The world of fishing kayaks has continually evolved, with more brands looking for new methods to enhance their user experience. Motorized kayaks have grown in popularity and even expert kayak anglers are looking at tons of different models, searching for the best fishing kayak with motor as they provide various advantages over traditional kayaks.
A fishing kayak with motor provides a kayak angler with an edge in various areas to ensure the entire experience of bass fishing or any other type of fishing is much more productive. A kayak motor also makes it easier for any kayak angler, regardless of their skill level, to enjoy the fishing experience.
Using a kayak with an electric motor can get to your favorite fishing spot quicker and save energy for the battle with the fish. The advantage of having the stealth and maneuverability of a kayak with the efficiency and speed of a kayak motor is something that can appeal to anyone that wants to go kayak fishing, especially if you want to fish by tolling through the water.
With that in mind, this article will highlight the best fishing kayak with motor.
Old Town Sportsman Autopilot 120 – Best Fishing Kayak With Motor
The Old Town Sportsman Autopilot 120 is one of the best motors for fishing kayaks. This is underpinned by the fact that it held the Best of Show at iCast 2020. It is powered by a Minn Kota trolling motor, which provides 45 pounds of thrust and is GPS equipped.
It provides any kayak angler with all the bells and whistles typically needed when you go bass fishing. Thanks to the remote, the motor can be controlled wirelessly and comes with a spot lock feature. This feature negates the need for an anchor while ensuring you keep your position in the current or wind.
The Minn Kota kayak motor is also saltwater ready, so you can fish just about anywhere. The Old Town Sportsman Autopilot has an upgraded frame seat with low-high positions. It also has a massive rear tank well that accommodates a ton of camping or fishing gear. There is enough space for 4 flush mount rod holders, with 2 at the front and the back.
You also get 4 18-inch gear tracks to store your kayak fishing accessories. Steering is easy with this motorized kayak, thanks to its rudder control. A significant flaw of this Old Town pedal kayak is that it has all the motor deployment, steering functionality, and wiring already done.
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All a lifetime sport fisher has to do is place a deep cycle battery in, and they are ready to go. You should note that this kayak motor is heavy, weighing 152 pounds when fully assembled. This means that you will need to consider the logistics of moving it from storage on the shore to the water. This fishing kayak with motor isn’t something you can simply drag a couple of feet into the water.
It also isn’t something you can seamlessly place on a car top. Nevertheless, its weight is a positive, as it offers the stability that all kayak anglers require.
Motorguide XI3 – Best Bow-Mounted Trolling Motor
The MotorGuide Xi3 is perfect for any kayak angler that requires a bow-mounted motor. This outboard motor is powerful, providing 55 pounds of thrust, and it also comes with a couple of inbuilt features which make it highly convenient.
It has a steering tiller that you can operate via remote control. This ensures you can operate your motorized kayak hands-free. Furthermore, there is a Pinpoint GPS, which is an add-on feature that improves navigation.
The Pinpoint GPS also comes with cruise control, Jog, precise anchoring, and Heading Lock – a feature that enables you to establish a destination and have the electric motor steer in such direction.
Battery life is not an issue, thanks to the Digital Power Management feature that helps to prolong the battery life by 500% (a stat MotorGuide claims). It also means that the electric motor is 40% quieter than other motorized motors in its class.
You should note that all of these features come at a cost. It is not the lightest, nor is it the cheapest of trolling motors on this list. However, it enables you to customize your mounting system to suit your fishing kayak.
It also helps that this kayak motor is suited to the foot pedal and tiller operations, meaning you can control it any way you want. Deployment and storage are both seamless, thanks to the design.
Watersnake T18 ASP – Best Lightweight Trolling Motor
If you are looking for a compact outboard motor that is perfect for a kayak, then the Watersnake T18 ASP is one of the best available options on the market. It can generate 18 pounds of thrust – quite a feat for such a lightweight outboard motor. It can propel your fishing gear (like the best kayak fish finder) and your kayak; however, the key is not overloading your kayak.
Weighing just 5 pounds, it is the perfect option for those that want a lightweight fishing kayak. Surprisingly, it has been rated for both saltwater and freshwater use, a feature sure to attract all anglers.
It comes with an adjustable mount fitting that is compatible with most of the fishing kayaks available on the market today. With a 24-inch shaft, it is ideally suited for off-shore use; however, the shaft isn’t adjustable, so it fairs poorly in shallow waters.
While it has few features and isn’t the most powerful outboard motor for a fishing kayak, it is perfectly suited for lightweight kayaks.
Minn Kota Endura C2 30 Freshwater Transom Mounted Trolling Motor – Most Affordable Kayak Motor
The Minn Kota Endura C2 is the best motor for fishing kayak in its price range. This is because it has an extra-long adjustable shaft length and is backed up by the patent Minn Kota reliability. It is a kayak motor any kayak angler can trust to always power on, even after years of consistent use.
This is the standard C2 30 model, which generates 30 pounds of thrust. While 30 pounds of thrust might not seem like enough, it is sufficient to power your kayak and move your gear to your favorite fishing spots.
It has a 30-inch adjustable fiberglass shaft making it ideal for just about any water condition. Furthermore, you get great battery life with this electric motor; this Minn Kota trolling motor is known for providing the best battery life in its class.
A drawback to this kayak motor is that it isn’t saltwater rated, taking it out of the running for any lifetime sport fisher that loves the ocean. Nevertheless, it performs excellently in freshwater, thanks to the 3 reverse and 5 forward speed settings.
With 8 settings, steering and maneuverability are seamless. This trolling motor weighs just 17 pounds, making it one of the lightest kayak motors on the market.
Newport Vessels NV-Series 55lb Electric Trolling Kayak Motor – Best Overall
This Newport Vessels Kayak trolling motor is perhaps one of the most durable and reliable options for kayak anglers today. It can generate 55 pounds of thrusts and is controlled using 8-speed settings.
It has a 6-inch telescopic handle that ensures precision steering is possible. It also comes with a “clicking” sound to inform you when the kayak motor has been turned off or when a gear is shifted.
With this trolling motor, you get 5.5 feet cables that make connecting to a battery seamless, regardless of where you store it. As stated earlier, durability is a watchword with this kayak motor, and the 24-inch fiberglass shaft underlines that. The shaft is hyper-tough and adjustable, making it easy to change depth placement seamlessly.
Perhaps, the piece de resistance has to be the fact that this electric motor is saltwater-rated. It has an aluminum head, and the rest of the hardware is constructed from corrosion-resistant stainless steel, magnesium, and zinc. This construction ensures that it can withstand frequent exposure to salt.
You should note that this trolling electric motor is slightly heavier than other motors in its class, so you might want to request help mounting it onto your kayak.
Wilderness Systems Helix Pedal Drive – Best Motor for Fishing Kayak 115 & 135
The Wilderness Systems Helix Pedal Drive is a high-quality trolling motor at an affordable price. This trolling motor has a pedal drive add-on system ideally suited to the Wilderness System RADAR model kayaks. You can control this trolling motor easily, thanks to the pedal system. It has a 6:1 gear ratio to ensure you can get power when needed.
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It also has an auto-raising mast head coupled with a few features that you see on most high-end kayak motors: an extendable handle, LED power indicator, and a tilting head. Unfortunately, it doesn’t come with GPS capabilities like other kayak trolling motors; however, it represents a bargain at its price point.
Finding the best motor for your fishing kayak is a lot easier nowadays. There are quite a few quality kayak motors from different brands, all offering something to fit price points and capability. In our opinion, if you want the best overall motor for fishing kayak, you can’t go wrong with the Newport Vessels NV-Series 55lb Electric Trolling Kayak Motor.