Pontoon Boat for Catfishing

Discussion in 'Boat Tips' started by Branj796, Jan 30, 2009.

  1. Branj796

    Branj796 Member

    Messages:
    911
    State:
    Illinois
    I am currently interested in buying a larger boat. I have always used a 16 ft. jon boat to catfish. I am currently looking at 24 ft. pontoon boats. I was just wondering if anyone could tell me some of the drawbacks to using a pontoon boat to catfish. I will be fishing both lakes and rivers. I know wind can be a problem but how big? Are wakes a big issuee? Any insight would be helpful

    Jake
     
  2. Bill in SC

    Bill in SC New Member

    Messages:
    4,451
    State:
    South Caro
    They are VERY comfortable, and many guides use them. The drawbacks I have observed, is fuel consumption hauling them around, and in some cases during low water in the river, they are not practical. Otherwise, they are super nice to fish out of. Wakes are NOT a big issue, but they are certainly NOT considered rough water vessels. WELCOME to the BOC from sunny South Carolina!

    Bill in SC
     

  3. tunnel hull

    tunnel hull New Member

    Messages:
    230
    State:
    SO.il.
    Dear Sir<really good post i'l be tracking this one.. I myself want one I have been looking too. One thing I did find out, good TRAILORS for pontoon boat are a must. some look so cheeze or is it just me?
     
  4. roundhill

    roundhill New Member

    Messages:
    810
    State:
    kings mtn
    bill bring your boat when it gets ruff we will see who can stand it i can an do fish in 25mpr wind 3ft waves an pull it all over the country it will float in 18inchesof water has enough room for 20 people easy to load in wind as any other boat any more that don't believe come aboard. the roundhill
     
  5. katcatchingfool

    katcatchingfool New Member

    Messages:
    2,032
    State:
    illinois
    My buddy and I went to watch the fireworks from our boats while sitting on the Mississippi river. My buddy had a pontoon and I had a 20ft jon boat. The jon boat made the trip back in one peace I cannot say the same thing for the pontoon. After the fireworks were over, all of the large yacht looking vessels took off at the same time. I saw some of the largest waves i have ever seen on that river. we were taken a little bit of water in the front and the back of my boat but the waves actually took the rails and wall section's off the front of the pontoon. It was a scary night on the river to say the least. Nobody was hurt but I will think long and hard before I ever get in a pontoon boat on that river. But I will tell you this as long as I have been fishing that river I have counted hundreds of pontoons on that river and none of them have ever had a problem at least not while i was driving by them.
     
  6. Bill in SC

    Bill in SC New Member

    Messages:
    4,451
    State:
    South Caro
    You drive a hard point, Ron. I KNOW my flat bottom barge boat AIN'T nothin' in rough water! :wink::smile2::wink: I have been on pontoons in rough water, and although we had no problems, they simply aren't designed for heavy seas. I know you can pull it all over the country. I was just speaking of vehicle fuel consumption doing so. As for floating in 18 inches of water, that's cool, but when the Big Pee Dee is very low, we sometimes have to navigate spots much less than 18 inches deep. When the river gets that low, I have to leave my barge home, and take my J-16 Carolina Skiff to get around. You're just spoiled fishin' all those big lakes and large rivers!! :smile2::smile2::smile2::wink::wink::wink: I wasn't trying to sway anyone away from a pontoon, and mentioned how comfortable they are, and that many guides used them. As with ANY boat, there are pros and cons, and I just mentioned a couple of issues I have observed with pontoons. I look FORWARD to fishin' with you on yours!! :wink::wink:

    Bill in SC

    Bill in SC
     
  7. Arkansascatman777

    Arkansascatman777 New Member

    Messages:
    7,782
    State:
    AR
    I just recently sold my 24 ft. pontoon, I fished out of it for years and as far as comfort you just can't beat a pontoon for fishing out of. Works well in rivers and lakes and will surprise you how well it goes in shallow water.

    The only drawback I ever had with mine was fuel consumption. When I bought it years ago it had a 50 hp mercury and when I sold it it had a 60hp evinrude. It was an older model and todays 4-strokes might help with fuel economy. I was also limited on how far I could travel due to the amount of time it took to get from point A to point B. If these two problems is not a factor to you then you can't beat a pontoon for catfishing.
     
  8. cattoon

    cattoon Member

    Messages:
    199
    State:
    alabama
    We love ours, it's an old ugly one but it's paid for. Comfort is fantastic, plenty of room to walk around, normally we fish 5-6 people and even spend the night on it during the summer. It's not as convenient as hooking up to the fishing boat and running to fish for a few hours. The only drawback is that sometimes I can't get to a couple of places I like to fish because of the size, and the wind can be a challenge, but for rough water it's hard to beat, kinda like fishing from the front porch. and a great platform for the kids, I think you will be pleased.
     
  9. jtrew

    jtrew New Member

    Messages:
    4,404
    State:
    Little Rock, AR
    Some people like fishing out of pontoons, and some don't. Before you buy a 'toon, go out fishing on one to see how you like it. Having had one, here's some of the things I'd like or dislike on a pontoon IF I was stuck with using one. Triple floatation tanks--I found on my 20' pontoon that two of us big guys on the extreme front corner would cause the front of that floatation tank to go underwater. Power--on a 24', I wouldn't have anything less than a 100hp 4 stroke; ideally, it would be a V-6 inboard/outboard for both plenty of power and good fuel economy. Top--no hardtop, unless it's easily removeable for fishing; nice for family outings, but gets in the way of casting and setting the hook. A fold-down top would be the way to go. Side rails--one of the slickest things I've seen was where a BOC member replaced the side panels with 3' high chain link fence. Serves the same purpose as the panels, but aren't damaged by waves, and when a big wave washes a bunch of water on board, the chain link lets it drain right back overboard. Limitations--as already mentioned, they don't do shallow water well; they also don't do stumps & stickups well. So if you like to fish areas where stumps or trees are anywhere near the surface, you can forget getting in there with a pontoon, unless you want to tear it up. Rocks are even worse; pulling up on riprap or a rock dike is a real good way to dent up the front of your floatation tanks. Convenience--lots of room to move around, and a nice flat surface to move around on. But you really need a crew to operate and fish from one. First of all, the driver can't see all that much that's close to the pontoon, except on the one side where the controls are located--if they are on the side. If they are in the center, he can't see anything nearby. So, you need a pilot and a spotter. And trying to land a fish by yourself is a real challenge, because you're so high up off the water. To me, it's almost like fishing off a bridge. I guess it's like most other equipment you use--the type of fishing you do has a lot to do with the type of equipment that works for you. So, as I said starting out, try fishing from one before you buy one. Maybe you'll be crazy about it; maybe not.
     
  10. afatcat

    afatcat New Member

    Messages:
    19
    State:
    north carolina
    I have a 24' pontoon I love but I also have 16' jon boat I love it in small
    rivers.
     
  11. mankind

    mankind New Member

    Messages:
    1,627
    State:
    ashland ky
    i could'nt make up my mind either my thing is i fish a lot by myself and its hard for one person to dock and put in. i'm going for a 19ft center console for that reason:wink:
     
  12. catfish kenny

    catfish kenny New Member

    Messages:
    6,064
    State:
    Iowa
    Id be hard pressed to give up my Jon if I get a nutter boat it will more then likely be a larger flattbottom ..The great flattbottom is the universal soldier.....we call tunes party barges...We have discussed one though and if the right deal come long I might have one:wink:grill on the front -rod racks......hey there nice too but ya cant beat a flattbottom if yer fishin..:cool2:
     
  13. rodney07

    rodney07 New Member

    Messages:
    223
    State:
    Richland Ga.
    I catfish from a 20 foot pontoon and love it. Once you learn the feel of a pontoon you can load ,unload, dock and fish out of it by yourself. It does take longer to get from place to place and the towing could be hard if your route is hilly.
     
  14. smokey869

    smokey869 New Member

    Messages:
    966
    State:
    frederickt
    i have a 24 footer, i also have a few smaller boats, but for lake fishing the pontoon is the best, mine has the side doors you can open to land fish and its great for slow nights to stretch out and take a nap lol, the clickers wake me:wink: the only problem i have is i need a good trailer, right now i just dock it at the lake, put it in after ice out and pull it out in dec
     
  15. jtrew

    jtrew New Member

    Messages:
    4,404
    State:
    Little Rock, AR
    Yeah, but if you have a nice big, wide flatbottom boat (or V-hull, for that matter), you can make you some nice seats from a van or SUV--high back, reclining for naps, built-in rodholder, drinkholder, umbrella holder, etc. I've got a couple of seats like that made from grayhound bus seats.
     
  16. efrith

    efrith New Member

    Messages:
    1,306
    State:
    Seale Alabama
    I fish out of a 24ft pontoon and ant scare to take anywhere you just got
    to learn how to control it in the water your on
     
  17. Branj796

    Branj796 Member

    Messages:
    911
    State:
    Illinois
    Well I already have a 16 ft jon boat and there just is not enough room to be confortable. I see all that room in a pontoon boat and I just start thinking of all the possibilities. A bigger jon boat is still a jon boat and the one I want is way out of my price range. I am just curious about the way they ride, how they react to wind/wakes, any other problems.

    Jake
     
  18. jtrew

    jtrew New Member

    Messages:
    4,404
    State:
    Little Rock, AR
    Just to give you a 'jonboat' type option, take a look at some 'skiff' or 'flats' type boats. I've got a 20' with an 8' beam that has more room than my old 20' pontoon boat.
     
  19. Foxhound

    Foxhound New Member

    Messages:
    403
    State:
    Georgia
    The older I get , the more I realize that Im built for comfort............not speed. I owned three boats, one pontoon,one 18ft. Tracker and one 20 ft. Skiff. After five years of fishing Santee Cooper, I gave the Skiff away, sold my brother the Tracker and fish solely out of the pontoon. Sure its slower but at the end of the day or after a all nighter , I dont feel like Ive been beat with a Mississippi lighter knot. Very easy to load and unload and with the four stroke motor, I can fish for a week on 20 gallons. For me a pontoon boat is the only way to catfish.
     
  20. papabear108

    papabear108 New Member

    Messages:
    127
    State:
    North Carolina
    I have been fishing out of my father's 24' toon and love it. I agree with some of the other posts about damaging the floats, but if you are willing to take it slow and easy you can do it. I took my son to the stinking creek area of Jordan lake last year. The water level in that little cove was 3-5 feet. we had no trouble but I took all the time in the world to get where I was going. Also, If you get one with the canvass fold down top I learned a trick to make it nice for those who don't wana fish. Get a large tarp Wrap it around the outside of the top and frame. Tie it down real good with parachute cord. Tie a battery powered lantern on the middle support for the top and you have a nice but very cozy enclosure.