Best boat for catfishing

Discussion in 'Boat Tips' started by Big Russ, Mar 13, 2007.

  1. Big Russ

    Big Russ New Member

    Hi guys,
    I would like to get your opinions on what to look for in a cattin/family boat.
    I been thinkin bout a pontoon but I dont know. Maybe I need one for fishin and one for family
    Never owned a boat before and dont know much about missouri waters
    (aint moved yet) but probably use more lake than river.
    Got a wife and two daughters who will like to go out from time to time.
    Would like to not spend more than $5000. I dont realy know if this is reasonable
    Any advise would be appreciated.
    Thanks all,Russ
  2. Mr.T

    Mr.T Active Member

    A few random thoughts that may or may not be helpful:

    * There is no true "catfishing" boat on the market anywhere. Period. There are bass boats with big livewells, bay boats with big livewells, walleye boats with big livewells, etc. - all of which are called "catfishing boats" by the manufacturers. But not one of them has been designed with the input of a catfisherman. So we're stuck with some idiot bass fisherman/boat engineer's idea of what catfishermen want - and as far as they're concerned, all we need is a 60 gallon livewell and poof! it's a catfish boat.

    * If you try to buy a "do it all" boat, you'll find that it will "do it all" very poorly. If you want a fishing boat, buy a fishing boat. If you want a family boat, buy a family boat.

    * Don't buy any used boat without taking it for a test run out on the water. You can't learn anything about a boat by running it in the driveway hooked to a water hose. If the seller balks at the idea of putting it on the water, walk away immediately - he's trying to hide something.

    * The price of a boat and the cost of the boat are two separate things. You don't find out about the second one until you get home and start buying all the stuff you need to get it ready for the water.

  3. Big Russ

    Big Russ New Member

    All good points. I guess I need to find out more of what a good cattin boat consist of.Then go from there.
  4. bwanatony

    bwanatony New Member

    Grand River Valley, Weste
    5 grand won't get you much of a new boat, but it will go a long way for a used one.
    Look at a bunch before you buy, and like they said before me, there's no perfect boat.
    One thing for sure though, especially for small kids and night fishing, get one with a flat floor.
    Good luck.
  5. Pennsylvaniacatchaser

    Pennsylvaniacatchaser Well-Known Member

    Sarver, Pa
    I have a 24' Pontoon boat and feel it probably covers the fishing/family area as well as any boat. It is very easy to fish from the pontoon. I love the fact I can get up and walk around instead of being stuck in a seat like on a smaller fishing boat. I especially like the fact I can roll a sleeping bag out on one of the benches in the middle of the night when I get tired while waiting for a big Flathead to bite! My kids are able to do their swimming and tubing off the pontoon with no problem. I guess what I'm trying to say is a pontoon is a good choice!
  6. powercat

    powercat New Member

    Olathe,Ks/Fish Gravois Mi
    I have heard that pontoon boats can be difficult to get on and off the trailer by yourself especially on windy days.
  7. Bobwheelr

    Bobwheelr New Member

    I agree with scott, i,ve got a 23 ft pontoon, it makes a great fishing boat and for $5000 you can get a great used one and set it up the way you want.
  8. loanwizard

    loanwizard Well-Known Member

    I have had two pontoon boats and for certain situations they are unbeatable.
    They are great for lakes, kids, and roominess. They will carry a porta pottie. They have rails to keep the kids safe. If you don't like the way it is set up you can modify it easily and cheaply rather than buy another boat.

    The downside is that they are not fast, they are not the easiest to load nor tow although I do load and unload my 28 footer alone, if they have a top (bimini or hard) it is like having a sail, it is very difficult to remain completely stationary.
  9. waterwalker

    waterwalker New Member

    Louisville Ohio
    I fish a twenty four foot pontoon, we love it, plenty of room to get around, my wife even fishes from it...had a 28 foot ft Erie boat she wouldn't get on. allot of space for live well and mine has an aluminum cover so we can fish in the rain.
  10. Koon

    Koon New Member

    I've had the jon boat and 3 people where just climbing all over each other. Pontoon is the way to go.

    Easy to work on... holds extra people... best of all, you can move around.
  11. thunderchicken

    thunderchicken New Member

    Yuma Az
    I had a 21 foot party barge pontoon and when it was in the water it was great. They are very stable, you can move around and not have to worry about tipping, you can take ALL your gear and ALL your friends and family, you can have a bbq, sleep, go swimming, and otherwise have a great time on them. They are so nice that even people that are not real keen on boats or the water seem to like them. I think they are ideal for a family because of the room they have. To get that much versatility in any other type of boat would require a lot bigger boat and budget.
    The only thing I didn't like was launching and loading it on the trailer as it didn't float off like most boats and required a lot of positioning. I should add that if you have help it is a lot easier and you can even drive it on and off your trailer with some experience. Guide rails would sure help, especially if you trailer is in the water and you can't see how to line it up properly.
    One thing I would strongly suggest is to make sure you have enough trailer to handle the weight. If a trailer upgrade is offered, get it. It will save you some headaches later. All in all, a pontoon is a great choice and will provide years of enjoyment. Good luck.
  12. bank bouncer

    bank bouncer New Member

    You need to go out with a friend or family member, or better yet take it out yourself with the family and make sure its what your family likes to do before investing that much money. Then if its what you and family decide to do, get wheels and deals, or maybe trader and look, you do know now is not the time to buy, late fall or winter is the time to buy. So even if you find out that boating/fishing just aint your thing, resale on good shape pontoons are not bad. Main thing be pateint and find a good deal, even if you have to go a good distance to get it. My brother has the pontoon, I have the boat and in their purpose they are both very enjoyable.