Best Trolling Motor for Pontoon Boat: Enhancing Your Boating Experience

Nothing beats a day out on the water with your pontoon boat, especially when you have the right trolling motor at your disposal. It’s not just about moving smoothly through the water; it’s about enhancing your fishing and boating experience.

Key Takeaways

  • Selecting the perfect trolling motor is crucial for pontoon boats.
  • Consider factors like thrust, shaft length, and type for optimal performance.
  • Brands like Minn Kota, MotorGuide, and Newport Vessels lead the market.

What Is a Trolling Motor?

A trolling motor is a compact, electric motor, typically used on fishing boats, including pontoons, to move them at slow speeds. Its primary advantages include quiet operation, which is crucial for not scaring off fish, and its ability to operate in shallow waters. Unlike outboard motors, trolling motors are more affordable and environment-friendly as they don’t produce fumes. They’re an angler’s best friend for precise movements in water.

Types of Trolling Motors

When it comes to trolling motors, there are mainly two types: transom-mounted and bow-mounted. Transom-mounted motors, attached to the back of the boat, generally offer more thrust. Bow-mounted motors, on the other hand, are mounted on the front and are ideal for precise steering. Choosing the right type depends on your pontoon boat’s size and your fishing needs.

Choosing the Right Brand

The brand of your trolling motor can make a significant difference in your boating experience. Top brands like Minn Kota, MotorGuide, and Haswing are known for their quality and longevity. When selecting a brand, it’s essential to consider your current equipment, such as fish finders. For instance, if you have a Lowrance fish finder, a Motor Guide trolling motor would be a compatible choice, enhancing your fishing tactics.

Deciding on the Model

Choosing the right model of trolling motor involves several considerations. The mount location is crucial – bow, transom, or engine mount. Bow mounts are preferable for true trolling. However, pontoon boats often lack a front lip for mounting, leading some owners to opt for engine mounts for ease of installation. Remember, the thrust of the motor is key. Due to pontoon boats’ size and hydrodynamics, a trolling motor with a thrust of 65, 70, or even 80 pounds is advisable for most pontoon boats.

Best Trolling Motors for Pontoon Boats

When it comes to the best trolling motors for pontoon boats, several models stand out:

Garmin Force

The Garmin Force is a top choice for its powerful 80 lbs of thrust and integrated high-definition sonar. Its quiet operation makes it ideal for fishing, but its high price point is something to consider.

Newport Vessels Pontoon Series

This series offers models with 55 or 86 pounds of thrust and is known for its affordability and power. It’s designed for pontoons, with a durable fiberglass composite shaft and saltwater-resistant materials. However, its limitation to tiller handle steering might be a downside for some.

MotorGuide R5

The MotorGuide R5 stands out for its digital power management and construction quality. It offers 70, 80, or 105 lbs of thrust and is an efficient choice for pontoon boats. However, mounting it to a pontoon might be challenging.

Minn Kota Terrova with iPilot

Minn Kota’s Terrova model is a tech-savvy choice with features like iPilot US2 universal sonar and a large LCD screen remote. It offers thrust options of 55, 80, and 112 lbs. While it’s on the pricier side, its advanced features and ease of use make it a worthwhile investment.

Maintenance Tips

To ensure your trolling motor remains in top condition, regular maintenance is key. Check the battery regularly, clean the propeller, inspect for any damage, and store the motor in a dry place. Adhering to the manufacturer’s maintenance schedule is also crucial for longevity. Proper maintenance not only extends the life of your trolling motor but also ensures consistent performance. Don’t forget to equip your boat with essential tools for maintenance and safety, detailed at All About Marina.


Q: What size trolling motor do I need for my pontoon boat? A: The size depends on your pontoon boat’s size and weight. Generally, a larger boat requires a more powerful motor.

Q: Can trolling motors be used on all pontoons? A: Yes, but ensure the motor is powerful enough for your boat’s size and designed for saltwater to prevent corrosion.

Q: How do I mount a trolling motor on my pontoon? A: Most come with a transom or bow mount. The choice depends on your boat’s design and your fishing needs.

How Can a Trolling Motor Enhance the Maintenance of my Pontoon Boat?

A trolling motor can enhance the maintenance of your pontoon boat by reducing wear and tear on the main engine. With the ability to maneuver at lower speeds, you can navigate more easily through shallow waters, minimizing the risk of damage to your boat. Easily protect your investment with these easiest boat maintenance tips.


Selecting the right trolling motor for your pontoon boat is crucial for an enhanced boating experience. From understanding the different types and brands to choosing the right model, every aspect plays a significant role in how well your boat performs. Remember, investing in a quality trolling motor not only improves your fishing trips but also adds value to your boating adventures.