Pontoon Boat Fishing Techniques

by Zach Lazzari
Inflatable pontoon boats are ideal for small and medium size ponds.

Inflatable pontoon boats are ideal for small and medium size ponds.

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Inflatable and hard tube pontoon boats provide stable fishing platforms. The two tubes are connected by a frame or deck and the design has limited surface area contacting the water. The pontoon is more maneuverable than most boats and the inflatable designs are capable of navigating whitewater. Fishing from a pontoon is similar to fishing from other boats but the pontoon does allow for access to shallower water. The pontoon is a versatile and effective fishing craft for a variety of techniques.


The inflatable and hard side pontoon work well for trolling techniques. Both are compatible with trolling motors and the lightweight design uses less battery power than a heavy boat. The inflatable pontoon is also capable of trolling with oars or fins. The fins are effective on calm days but require a great amount of energy on windy days. Trolling with a pontoon requires special attention to the direction of the boat. The lightweight pontoons require precision steering to maintain a straight line on the water.

Wind Drift

Wind drifting is a useful technique in the pontoon boat. The boat sits high on the water and is easily pushed around by the wind. Fighting the wind in the boat is often futile but drifting with the wind is effective. Troll with the wind and focus on steering the boat while you drift. The wind also pushes food sources with currents and the fish will follow in the direction of the boat. Drop the anchor when the wind pushes you into a cove or near a shoreline and fish the area thoroughly by casting and retrieving.


Anchoring the pontoon boat is used to focus on a single piece of water. Motor or row the boat to a productive fishing area and drop an anchor off the front and back of the boat. The double anchor prevents the pontoon from swinging while you fish. Focus on casting and retrieving lures and flies while the boat is anchored. Cover all sides of the boat before pulling the anchor and moving to the next location. Jump locations throughout the day and stop when you locate an extremely productive area.


River fishing from a pontoon is limited to inflatable boats with oar systems. Inflatable pontoons are constructed as single and multiple person boats. The single person boats are difficult in rivers because you must control the boat against the current. Use fins to steer the boat in deep rivers and pull over to fish in fast water. Multiple person boats are the best river option. Seat two or more people in the boat with one person at the central rowing position. The rower controls the boat and navigates the river while the other occupants cast lures and flies. Take turns to ensure everyone spends time fishing.

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