How to Choose the Right Pontoon for Fishing
Pontoons are one of the most versatile boat types, you can relax or have an action-packed day on the water… or a mix of both! Here we’ll tell you why pontoons are perfect for a group fishing trip. We’ll also show you how to spot pontoons specially-crafted with features to help anglers.
Pro Tip: Heard about tritoons, but not sure what it is? A tritoon is simply a pontoon with three air tubes, rather than two. This creates an even more stable platform on the water. Learn more about the differences between these two boats here.
What makes pontoons a good choice for a fishing trip?
When browsing boat rentals for your upcoming fishing trip, spend some time looking at the pontoons. If you get a pontoon for your fishing trip, you will have…
- Stability: Due to their wide and flat base as well as the aerodynamics of sitting on top of the water, pontoons provide a secure and comfortable fishing platform. You’ll experience less rocking from small waves than other boats, making for a calm day on the lake or in a bay.
- Space: Fishing is usually more fun with friends and family, and pontoons typically can hold up to 8 or 12 people comfortably.
- Draft depth: A pontoon’s tubes (note: pontoon can refer to both the name of the tubes and the name of the boat itself) create buoyancy so that the boat can basically sit on top of the water, with less draft than other boat types with hulls that sit deeper underwater. This allows you to operate a pontoon in shallower water and access fishing spots that other boats may not be able to reach.
- Comfort: During a long day on the water and in the sunshine, comfortable seating can make a big difference. Many pontoons also come with retractable bimini tops, aka sun shades, to offer a break from the sun.
- Ample storage: Coming prepared with fishing gear is one key to a successful fishing trip. Pontoons have built-in storage compartments, typically around the console and under seating. This provides plenty of storage space for fishing gear, personal items, and safety equipment.
When is a pontoon not a good choice?
Pontoons handle small waves calmly but are not built for large waves. If you’re using one in the ocean, we strongly recommend you don’t travel too far from shore. A large center console or sportfisher is a suitable choice for going offshore.
They’re also not the best for skinny water or narrow channels since they’re harder to maneuver in tight spaces. If you’re fishing marshes, for example, opt for a bay boat or skiff and a smaller group instead.
What features distinguish certain pontoons to be best for fishing?
There are many submodels of pontoons, here we’ll tell you features you want to look out for when finding the best pontoon for your upcoming trip.
- Deck space: Though space is a common component of all pontoons, fishing pontoons prioritize deck space even more, with a couple less seats but more room for fishing comfortably. One end of the pontoon may be designed as a more open platform to fish from, without walls or seating on the edge, to make it easier to cast your line and reel in fish without obstruction.
- Fishing chairs: Speaking of seats, fishing-designed pontoons often feature at least one extra swivel chair and sometimes two or three (in addition to the driver’s chair) in place of more bench or wraparound seating.
- Amenities: Fishing pontoons have specialized amenities or electronics added, such as rod holders, live wells, fish finders, trolling motors, and other fishing-specific equipment that may not be found on general-use pontoons.
We’ll help you get started on your search for the right pontoon. Here are just a few examples that work well for group fishing trips:
- Sun Tracker Pontoon on Canyon Lake, Texas
- Lowe Pontoon on Lake Okeechobee, Florida
- Crestliner Pontoon in Bethel Island, California
Want more boat rental options for your upcoming fishing trip?
Boatsetter has over 1,200 pontoons available for rent across the country. Our team of fishing experts check each boat listing and curate boats most suitable for fishing. When searching for a boat to rent, filter activities to “fishing” and boat category to “pontoon” to find pontoon options that our fishing team has already identified as being the best fits for a fishing trip.
Pro Tip: Fishing boat rentals may offer fishing gear, mainly rods and sometimes tackle, as an Add-on option.
Ready to get on the water? We are, too. You can browse online for pontoon rentals.
Longtime and junior anglers love Boatsetter’s Fishing Guides & Resources, check it out for basics, Pro Tips, and everything in between.
About Boatsetter Fishing
Boatsetter offers over 50,000 boats to rent or charter – for anglers, that means you can rent everything from bass boats or pontoons to fish freshwater to center consoles or skiffs to fish saltwater from inshore to offshore. Your next personal best or bucket list catch is here!