How To Put A Trolling Motor On A Kayak

Last Updated on July 14, 2022 by Ecorf

Fishing with a kayak is a blissful activity for two (2) reasons. The first is the opportunities that come with the vessel, which include but not limited to space and the massive weight capacity. On the other hand, the versatility makes it applicable for different uses, such as recreational activities and fishing. Many anglers have chosen the latter because of the flexibility of the kayak to adapt to different kinds of water.

Besides that, the fishing experience that comes with a kayak has been reengineered since the invention of a trolling motor. The motor now aids anglers to make the most out of their fishing.

What is a Trolling Motor?

A trolling motor is a small, electric device/motor that is located in either of the stern or bow of a fishing kayak. It can also be found in both places. The role of the trolling motor is to facilitate the smooth and quiet movement of the vessel on the water. That way, there would be limited chances of spooking the fish. 

On the other hand, the trolling motor helps to control the steering and speed of the kayak, in a way that the potential fishes in the water wouldn’t be scared away. More so, it can come in different positions for easy control. That informs the reason behind the speed, foot, and steer controls that are located in the foot panel.


Aside from the fishing aspect, the mounting of a trolling motor also has other impressive benefits for a kayaker. First, it makes it easy to paddle, especially when on a weighed-down kayak, which is caused by the number of items on the vessel. Second, the motor makes fishing easier because of the built-in peddling system. Above all, you would like the trolling motor because of the flexibility that empowers amateur paddlers to move a larger vessel about in the water.

How to Mount the Trolling Motor

Mounting the motor can be easy, provided you know how to go about it. Generally, the placement on a (fishing) kayak is facilitated by the mounting mechanism. The wires used therein are then made to reach the motor, from where they would line up to the shaft for the provision of more depth to the motor.

We would now have an in-depth comprehension of how to put a trolling motor on a kayak.

  • Mounting the Trolling Motor on the Bow or the Stern

Undoubted, the stern and the bow are two (2) primary locations for mounting a trolling motor. While they’re among the most preferred, you also need to discover how to go about placing the motor on them.

The first step to that is to drill a hole into the vessel. By now, you must have known that the kayak doesn’t actually factor in the addition of another item. So, if you must mount a trolling motor, then it’s essential to create a space for that; hence, the drilling. Once the hole has been drilled on the kayak, you can then clamp down the trolling motor onto the area.


While that may seem a Do-It-Yourself (DIY) kind of approach because of the simplicity, you may also need to take a step back if it doesn’t go well. That is because the weight of many vessels may not be sturdy enough to support the “new weight.” So, what do you do? You would need to reinforce the stern or the bow to get the necessary balance required for the mounting of the trolling motor.

  • Mount the Trolling Motor by the Side

If you couldn’t get along with mounting the trolling motor on the bow or the stern, then you may also consider another option – side mounting. You would find it helpful, especially when the mounting is done by crossing it over the stern. If you find that hard, then you may need to go through the outlined steps below to get inspired:

The first thing to do is drilling a waterproofed board or a pole across the back of the kayak. It doesn’t stop at that! You must ensure that it is well-positioned in a way that it can hold down the clamp in the trolling motor.

Importance: Why should you consider the side mounting option in the first place? The fact is that the model is a more straightforward approach to reaching the steering handle of the trolling motor.

Caution: While side mounting has impressive benefits, you also have to take note of the precautions. As a rule of thumb, you have to consider the type of paddling model you use, which are right-handed and left-handed.

It’s advisable to take the trolling motor to the left-hand side of the vessel if you’re a right-handed paddler. That way, it would be easier for you to hold the motor steering throttle in the left hand while the fishing pole will be in the right.

If the reverse is the case and you’re a left-handed paddler, then changing the position of the trolling motor to the right would be the perfect option.

Factors to Consider When Putting a Trolling Motor on A Kayak

Now that the core processes of mounting a trolling motor on a kayak have been explained let’s now look at the factors worthy of consideration before installing the motor.

  • Registration

It’s essential to check the regulations in your region. Some countries may require different certifications before putting a trolling motor on a kayak.

  • Professional or Do-It-Yourself Mounting Kit

What type of kit do you intend using to attach the trolling motor? You have the option of either buying a professional/ready-made mounting kit or making one yourself.

Opting to buy the professional mounting kit demands that you drill a few holes to accommodate the kit when attached to the kayak. Otherwise, you can create the mounting kit by mounting it to the stern or creating a brace over the back of the kayak.

  • The Weight of the Motor

The weight of the trolling motor also matters. You wouldn’t want something that would literally “sink your ship.” So, always select a lightweight trolling motor.


Mount A Trolling Motor On Your Kayak

The presence of a trolling motor on your vessel comes with many great tidings, such as influencing the speed and control of the kayak. It also boosts the anglers’ fishing efforts because it takes advantage of the built-in peddling system to reduce the chances of spooking the fish.

Now, you can select the trolling motor that matches your kayak!