View Full Version : pontoon boat fishing pro and con
Thinking about buying a smaller pontoon boat (20') for primarily fishing and some family outings with family and grandkids. I have a 14' jon with the basics and was thinking the pontoon would offer some extra family time on the lake plus being able to use for fishing. I know you couldn't get into tight places like you can with the smaller boat but was thinking it would be fun for catfishing or maybe sitting close to crappie sets in the lake. Any experiences, or recommendations anyone can share
11-06-2010, 10:54 AM
Never owned one, but had a chance to check one out at our local fishing shop. The space inside beats any other "non-pontoon" out there. I've seen them on the water and the stability is simply way to good! (ideal for older people and smaller kids)
Only thing that I would recommend is that you actually tour the boat at your local boat seller's shop. Don't be afraid to climb up inside, sit down, take a poke around and visualize how you'd fish there. If I recall, the side couches aren't the most ideal for fishing, but there should be some built in housing for swivel chairs on board. That would really maximize your fishing experience!
One downside that I can think of is the lack of speed for tubing and skiing on the water. Some reviews on Google state that it's best if you go with a motor 100+HP for this type of application. A second downside might be loading the boat on your trailer. Of course these days we have "side pole guides" which can make it a breeze to load.
Would love to hear what your thoughts are, if you ever decide to go with one!
I rented one a couple of years ago. we were at a lake that allowed overnite stays on the water.
we never got on land all weekend untill we had to return the boat. so we could go home.
If I ever have the money I would deffenetly buy one.
I was able to fish, while the wife sat in a chair and read a book. the kids were able to
play on the deck all at the same time.
the boat we rented had a small BBQ out side,small kitchen, head and sleeping area for 6
my oldest son and I spent the night on the forward deck fishing and we both fell asleep sometime after mid night.
during the hot non fishing time of the day, I pulled into a cove, and we spent the day swimming
and napping. the boat even had a slide that ran from the roof to the back deck.
We had a blast.
Well worth the money we spent on rental.
My wife has even joked if were to buy one we would have to move onto the lake.
so we would get the maxumun us of it.
bass or bass?
11-06-2010, 04:44 PM
Optimum room. Great for family fun and fishing. Downside is that they're easily blown around by wind. That can make them a real pain to recover on the trailer on a windy day and can really blow you around if not anchored while fishing. I think the good outweighs the bad here. I would recommend one for your purposes.
11-06-2010, 08:27 PM
I bought a used one that
that has nothing but the steering console
we are going to use lawn chairs to set were we want
a freind of mine has one & took me drift fishing for cats
it was great
he has a 18 ft bass buggy
i just got a 20 ft bass buggy
Thanks for your thoughts - you guys are pushing me over - lots of good info ..... I recently joined a private marina on crab orchard lake in southern Illinois and could leave it there all summer (loading and unloading are a concern). Have been looking at a 20' that has been restored with a 80 hp motor -size of motor kind of concerns me especially when thinking about the hours in the ss minnow with just a trolling motor; but it is a large lake and not real conducive to a small boat for the most part. I'll keep you up to date. Thanks again
12-26-2010, 08:11 PM
Great boats! There is only one "con" that I can think of in terms of safety. When a pontoon is on plane such as running it WOT, if you back off the throttle too fast they can submarine. the deck can have a tendency to plunge under the water. They always right themselves but submarining can toss people off the boat. Often dangerously in front where running them over could be a danger. Always have passengers especially kids seated and be prepared for it and it shouldn't be a problem. Also no matter what your craft keep them life jackets on.
Any other "cons" would be due simply to the nature of a pontoon. They are a little more difficult to trailer, launch and retrieve due to their size. They also don't go into smaller waters where jon's or other small boats do. So long as the water you use it on is compatible, a pontoon is prob the greatest family boat and fishing machine ever designed.
Thanks - I was not aware of the submarining potential!
bass or bass?
12-28-2010, 08:41 PM
Yeah, I forgot about that. 15 months ago 3 friends and I rented one at a nearby lake for 24 hours and it had a steel frame and plywood canopy mounted on it:confused:, very top heavy, so it sat very low in the water, so low in fact that hitting wakes from other boats caused water to wash over the deck soaking everything we had brought on board. :eek:We still had a very fun time that weekend:D, it was the only way all 4 of us could ever fish on the same boat together. My boat (15 feet) is comfortable fishing for two only, and Rick's 24 foot Sea Ray is a cruiser with little deck space for fishing, so it only fishes two comfortably as well.
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