Just thought I'd write this up, as it might save someone A LOT of time and trouble. I have an older Tracker Pro Crappie 175 that has the 40lb motorguide trolling motor. Yesterday afternoon I pulled on the rope to release and the rope snapped right up close to the release mechanism with the trolling motor in the water. Come to find out, there is no way (NO way), to access the release mechanism in an "emergency" capacity. The plastic housing on the front of the trolling motor needs removed, which is attached by screws UNDER the main mount. In other words without removing the entire trolling motor from the boat deck, there is no way to access the latch mechanism.
So that's how we spent Sunday afternoon. But when I was putting it back together I put in an "emergency" option in case the rope breaks again.
Take a medium zip tie, and fasten it where the rope ties to the locking mechanism. It sticks out the front of the plastic housing a couple of inches and can be used in a pinch if the rope breaks. I would recommend if you have this type of unit to do this BEFORE it breaks on you.
If this helps someone great, if not, sorry for wasting your time