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What Are the Different Types of Pontoon Fishing Boats?

Lori Kilchermann
Lori Kilchermann

There are several types of pontoon boats that can be used for fishing. While the traditional aluminum pontoon boat, with its large deck area, is fine to fish from, it is not what is being discussed when talking about pontoon fishing boats. The boats in the category of pontoon fishing boats are small, often inflatable versions of the venerable pontoon boat.

These boats offer a fisherman or a pair of fishermen an option to wading or shore fishing large water or smaller streams. Available in single-person, two-person plus and pack models, the pontoon fishing boats offer a smaller and commonly lightweight alternative to the full-size version. For those fishermen who wish to have an even lighter-weight boat to fish from, the kick-powered model of pontoon boat makes an easy-to-use option that can fit inside of a car's trunk.

Man with hands on his hips
Man with hands on his hips

Lightweight pontoon fishing boats are available in several configurations, with each one offering particular positives and negatives to the fisherman. The single-man version of the pontoon fishing boat is manufactured with a lightweight steel or aluminum frame that connects to two plastic pontoons. Available with a seat or an optional standing platform, this version of the pontoon fishing boats allows an angler to paddle out into a lake or river or use a small, electric trolling motor with an optional motor mount.

The two-plus-person pontoon fishing boats are somewhat larger than the single-person versions and often require a small trailer to transport the vessel to the water. With the same basic construction as the single-person version, the steel or aluminum frame is connected to plastic or aluminum pontoons and is able to float in very shallow water. Seating arrangements on the two-plus passenger pontoon fishing boats are in a straight line down the center of the boat to create a very stable fishing platform. This style also has the option of mounting an electric trolling motor to the boat.

Two versions of the pontoon fishing boats are similar in that they are both designed to assemble on the water's edge. Both the pack boat as well as the kick boat are take-apart designs and utilize inflatable pontoons. While the pack boat version is paddled like its larger cousins, the kick boat is designed to be powered by the user's legs in a kicking motion. The biggest disadvantage in these pontoon fishing boats is that the user's legs are exposed to underwater tangles of brush as well as rocks and other hazards while the fisherman sits in the seat with his legs underwater.

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Discussion Comments


I have been looking at a lot of used pontoon fishing boats lately and I feel like they are all in terrible shape. It has been really surprising. I figured that with the economy the way it is there would be all kinds of nice new boats that people were trying to get rid of. But all the ads I am seeing are for old beat up boasts that look like they can barely float.


A buddy of mine has a mini pontoon fishing boat. It is really only good for two people but it does everything you need a fishing boat to do and we have caught some big ones off that thing.

But the best part is that he can actually fit it in the bed of his pickup truck. That means that he does not need a trailer or a place to store the boat. It just goes in his garage when he is not using it. Pretty clever design.


If you are shopping for a pontoon boat to go fishing with make sure to check that it has a live well. A lot of pontoons these days are made only for recreation and they have begun phasing out a lot of the features that related to fishing. The live well has been replaced by the refrigerator.

This is not true for all pontoons but some of the newer ones. Just a heads up. You wouldn't want to spend all that money and hassle only to find out that your boat is kind of lousy to fish on.

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