During the winter after we bought the canoe I started doing some research about the possibility of using a trolling motor on the canoe. I did research on trolling motors, marine batteries, and how to mount it to the canoe.
Two of the items, the trolling motor and the battery led me to Canadian Tire. They had a handful of each to look at. I decided on the Minn Kota Endura 30. Once I got the trolling motor I needed to decide which battery to get. I looked to see what Canadian Tire had and decided on the the Motormaster Nautilus Deep Cycle Battery. I also had to buy a battery charger because as you use the trolling motor it does not keep the battery charged as other devices might. This was all new to me so this is why I am mentioning it. Once you get home from your day on the water charge the battery right away.
Once I got the trolling motor and the battery I then had to find a product that I could use to attach the motor to the canoe. Again, I was completely new to this so I simply started searching on the internet. Once I figured out what I needed I went to Ebay and did a search for a canoe side mount. The search led me to a few different sellers. The one I ended up getting is very well made and cost roughly $60 Canadian.
I now had all the items I needed to give this a try. I went to the part of the Petitcodiac close to Turtle Creek. My buddy and I put the canoe in the water. I put the battery close to the center of the canoe(the cables on the motor are not too long), I then attached the side mount to the canoe. This is done simply with pliers or you could use a ratchet. Attaching the trolling motor to the side mount was very easy. You can tighten it securely just with your hands. I then connected the cables to the battery and we were ready.
I must say that as we pushed off I was very nervous that something would be wrong and the motor would not work. To use the motor you simply rotate the handle one way to go forward (5 speeds) and the other way to go backwards (3 speeds). I gave the handle a turn and happily the propeller started and off we went. I gave all the speeds a try. The slowest speed is great for trolling slowly with your baits. High speed sent us along at about 10km/h. I felt this was a great speed for having two adults, the battery, and our gear in the canoe. To steer the canoe you simply pull the handle towards you or push it out from you.I used the trolling motor a handful of times last year and I must say that I am very pleased with it and am very happy that I decided to get it. I realize that perhaps some people will feel that part of having a canoe is to paddle and I agree if I am out for a nice canoe ride but if I am out for a day of fishing I want to be able to focus on fishing and not always paddling. The motor will also get you where you need to get to much quicker and will make your life much easier if you are going against the wind.
I used the trolling motor a handful of times on the Petitcodiac River, Shepody River, French Lake, and Cassidy Lake. When we fished for chain pickerel we did not use the motor as the area is full of weeds and the propeller would continuously get caught up. This area is quite small and is not hard to paddle in.
It did cost a bit to get what I needed but I think the cost is well worth it.
The motor was around $150. The battery was $140, the mount was around $60, and the charger was around $20(on sale).
I hope this info will be helpful for anyone that might be looking into getting a trolling motor for their small boat or canoe. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions on my experiences with mine.