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#1 upstate rookie

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Posted 23 December 2015 - 03:15 PM

I hope I don't regret this but here goes, I have purchased a frameless pontoon boat for use on my home river and

the Delaware River system. I would like to know if any of you use this kind of boat or something similar and what I

should watch out for when floating the Delaware system. The pros/cons, things I need to know, things to do and

not to do. I have gotten to the point in my life where hiking on rocks to access fishing locations is not only getting

very hard to do but also getting somewhat dangerous. Thanks



#2 BrooklynFlyGuy

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Posted 23 December 2015 - 04:50 PM

I have had the use of a friends pontoon boat the last 2 years and here is my advice.
Keep the floats shorter than you would floating in a drift boat. You work more in a pontoon to get where you want to go. Especially if you haven't used a boat in awhile, trust me. Your muscles will thank you the next day. 
Keeping the over all float short also lets you get out and really cover water. After all, that is what you really want to do.
Don't just float up to a spot and fish it from the pontoon. You will blow past more fish than you will be able to target.
Never try to float in high flows. Drift Boats can handle bigger water than a pontoon. Watch the CFS and know what you can handle. If you think it's too much for you, you are right.



#3 idryfly

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Posted 24 December 2015 - 07:04 PM

The last few years I was able to do West branch Delaware pontoon floats thanks to a fishing friend who has 2.....so we go together.....One leaves 1 car at our take out spot  (ie:  Hale Eddy Bridge for example)  and then we drive to our put in spot.          A few words of experience......1) You'll see awesome water you never see just parking and wading     2)  I don't think I ever actually fished out of the pontoon...as Brooklyn alluded to.......it gets us to spots that we can anchor - get out - and wade       3)   If you can...bring an extra rod/reel strapped somewhere just in case you have a equipment malfunction     probably not a big deal for a local who has a lot of time on his hands......but for a guy like me who picks and choses his days and then drives 2 hours each way......I am not taking any chances    4) Better to pick too short a float than one that is to long.......we made one mistake one day by picking a distance so far.....we actually had to heavily paddle through pools of actively rising trout because we were getting concerned it was getting dark and we were to far away from our take out.....and  there are spots you may get out of your pontoon and stay for 3 hours if the action is right   5) We had a leakage issue with our frmaed pontton so always had the air pump with us     6)  bringing water -food and a flashlight never caused harm to anyone.            Congrats on your frameless.....my big beef with framed pontoons is the set up and take down takes so much precious fishing time away it really irks me.   I started researching some frameless pontoons and they are starting to make some outstanding ones......its one of the things on my list to purchase down the road.



#4 WINGNUT

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Posted 27 December 2015 - 03:59 PM

I absolutley agree with BrooklynFlyguy and Idryfly.  Keep the floats super short. 2-3 miles on the Delaware system is a long float on a pontoon.  You will find some nice open water to stop and fish with that distance.  The first year I had my drift boat I always picked long floats.  Every year since I have shortened my floats and really work on learning each and every riffle and pool.  I will add that you should remember to use etiquette when floating past active anglers.  Float behind the angler if you can, otherwise ask the angler what they would like you to do.

Good luck Rookie



#5 upstate rookie

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Posted 27 December 2015 - 09:31 PM

Thank you gentlemen, your advise is appreciated, I am looking forward to our upcoming season.

Happy New Year.



#6 dennismueller60

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Posted 04 January 2016 - 04:59 PM

I have used my pontoon mostly in the West on extended vacations, but have floated the West Branch some. 

 

Mine is framed and has a platform I can stand-up on.  That lets me see rising fish better than from a seated position.  If you intend to fish from the pontoon, a good anchor system is invaluable, it needs to hold the pontoon in a decent flow and must be reasonably easy to drop and weigh (or you won't use it, or will delay and miss an opportunity). 

 

I always take more gear than I will need, including an extra rod or two (one rigged for nymphs and one for dries is my starting position).  It goes without saying that water and a flashlight are included.  On most of the Delaware, it is not that big a deal if you end up floating in the dark, but you do risk feeling like a 14 year-old playing Tom Sawyer.  You are really unlikely to get into much trouble unless you are attempting a float in high water (and if that is the case, the float should not take too long).  Don't forget the live vest, especially if you are alone.  Take the air pump along and some patches, you may never need them, but it might prevent having to drag the pontoon a couple miles to get out.

 

Inflatable pontoons are rather cumbersome and slow to row.  They do not glide smoothly in dead water like a canoe might and rowing downstream into a headwind can be very slow going.  I once used mine on Androscoggin in NH and could not finish a drift that I was told was a very comfortable half-day float in a canoe. While there was some fast water, much of it was slow pools with little flow rate.   It was only that the river parallels the road that let me get out just before dark and drag the pontoon up, else I probably would have arrived at the takeout at 3 AM.  Start with a short trip, maybe Hancock to Stockport to get a feeling for it.



#7 upstate rookie

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Posted 07 January 2016 - 01:01 PM

well thanks for all the input it is appreciated. Since we are on the topic - one other item - do any of you use

12V inflators and if so which one would you recommend. Thanks



#8 hydeboat2

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Posted 08 March 2016 - 05:53 PM

Beside all of the other great posts here are a few more: if using a Pennsylvania launch, you must get launch permits from Pa. Fish and Boat. These would include Balls Eddy, Buckingham and some lower downriver. If you plan on taking out at an unimproved launch, like Stockport, or Hancock, don't even try with out 4WD.  It can get ugly when a bunch of floaters and guides cant get off the river because some knucklehead backed down the ramp in a 2WD and cant get out plus they tear up the launch for future users. Keep it short until you learn the system.



#9 upstate rookie

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Posted 09 March 2016 - 12:54 AM

would this permit pertain to inflatable frameless pontoon boats that are picked up

and carried to the car/truck?






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