Are Pontoon Boats Good for Fishing?

Pontoon boats are becoming increasingly popular and for a good reason. A pontoon boat is a versatile vessel that can be used as a sunning platform, water ski boat, cruiser, and wakeboard. 

But are pontoon boats good for fishing? Pontoon boats are good for fishing. Most pontoon boats have large decks and spacious floor plans. The wide deck helps balance the boat, allowing passengers to walk on deck without scaring the fish. Newer fishing pontoon boats have bigger motors and more horsepower, making them ideal for fishing. 

Keep reading to learn more about pontoon boats and the pros and cons of using these boats for fishing.  

What Are Pontoon Boats?

A pontoon boat is a flattish boat with a flat-top deck and two floating devices called pontoons or tubes, which are attached to the boat’s underside. These airtight tubes make the boat extremely buoyant, create plenty of deck space, and allow the boat to carry heavy loads.  

A pontoon boat is typically between 15’ and 30’ long and is best known for its extensive deck space. These boats are designed to provide a smooth and enjoyable ride and have a good safety rating. 

The pontoon boat’s buoyancy and spaciousness make it ideal for socializing or holding events. There are also many fun activities to enjoy on a pontoon boat, including waterskiing, wakeboarding, and fishing. 

The ample deck space is customizable on most pontoon boats so that you can arrange the deck furniture and seating according to your needs. Most standard pontoon boats are built on two pontoons, but boats built on three pontoons are called tri-toons. 

Pontoons are primarily designed for freshwater use and are mainly used on lakes and rivers. Popular pontoon boat accessories include sunshades, a diving board, bimini tops, and an inflatable slide. 

Pros and Cons of Pontoon Boats for Fishing

Pros and Cons of Pontoon Boats for Fishing

Fishing pontoon boats combine the best features of a pontoon and fishing boats. These boats have spacious decks where people can fish and mingle without stepping on each other’s toes. A Pontoon fishing boat is also equipped with all the fishing accessories you’d find on a regular fishing boat.

Pontoon fishing boats have a lot to offer, but there are also some disadvantages to using a pontoon boat for fishing.

Pros of Pontoon Boat Fishing

Here are the biggest advantages of pontoon fishing:

Pontoon Boats Are Very Stability

Pontoon boats feature spacious decks and wide floor plans, which provide more stability. The expansive deck balances the boat, allowing passengers to walk around without scaring the fish.

Because of their design, most pontoon boats offer a smooth ride in choppy waters. This is a big advantage for people suffering from motion sickness or anglers planning a family fishing trip.

If you plan to fish in turbulent waters or are concerned about strong storms, choose a Tritoon. Tritoons are three-tube pontoon boats that offer better stability and balance because of even weight distribution. 

A Tritoon boat also has more horsepower and bigger motors, which ensures more power and stability in turbulent waters. 

Expansive Deck Space

Pontoons have a lot of space and an expansive deck perfect for fishing. A fishing pontoon boat fits many people on the deck and has room for fishing equipment and anything else you might need to bring on a fishing trip.

When it comes to fishing, pontoons offer plenty of space for fly fishing or slow trolling. Anglers can easily throw multiple lines with different baits without worrying about tangled lines. 

A large deck is a big advantage because you’ll have enough room to bring family and friends on a fishing trip without worrying about a lack of space. 

Comfort for All-day Fishing Trips

Pontoon boats are designed with comfort in mind and can significantly improve your fishing experience. If you’re planning to take small children on a fishing trip, a pontoon has enough space for kid accessories and even a portable air mattress for a nap. 

The best fishing pontoon boats offer superb comfort levels even for the youngest passengers.

Cons of Pontoon Boat Fishing

Every type of fishing boat has some disadvantages, and pontoon fishing boats are no exception. Here are a few drawbacks of using a pontoon boat for fishing:

Difficult to Navigate in Tight Channels

The pontoon’s large size offers more room for passengers or extra fishing equipment, but it also affects the boat’s turning radius. Although the large size increases the pontoon’s stability, it reduces the handling in tight channels or coves. 

Not a Sharp Turning Radius

Pontoon boats can’t turn as quickly or sharply as many other types of boats. If a tight turning radius is important to you, don’t choose a pontoon fishing boat. 

Lacks Gunwale Rod Holders

Unlike most types of fishing boats, pontoons lack gunwales. Instead of gunwales, pontoon fishing boats have decking with railing, meaning rod holders must be designed according to a pontoon.

Depending on the type of fishing you plan to do, the lack of rod holders and gunwale can influence your decision to purchase a pontoon boat. If there’s no way to install rod holders on a pontoon boat, you might be better off choosing a deck boat for fishing.

Height Above Water

Pontoon boats are higher than deck boats, which can be problematic when fishing. The extra height makes pulling in the catch difficult and increases the risk of snapped line and fish getting away. 

When fishing from a pontoon boat, always bring a net so you don’t lose any fish.


Pontoon boats are excellent for fishing. Pontoon boats were designed for pleasure on lakes and rivers, but modern vessels have more horsepower and offer a comfortable fishing experience.

The large size, expansive deck, and stability are the biggest advantages of fishing pontoon boats. These vessels are large enough to fit many people on deck and have added room for fishing gear, coolers, or anything else you wish to bring on a fishing trip.