Lake-Link Home

What motor do you use for Great Lakes trolling?

10/12/21 @ 10:36 AM
USER SINCE 8/24/07

Curious who all uses what when trolling.  

Anybody use nothing but their bow mount TM? If so, what lb, shaft, and 24 or 36V?

Who uses a kicker?  

Who uses their main? If so, what HP and what's the slowest you can get it without dragging buckets or drift socks?


10/18/21 @ 4:43 PM
USER SINCE 9/27/01

Depends on the situation for me. If it's spring and relatively calm, I just go with the bow thruster. If it's a little windy and choppy, I'll fire up the kicker and steer with the bow thruster. If cranks/spoons are the ticket, I'll push the boat with the kicker and let the bow thruster steer. That just saves on the battery when trolling at 2+ MPH. The main motor is just used to get from point A to point B quickly. 

BTW, I agree about keeping a kicker on the transom even if it's just for backup. I had my water pump on my main fail on me years ago out on Lake Michigan. We were 14 miles out. We alternated between the big motor (when it wasn't overheating) and the kicker all of the way in. Took hours but we got to the launch safe and under our own power. 

10/14/21 @ 1:28 PM
USER SINCE 4/21/04

I troll with my big motor and use the trolling motor for steering. My brother-in-law uses a kicker but also uses the trolling motor for steering. so much easier to pick a line and not have to worry about steering when reeling in a fish. 

When trolling for walleyes all I use is the trolling motor, pick a line, turn the speed control on, and sit back and relax. The Terrova will automatically adjust the speed for wind and waves, just click on the tach symbol on the remote.

10/14/21 @ 1:02 PM

I agree with keeping your kicker and using that for trolling even if you think it will not be frequently used.  Its a nice insurance policy to have back there.  As far as I am concerned electric motor is just for steering adjustments or a more leisurely movement while casting.   If you have not trolled a lot you may be surprised how much you start to use it once you get in the swing of things.   

10/14/21 @ 12:42 PM
USER SINCE 2/13/10

I think if I'm trolling at 2.5 with a bunch of lines out... when I done pulling lines, I'm going over 3.5mph with the kicker...  You can troll with your big motor as others have mentioned.  The extra drag is a good thing with you big motor, because it will allow you to go slower.  The kicker is an extra hassle hanging off the transom and if you don't go that often, and can get good cash for your kicker, you can just use your big motor.  Two motors is nice if one of them craps the bed, but you can use your electric in an emergency and if its not too windy from the west.  Good Fishing!

10/14/21 @ 10:51 AM
USER SINCE 8/24/07

I suppose dragging gear like that would hold you back some.  So yeah, TM is a no go. Is the drag noticeable enough to slow you down while using the main motor?  I do understand the benefit of having the kicker, but for as infrequently as I plan to hit the lake and with the days I do go likely being perfect conditions (I'm pretty fair weather when it comes to going out in questionable to rough seas, although I know $h!! can happen), I guess I have some thinking to do.

10/14/21 @ 10:01 AM
USER SINCE 2/13/10

Also remember if you have dipsys or mag dipseys or planer boards or downrigger balls... that stuff pulls real hard.

10/14/21 @ 10:00 AM
USER SINCE 2/13/10

You are going to want to troll with your 9.9 kicker.  Trolling with a battery would be a very short trip.  You want to at least be able to go from 4am to 9am. I don't think you would make it to 5:30am with the electric.

10/14/21 @ 9:09 AM
Fish Hound
USER SINCE 1/29/02

2.5 GPS can be on the fast side depending on the baits you're fishing, especially if your going with the current and waves.

I also wouldn't be out there without the second motor, the CG will not come out and retrieve you unless you're in "imminent danger", otherwise they will tell you to phone a friend or request assistance from another boater.

Staying in the 24 volt (without adding a battery) you'll only be going up to 80# thrust. You will not troll very long on a 24 volt motor at Lake Michigan speeds. Spot Lock and Autopilot are great features when you do upgrade though.

10/14/21 @ 8:07 AM
USER SINCE 8/24/07

Thanks for the replies! My 18' Lund ProV has a 150 main, a 9.9 4 stroke kicker and a 70 lb 24V MinnKota Powerdrive.  I'm FINALLY all geared up for hitting the lake so trying to figure out the route I want to go.  I don't plan to fish it very often...maybe a few times a year.  I also fish Winnebago, so set up for trolling there too, although I definitely prefer other methods to trolling. The 9.9 has been on the boat since my dad got it prior to passing it along to me this summer. We literally have used it maybe 4-5 times in the past decade plus.  I'm trying to figure if selling the kicker to upgrade the TM (to one with spot lock, maybe more lbs, perhaps even power stow and deploy) would be wise, or if having one makes things that much better.  Last week in MN my main was pushing me at 2.5 at the slowest idle speed which seems to be in that mph range for trout/salmon (right?).

10/14/21 @ 6:08 AM
USER SINCE 7/19/03

Alumacraft 185 tournament.  I use Yamaha T8 to troll down to 1.0 mph.  Terrova front tm to troll .2 to 1.2 mph.  When waves get near 2 feet, I use Yamaha f150.  When waves get near 3 feet, I go in.  It's  just not fun.

Advertise here
With MEGA 360 Imaging, we didn’t reinvent the wheel. We redefined it, bringing the unmatched coverage of our 360 Imaging technology into the megahertz range for next-level detail. PRODUCT SPOTLIGHT: HUMMINBIRD - Humminbird MEGA 360 Imaging
The Bio-Minnow Vertical Jig is the first vertical jigging bait with a metal tail for increased durability and fine-tuning. PRODUCT SPOTLIGHT: OKUMA FISHING TACKLE - FishLab Bio-Minnow Vertical Jig
Navigloo has become a benchmark product for the winter protection of watercrafts. PRODUCT SPOTLIGHT: NAVIGLOO - Navigloo Fishing Boat Covers
Advertise here
Please take a moment to visit our sponsors. Without them we would not be here.