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Bass boat vs Jon boat.

Post By: Angler Jack      Posted: 1/24/2023 12:58:09 PM     Points: 436    
I have been doing a lot of reading and researching, and thanks to everyone’s advice on here, I think I’m looking more into a Jon boat or bass boat. But my main question, will a Jon boat “survive” the sudden winds/storms that come here in CO? My main lakes that I fish is Pueblo, 11 mile and Antero. Maybe Chatfield and would like to check out John Martin. Again, any and all advise is much appreciated
 Reply by: anglerwannabe      Posted: Jan. 24, 1:43:01 PM     Points: 69361
When it comes to South Park and Jon boats, you're going to get the same answers you got for the pond prowler. Here is a post I made in 2015 and another post about Jon boats on Spinney.. these should get you some good info


[log in for link]

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 Reply by: Ajax5240      Posted: Jan. 24, 2:57:04 PM     Points: 35790
The deeper or taller the sides of a boat, generally the more stable or safe feeling it will be. Width is also a very important factor.

Jon boats offer neither of those. Bass boats can be great, but big wind chop requires a well experienced captain.

My first boat was a 14’ Jon boat. We had some very scary moments even in calm conditions. Just a small boat wake can make you pucker.

Look towards a Deep-v style for our conditions.
 Reply by: Mud      Posted: Jan. 24, 3:45:32 PM     Points: 78
Jon Boats are more of a thing in the south where most lakes are relatively calm or small enough to not have major wave problems. In the upper midwest where major waves (for freshwater) are expected, the most common entry level boats are good ol' aluminum V-hull fishing boats. I've personally got an ancient 70s Lund 14 footer I brought here and it works great on Blue Mesa even in the heavy winds we get in the spring. I've used it in extremely rough waters on massive great plains reservoirs in the Dakotas and it handled it like a champ. They aren't quite as comfortable or spacious as a Jon boat and cannot handle extremely shallow water, but they handle waves far more effectively and make for a great fishing boat in deeper and rougher waters like in a lot of CO reservoirs.

They are also extremely durable and low maintenance versus something like a bass boat, all I have really done with mine which is going on 50 years old is some reseating of the bolts on the bench seat and a new drivers seat. It's not turning heads, at least not for positive reasons, but it sure has caught a lot of fish over the years in all sorts of conditions. 25 HP outboards can easily power them and they don't take much of a trailer or truck to pull either.

Just something else to consider.
 Reply by: Hawaiian Punch      Posted: Jan. 24, 4:14:03 PM     Points: 10681
Mud covered it all.I agree with him on all points.Wait till we get out on the local water and you can see whats what.
 Reply by: phidoux      Posted: Jan. 24, 8:20:29 PM     Points: 8217
When I was flipping boats about 10 years ago I had to try the boat out after I was done to make sure it was good to go. The first boat was a 12' Jon boat and it scared the crap out of me due to being unstable as all get out with just the wakes of the ski boats or even a wind no more than 8MPH. V hulls were better but with the low side walls I would still be nervous about water coming over the side. Twin hulls were good all around but would beat the crap out of you going into the waves. The best boats I found, and now own, in my opinion are the deep v hulls. I've had mine on electric motor lakes and when the wind came out of nowhere I wasn't worried about the waves or anything like that I only worried about my motors getting me to the dock. I had it on lake Texoma with the 50 HP motor and we came out of the cove we were fishing and got into 2 and 3 foot rollers and after getting the nose of the boat into the wind I had no worries at all about getting to the marina. I was told that there were two or three bass boats that didn't make it back to the docks that day due to being swamped by the waves. Long story short Deep v is the only way to go and at least 16' long.
 Reply by: Barnacles      Posted: Jan. 25, 10:01:20 AM     Points: 2865
I'm a big fan of the jon boat. Even my 17' bass boat is a glorified jon boat with some carpet and glitter. I mostly fish the small "marshy" lakes of the FR South to the plains. My comfort zone of stalking bass and frogs in 6 inches of water is quite a bit different situation from the lakes on your list.

Pueblo is a good example. Most of the year, my boat is parked just a few miles from the North Ramp. Some days my boat handles it fine. There are many days when I can't go out there, and many days that start out fine & then I get blasted off the water or I'm stuck fishing in a carp wallow.

To make a long story short, the guys above know their stuff & I'm inclined to agree 100%. If I was starting over, I also really like the older Lunds & Lowes. You can find some killer deals out of state (TX, OK...) if you don't mind a road trip.
 Reply by: spawnbags      Posted: Jan. 25, 11:22:31 AM     Points: 35
Pontoon boat!
 Reply by: SurfaceIron      Posted: Jan. 27, 12:02:38 PM     Points: 378
Bass boat guy here. I've owned many kinds of boats. I don't like my big bass boat in rough conditions, but I love it for it's fishability and wide open deck.
I think you should lean towards a deep v with a nice deck of some kind. For me, boats without decks and fixed swivel seating suck. I like jon boats for a swamp but they ride like crap in any kind of chop. Aluminum boats trailer nicely with low maintenance, but they blow around(a spot lock trolling motor is a game changer for that). Glass rides and fishes nicer.
My favorites of the last 30 years were my 2 crummy old bass boats with giant motors. Pull them in the garage or driveway full of all my gear and take them the next trip with only motor maintenance. On my boat I have now I have to wipe it all down each trip and queue it up for the next day, protect it from rock chips, wax it, etc.. 2 extra hours of non fishing time each trip.
I miss my old beater bass boats.
 Reply by: Ryan      Posted: Jan. 27, 8:53:58 PM     Points: 2541
My first dedicated fishing boat was a very old 12' Lone Star. It had a bit of a V at the bow, but was mostly a flat bottom. Powered by a 9.9 Honda with a little Minnkota. The Honda could get it up on plane if I was the only one in it. Kept it a couple of years, fished South Park quite a bit. You had to watch the weather, but I never felt unsafe.

Upgraded from that to a 1974 14' Lund. Wider beam, more of a V, much more stable. Still had to watch the weather.

I've had several boats since then, up to a 18' Ranger now. Guess what. I still have to watch the weather.

I think the moral of the story is while some boats will handle weather better than others, they all have the potential to get you in trouble if you aren't careful.
 Reply by: devon234      Posted: Jan. 28, 5:55:33 PM     Points: 301
I have both. The jon boat is perfect for small lakes with electric only restrictions. Last season was my first in a bass boat and I really like it. It's a 17.5 ft tracker. I have had it in pretty windy conditions and it handled it fine. Although a deep v is better for rough water. The bass boat will tow better. For my style of fishing the bass boat is a better choice. I don't troll and I spend most of the time casting to shorelines. A bass boat is perfectly fine for colorado. If you get one though get one that is at least 17ft. I also got the boat for lakes in kansas, Nebraska, and Wyoming, really anywhere. You can go shallower in a bass boat too. And generally bass boats have more room on the front deck for fishing. I have been on a conoe with 4ft rollers in the boundary waters so I'm not to scared about the wind. With that being said there are times when the conditions are going to be to sketchy to put the bass boat on while people in deep v boats can still go out. But if that's the case I would rather be on shore anyways. It's really about knowing what you are comfortable with gaing experience in rough water.
 Reply by: devon234      Posted: Jan. 28, 5:58:45 PM     Points: 301
Another note is if the wind picks up just start your way back to the boat ramp or find a cove that you can wait it out. Going with wind is best. Keeping your boat in the right position is critical.
 Reply by: devon234      Posted: Jan. 28, 5:59:59 PM     Points: 301
If you take a jon boat geovany big lakes stick close to shore for obvious safety reasons.


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