Pontoon Boat Recommendations?

#1
Hi there,

I am thinking of getting a single person pontoon boat good for lake fishing as well as handling moderate water on the Yakima. I feel like I have begun to overanalize the information and am getting confused on what is good, acceptable, comfortable, necessary, etc.

Can anyone recommend a particular boat or manufacturer for an 8-9 foot model around or under $500? The winning recommendation will recieve a day of beer on the river on me!

Thanks for the help. :beer1:
 

Jason

Trout Bum
#2
In the $500 range you really can't go wrong with any of the pontoons on the market. Its when you go below that things get hairy. Best deal is to find one used and save up to a couple hundred bucks.

Check your email!
 
#3
I know the feeling...I stressed a bit before I finally bit the bullet and bought something.

I just (about a week ago) purchased an Outcast Fishcat Cougar. I've had the boat on a smaller local lake twice and on one short river trip. So far so good...

The boat's really stable and because it rides low on the water you can really dig in with your fins. it also uses a 4-pontoon setup which should provide some measure of safety if one pontoon were punctured...hopefully I won't be testing that hypothesis.

The anchor system could use improvement but several other Cougar owners mentioned this to me before I bought the boat and a do-it-yourself upgrade is possible...a post by p.dieter in this forum details this...I'm not sure how this would affect the 5-year warranty.

Overall I think it's a great boat for the money (500$) for moderate rivers and
lakes...

Also, Dave Scadden just started an online magazine about pontoon boat fishing and it's got some great info in it...here's the link;

http://www.pontoonboatjournal.com/Vol1-Issue1.html

:beer2:
 
J

Johnnyb

Guest
#5
two more words (in addition to "Buck's" and "Bags"): South Fork. Sportsman's Warehouse (Spokane, Silverdale?, Missoula) had them on sale for $459, which is about $150 below list.
 
#7
If you are going to fish lakes...stay away from the boats with a strong rocker like the 8' southfork and bucks bag...I borrowed a buddy's bucks bag for a few trips to Leech lake and hated it...could not row in a straight line at all. I got an ODC 915 off ebay and saved over 100 bucks over the cost at Sportco including the shipping. A really good boat, not the best but it'll do...most importantly, it tracks fairly straight on lakes.

FYI...two of my buddies just got Dave Scaddens...call him and you might just get the January Sports show price...they saved over 200 bucks.
 
#8
Jason said:
In the $500 range you really can't go wrong with any of the pontoons on the market. Its when you go below that things get hairy. Best deal is to find one used and save up to a couple hundred bucks.

For a good all around comparison of several brands on one site, check out this website L=http://www.thefloattubestore.com/pontoon.htm]Pontoons[/URL]

Dude, is that cheating? By saying they're all good, you're guaranteed to get a days-worth of beer! That's low, but wish I'd thought of it. :D JK of course
 
#9
Pretty happy with my Bucks BAg Southfork - It has increased my fishing options. It is great on the Yakima, and perfect for lakes. Be sure you get some good fins, Force fins are the best on lakes. I use them more than the oars.
 
#11
after my first south fork was stolen i got another off ebay, so don't overlook that source. made in idaho and are high quality. much lighter, stainless steel frame than some of the others out there. good anchor kit too. i have had trouble with tracking on lakes while rowing and found that just dragging one heel works miracles. acts like a rudder. its only when you are rowing fast that it matters. when you are trolling along you don't notice the tracking. it is true though that the more curved pontoons tend not to track well in lakes, but they are much safer and manuverable rivers. south fork again for my money. :cool:
 

Steelheader

Only 3 more years until I can think like a fish.
#15
dmoocher said:
If you are going to fish lakes...stay away from the boats with a strong rocker like the 8' southfork and bucks bag...I borrowed a buddy's bucks bag for a few trips to Leech lake and hated it...could not row in a straight line at all. I got an ODC 915 off ebay and saved over 100 bucks over the cost at Sportco including the shipping. A really good boat, not the best but it'll do...most importantly, it tracks fairly straight on lakes.

FYI...two of my buddies just got Dave Scaddens...call him and you might just get the January Sports show price...they saved over 200 bucks.

You must have had the pontoons setup wrong or offset I have fished out of many pontoons on leech and have not had any problems with Bucks bags. I have a high adventure, and it is just like the South fork but the frame is powder coated black frame and have floated the Yak in it as well. Bucks Bags makes awesome boats. You can get the High Adventure for around 350. new.