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I've been thinking about sinking some $$$$ into a pontoon boat. I've never fished off a drift boat or pontoon boat but I do have a sled and have put countless hours in on the banks. I don't have the room or the funds to buy and store a drift boat but I do want to fish some of the smaller rivers that my 20' sled can't run.

My questions are these;
1. How do you fish a pontoon boat?
2. What is a good one with a reasonable price? I'm not talking one or these $1500 models, I'm sure they are nice.
3. I am willing to do trip trade, a sled trip for a pontoon/drift trip, so that I can be sure I want to spend the money. PM me.

Dr.E
 

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Ive been using a Bucks bag (high country)pontooner for a couple years and it is great no complaints, 8 or 9 foot model is ideal for small river action. Cost wise $400 ish after some accesory additions. Ive even put my 50lb minnkota on that thing and its some good fun especially in the rivers. Good luck with your search Tup:
 

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Pontoons are great for getting to one hole from another, but are tough to side drift out of. Never had any problems sending a bladder back to Creek Company for a new free one.
 

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I also just use mine for transportation down the river then get out and bank fish. You could fish out of one but I think a drift boat would be better if you wanted to cover all the water you see.
 

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I have a 9' Water Skeeter, its the cheaper pontoon boat they make. Its hard to fish out of and you'll find yourself banking it from hole to hole. They are alot of fun and you are fishing. You also cant bring as much gear as you want just bring what you need. dont forget your PFD. I would get a Mustang Tup:
 

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I bought 2 Outcast Fish Cat 9-IRs this summer and have not regretted it Tup:

I ordered from an online store and got a great deal. Same price as (GI) Joes on sale, but I had the guy throw in 2 nice double action pumps (~$60 each) and free shipping and no sales tax Tup: Tup:

Inlcudes rear platform, one rod holder, motor mount \ anchor system (not that great of one, but works), nice 2 peice 7ft oars, saddle bags, and a comfy padded seat.

(don't know anything about this dealer - just came up on google...)
http://www.outcastboats.com/outcastboat ... ?boatid=15

This best selling pontoon boat features 9' PVC pontoons with vinyl airecells, a 6 piece breakdown frame with integrated anchor system and motor mount, a padded folding seat, and a right or left hand mountable rod holder. This boat has a 375-pound load capacity that is roomy enough for an angler and all their gear for overnight fishing excursions. The Fish Cat 9 can be fin kicked, rowed, or motored to get you to the fish!

BOAT SPECS

Inflated Size: 50 x 108"
Weight: 75 lbs.
Frame: 5-pc Steel
Air Cell Type: Vinyl
Load Capacity: 400 lbs.
Seams: Sewn
Warranty: 5 Year

Fabric Denier
1200 PVC
1200 PVC


I have fished mine using some nice quality fins so my hands are free from the oars and can work the rod and net, but only in long slow drifts. Other times I've anchored in deeper slower water and fished for salmon that way. But like others have saide, the ideal method is to just use them to get from spot to spot.

If you haven't rowed much before on moving water, go with someone else the first few times and take a pretty easy float.
 

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I have one of the 10' toons from Sportsmans whse. I use it both in rivers and lakes. Not a whitewater toon like a Skookum but a good ride. I have a 40 Minn Kota on it that lets me get around the lakes and it allows me to run back up a run for another pass. One word of advice: never anchor a toon in a medium to heavy flow. I always get in the softer shallower water before I put the anchor down.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
That helps me a lot. Thanks for replying. I think i'll make the plunge and see what happens.

Dr.E
 

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I got a 10 1/2" Skykomish Sunrise that is just simply awesome. Its rated for class 5 whitewater and is super tough but only weighs about 80lbs. It can also carry 600lbs. Its a little pricey at a grand but well worth it. Was wondering though does anyone know if a 55lb electic would be enough to get you back up river in moderate or less flows?
 

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Here is a shot of my 10ft steelheader guide from skookum products out on Deep lake with trolling motor and fish finder looling for a tasty fish. I have had it down the green and the Wynoochee and I love it.
 

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I've had a 9 footer in the past, hard to fish from but nice for getting you from hole to hole. They are alot of fun, wish I never would of sold mine!

Jig'n
 

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You can get some great boats in the 8 to 10 foot range for 300 to 500 bucks. I had a little 8 foot creek company, nothing special, but if your crafty with a welder theres alot you can do to improve them for fishing. First off, i lifted the seat up about a foot and reset the oar seats, which made it much more comfortable. After this, i could strap a battery under the seat, and then mount a 40lb minn kota off the back ( awesome for backtrolling and sidedrifting ). Next, i welded in a perferated metal footrest that i could stand on and not worry about slipping off. Finally, i mounted some brackets so i could use a rod holder, with one bracket holding the rod right between my legs. Once i got that on there, it was pretty easy to side drift, backtroll, and row. I used alluminum for everything, so i added maybe 5lbs onto the weight overall.
Lots of fun, and you can take them anywhere! Would definately reccomend it-
 

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They have lots of them to look and feel at the Sportsman show in Puyallup.
 

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I've had my FishCat 9 for over 5 years now. I've ran Puyallup, Nooch, Satsop, Nisqually (including the Kahunas between McKenna and Yelm), Chehalis, Cowlitz, Clearwater, Sky, Stilly in addition to lakes and Puget Sound. Only time I've been a little nervous was when I was out in the Sound near dusk and there were 2 sea lions following me, some times coming up closer than a cast! I've caught fish pulling plugs from the 'toon before, but that sure was difficult. Slowly bouncing along close to shore while casting towards mid river works well for covering water and still be able to land fish with some control. Like everyone else have said - going from hole to hole is best use of a 'toon. I used to have a driftboat, but I felt more in control rowing my toon than rowing the drift boat, so I sold the DB.
 
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