Are you a beginner looking to get started in fishing or a seasoned fisherman wanting to have better successful fish hunting? You should equip your boat, kayak, or other types of vessels with the best bow mount trolling motor and let it do the work while you concentrate on fishing.
This is because bow-mounts have proven over time that they’re capable of executing this task through their amazing features and recently, the upgrades present in some. They all have the necessary features required of a trolling motor and are highly recommended by professional anglers whose many years of fishing experience has made them come across thousands of trolling motors.
But first, take a look at out the best bow mount trolling motor reviews for the great product suggestions we’ve chosen for you. We hope it helps you find the right solution for your fishing adventures.
Top 5 The Best Bow Mount Trolling Motor – Product Review
Best for Freshwater
Minn Kota Terrova
Best for Easy Water Navigation
MotorGuide Xi3 Wireless Freshwater Bow Mount Trolling Motor
Best for Stress-free Fishing
Attwood MotorGuide X3
Best for Swamps
Watersnake - Shadow Bow
AQUOS Haswing Cayman White 12V
1. Minn Kota Terrova – Best for Freshwater
Fishing used to be hard work until the Minn Kota Terrova Freshwater bow mount hit the market. It has been a roller-coaster ever since, easing the fishing tasks of fishermen on and off the waters. If you’re searching for the market in search of a credible and reliable bow-mount to buy, here is the perfect piece for you.
This motor features an electric steer coupled with an easy-to-deploy stow system to aid easy and fast fishing. Also, it’s a lift assist system which helps the motor to stow smoothly and reduces the stress fishermen use in stowing motor.
It is fully equipped with modern technologies like the “i-pilot” or wireless GPS system putting a host of features on your palm. These include spot-lock and a path retractable ability to track movements. The i-pilot link allows users to connect their motor to a fish finder and control it using a virtual remote.
Long uninterrupted hours of fishing are guaranteed as its battery provides five times run time on a single charge. Plus, it’s easy to use, durable, and reliable.
- Long hours battery life
- Two-way foot pedal control
- Equipped with modern technologies
- Freshwater use only
- Extra costs for some parts
2. MotorGuide Xi3 – Best for Easy Water Navigation
Using trolling motors like the MotorGuide Xi3 is what makes some fishermen better than others. Hence, this motor should be your call if you want to get a better fishing result.
This machine is a mix of convenience and easiness made possible by its wireless control and a GPS system. It features a secured and safe step stowing and deploying process, which saves you time and energy.
The unit uses the latest technology to power its pinpoint GPS for users to access it easily from its on-screen control display. Another excellent feature is the quietness and a wireless steering control system that’s compatible with the foot pedal and ready to use straight out of the box.
- Uses the latest technologies
- Easy to install and operate
- Wireless control system
- Can only be used on freshwater
3. Attwood MotorGuide X3 – Best for Stress-free Fishing
Fishing could be hectic at times, but operating your angler shouldn’t be. That is why – for easy control and agile turns – the motor must possess a foot-controlled cable steer. The Attwood MotorGuide X3-45FW is tough, with a rigid aircraft aluminum mount and steel bushings, which guarantees a dependable performance.
Its accurately programmed pinpoint GPS system provides you total control of the machine. Likewise, its variable-ratio steering offers correct positioning to prevent your boat from getting stuck in harsh and challenging weather conditions.
This angler has a reputation for reliability, making fishing easier than you could never have imagined. It is a combination of value and excellent performance. Also, it offers varying degrees of styles, leaving users an option to choose the most convenient one.
The unit works quietly on water and helps catch fish with ease, thanks to its ultra-build composite locking pin made with precision.
- Responsive cable steer
- Digital variable speed control system
- Has an easy stow
- The cable cannot be extended
- Doesn’t have a wireless control
4. Watersnake Shadow Bow – Best for Swamps
Here, you have a powerful bow mount motor with a 3-blade propeller. This allows you to cut through thick underwater grasses and sticky marsh without making the slightest of noises. Its easy-to-use electric foot pedal ensures easy operation plus it’s a switch to engage the motor once it is in a stow position.
With its circuit board perfectly potted and waterproofed, your safety is guaranteed. This motor also features a 44-pound thrust running on a 48-inch shaft at 12-voltage of power. It also offers users maximum efficiency thanks to its well tight fitted propeller shafts, free from corrosion but flexes on impact.
To let you gain total control of their machine, this product comes with a variable speed. This allows you to control and adjusts the boat speed and direction. This is done by just touching the variable speed foot control unit with your foot. If properly used and maintained, this machine will serve for years to come.
- Resistant to corrosion and suitable for use in swamps
- Works quietly
- Durable, reliable and comes with all parts
- Doesn’t come with a quick-release bracket and manual
- Battery not included
5. AQUOS Hawsing White – Most Versatile
If you’re looking for a versatile bow mount in terms of functionality and efficiency, this bow mount will meet your expectations. To make fishing easier, it offers fishermen an option to choose whether to control their motor with a wireless hand remote or wired foot control pedal.
It is tastefully equipped with necessary bolts and nuts, making it ready to go out to sea as its sacrificial anode and standard strings of wiring are easy to use. Also, you get to focus on fishing as the speed control can be adjusted using a wireless remote control, a feature not common in other conventional bow mounts.
The motor is easy to install and uninstall thanks to its quick-release bracket. Saying you cannot control the wind is untrue if you have this type of machine at sea thanks to its variable speed that allows you to set it at your desired speed with more precision.
The fear of your machine turning off during work is erased as it has amazing power display options with three levels of battery power to notify you against battery shutdown. Also, its deploy pedal helps conserve energy and strength as it can be pressed with a single hand or foot.
- Wireless and comfortable to transport
- Suitable for fresh and saltwater
- Features several accessories
- Doesn’t come with a battery
What is a bow mount trolling motor?
A bow-mount trolling motor in perfect working condition will make fishing seem like reciting the alphabet- very easy. This is because regardless of how harsh the weather condition might be, it will have no negative effect on your fishing. It will swim effortlessly without a glitch on water, making little or no noise and with long battery life.
Choosing the best bow mount trolling motor- what to consider
Choosing the right trolling motor could be quite a challenging task and a hectic one. As it requires a bit of experience and expertise to operate. The reason is that there are lots of bow mounts trolling motors in the market with each having different features.
Hence, what to consider largely depends on what functions you want your motor to serve, every other thing factors come right behind it.
Below is a list of some of the factors to consider before emptying your pocket on that bow mount trolling motor.
Power is a major metric required as it determines the motor capacity. You should consider this factor when choosing a bow mount trolling motor. Its function is to measure how much the motor can propel the boat through the water and it’s measured in pounds, and often referred to as pounds of thrust.
The bigger the boat, the more pounds of thrust would be needed to propel it. According to an expert, for every 200 pounds of weight on a boat, about five additional pounds of thrust will be needed to propel and make it balanced.
To know the exact estimate of how much thrust your boat will need, sum the boat’s weight, and maximum weight capacity. Divide the outcome by 200 and multiply by five.
The world has advanced and we are now in the era of technology where almost everything has become automated. Thus, the request for efficient and powerful motors has been on the high and recently, there have been positive results.
Bow mount trolling motors need to have at least one or two technological advancements to reduce fishing stress. For instance, the Minn Kota trolling motor has an automatic lift assist system which helps stow the motor smoothly. Motors lacking this feature would require much effort and stress to operate.
Also, some bow mounts trolling motors have large brushes and communicators, which is useful in reducing heat capacity and extending their battery life. Some also use i-pilot to control an automated Hummingbird for fish finding. While sonar imaging, the use of variable speed control, and GPS are a few of the other technology features in some motors.
Longboats require long shafts and the same goes for short boats. Hence, for convenience, you should select the boat with the right shaft length. Almost all trolling motors have varying shaft lengths as they are designed to work with different types of boats.
Choosing the right shaft length for your motor could be a bit hectic but here is what you should do.
Measure the distance between the transom or bow and the waterline for your boat. Below is a table to help you with that.
Bow to waterline distance Shaft length
|0-10 inches||36 inches|
|10-22 inches||42/45 inches|
|22-28 inches||48/52 inches|
|28-34 inches||54/62 inches|
|34-44 inches||72 inches|
You should know that some trolling motors aren’t suitable for some water bodies. While some function effectively only on saltwater, others work only on freshwaters and some boats work effectively on both.
Perhaps you have ever gone fishing and not been able to have caught any fish, this could be because the trolling motor you used made so much noise that frightened the fish away. That is why the noise level of a motor is an important factor to consider.
To avoid or prevent future occurrence of the scenario above from happening, consider choosing a motor that makes little or noise while on water. Since there’s no noise to chase them, fishes will swim close to your motor making capturing them very easy.
There are two basic types of controls that you have when purchasing a bow mount trolling motor. You can control it by hand or foot. The type of engine you get depends on your personal preferences first, but a few other things too.
Hand controlled trolling motors have a lever (handle) that you use to steer your boat. One of the advantages it offers is that the response time you get from it is immediate, which means that you can navigate with precision through the potential obstacles that can be found in the water. In addition, it takes up less space on board. One downside is that you are required to have one hand on the controller to steer your boat, diverting your attention from the activity you are doing.
A foot-controlled trolling motor is, in our opinion, more practical. You receive a foot pedal that you attach to your boat and step on to control the functions of your engine.
This is very useful because it leaves your hands free to operate the fishing rod and other equipment.
The downside is that the engine response is not immediate when the pedal is depressed, which can be a bit annoying. Also, you have to put the pedal on your boat, which can be a problem if you are using a kayak or some other smaller container.
Lastly, there are models that offer wireless remote control. Of course, this comes at a higher price. You get a remote control to steer your boat and control the speed at which it goes. Whichever type you choose, give yourself time to get used to the controls.
Bow mount trolling motors could be expensive, so durability is worth considering before choosing one. You need to consider the lifespan of the motor, materials used to produce it, manufacturer, etc. Checking the model is also important because models from the same company last longer than another.
Plastics are less durable than metal, e.g motor parts like the shaft tough materials can stand the test of time under harsh usage. To be on the safer side, you should check the warranty on a bow mount motor before purchase.
Speed and direction control, cable steering method, and voltage are some other features you should consider before settling down for a specific trolling motor.
FAQ on Best Bow-mount Trolling motor
Generally, all trolling motors need at least 2lbs of thrust for every boat size of 100lbs (loads included), but considering natural factors like the wind and weather condition of your preferred fishing location, you will need a more powerful motor.
Well, this is a very tricky one. But first, you need to understand that combining two 55lb thrust will never move you faster than a single 30b thrust will do. So, you should understand that the maximum speed a trolling motor will ever travel is 5mph.
Yes! In fact, “the centered, the better” is a common phrase in this regard. If you want your motor to function at the best efficiency, you should have it centered. It should, however, be positioned in a way that attaching a deck to the mount would be easy.
Though this has to do with the shaft length of a motor. Nonetheless, it is best to keep your trolling motor plunged at least 12” at the water top.
For an older motor, a minimum of 6-hours and a maximum of 8-hours is guaranteed. But with recent advancement in technology which has been adopted by some motors, motor batteries like the Minn Kota will last five times more than other motors yet to adopt this technology.
This article has provided a guide towards choosing the right trolling motor bow-mount for your boat. From the reviews, the Minn Kota bow-mount is seen as the best trolling motor in terms of the technology employed, the best price for its value, and the best freshwater bow-mount.
The Motorguide Xi3 is seen as the best wireless bow-mount while the Attwood Motorguide X3 bow-mount is the best foot-controlled motor. The Watersnake shadow and AQUOS products are the best all-round and best portable electric bow-mounts respectively.