How To Mount A Trolling Motor On A Canoe

Last Updated on July 2, 2022 by Ecorf

We all know how frustrating it can be when you try to fish but you are already too tired from having to paddle all the way out to your fishing spot. This could really drain the enthusiasm and fun out of the fishing experience. That is why the use of a trolling motor is great as a complementary alternative to paddling. 

Mounting a trolling motor is one thing that usually takes a lot of consideration and planning. If you do it right, you’re good to go, but if you don’t do it right, you may find out that the trolling motor is more a nuisance than a help. I’ll show you how to mount a trolling motor in this article. 

But first, it is great to know what you would most likely enjoy using a trolling motor.

What Are The Advantages Of A Trolling Motor

This isn’t really meant to completely replace paddling. Rather, it is best used to complement paddling. But still, there are some really great advantages that come with mounting a trolling motor on your canoe. 

  • Quiet on water: A Trolling Motor that makes a lot of noise would be going against the whole idea of fishing as it would easily scare away the fish. That is why trolling motors are designed to be as silent as possible even when they are doing some heavy work.
  • Saves you from strenuous paddling: Of course, paddling could be regarded as a way to keep fit but it can quickly graduate from that purpose to something that gives us more stress and gets us so tired. So, instead of having to paddle the whole time you’re on the water, you can use your motor to guide your canoe around instead.
  • A great alternative for paddling: As I said earlier, a trolling motor isn’t meant to completely replace paddling itself but rather to complement your paddling. Imagine you lost your paddle to the water somehow, you would be stranded offshore without anything to guide you back to shore (well, except you have another paddle with you). A trolling motor could be just that thing that saves you from being stranded.

Best Trolling Motor Mounts for a Canoe

How The Trolling Motor Works

The three main parts that make up the trolling motor are the motor, the propeller, and the controls.

The Motor

This is the engine of your whole trolling motor. It is what powers your propeller. Its power is measured in volts, and the higher the voltage, the more power would be fed into your propeller to help push you around. Motors are kept in a waterproof compartment and before they go into the water so that they don’t overheat.

The Propeller

These are the blades that go into the water. The propellers work pretty much the same way as those of other watercraft like ships do. The propeller often has blades ranging from 2 to 4. 

The Controls

Of course, there must be a way to guide your ways. There are three types of controls that often come with the trolling motor; hand controls, foot controls, and wireless controls. These controls have their own advantages and disadvantages.


Hand Controls


  • Easy to use
  • Really inexpen


  • Marshalling the hand controls always means you have one less hand to do your stuff.

Foot Controls


  • You would always have both hands free to do stuff


  • Not as easy to use as the hand controls

Wireless Controls


  • Easy to use
  • Both hands are free


  • Quite expensive
  • Quite difficult to master.

Mounting A Trolling Motor

A trolling motor could be mounted on the stern or the bow of your canoe. For each of these two common positions, there are little differences in their mounting processes.

Bow Mounting

This is a really easy process provided you follow the right process.

In many DIY projects such as this, the thing that often comes first is measuring and marking. So here too, you first mark out the holes where your screws are to fit in while using your mount base as a guide. You can then drill the marked holes up to a quarter of an inch. 

The next thing to do is to thread bolts into the base of your mount, put washers on the bolts and place the mount base in on the deck so that the bolts fit in the holes. Make sure that the mount is parallel to the deck before you finally secure the mount to the deck. 

It is good practice to make sure that the trolling motor itself is about 6 to 12 inches underneath the water surface for maximum effectiveness. If you don’t place it deeply enough, the trolling motor would be making a lot of noise which could scare the fish away.

Stern Mounting

Mounting the motor on your stern is actually a really easy thing to do. In fact, it doesn’t require a lot of DIY skills to handle. You could also call a stern mounting a transom mounting.

All you have to do is to turn the clamps in an anticlockwise direction to open them. Next, you position the motor to be in the center of your stern to maximize its effectiveness before you finally turning the clamps in the clockwise direction to secure the motor. 

Of course, you should try to make sure that the trolling motor sits deeply in the water. For transom motors, a depth of 9 to 10 inches underneath the water surface is good enough.

Best Trolling Motor Mounts for a Canoe

Wrapping It All Up

Hopefully, you do not just know how to mount your trolling motor, you now know a little more about trolling motors themselves. You know the things you stand to gain from using a trolling motor and you are able to choose what mounting position is most suitable for you. 

If you have any questions, additions, inquiries or any other comments, please feel free to drop it in the comments section and I’d be eager to get back to you.