Can You Run Two Trolling Motors?

Using two trolling motors

Yes, you can run two trolling motors on your fishing boat. It won’t increase speed much, but there are benefits to using dual trolling motors depending on where you fish, the weight of your boat, and weather conditions.

If a little is good, more is better. Right?

When it comes to running two trolling motors, it’s a yes and no.

Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.

I’ll break down the pros and cons of using two trolling motors down below, and it’s a great question to ask with so many new anglers over the last few years.

According to the 2019 Special Report on Fishing published by the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation (RBFF), an estimated 49 million Americans participated in recreational fishing in 2018. Of those, approximately 18.8 million went fishing on a boat. Additionally, the report found that 70% of all fishing trips taken in the United States were taken on a boat.

two guys bass fishing

What Is A Trolling Motor Used For?

A trolling motor is designed to propel a fishing boat at low speeds. It is commonly used for fishing as it allows for quiet and precise maneuvering, making it easier to approach fish without scaring them away. Some of the common uses of a trolling motor in fishing include:

  • Moving the boat along underwater structures holding fish, such as a drop-off, a weed line, or a clump of submerged brush
  • Maneuvering in tight spaces where fish may lurk, such as around docks on a shoreline or into gaps in brush or rushes
  • Keeping the boat steadily pointed into the wind or current while casting at hotspots
  • Trolling at slow speeds to attract fish to the bait or lure
  • Providing a backup power source in case the main engine fails.

The main purpose of a trolling motor is to cruise at slow speeds.

So why have two motors?

Using two trolling motors on a fishing boat can provide several benefits that may appeal to anglers. While a single trolling motor is often sufficient for most fishing situations, having two motors can offer improved performance and flexibility.

two guys fishing on a boat

Benefits Of Having Two Trolling Motors

Imagine you’re out on the water, trying to fish in a tight corner of the lake. The wind is picking up, making it difficult to control your boat.

You try to use your single trolling motor to keep your boat in position, but the wind is too strong.

Your boat is being pushed around, making it impossible to stay in the perfect spot for fishing. This is where having two trolling motors on your fishing boat can really make a difference.

You can fight against the wind and keep your boat in position with double the thrust.

You can use one motor to control your boat’s movement while the other motor keeps your boat steady.

This can be especially useful when fishing in tight corners or areas with many obstacles. With better control and positioning, you can stay in the perfect spot for fishing, even on the windiest days.

Here are some benefits of having two trolling motors on a fishing boat:

  • Increased maneuverability
  • Greater boat control
  • Improved reliability
  • Longer fishing trips
  • More power

Increased Maneuverability

While a single trolling motor is usually all you need in most cases, having two motors provides double the thrust, making it easier to navigate through tight spaces, strong currents, or crosswinds.

With two motors, you can also position your boat more precisely, which is especially important for activities like fishing. This increased maneuverability can also help you stay in line with your path without drifting off course, as you’ll be able to react more quickly to environmental changes.

Overall, while a single trolling motor may be sufficient for some boats, using two trolling motors can provide a significant advantage in maneuverability and control.

Better Boat Control

Using trolling motors on your boat can also greatly improve your boat control, especially when using a single trolling motor.

With two motors, you can position your boat more precisely, which is especially important for fishing. The ability to control your boat’s movement can also help you stay in the perfect spot for fishing, even in areas with strong currents or winds.


Another benefit of using two trolling motors on your boat is improved reliability. If one motor fails, you can still use the other for trolling.

This can be especially important if you’re out on the water for an extended period, as a single motor failure could leave you in a tight spot.

Having two trolling motors can help extend the lifespan of each motor, as you’ll be able to distribute the workload more evenly between the two.

With improved reliability, you’ll be able to focus more on enjoying your time on the water rather than worrying about potential motor failures or breakdowns.

Longer Fishing Trips

With two motors, you can extend your time on the water, as you can alternate between the two motors to conserve battery life.

This can be especially useful if you’re planning on fishing for an extended period, as fishing for more than eight hours with a single motor can be difficult.

You’ll be able to make the most of your time on the water and increase your chances of having a successful fishing trip. 

More Thrust

Having two trolling motors on your boat can really give you additional power. You can move your boat more easily and quickly with double the thrust than with just one motor.

This is especially useful when dealing with larger boats or rough waters. More power can also help you get to your fishing spot faster, giving you more time to fish.

Plus, with more thrust, you’ll easily handle strong currents or winds, which can be a real game-changer when on the water. 

With that said, if you invest in one powerful trolling motor, would you need that extra thrust and weight of two motors on the boat? 

Here’s a table of the recommended thrust power to the weight of the boat:

Disadvantages of Using Two Trolling Motors

One significant disadvantage is that running both simultaneously will double the amp draw and drain your battery twice as fast.

A higher quality battery or a larger quantity of spares might be necessary if you’re planning longer outings due to the double amp draw that two trolling motors will produce, draining your power source at an accelerated rate.

Additionally, adding an extra motor may not necessarily increase speed; rather than doubling thrust output when used together, they tend to compete, leading to lower overall efficiency.

Another issue with using two trolling motors is cost.

Purchasing two motors requires a larger upfront investment than buying one larger motor with greater power output.

Many boats aren’t designed to handle more than one motor, so modifications may need to be made, which adds further expense and complexity.

Ultimately, it comes down to personal preference.

If you feel like dual propulsion gives you enough benefit, it might be worth investing in, but if not, sticking with just one large, powerful trolling motor will do just fine.

Before You Go

Before you head out, check out our other resources on trolling motors:

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