Choosing a Trolling Motor for your Bass Raider
So you bit the bullet and picked up the Pelican Bass Raider 10e or another small fishing boat so that you could get off the bank and really get after the fish.
You’ll probably agree that your trolling motor would be the next most important purchase for your boat (other than the boat itself) and there are a ton of options out there.
In my case, it took trying multiple trolling motors and other accessory combinations including rudders, anchors, and seat pedestals to get the perfect setup (or at least MY perfect setup).
In this article I’m going to cover the best trolling motors for the Pelican Bass Raider so that you can avoid some of the guesswork in choosing a trolling motor and completing your perfect boat set up.
MotorGuide Bulldog 40 Trolling Motor
This is my current trolling motor and I absolutely love it. After a year or so with my Bass Raider I was determined to figure out how to make a foot controlled trolling motor work with it.
I looked into how I could possibly add a bow mount trolling motor onto the Bass Raider but it just seemed like a horrible option.
Finally, I found the MotorGuide Bulldog and it was exactly what I was looking for!!!
This trolling motor is perfectly designed for the Pelican Bass Raider 10e and other similar boats that have a motor mount on the bow like the Sun Dolphin Pro 120.
It has a typical transom mount bracket that you just screw to tighten over the motor mount on the boat.
The motor is connected to a pedal that lets you completely control your boat by foot. Mine is mounted at the bow of my Bass Raider and I’m able to adjust my boat while keeping both hands on my rod and reel.
The motor offers 40 lbs of thrust but if you want more, you can spend a little more money and get the MotorGuide Bulldog 54 with, yes, 54 lbs of thrust.
I find the 40 does just fine for my purposes. When I’m making a run to the other side of the lake I switch it to the highest speed and with another person in the boat we usually move at about 3 mph.
If you think you need more, step up to the 54.
This trolling motor is ALMOST completely perfect for the Pelican Bass Raider 10e except for one thing – the foot pedal needs to be screwed into the bottom of the boat.
Now for some of you this may be no problem at all but I have kept from putting any holes in my boat and I didn’t want to drill any for the foot pedal either.
I ended up cutting two pieces of 2”x7” PVC and screwed them in along the front and back of the foot pedal.
Then I used some heavy duty velcro and put one side on the PVC and the other directly on the floor of my boat.
Now I can put my foot pedal in place when I’m using the boat and then easily remove the trolling motor when I’m done for the day.
The PVC works great but you could use plywood as well. Just make sure to paint or seal the wood as it will definitely be getting wet.
Something else to keep in mind is that you’ll have to add the 3-prong plug to your trolling motor if you want to use the 12v outlet at the front of the Bass Raider.
I ended up buying the male side of the plug directly from Pelican. I then cut the ends off the trolling motor wires and used waterproof, underground butt-splice connectors to attach the male plug.
That’s about all I’ve got for this great little trolling motor. From what I can tell they are not super popular and there’s not that much information about them online.
To be honest I was a little worried that they would stop making them. They’re not even really featured on the MotorGuide website.
UPDATE: I bought my Bulldog 40 from Academy Sports + Outdoors but they are no longer available there. Unfortunately I was not available to find them anywhere else either.
They probably don’t work great with Jon boats unless you have built a deck to stand on in your boat, but they seem to be made perfectly for these mini bass boats.
Minn Kota Endura C2 40 Trolling Motor
When it comes to trolling motors you cannot go wrong with Minn Kota. They are the biggest and most recognized name in the industry and they make fantastic products.
The Endura C2 30 was actually the first trolling motor I bought for my Bass Raider. At the time, I just wanted the cheapest thing to get me on the water and this thing did the trick.
Although I have no complaints about the 30lbs of thrust, I decided to step it up just a little bit and recommend the C2 40.
The size of the lakes you fish most often should determine which way to go here.
My main lake is about 60 acres however it is an “oxbow lake” and looks more like a river or canal.
That means I do have to make decent runs up and down the lake and I would step it up to at least 40lbs of thrust if I had to buy one again today.
As I mentioned before – this is the motor you want to buy if you just want to get on the water, not have any headaches from complicated electronics or power issues, and do it without breaking the bank.
Although I swapped mine out for the MotorGuide Bulldog 40 I still keep my C2 30 as a backup.
I’ve run it into logs and completely clogged it with grass and it keeps running. In most cases this little trolling motor is all you’ll ever need.
This is a standard transom mount trolling motor which means you control it by hand and mount it on the back of your boat.
While the majority of all small fishing boats are powered with a motor just like this one I could not stand fishing with it, especially in the wind.
I added a clamp-on rudder to the shaft of my Endura C2 30 which helped keep me from spinning in the wind a lot.
Ultimately, I couldn’t stand having to take my hand off my rod to adjust the boat after almost every cast so I switched to the Bulldog 40.
In retrospect, if I had my shallow water anchor pole back then and could quietly anchor the boat in an area I wanted to fish I might not have had as much of an issue.
I’m not sure about what shaft lengths are available now but mine was 30” and the Endura C2 40 may be available in 36”.
Either way, part of my frustration was that I was making those constant adjustments while standing and I’d also have to bend over to reach the handle.
If you see yourself having this issue as well you could consider adding an extension handle so at least you wouldn’t have to bend over.
As you can tell by now, going with the cheapest trolling motor is great on the one hand but you may also be adding a rudder, shallow water anchor pole, and extension handle.
I still use the anchor pole with my Bulldog 40 but you get the idea… All that stuff starts to add up.
Minn Kota Endura Maxx 45 Trolling Motor
To be honest I have not had the pleasure of testing out the Minn Kota Endura Maxx trolling motors but I felt like the features it offers were worthy of mentioning in case you don’t need the foot control of the Bulldog 40 and would prefer something a little more luxurious than the Endura C2.
I already mentioned how you can’t go wrong with Minn Kota and there are plenty of good reviews on the Endura Maxx series from small fishing boat owners out there to confirm it’s a popular option.
There are couple of features here that I’m just a plain sucker for.
The first is a Digital Maximizer technology that supposedly allows for a longer run time. I have no idea how much effect this feature actually has and I would guess that it would be hard to determine based on online reviews.
The second feature is a built in battery meter. Anything that gives me more confidence that I won’t be stranded and paddling back to shore will get my money.
There’s also a variable speed control feature that helps smooth the transition from one speed to the next.
Keep in mind if you like the idea of a battery meter you can also purchase the Minn Kota Power Center for your battery and use it’s built in meter with any trolling motor instead.
I have one and love having the ability to check and see if it’s time to head back to the truck or not.
While most of the online reviews are positive, there are several that report the trolling motor to hum louder than expected along with a little extra vibration.
Not sure what the cause of that could be but there are a lot of different variables involved.
It looks like the shaft is offered in 36” and 42” lengths so be sure to choose the one that fits you best considering whether you prefer to sit or stand.
What’s the best trolling motor for the Pelican Bass Raider 10e?
Anything that gets you on the water and off the bank is a plus in my book.
There’s also nothing wrong with checking Craigslist or any other online marketplace for a used one as well. Just plan to bring a battery with you so you can test it out.
While these are just three options and you have plenty more to choose from, hopefully this at least gave you some things to consider when choosing a trolling motor for your boat.
Think about how and where you want it mounted, how you would prefer to control it (hand or foot), how much power you think you might need based on the size of water body, and the price range that fits your budget.
Good luck and tight lines!