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Old 11-11-2008, 06:48 PM
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Default Controlling a pontoon boat

I have a pontoon boat, but I always seem to end up facing the wrong way. This ends up making me angry and ruining the fishing trip by the time I get off the water. I do set the anchor sometimes, but doesn't seem to help. Should I be using fins or something? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Ernie White
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Old 11-11-2008, 07:05 PM
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Default Re: Controlling a pontoon boat

Hi Ernie,

It does take a little practice to get everything under control. Yes, you should be using flippers and oars. You can use the flippers to control the direction you are facing as you drift and fish. In faster water you have to use the oars. Here is what I do. When I am fishing I use the flippers to hold me in position or control the direction I am facing. Sometimes I leave my left oar in the water and the right oar stowed. I am right handed. This way I can row forward or backward with the one oar and this helps me control me from turning or spinning.

Here is another trick that can help you keep facing downstream if that is what you want. This works with a bell anchor. Lower the anchor into the water but not to the ground. A foot or two into the water will do. As the currant carries you down stream the anchor will help keep you facing down stream.

Frank
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Old 11-11-2008, 07:11 PM
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Default Re: Controlling a pontoon boat

are you sure it's a pontoon boat? silly question i know but i have to ask. does it have oars? is it correct in assuming you're talking about a river?

most i know use the oars AND fins for controlling a pontoon. maybe this might help: Pontoon Boat Basics, by Dave Scadden



eric
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Old 11-11-2008, 08:05 PM
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Default Re: Controlling a pontoon boat

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ernie View Post
I have a pontoon boat, but I always seem to end up facing the wrong way. This ends up making me angry and ruining the fishing trip by the time I get off the water. I do set the anchor sometimes, but doesn't seem to help. Should I be using fins or something? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Ernie White
Is this a serious question?
Rules for Pontoon boats, float tubes.
#1 Read about the subject before attempting to use the thing.
#2 Know your boat. Watch others in pontoon/kickboats before you go.
#3 It ain't rocket science. Common sense dictates how to use a pontoon boat/ float tube.
#4 Yes, use fins to propel youself through the water if not using oars.
#5 If you use oars, you'll still need to get some fins to hold you in place when not rowing. You also use fins to kick from one place to another.
#6 When inflating your boat/tube, don't do it at a C-Store with the 25 cent air compressor. Use a pump made for it.
#7 When inflating don't underinflate or overinflate- depending on your bladder you'll want to fill it firm- take the wrinkles out of the fabric.
#8 Don't inflate your ride at home and drive to a high alpine lake. The altitude difference won't be noticed by you until you pull your exploded toon/ tube out of the back of the truck.
#9 Go with some friends that have toons and can help you.
#10 Get a PDF, whistle and know the laws of your state in regards to boating.

That's all. If I seem a little rough, sorry. If one doesn't know what they're doing in an inflatable, you might not make it back to shore one day.
That, would be a tragedy.
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Old 11-11-2008, 08:43 PM
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Default Re: Controlling a pontoon boat

I have flippers on at all times on my Pontoon. Even with the motor. I steer with my feet/flippers, and as Frank said, helps to move and right yourself.
Plus, Pontoons move much easier and better with you going backwards. You can row forward, but much easier backwards.
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Old 11-11-2008, 10:58 PM
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Default Re: Controlling a pontoon boat

Not sure if you are talking about fishing both stillwaters and rivers or specifically rivers. If I'm fishing a river, I always use fins. If I'm fishing stillwaters I may or may not use fins depending on if I know whether I'll be fishing chironomids all day or not. If I am fishing chironomids all day, I don't wear my fins as I know I'll be anchored and will not use them. To stop my 'toon from turning in the wind I use two anchors. One obviously out the stern and the other on the bow of my right pontoon. With any stillwater boat, double anchoring is an important technique and pontoon boats should be no exception. Hope this helps somewhat.

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Doc
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Old 11-12-2008, 02:18 AM
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Default Re: Controlling a pontoon boat

Ernie,

If you are using a one man cataraft on a river or creek I wouldn't try to fish from the raft while moving. Use the "boat" as the way, not the means to fish. I have both a one man Fish Cat Cougar and a two man 13' dual float raft. Both have oars and anchors, however when alone on either one of them they are good for locating the fish but not to fish from. I have had both solid hull drift boats and these rafts and when traveling alone I only use them to get me to the place I want to fish, then park and fish.

If I have a fisherman in the front of the larger boat then that person can fish while I handle the boat. I never mess around trying to float and fish at the same time, too much stuff going on to do any of it right. The exception is when you are on a big river full of Salmon, then you put your rods in holders and do what is known as "Back trolling". This is accomplished by letting out enough line to put the flies down stream of your boat, you then work the oars to keep your boat moving slower than the current. This keeps the flies stretched out in front of your course of travel. You simply steer the flies into the best holding water as you descend the river. It's all good until a King Salmon actually hammers your fly. That is when the thrashing and fumbling starts, remember, your on a raft!

You are on rivers, right?
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Old 11-12-2008, 05:35 AM
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Default Re: Controlling a pontoon boat

Yes it is a pontoon boat. It has two inflatable pontoons, one chair and a anchor. It has a motor mount but I do not use one on it. I never registered the boat and do not want a ticket. I use it lakes in East Texas. I can not say for sure that I know anyone else that has one. I originally got it so that I could carry it with me on deliveries, just in case I was in the area of a good lake when I got done. That was back when I using only a bait caster. Pulling the baits through the water tended to keep you facing in the right direction. The correct type of bait would actually drag you around the lake also.
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Old 11-12-2008, 07:59 AM
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Default Re: Controlling a pontoon boat

Fins are a perfect application for use in lakes. They help you hold position relative to the shore and help keep position when the wind pipes-up.
I've only used my boat in lakes for bass and bluegill fishing though and don't know squat about chironomids.
In rivers, I can keep drifting downstream holding a good position to the shore with fins.
Another trick I use while river drifting is dragging a chain or window sash weight. I still move downstream but with the bows of the boat always pointing downstream. It keeps me in the 'no-spin zone'!
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Old 11-12-2008, 01:48 PM
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Default Re: Controlling a pontoon boat

Jackster has good advise. Now that it is clear that you are on lakes I can offer little in the way of experience.

If I were inclined to use my little Cougar on a lake I would do what the Jackster recommends. The wind was always a problem whenever I fished lakes from any type of boat.
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