Need some direction with an 8' pontoon boat

J

JeannaJigs

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So I have this 8' pontoon boat, it's pretty basic (but it's helped me catch a buttload of trout), but it's rated for moving water. However I have yet to take it anywhere but small High elevation lakes. I've been limited to bank access on the Siuslaw on my quest for some winter steel, and always see that there's good water on the opposite bank but it's always where it's inaccessible even with waders, and I realized, I have this boat just sittin' in the garage, why am I not using it?! I'm not familiar with moving water though. Any pointers would be much appreciated. I don't want to die :( (I'm all about the safety with a PFD)
 
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GraphiteZen

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Ok first off, always have your pump, a patch kit with cement that hasn't gone bad (it can dry up over time), a spare set of oar locks and a bag of 5 or 10 cotter pins. If your oar locks are held in place by key rings ditch them. The first time I took my toon down a river I got thrown up against a rock and it pulled the ring right up through the shaft and I almost lost my lock. That was when I realized I should always have a spare set of locks too...

Second, always be on the lookout for anything that can puncture your toons. Fish hooks (never go over a corkie for you have no idea where the hook is), glass (the bottom end of a broken beer bottle will destroy your toon in the middle of the river and you get to swim it back to shore with waders on), metal (the frayed ends of skidding cables are dangerous), and wood (tree trucks can have nails or fencing staples etc). Pretty much a good rule if to not let your toons bump off anything unless it's absolutely unavoidable.
You can add a little extra measure of safety by running your toons a little soft. Doing this makes it harder for sharp objects to get through.
I don't know if you use Oar Right but even if you don't it might be a good idea to find a way to tether your oars to your boat. When you are starting out, it's very easy to hit something and have to oar knocked out of your lock and if it also gets knocked out of your hand, bad news.
Do not drift forwards downriver with the blade of your oar pointing forwards and vise versa. It will get knocked right out if it hits anything.
Don't get out while not having at least one hand holding on to the toon. A number of thing can happen, mainly you slipping forwards and kicking the toon right out into the current.
Always pay attention to where the current is taking you. It can push you into a bank and break your rod, or suck you into a strainer which is deadly, and don't drift backwards without knowing exactly where you are.

Also, I don't know if your toon came with a net that might have elastic cord with plastic hooks on the end. Fly fishers use them across their laps to hold their fly line, but if you have one use it as a way to catch any gear you might drop. If not, anything you drop outside the area of your seat is gone. Be sure that it doesn't go anywhere near your water line. If you snag it in current your are in trouble. I imagine you have this taken care of since you use your toon on lakes but I figured I'd mention it.

And lastly, just start out slow. As in slow water. Once you hit moving water and go through some rapids you will be amazed at how well they work. It's way easier than you expect, but again start out slow.

Just keep it in mind that aside from your toons the number one thing to guard are your oars. Make sure that whatever is holding your blade to your shaft is in good shape. I have had a blade fall off in a river.

That's about it I guess, just be safe and have fun!!!!
 
Raincatcher

Raincatcher

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Welcome

Welcome

So I have this 8' pontoon boat, it's pretty basic (but it's helped me catch a buttload of trout), but it's rated for moving water. However I have yet to take it anywhere but small High elevation lakes. I've been limited to bank access on the Siuslaw on my quest for some winter steel, and always see that there's good water on the opposite bank but it's always where it's inaccessible even with waders, and I realized, I have this boat just sittin' in the garage, why am I not using it?! I'm not familiar with moving water though. Any pointers would be much appreciated. I don't want to die :( (I'm all about the safety with a PFD)

JeannaJigs;
First of all,welcome to the best fishing forum in the country! Sorry I missed your debut here. I was otherwise occupied and took a bit of time OFF from my moderating duties. I've been checking out your past posts and am VERY pleased to have another female fisher folk here. It sounds as though you know what you're doing,which makes it nice. If you have any friends (female...ok,male too) be sure to tell them about us.
Unfortunately,I don't own a pontoon,yet. But there are quite a number of members who have a ton of experience with them. Be patient for an answer, or check out the archives by doing a search with the word "pontoon". You should be busy for a while if you do that. Glad to hear you think enough of yourself to use a PDF. :) Be safe.
Barb
 
J

JeannaJigs

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Thanks so much for that info. I'm pretty conscious about watching out for sharps, I had a submerged log with a giant nail in it put a nice hole in one of my pontoons and that was real fun trying to get back to shore lopsided. I wasn't able to repair it and had to buy a replacement bladder (costly!) so I an paranoid of punctures.

My oar locks are not so great, they're cheappppp. they came with it and I was going to get different ones, but never got around to it. That's something I really didn't give much thought about, but really, like you said very importante! The ones I have, just sit in there...there's no locking mechanism. They're very difficult to pull out, so they're not going anywhere in still water, but if they were to hit something...that might not be so fantastic. I don't have oar rights, and I should get them, I used to have some for a raft I had way back in the day, but I sold the raft, and they went with it.

I have also learned the hard way that whatever you drop, you won't be getting back. three pairs of $18 lead master pliers later...and I've finally got them on a lanyard attached to the frame. I modified the net that came with it by putting some grommets in it and attaching it to the frame between the seat and the rear deck that was previously just open space, keeps it out of the water and works to hold a light jacket.

The one thing I don't have is a rod holder, and I'm having trouble finding one that will work for the frame.
 
J

JeannaJigs

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JeannaJigs;
First of all,welcome to the best fishing forum in the country! Sorry I missed your debut here. I was otherwise occupied and took a bit of time OFF from my moderating duties. I've been checking out your past posts and am VERY pleased to have another female fisher folk here. It sounds as though you know what you're doing,which makes it nice. If you have any friends (female...ok,male too) be sure to tell them about us.
Unfortunately,I don't own a pontoon,yet. But there are quite a number of members who have a ton of experience with them. Be patient for an answer, or check out the archives by doing a search with the word "pontoon". You should be busy for a while if you do that. Glad to hear you think enough of yourself to use a PDF. :) Be safe.
Barb
Thanks for the welcome! it's refreshing to see there is at least one other female fisher(wo)men! There are not enough of us, it's kinda saddening :( . I'm not sure I know what I'm doing, but, I have fun doing it :) and occasionally I catch a few fish here and there. I had been reading this forum for a while before registering, soooo much good information on here, I love it.
 
J

JeannaJigs

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Look into a Scotty's and separately buy the rail mount attachment.
I've discovered I live in a non sports friendly town. All we have is Joes and two bro's tackle...and neither had it :( I will have to check it out online. I need somethin'. I floated a portion of the river yesterday and it sucked something fierce constantly worrying about my rod, not to mention, I hooked a fish and lost it because I wasn't prepared to catch a fish, I was messing with my reel and had line out with a float, and bam fish on. Was just kinda drifting in a very slow section of the river, but moving nonetheless and realized I was moving faster than I thought towards a section of rapids...I was unhappy with the outcome to say the least! My boat did awesome though, handled way better than I thought, and it was a great day out there, was supposed to rain and instead it was 55 and sunny. I almost lost an oar going through some white water, the oar lock popped right out, so I held onto that thing with a kung-fu death grip and made it through using just one oar. SKETCHY. Fun otherwise though :) Got my excersise in by missing the pull out, and ending up floating 2 miles...which i had to walk back to my rig...This is where the buddy system with two rigs would have been nice, and probably safer.
 
Raincatcher

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'Toons for Loons?

'Toons for Loons?

JeannaJigs;
You know, I thought long and hard about getting a pontoon last year. I just about had myself convinced to make the plunge and then Troutski shared his adventure in his brand new toy. Ok, I'll wait and maybe get something else. So,I start reading about all the fun everyone is having or planning to have with their 'toons again this spring. Naturally,I think "I gotta have one". Then I read your post about your adventure. Even though it sounds like you have a pretty good handle on it, I can't help thinking it's not for Grandma's like me. You "kids" have fun and be safe.
Barb
 
N

ninja2010

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good for you, jeanna... taking the plunge and launching your toon. sounds like you had quite the adventure, and hooking into feeesh too!

so did you row upriver and drifted back down to the takeout (which you missed)? i'm asking coz i launched my 8 footer and tried to motor upstream but failed to make much progress. turns out that the clack runs quite fast even in low water conditions. i tried to row but i suck at that.

so my trip was sorta boring just drifting back and forth in a short stretch...
 
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J

JeannaJigs

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JeannaJigs;
You know, I thought long and hard about getting a pontoon last year. I just about had myself convinced to make the plunge and then Troutski shared his adventure in his brand new toy. Ok, I'll wait and maybe get something else. So,I start reading about all the fun everyone is having or planning to have with their 'toons again this spring. Naturally,I think "I gotta have one". Then I read your post about your adventure. Even though it sounds like you have a pretty good handle on it, I can't help thinking it's not for Grandma's like me. You "kids" have fun and be safe.
Barb
It certainly was an adventure. Loaded with uncertainty, as I really was just going with the flow (sometimes rather rapidly downstream) and didn't know a whole lot about it. It was fun though, and I think the more I do it the more comfortable it's going to get, although comfort breeds complacency...so perhaps that's not such a great thing. I do know though that that little boat has got me to some fantastic trout fishing in high cascade lakes the last few years...it's just not so fun packing it in and back out, it's a real hassle. Worth it though. :) Best thing in the world to be floating out there with no one around, no road noise, no loud boats...just the 'toon and the lake (and tons of catch and release trout) :)
 
J

JeannaJigs

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good for you, jeanna... taking the plunge and launching your toon. sounds like you had quite the adventure, and hooking into feeesh too!

so did you row upriver and drifted back down to the takeout (which you missed)? i'm asking coz i launched my 8 footer and tried to motor upstream but failed to make much progress. turns out that the clack runs quite fast even in low water conditions. i tried to row but i suck at that.

so my trip was sorta boring just drifting back and forth in a short stretch...
Haha no...I tried to row upriver, and failed...quite miserably....It was moving much faster than I thought where I put in...so...like a fool, I kept drifting...and drifting...until I realized...wait...I see the road above me about 200 feet! So I just kept on goin' lookin' for somewhere to take out, until I got to bank spot I recognized (which was an 1/4 mile hike to the road, and 2 miles down the road from where i put in!!!) So I had to pull it up onshore, and hike it up to the road, hoping and praying someone would drive by and give me a ride...nope...No traffic, not even the pesky state trooper that was harassing me asking me why he hadn't seen me on the river before (because i work 50 hour weeks? and only get out on the weekends officer?) and then asking to see my hooks, he actually measured my hooks with a measuring tape, I was like for serious? (they were 2/0 hooks, clearly within reg guidelines) He must've been a newbie. Anyways, I walked...the entire stretch of gravel road...in my waders...roasting because it was supposed to be raining and ended up being sunny and warm....finally some guys in a truck came by...and gave me a ride....but my car was 1/8 of a mile from where they gave me a ride, I was thankful nonetheless. Then I drove back...and hiked back down to disassemble the frame and carry it back up to my car. Not so awesome. Moral of this story is...don't float 2 miles unless you have someone else with you and have left a vehicle there.
 
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GraphiteZen

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Haha good times eh? Been there a bunch of times myself.

Yeah, it's gets easier every time. You'll just keep learning little things about it. Don't worry about complacency, if you do it often enough you'll find the outdoors never fail to find a new way to remind you who's boss.
 
J

JeannaJigs

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Good times for sure. I look forward to more good times learning more.

So true about the outdoors finding a way to remind us that it's in charge. Mother nature sunk my 12' aluminum boat a few years back and it's always in the back of my mind, and when the weather gets nastyish, it's immediately forefront. (don't get stuck out on O'dell lake in a major wind/rain storm in an aluminum boat with an unreliable motor, the motor will die, when you are the furthest point from shore and you will be dead in the water while taking on water...not awesome. Hooray for life vests.)
 
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mikeredding

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I've discovered I live in a non sports friendly town. All we have is Joes and two bro's tackle...and neither had it :( I will have to check it out online. I need somethin'. I floated a portion of the river yesterday and it sucked something fierce constantly worrying about my rod, not to mention, I hooked a fish and lost it because I wasn't prepared to catch a fish, I was messing with my reel and had line out with a float, and bam fish on. Was just kinda drifting in a very slow section of the river, but moving nonetheless and realized I was moving faster than I thought towards a section of rapids...I was unhappy with the outcome to say the least! My boat did awesome though, handled way better than I thought, and it was a great day out there, was supposed to rain and instead it was 55 and sunny. I almost lost an oar going through some white water, the oar lock popped right out, so I held onto that thing with a kung-fu death grip and made it through using just one oar. SKETCHY. Fun otherwise though :) Got my excersise in by missing the pull out, and ending up floating 2 miles...which i had to walk back to my rig...This is where the buddy system with two rigs would have been nice, and probably safer.

Check Bi Mart. I was there today and I think I saw the Scotty's holders.
 
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ninja2010

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Haha no...I tried to row upriver, and failed...quite miserably....It was moving much faster than I thought where I put in...so...like a fool, I kept drifting...and drifting...until I realized...wait...I see the road above me about 200 feet! So I just kept on goin' lookin' for somewhere to take out, until I got to bank spot I recognized (which was an 1/4 mile hike to the road, and 2 miles down the road from where i put in!!!) So I had to pull it up onshore, and hike it up to the road, hoping and praying someone would drive by and give me a ride...

so you just abandoned your rig to walk/hitch a ride back to your vehicle? hmmmmm... i would be freaked out doing that - the thought that someone might just help themselves to a sweet rig - maybe i've lived in cali too long...
 
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JeannaJigs

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so you just abandoned your rig to walk/hitch a ride back to your vehicle? hmmmmm... i would be freaked out doing that - the thought that someone might just help themselves to a sweet rig - maybe i've lived in cali too long...
I wasn't so keen on the idea of abandoning it, but...i put it up on the bank nowhere near a road, and it was hidden in brush....i was worried about it the whole time though, most people I don't think would screw with it, but...maybe i've lived in oregon too long haha. I won't be repeating abandonment, that is for sure.
 
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JeannaJigs

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Check Bi Mart. I was there today and I think I saw the Scotty's holders.
Hooray for Bi-mart, I don't live near one anymore and always forget about them, I will check it out on my way home from work tonight and see what they've got. I suppose there is always wal-mart, but they are the devil and I absolutely hate going in there unless i absolutely have to.
 

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