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  1. #1
    Member
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    ma
    Posts
    350

    Fishing Pontoon questions

    So I am in the process of buying a waterfront house. I was thinking about getting a pontoon boat to keep in the water and have my bass boat stay in the garage for tournaments and other lakes. Keep in mind that the lake is small `200 acres. I am keeping an eye open for deals on pontoons as around here people want to get rid of them so they don't have to winterize. So I have the following questions:

    Size of the boat? I want it big enough for entertaining but want to fish from it.
    Trolling motor? Can I assume a 24 volt in the 65-70lb range is good. (I am not going to be fishing for long periods or crazy wind, mostly after work etc..) I also fish mostly offshore
    I was thinking to look for one with an open bow versus the ones that have the rails up to the front.
    I was going to get a 4 stroke.
    What else should I look for or avoid?

    If you were to do it over again what would you not go without or not spend $$ on.


    1997 Ranger 461 VS
    175 Fastrike

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  3. Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Chillicothe
    Posts
    259
    #2
    Good questions! I'm kind of in the same situation.

  4. Member
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Iowa
    Posts
    69
    #3
    We have an older 24ft Harris. It came with 19" diameter tubes and it sat really low in the water. I found some 25" diameter logs and they made a HUGE difference in pretty much every aspect of performance. I would highly recommend 23" or larger logs (older pontoons usually had smaller diameter). I have a 80# troller and it pulls it around pretty well as long as it isn't really windy or a lot of current. the deck of ours is probably only 21ft long and we can fit 10 people comfortably if we're just cruising around. I guess it depends how many people you want to be able to hold at one time as far as what length you'll need
    2008 XPRESS H18
    2002 MERC XR6 150

  5. Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    So. Utah
    Posts
    56
    #4
    Just saw your post, we have a 22' Bennington tri-toon with a Merc Pro XS 175 hp on a hyd. jack plate, granted this boat is for the Colorado river lakes and not what you're asking about .....but. I did make the HUGE mistake of believing Motorguide BS marketing guy and bought one of their 70# Varimax trolling motors. The first one lasted one trip........after the 3rd head burned up I chit canned the entire TM and I will say that Motorguide was no help at all.....it was like "Oh Well"

    So I called Jones Trolling Motors and he custom built me an 80# tm that works great, pulls the pontoon around effortlessly and has never given me an ounce of trouble. If you're going to get a 20' or in that range I think a 50# tm will work just fine. Gives Jone's a call, he can build anything you need.

  6. Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Muscle Shoals, Alabama-Wilson Lake
    Posts
    7,591
    #5
    Size of the boat? I want it big enough for entertaining but want to fish from it. On such a small lake, I'd suggest a 20' or 22' boat with 25" toons.
    Trolling motor? Can I assume a 24 volt in the 65-70lb range is good. (I am not going to be fishing for long periods or crazy wind, mostly after work etc..) I also fish mostly offshore Go for an 80 lb trolling motor. Wind pushes them around pretty bad.
    I was thinking to look for one with an open bow versus the ones that have the rails up to the front. Open bows are pretty rare except on older, small toon boats. Most of the newer boats have the fencing toward the front of the boat--unless you find a specific fishing model toon.
    I was going to get a 4 stroke. On such a small lake, a 2 stroke motor would be just fine. Four strokes are preferred, and are found on newer boats.