Best Trolling Motors With Spot Lock in 2023

Best Trolling Motors With Spot Lock

Garmin Force Trolling Motor Reviewmotorguide xi5 trolling motor

Minn KotaTerrova i-Pilot

GarminForce Trolling Motor

MotorGuideXi5 Trolling Motor

Water Compatibility: FreshwaterWater Compatibility: Freshwater, saltwater, and brackishWater Compatibility: Freshwater or Saltwater
Thrust: 55 lbs / 80 lbs / 112 lbsThrust: 80 lbs., 100 lbs.Thrust: 55 lbs / 80 lbs / 105 lbs
Voltage: 12 V / 24 V / 36 VVoltage: 24 V / 36 VVoltage: 12V
Mount Type: BowMount Type: BowMount Type: Bow
Control Type: Control Type Foot pedal, remoteControl Type: Wireless foot pedal; handheld remoteControl Type: Wireless foot pedal (heel-toe) or wireless remote
Speed Control: VariableSpeed Control: 20 power settingsSpeed Control: Variable
Shaft Material: CompositeShaft Material: FiberglassShaft Material: Composite
The Best Trolling Motor For:


Minn Kota Terrova

Why we love it

When it comes to power and accuracy keeping your boat locked in position, the Minn Kota Terrova leads the pack. Its patented anchor lock utilizes a GPS antenna in the head along with Minn Kota's robust heading sensor to maintain fixed positioning within a 3-foot radius.

Advanced wind compensation technology counters crosswinds, currents, and waves to keep your vessel anchored in the spot lock zone. Even in harsh conditions, the Terrova won't budge. Its industrial-strength electric steering continually corrects course to deliver the strongest and most accurate spot lock performance.

For unwavering anchoring power, the Minn Kota Terrova should be your top spot lock motor choice. No other system keeps you locked quite as solidly.

The Best Trolling Motor For:


Garmin Force

Why we love it

The Garmin Force offers seamless integration with Garmin's industry-leading marine electronics for an unparalleled spot lock fishing experience. Connect your Force motor to a Garmin echosounder and you can view crystal clear LiveScope, SideVu, and Chirp sonar imaging right on your Force screen.

See fish and structures in ultra-high resolution and simply tap the screen to activate Spot Lock over them. It's networking at its finest for dialed-in spot lock precision. Active imaging even lets you monitor fish behavior and the water column while spot locked.

For the ultimate electronics and navigation ecosystem with your trolling motor, the Garmin Force can't be beat thanks to its tight Garmin integration.

The Best Trolling Motor For:


MotorGuide XI5

Why we love it

When it comes to advanced GPS-powered autopilot features beyond just spot lock, the MotorGuide XI5 is packed with perks. The excellent Pinpoint GPS system enables precise anchor mode, route recording to retrace paths, and heading lock to maintain constant compass bearings hands-free.

Cruise control keeps you trolling at a set speed, while the "take me to" marker feature lets you designate targets for the motor to steer to automatically. There's also an emergency stow function to retract the motor if it hits an obstacle.

For the most diverse auto pilot toolset, the MotorGuide XI5 trolling motor delivers a compelling hands-free navigation experience.

Things to Consider

Find out things you should look for when buying a trolling motor...


minn kota powerdrive trolling motor

How to Choose the Best Trolling Motor With Spot Lock


Spot lock technology has transformed anchored fishing and precision boat control. With spot lock, your trolling motor uses GPS tracking to maintain position within a tight fixed radius. This allows staying parked exactly over productive fishing spots, even in current or wind. However, all spot lock motors are not created equal. There are major differences in anchoring power, integration with onboard electronics, and supplemental autopilot capabilities. In this guide, we’ll uncover what matters most when selecting a spot locking trolling motor. We’ll look at evaluating spot lock strength, clear networking with fish finders, and advanced GPS-powered auto pilot features that expand control. Read on for a comprehensive look at finding the perfect spot lock trolling motor for your needs.

Spot Lock Strength


The anchoring power of the trolling motor's spot lock is paramount. Top motors use industrial-grade GPS antenna positioning and complex heading sensor guidance to maintain location within a tight 3-foot radius, even in wind and current.

This level of unwavering spot lock performance requires continuous thrust adjustments and corrections to counteract forces trying to move the boat. Robust electric steering and fast processing make this possible.

GPS without these advanced corrections struggles to lock position when stressed by real-world conditions. Seek out the most heavy duty heading and GPS stabilization for true anchoring strength.

Electronics Integration


Spot lock precision improves vastly when integrated with a high-quality onboard fish finder. Look for motors that network directly with leading fish finder brands for an enhanced experience.

Viewing crystal clear sonar imaging lets you see structure and fish, then dial in the ideal spot to lock over them. Some systems even let you monitor the water column and fish behavior while locked in place.

Tight integration between the spot lock motor and fish finder unlocks next level fishing capabilities. Having navigation data overlaid also helps guide spot lock placement.

Auto Pilot Features


Beyond just spot lock mode, advanced trolling motors also integrate cruise control, route tracking, heading lock, and other autopilot features.

Cruise control maintains constant trolling speeds hands-free. Heading lock acts like a marine autopilot to hold your compass bearing.

Advancedroute tracking lets you retrace productive paths and repeat trolling passes. An emergency stow function even retracts the motor if you hit an obstacle.

Look for a robust auto pilot toolset that amplifies your navigation and control capabilities.

Additional Spot Lock Trolling Motor Considerations

  • Wireless connectivity for control from anywhere on deck
  • Bow mount for stable visibility and power
  • Quiet brushless motors that won't spook fish
  • Composite shafts and construction for freshwater durability
  • Sufficient 60lb+ thrust levels to overcome winds and currents
  • At least 3-year warranty coverage for electronics reliability
  • The Bottom Line


    When you need to maintain your position over a fishing hotspot or navigational waypoint with absolute precision, a spot lock trolling motor is a game-changer. Seek out motors with the strongest GPS anchoring capabilities along with top-end electronics integration.

    Advanced auto pilot features also enhance the hands-free navigation experience. Investing in a high-end spot locking motor can profoundly improve your fishing effectiveness and boat control.

    Spot Lock Trolling Motor FAQs


    How accurate is GPS spot lock anchoring?

    The most advanced spot lock motors can maintain fixed position within a tight 3-foot radius, even in heavy wind and current. This level of accuracy is achieved using high-precision GPS antenna positioning coupled with industrial-strength heading sensors and software that makes continuous micro corrections to heading and thrust. Lesser spot lock systems rely on basic GPS which can struggle to hold a steady position when strained by real-world on-water forces. Leading brands like Minn Kota and Motorguide optimize their spot lock strengths by combining accurate GPS with robust sensor-based heading stabilization and rapid thrust adjustments to counteract winds, waves, and currents trying to displace the boat off the locked position.

    What size thrust is needed for spot lock to work effectively?

    For effective and strong spot locking, minimum thrusts of 60 pounds or higher are recommended for most boats. This gives the motor sufficient power and steering authority to maintain course and position when battling winds, current, and waves. Larger or heavier boats may need 80 pounds or more of thrust for the motor to keep position under stress. More thrust equals more consistent and unwavering spot lock performance, so don't handicap yourself with an undersized motor. That said, avoid far exceeding your boat's needs, as overly powerful spot lock motors can be sensitive and burn more battery. Carefully match required thrust to your boat’s size and conditions for optimized spot lock strength.

    What features integrate well with spot lock motors?

    The spot locking experience greatly benefits from wireless connectivity, clear fish finder networking, and expanded autopilot capabilities. Wireless remotes allow controlling and adjusting spot lock from anywhere on deck. Clear integration with onboard fish finders enables viewing fish and structure in real time to precisely place spot lock targets. Overlaid GPS mapping further enhances navigation. Look for additional autopilot modes like cruise control for set speeds, route tracking to retrace paths, and heading lock to maintain compass bearings hands-free. The more ways your spot lock motor can enhance boat control and navigation, the bigger the benefit.

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