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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2010
    SE Michigan

    Default Pontoon or Kayak?

    I have a canoe but it's tough to handle solo.
    The float tube drafts too much for shallower streams.

    So I'm looking at a solo pontoon or a kayak.

    Anyone fished from both?
    "I knew a tier once. One time he was holding a lump of cat hair he found on his couch, sort of twirling it about his fingers, tugging at it. I asked, what in the hell are you doing man? He looked startled, ashamed. But I knew what he was thinking. right then and there I decided to just buy my fly's thankyouverymuch." ~ cwg

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Wasilla / Skwentna, Alaska
    Blog Entries

    Default Re: Pontoon or Kayak?

    I have a couple pontoon boats. One is a big two man and the other is a Fishcat Cougar. The Cougar is much easier to dismount than a kayak and if you must fish from the water it is easier for that too. I have used kayaks back east and did not even consider one when I came here. The big toon requires a trailer to haul it but it handles well and allows for me, the dog, and enough gear for a 7 day float with no problem. The little one is good for a day trip or if someone is following the mother ship with it.

    Boats are a good way to get to the fish but I don't like fishing from them. I only ever caught a couple fish while fishing from the boat. Both were kings, one was holding in an impossible place to wade so I anchored and was able to get him and the other grabbed a big bunny fly I was back trolling while easing through some riffles. It is a hassle in spades trying to handle a boat and a salmon at the same time so I don't often put myself in the position where that will be necessary.

    Anywhere can be the land of great expectations, broken dreams, or paradise found, it's all up to you.

    Life On The Line - Alaska Fishing with Ard
    Ard's Forum blog, Alaska Outdoors

  3. #3

    Default Re: Pontoon or Kayak?

    I kicked that around in my head a couple years ago. Kayak or pontoon. I finally settled on a kayak. If you want to paddle upstream and float back, you can do that with a kayak. However you do sit low to the water if you fish out of it, in a pontoon you would sit higher making it easier to cast. Part of my decesion also was because in the rivers around here the bottom is flagstone with sharp edges. I wasn't sure how the pontoon would hold up.
    A buddy of mine got a pontoon for Christmas last year so I'm going to try it out and see if I like it. If I do I might end up with one of those too.
    I guess you need to decide how you'll fish out of it, floating downstream all the time, or needing to go upstream and float back to the car?
    Which ever you decide to get enjoy it and catch alot of fish from it.
    One Out Of Four People In This Country Is Mentally Unbalanced.
    Think Of Your 3 Closest Friends...
    If They Seem Okay,
    Then You're The One!!!!!

  4. #4

    Default Re: Pontoon or Kayak?

    Havent used a pontoon, but love my yaks...they can be a hassle when you hook something big in a moving current...(trees and bottom are even funner).
    a friend had both, and sold both pontoons and kept the yaks. but he doesnt use a long rod. It would be nice if you could find a place to rent or borrow them for a test run and get a feel for what fits you and the places you fish.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Monroe, Michigan

    Default Re: Pontoon or Kayak?

    I have yaks and a pontoon; for me the decision is easy, pontoon hands down. My reason for that decision is the fact that I am sitting quite a bit higher on my toon then when in my yak. I can get off my toon very easily if I want to fish a nice looking riffle more thoroughly.

    If I had a long run between fishing spots I would use the kayak. On a pond or small lake the pontoon would again get the nod.

    My $0.02 worth...


  6. #6

    Default Re: Pontoon or Kayak?

    I made that decision years ago when I lived in Michigan and never looked back.
    Pontoon hands down.
    Besides being more stable, I like never swapping the rod for the paddle. Pure hands-free position control through fins. I used mine expensively on the Ausable, Manistee for trout and on the Pierre Marquette fot steel and salmon.
    I also got loads of week night use with it floating the many smaller lakes and ponds throughout southeasten Michigan.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Central Florida

    Default Re: Pontoon or Kayak?

    Hi boreal,

    I think the best choice is dependent on what type of water you are fishing and how you fish. Do you have to go back up stream or do you proceed down stream and take out at a different place. Are you fishing still water or currant water the most. Do you need an anchor or do you carry camping equipment with you. Here are my thoughts.

    The Yak is good if you have to paddle back up stream or pass over lots of water you are not fishing. You can cover a lot of water quickly and they are lite and easy for one person to load and unload. They usually don't have a good way to use an anchor and you have to pick up the paddle to turn or keep positioned to fish along a bank with currant. If the currant turns you sideways or to an undesirable direction you have to use the paddle. There are Yaks with trolling motors or foot operated flippers. With a trolling motor you can control your position with out picking up the paddle. It does require a battery and that may be more trouble than its worth. With the foot operated flippers it would take a good distance to turn the boat using a rudder.

    For fishing a river with currant and you take out at a down stream location the Pontoon would be my choice. You have the combination of oars and flippers to control the boat and keep you oriented to your fishing spot. You can carry good loads, they have good anchor systems, they operate with a trolling motor and are easy for one man to load and unload. If you are doing a float down a shore line and the wind or currant turns you away from the shore, you can easily get back to position with your fins and a few quick kicks. No need to pick up an oar. The pontoon is less likely to flip over in currant than a Yak and requires less training or knowledge to operate.

    So I would take a look at what waters you fish and pick the one that best suits your circumstances and preferences.


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Colorado's Western Slope

    Default Re: Pontoon or Kayak? Pontyak? Hybrid?

    How about the Ultimate Watercraft 12' canoe? It's a canoe with pontoon like hull but handles like a kayak with a seat that's above the deck and so stable I fish standing up to double haul on salt water bays even in 10 knot winds and small chop. You can add a trolling motor to give you a longer range as an option as well. I believe my 14' , 2.5 person Ultimate weighs 70lbs and uses a portable cart to take haul to the water. There is also the option for a carbon fiber model bringing the weight down to around 40+ lbs.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Northern California
    Blog Entries

    Default Re: Pontoon or Kayak?

    I'm with Frank on choosing the watercraft based on the intended use.

    I own a 10 foot Outcast Pac 1000 pontoon boat. My intended use is to get down moving water in currents ranging from Class 1 to 3. I do not fish out of the boat. I get out and wade.


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Colorado's Western Slope

    Default Re: Pontoon or Kayak?

    I'm not sure I could handle rowing with my back facing the direction of travel?

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