If you want to pick the best bow mount trolling motor for Jon boat, you should consider many factors.
In this article, we have answered some of the commonly asked questions that people ask before they get a bow mount trolling motor for their Jon boats.
Table of Contents
Is a trolling motor enough for a Jon boat?
A trolling motor is enough to power a Jon boat, but needs an adequately powered trolling motor for the size of your Jon boat.
Hence, an underpowered trolling motor may have problems moving the boat forward against the wind.
How many pounds of thrust do I need for a Jon boat
You want a minimum of 2 lbs of thrust for every 100lbs. Arguably the most important consideration, when you are looking for the right trolling motor, is how much thrust your boat will need.
Thrust, measured in pounds (lbs) is the standard measure of how powerful a motor is. The larger and heavier your boat, the more thrust you’ll need to achieve satisfactory results on the water.
Best Bow Mount Trolling Motor for Jon Boat
If there’s one thing you want to avoid, it’s purchasing a trolling motor with too little thrust.
A common misconception about thrust is that it will provide higher speeds (or horsepower), which is not necessarily true. In many ways, thrust is similar to “torque” in a car; it is about “pull and twist,” not speed.
Adequate thrust level is of particular importance if you purchase a trolling motor with GPS functionality like Minn Kota’s i-Pilot. i-Pilot is designed to keep your boat in a fixed position or steady course.
Trolling motors come in three voltage ratings: 12v, 24v and 36v. Motors with higher voltages have more thrust.
In practical terms, a trolling motor with adequate thrust for your boat and common conditions will achieve the following:
- Allow your boat to get on plane easily
- Cruise at roughly 3-4mph
- If equipped with GPS, your boat should be able to hold on to a spot in anchor mode even if you typically fish in a swell or strong current
- Keep a relatively straight heading without being blown way off course
- Provide responsive steering
Nothing kills a day on the water quite like a trolling motor that does not have enough thrust. Your boat will be sluggish, unable to keep a fixed position (aka Spot Lock) for casting or hover over that great structure!
Is a trolling motor enough for a Jon boat?
Yes, a trolling motor is usually enough for powering a Jon boat, but keep in mind that this requires using an adequately powered trolling motor for the size of your Jon boat.
If you choose an underpowered trolling motor (or run into strong headwinds), you may have problems moving the boat forward against the wind.
The lake may be calm and peaceful when you set out, but if a strong wind starts up, later on, your trolling motor may not be able to deal with it, leaving you unable to get back to your starting point.
Where should you mount a trolling motor on a Jon boat?
If you use a trolling motor as the main propulsion for your Jon boat, it’s best to mount it at the transom. This allows it to push your boat forward while you steer it with your hand or remote control.
On the other hand, if you use a trolling motor in addition to an outboard, it’s best to mount the outboard engine at the transom, and the trolling motor at the bow.
This is the most common setup used by most anglers, as a bow mount trolling motor is better for using spot lock or for fine-tuned maneuvering.
In either case, it’s relatively quick and easy to mount a trolling motor on either the transom or bow of a Jon boat, as you can use a regular transom mounting bracket to straddle the gunnel in both of those locations.
What size trolling motor should you use for a Jon boat?
For an average size Jon boat around 14 feet, you need a trolling motor with at least 50 pounds thrust, but would do better with an 80 pound thrust trolling motor, since that will enable you to deal with wind and current more effectively.
The ideal size trolling motor for a Jon boat depends on the size and weight of the boat, as well as the conditions that you plan to use it in.
In terms of boat weight, keep in mind that you need to calculate the fully loaded weight, which includes all gear plus potential passengers.
Another factor to consider is whether you will be using the Jon boat in conditions with plenty of water current, such as big river systems, or if there is often strong wind in that area. Strong wind is especially insidious on large lakes, since there is less cover to shelter you from the wind.
What trolling motor shaft length is best for a Jon boat?
The best trolling motor shaft length for Jon boats is usually between 42” and 45”. This short shaft length is dictated by the fact that Jon boats have a relatively low transom and bow height.
In case the transom of your Jon boat is especially low (between 15” and 20”), you may even want to consider using a kayak trolling motor with 36” shaft length.
Can I just use a trolling motor for a Jon boat?
You can run a Jon boat with a trolling motor. This could be achieved either as your main propulsion or as secondary propulsion with a gasoline outboard as your main engine.
Can a trolling motor move a Jon boat?
Yes, it is possible that a trolling motor can move a Jon boat. However, you have to choose a trolling motor with sufficient thrust for the size and weight of your Jon boat.
Before you think of trolling your Jon boat, you should check if the two are compatible. If you cannot find the right trolling motor, or don’t know the motor to use, consider talking to a professional.
This would save you the challenge of using the wrong motor for your boat.