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Trolling Motors: Transom vs. Bow Mount

Discussion in 'Boats and Motors' started by FishinFreak26, Aug 27, 2007.

  1. I just bought my first boat this week and need to get a motor (Thanks again Photoguy:) Cost is an issue for the remainder of this season, so I am going to stick to buying a trolling motor first, with an outboard to follow maybe next year.

    My question is this....

    What are the advantages and disadvantages of bow mount and transom mount trolling motors?

    I'm on the fence as I can see positives to both, but was curious what others think.

    Thanks in advance!
  2. SwollenGoat

    SwollenGoat Scourge of Hoover

    You didn't mention how you're going to use the trolling motor, or what kind of boat you have. Are you going to bass fish, troll, drift or anchor? Do you want to steer with your foot or your hand?

    Some general answers are; Bow mount pulls while a transom mount pushes. Turning/maneuvering is faster and easier with a bow mount. Bow mount with a foot pedal allows you to keep both hands on your rod. Transom mount is great for trolling and allows you to sit in the middle or rear of the boat.

    See here:

    and how to measure needed shaft length:

  3. Great link, thank you!

    I have a 16ft aluminum v-hull. The trolling motor will be my primary motor and I will most likely fish for bass, saugeye, crappie, etc. Some catfishing in the evenings is a possibility as well.

    Since the boat itself is not very big, I will be sticking to smaller lakes, or in less traffic areas of the bigger lakes.
  4. misfit

    misfit MOD SQUAD

    in your situation,a good tiller model would could buy/build a bow mount bracket to move motor from front to rear to meet changing conditions,and have the best of both worlds;)
  5. Ok, stupid question.

    What's a "tiller model"?

    Great idea, thanks Misfit!
  6. misfit

    misfit MOD SQUAD

    tiller model = transom mount.
  7. Ahh, simple enough, ha! Thanks again Misfit
  8. duckman

    duckman Dr Data

    So why isn't a Bow Mount trolling motor commonly used for trolling on big water? IE Lake Erie
  9. FF-Good advice so far. I agree if you want to cruise and troll or cast from the back seat, get the tiller (hand controlled) trolling motor. If you cast and fish from the front, get the foot controlled. I have yet to see much use fro a bow-mount hand-controlled TM. It's much easier to control a boat pulling (bow mount) tyhan pushing (stern mount) IMO unless you are backtrollign...which is another story ad probably not worth talking about.

    Duckman-I and many other "small" boat guys use the MK AP (Co-Pilot) quite often on Erie...especially Spring and late Fall. Pulling spinners or cranks at .6 to 1.3 MPH in early spring and cranks in real shallow water in the fall it will out shine gas kickers IMO. Also use the AP mode for steering/"S" turns in conjunction with the gas kicker much of the time.

  10. misfit

    misfit MOD SQUAD

    there are lots of people who use a tiller on the bow for a few reasons.and you can operate them with no hands when set up right.they give instant,more more precise control than foot controlled motors in certain can also add a intermitant switch for even more control.personally i prefer the way i have my boat set up:)
    i have a powerdrive up front which i can control from either end,and a tiller on the transom.i use both almost every time i'm on the water.
    that setup is not necssary or even a real option with some boats,but for some like mine,it's the ultimate in control and versatility.
    i do totally agree with that statement.
  11. soua0363

    soua0363 Master of Nothing

    I have a 14 foot jon and I use a transom mount trolling motor. Well, I have two and I turned one around for front use but for the longest time I used the trolling motor mainly in the back. In my opinion, a transom mount trolling motor is easier to motor the boat around going one fishing location to the other like across the lake for example. For fishing purposes, a bow mount is a lot better because you turn the boat to the direction in which you are fishing a lot faster.
  12. As someone once told me, a horse can pull more the he can push. Bow mounts have much better control for fishing IMO.
  13. misfit

    misfit MOD SQUAD

    a transom mount is also easier and more convenient with some boats,when it's your "primary" motor.which is probably why outboards,etc are all mounted on the transom;)
  14. All good info, thanks a bunch guys!
  15. If you can afford a bow mount like the MK AT with the auto pilot, it would be a great addition to your boat, and you probably wont regret getting it. It provides more versatility.

    Like Misfit said, they can be used very effectively on big water, but most Erie boats are too big to be controlled by trolling motors. most erie boats sit very high at the bow. Most boats with bow mounted trolling motors are limited by rough water because they dont sit high enough for a "dry" ride.
  16. Fishinfreak26, you got a bunch of great advice here and the only thing I will add is in reference to this part of your first post.

    When you go comparing prices on bow versus transom motors you will see quickly where I am headed on this, particularly if you are looking at something beyond hand controlled bow mounts. You will probably be looking at minimum at $400 whereas you can get a decent transom mount for under $250. I have one that I bought primarily to take to Canada for using on our boat up there but I leave it mounted to my transom on my boat here even though I have the bow mount. Often times I don't feel like moving to the front of the boat to navigate with the bow mount so I just drop the transom mount in to maneuver.