Are Pontoon Boats Good for Fishing? Pros and Cons

Are Pontoon Boats Good for Fishing? Pros and Cons

Let’s look at some pros and cons of pontoon fishing for fishermen who are thinking about purchasing one.

The activity of fishing is enjoyable and useful for obtaining your own food. You’ll need a proper boat unless you can fish directly from the deck. What sort of boat, though? Since it is simple to adapt a pontoon boat to your needs, it makes a good fishing vessel.

Consider using a pontoon boat for fishing, as we’ll see some of the benefits that come with it.

Are Pontoon Boats Good for Fishing?

Fishing boats made of pontoons are excellent. In fact, some pontoons are built with useful features that only fishermen use, such as rod holders, livewells, and other storage areas. While you might want to add a trolling motor to your boat, you are free to use your pontoon boat for fishing without doing so.

Once you look past the size and shape of a pontoon boat, you’ll notice that many of the models are furnished with the features that fishermen hanker after. These include the subsequent.

Rod Holders

Where will you set your fishing rod while you wait for the elusive fish to finally bite? You most likely don’t need to be concerned about it if you own a pontoon boat. Incorporating rod holders into the sides of pontoons is a common practice today.

Depending on the model of a pontoon boat you own, you might receive as few as two or as many as four holders.

Are Pontoon Boats Good for Fishing? Pros and Cons


A fishing boat must have livewells because they are vital. This tiny cubby will hold your bait perfectly. The livewell can also be used to store fish once you do reel in a sizable catch. Although we’d advise using a cooler for that, some fishermen even use livewells to keep snacks and beverages within easy reach.

If your pontoon boat has rod holders, there’s a good chance you’ll look around for a livewell or two.

Deck Space

The advantage that pontoons have over conventional fishing boats and other motorboats is that they have a large amount of deck space. Fishing is made easier by the wide, rectangular shape of most pontoon boats.

You can stroll around the boat, looking for the best fishing spots, from one end to the other. In contrast to smaller, more crowded fishing boats, there is plenty of space to move around while casting your line.

Washdown Pumps

Some pontoon boats do indeed have washdown pumps, despite the fact that they are more uncommon. Many different things can be done with them. If you’ve been saltwater fishing, you may want to run your pump to rid your boat of the salty debris. This minimizes the chance of the aluminum components rusting or corroding.

The debris and other messes that can build up on the sides and underneath of your pontoon boat can also be removed by washdown pumps.

Speed Consistency

Are Pontoon Boats Good for Fishing? Pros and Cons

The maximum speed of pontoon boats, which is consistent across models, is 22 mph. It might seem like you’re moving painfully slowly, but moving too quickly can hurt you when you’re riding the water and looking for fish.

When traveling to your fishing location, you will need to move more slowly and steadily. Gunning is not an option in a pontoon boat. You do receive consistent speed, which you will come to value.

Pros and Cons of Pontoon Boats for Fishing

If you’re in the middle of making a purchase decision, how about a top-level pros and cons list before we get into the features? You could decide for yourself using these positives and drawbacks.


  • More fishing space – you have loads of room to move around on deck and a stable platform to fish and cast your lines from.
  • Ride smoothly over waves – the elevated pontoon platform offers a far smoother ride than traditional fishing boats over bumps and chops.
  • Much more comfortable – you could almost be sat in your living room, so what’s not to like? Play some music while you cast your line and grill it on the boat.


  • Taller than deck boats – this means you will have to reach further to get the fish into your boat. To ensure that you don’t lose those fish, always carry a net!
  • Not great handling – the turn radius won’t be the same as a normal fishing boat and you might not be able to operate efficiently in channels or coves.
  • You can’t deep-sea fish – pontoon boats are not for the ocean and should only be used on deep wavy water. That is not their intended use.

As promised, let’s now look more closely at the characteristics that will enable you to decide for yourself whether pontoon boats are suitable for fishing or not. Based on how you intend to use the water and the activities you anticipate throughout the seasons, it truly is a personal choice.

Are Pontoon Boats Good for Fishing? Pros and Cons

Is a Pontoon Boat Right for You?

Although pontoon boats are a fantastic fishing option, they might not be suitable for everyone. A pontoon boat is a good option if you want a boat that is stable, simple to operate, and highly customizable.

A pontoon boat is not the best option for you, though, if you’re looking for a speedboat or something that can handle rough waters.

Finding the ideal pontoon boat is the next step once you’ve made up your mind that it’s the best option for you.

Is a Pontoon Boat Only Good for Fishing?

Pontoon boats can be utilized for a variety of other activities in addition to fishing.

Using a pontoon boat, for instance, allows you to swim, relax, sunbathe, and even host guests. A pontoon boat is a good option if you want a boat that is multipurpose and can be used for other activities besides fishing.

Conclusion: Are Pontoon Boats Good for Fishing?

Pontoon fishing is a personal sport that largely depends on your preferences. Do your research before deciding what’s best for you and your family. Consult with friends, other fishermen, visit marinas, and you might even rent a boat to use before you buy.

It’s time to start looking for a pontoon boat now that you are aware of some of the benefits they have for fishing.


Can I Put a Boat Lift on a Pontoon Boat?

Undoubtedly, a pontoon boat can be fitted with a boat lift. When not in use, your pontoon boat will be simpler to store and safeguard thanks to this. Depending on the size and features, boat lifts can cost anywhere from $500 to $2,000.

Do I Need a License to Drive a Pontoon Boat?

You can operate a pontoon boat without a license in the majority of states. But in a few states, boaters must either have a license or complete a boating safety course.

Can I Use a Pontoon Boat in Saltwater?

A pontoon boat is appropriate for use in saltwater. To protect your boat, though, you’ll need to take a few extra precautions. Rinsing your boat with fresh water after each use will prevent erosion because saltwater causes it.

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