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Best size trolling motor for river current
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   Fishing Boats, Motors, Trailering, Q & A or Discussion

Posted by Whjw
2/8/2021 8:24 AM
Is a 24v 80lb trolling motor with spot lock enough thrust to hold a 16ft aluminum V hull boat still in the current on the river below the river park? Looking at a new trolling motor and would like to use spot lock but don’t want to spend the money if it’s going to just run the batteries way down. I’ve heard spot lock can drain the batteries. I don’t need it to hold in the super heavy current right below the dam. I normally fish down river a ways but there are still some areas that have decent strength current where I fish. A 36v system is out of the question for my boat. Too many batteries and I don’t have the money to spend on lithium’s in addition to a new Trolling motor. Thanks in advance for your opinions.
Posted by Whjw
2/8/2021 8:27 AM
I’ve thought about an anchor but I think it would be really dangerous with all the wakes from boats constantly running by. It’s already sketchy when a booze cruiser flys by and about swamps me. If I was anchored their wake could come over the sides
Posted by Fshn Cpa
2/8/2021 8:48 AM
80 lbs should be plenty. I don't know much about the spot lock other than I would like to get it.
Posted by FishingwithRusty
2/8/2021 8:58 AM
get the biggest you can afford, you can always turn it down but when youre maxed out thats all you got.
Posted by fischnrod
2/8/2021 3:54 PM
Whjw - 2/8/2021 9:27 AM

I’ve thought about an anchor but I think it would be really dangerous with all the wakes from boats constantly running by. It’s already sketchy when a booze cruiser flys by and about swamps me. If I was anchored their wake could come over the sides





I would not anchor below the dam anywhere as it can be very dangerous in current flow . Current can and will pull an anchored boat under water if it hangs on bottom and the current is strong enough
Posted by 31airborne
2/8/2021 4:10 PM
I'm with Rusty - if you're gonna be fishing in current get the strongest TM you can afford. I agree 80 lbs should be enuff for the rig you describe but it'll get a workout. You'll want some good batteries powering it.
Posted by Aries 181
2/8/2021 4:26 PM
31airborne - 2/8/2021 5:10 PM
You'll want some good batteries powering it.

Two group 31's would be my choice.

Bill
Posted by N2Ratfishing
2/8/2021 6:19 PM
I have an 18' aluminum with an 80 pound Ultrex. It works fantastic everywhere I've used it. I fish the Cumberland River all the time. I swear it uses less battery holding in the current with spot lock than I can manage manually controlling it. The electronics work! I've had the Maxxum 70 that came off sitting in the garage for two years. I kept it in case I got a bad Ultrex. I have two Duracell AGM31s and have yet to wear them down in a day.
Posted by Whjw
2/8/2021 6:47 PM
Thank you everyone that’s all very helpful info. I’m looking at the terrova. I currently have a 50 lb 12v powerdrive and don’t mind the electric steer so I don’t see a big enough reason to go for the ultrex for the extra money.
Posted by muskyman
2/8/2021 7:18 PM
Go big and never look back. This way your trolling motor will not have to work as hard and last longer.
Posted by stratos21xl
2/8/2021 10:31 PM
Depends on the amount of current and how long you plan to fish in it. 80lb troller with two group 31 batteries might get you 6 hours max if you keep spotlock on all day. If they are pulling more than 50,000 cfps no trolling motor other than MAYBE a 36 volt with 3 100 ah lithiums will last. Not to mention if you keep it on spot lock and the trolling motor stays at full power the entire time the batteries will get weaker and weaker due to the discharge properties of lead acid/AGM batteries. Lithiums maintain basically full power until you have nothing left at all. Either way if you fish down there a lot and in heavy current, the easiest and cheapest option is to buy an anchor. I learned this lesson the hard way wasting money on high dollar batteries to only get another 30 minutes to an hour more fishing time.
Posted by Aries 181
2/9/2021 5:28 AM
I wonder if a drift sock would help slow a boat down?

Bill
Posted by N2Ratfishing
2/9/2021 8:09 AM
A drift sock does no good in current, but. They work excellent on the lake etc...when the wind is blowing. They are good for drift fishing.
Posted by Lx545
2/11/2021 6:12 PM
I have a 17ft triton aluminum boat. I have an ulterra 80lb and have never lacked for thrust. In the current below the dam I usually run between 5-7 on my speed. I havent had any trouble with my batteries running down and I run group 29. The key I believe is to have the proper wiring size. If the wiring is too small the amperage draw will be higher. I went with 6 guage wiring for my setup and have never had a dead battery after fishing all day. Also for a devils advocate scenario, if you over power with your trolling motor you better be careful. Mine on 10 will pitch you out of the boat if you arent careful of the motor direction.
Posted by ChooChooSnakeMan
2/17/2021 4:28 PM
Lx545 - 2/11/2021 7:12 AM

I have a 17ft triton aluminum boat. I have an ulterra 80lb and have never lacked for thrust. In the current below the dam I usually run between 5-7 on my speed. I havent had any trouble with my batteries running down and I run group 29. The key I believe is to have the proper wiring size. If the wiring is too small the amperage draw will be higher. I went with 6 guage wiring for my setup and have never had a dead battery after fishing all day. Also for a devils advocate scenario, if you over power with your trolling motor you better be careful. Mine on 10 will pitch you out of the boat if you arent careful of the motor direction.


I think this is good advice. I have a 17' Lowe tin boat with a 75 lb MG trolling motor. It doesn't have spot lock so I can't comment about how much spot lock saves or uses. I can tell you that if you are down past Chatt State and the flow is less than 50K that my 75 lb motor does just fine. It isn't the funnest fishing fighting all that current but my motor has 1 through 5 speed setting, it is 24v and I use (2) Walmart size 29 wet cell batteries. If I'm right in the current I have to set it on 4 if the current is 50K but when it is around 20 to 25K which I like then I can use 2 and 3 speed settings and fish all day with no problem. As JJ said above, make sure your wire size is correct and that your connections are clean and tight.
Posted by JoeFD
2/26/2021 2:43 PM
I'm going to be upgrading to the lowrance ghost. You can run it 36V with 120lb thrust or 24v with 97lbs. all in the same motor, gives you the option to bump it up in the future. I currently run a Motorguide xi5 80lb, and have never had an issue on the river. I can get a full day out of my old lead acid batteries in the current. It does ok on my 21' Nitro, but i do want a bit more grunt. I will be selling mine in the near future if you are interested. Its only a year old, and not a ton of use on it. Will let it go for a good price.
Posted by Whjw
2/28/2021 3:26 PM
I’ll definitely keep that in mind. Now I’m second guessing and may get livescope instead. I already have a comparable garmin unit. Do you all know if it works well in current? I can’t afford both so what would be the best option in y’all’s opinion? Spot lock trolling motor or keep my 55lb powerdrive and put livescope on it? I’m still leaning toward a spot lock trolling motor because I know where the fish usually are already and I think that will give me a better immediate return on fish catching more than livescope.
Posted by Lx545
2/28/2021 4:10 PM
If someone came to me today and said give up some of my imaging or trolling motor Id give up the imaging every time. It really depends on how and where you fish. This is purely my opinion.
Posted by ChooChooSnakeMan
3/12/2021 11:43 AM
Lx545 - 2/28/2021 5:10 AM

If someone came to me today and said give up some of my imaging or trolling motor Id give up the imaging every time. It really depends on how and where you fish. This is purely my opinion.


I agree with this. The greatest electronics money can buy won't do you any good if you can't get to the fish and stay on them, and stay on them for the whole duration of your trip. The trolling motor is the motor I use way more time than the outboard. It is what I depend on. To me to choose electronics over the trolling motor would be like investing in an expensive GPS mapping / guidance gizmo at the expense of fuel. Again, if you can't get there you don't need the map:-)
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