Jump to content
Fly Tying
muskyhunter81

Jon Boat

Recommended Posts

I have a 16' Big Jon & it's an excellent craft for smaller rivers & creeks that I fish. OK for bigger water when the weather is good, but not something I want to be caught in if it turns nasty. (Been there!) Also have a Gheenoe, which I love to fish from! The jon needs to be trailered, too big & heavy, the Gheenoe, even though fairly heavy can be put in the back of my truck (8' bed) and I can launch it alone at a boat ramp. As I've gotten older, getting it back into the truck bed can be a chore, but so far I've managed. Otherwise it would be best with 2 people to handle it.

 

The jon also has been decked, like a bass boat so standing & fishing is easy. It was set up with fly fishing in mind, but also works fine for any type of fishing I might do. It doesn't have a console, (some jons do) so tiller steering and it's powered by a 9.9 hp Johnson which is plenty for me. It can have up to a 25 hp. I think that's the maximum rating.

 

Either craft is good for shallow water fishing, but the Gheenoe has an edge for real skinny water. Neither are much fun in real windy conditions, especially when fishing alone! sad.png

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Jon Boats ROCK!

 

1. Storage.... can you keep it on your property

2. EASE of use.....can you man handle it to your vehicle or toss it in the back of your truck if you have one. Trust me my first Jon was in the back of my 85 Bronco and it was a good fit but it was not an easy job to launch.

3. What will you power it with?.....this question is overlooked. Are you using a battery and trolling motor? Will you want a "kicker" gas engine? Only YOU can answer that.

 

Just some thoughts....

 

Mike :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just bought one of these (and I mean just... I pick it up Saturday!)...

 

Pro-170_img49684_900_zps403e4225.jpg

 

It's basically a jon boat with just a little bit of V to the hull and bow, and fully decked for easy fly casting (the bow and stern pedestal fishing seats are removed in this photo from Tracker Marine). It will get into some pretty skinny water.

 

It is very frustrating to not have a nice, clear area to fly fish from. I think a jon boat with a large deck up front is just the ticket.

 

Tight lines,

Bob

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bob, that is NOT a jon boat. A jon boat is at most, a thousand buck or so. A 10 footer may go for less than 500 dollars.

I have had a jon boat of one size or another for the last 30 years. I will probably NEVER have a bass boat, which is what you have.

 

Now, there's nothing wrong with a bass boat like yours ... it's just much more than I need or want.

 

MuskyHunter ... what kind of water will you be fishing? What size boat are you thinking of getting?

I've fished out of a 10 foot boat, it's so easy to flip it on and off my van. I almost wish I had it now. But, it's just a little too small for all the stuff I carry with me now.

I now have a 14 foot jon boat, with a 15 Hp Honda. I've grown a little too old to put it up on the van after a day of fishing, so it's on a trailer. But I can take it places only an airboat or another jon boat can go. It's light enough to drag it over sand bars and through mud flats.

 

I will always have jon boat ... at least while I can still get in and out of one.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I want to fish lakes staying near the shore, but I still want to be able to get across a lake if needed. The lakes I fish are mostly medium to small lakes I know "medium" and "small" pretty relative, but it is what it is. I am looking at a 14' long Jon Boat. Not sure about width. I would like to get a 48" wide one but I may have to settle for a 36" wide one. My biggest concern is how it will handle 3 people (myself and my two boys) in possibly choppy conditions. The wind usually always picks up in the afternoons during the summer around here. Stability is my biggest concern. Until recently I fished out of a canoe, but I want to be able to stand in some sort of floating device without feeling like I am going to flip it. I also want to be able to take my boys in it. I have a five year old and I feel that putting him in a canoe could be a recipe for disaster. How stable would you say your Jon Boat is?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a 12 foot Jon Boat that I bought used for $100.00. It is great for lakes and fit in my pickup and on top of my van, so I don't need a trailer. I have both a trolling and a gas motor for it. Mine does not have a lot of freeboard which makes it a little scary in rough water. I keep a weather eye out, and try to be close to shore if the wind starts to pick up. I think the flat bottom makes it more stable than a canoe. You might see if someplace has one you can rent for a day and try it out before you spend the money.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had a cheap one, used it for fishing for years. It was light enough that I could hoist it up onto my car-top racks. For your use a trolling motor would be a real plus. Jon boat is generally to wide to paddle effectively, especially if it's windy. Also if you get one that has just its aluminum bottom, stick some indoor/outdoor carpeting in the bottom. Otherwise every time you drop something, it will make a huge noise. Also waves slapping against the bottom are noisy and irritating... don't know if they'd scare the fish. I traded mine in and got a canoe, but you'll find the jon boat is much roomier and easy to move around in.

 

As several others have mentioned, be wary of using it in rough water, or overloading it with people.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Musky, if you are taking your boys with you then you will definitely want the widest boat available. There are some fiberglass models also to consider if you plan on trailering it. I personally like glass over aluminum for being quieter so as not to spook the fish as easy. Wider = safer.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, with three people, 14 feet will feel a little cramped. But it's do-able.

You will feel "tippy" in a 36 inch wide, with three people. One person, leaning over to wash their hands off can dump another out of the boat.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My friend has a 16 foot johnboat that is almost 5foot wide, lots of good memories in that boat. It held the two of us fine, but at one time there were five of us on it, and we still had enough room to fish. We almost sank it one day during the tilapia run, over 400lbs of fish shot in one day, I didn't even want to hear the words fillet knife for another month, haha his dad had to stand there with a gun to keep the bears off us while we cleaned fish, that was a long night!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Jonboats are great minimum transportation, usually quite stable at rest, move pretty good with minimum horsepower, but will beat you up running in a chop... They come in a great range of sizes (from tiny, narrow, very light... to as much as 20 feet long, six to seven feet wide and built like a tank... for commercial purposes).

 

In my area, south Florida, a great starter boat for the backcountry of the Everglades is a 16 footer with a 40hp engine using only tiller steering to keep things simple.... They float in around six inches of water and pole pretty darned well (although as already noted they're a bit noisy unless you carpet or otherwise quite them down a bit..). Many a local freshwater angler does just fine, though with a cartop (10 to 12 feet long) or a slightly larger 14 footer -which will need a trailer.. These small craft are mostly for fishing canals and ponds - not open water (unless you're 15 years old and looking for adventure you don't want to put a small jonboat out in open water when the weather can bite you -- another one of those "ask me how I know" deals).

 

Hope this helps a bit, I've built up at least a half dozen skiffs over the years (started with a basic hull -then built an interior or took an older boat, tore it all the way down and re-rigged it from scratch, or just started with a bare hull that was new and did all the wiring, guages, steering - in short everything a factory would do set one up to sell. I never wanted to own the first boat - but I could never get anyone to lend me theirs.... The old Maverick I work out of in now 26 years old and I can't tell you how many motors it's had...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Musky

You've got enough advice to buy a dozen jon boats. You need to ask yourself whether you want to use it in big water with other boats, or small ponds..... long rows or short. Big (14-16 ft) of small (20 ft) that you can lift onto your cartop. I'll tell you based on my exp... any jon boat is hard to row, and durn near impossible to paddle. You're going to wish you had a trolling motor real quick.

Fortunately these days, you don't have to use a great big heavy car sized battery. There are some good strong rechargeables that are good for around four hours between charges. I got one for my TM and love it. (and yes, I use a TM on my canoe when it's breezy).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

×
×
  • Create New...