Kayak vs Pontoon boat: which one is good for fishing

Kayak VS Pontoon

Hello There! It seems that you are planning to go fishing with your friends. That sounds very delightful. However, seems like there is confusion between all of you since some of you are suggesting taking kayaks for fishing while the rest are suggesting taking a pontoon boat for fishing. You were right to come here for advice since today we will be clearing up your confusion on which is better to take for fishing. Should you take kayaks for fishing or a pontoon boat for fishing? Let us see which one is the better option.

You can also learn more about river kayak vs sea kayak by reading our extensive article on river kayak vs sea kayak : what’s the key differences?

Before we get into details, let us take a look at the following table for a brief comparison between Kayaks vs pontoon boats.

A quick comparison Kayak vs Pontoon

SizeThe length of an average kayak can start from 8ft and extend all the way till 20ft longThe length of an average pontoon boat can begin from a minimum of 18ft long and continue all the way to a maximum of 25ft long
SpeedIt isn’t as fast as a pontoon boat since it uses the paddling technique to move aroundIt is capable of going really fast somewhere around 30 MPH and that is the average speed of a pontoon boat
MassThe mass of a kayak can start from 16 kilograms and can go all the way till 32 kilogramsThe mass of a pontoon boat starts from 900 kilograms and goes all the way till 1130 kilograms
StructureHas a narrow structure so that it can go at a faster rateHas a wider and larger structure that is built to accompany a group of people
PurposeFor kayaking, fishing, riding along the water waves and campingMainly for partying, waterskiing, camping and entertainment 
Location for usageYou can use it on rivers, lakes, sea and the oceanYou can use it river, lakes and on the ocean but it has to be close to the shore
CostThe price of a kayak can start from $100 and go to a maximum of $5000 for a very classic and customized version.The price of a pontoon boat is very high as it can cost from somewhere between $15,000 to $65.000 depending on the model and the company and made it.

Deep analysis of kayaks boats

Since kayak is placed first on the table, let us talk about it and see what it is made up of in details. First of all, what is a kayak? A kayak is a kind of boat, which is created to travel on the water for sightseeing, camping, exploring fishing and many more. You can use you kayak in various locations such as rivers, lakes, big-sized ponds, seas and oceans. Unlike Pontoon boats which needs to move around with the help of an engine, you will be using oars to paddle around your kayak and choose to go whichever direction you want and increase/decrease the speed at your own will instead of relying on buttons for your movement. Now that we have covered up some of its uses, let us talk about its build and its basic properties.

 Firstly, mass is a very important factor that must be considered in every case and we will focus on that. How heavy is a kayak? They are not that heavy in general and if they are compared with pontoon boats, then their mass is just a small feather compared to the mass of a pontoon boat. An average kayak weighs from 16 kilograms to 32 kilograms and if you want to compare that with a real-life creature, then the lightest kayak has the same mass as an average adult Grizzled-Tree Kangaroo and the heaviest kayak has the same mass as an average male bear cub. Therefore, if you look at it, it is not that heavy.

Secondly, how long is a kayak? They are not that long as the length of an average kayak starts from 8 feet and can go all the way to 20 feet long. If you want a simpler example, then let us take a long at a real life object of the same length and that would be the length of four bench parks and one bench park is only 4 feet long. Now you have an idea of how long a kayak is.

Now that we have discussed all kinds of general information related to kayak, let us get down and see what makes them suitable for fishing and what prevents them from fishing.

Advantages of Kayak Boats

Stealthy in nature :

A kayak a single person boat and in some cases 2 to 3 people boat which is paddled with the help of oars and that means that they won’t be making much noise or even disrupting the water ripples which will alert the fishes and scare them all away. This makes them very suitable for suitable since they are quiet and does not cover up much of the water region. Apart from causing ripples and disrupting the water, they also do not make a noise, which is a huge advantage, as the fishes will not hear anything coming so won’t run away.

Very Budget-friendly:

When you go to the market to buy a kayak or even look it up online, you will see that the cheapest kayak will cost around $100 and the priciest one you will find will be probably around $2000 and those are the ones that are very customized and a very exclusive type. Now, even if you buy 10 kayaks, the price will not be anywhere close to a pontoon boat since they are extremely expensive and will definitely cost you a fortune. A kayak is a perfect choice for beginners especially since they do not need to spend a lot of money on their first experience. Even if you buy 5-7 kayaks, it will still be cheaper than buying a pontoon boat.

Disadvantages of a Kayak Boats:

Not enough space :

A kayak is usually made for one-person seating arrangements and in some cases, 2 people can sit on it and embark their journey. This will lead to the group buying several kayaks to make sure that everyone can experience the journey. In some cases, not everyone might be able to get a kayak for fishing since they already spent a lot on fishing equipment because a kayak can only hold one person at a time.

Less stable than a pontoon boat :

A pontoon is a large vehicle that is very stable and will not flip no matter how hard and strong the waves are. Kayaks on the other hand could possibly flip over or shake a lot since they are not that stable and could be dangerous if a beginner decides to take a kayak onto heavy waters where the water is not calm and has strong waves.

Need to keep it under control :

A kayak is a small boat that needs to be paddled using oars by the rider all the time to maintain a steady course. If you stop paddling, then the boat won’t stay in the same spot and will start to move left, right, front or back depending on the directions at which the water waves are travelling. This can make the kayak unstable as stated earlier and cause problems.

Deep analysis of pontoon boats:

Now that we have covered 50% of the article, it’s time to dive into the pontoon boat world and see what it’s all about. A Pontoon boat is massive when compared to a kayak that can be used for many purposes such as entertainment, camping, partying and many more. You can use your pontoon boat on any kinds of rivers, lakes and ocean but make sure that your pontoon boat is close to the shore when using it on ocean. Since we covered the when and where to use a pontoon boat, let us talk about its build and structure.

Furthermore, we will start with the mass since mass is the most important factor at all points. A pontoon boat is rather very heavy when compared to a kayak as an average pontoon boat can weigh from 900 kilograms to 1130 kilograms and that is a lot of mass for one object. To compare it with a real-life creature, its mass is almost equal to the average mass of an adult Walrus and that shows how heavy it is. Moving on to the next part and that is the length of the pontoon boat and how long are they.

They also dominate the length section when compared to a kayak as their average length can start from 18ft and could go all the way until 25ft long. Now, to relate it to anything actual, it would be the size of a small intestine found in a human body and now you have an idea on how long an average pontoon boat is. Now that we have gotten to know the basic information about a pontoon, let us jump onto the next section and that is to see what makes pontoon boats worthy or not worthy for fishing.

Advantages of Pontoon Boats:

Automation :

When you are using a kayak, you will need to paddle the oars all the time to maintain a steady course and to move around and that can get very tiring and put a strain onto your arms. However, it all changes with a pontoon boat since pontoon boats run on an engine that keeps the whole vehicle moving with the help of a few buttons and other kinds of gear. You can be chilling with your family, friends or even relatives while adjusting the boat’s speed to go at a certain speed and without needing to worry about it going too fast or too slow. With the help of buttons and gears, you can even make sure that the boat stays in one spot while you fish and not move left, right, front or back at all and keeping the boat steady and stable. This will remove all kinds of worries about the boat drifting off.


A kayak is paddled using oars by using human hands which can sometimes get tiring and since you will be using your hands to paddle, the speed will increase and decrease from time to time and in general, the speed won’t be that high. This is not the case for a pontoon boat. As stated earlier, with the use of buttons and gears, you can set your pontoon boat’s speed and make sure that it goes at a specific speed throughout the course. To compare in general, a pontoon boat can always travel faster than a kayak boat.


A pontoon boat is a massive boat with very big seating arrangements and space and that means you can fit as many people as you want without any worries. The larger the pontoon boat you get, the more the number of people you will be able to fit on it unlike a kayak where the maximum population is just 1 and in some cases 2 people in the cockpit only. Some pontoon boats have two levels on it, which can let one group to chill and the other group get on the other floor and start fishing without making the space feel congested.

Moreover, you can catch fish as much as you can as there is no space shortage for keeping fishes.

Disadvantages of a Pontoon Boat:

Main purpose is partying and entertainment :

A kayak is for exploring the water, camping, racing, fishing, and many more. A pontoon boat is for one of those following purposes that is camping. The main purpose of a pontoon boat is for partying and other kinds of entertainment. It is not built for fishing which makes it an unsuitable option for fishing as a primary option.

Pontoon Boat is not a stealthy boat :

A kayak is a narrow type of boat that can pierce the water waves easily without any problem and does not create water ripples to a massive extent. A pontoon boat on the other hand is a massive vehicle that needs to move around with the help of engines with creates a lot of noise and drives away all the nearby fishes from the boat. Apart from the noise it creates, it is a big boat so when it moves around, it touches more water and moves around them creating large ripples which alerts all the nearby fishes of where you are and give them enough time to run away somewhere else, leaving you with no loot.

Very expensive when compared to kayaks :

Kayak only costs somewhere between $100 to $2000 and no more than that. A pontoon boat is nowhere near that price since it’s starting price is $15,000 and can go as a high as $60,000. If you buy a pontoon boat, it will cost you a huge fortune and it’s not like you will use it every day or even every week. Apart from the massive initial cost, you will also need to spend a lot of money on refueling your pontoon boat and for yearly maintenance and these 2 can add few more hundred and possibly thousands to the cost. So to sum it up, you will need to pay for the pontoon boat, it’s gas and it’s maintenance and none of those are cheap in any cases.

Small deck space :

As we discussed earlier that a pontoon boat’s main purpose is entertainment, it won’t have much space for fishing since it’s deck space is too small since it was ideally not created for fishing. A kayak on the other hand was made for fishing so it has enough space for fishing and keeping your things in it properly.

Final verdict:

Now that we have seen the basic information and the major differences between kayak boats and pontoon boats, which one would I think would be the most suitable option for fishing? If I had to choose one, I would choose kayak boats in terms of fishing when compared to pontoon boats. Now, why did I choose a kayak for fishing over pontoon boat? The answer is pretty simple since it is stealthier which won’t alert the fish of my current location, it is cheaper so if I want to abandon fishing and kayaking, it will cost be very less compared to a pontoon boat, and it is eco-friendly since it doesn’t use any kind of petrol in it and uses natural oars. I wouldn’t mind choosing a pontoon boat but that would if I wanted to host a party of any kind but for fishing, it wouldn’t be my first choice.


In light of these facts, we have come to an end to the rivalry of which kind of boat is better for fishing since some would say that a kayak is better for fishing while some would choose a pontoon boat for their fishing vehicle. Needless to say, we both saw and discussed what makes both of the fit for fishing and what holds them back from fishing. I chose a kayak because not only you can fish with it, you can also camp with it, race with your friends, explore the different parts of lakes and the ocean with it and many more, but most importantly is the fact that its eco-friendly. You can choose a pontoon boat for fishing, but it leans more towards the camping and the entertainment section than the fishing section. I hope that this piece of the article was able helpful in determining the difference between river kayaks and sea kayaks. If you have any other questions about kayaking, then you can refer to our other articles, which might help you. Good luck on your fishing adventures!

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