It’s time to put away your fishing rig—and make sure it’s ready for action in the spring
TROLLING MOTOR STORAGE
Most anglers know how critical it is to properly store their outboard engines for the winter, but what about electric trolling motors? They need just as much TLC. For safety reasons and to prevent battery drainage, start by unplugging the motor, then lubricating the moving parts on the shaft with aqueous silicone.
As with the big motor, take off the prop and remove anything that might be wrapped around the shaft. Fishing line, in particular, can slice through the seals and let water into the lower unit. Also, run your fingers along the edges of the prop to check for nicks and serrated edges that can reduce its effectiveness, especially if you fish in weeds. If you find any, rub them smooth with fine sandpaper.
Store your bow-mount motors in a horizontal position, whether you leave them on the boat or remove them. The MinnKota Terrova and Power Drive models, for example, have a special drain hole at the back of the casing, so if you store them upright, the water could get trapped and freeze, potentially damaging the small servo motor in the housing.