Rugged and robust
- Quite affordable
- Foot paddle a bit on the light side
4. Ultrex with i-Pilot Link by Minn Kota
Yep, we know, we know… another Minn Kota. But what can we do? This motor is just another fantastic offering in their line of motors with GPS anchor.
The Ultrex, like the other units we’ve mentioned above, also comes with i-Pilot. This trolling motor is versatile, but it offers premium features to help you get around on the water easily. It’s not cheap, but with how durable it is and how phenomenally it runs, you’d be hard-pressed to say it’s not worth it. Plus, this motor is just a breeze to operate.
- Combining Minn Kota's most responsive, intuitive steering yet with GPS-powered automatic boat control, the Ultrex trolling motor features a next-generation power steering foot pedal that's built for all-day comfort and precise control.
- Tap the foot pedal's Spot-Lock button to stay on a fishing spot without touching your trolling motor. When you take your foot off Ultrex's foot pedal, the motor head remains pointed in the direction you left it—no recoil or readjustment.
The rugged body of this motor will be able to survive the harshest underwater conditions. Wear and tear is less likely to happen than on say, a motor of lesser quality. Thus, you can rest assured that your purchase will last you a very long time.
The I-Pilot feature included on this trolling motor gives you a much-improved boating and fishing experience. The power steering, as well as the GPS, will allow you to anchor easily wherever you choose. Focus on fishing – you won’t have to worry about navigating or keeping your boat in place. This motor will do it for you. Locking your spot will give you a five-foot radius to “jog” in, but you will be able to maintain the accuracy of within a couple of meters. Plus you can lock steering, so you can take your foot right off the pedal without you losing the track of your destination.
If you need to update the software, the remote control functionalities, and the commands on this bad boy, you can simply use the Minn Kota smartphone app.
- Amazing features
- Rugged, robust construction ensures long term durability
- Foot pedal
- I-Pilot is upgraded
- Quiet + cool to operate
- As in, expensive
What is a Trolling Motor?
Before we can even begin talking about trolling motors, first we want to talk about what trolling motors are. Knowing exactly what a trolling motor is will make it much easier to understand the recommendations and reviews we’ve got for you below. So what exactly is a trolling motor?
A trolling motor is basically a system that is responsible for propelling your boat through the water. This system is made up of a unit that is self-contained. In this unit, you have the engine, the propeller, and the gearbox. The entire system is made to be fixed to the boat’s exterior. It can be put either at the stern or at the bow. However, unlike an outboard trolling motor, trolling motors are not meant to be the only way for you to propel your boat. They’re usually used supplementary to your engine’s actual motor. When your primary engine is in use, this one gets lifted up and out of the water to eliminate drag.
Trolling motors propel you in the water, sure. But they do also serve another function: to help you steer your boat in the direction you need it to go, allowing you to “drive” your boat. Motors like these make it possible for you to avoid hitting the bottom of the body of water since you can tilt the motor up higher as needed. Some motors can be tilted manually, while others can be tilted electronically.
There are a few things to consider when purchasing a trolling motor, but we will be discussing those below.
Types of Trolling Motors
There are two different kinds of trolling motors available. One is the electric trolling motor, which uses a 12 volt or a 24 volt, or even a 36-volt motor (DC) which is designed especially for the purposes of marine use. Electric motors are housed in a compartment which is watertight because it’s meant to be submerged while it’s being operated. These motors are submerged in the process of operation because underwater, it won’t overheat. Electric motors are used on smaller boats since not much power is needed for those.
On the other hand, there are some gas motors available, should you prefer that instead. Gas motors do offer some benefits, such as the fact that it’s easier to just fill it with gas whenever you run out. But then, you can and you likely will run out of gas – so consider that fact as well.
Choosing Your Trolling Motor: A Buying Guide
There are many different things to consider when deciding on the right motor to invest in. Let’s take a look at them here, shall we?
Where Do You Plan to Mount the Motor?
The first thing that you need to ask yourself is where you intend to mount the trolling motor. There are three different ways in which you could mount one – first is on the bow, which is the front of the boat or its tip.
A motor can also be hooked up to a boat’s transom, which is a vertical section found on the boat’s rear. Transom mounted motors are ideal for boats that are smaller, for canoes, and for dinghies. When mounting to the transom, the motor is often attached to a bracket that clamps on.
Finally, you have an engine-mounted trolling motor. Engine-mounted motors are attached to the boat’s cavitation plate. Thus, there is no need for deploying or for stowing.
What Motor Size Do You Need?
There are a ton of different sizes of motors, and truthfully not every motor is created equally. The fact is, what might work well for someone may not be exactly what you need. Therefore, it’s important to make sure that you get a motor in a size that is right for you. Here’s what you need to look at when shopping for a motor.
Thrust refers to the power of your motor. To determine how much thrust your motor needs to have, you need to take a look at the weight of the boat. As a rule of thumb, for every one hundred pounds of boat weight, you’ll need two pounds of thrust. This means loaded boat weight, as in with all of the gear and all of the people already on the boat. On top of considering the boat’s fully loaded weight, you’ll also need to take things like current and wind strength in the area. If you’re going to be fishing in a place with lots of wind or a strong current, you’ll certainly need more thrust!
Next up, we have volts. Volts will basically dictate the battery power requirement of your trolling motor. In general, one battery is necessary per 12 volts in the trolling system. Here’s a quick primer with values included:
- 55 pounds of thrust and below is 12 volts, and for this, you will need one battery.
- 68 to 80 pounds of thrust is 12 volts, which will require two batteries.
- 101 to 112 pounds of thrust equals 36 volts, for which you will be needing 3 batteries.
Of course, these only counts for electric motors, not for gas!
Length of the Motor Shaft
The next thing for you to look at is the length of the motor’s shaft. It’s important for you to get the right length because if you don’t, problems may arise. A trolling motor with a shaft that’s too short will cause the propeller to be insufficiently submerged. You should get a motor with a shaft long enough to submerge – the center of the motor’s section should be submerged at least 1 foot.
Of course, since we are talking about motors with GPS anchor here today, we want to mention that you should look for the GPS feature. Trolling motors can be guided by GPS and controlled wirelessly. They can add a ton of convenience to your life since GPS can take a lot of guesswork out of the equation. And so we truly can recommend finding a motor with a GPS – for your complete convenience. A GPS option will allow your boat to stay anchored in place without your help. That way, you can fully focus on fishing!
Lastly, one more thing for you to consider is the price of the motor you’re interested in. It’s important to get one that fits within your budget, of course – but without making far too many compromises. Seek a balance between features, quality, and price.
Trolling Motors with GPS anchor are fantastic in helping to improve your fishing experience. With one of these bad boys, you’ll be able to operate and steer your boat with ease, even if you have limited experience out on the water. But of course, comma, the most important part is the fact that you can focus completely on your fishing thanks to the spot lock features of these units. We hope that this buying guide and our reviews have helped you get started on finding the right fit for you. Happy fishing!