If you are a low-key angler looking for ways to step up your game, then the best way to begin is by investing in a high-quality fishing boat. Although there are various boats out there, pontoons and kayaks are the two most popular boats which are preferred by many anglers.
A pontoon boat or kayak for fishing purposes is designed uniquely and is different from their recreational counterparts. It can be a daunting task to choose a vessel that best suits your fishing style. But don’t worry, I am here to help you.
This article will give you a better understanding of both types of boats, so you get a hold of their details before heading out to make a purchase. Keep reading!
Characteristics of Fishing Pontoon Boats
Fishing pontoons are inflatable boats around eight to thirteen feet long and 48 to 56 inches wide. These boats consist of two air bladders connected to each other by either a metal frame or a curved air bladder (in the case of frameless pontoons).
Inflatable pontoons are made of tough abrasion-free PVC materials to withstand extremes of water temperature. Fishing pontoons are designed in a way that makes them suitable for solo fishing. These boats usually have one seat on top of the metal frame or built-in for the frameless variety.
They are available in four main types: standard one person, two-person, backpackable, and float hybrid pontoons.
Advantages of Pontoon Boats
Pontoon boats can be your personal favorites when going solo. Here are some of the reasons:
Best for Fly-fishing
Pontoons are designed for fly-fishing specifically, as they provide the perfect platform for casting in both moving and calm waters. You can navigate small waterways, as these boats have excellent stability due to their large air bladders, which increases their buoyancy in water.
Also, as you sit high up in the water in this typical boat, it increases your visual range. Fishing pontoons come with all the necessary storage pockets and features that enable an angler to float and fish with ease.
When it comes to portability, with an inflatable pontoon boat, you can easily break it down to fit in your car’s trunk and reassemble it in 10 to 15 minutes. Storing it isn’t a hassle either as it can be deflated and stored in the back of your garage without occupying too much space.
You can motorize your inflatable pontoon if you don’t want to paddle it and launch it in the water without any difficulty. Along with this, this boat allows you to stay dry, carry a large amount of fishing gear, and bring food on your trip, thanks to its large storage capacity of 350-400 lbs.
In a two-person inflatable pontoon, you can always enjoy your fishing expedition with some company.
A fishing pontoon’s price is going to leave you double-checking the price tag. These boats are super cheap, with prices as low as $100 – $300. Despite being so inexpensive, these boats are highly durable.
Disadvantages of Pontoon Boats
Since no boat is ever perfect, fishing pontoon boats have a few drawbacks. Following are a few:
You may find a pontoon boat or kayak for fishing in freshwaters quite similar when it comes to their maneuverability; it is far from the truth.
Due to its bulky structure, it is almost impossible to paddle your inflatable through debris, narrow inlets, and fallen trees, restricting you to fish in open areas only. Furthermore, remember never to take your inflatable pontoon in the ocean as they are not designed to handle rough waters.
Due to the pontoon’s chunky structure, you may find yourself paddling for a more extended period to reach your favorite fishing spot. Moreover, inflating a pontoon requires close monitoring as over or under inflation can build up pressure that strains the material.
Characteristics of Fishing Kayaks
A fishing kayak is a narrow and sleek boat that closely resembles a canoe. These boats, on average, are 13 feet long and 36 inches wide. Kayaks are made of fiberglass or polyethylene and are quite sturdy.
They usually come with four types of hull designs. Rounded, V-hull, flat, and pontoon, each of which are suitable for different water types. In addition to this, fishing kayaks are available in 6 subtypes: sit-on-top, sit inside, pedal drive, tandem, inflatable, or motorized kayaks.
In general, anglers prefer sit-on-top fishing kayaks.
Advantages of Fishing Kayaks
Investing in a fishing kayak will leave you satisfied every time you take it out on the waters. Here are some of its benefits:
A fishing kayak provides you with excellent stealth (the ability to sneak up on wary fish without scaring them). You can quietly crawl your way up on fishes, thanks to the narrow design of a kayak that does not make a huge underwater shadow.
A kayak will let you gently paddle to a fishing spot and reel in plenty of fish.
Efficient and Versatile
Fishing kayaks are masters of efficiency. You can paddle swiftly in shallow waters and squeeze through narrow spaces without worrying about damaging it. Since they sit low in the water, it decreases their wind resistance, making them highly versatile, and suitable for use in both salt and freshwater.
Disadvantages of Fishing Kayaks
Like any other boat, fishing kayaks have a few negative points too. Some of them are:
Fishing kayaks can be on the expensive side with prices that range from $300 – $1100 and even higher, depending upon how you accessorize them.
Kayaks are heavy and require a trailer for transportation. It is challenging to store them as they are long vessels that cannot deflate and take up plenty of your storage space.
Pontoon Boat or Kayak for Fishing: A Quick Contrast
Fishing pontoon boats are budget-friendly, highly portable, secure, and comfortable fishing vessels suitable for fun, lazy fishing, especially recreational fly-fishing.
In contrast, kayaks are speedy, sporty, and highly efficient. These flexible watercraft are meant for serious fishing, such as competing in fishing tournaments and bass fishing.
The majority of anglers use a pontoon boat or kayak for fishing in freshwater and saltwater, respectively. If you are not tight on the pocket and hit the water almost every day, then I would suggest investing in a fishing kayak.
It’s a hassle-free watercraft that will allow you to explore remote areas and save you time and energy. You can even try winning the jackpot by competing in a bass fishing tournament with your kayak.
But if you are on a budget, and enjoy fishing in the nearby lake from time to time, then nothing will beat the solitude of a decent inflatable pontoon boat. No matter which vessel you choose, either of them will make you a better angler.