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Dropping the anchor in 2023 is old news, it’s time to upgrade and get yourself a trolling motor with a spot lock.

Spot lock trolling motors have changed the way we fish forever, eliminating any unnecessary distractions like adjusting your position, dropping an anchor that scares the fish, and being pulled by strong large fish.

Now with a good trolling motor, you can stay in the same position without a hassle, all you have to do is step on a foot pedal or press a button.


Best Overall Trolling Motor

Lowrance Ghost

Price: $3,499.00 – $4,618.68

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Best Freshwater Trolling Motor

Minn Kota Freshwater

Price: $2,030.00 – $2,969.99

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Best Saltwater Trolling Motor

Garmin Force

Price: $3,549.99

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Cheapest Trolling Motor

MotorGuide Xi3

Price: $1,590.86

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Best Spot Lock Trolling Motors

We’ve created a list of our favorite spot lock trolling motors, and we’ve used some of them ourselves while interviewing fishermen who use the other anchor lock trolling motors.

We’ve created a list of factors you should consider when choosing a spot lock trolling motor, so you can take the right choice in your search for a wireless spot lock trolling motor.

From Minn Kota Terrova to Lowrance Ghost and Garmin Force, here are our favorite wireless trolling motor models.

Best Value Trolling Motor

Minn Kota 1358857 Terrova

Price: $1,810.05 – $1,899.99

Shaft Length: 45″ – 54″

Thrust Power: 55 lbs

Voltage: 12V

The Minn Kota Terrova is a great trolling motor at an affordable price, it has all the features you would want a trolling motor to have.

This specific model has 2 shaft lengths, 45-inch and 54-inch, but you can also find similar models with 60 and 72 inches.

The Minn Kota Terrova has a wonderful spot lock, that allows you to control every aspect of your boat, you can control your wireless trolling motor from a touchscreen remote control, or a virtual remote on your fish finder.

The Minn Kota has a built-in Universal Sonar 2 that helps you find fish and includes a multi-function foot pedal.

This trolling motor is better suited for smaller boats that don’t require much thrust.


  • Reliable
  • Inexpensive
  • Good Spot Lock


  • Weak Thrust Power

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Cheapest Trolling Motor With Spot Lock

MotorGuide Xi3

Price: $1,590.86

Shaft Length: 48″/54″/60″

Thrust Power: 55/70 lbs

Voltage: 12v/24v

The MotorGuide Xi3 is a great freshwater trolling motor, and with the price tag on it, it’s hard to not fall in love with it.

It’s not only great for boats but also amazing for kayak anglers.

Operate the motor from anywhere on your boat with the wireless remote control.

The MotorGuide Xi3 is a quiet trolling motor which has one of the most accurate pinpoint GPS systems on the market.

Using this trolling motor is a great experience, it’s quiet, it’s strong, and it’s easily one of the best spot lock trolling motors you can find out there.

This trolling motor can go head-to-head with the Minn Kota trolling motors, it’s a great and inexpensive product.


  • Quiet
  • Inexpensive


  • Freshwater Use Only

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Best Freshwater Trolling Motor

Minn Kota Terrova Freshwater Trolling Motor

Price: $2,030.00 – $2,969.99

Shaft Length: 45″/60″/72″

Thrust Power: 80lbs

Voltage: 24v

This is the most used trolling motor model on the market, it’s super popular and deserves it.

When we were using this model, we were surprised by how smooth everything was, how effective the spot lock feature was, and by how strong the motor is.

This bow mount trolling motor breaks the rules of the game, with its advanced features like a spot lock using your GPS position, record paths, and variable speed control of your boat from a touchscreen remote.

This Minn Kota trolling motor has a built-in universal sonar 2, it has a multi-function foot pedal, an I-Pilot GPS system, and a heading sensor.

Although expensive, this trolling motor is one of the best spot lock trolling motors money can buy, and you will surely be happy with the choice you made.

Minn Kota has some of the most impressive spot lock technology and trolling motors, it is a manufacturer you can trust and know you will get high value for your money.


  • Best Pinpoint GPS
  • Wireless Foot Pedal
  • Strong Trolling Motor


  • For Freshwater Use
  • A bit expensive

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Best Trolling Motor

Lowrance Ghost – Freshwater Trolling Motor

Price: $3,499.00 – $4,618.68

Shaft Length: 47″/52″/60″

Thrust Power: 97/120 lbs

Voltage: 24v/36v

The Lowrance Ghost trolling motor comes with 120 lbs of thrust and is a powerful and surprisingly quiet brushless motor with spot lock.

You can use the trolling motor in 24v and in 36v to create more/less trust as needed.

It is one of the quietest motors you will ever find due to the brushless motor, and also one of the most powerful trolling motors.

The Lowrance Ghost spot lock trolling motor ensures a clear view of your fish finder.

The spot lock works great and will keep you stationary with ease, and with its powerful trolling motor, no wave or wind will be able to move you.

In our opinion, the Lowrance Ghost is a revolutionary trolling motor, it’s everything you’d want.

We love the foot pedal as it feels like you’re cable steering while electric steering, there’s zero lag, and feels remarkable.

The customizable foot pedal shows battery life, making it super convenient to track and has a feature that lets you program 2 custom buttons on it.


  • Custom Foot Pedal
  • Dual Thrust (97/120lbs)
  • Super Quiet
  • Best Electric Steering


  • Freshwater Use Only
  • Expensive

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Best Saltwater Trolling Motor

Garmin Force

Price: $3,549.99

Shaft Length: 50″

Thrust Power: 80/100lbs

Voltage: 24/36v

The Garmin Force is the first trolling motor Garmin has created, and it’s one to be proud of.

With its brushless trolling motor with spot lock, powerful trolling motor, and revolutionary technologies, the Garmin Force is a fantastic spot lock trolling motor.

You can use the trolling motor at either 24v or 36v, producing a force of 80lbs and 100lbs respectively.

Garmin Force has a wireless foot pedal that lets you control the GPS anchor, it has a built-in transducer that gives you access to high imagining with ClearVu and SideVu.

For full use of the transducer, you’d want to connect it to either the GPSMAP 8600 or the Echomap Ultra.

The Garmin Force runs on AA batteries but can also be connected to your boat’s battery, it’s recommended to connect to your boat if you go out fishing a lot.

The Garmin Force is one of the best saltwater trolling motors and can also be used in freshwater.

Overall, the Garmin Force is a great and smooth spot lock trolling motor, it challenges the Minn Kota trolling motors, and is a great investment to make.


  • Great for Saltwater fishing
  • Powerful trolling motor
  • Scissor Mount


  • Expensive

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Best Cable Steer Trolling Motor

Minn Kota Ultrex

Price: $2,799.99 – $3,659.78

Shaft Length: 45″/52″/60″

Thrust Power: 80/112lbs

Voltage: 24v/36v

This Minn Kota trolling motor is unlike other Minn Kota trolling motor models as it features a hybrid steering design, letting you switch between electric and cable steering.

The Ultrex uses the I-Pilot trolling motor which lets you record paths, control speed and more – Minn Kota I-Pilot is the most trusted GPS.

The I-Pilot system is pre-installed and comes with a spot lock, letting you stay in the same spot with unbelievable accuracy.

Another great feature is the autopilot, which will navigate your trolling motor wherever you’d like, just set the point and go on the way!

This spot lock trolling motor is a bit expensive but definitely worth the money as it will last forever.

The battery life is also great due to the digital maximizer – just dial your desired speed, and it will use only as much power as you need.

A great feature that we don’t see often is the steering lock, which makes the motor head remain in the same direction you left it once you release the foot pedal.

Has lift assist – a patent by Minn Kota, which basically cuts the weight of the stow.


  • Great battery life
  • Reliable Spot Lock
  • Lift Assist


  • Expensive

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Best Budget Saltwater Trolling Motor

Minn Kota Riptide Power Drive

Price: $1,568.78 – $1,738.16

Shaft Length: 48″/54″

Thrust Power: 55/70lbs

Voltage: 12v

Choosing a Minn Kota spot lock trolling motor is always a safe choice, being the leader in the industry, Minn Kota has some of the best trolling motors.

You can choose between 2 thrust levels, 55 and 70lbs, enough for small to medium boats – make sure you calculate the weight of your boat before you purchase the trolling motor.

I-Pilot remote control lets you see everything without making any guesses.

Spot lock with a click of a button, easy!

The Minn Kota PowerDrive spot lock trolling motor that is easy and has amazing features overall, but doesn’t have a heading sensor, a foot pedal, or a transducer.

This Minn Kota model lacks a few big features that other Minn Kota motors have, and most trolling motor models, but at this price, it definitely does the job as a great spot lock trolling motor.


  • Cheap
  • Wireless Remote Control


  • No Features

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What is A Spot Locking Trolling Motor?

Spot lock trolling motors are motors that have spot-locking functionality, meaning they can keep your boat at the same spot using a pinpoint GPS system.

The spot lock functions as an anchor, with a push of a button, you can make your boat float at the same spot, and even the strongest waves and winds will not be able to move it.

The spot lock works with the I-pilot to make up for any changes made in position, your boat control will be in the hands of the autopilot feature, and adjust your position occasionally to keep you stationary.

When is Spot Locking useful?

The Spot lock technology is used by many recreational fishermen to achieve a few things.

Most importantly, drop a quiet anchor where there’s a big school of fish, and you don’t want to scare them away or float away from the found spot.

With a click of a button, you can remain at that spot without worrying about losing your great spot.

Another situation where it is practical is when you catch a big fish that may pull your boat and make it hard for you to fish it out.

With a press of a button or a wireless foot pedal, you can now stay in place, making it easier to pull out the fish.

When was the spot lock feature invented?

In 2009, Minn Kota introduced their spot lock feature – a revolutionary way of fishing, pressing a button, and making your boat stand at the same spot.

At first, the feature wasn’t very accurate, it did work, but your boat would often drift away by 20 feet and then try to compensate and drift in the opposite direction, there was just too much movement, unlike a physical anchor.

Spot Lock was mainly used by bass pros and not adapted by recreational fishermen, due to its lack of accuracy and high price.

In 2017, Minn Kota improved heavily on the spot lock feature, marking it as a huge success, the boat was now unmovable by even the strongest winds and waves, changing the way we fish forever.

Since then, spot lock trolling motors have become popular among everyone, why wouldn’t they be? You have a highly accurate anchor lock with a press of a button!

Things To Consider Before Buying Spot Lock Trolling Motors

Whether you are new to fishing or the spot lock trolling motor technology, or you are a professional looking to improve your existing motor, it is important to understand what are the factors that influence the motor and your choice.


The weight of your boat is the most important factor when choosing spot lock trolling motors.

You’ll need to accurately choose a motor with a thrust level that suits your boat, the rule of thumb is 2lb of thrust for every 100lb your boat weights, for example, if your boat weighs 2600lb fully loaded, you’ll need 48lbs of thrust ((2600/100) * 2).

You have to account for the fully loaded weight of the boat, which means also considering the fuel, supplies, and even the people on board.

Not enough thrust will not be able to hold your boat in the spot, while too much thrust will overshoot the desired spot and drift away.

Always take the higher thrust if you’re in doubt, it’s better to have too much thrust rather than a little thrust.


Spot lock trolling motors come in 12v, 24v, and 36v, the higher your voltage, the stronger the thrust, each power level requires another battery, meaning the 24v needs 2 batteries, the 36v needs 3 batteries while the 12v only needs 1 battery.

Shaft Length

Choosing the right shaft length is important as anything else, it is going to make a huge difference between having a noisy or quiet motor.

A correct size is more critical on a bow mount trolling motor rather than on transom mount ones, as they tend to move more on water.

The calculation is as follows: Measure the horizontal distance from the waterline to the mounting spot, and then add 20″ to it, that is the bare minimum for the shaft length.

A few things you’d want to also take into consideration is where you fish:

If it’s in rough waters, add another 5″ to the measurement.

If you’re hand steering, then add another 10″ to bring the motor higher.

For example, if your boat to the waterline is 10″, the measurement will be 30″ and it’s best to go with the 36″ motor, but if you’re hand steering, suddenly it becomes better to take the 42″ motor.

Making correct measurements will be critical to get the best spot lock trolling motor for you.

Motor Style

There are 2 types of motors, cable steering, and electric steering, both have their advantages and disadvantages.

In the current fishing world, there’s a clear preference towards an electric trolling motor due to its comfort and unique advanced features like autopilot, spot lock, and the wireless remote control system – but it also has its disadvantages like the loss of touch and feel that came with using cable steering.

The foot pedal directly connects to a motor and responds to every little movement the controller would make, it would give you a feeling of full control over your boat.

Although it is minor in today’s trolling motors, there is still some lag between and noise generated by the electric trolling motor, but it’s so minor no one notices it anymore.

And still – some fishermen just can’t go from a cable steering trolling motor to an electric steering trolling motor, and no matter how far the technology goes, they refuse to change.

So, when choosing a trolling motor, it is important to understand what kind of motor with spot lock you prefer.


The prices range from as low as $1500 and as high as $4000 for most trolling motors, clearly understanding how much you are willing to spend is crucial and can filter out the choices so you’re left with less to think about.

A spot lock trolling motor is a high – ticket item, most costing thousands of dollars, so whatever choice you make won’t be cheap for most people, make it a good one!

Can you add a Spot-Lock to a trolling motor?

Yes! You can purchase upgrade kits from Minn Kota, which you can then install to your I-Pilot or I-Pilot Link.

They’re not cheap, but at least they’re not as expensive as buying a new trolling motor.

The kits are compatible with most trolling motors, but you should check with the manufacturer about the compatibility of the kits with your existing Minn Kota.

There’s also a kit for the MotorGuide Xi3 and Xi5 you can get on Amazon.

Upgrading your anchor lock trolling motors will change the way you fish forever!

Final Words

We’ve gone over all the factors of choosing a spot lock trolling motor, we have explained how they work, and reviewed our favorite trolling motors.

All the information is now in your hands, choose the right trolling motor for you by comparing all the features of the many trolling motors in the article.

We’ve seen the stronghold that Minn Kota has in this industry, and the fierce competition the Garmin Force and Lowrance Ghost give it.

These anchor lock trolling motors brands evolved and made fishermen’s life easier, it made fishing much more fun and made it more accessible to everyone.

Hopefully, you can now make a good decision on buying your next spot lock trolling motor, Happy fishing!

Written By David Ignatchuk

April 7, 2023