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Ecotrolling for Kayak Fishing: A Sustainable Approach

As more and more people take to the waterways to fish, float, or photograph, we must take an interest in preserving our earth for the next generation. Finding sustainable ways to interact with our world is vital. One rapidly growing trend in kayak fishing is ecotrolling, using electric trolling motors to minimize environmental impact. 

Sustainable Benefits of Ecotrolling for Kayaks

Zero Emissions

Electric trolling motors, unlike their traditional counterparts, don’t rely on gasoline or diesel fuel, so they produce zero emissions. This more eco-friendly approach is gaining popularity with water sports enthusiasts. 

Reduced Carbon Footprint

These electric options also have a much lower carbon footprint than gas-powered motors. Electricity used to power the motor can be found from renewable sources so that there is next to no greenhouse gas impact from these friendly motors.

Reduced Noise Pollution

Electric motors can run almost silently. Reduced noise pollution can make your human neighbors happy, but it also impacts wildlife.  A stealthy approach can help you land a whopper or take that perfect photo.   

Fewer Maintenance requirements

Regular repairs and maintenance of gas engines can cost you time and money. Electric motors will cost you less time and money because they have fewer moving parts and require less care

Improved Water Quality

Electric motors are also better for the waterways because they are less polluting than gasoline engines. You don’t have the danger of oil and fuel spills dirtying the marine environment. 

Enhanced Wildlife interaction

These quiet, non-polluting motors can also improve interaction with wildlife. Whether you are trying to target a trophy fish or spy on that elusive bird species, you can do it better with an ecotrolling motor. 

Types of Ecotrolling Motors for Kayaks

Bow mounted

Mounting your ecotrolling motor on the front of your kayak is generally better for control. A concern with bow-mounted motors is that they are less powerful and the added weight in the front pulls the nose down which is difficult in choppy water. However, they are much better at helping you stay in position.

Stern mounted

Rear mounted motors are generally better for speed. It helps raise the bow a bit higher which can reduce drag and move you along at a better clip. They tend be to less obtrusive as well, so they aren’t getting in your way as a front-mount might.

Side mounted

Like a bow-mounted trolling motor, a side-mount motor will provide significantly more control than a rear mount. It can also position the motor within easy reach of the pilot. They are great for positioning your boat and keeping it where you want it. 

Saltwater vs Freshwater

Another consideration when looking at ecotrolling motors is what water you will be plying. If you will be taking your rig out on the briny sea, you will definitely need to invest in a saltwater motor. Motor designed for brackish or salty water are made with corrosion-resistant materials to extend the life of the device.  

Brushless vs Brushed

Both brushed and brushless motors convert electric current into motion; however, they do it a bit differently. Brushed motors are mechanically driven, using a brush to transfer the electric voltage (produced by magnets) to create a spinning motion and drive the propeller. Brushless motors use the current created by the magnets and conduct it through coils that form a rotating magnetic field and create the spinning motion.

There are pros and cons to both. Brushed motors tend to be less efficient, hotter temperature, shorter life span, and more maintenance. Brushless, however, are often more expensive, complex, and require an electronic controller. 

Features of Ecotrolling Motors for Kayaks

Forward / Reverse

Trolling motors are designed to propel your boat. Some of the cheapest options out there will only provide forward momentum, but there are advantages to having the reverse option as well.


The thrust of a trolling motor can vary greatly, but even the least powerful can move your kayak. Depending on what you need to use it for you can get something with as little as 18 pounds of thrust to upwards of 100 pounds. The more thrust the heavier that motor is likely to be, so consider that as well when making your decision. 


When shopping for power, you will be looking at 12v or 24v batteries. The 24v trolling motor is twice as powerful as the 12v which means more thrust (propulsion) but it also means substantially more weight and cost. Usually, a 12v motor is enough to power a large fishing kayak in generally calm conditions. 

GPS anchoring

One amazing feature of the more expensive ecotrolling motors is GPS anchoring. Essentially, you set your coordinates, and your trolling motor does its best to keep you in that position with GPS monitoring. You are free to fish or float without fear of drifting into danger. 

Remote-control steering

Another wonderful feature of some ecotrolling motors is remote-control steering. This is particularly helpful if your motor must be mounted away from the pilot or in an awkward location that makes physical steering difficult. This can help keep the deck clear of steer extenders that can get in the way of your casting action. 

Tips for Ecotrolling Effectively

Maintain battery

Your battery is your lifeline with ecotrolling motors so make sure that you maintain it appropriately. Charge it before use and check for corrosion of the terminals. This is when making sure that you have a dedicated salt or freshwater motor is important. Saltwater is likely to corrode everything it touches. So, a saltwater motor takes that into consideration in construction and material. 

Inspect the propeller after each use

Make sure to inspect your propeller after each use. You don’t get anywhere is your propeller is compromised.

Check regulations & registration rules

Adding a trolling motor to your kayak, can change the registration rules for your kayak. Many states will require registration as soon as you slap a motor on your ‘yak. Check when and where you can use an ecotrolling motor and what fees or registration processes you have to go through to be legal. 

Upgrade your kayak fishing experience in a way that respects the water with Brooklyn Kayak Company’s Tracker Trolling Motor. This quietly competent motor moves you through the water with ease. Or check out our motorized fishing kayaks! Happy Paddling!
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