4 Best Jon Boats for Fishing in 2023

Photo of author
Last Updated:

Everyone knows that a jon boat is great for fishing, but there are so many choices and they all cost so much money. It can be hard to find one that has everything you want at a price you can afford.

We’re here to help! Our guide will answer every question you have about finding the best jon boat for fishing.

You’ll learn what makes each model unique and which features matter most when it’s time to make your purchase decision.

4 Best Jon Boats for Fishing

1. Pelican- Boat Intruder 12- Jon Fishing Boat

Best Overall

Key Features: 

  • 4 vertical rod holders
  • Built-in bench seats
  • Carrying handles
  • Multiple storage compartments
  • Maximum weight capacity of 420 lbs

Pelican Boat Intruder 12 Jon boat goes under the type of bass boat. These boats’ vertical rod holders are perfect storage for a fishing rod and can be used for multiple-rod fishing.

It has multiple compartments that are perfect places to store your fishing gear and fishing line. Easily carry this Jon boat with its carrying handles.

In addition, it has an aluminum hull construction and oar-lock mounts for your paddling oars.

2. Sun Dolphin Pro 120 Fishing Boat

Most Lightweight

Key Features:

  • Max weight capacity of 532 lbs
  • Built-in rod holders
  • Aerated livewell
  • Dual dry storage compartment
  • Deck fuel tank

The tri-hull design provides great stability and handling, and the carpeted deck provides better grip and less slip.

The smart design of the compartment makes more space for your things. Featured aerated livewell keeps your catch fresh. This boat also has built-in rod holders, which are great for keeping your fishing rod in place.

Compared to model 12, this pro 120 model has a dual dry storage compartment, which is great for keeping your things dry and safe.

This boat has a lower weight capacity than other boats, precluding it from being ideal if you are looking for a larger vessel.

3. Sun Dolphin American 12 Jon Fishing Boat

Best for Shallow Water

Key features: 

  • Weight capacity of 532 lbs
  • Built-in rod holders and motor mounts
  • Two bench seats
  • Extra storage on bow and stern
  • Hull Material: UV-stabilized Fortiflex® High-Density Polyethylene

This boat comes with a feature where you can add a trolling motor in the bow or stern. It’s great for fish and duck hunting.

This best Jon boat also features a built-in rod holder and motor mounts to keep you organized on the water. The hull bottom is flat with formed-in keels that allow the vessel to float in very shallow water.

Compared to model 120, the only flaw is that it has no dry storage, so you have to bring water-tight bags to keep your things dry while on the water.

The bench seats also come with storage which is good for placing your baits and coolers.

4. Sun Dolphin Pro 102 Fishing Boat

Best for Hard-to-Reach Fishing Spots

Key Features: 

  • Aerated live well with drain
  • Twin swivel padded chairs
  • Pre-wired for trolling motor at bow and stern
  • Max Trolling Motor Thrust: 40 lbs. Shaft Length:36″
  • Max Weight Capacity of 435 lbs

Along with other best Jon boats, never go solo fishing with its twin swivel chairs.

Fishing boats are made great with their polyethylene construction, making them durable and lightweight for easy transportation and quieter ride. It’s also pre-wired for trolling motors like most models mentioned above.

Like other Jon boats, this also has full navigation lights for a smooth ride during late hours. When on a fishing trip, its aerated livewell will keep your catch fresh.

A basic Jon boat with a paddle is good enough to meet your basic needs. 

Source: Canva Pro

Things To Consider When Buying Jon Boats

Most Jon boats aren’t far from their models and designs. So choosing the best for you could come easy. However, there are still things to consider. Take a look at the list below.


The size of the boat will be the first important thing you have to consider. The size will depend on what you intend to do with the boat.

If you plan on going solo, choose a little utility boat. But if you want to go with a group, you’ll need to have a bigger boat for more storage.


Jon boats are commonly known for their lightweight materials. It’s important to remember that boats have a maximum weight capacity.

Considering the weight capacity will determine what you intend to do with the boat. It will help if you consider the boat’s limit to prevent incurring problems such as poor handling.


Considering the seating configuration is also important. When you are on choppy water, you probably most like a seat that is comfortable to sit on.

You can also choose from a variety of seating configurations. In addition, you can build your seating configuration to suit your needs, preferences, and taste.


Jon boats do not require much cutting force due to their lightweight construction with a flat hull.

However, you can always add a gasoline-powered outboard motor to your vessel. When doing it, always check their maximum horsepower capacity.

You don’t need anything more than a pair of oars or a battery-powered electric trolling motor to get you out on the water.


You must take into consideration the budget you have in hand. The size and capacity of the boat will rely relatively on your budget.

If you want to customize it, such as adding transom corner caps or more, you want to prepare an extra budget.


There are wooden boats made from fiberglass, wood, and aluminum vessels. If you do come across a wooden boat, it is likely handmade.

Keep in mind that aluminum boats aren’t always durable on saltwater as it corrodes quite fast. However, if you take proper measures and care methods, you can prevent corrosion and leaks.

Frequently Asked Questions 

Do Jon boats make good fishing boats?

These boats come in many features and models, they may come in flat bottom or semi-v hulls, but they are all designed for fishing and other recreational activities.
That’s why you must know what you intend to do with it before buying one. 
The main element of a Jon boat is its level-lined frame, which gives it an excellent ability to fight in shallow water.

Is a Jon boat good as a first boat?

For those who want to get into any kind of boating, Jon boats are a great place to start. The aluminum construction may be fine for freshwater use but not so much on saltwater or the shoreline: fiberglass would then be your best bet if this is something that will often happen in such conditions!

Is a 12-foot Jon boat big enough?

A 12-foot Jon boat has a significant weight capacity compared to other sizes. It can carry two to three passengers, including your cargo, depending on the model.
If you’re planning to go solo or with a companion, this size will do for you. Also, larger Jon boats boast features like a bench and more storage space, so there’s room for all your gear and more.

What is a good HP for a Jon boat?

Deciding on a good HP will again depend on your purpose. If you don’t plan to go with fast speed and only use it for short distances, 15 horsepower will work for you.
On the other hand, 25 horsepower will do for a considerable distance and speed.

Ready to Take on Your Next Boating Adventure?

Whether you get a Jon boat for bass fishing or bow fishing, your boat will be the source of endless memories on the water, so choose wisely!

Keep in mind the functional requirements and consider the number of people, size, condition of water, and most importantly, what you are planning to use it for in the first place.

We hope this guide will help you choose the right one for you!

Diana Nadim
Fishing Expert
Diana began fishing at the age of seven, as it has been a long-time family tradition. From catching small bullheads to catching strippers on the backwaters of Bighorn, she loves to get out in the wild and have a marvelous day on the water. Her dad was an expert angler, and he taught her fishing along with her two siblings. They used to go to the Bighorn River in Montana and Henry’s fork, Idaho. As a pragmatic person, she is obsessed with creating well-researched and practical guides and reviews of the best fishing methods and gear.
× How can we improve it?
× Thanks for your feedback!

We're always looking to improve our articles to help you become an even better fisherman.

While you're here, why not follow us on Facebook and YouTube? Facebook YouTube

Fishing with a Net

Fishing with a Net: Techniques, Types, & Tips for a Successful Catch

Fishing with a net can be highly effective, but it requires proper technique and practice. To begin, untangle the cast net to ensure it opens fully when thrown into the water. Next, load the rope and hold the net away from it to load the weights. Once all weights are in place, cast the net
best marine radio with bluetooth

5 Best Marine Radio with Bluetooth in 2023 (Top Marine Stereos)

If you’re on a boat and want to play high-quality music, you must have the best marine stereo! But before you can choose the perfect one for you, there are many things to consider.  Marine stereos are built differently from other types of devices, as they need to be resistant to the sun’s rays and

How to Prevent Sea Sickness While Fishing

To prevent seasickness while fishing, you can try taking seasickness medication (non-drowsy Dramamine, with doctor’s consent), staring at the horizon, getting fresh air on your face, drinking some ginger ale, or wearing a seasickness band. I remember the first time I got seasick; it was the worst feeling ever. What triggered it was a lack
down imaging vs side imaging

Down Imaging vs Side Imaging on Fish Finder (How to Use)

The primary distinction between down and side imaging fish finders is how they read the water. Down imaging scans the images vertically, while side imaging reads the water on a horizontal plane. Down-imaging sonar will provide you with clearer images and assist you in more effectively locating these fish when you’re aiming for specific structures

Why Are Bananas on a Boat Banned?

As a fisherman or boater, there is a high chance that you have been advised to avoid taking bananas on your boat. The reason given for this advice is usually that bananas are bad luck. This information is sure to leave you confused and curious. In this article, we will discuss everything that you need
a boat is leaving the dock. what sound signal should be used to alert others

What Boat Sound Signals Should Be Used to Alert Others?

Are you wondering what boat sound signals should be used to alert others? Using signals is a major part of navigating a vessel on the sea. Signals help to prevent accidents and obstruction when multiple boats are moving at the same. In this guide, we cover the various sounds you need to know to boat

How To Be The Captain Everyone Trusts With Their Lives In As Little As 30 Minutes...Even If You've Been Boating For Years

(This Works Even If You HATE Feeling Judged And NEVER Plan To Have Divers, But Want To Be Prepared Just In Case.)