What type of speed are you getting out of your motor and with what type of battery?
MYERS: For my set up, I can run at wide open throttle which is 4.7 to 5.2 MPH for 8- to 10-miles, depending on wind and current direction. Do I help propel my kayak by pedaling while the motor is on? Heck yes! I love the leg burn and workout. Plus, it helps with the time management between locations. The Torqeedo comes complete with a rechargeable battery designed specifically for the motor that will last a full day of fishing on full charge.
Torqeedo in water under load
LEMMON: The Motorguide Xi3 Kayak motor gave me a fighting chance against the wind. Being able to press the anchor button, sit in one spot and retie my line or measure my fish really eased a lot of my frustrations while fishing in the wind in my kayak.
Are there any limitations or considerations when adding the motor to the kayak?
MYERS: The biggest factor is weight, the lighter the better. The more weight added to a vessel, the slower it moves on the water. Also, every kayak has a motor rating and a weight rating. You do not want to overpower or overload your vessel.
If money is a factor, the least expensive option is to install a motor to the port or starboard sides on the central part of the vessel. The cost for this type of motor, battery and mount can run under $200. A bow mount with Spot-Lock, GPS, remote, lithium battery, mount and wire, you can spend around $2000. For the stern mount motors, you can find a brushless motor, a lithium battery and remote for speed control for $1500 to $2800.
LEMMON: I don’t feel like there are limitations when you add a bow mount, because the ease of pulling the motor up and storing it still allows you to get into that skinny water. I went bow mount because growing up I always wanted a bass boat. Putting a bow mount motor on my kayak gave me that same feel of the bow of a bass boat.
The obvious selling point for me as well was the GPS pinpoint being able to sit on a rock pile or offshore structure and fish. Hands and feet free was the most attractive feature to me. I don’t have any concerns with weight and stability. The motor in the front and battery in the very back, counterbalances itself very well. I’ve been in the 3- to 4-foot rollers on Clear Lake and it did great.
Torqeedo out of water
LEMMON: Each kayak varies in speed, but the motor is 55-lb thrust which accelerates my kayak at 4.6 MPH. The battery I recommend is a Dakota Lithium 100Ah which will last you 10+ hours and has a fast recharge rate. A huge plus to a lithium battery is that it weighs around 35-pounds making it a perfect counterbalance to the motor up front.
What’s the next evolution for motors on fishing kayaks?
MYERS: The perfect trolling motor set up would be a brushless, weedless, light weight bow mount that would pull a kayak above 5 MPH. This motor and battery would weigh less than 35-pounds, have the ability to fold under if you hit an obstruction, and deploy and retract automatically.
LEMMON: I think you’ll begin to see more kayaks being built around the bow mount motors. One thing that would be nice is a remote function to make the motor stow and deploy automatically. I believe the bow mounted motor is the direction the competitive kayak fishing community is headed. •