Pontoon Boat Fishing Layout and Setup Tips

Having a quality pontoon boat for fishing is half the battle when it comes to your catch. You need to customize it and make it work for you. Otherwise, you may be out of luck before you even hit the water. 

For a successful fishing trip, check out these pontoon boat fishing layout and setup tips. 

1. Fishing Rod Holders

Fishing rod holders are a staple on any fishing pontoon boat. When you’re out on open water, you’re going to want to take a break from holding your rod from time to time. So, having rod holders installed on the boat will give you an opportunity to relax. Be sure to setup your rod holder at the bow or stern as they are the most common places to fish at.

There are plenty of holders to choose from, designed to keep your rod ready to reel while you focus on other tasks. Don’t let a great catch get away because you lack reliable equipment. You can mount the rod holders with a clamp for more flexibility when fishing, so you can rearrange them how you need to. Or you can drill them in place for a stable, permanent solution.

If you want a pontoon boat that provide rod holders without the installation process, Avalon’s got you covered. All of our fishing floor plans come equipped with a rear fish station that includes rod holders, a bait well, and cupholders to provide a comfortable designated fishing area.

2. Plenty of Storage

When designing the layout of your pontoon, you’ll need to accommodate all the essentials. Along with the required safety equipment you’ll need to store on the boat, you’ll need a place to put away your rods when they’re not in the water.

You can store the rods in portable cases or display them on racks on the boat. Whatever option you go for, remember to design it well so that the racks or cases aren’t in the way of anything important.

With an Avalon fishing pontoon, you’ll have no problem having adequate storage. Most of our fishing models are equipped with or have an optional rod storage box.

3. Vinyl Flooring

Don’t overlook the flooring of your boat. Invest in vinyl flooring for your boat to keep the water from settling as you sail. It might start off as slippery, but you can purchase kits with grips and grooves to keep you from losing traction. 

There are two types of vinyl flooring: flat and woven. The flat vinyl is easier to clean up, while the woven vinyl provides a nicer look. Though the woven vinyl has more of an aesthetic appeal, it’s still easy to clean. Choose from our collection of fish models and customize it with the vinyl flooring that fits your need.

4. Trolling Motor on the Bow

It’s important to have the right size trolling motor for your boat, so you can go about your day efficiently. The kind of catch you’re seeking may influence your choice. Scaring away the fish with a motor that’s too loud will ruin your trip and put you out a decent amount of money.

You may also want to invest in a trolling motor that comes equipped with a remote control, so you can adjust your speed from anywhere on the boat. Others come with a footpad, so you can operate while fishing without having to step away.

An avalon pontoon boat with three passengers riding in front of the lake shoreline.

Additionally, you’ll want to install the trolling motor in the most effective place: the bow. You can get a removable mount to ensure you’re able to freely adjust the design of your boat whenever you need to, which is an attractive feature. 

All Avalon models can be equipped with a half-front gate and a trolling motor plug to ensure that you don’t scare away any potential catches.

5. Livewell Seating

If you don’t plan on releasing your catch, you’ll need a place to store the fish until it’s time to go home. Make the most of the space you have on your pontoon with Livewell seating.

While your catch can stay fresh for a few hours when exposed to open air, it’s best to store them elsewhere for the rest of your trip. Due to the aluminum frame seat bases on Avalon pontoons, Livewell can be added to the under-bench seating area, providing more space on your boat.

6. Fish Finder

This item is a must-have for your fishing boat. Both newcomers and veterans understand the importance of the fishfinder. Two parts make up this device: the transducer and the screen.

For the fishfinder to work correctly, the transducer must be placed in the right location. It won’t provide accurate information if the placement is off. The recommended place to put the fish finder is on the bottom bracket on the starboard side of a pontoon tube. The screen will display the information provided by the transducer.

Garmin fishfinder in a pontoon boat.

A higher-quality device is worth the investment over time and can last much longer. An example of a great high-quality fishfinder is the Garmin 5CV. Also, if you’re looking for additional GP capabilities and a larger display screen, the Garmin 73CV and the Garmin 743XSV are great options.

7. Swivel Fishing Chairs

Your boat isn’t completely setup without a pair of swivel fishing chairs. These chairs provide 360-degree rotation, allowing you to fish freely from unlimited angles. In addition, they provide a sufficient amount of padding and cushions so you can fish comfortably for hours on end.

The best place to add the swivel fishing chairs is the bow. If you want to have a convenient fishing setup, consider placing these chairs near the rod holders. As these seats are fairly simple to install, there’s no reason you shouldn’t install them on your pontoon boat.


If you follow these tips, you’ll find yourself with a fishing pontoon boat that meets all your needs. You deserve to enjoy every moment you go out onto the water and fish, and these layout and setup ideas will provide the comfort and ease you’re looking for.

Don’t cut corners when designing your vessel. Invest in quality equipment that will take care of you in the long run, so you can fish in style.

To find the perfect pontoon boat for your lifestyle, find an Avalon dealer near you or build your dream pontoon with our Build-a-Boat tool. Avalon’s got a vast collection of luxurious, customizable fishing pontoons for your needs.

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