Five of the best pontoon fishing boats in 2024

Five of the best pontoon fishing boats in 2024

Pontoon boats make great multi-purpose vessels. However, a pontoon boat can be a great fishing boat in some conditions because of its spaciousness and stability. Some pontoon boat builders build models specifically for fishing. This post will describe some great pontoon fishing boats and the features that make them great.

Article at a glance:

5 recommended pontoon boats for fishing

I chose the following pontoon boats as examples of great fishing pontoons because they are offered as fishing models straight from the factory.

Suntracker Bass Buggy 16 XL Select

Best for: Anglers fish small waters and/or on a limited budget.

The Sun Tracker Bass Buggy 16 XL Select is ready to take a pair of anglers fishing or a larger crappie fishing party. In fact, it’s 18 feet, 5 inches long (the deck is 16 feet long), and is rated to hold a maximum of eight people (which can get crowded for fishing). Powered by a 20-hp Mercury outboard (50-hp optional), the 16 XL Select will cruise across the lake in time. A pair of swivel bow fishing chairs, a stereo and a Bimini top are standard. The console has a live well and rod storage. An optional fish package provides a fishing finder and trolling motor. It is being offered at the time of writing for $17,000.

Pricing and specifications

Starting an MSRP: $16,995
available: 18’5″
Packages: 8′
the above. Recommended HP: 50 hp
Average dry weight: 1,310 lbs.
Seat capacity/weight: 7/1,090 lbs.
Fuel capacity: 6 gal.

What we like:

  • A lot of boat for little money
  • It can be easily trailered even by a modest vehicle
  • Front and rear boarding platforms make massive landings easy.

What could be better:

  • It’s a small boat, so it may feel rough on windy days or large bodies of water.
  • We would like to see a rear catch seat option.

– Invest to impress –
A boating course is a great way to gain confidence and boat handling skills. A little practice now will make it look easy when everyone is watching.

Safety advice provided by the US Coast Guard

Bennington 20 SF SPS

Best for: Full featured pontoon fishing boat for fishermen.

The Bennington 20 SF SPS comes with two swivel seats forward, as well as a center fishing station at the rear. Multiple livewells, multiple rod racks, and locking rod storage hold this boat solid as a fisherman’s boat. Equipped with the SPS Performance Package, choose from a selection of optional Garmin fishing charts so you can hit the structure where the big critters live. At the time of writing, the price is posted at $41,269 with a 25-hp Yamaha outboard. (Rated at 115 hp). Mercury and Torqeedo outboards are also available.

Pricing and specifications

price: $53,839 (with Yamaha 115)
available: 22’4″
Packages: 8’6″
Draft(max): Which
Dry weight: 1,819 lbs.
Seat capacity/weight: 10/1,593 lbs.
Fuel capacity: 22.4 gal.

What we like:

  • Lockable rod storage cabinet.
  • Live wells — big ones — on both ends of the boat.
  • The factory dual battery option keeps your trolling and charting motors running.

What could be better:

  • We’d like to see front and rear boarding platforms, which make landing big fish easier than swinging them or netting them over the perimeter fence.

Braincraft 21-2RS

Best for: Anglers who prefer a family-friendly boat.

The Princecraft Sport 175 proves adept at combining fishing capabilities with many family-friendly features. Princecraft’s Sport 175 excels at the fishing part of the deal, but it demonstrates the boatbuilder’s renewed focus on the family side. Remove these bow pads, and the aforementioned casting platform will be revealed. Look for an ice chest on one side, a 17-gallon aerated livewell on the opposite, and a floor mount for one of the boat’s two fold-down fishing seats. At press time, the model tested was listed at $43,753 with a Mercury 115 Pro XS capable of pushing it at 42 mph.

Pricing and specifications

price: $30,361
available: 21’6″
Packages: 8’5″
the above. HP Capacity: 115 hp
Approximate weight: 1,810 lbs.
Seat capacity/weight: 10/1,346 lbs.
Fuel capacity: 29 gal.

What we like:

  • Squared off the bow provides the running surface of an 18-foot boat in a more compact 17-foot space.
  • Thoughtful touches include factory-installed toe kicks and snaps for adding dock/camping fabric later.
  • The optional Techno package includes a 160-watt Jensen sound system, interior LED lights, dock lights and a battery switch.

What could be better:

  • Full access to the port and right seat base storage unit aft requires opening the hinged seatback above.

– Never mix alcohol with boating –
Alcohol is the main contributing factor to fatal boating accidents, and in many states a citation for boating under the influence is listed on your driving record.

Safety advice provided by the US Coast Guard

Starcraft CX fish

Best for: Anglers seek to combine fishing with luxury.

The Starcraft CX Fish is available in 21 FD and 23 FD models. This review focuses on 23 FD. There are two plush swivel chairs and plenty of wide-open space for fighting fish in the stern area. There is a fishing center with live stands, rods, tackle holders and more. While optional woven flooring options are available, hunters should choose vinyl flooring for easier cleaning. A number of fishing electronics options are available. Depth finders/chartographs by Hummingbird and Simrad are optionally available. Trolling motors are also optionally available. It is 24 feet 8 inches long and 8 feet 6 inches wide. At the time of writing, it’s listed at $68,642 with a 115-hp Suzuki outboard (this engine can power up to 300 hp).

Pricing and specifications

price: $45,518
available: 24’8″
Packages: 102″
the above. HP Capacity: 300 hp
Approximate weight: 2750 lbs.
Seat capacity/weight: 12/1,695 lbs.
Fuel capacity: 60 gal.

What we like:

  • Stern and bow decks make landing big fish easier
  • The vinyl flooring option makes a lot of sense given the potential for mud and hunting blood.
  • Position back catch is good

What could be better:

  • Providing more rod storage space would better satisfy anglers.

Lowe SF 234

Best for: A great mix of fishing and rafting.

Lowe’s SF 234 does a great job of being a 50-50 boat. It offers good fishing features while still offering enough luxuries to enjoy floating rides. Both the bow and stern feature a pair of swivel seats. The bow boarding gate has been cut to allow the use of a trolling motor. There is a wide platform at the stern which makes landing larger fish and releasing fish safely easier than doing it over the fence. A large bar cabinet with drink holders and work surface adorns the stern area. There is a large live well forward of the helm console. A bow rod locker secures your clothes. This 24′ 3′ pontoon is available with power up to 250 hp. It is listed at the time of writing at $42,952 with the 115-hp Mercury engine.

Pricing and specifications

price: $42,952
available: 24’3″
Packages: 8’6″
the above. HP Capacity: 150 HP/200 HP with TL
Approximate weight: 1,865 lbs/2,125 lbs. With LP
Seat capacity/weight: 2388 lbs / 2746 lbs. With LP
Fuel capacity: 24 gal. / 30 gal. TL

What we like:

  • Fishing in four modes
  • Lots of standard fishing accessories
  • The rear swim platform provides easy landing and releasing of fish

What could be better:

  • You only have one choice of engine brand.

– Check the weather –
The weather changes all the time. Always check the forecast and prepare for the worst.

Safety advice provided by the US Coast Guard

What to look for in a pontoon fishing boat

Fishing can bring with it some demands on the boat being used. As such, look for the following features when shopping for a pontoon fishing boat.

  • Arch and/or stern decks: This makes landing a big, feisty fish easier. It also makes releasing fish to live another day easier.
  • Floor coverings are easy to clean: Anglers should avoid woven floor coverings rather than vinyl, EVA foam, or carpet like bass boats.
  • Live well: No true fishing boat is without a way to keep the fish and/or bait alive
  • Penis Storage 1: Rod holders that can be used while fishing are important, especially when fly fishing or when fishing with inexperienced anglers.
  • Penis storage 2: Racks for storing rods on the boat out of the way are great. Bonus points if this storage holds you up to the bars.
  • Electronics: A good chartplotter (Fishfinder) is an essential fishing tool. Many can now view motor data, control the trolling motor, lights, stereo and more.
  • Trolling motor: In addition to quietly moving around the fishing spot, today’s trolling motors have the ability to hold the boat in place, as if it were anchored. This is especially important for pontoons, because they blow more with the wind than other types of boats.

Concluding remarks and frequently asked questions:

Pontoon boats are not tournament fishing boats, but they can make great fishing craft. In fact, they can understand family fishing, as a pontoon boat provides the luxury and comfort space to go fishing if desired.

Do pontoon boats make good fishing boats?

When a pontoon boat is properly equipped with accessories such as a life well, rod holders and swivel seats at the bow or stern, it can be a good fishing boat. The front or back deck outside the fence allows for better landing of larger fish and a better live release of any fish.

How much do pontoon fishing boats usually cost?

Pontoon fishing boat models generally cost less than comparable “luxury” pontoon boats. You can buy a pontoon fishing boat for less than $20,000. However, larger fishing models, equipped with larger motors and equipped with special performance float systems, can cost $40,000, $50,000 or more.

Is it difficult to fish from a pontoon boat?

A high side fence can make it more difficult compared to a bass boat, multi-spec boat, center console, or other type of boat with low sides. For example, side arm casting and flipping are not easily performed due to the fence. Landing and releasing fish may be more difficult due to the altitude. Front and back decks extending beyond the fence help avoid some of these defects.

Are pontoon boats good for saltwater fishing?

Pontoon boats can be used for saltwater fishing. Make sure to wash your pontoon boat well after using it in salt water.

What fishing features can you add to a pontoon boat?

The features that will add to the fishability of a pontoon boat are many. Add a live well to ensure you can keep live bait alive and to keep your catch alive. You will also need to add rod racks to securely store your fishing rods. I recommend you add a high quality GPS/fishfnder (aka “Graph”) so you can find the best fishing spots and find fish. The trolling motor is another accessory that I highly recommend. A trolling motor can do more than just move the pontoon boat quietly so as not to spook the fish. Today’s trolling motors offer the ability to hold a boat in place without anchoring it.

(Tags for translation)Boating Safety

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *