Kayak Motors | Adding a Trolling Motor to My Kayak Saved My Marriage

Now obviously being a 33-year-old bachelor, I’m not talking about saving my literal marriage. I’m talking about my marriage to kayak fishing. Though I could definitely see the advantages of coming home to your spouse not worn out from paddling all day. 

But babe, I had no choice once I paddled so far but to turn around and paddle back.” doesn’t sound like a great excuse for missing dinner reservations. 

For me, it was more about longevity in this sport. If I wanted to commit to kayak fishing for the long haul, there had to be more than a paddle involved. 

I like paddling. I like the exercise — and need it. But I can see a lot of joint pain and wear and tear on my body in the long run if I had to paddle every stroke of the way. In addition, competing in KBF events and other tournaments with just a paddle puts you at a massive disadvantage on some fisheries. For me, there needed to be some energy source for propulsion other than calories.

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Kayak Motors | Adding a Motor… DIY Style

So, I decided to add a trolling motor to the Bonafide SS127 I borrowed from my buddy Scott Beutjer. My uncle just happened to have an old Minn Kota hand controlled trolling motor that would barely slip through the hole in the SS127 where the pod usually is. 

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I needed some way of mounting the trolling motor, so I screwed a couple of pieces of wood together to help keep it upright and then I was ready to shove off and test it out. 

My biggest concern was not being able to steer the kayak well with the motor being towards the middle of the boat and not on the front or back where most motors are mounted.

I quickly found that, though the boat was harder to turn with the motor in the middle, I could still move it in the right direction by exaggerating the degree to which I turned it. 

Having a motor definitely made the fishing more enjoyable. I only fished a couple of hours but quickly found a few benefits.

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Kayak Motors | The Benefits of Having a Motor

Beating The Wind

I was able to combat the wind far better. Without a motor, I’d often have to stop fishing mid cast to pick up the paddle and turn or back the boat up to keep from getting on top of what I was trying to fish. 

Pulled By Fish

The motor solved a similar problem that would occur when I’d hook a fish and be pulled by that fish into the cover. With the motor, I was able turn it on, with one hand still on the rod, and quickly move the other hand back to the rod. 

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That way I was backing away from the cover while I brought the fish out of it. 

Better Mobility

I also found that I was able to move around a lot more, although that ability could be a hindrance from time to time. One of the things I have liked most so far about kayak fishing is that you’re forced to slow down and fish what’s in front of you. Still, having the ability to quickly motor into a pocket to get out of the wind or skip a shady bank in pursuit of a sunny one is a definite advantage. 

Kayak Motors | Some Final Thoughts

There were a couple of negatives that I also noticed. You lose a little bit of stealth due to the added noise, but you can always just pick the paddle back up in situations where you need to be a little quieter. You’re also not able to go quite as shallow due to the motor and prop below the boat and the added weight of the motor and battery.

But overall, I definitely enjoy having a motor on the kayak. I don’t see the need to take a motor with me on every outing, but having one in bigger water or windier conditions is a huge benefit.

Kayak Bass Fishing Welcomes ‘ANGLR’ of the Year Title Sponsor

ANGLR, the world’s most popular fishing intelligence platform, has become the title sponsor of the prestigious Kayak Bass Fishing (KBF) Angler of the Year award. Not just for 2019, but for 2020.

Kayak Fishing History

If you’re unaware of the kayak fishing movement, it’s time to wake up and smell the freshly molded plastic. It’s a movement and something that we think has been way overdue.

There was a huge gap between bank fishing and buying a $60,000 bass fishing boat or inshore skiff. We couldn’t be more excited and supportive of the 10-13 foot piece of plastic that is beginning to bridge this gap. The kayak fishing era is now and we’re not going to watch it happen from the shore.

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2018 ANGLR of the Year, Cody Milton with Chad Hoover

“KBF is constantly looking for new ways to enhance the kayak angler’s experience and improve the caliber of competition and opportunities for our members. Because of this we are delighted to be working with ANGLR who shares our commitment to continuous improvement, lifelong learning, and deeper enjoyment of the sport.” – Chad Hoover, KBF Founder and President

“It’s so cool to find another brand who is as passionate about growing this sport as we are.” – Joe Haubenreich, KBF COO

“Kayak fishing has become incredibly popular in recent years and continues to grow,” said Dave Washburn, FLW Vice President of Operations

Kayak Bass Fishing (KBF), the nation’s foremost organization supporting kayak bass anglers, has been a key player spearheading this movement since 2009. The KBF was formed in 2009 to offer kayak anglers the opportunity to compete for hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash and prizes at premier fisheries around the country. They are currently in their seventh season for live events. KBF offers more than 25 professional-level bass fishing tournaments to kayak anglers. For complete KBF details, schedules and updated information, visit

About the KBF AOY Program

Only four years old, KBF’s Angler of the Year (“AOY”) award recognizes season-long, consistent, outstanding performance and commitment to competition in all KBF TRAIL series.

The award is based on a points system. Points are awarded based on performance of KBF members who compete throughout the tournament season. Points are summed up from three primary trails:

  • Top three scores from the 2019 KBF TRAIL Series Tournaments
  • Points from one Regional KBF TRAIL Series Championship
  • Double points from the 2019 KBF TRAIL Series National Championship

See the current rankings!

The New ANGLR of the Year

Cody Milton, the 2018 AOY will be the first official “ANGLR of the Year” title holder. ANGLR also stepped up to sponsor the upcoming 2019 crowning, AND we’ve picked up the future 2020 race as well! We are committed for the next two years and wanted to show our enthusiasm for this segment of fishermen right off the bat.

“To me this partnership is massive, I believe in both companies, the people working for them and the community around them. Some of the best people in the world paddle these little plastic boats. This community is unlike any other, this is something special. AOY will never be the same…” – Scott Beutjer, Kayak Angler and Industry Developer

Much More Than a Sponsorship

We wanted to form a closer working relationship with KBF and their members to learn how we could better serve their community. Chad’s expertise in the Kayak fishing industry will be critical to help us shape the ANGLR app and future development of features for the kayak fishermen.

We loved the play on the name and how well it fits, but we also loved what this title represents to KBF members. It is a symbol of the ANGLR mission in many ways. It represents drive, constant improvement, learning, and commitment to the craft. The title encapsulates everything we stand for. We exist to help anglers constantly improve.

We’re committed to the kayak community and love the passion these anglers exhibit both on and off the water. This community has repeatedly proven they put the angler first, and that’s what we’re all about. This partnership is just the first paddle stroke of many in the journey ahead into uncharted waters with kayak anglers. We couldn’t be more excited for what the future holds!


Photo Credits: Scott Beutjer