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Olivia Hudak

By: Olivia Hudak on October 27th, 2022

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V Hull Fishing Boat VS Pontoon Fishing Boat

In today’s world, there are so many boats on the market designed to fit a specific niche in the boating world. There are boats specifically designed for one activity, such as watersports and then there are boats that are good for multiple different uses. How do you choose the right boat to fit your style and needs with all of the options available? 

 

One activity in particular that stands out when it comes to choosing the right boat is fishing. Whether you’re a fan of fishing or just looking to try the sport, you may need some advice on what fishing boat to buy. This article will help explain the advantages and disadvantages of a V hull versus a pontoon fishing boat. 

 

Both of these boats are popular and for similar reasons but how do you know which to choose? Let’s get into the advantages and disadvantages of these two types of fishing boats so that you have more clarity on your decision.  

 

V Hull Fishing Boats

There is a wide range of V hull fishing boats on the market today. They include fiberglass bass boats, center console boats, aluminum boats, and others that also fall into this category. When you think of a traditional fishing boat, it’s likely you think of a V hull style boat.

 

Many of these vessels were crafted to be used specifically for fishing. That may sound perfect, however, I recommend checking out the pros and cons of this boat before heading to a dealership to buy one. 

 

Advantages

There are many advantages to owning a V hull fishing boat. To start, these boats are made for everything fishing which is what makes them so appealing to fishermen looking for a new boat. 

 

Most have everything you could possibly need already on board. Items such as rod holders to LiveWell to trolling motors and casting decks, these boats typically come equipped. Now, that’s not to say every V hull has these features, however, most fishing models do. 

 

Another appealing feature of these boats is their speed. Most fiberglass bass boats, and center console boats have large engines on them. This is an important feature for those participating in fishing competitions. That’s because you’ll be able to get from one fishing spot to another very quickly if you choose to move locations.

 

A V hull also has a narrow body that’s aerodynamic and sleek. That said, you can check out fishing spots that may be a bit more difficult to access on other boats. Fish love to stick to creeks and channels that are protected by seaweed and algae. V hull boats can access many of these locations with ease.

 

With all of these advantages considered, these boats are great for avid fishers. Though they are great for fishing, they are not always perfect for any other activities you care to participate in. With that being said, let’s go over some disadvantages associated with V hull fishing boats. 

 

Disadvantages

Although most V hull fishing boats are built for fishing, you may find that design is not what you’re looking for. One big disadvantage that you’ll find in most V hull fishing boats is their lack of space and comfort. 

 

Typically, V hull fishing boats are meant for two to three people max. You will be pressed for space beyond that. You will not find this setup to be very comfortable if you’re looking to lounge on the boat either. This can be a huge downfall to the appeal of V hulls. 

 

Along with the lack of space for extra people or kicking your feet up, these boats are not the most conducive for boating with children or pets. For example, fiberglass bass boats have extremely short sidewalls. Great for casting a line but not for keeping Fido in the boat. 

 

If fishing is your one and only reason to buy and use a boat, a V hull will work great. However, if you have any interest in other activities on the water such as watersports, boating with friends and family, or even swimming, these boats are not set up to entertain those activities. 

 

Before deciding that a V hull is right for you, I recommend figuring out what is important to you. Are any of these disadvantages a dealer breaker?? If so, there is another option which is a pontoon-style fishing boat instead of a V hull. 

 

Pontoon Fishing Boats

This is a popular alternative option if you decide a V hull fishing boat is not right for you. Pontoon boats are great for people looking to do a little bit of everything. For those interested in fishing and comfort on the water, there are pontoon models that are made specifically for fishing

 

Here we will review the advantages and disadvantages of a pontoon fishing boat. This will help guide you to decide what kind of boat works best with your lifestyle.

 

Advantages

There are a number of advantages you’ll find with a pontoon boat. To start, most manufacturers offer fishing models that come equipped with many of the important things you’ll find in a V hull. Features such as rod holders, LiveWells, trolling motors, and more can be found in this style of a pontoon boat.

 

For example, the Barletta cast-n-cruise model is meant to meet the needs of a seasoned fisherman while still offering the luxury and comfort of a pontoon. The cast-n-cruise model comes in two different lengths and can be upgraded to a tritoon as well.

 

Some of the equipment that can be found standard on this model includes two captain’s chairs on the stern, a large aft deck that acts as a casting deck, a Hook 4 Fish Finder, a fish center with tackle trays, rod storage, and best-in-class large aerated LiveWell. There are a couple of options that can be added to enhance the fishing experience as well. 

 

Some of the reasons people who like to fish choose a pontoon over a V hull is because they offer fishing-friendly features but can also be used for other activities such as swimming, lounging, skiing, and tubing. This alone can turn someone away from a V hull and towards a pontoon.

 

Another advantage that can be found with a pontoon is that they have a lot of room onboard. This makes it easy to take the whole family out for a fishing trip or some friends out for a cruise. You won’t be pressed for space on a pontoon which leads to more comfort for all.

 

Another great thing about pontoons is that they are a safer option for children and pets because of the rails that enclose the boat. If you plan to take your kids or pets out with you when fishing, this is a better option than a V hull. 

 

I could go on and on about the advantages of a pontoon boat, but I’ll stop after this one final point. Pontoons handle rough water fairly well. They glide over much of the chop that can be found on rivers, lakes, and bays. Now, if you plan to venture out into the ocean to do some deep-sea fishing, you will want a larger boat such as a center console fishing boat. However, for inland lakes and other similar bodies of water, pontoons provide a stable, smooth ride. 

 

Disadvantages

Though there are a bunch of advantages to choosing a pontoon, there are still a few disadvantages to consider before going this route. The biggest disadvantage found with a pontoon is the lack of speed.

 

Pontoons are, generally speaking, not as fast as V hull fishing boats. Some fishermen rely on maximum power and speed for things such as fishing tournaments. You will get this from a V hull as it’s more aerodynamic, it may be lighter weight, and the engines are usually large. This does make pontoons less appealing as their shape and size can make them the slower option. However, larger motors are being put on pontoon boats these days so that argument is becoming less relevant but still good to consider.

 

Another disadvantage is that since they are larger boats, they are not as maneuverable. Some fish like to hang out in small channels and creeks and pontoons may not be able to get to those locations. 

 

Lastly, pontoons were not originally designed for fishing. Although they have been updated to include fishing features, pontoons cover a large niche rather than only fishing. They are not as specialized for the sport of fishing as other boats are.

 

A pontoon fishing boat may be the perfect boat for you if you’re okay with these disadvantages. Be sure to check out different pontoon fishing boats to determine which one fits your style the best.

 

What Will You Choose?

With all this information, your choice should be much more obvious now. Hopefully, you can decide between a V hull and a pontoon boat for the level of fishing you plan to do. You can’t go wrong either way, but I recommend you choose the one that matches your lifestyle best.

 

V hull fishing boats are the more traditional style. Whenever I think of a fishing boat, my mind instantly jumps to this type of boat. Bass boats, Jon boats, and center console fishing boats were built specifically for the sport. 

 

If you’re looking to enjoy the water, be it fishing or other activities, I recommend considering a pontoon fishing boat instead. They are not quite as specialized for fishing, but they still have a lot of necessary features that will make nearly any fishing trip successful. Both options fit a different lifestyle so when deciding what works for you, it depends on what you plan to do with the boat.


The goal of this article is to help you come to a conclusion about which fishing boat style to buy. Hopefully, you have received all the necessary information to make an educated decision about what works best for you and your lifestyle. Enjoy whatever boat you decide to go with, and I hope you catch many, many fish.

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About Olivia Hudak

Avid boater and Barletta Boats team member, Olivia is no stranger to the water. She was on the MSU wake team through college and continues to to ride the wake in her spare time.