Bow Mount Trolling Motor Brackets

Bow Mount Trolling Motor Brackets: The Basics

The mounting of a trolling motor on a boat is a factor of many considerations. When picking the right brackets, you need to consider the type and size of the trolling motor itself, the shape, design, and functionality of the boat, as well as any individual circumstances.

Primary decision-making points include thrust, motor, hand/foot control, length of the shaft, and budget. In my experience, there is no “one–size fits all” solution.

On average, I would say the majority of gas trolling motors are traditionally fixed to the stern. This is because of the design and manufacturer’s specifications of the trolling motor itself, as well as the boat design.

For electric trolling motors, there can be huge advantages to installing them on the bow for the reasons in the next section.

Note: most links in this article are Affiliate links, see Affiliate Disclosure, thank you.

Choosing the Right Bow Mounted Trolling Motor

However, there are also quite a number of bow mounted trolling motors available as engineered by the manufacturer and/or as a user’s preference. Bow mount motors are more expensive, harder to install and occupy more deck space than stern-mounted motors.

Fishers with medium to large-sized boats prefer bow mount trolling motors because they get improved control compared to a stern-mounted motor. The boat is pulled through the water and allows precise steering for better maneuverability. 

As an observation, I will say that not all boats are suitable for mounting a trolling motor on the bow, though. Most boat designs do not have sufficient surface area to properly mount a trolling motor as the bow/hull area, in most instances, facilitates quite a number of structures.

These structures not only inhibit the required space for the trolling motor but may also not allow the mounting of the trolling motor at the right angle. These structures include but are not limited to bow lights, bow cleats, anchor lockers, and anchor windlasses.

Trolling motors are continually being developed with improved mounting systems. I would, therefore, recommend the use of a bow-mounted trolling motor, preferably in situations where the boat is specifically designed to accommodate one, such as in open bow-riders or bass boats.

If a boat owner prefers to mount their trolling motor on the bow, yet the vessel doesn’t have an ideal point where this can be done (by design or otherwise), I recommend using an appropriate bow mount trolling motor bracket.

Options for Bow Mounted Trolling Motor Brackets

These motor brackets are mostly made by specific trolling motor manufacturers like Leelock, Attwood, and Haswing, to name but a few. They fit various boats that can be powered by that particular trolling motor model. Some ready-made brackets in the market include: 

MinnKota Composite Quick Release Bracket 

Engineered to be super strong, this bow mount trolling motor bracket allows easy removal of the electric steer MinnKota ST and SP motors. Once the motor is removed, the deck is left clear. To prevent theft, this quick release bracket can be secured with a padlock.  

Click here to see reviews on

Brocraft Deck Mount Trolling Motor Bracke

This universal bracket is for a clamp-on type of electric trolling motors. Made of marine aluminum and a nylon plastic mounting block, the Brocraft bracket is designed for easy removal of the clamp on electric motors. The center point to center point of just over 12 inches helps the user get the motor away from the boat a safe distance to operate the trolling motor without hitting the boat and still have a great reach.

Click here to see reviews on

Motorguide 8M0095972 Universal Aluminum Quick-Release Bracket Kit

Motorguide’s universal Aluminum plate is one of the best on the market. Made of durable molded aluminum the mounting bracket will stand up to saltwater and the test of time. With an easy release lever, you can connect and disconnect your motor in an instant.

Multiple hole patterns mean you can connect almost any motor with this bracket. If you buy an off-brand you can drill an extra hole or two if needed. All the stainless bolts and washers you will need are included in the install kit.

Click here to see reviews on

Heavy-duty Stern Mounted Trolling Motor Bracket

Panther 4-Stroke Motor Bracket 

The Panther bracket is a heavy-duty lightweight bracket that allows you to adjust your trolling motor to five vertical running positions. With five positions you can set the optimal height for almost any trolling motor.

Because the Panther is heavy-duty you can use an electric trolling motor or a small 4-stroke motor. The capacity rating of the Panther bracket is 15 hp or 132 lbs total weight, but we would recommend limiting it to 9.9 hp.

Finally, while the Panther bracket is not saltwater rated, it is made of rust-resistant parts and we feel it would be a great choice for use in saltwater environments.

Click here to see reviews on

Customizing a Bow Mount Trolling Bracket

As discussed above, I have observed several scenarios where a standard manufacturer-made bracket is either not available, not a good fit, or just not suitable for use, either because of the boat design or other specifications or add-ons in a boat. In these situations, the bow mount trolling motor bracket would need to be custom-built to suit a particular need.

For the hands-on boat operator with the right materials, tools, skill level, and determination, one can fabricate their own bracket to suit their circumstances. The key is the functionality the bracket affords to the trolling motor. Several online tutorials have easy to follow step-by-step instructions on how to make one’s self an appropriate bow mount trolling motor bracket.

It is a reasonable presumption that not everybody is skilled enough to make one, but that does not mean they have to anchor their boat permanently. Contracting a professional to fabricate the required bracket is a viable option. In case you need to get a custom made bow mount trolling motor bracket from a third party, you need to follow the guidelines listed below:       

  • Enlist the services of a qualified professional who has the relevant experience in fabricating the right bracket. Consider reviewing their previous work experience and client testimonials before contracting.
  • Ensure the bracket is made from a suitable material depending on the type and size of the trolling motor, starting with wood for lighter motors, on to plastic, aluminum, and finally, stainless steel for the heavier grade of motors. There is a cost aspect of the type of material used. The price can vary greatly, from wood being the cheapest choice to the most expensive stainless steel variants. Keep in mind that the cost should only be a secondary consideration for getting the right bracket for the trolling motor that suits your needs.
  • Ensure that the bracket should allow for changes of shaft positions with regards to optimal shaft angle and optimal propeller depth.
  • Ensure the bracket is easy to maneuver and facilitates easy mounting and/or dismounting of the trolling motor from the vessel.

Click here to read our article Best Minn Kota Trolling Motor Plug


The ideal bracket is one that is easily removable when your motor is not necessary. Also if you plan on having maintenance or storing your motor you can save hours of headache.

These quick-release bow mount trolling motor brackets make it possible to remove your motor in minutes. Don’t forget a trolling motor plug and a lock for security.

Check out this article for a budget-friendly bow mount trolling motor.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where do you mount a bow on a trolling motor?

On a trolling motor, you will mount a bow onto one of the sides of the boat. You can choose whether you do this on the port or starboard side; there’s no wrong answer here! It depends on how you operate your boat and fish!

Those that steer the boat from the port side mount the motor on the starboard side; this will give you better visibility. Consider how and where you fish and use this to decide where you place the trolling motor and its bow!

Depending on the type of bow and motor you have, you will want it in a flush position on the side of the boat or with a slight overhang of no more than one inch. When installing your bow on a trolling motor, be sure to consult the instruction manual for further and specific guidance.

Can you mount a trolling motor on the side of a boat?

Yes, you can mount a trolling motor on the side of a boat! You can either mount it directly to the boat’s side or bow. Installing a trolling motor to the side of your boat is easy and can be done in a few minutes.

The easiest way to do this is to follow the instructions in your user manual. Most feature step-by-step guides with diagrams that are extremely useful. 

Alternatively, you can use one of the many tutorials online. These video tutorials can be fantastic, especially for beginners, and allow you to install your trolling motor in real-time. You can even search to find a tutorial for the make and model of your motor!

You can install the trolling motor on the port or starboard side of the boat, depending on your preference. Weigh up all your options before installing to ensure it won’t impact your sailing or fishing!

How do I stop my trolling motor from bouncing?

A simple method to stop your trolling motor from bouncing is to install a Ram Mount ball on the trolling motor and another on your deck.

Tighten down the piece that connects them and put a bungee around the foot of the trolling motor. This will keep it in place and should prevent it from bouncing!

Another option is to lock the shaft into place to stop the trolling motor from bouncing. Most retailers sell stabilizers or locks for your shaft that will help to stabilize the trolling motor and stop it from bouncing.

If purchasing these, be sure to check that they are compatible with your trolling motor. 

It might be worth looking at the installation of your motor too. If it’s installed incorrectly, it can cause bouncing. In some cases, it can be easier to check this and make the necessary adjustments.

Be sure to consult your instruction manual before doing so to avoid causing any damage to your trolling motor. 

Does a trolling motor need to be centered? 

While you can place your trolling motor anywhere and find that your boat will run fine, if possible, it should be placed as close to the center of the stern as possible.

Ideally, your trolling motor should be placed in the center. Place it near the stern without interfering with the operation of the main motor if you have one. 

Placing your trolling motor in the center allows the boat to propel through the water easily and won’t cause any uneven weight distribution.

It ensures a smooth performance and an easy ride! While you can place your trolling motor on the side of your boat without issues, it’s best to go with the center if possible.