Are Bowrider Boats Good For Fishing

Man in a jacket and hat holding up a large fish while standing in a bowrider boat in the lake.

Having the ability to enjoy fishing from a bowrider boat, is a big deal. It allows you to use your family boat for fishing so you don’t need to own two boats.


Bowriders can be great boats for fishing by adding a removable pedestal seat and a trolling motor to the bow. You can easily convert back to an open bow family boat by simply lifting the pedestal out of it’s floor mount and detaching the trolling motor from the bow mount.


The installation of a new pedestal seat is something any boat owner can do themselves. So keep your wife and kids happy by owning an open bow family style boat. I’ll help you pick the right pedestal seat and show you a couple options on how to install it without damaging anything.



Fishing, Boating And Family


So you love fishing. That’s great, but you shouldn’t own a boat that leaves your family out of the boating fun. A bowrider boat can serve both purposes.


If you don’t want to step down into a pontoon boat and loose speed and maneuverability, then get a bowrider boat. Open bow boats are the most versatile use boats for families. They can be great for fishing, tubing, waterskiing, wakeboarding, swimming, relaxing, and of course fishing.


A young boy wearing a lifevest and holding up a big fish while standing in a boat out on a lake.When your kids are reaching the age for fishing out of a boat, the bowrider style is an excellent option. There are plenty of ways to protect your boat’s interior from spills and snags, so don’t let that stop you from creating great memories with your kids.


When it’s fishing day with your buddies, follow my suggestions below and go have a great time. You don’t need a dedicated fishing boat. There’s plenty of floor space for standing, and if you want more pedestal seating, it can be added to the bow and any other location, much the same way I describe below for the open bow pedestal mounting options.


There are specific boat models made for this crossover application called “fish and ski”. But there doesn’t seem to be many fish and ski boats on the used boat market at any one given time. They also don’t usually have powerful engines. However, there are plenty of bowrider boats on the market that do have strong engines for watersports and carrying several guests on board.


The other thing is, from a resale value standpoint, there is going to be a much bigger market for a bowrider boat. Specially one that comes with the conversion items for fishing that you’ve made that are removable as described below.



The Perfect Fishing Pedestal Location In The Bow


You want to consider your fishing movements in the bowrider, when choosing the mounting location of your pedestal mount in the boat’s floor. The seat swivels completely 360 degrees, so walking up and sitting down isn’t a problem. Where your feet end up when you’re facing forward does matter.


Part of your location decision will depend on if you’ll have the bow cushions out of the boat when you’re out fishing. I personally prefer them out for fishing trips. I don’t want to have to worry about snagging a hook in the cushion or getting them dirty and having to clean them.


If you don’t mind having your feet up on the cushion platform, or down into the under-seat storage areas of your bowrider, then you can install the floor mount fishing seat bracket further forward. The further forward you are, the better the visibility for fishing.


Put a small board on your bow floor to protect it. Then take your pedestal seat and simulate different positions to see where you would best like it. You may like having your feet down on the floor. If so just position the mount back enough to allow for that (though there isn’t a lot of space for your feet there).


Take a couple measurements so you know your dimensions from side to side and front to back, for mounting your seat mount into the floor. Write it down and lets move on to another possible options for fishing out of your bowrider boat.



Another Option For Bowrider Fishing


A pedistal swivel seat mounted to a wood platform that was cut out to fit into the bow of a bowrider boat.Another thing you may consider, is cutting out a piece of 1/2″ to 3/4″ (depending on how big the bow area is) plywood to create a platform in the bow of your boat. The biggest issue with this option, is that you have to store it when not in use. However, it’s not terribly big, and it’s flat for the most part.


With the cushions removed from the bow, cut out a paper or cardboard templet of the cushion platform in your open bow boat. Trace that onto your plywood and cut it out, keeping inside the lines by 1/8 “. Now test fit it into the bow, being careful to not damage any of the sidewall cushions.


With having this elevated platform in place, you can mount your pedestal seat floor mount into the platform anywhere you like. Just be sure that your location allows that the mount doesn’t interfere with anything where it comes through the bottom of the platform. You’ll have many location options.


A few benefits of using this option for fishing are:

  • You’re very elevated and have a great view.
  • You don’t have to drill into your boat’s floor.
  • You now have the ability to keep a tote or bucket under the platform as a live well, where it’s completely out of the way.
  • Once you pull the platform out and put the bow cushions back, there’s no sign of a conversion.



The Best Pedestal Seat


Picking a great pedestal seat for your bowrider is important. Not that you couldn’t switch them out at a later point, but why spend the extra money. Let’s just get a great seat (or seats) now.


My first seat pick is based on using the raised fishing platform option. This is a real budget based buy that doesn’t skimp on quality. It’s a raised mount, so you don’t have to worry about your mounting locations at all. Just countersink your flathead bolt heads into the 3/4 plywood platform from the bottom, and use nuts on the top of the mount. This way nothing protrudes out the bottom to scratch anything.


A pedistal seat for boat fishing on display with a white background.Normally you have to buy the mount, pedestal, swivel, and seat all separate, but with the Aquos Folding Swivel Boat Seat. Of all the options for a quality pedestal fishing seat, you won’t find a better deal.


It’s height adjustable with a gas lift, between 20″ and 30″, and swivels with gas lift runners for silent, smooth 360°rotation. If you decided to make multiple platforms in your bowrider, you can have very inexpensive matching pedestal fishing seats.



Flush Mount Bowrider Fishing Pedestal Setups


If you forego the option of making a raised fishing platform for your bowrider, you’ll want to have your pedestal floor mount to be an inverse design. This way it will be flush mount or low profile so nobody trips on it when the fishing seat is removed.


This style mounting bracket requires you to drill a 2 1/2″ hole through your bow floor to clear for the inverted support tube to hang down. Then you need to drill those six mounting holes as well.


A kingpin base plate for attaching a pedistal seat on display.You want the Springfield Marine 1620001 Kingpin Base Plate. It’s made of stainless steel so it’s strong and won’t rust. You can get this on Amazon for a great price for your bowrider fishing seat setup.


I would “through bolt” this in the floor. Meaning to drill a clearance hole for your flat head stainless steel bolts, and then reach up under from your ski hold area and put nuts and washers on from the bottom side, and tighten them down.


You could also just choose to use stainless steel wood screws, and if this proves to not be strong enough, then you can go through the bolting process I described.


This will be raised off the bow floor by the thickness of the flat plate, but if that bothers you, there is a solution. Before you lay out your holes to drill, apply some self stick deck pad down to your open bow floor.


This will generally be 1/4″ to 1/2″ thick foam pad. You can also purchase your choice of design on Amazon when you are placing your order for the other parts.


Now lay out your location and then place the mount plat face down on the installed deck pad. Trace around it with a pencil and then cut on the line with a razor knife. Remover the center cut out section of deck pad.


Now set your mount plate into the opening and mark your hole locations. The holes are concentric, so when the mount is flipped and installed, the holes will still line up correctly. Remember you have to use a 2 1/2″ hole saw to clear for the center seat post support.


Now when fully installed, the deck pad will be even or slightly higher that the mount plate.



Adjustable Fishing Seat Post


Now that your fishing seat post mount is installed, you need a great versatile seat post to go in it. Many of these are fixed height posts, but then you have to know exactly what you want, and that this is the only height you’ll ever want.


A King Pin Power Rise Pedestal on display with a white background.That’s crazy, so the best seat post for your bowrider is going to be the Wise 8WD2003 King Pin Power Rise Pedestal, available on Amazon for cheap. 

  • Adjustable height from 22.5 in. to 29.8 in.
  • Can be used for a Seat or Leaning Post
  • Rotates 360 Degrees
  • Integrated Seat Mount and Height Adjustment Lever


Not only is this a great seat post, but it comes with the seat mount already attached. That saves having to buy one and keeps that money in your pocket. Much like an office chair, you simply lift the lever to adjust your seat height up or down. So whether you feel like leaning, or fishing from a seated position, you’re all set.



Bowrider Fishing Seat


Now to top off our bowrider fishing seat setup, with a comfortable seat. For this, I like a casting seat style. Not everybody wants this style, but my “budget choice” fishing seat is also a casting style fishing seat, so this is my pick.


Attwood Casting Seat on display with a white background.It’s the Attwood Casting Seat on Amazon .  Made of weatherproof marine grade vinyl, it measures 15 inches wide x 11 inches deep x 6 inches high.


Picking the fishing seat design style is such a personal preference, you need to look at all the options yourself. Once your on Amazon for your other seat parts, just pick your favorite seat and add it to your order.


Here are a few other bowrider fishing boat seat styles to consider topping off your seat post with. They are all on Amazon and in many color combinations.

Other Boat Seat Options



Bowriders Make Great Family Fishing Boats


With a couple additions or modifications, your bowrider can fit the whole families needs. The idea of not including the whole family in your boating experiences is crazy. So if you don’t have that bowrider boat yet, involve the family in the fun of shopping for it.


In fact, I have a Free checklist for inspecting potential bowriders, and you should check it out before you buy one. This will be a great guide to be sure you’re buying a well maintained boat that will keep you and your family out enjoying your bowrider, instead of having to work on it.


The other thing you should check out is my article on towable toys. It’s always best to get the boat accessories that will last and that are proven to be fun.


Fishing out of a properly set up bowrider boat is a great experience. A small to medium bowrider will allow one person fishing up front, one out on the swim platform, and one in the center fishing off either side.


On larger bowriders you can easily have two people fishing in the center. One on each side of the boat, being careful when casting. The other fishermen will be in the bow and on the swim deck.


When the fishing is done, go drop off the fishing gear and grab the towable toys. Or maybe it’s time to load up the family and zip across the lake for lunch if you didn’t catch anything 🙂


I bought my first boat while in high school 1981. I had more hours working on it than using it in the water. I can't count how many boats I've had since, but I really enjoy reviving boats. I've had so many boats that I could never use them all. Once I fix a boat up, I play with it a couple times and sell it. My goal is to use my many years of experience, and help as many people Begin Boating.

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