Pontoon?

Discussion in 'Saltwater' started by troutpounder, Jan 4, 2013.

  1. troutpounder Active Member

    Posts: 300
    everett
    Ratings: +58 / 0
    Does anyone fish the beach out of a pontoon? I know there could be some rust issues but I cant swing a kayak right now. Thanks for your imput
  2. Mark Mercer Member

    Posts: 1,148
    port orchard, wa
    Ratings: +517 / 0
    Sure you can use a toon or even a float tube....but you better know the area very well and how strong the currents are, you could get yourself into big trouble if you don't. I've use them both in the past and have friends that still use their toons on occasion, but I didn't have that much better luck than fishing from the beach but it does open up more beach. I'm sure there are many here who have used them.
  3. Simplebugger New Member

    Posts: 23
    Mukilteo WA
    Ratings: +21 / 0
    You may find that the pontoon is more work then it's worth in the salt. Also to back up Mark, I've been caught in the current before in my pontoon an it took a while to get back. There's nothing wrong with the beach.
    Jerry Daschofsky likes this.
  4. daveypetey Active Member

    Posts: 274
    University District, Seattle, WA
    Ratings: +39 / 0
    I agee with Simplebugger. I have tried it a few times. Even in a relatively weak current it is surprising how much work it is to fish the areas you want. I've caught a few SRC from the pontoon and really only think it would be helpful if there is some known structure you want to fish that you can't cast to from the beach, as it seems that most fish are in water that is: 1) of somewhat a decent drop off, maybe a 15-30% grade, and 2) never really in more than 10 feet of water depth. These 2 combo to most fish being within casting distance from the shore. I have found that most fish I hook into are only about 30 feet max from the beach. I don't even wear waders anymore.
  5. troutpounder Active Member

    Posts: 300
    everett
    Ratings: +58 / 0
    Thanks for the input guys. The main reason I would like a kayak or to use my pontoon is to fish more area. I have found that access to the beach is kinda tough in some places
  6. Nick Clayton Active Member

    Posts: 2,999
    Ratings: +1,307 / 4
    I've kicked around the idea in the past myself. After speaking with several folks who have done it the general consensus seemed to be that for the most part it was more work than it was worth. Even in calm water there is usually some pretty good currents. I was surprised at how much so when taking my pram out in the salt a few times this past summer. After experiencing it in the pram it was easy to see how a pontoon would be awfully difficult. My 2 cents, if you have a pontoon already you have little to lose by giving it a shot. My guess is that you will find it really doesn't prevent many advantages over just standing on the beach, but you'll never know if you don't try. If you do give it a go, one thing for sure is to be CAREFUL.
  7. Steve Saville Active Member

    Posts: 2,531
    Tacoma, WA
    Ratings: +355 / 1
    I've fished my pontoon in the salt. There are some rust issues but they are minor. I had two problems. First and probably just annoying was that the mesh skirts pick up every little piece of sea weed they encounter, especially the rear one behind the seat. It took a long time to clean that junk off. Second and more of an issue was that a sea lion came up beside me, no more than three feet away and that was a bit unnerving. I didn't know if it was for a meal or just curiosity but it was a big SOB. I hooked a nice salmon at one point and maybe the same sea lion grabbed it. I was dragged all over hell before the line broke. I parked the pontoon in the garage and now use a bigger boat or walk the beach.
    Jeff Dodd and Eyejuggler like this.
  8. Evan Virnoche Guest

    Posts: 0
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    I used to ride tides in San Diego bay/mission bay all the time. I would however never try kicking around my fischat in puget sound
  9. EHB86 Member

    Posts: 94
    Puget Sound and Plain, WA
    Ratings: +15 / 0
    You've gotten plenty of good info regarding the pontoon use so I won't add to that. But if you eventually start thinking about another option, consider finding a nice rowing skiff, about 10'. There are occasionally some good ones on the usual places. With a set of simple wheels you can launch them easily at lots of accessible beaches and really cover a lot of water quietly and quickly. A good skiff is very seaworthy and will carry gear, you don't get as wet as in a kayak, etc.

    Some of the old glass ones molded off of a wood lapstrake skiff are really nice to row and light enough one guy can throw it in the back of a pickup. Watch out for the ones that have too much beam.
  10. troutpounder Active Member

    Posts: 300
    everett
    Ratings: +58 / 0
    That could be a good idea. Has anyone ever taken there drift boat in the sound?
    Jerry Daschofsky likes this.
  11. Nick Clayton Active Member

    Posts: 2,999
    Ratings: +1,307 / 4
    No, but I did taken my 10' aluminum Fish Rite pram out in the salt a handful of times last year and had zero issue. Took another forum member and myself one day. Fished all day with no problem at all. Pretty versatile little craft.
  12. EHB86 Member

    Posts: 94
    Puget Sound and Plain, WA
    Ratings: +15 / 0
    Drift boats work ok, but they're a bit heavy and you need a rudimentary ramp to launch as opposed to a light skiff that you can wheel by yourself across the beach/grass, etc. The wide flat bottom on a drift boat will pound pretty good if it gets choppy.
  13. guy_fly New Member

    Posts: 11
    Brier, WA
    Ratings: +2 / 0
    Probably best if you used a model with stainless steel frame - Buck's Bags as example. I own an Outcast stainless for this reason - but in practice have found it easier just to walk in to wade the beaches.
  14. cabezon Sculpin Enterprises

    Posts: 1,723
    Olympia, WA
    Ratings: +246 / 0
    I've used my pontoon several times at Hoodsport for pinks. This works in Hood Canal because the tidal currents are relatively weak. It does keep you out from the crowds along the shore. I have had trouble, though, with harbor seals stealing fish while I'm fighting them. And with a Bucs Bronco, I have not had major rust problems.

    Steve
  15. Jerry Daschofsky Moderator

    Posts: 7,814
    Graham, WA, USA.
    Ratings: +701 / 5
    First off, used drift boat for years on the sound. You're not going to be powering it up huge, just a small kicker. It's not like running a flat bottomed sled on it (yeah, the chop will put your kidneys up into your throat). A small 6-10hp kicker will bring you around just nicely. And a glass driftboat will portage just nicely to the beach (especially if you have an older model and if you only plan to row it, no motor). Yes, they won't cut water like a deep V, but they sure as hell are a stable platform for casting while on the current drift.

    And yes, I've taken pontoons on the sound (mostly around the Purdy area). Like I've said a million times, pontoon boats weren't designed to be rowed like a boat. They were designed to be correctional oared down a river current (I'm talking inflatable pontoon boats, not the big metal party barges). You have to oar twice as much to go half as far. Hell, even a drift boat has it's moments, compared to a V hulled rowing hull. I just picked up a kayak (you can find them pretty cheap actually, depending on how big you want), mostly for the lake and sound fishing with Project Healing Waters. I'm a damned good oarsman, but I was lapped fast by guys in the kayaks moving across the lake while I'm on my 80th stroke and barely moving. Finally bit the bullet and went with a kayak.
    Bradley Miller likes this.
  16. dryflylarry "Chasing Riseforms"

    Posts: 4,104
    Near the Fjord
    Ratings: +570 / 0
    I've used mine several times over the last 8 years. I have thought about it recently again. As others have mentioned, you need to know the tide action where you plan on doing it. They are deceptive, and you can find yourself rowing like hell to make headway or get out of the current. There are, of course, calmer areas to fish at. I've been thinking lately of fishing a beach where the owner kicked me off (2 people in 35 years). I was thinking that if I threw my pontoon in, I could park off his beach and almost stand in my pontoon and fish this one little particular "hotspot" I found last fall. I think he would have a hard time chasing me off even tho my intent would be to stand and fish with the pontoon there. Or, just anchor in 4 feet of water. :D
  17. bigdood fishing hack

    Posts: 340
    PDX, OR
    Ratings: +88 / 1
    I fell in love with the 'wineglass wherry' at Pygmy up in Port Townsend two years ago
  18. freestoneangler Not to be confused with Freestone

    Posts: 4,163
    Edgewood, WA
    Ratings: +798 / 1
    Except for maybe gaining access to some areas otherwise hard to get to, I agree, more trouble than its worth. Also, keep in mind that some beaches have some rather sharp oyster beds -- a buddy sliced open the outer cover while we were on the Hood Canal.
  19. Jim Lawrence New Member

    Posts: 24
    Ratings: +5 / 0
    I own 5 different boats from a 16 footer down to a inflatable kayak but the hands down winner is an 8 foot molded plastic pram with an electric motor on it. Lite, fast, stable and dry. I use it in Hood Canal and lakes and even crossing to the greener sides of rivers. I mounted a comfortable seat, rod holders, fish finder and beer holder on it and it runs for over 5 hours on the battery. None of the other boats come close to it's utility, in fact I don't even use the others anymore.
    Rich Schager likes this.
  20. Beachmen Active Member

    Posts: 259
    Port Orchard
    Ratings: +83 / 0
    i use a pontoon some times just make sure you rinse the hell out of it when your done. it you have a strong tied or lots of wind be ware it can be a pain at times.