Buying Guide For The Best Trolling Motor For Pontoon Boats

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BEST OVERALL

Newport Vessels NV 55lb Trolling Motor

NEWPORT VESSELS

4.8/5

RUNNER-UP

MINN KOTA ENDURA

4.3/5

ALTERNATIVE

Go Plus Electric Trolling Motor 45lb

GO PLUS ELECTRIC

4.5/5

As an angler, the most vital accessory you can attach to your pontoon boat is a trolling motor. 

A quality trolling motor will equip you with the important skill of stealth that will put you in the vicinity of those sneaky fish you want to catch, but how do you know which one is right for your boat?

Choosing a pontoon trolling motor means finding the perfect fit for your boat and one that’s going to meet all of the features you require.

These boats are unique vessels in themselves and when you add the magic that a pontoon trolling motor mount can bring, you’ll likely see some of your most successful fishing excursions yet.

This buying guide can walk you through the must-have features that one should look for when putting a trolling motor on a pontoon.

We’ve also hand-selected the best on the market with detailed reviews so you can see what they’re all about. 

This one simple accessory has the power to transform your fishing prowess, so it’s an investment you don’t want to wait around for.

When you’re shopping for an accessory for your pontoon boat, you want to do your research before you jump and in and choose one.

When it comes to trolling motors specifically, more research is needed due to the sheer variety out there. 

These are our top picks for the best trolling motors for pontoon boats and what each of them can bring to your vessel.

Our Reviews Of The Best Pontoon Boat Trolling Motor

#1

NEWPORT VESSELS NV 55LB TROLLING MOTOR

BEST OVERALL

The ultimate choice when it comes to choosing the next trolling motor for your boat has to be the Newport Vessels NV 55lbs one.

Of all the electric trolling motors for pontoon boats, this one ticks most of the boxes in power, ease of use, and quiet operation. 

With 55lbs of thrust and 12V of power, you’ll find it just enough for your fishing pontoon.

The best thing about this motor was how quiet it operated considering the speed and thrust it offered. 

The entire purpose of a trolling motor is to make your boat stealthier, so the Newport Vessells can definitely offer that. 

It also comes with saltwater protection as an added bonus which means you can use it anywhere.

One downside that customers were mentioning was the lack of any real evidence that you’re changing speeds. 

The Newport Vessels motor will make a slight clicking sound as it moves through the gear, but if you miss it there’s no real way to tell the difference between each power setting.

The first few speeds are pretty slow and much the same, but the fourth and fifth will definitely be noticeable. 

This isn’t necessarily the fastest trolling motor on the market but it does move smoothly and quietly, which is far more beneficial.

This trolling motor has a 30” shaft so you’re given more options on where to mount it. 

It weighs around 23lbs so it won’t slow you down, and with the right battery, you’ll have more than enough power for a day out on the water.

As a great all-rounder, we can’t recommend the Newport Vessels 55lbs Trolling Motor any more highly, and as long as it fits the thrust you’re after you won’t be disappointed.

You can get this motor for a great price on Amazon at around $200 and with a two-year warranty, so it’s a great investment for any angler.

Technical specifications

  • Power: 12v
  • Size: 30” shaft
  • Fuel Consumption: Electric
  • Weight: 23lbs
  • Thrust level: 55lbs thrust
#2

MINN KOTA ENDURA EC2 45 TROLLING MOTOR

RUNNER-UP

For those that are loyal to their favorite brand, the Endura C2 45 Minn Kota Pontoon Trolling Motor will be your favorite option. 

This has an adequate 45lbs of thrust that will suit most pontoons, fits on a 36” shaft, and can provide 12V of power when you’re out on the water.

Consistently ranked a top seller among its peers, you get a reliable brand and motor when you choose this one. 

Perfectly paired with Minn Kota’s fish finders, when you have the two working together it’ll be a dreamlike experience.

Anglers loved how responsive and easy this motor was to control, so even when you’re on the go and need to think fast it won’t have a problem working with you.

The operation is pretty quiet and you’ll feel smooth going through the water which gives you the ideal opportunity to stalk your prey in the water.

Even when it’s going at its fastest it won’t hog the power and you’ll find yourself with enough juice to last your entire fishing trip.

Where the Minn Kota falls short is in the power, with some anglers finding it just wasn’t cut out for their boat. 

Some even mentioned the wire and motor feeling as if they were overheating which isn’t what you want to experience when you’re out on the water.

To get a little more power, you might want to choose one with extra thrust.

This trolling motor was designed for freshwater use only but comes with functions that you make adjustments to suit your surroudnings.

With a strong composite shaft and lever lock bracket that allows you to move the motor 180 degrees to change directions, it’s pretty capable to do whatever you require of it when you’re on the water, and is durable enough to last for years.

Minn Kota offers a two-year warranty on this and when you purchase it through Amazon you can get it priced at around $200 including postage.

For those who love the Minn Kota brand or just want something that’s reliable and adequate for most average sized fishing pontoons, this one will tick all of the necessary boxes.

Technical specifications

  • Power: 12v
  • Size: 36” shaft
  • Fuel Consumption: Electric
  • Weight: 26lbs
  • Thrust level: 45lbs thrust
#3

GO PLUS ELECTRIC TROLLING MOTOR 45LB

ALTERNATIVE

Go Plus Electric Trolling Motor 45lb

The Goplus 45lb Electric Trolling Motor is a budget-friendly option for people who need power for their pontoon but don’t want to break the bank.

With a thrust level of 46lbs and an overall weight of just 19.4lbs, it’s one of the lighter alternatives that leave less of an impression on the way your pontoon glides through the water.

The motor has 12 V of power, a 10 light LED indicator and should be mounted to the transom for the best results.

There’s a noticeable difference as you shift your way through the five speeds on the Goplus Motor and you’ll get a surprising amount of power when you’re in fifth.

In first speed, it’s working at its quietest and is the ideal level for staying stealthy in the water. 

You’ll be able to move with ease and not disrupt any marine life, which is all you can ask for in a quality trolling motor for your pontoon.

As one of the cheaper alternatives on the market, you can expect some features to be lacking compared to the rest. 

People found that it ate their battery power up faster than they were expecting so you want to have enough to last.

The propeller is made of plastic which won’t last long with debris floating around which means you need to be more cautious of your surroundings, and it’s only recommended for freshwater use.

You’re able to adjust the shaft length and also the propeller depth pretty easily using the Goplus Motor. 

There’s a 6” telescoping handle included which gives you control over where you’re moving and how you’re doing it.

As far as adjustability goes, this motor is ideal for people who like to be able to change things up when they’re on the water.

Amazon has the Goplus Electric Trolling Motor for sale online at around $150 which is pretty cheap compared to similarly sized devices. 

Although some parts seem flimsy it’s pretty sturdy overall, as long as you’re staying in freshwater conditions.

This motor comes with a two-year warranty so you’re covered for any faults, and thanks to the strong glass composite shaft, it should last you many more years than that.

Technical specifications

  • Power: 12v
  • Size: 36” shaft
  • Fuel Consumption: Electric
  • Weight: 19.4lbs
  • Thrust level: 46lbs thrust
#4

CAROUTE 160LB TROLLING MOTOR

Caroute 160lb Trolling Motor

When you need a seriously powerful motor to push your boat effortlessly through the water, the Caroute Trolling Motor can deliver.

This 160lbs motor has 48V of power and is a hefty 56lbs in size, but that’s just enough to get heavier vessels and fishing pontoons through the water without making any disruptions.

Suitable for boats up to 3 tons, you’ll only want to rely on the serious thrust level if you have to.

The best thing about this motor is that it weighs around a third of the weight of a gas powered motor and is a lot quieter, so there’s really no competition if you’ve been considering choosing between the two.

Most reviewers were shocked at how little noise it actually make for the power it has, so it won’t scare anything away.

On the negative side, when you’re using it in the highest gear you might notice a bit of disruption so it’s probably better to avoid.

This is a letdown for bigger boats who rely on trolling motors like this and makes the excessive price tag seem not as reasonable as you’d think.

Another slight issue was with the clamps used to hold it down which affected how fast you could adjust it, so keep that in mind.

Notable features include a motor controller which protects all parts of your investment and will prevent the motor overheating, burning, and stalling.

As a brushless motor, it’s capable of 60 percent more efficiency than the brushed variety, and when you need to keep 48V of power charged up this is great to hear.

Everything is sealed and made of quality parts for protection in saltwater as well as fresh, and it’s been designed for durability.

The Caroute 160lbs Trolling Motor is larger than life and perfect for boats that need the thrust, so head to Amazon if you want to equip your vessel with one.

This motor has a warranty of only 12 months which is disappointing for the $1,100 price tag, but provided you take care of it you’ll get saltwater and freshwater operation for many years to come.

Technical specifications

  • Power: 48v
  • Size: 42” shaft
  • Fuel Consumption: Electric
  • Weight: 56lbs
  • Thrust level: 160lbs thrust

The Basics of Trolling Motors

Electric Trolling Motor On Boat

A trolling motor can completely change the way you fish and give you an added advantage that you never had before on the water.

These motors attach to either the bow or the stern and are self-contained units including propeller, motor, and control system.

They come in varying thrust levels and sizes to suit your fishing pontoon and to get the optimum power they have to match your boat.

With a trolling motor attached, you’ll be able to move a lot quieter through the water which means less chance of scaring off your potential catches.

Usually, a trolling motor will be attached in addition to the regular propulsion method of the boat and is better suited at moving shorter distances where stealth is required.

Pontoon boats are the ideal vessel for these motors and when combined, they make the perfect team for catching fish.

Choosing the best trolling motor for your pontoon boat is a matter of matching up the features to what you already have.

Your motor should work with your boat’s design, size, and fish finder gear, as well as where you usually fish and the type of water you’re in.

The two biggest considerations to make is the shaft length and thrust ability, and they have to meet your boat’s requirements.

When installed, a trolling motor will allow you to move silently through the water and get to the ideal spots you might not have been able to reach before. 

For any serious angler with a pontoon boat, there’s no better way to travel and remain unseen.

FAQs About Trolling Motors for Pontoons

There are a lot of technical aspects to take into consideration when shopping for a trolling motor for your pontoon boat.

As a purchase that’s going to have a lot of significance on how you move through the water and the success of your angling excursions, you want to be well versed on what they’re about.

What Size Of Trolling Motor Do You Need For A Pontoon Boat?

The size of the motor you need will depend on the size of your pontoon boat. 

You want something with enough thrust to propel you through the water but not so much that you scare the fish away.

A motor should also be able to fit on your boat where you plan on attaching it, so make sure you have enough space.

What Are Thrust Levels Of Trolling Motors?

It’s advisable to go as strong as possible when choosing a thrust level for your pontoon trolling motor due to the fact that these vessels are usually large and without the aerodynamics that others have.

To calculate how much thrust the motor needs, you can take the weight of the boat in pounds and divide by 100, and then multiply the answer by two.

How To Handle Your Pontoon?

The trolling motor will impact the handling of your boat, and to make it easier, the best option is to use a bow mounted trolling motor.

These allow for greater maneuvering in the water and better control, so handling the pontoon will be easier. 

Trolling motors come with adjustable depths and shafts as well as controls for the direction, depending on the style you choose.

How To Mount Trolling Mount On Your Pontoon?

There are three options to choose from for mounting positions on a pontoon: bow, transom, and engine mount. 

An engine mount is usually the easiest to install as it can attach to your existing engine.

However, most anglers prefer the benefits of the bow installation, so while it takes more work and the use of tools, it could be worth your time.

A Must Have For Any Pontoon Angler

The simple addition of a trolling motor to your pontoon will deliver stellar results, and with this unique type of vessel, they work even better.

This isn’t a purchase you want to rush into though, as the motor should match the precise features of your vessel including weight, size, and positioning.

Anything we can do as anglers to make ourselves stealthier and less likely to scare off fish is worth doing.

A trolling motor for pontoon boat makes obvious sense and can revolutionize the way you move through the water, and the pairing of the two is a match made in heaven for any fisherman.