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  • Writer's pictureNew Wave Fishing Academy

Trolling Motor Battery Problems? Here's What To Do

best trolling motor battery

Electric trolling motors are one of the most essential tools anglers have at their disposal. Trolling motors allow unmatched boat control & allow anglers to focus on fishing rather than maintaining boat position. While there are a number of options on the market today with tons of different features the best trolling motor is the one you can afford. An electric trolling motor is exponentially better than no trolling motor; it's like fishing in two different worlds. Bow mount trolling motor, Hand turn, foot turn, or remote controlled with spot lock all will make you a much more efficient angler than a drifter constantly having to readjust by starting the boat motor costing you time, gas, & fish! The best electric trolling motor is the one you can get.

With all of this in mind when your trolling motor has problems it can seriously impact your day of fishing and ability to enjoy yourself on the water. Fortunately, most of the issues with trolling motors can be solved with a few quick and easy solutions. Electric trolling motors are very simple devices; there is a motor, a battery, and cables between. If there is an issue with the motor that is not a physical blockage on the motor from spinning like a bent shaft, rope or weeds around prop, or other blockage preventing it from turning the issue is likely electrical. When checking the prop DO NOT do this on the water as there is a big risk of the shear pin, nuts, or washers falling overboard making the motor useless. Be sure to check the items below if you run into issues with your electric trolling motor

  1. Ensure the battery is charged - this seems obvious but the battery can drain overnight or throughout the week while not in use, this is a sign there is a short somewhere and warrants further investigation.

  2. Ensure the connections to battery terminal are tight - loose connections can limit the transfer of energy to the motor and give the impression of low power or a dead battery. Connections can come loose very easily from bouncing around in the boat while hitting waves, launching, or trailering.

  3. Ensure the connection points are not corroded - corroded connections will prevent the transfer of energy. Scraping off the surfaces of each terminal on the battery as well as the cables can improve the contact and allow energy transfer. Note: with lithium batteries if connection points are loose they can corrode during a day on the water running battery near high and then suddenly quit.

  4. Ensure the liquid in battery is full - low liquid level in the battery reduces its capacity while charging and can lead to short lifespans. ALWAYS do this with caution and appropriate safety gear as battery acid is EXTREMELY corrosive.

Other problems encountered may simply be due to the choice of battery used for the electric trolling motor. The best battery for trolling motors are deep cycle as they hold the largest stored energy capacity, are not damaged by full discharge/charge cycles, and will operate the longest in a day on the water. The best trolling motor battery for a full or multi day use have capacities of at least 100 Ah. Anything less than this may leave you frustrated on the water.

Lately lithium trolling motor battery have become more popular due to their increased lifespan, lighter weight, and full power discharge until completely drained. While lithium trolling motor battery have advantages there are also risks anglers need to be aware of. Some of these risks include charging and operation limits. Operating trolling motor at high speeds for extended periods of time (like what is needed in windy conditions) can draw enough power from the battery to heat up, corrode, or burn out the wires needed to operate the trolling motor. It is advised to only operate above 75% for short periods of time when using a lithium trolling motor battery. The other hazard is while charging. Lithium batteries can combust and catch on fire when overcharged and supplied with continuous current. Ensuring a battery charger compatible with lithium batteries is used will prevent this hazard from occurring.


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