Nothing beats a day of fishing on a pontoon boat. It gives you the chance to decompress and bond with your friends who share a love for this relaxing pastime. Plus, it never hurts to bring home a big catch and impress your family.
However, if you’re a serious fisherman, you know that a simple rod and a pontoon boat don’t cut it. You need high-quality fishing accessories for your boat to make the most of your day.
Below, you can read about seven of the best pontoon boat fishing accessories that’ll make your trip easier and more enjoyable.
1. Rod Holders
Rod holders are some of the most convenient fishing pontoon boat accessories. They let you set your fishing rod down, freeing you to tend to other tasks (like steering the boat or preparing your buddy’s lure).
Without a rod holder, you’ll have to either hang onto your pole or set it out of the water. The former option will limit your dexterity for completing other tasks, and the latter option can cause you to miss out on some serious catches. Neither situation is ideal, so it’s best to invest in a few reliable rod holders.
Plus, you can set up multiple rods at once and maximize your reach. Just ensure you don’t exceed the legal limit. For example, the state of Kansas limits all anglers to two poles at a time.
Once you decide to install rod holders, you need to choose from different mounting options. Clamp-on rod holders are movable, meaning you can relocate them to fit your needs throughout the day. Mounting a rod holder with a drill mount may provide more stability, but its placement will be permanent.
It’s no secret that fish expire quickly when they’re out of the water and exposed to air. Even though some amphibious fish can survive for several hours out of the water, it’s not ideal to submit them to these conditions. Instead, keep your fish fresh by investing in a livewell. You’ll prevent them from spoiling, and you can always throw some back at the end of the day if you have bigger catches you prefer to keep.
Livewells, also called baitwells, are must-have pontoon boat fishing accessories if you plan to keep your catches. A livewell is a box that holds water from the river or lake your boat is in. Anglers store the fish they catch in these boxes to keep them fresh. This box facilitates the flow of oxygen so that fish get the oxygen they need to live.
If you’re just fishing for recreation (and not for meat), you can use the livewell to store live bait. While some anglers prefer artificial lures, it never hurts to have some live bait on hand.
3. Trolling Motor
Subtly and patience are key when it comes to fishing. You want to approach your spots calmly and quietly. Rushing into them recklessly can scare away all your catches. So, every dedicated angler will need to add a trolling motor to their list of essential pontoon boat fishing accessories.
A trolling motor is a small motor that you carry on your pontoon in addition to your main engine. It lets you glide carefully through the water.
Your main engine will present limitations when it comes to navigating through shallow areas. But if you tip your engine out of the water, you can use your smaller trolling motor to get to where you want to go.
Some trolling motors require manual operation or a handheld remote to steer. The best ones will include a footpad, allowing you to steer and fish at the same time.
4. Rotating Fishing Chairs
Fishing from a standing position will offer you a lot of mobility, but it can grow tiring after a while. And sitting on your pontoon boat’s stationary, hard, cold benches can be very limiting and uncomfortable. Rotating fishing chairs are some of the best pontoon boat fishing accessories to guarantee comfort and improve fishing performance.
Ideally, you should install your rotating chair near the rear of your boat. Then, you can swivel it in all directions and achieve the perfect casting position every time.
Try to look for a chair made of marine-grade vinyl. This material is resistant to mildew growth and UV rays, which is important for all the moisture and sun exposure it’ll receive.
You should also consider getting a chair that comes with a flip-up bolster and bucket storage. This feature will let you optimize your pontoon boat’s limited storage space.
And before you purchase your chair, make sure it has adequate padding. If you plan on spending hours at a time in this chair, you’ll want it to be comfortable.
Fishfinders are some of the more technical pontoon boat fishing accessories, but they’re important for novices and veterans alike.
Most apparently, these devices help anglers detect schools of fish. But their abilities go far beyond this purpose. They also provide various details like:
- The distribution of a fish school
- The seabed’s condition
- The water depth
A fishfinder features two main elements: the transducer and the screen.
You must position the transducer in the correct location for the whole device to work properly. You can mount the transducer on the pontoon boat’s bottom via in-hull installation. However, if you mount it incorrectly, it won’t relay accurate information.
The other part of this device is the screen, which will display all the captured information.
As you’re shopping for this device, consider getting one with:
- A water-resistant design
- A screen resolution of at least 240×160 pixels
Also, be prepared to spend more money on a higher-quality device. While the initial cost may be greater, you’ll be thankful for the investment in the long run. A cheap device likely won’t provide accurate information and can malfunction prematurely.
6. Tackle Trays
Fishing is an intricate practice. There are many pieces to keep track of, including:
- Extra lines
Throwing all these items carelessly into a bucket is a recipe for disaster. You’ll end up spending too much time rummaging through these components to find the right ones. Tackle trays are saviors when it comes to organizing all your equipment.
You could just go with an average tackle box, but they’re quite bulky. That’s why tackle trays are some of our favorite pontoon boat fishing accessories. These trays are much slimmer than traditional tackle boxes, and they can easily slide underneath your pontoon boat’s bench.
7. Rear Sink
A rear sink is one of the most essential pontoon boat fishing accessories if you want to stay clean while you’re out on the water. This accessory has many functions, but we love to use it to clean and gut fish. If you’re about to head back to shore, you can get a head start on the gutting process.
But if you plan to be out on the water for a couple of hours, we recommend that you hold off on the gutting process. Instead, you can use the sink to wash your hands of fish blood or nasty bait. Then, you can enjoy a drink or snack without worrying about bacteria getting into your beverages or food.
A rear sink will often come with a removable water container that holds between one and five gallons of water. You’ll have to fill this container before you embark on your trip.
When you’re ready to wash your hands or gut a fish, you can promote water flow with a hand pump. Just be mindful of what you pour down your sink, as these devices often drain right into the body of water you’re coasting on.
Choosing the Right Pontoon Boat Fishing Accessories for Your Watercraft
When you’re shopping for pontoon boat fishing accessories for your watercraft, you don’t necessarily have to put a million items into your shopping cart. Make sure you have room for all these accessories before you invest in them. Otherwise, you could end up with an overcrowded boat, which won’t be fun for anyone involved.
However, if you have the space, these seven accessories are sure to come in handy during any fishing excursion you take! Once you have that nice marine-grade vinyl seating and organized tackle tray, you’ll never go back to your previous setup.