Whilst it might be fun to throw parties and pull the kids along in a tube, nothing quite beats a day’s fishing on your pontoon. For me it’s my chance to escape the 9 to 5, sit back, relax, and drop a line either myself or a buddy.
If you like to fish from your boat, then you are in the right place. I’ve put together a comprehensive list of the must have pontoon fishing accessories that can make fishing not only a breeze, but also far more fun.
You can see a list of cool pontoon boat fishing accessories below. There will be some obvious items such as live well and rod holders, but also a few things that you might not be expecting.
Whether you are an occasional fisherman, or are out on your pontoon daily, you’re going to see some awesome ideas, gadgets, and pontoon fishing must-have accessories that you will simply want to have.
Must-Have Pontoon Fishing Accessories
First up are my recommended pontoon fishing accessories that you must-have. For more experienced fishing enthusiasts, some of these might be quite obvious, so you can continue to scroll down. But if you are new to fishing from a pontoon, I wanted to put everything here so that all people are catered for. If you already have some of the must-have accessories, feel free to continue on and skip this section for the fun and cool stuff you might not have thought of before.
#1: Trolling Motor
I am going to start off with something that for most fishing fanatics is probably a little obvious. But the newbies amongst you might not be completely aware of what trolling motors are, and even why you will need one.
In basic terms it’s a small motor you have in addition to your pontoon’s main engine. It lets you cruise slowly whilst letting you go hands-free to fish – and all the while, being controlled with either a remote control or a foot pad.
The best ones on the market by far are made by a company called Minn Kota. I personally use a Terrova model with 60 pounds of thrust. You can see the Minn Kota Terrova on Amazon (it’s the exact same I use).
Most pontoon boats won’t need anything more than 60 pounds of thrust, as that’s ample enough for a 22-footer. You can read more about how to select the best one for your boat size in this blog post here.
The Minn Kota trolling motor is an essential accessory for pontoon fishing. It can be removed in seconds letting you store it away when not in use.
Why else would you need one though?
Well, with a trolling motor you can get to the best spots for fishing, e.g. the places where your main motor won’t let you. You can approach slow and steady approach so that you won’t disturb all the fish you want to catch. In fact, the trolling motor can actually mimic the natural movement of live bait, bringing fish to your boat ready to be reeled in!
Please note, you will also need a battery and charger, but when you look on Amazon, and do your own research, all the additional accessories will become very clear.
#2: Waterproof Dry Kit Bag
The modern fisherman will probably have a number of electrical gadgets with him that need to be kept dry. It’s also important to ensure that raw fish and lake or river water doesn’t get in contact with food.
A waterproof dry kit bag is the ideal accessory to keep things safe from harm. It means you can fish in comfort, knowing that no matter how much water comes on board, your gadgets, spare clothes, and lunch aren’t going to get wet.
The best on the market is the Earth Pak range of bags.
Available in different colors and sizes, they offer reliable protection from the wet with their strong PVC finish and watertight seals.
#3: Waterproof Phone Lanyard
Keeping your phone dry and safe is a no-brainer, but if it’s stored away in a bag all day, it’s really not that practical. That’s where a waterproof lanyard that you can hang around your neck should come in very handy.
You can still make and receive calls but have the peace of mind that you aren’t going to drop your much-loved iPhone or smartphone into the water… or have it damaged next time you bring a large catch on board.
This accessory could be the best value for money item you buy today. It’s cheap and could end saving you from having to replace an expensive smartphone.
#4: The Robocup Cup Holder
This clamp on cup holder is ideal for fishing pontooners as you can attach it to your seat, rails, fence, or wherever you want to have your drinks close at hand.
The Robocup on Amazon will attached to square and round rails, comes with two cup holders, and is made from a durable stainless steel with a poly resin finish. It has a spring mechanism inside that grips your cup (or beer can). It should reduce all those annoying spills.
Once you have one you will wonder how you ever did without it. It’s an awesome accessory for fishing and something you simply can’t ignore.
#5: Key Floats
As careful as you might be, why run the risk of losing your keys in the water?
They aren’t expensive (see Amazon prices) but are a must-have accessory when fishing from a pontoon. Buy some now, as you might regret not making this purchase once it’s too late.
#6: Livewell or Baitwell
If you’re lucky enough to have a livewell or baitwell already built-in to your boat then you can ignore this one. But for those of you not familiar with livewells, they a must-have accessory when pontoon fishing.
There are laws from state to state about how many fish you can legally catch, so it’s a great idea, as come the end of the day you can throw back any fish you don’t want and keep the prized ones.
Plus it will keep your bait fresh and live, which is going to increase your chances of making a great haul.
For live wells I have a just one recommendation and that’s the Moeller Livewell on Amazon. It’s the daddy of pontoon livewells, is relatively simple to install, and very robust.
#7: Brocraft Fishing Rod Holder with Clamp
I’ve put together a guide of the best fishing rod holders elsewhere on Pontoonopedia, but there’s one from that list that’s worth a closer look.
It’s the Brocraft rod holder on Amazon. I am recommending it as an accessory due to the really strong clamp which is compatible with all different types of rod handles and rails.
Fully adjustable with a rotation angle of 360 degrees, it’s versatile enough to suit all types of fishing. The manufacturers have enough faith in this fishing accessory to offer a 2-year guarantee, which is almost unheard of with rod holders.
You know it’s going to be strong, durable, and should last. When you buy at Amazon you get two in the pack, so bring along a buddy on your next fishing trip!
#8: Anchor Winch
Want to spend more time focussed on fishing, and less time having to go through the hassle of pulling your anchor in? Or perhaps your knees and back aren’t what they used to be, and you need a little extra support in bringing that heavy anchor weight back on board?
I’ve reviewed the best pontoon anchor winches elsewhere on Pontoonopedia, so go take a look at that to find one that is perfect for your fishing trips.
#9: Anchor Mount & Ledge
If you do decide to invest in an anchor mount, it might pay to install it to a ledge or mount off the back of your pontoon. Here’s a guide to how anchor mounts work.
Anchors and winches can take up unnecessary room on your deck, so if space is at a premium go have a look at this pontoon anchor ledge. It fits just under your deck at the rear, and is placed above one of your pontoons.
Not only will they save space on deck but can also make your boat a lot safer on fishing trips. The potential trip hazard of an anchor or line is kept out the way and using a ledge or mount also means you won’t have to clean the anchor up when you bring it back on board.
#10: Fishing Rod Storage & Racks
There are a ton of clever and innovative ways in which you can store your fishing rods and poles when not in use. In fact, some people even make their own homemade rod holders (it’s hard to get them looking good though as you can see here!).
In my view, if you’ve spent thousands on your boat, want to keep it looking good, and need to make sure that your rods are kept in pristine condition away from damage, then it pays to invest in proper on-board storage.
I’ve put together a list of affordable, but well-designed fishing rod storage solutions. Go take a look at that for some ideas on how you can protect all your fishing accessories and gear.
#11: YakAttack BlackPak Rod Storage
But if there is one awesome fishing rod storage solution to recommend all by itself it has to be the YakAttack Blackpak on Amazon. Just look at the photo, it’s so cool.
If you’ve got some fishing trips and expeditions lined up with your buddies, this is going to be just the ticket to hold your rods. It’s a heavy-duty piece of kit with carry handles, shock cord rigging, and room for 10 rods. You can also store your gear in there such as tackle boxes.
It’s possible to position your fishing rods in over 50 different configurations. That’s a must have and could help you land your next catch. It’s certainly a talking point and is one of the best pontoon fishing accessories that I currently own. Go check it out.
#12: Wireless LED Bite Alarms
If you’re running multiple rods on your fishing trip, then this package on Amazon is ideal. It’s a pack of 4 fishing bite alarms that you fit to your rods. At the point you get a bite, an alarm will sound, or you can set to LED mode if fishing at night and want a quieter environment.
Take a look at the fishing alarm package on Amazon. It’s very good value for money.
#13: Depth Finder / Fishfinder
I only have only one recommendation here, and that’s Garmin. I have used their products for years in my car for GPS, when running for fitness tracking, and now with my pontoon boat for fishing.
My personal choice from their range is the Garmin Echo. You will need to connect it up to your boat’s battery and then attach it to your helm – which actually isn’t that hard a task and might take an hour or so.
Once done, you can find where the fish are at the touch of a button, plus measure the depth to the bottom of the water.
#14: Swivel Fishing Chair
There are chairs you can fish from, but then there are awesome chairs like this one. It’s designed for fishing from a deck so out one of these at the rear of your boat and you can swivel in all directions to get the best casting position.
The one I have on my Bennington is the Wise Bucket Seat with a flip-up bolster. It’s made with marine grade vinyl, is mildew resistant, UV resistant, and importantly, ultra-comfortable.
Just look at it! That padded seat will serve you really well for hours and hours in a sitting position.
#15: Telescopic Boat Hook
No matter how careful you are, things will fall in the water from time to time. Whether it’s a fender clip, rod, keys or something else, it can happen (it certainly has to me!). You can also use a boat hook to scrub debris off your boat, it’s a really handy tool and easy to store.
A boat hook has to be an essential accessory, and this one on Amazon is affordable plus extends up to 12 foot. It comes with a lifetime guarantee, making it one of the best ones you can find online to buy.
Fun Fishing Pontoon Accessories
The following accessories are a little bit more fun and aren’t 100% essential for your fishing trips. Many of them could certainly make the day more comfortable though!
#16: Swingback Cooler Seat & Livewell
There are standard livewells, and I’ve already recommended one further up the page, but then there are things like the Swingback Cooler Seat from Moeller. This takes things to a whole new level. You just need to read the Amazon reviews to see how popular it is.
Yes, that’s right, you don’t have to move an inch.
It’s an expensive fishing accessory, but money well spent if you love to fish.
Made from marine grade vinyl (mildew resistant), deep foam seating for comfort, and a corrosion resistant base, it’s fun, functional, and mounts onto your deck with ease.
#17: Stainless Steel Cup Holders
Your fishing trips should be fun and relaxing, and definitely more so if you have a drink at hand and within easy reach. That’s just how these pontoon boat cup holders can help.
The Wise cup holders are stainless steel, can take two cans or cups, and should match up the interiors of your boat deck and seats. They also have a 3-year warranty.
I’ve got a pair of these on my Bennington and use them on fishing days plus on other days when entertaining family and friends.
#18: Inflatable Kayak
You might already be aware of small inflatable pontoon boats (here are my reviews of the best) which are available to buy online, but for something cheaper and fun that can help you get to those hard to reach places, how about an inflatable kayak?
Inflatable kayaks are also surprisingly cheap as an accessory. Have a look at the latest kayak prices to see for yourself. I love ours, and our kids love it too making it ideal for fun days out on the water.
#19: Cuisinart Grill with Rail Mount Brackets
It’s all very well and good reeling them in all day, but how about you get that fish straight onto the grill? By cooking it up on board, you and your buddies could experience something fresher than you can imagine possible, straight onto your plate.
There are plenty of pontoon grills on the market, but Cuisinart are the daddy for sure.
Before you rush off and purchase one though, you want to buy one that you can mount to the side rails on your boat. It’s a much easier and cleaner way to cook, as any debris can fall straight into the water. It also means you can also grill at standing level.
There’s a Cuisinart grill on Amazon that comes with the grill bracket and mounts packaged together. Don’t buy the individual Cuisinart grills, as they won’t come with the mounting brackets – get the one I recommend as it comes with all you need to get it properly mounted.
#20: Luxury Leaning Post
If you want to really splash out on a pontoon boat fishing accessory that will act as a great conversation piece with other fishing folk, but actually serves a great purpose too, then take a look at the Neptune leaning post on Amazon.
I’ve not got one myself, as frankly I can’t afford it. So, if anyone wants to buy me a birthday present, I would love to hear from you! It comes with a 3-year warranty, which is just as well considering how expensive it is!
#21: Underwater Fish Bait LED lights
And don’t stop fishing just because night has fallen. You can buy an LED fish bait light that lets you attract them like a moth to a flame. You can see my recommendation in my guide to underwater LED pontoon lights.
#22: Even More Accessories
These accessories are perfect for fishing and I hope you have found something that you might like to use on your next trip.
I have also put together a list of must-haves that every pontoon boat should have. There are an additional 33 ideas in that list, so go take a look at see what else you might need for every day pontooning.
And that’s a wrap for my recommended pontoon boat fishing accessories, I hope you’ve seen a few items here which are going to try and catch soon (no pun intended)!
I would say that 90% of the fishing accessories listed here I have personally used on seen in action on either my own pontoon boat, or on a friend’s boat. I wouldn’t recommend them otherwise.
If you are in the market right now for a fishing pontoon boat, then there are plenty of newer models being released in the United States right now, that will already come with many of these fishing pontoon accessories already pre-installed.
These types of pontoons are listed to buy as coming with a fishing package. Go take a look at just a few of the best new boats that I recommend for fishermen (and women). They will have a lot (not all) of these must-have accessories already built-in.
Handy Hint: And finally, something that you should already know, is to have the correct fishing license so you don’t break the state laws in your area. You can find out more about those on the US Fish and Wildlife Service website – make sure yours is up to date and valid.