So, you Want to Fish from a Jet Ski? Here’s the Deal


Fishing on jet skis is an increasingly popular activity as the cost of fishing boats rise and people are looking for water vehicles that can serve multiple purposes.  With a growing community of people fishing from jet skis and numerous advantages to this newer way to fish, it may be something you want to consider trying.

Can you fish off of a jet ski?

You certainly can fish off of a jet ski, and it is quite popular and very common. Jet skis can get in areas boats cannot and be more agile to provide the best fishing experience as compared from a boat. In many occasions fishing off a jet ski is better than a boat.

If you are interested in fishing from a jet ski there may be some questions you want answered before you fully commit to the idea such as why would you fish from a jet ski, does fishing from a jet ski work well, and what would you need to do to prepare for fishing from a jet ski. 

In addition to these answers, you may also be interested in knowing which jet ski works best for fishing. These questions can all be answered to show that fishing from a jet ski may be the new and exciting way to fish that you’ve been looking for.

Why are People Interested in Fishing from a Jet Ski?

People are interested in fishing from jet skis as an alternative to more traditional fishing methods for numerous reasons including convenience, cost, and the added element of excitement that comes with fishing from a jet ski.

Size 

First, the smaller jet ski, as compared to a larger fishing boat, can be more convenient for storage and transport to the body of water you plan to fish on. Since motorized fishing boats are substantially larger than jet skis, they require more storage space in the offseason and if you do not have adequate storage space it may prevent you from purchasing a fishing boat or from fishing in areas that can only be accessed by a water vehicle.

Weight

Similarly, jet skis weigh substantially less than most traditional, motorized fishing boats so they can often be pulled on smaller trailers and with smaller vehicles than a motorized fishing boat can. This allows you to be more flexible with the type of vehicle you plan to own and still enjoy fishing in a similar way. Thus, this size difference between traditional motorized fishing boats and jet skis has added to the increased popularity of fishing from jet skis.

Cost

Another significant factor in the increasing popularity of fishing from jet skis is that jet skis are significantly cheaper than traditional motorized fishing boats. In the market today, a fishing boat can cost you somewhere between $25,000 to $80,000 dollars new. Used fishing boats can be had for less on marketplaces such as Craiglist.

A jet ski will only cost you between 1,500 and 15,000 dollars whether it is new or used. The saving associated with purchasing a jet ski instead of fishing from a traditional, motorized fishing boat doesn’t end there as jet skis are actually more fuel-efficient and cost-effective to maintain than traditional motorized fishing boats.

Thus, if you choose a jet ski as your fishing vehicle you will save money on gas each time you go fishing, and save maintenance costs in addition to the upfront savings from purchasing your water vehicle. Due to this drastic difference in cost, you may want to consider purchasing a jet ski instead of a fishing boat for your future fishing endeavors, especially if you are on a budget.

Versitility

Jet skis are far more agile and can get into much smaller spaces and shallower water than a boat can. This can be a huge advantage when trying to hook the big one.

Many fish hide in areas that are shallow or have obstacles, by having an impeller on a jet ski instead of a prop allows jet skis to get very shallow. Be careful not to go too shallow so you don’t suck up any weeds or underwater rocks or you can do some damage.

Excitement

One of the most popular reasons that people are beginning to fish from jet skis as an alternative to the traditional fishing boat is that it can add an additional element of excitement.

In many cases, people purchase jet skis for riding and enjoyment. They then may get into another hobby such as fishing and realize they can use their PWC for that hobby.

Thus, the jet ski is an extremely versatile vehicle that will allow you to enjoy fishing on one trip to the water and use the same vehicle to later enjoy the thrill of high speeds and pulling a water skier.

A similar advantage to the higher speeds that can be achieved on your jet ski is that it may allow you to move from one fishing spot to another quicker than a full-size boat so that more of your day is spent fishing instead of spent switching fishing spots.

Overall, if you are an avid fisher or looking to begin fishing more often but do not currently own a traditional motorized fishing boat, you may want to consider fishing from a jet ski due to the lower cost, the higher level of convenience, and the versatility of the vehicle.

Are Jet Skis Good for Fishing?

If you are considering fishing off of a jet ski you may be wondering how well these vehicles work in comparison to the traditional, motorized fishing boat. The simple answer to this is that a jet ski can actually have many advantages over the traditional fishing boat, in addition to the initial advantages, listed above, that may have peaked your interest in fishing from a jet ski.

One advantage is that jet skis can often be more versatile in the type of fishing they allow than many traditional fishing boats. By having a smaller size vehicle, they are more maneuverable than other fishing vessels which adds to their versatility.  This versatility allows jet skis to work for numerous types of fishing such as trolling, bass fishing around rocks, as well as jigging. This may indicate that fishing from a jet ski will be advantageous to you if you are interested in numerous types of fishing as traditional fishing boats are normally equipped to work best for one specific fishing style.

Another thing that makes jet skis good for fishing is that they are lower to the water so they may allow for better visibility than larger fishing boats.  Better visibility will allow you to see obstacles in the water and allow you to put your lure right next to them to hopefully attract the fish hiding in them.  

Additionally, it will allow you to better see where you are dropping your line if there is anything that you may get caught on you can adjust accordingly.  This added visibility is something people often look for in fishing and fishing from a jet ski may largely solve any visibility problems you’ve previously had when fishing.

This indicates that jet skis are not only good for fishing in the sense that they will provide an experience comparable to traditional fishing boats, but it also indicates that jet skis may provide advantages over the traditional fishing boat.  In this sense, even if you are able to fish from a more traditional fishing boat, you may want to try fishing from a jet ski for a different, and maybe even better, fishing experience.

By fishing on a jet ski, you are right on the water next to the action. This allows you to get excited quicker and there is something fun about hauling up a fish on the side of your ski.

What to look for in a Jet Ski for Fishing?

While jet skis as a whole can have advantages for fishing, not all jet skis will provide the same advantages so there are a few specific features you may want to look for when picking out a jet ski to use for fishing.

Seating Arrangement for Fishing on a PWC

The first of these features is that you are going to want a jet ski with as much space as possible.  To achieve the desired amount of space, you will want to look into purchasing a jet ski with more than two seats. 

While it is possible to fish on a jet ski with only two seats, the extra seating can be beneficial for moving around the jet ski. In addition to extra seating, typically the more seats on the jet ski, the more stable it will be on the water. You will desire stability when leaning over to grab a fish and not tipping over your ski.

Larger jet skis will allow more space and storage for rods, tackle boxes, and provide better foot placement while casting. If you are looking for a jet ski to fish off of you may want to consider purchasing a larger jet ski with more than two seats.

Size of Hull

Another key feature to look for when choosing a jet ski for fishing is going to be the size or depth of the hull.  The size of the hull impacts the smoothness of the ride on the jet ski and for fishing, and how stable it will be with all of your gear. It would be more beneficial to have a smoother more stable ride. Because of this, you are going to want to select a jet ski with a deeper hull to cut through the waves. As with the previous feature, the amount of seating, this is not a necessity when fishing from a jet ski but it will allow you to have a better fishing experience on a jet ski and should be added to your lists of features to look for if you’re buying a jet ski specifically for fishing.

Storage Capacity

A third feature you may want to look for in a jet ski that you plan to use for fishing is a higher capacity for storage. Fishing requires a substantial amount of equipment that must be stored before you arrive at your fishing spot and cannot be lying on the seat or footwell or it will be at risk of falling out.

This can be considered not only a feature of convenience but also a feature that will improve the safety of your jet ski fishing experience because it will be less safe if you cannot properly stow or secure your equipment when driving your jet ski, since, in that instance, you would need to hold on to it while you ride. 

Because of this safety concern, if you are purchasing a jet ski for fishing, one of the first things you should look into is the amount of storage and how much space you need to store the equipment you traditionally bring.  An added bonus to using a jet ski with a lot of storage is that it will allow you to store your catch when you head back to land after a day of fishing.

Many PWC fishing racks such as this one allow for a cooler to store your lunch as well as your afternoon catch.

Factory Fishing Accessories

Some brands have available fish finders, rod holders, and other accessories that make fishing easier than if you had to buy them separately. The Sea Doo Fish Pro is all set up from the factory for the best fishing experience on the water.

What Jet Skis are Best for Fishing?

After considering these features, you may still be unsure which jet skis would be the best investment if you plan to use them for fishing. The top three recommended jet skis for fishing from each brand are the Kawasaki Ultra LX, Yamaha FX Cruiser, and Sea Doo Fish Pro.  Even if these specific jet skis are not ones that you are interested in purchasing or are not in your budget, it may be helpful to look at the features of these jet skis and aim to purchase a similar jet ski.

What is the best jet ski for fishing?

The best jet ski for fishing will be stable, have great fuel economy, and have ample storage for your rods, tackle, cooler, and anything else you need. The Sea Doo Fish Pro is the best factory jet ski on the market for fishing due to including all accessories including a fish finder and trolling mode.

Sea Doo Fish Pro

The Sea Doo Fish Pro is the highest ranked jet ski for fishing because it was made for fishing. This jet ski includes a fishing rod holder, 13.5 gallon cooler, 4 rod holders, and tackle box storage area, as well as a built in fish finder, speakers, and trolling mode with 9 adjustable trolling speeds.

Sea Doo has made an extended rear platform just for fishing which adds about 12″ on the back of the boat for additional fishing room.

Sea Doo’s LinQ system allows for additional cooler storage, fuel storage, or installation of other comparable accessories. There is a total of 39.6 gallons of storage space on this model and more with additional accessories.

Other benefits include its extremely deep hull, three seats for extra space, enhanced footwells for more stability and bench seating for ease of moving around on the water. Out of the three jet skis listed, this is also the most expensive with the starting price listed at $14,900 dollars on Sea Doo’s website, but truly is the best out of the box for fishing.

Kawasaki Ultra LX

The second highest ranked, the Kawasaki Ultra LX, is ranked so highly because it meets all of the previously mentioned criteria and has additional features that may be advantageous.  For example, it has 65 gallons of storage and the ability seat three people.  In addition to these desirable features, it is also fuel efficient and reasonably priced, when compared to other jet skis. The MSRP is listed at $11,199 dollars, but they always have special offers and deals depending on the year. The Kawasaki is fairly reasonable when compared to what you would invest in a traditional, motorized fishing boat and when you consider all of the features that are included to improve your jet ski fishing experience.

Kawasaki has multiple storage accessories which would benefit your fishing experience as one towards the rear which also has rod holders and tackle box room.

Yamaha FX Cruiser HO

Our third favorite is the Yamaha FX Cruiser HO Like the Kawasaki Ultra LX, the FX Cruiser is ranked so highly because it includes many of the features put forth to improve your jet ski fishing experience in the previous section.  Also FX Cruiser has room to seat three passengers, thus more room for your fishing aboard the jet ski. 

The reason that this jet ski is ranked slightly lower than the previous is that it has only 44 gallons of storage compared to the Kawasaki Ultra LX’s 65, and Yamaha does not have any factory fishing accessories. That being said it is by no means a bad choice to use for fishing, but you may need to source and install your own rod holder like this one here. 

Although one aspect to consider is that this jet ski is slightly more expensive. According to the Yamaha website, the starting price for this jet ski is $14,199 dollars but if you are willing to make the investment, this jet ski may be a great value for fishing and Yamaha is a widely recognized jet ski maker and known for its reliability.

One of the best parts about this jet ski is the cruise control. It will allow you to cruise or troll without having to be on the throttle all the time. There is also a fish finder option which can come in handy and some speakers to keep you busy while moving from fishing hole to fishing hole.

These three jet skis are all excellent candidates for fishing due to the features they include.  However, not owning or not purchasing one of these three jet skis does not mean you will not be able to fish from your jet ski. 

While these would be excellent choices for fishing from a jet ski, they can also serve as examples of the type of jet ski that would make fishing from a jet ski most convenient.  If you are planning to fish from a jet ski that does not have these features, the next section, on setting up your jet ski, will be of increased importance so you can better ready your jet ski for fishing.

How much does a fishing jet ski cost?

A jet ski for fishing can cost from $10,000 to $15,000 brand new. Depending on the model, it may include all accessories for fishing, but if it doesn’t, expect to pay another $500 for the proper fishing accessories.

How to Set Jet Skis up for Fishing?

To set jet skis up in the most ideal way for fishing, there are often some improvements or changes you can make to even the most ideal jet ski.  One important addition to your jet ski to set it up for fishing is to add a fishing rod holder.  Since it is not uncommon to fish with more than one rod, even on a jet ski, adding a fishing rod holder can improve your fishing experience on a jet ski.  This, like the previously mentioned storage features, can also increase the safety of your jet ski because it will further allow you to focus on driving your jet ski instead of on holding the fishing rod while driving. Here is a great universal rod holder with cooler holder to store your catch.

Rod Holders

There are numerous different types of rod holders that you may want to install before using your jet ski for fishing.  The Three main three types of rod holders that you should consider for your jet ski are clamp-style rod holders, suction cup-style rod holders, or a rod holder that can be attached to another product on the jet ski.  The main differences between these types of rod holders is the way that they will mount to your jet ski.

Clamp Style Rod Holder

The clamp-style rod holder as using a large clamp to clasp on to a rod on the jet ski.  This would be a good option if the jet ski that you plan to use for fishing has an exposed handlebar or other suitable mounting point.  However, most jet skis do not have a handlebar or mounting point that is suitable for this type of rod holder, so it is not often the first choice when you adjust your jet ski for fishing.

Suction Cup Rod Holder

The second, and often more preferable, type of rod holder for jet skis is the suction cup-style rod holder.  This type of rod holder using a suction cup to mount to any flat surface on the jet ski.  An added benefit to this type of rod holder is that it will not cause damage to your jet ski even when you remove it. Be careful to get a good connection point or you can end up losing your poles.

The final option for a rod holder does not attach directly to the jet ski, instead it is attached to the rear of the ski with straps and is universal. We like this model the best as it can hold 6 poles with different angles for trolling, a cooler, as well as drinking water, extra fuel, and offers other mounting points for other accessories.

The type of rod holder that you choose to attach to your jet ski for fishing is based on personal preference and the space available on your jet ski.  If you plan to use more than one rod holder on your jet ski it may be useful to use both a suction cup-style rod holder and a rod holder that does not directly attach to your jet ski to better maximize the space on your jet ski when fishing.

Cooler

The second adjustment you may want to make to your jet ski before using it for fishing is to get a cooler that can be well secured to your jet ski. Adding a cooler to your jet ski will be useful to keep the fish you catch fresh after your trip as well as store any lunch or drinks you need. Similarly, like the previously mentioned adjustments to set your jet ski up for fishing, the addition of a cooler also adds an element of safety by allowing you to have your hands free to drive your jet ski.

To keep your cooler secure on your jet ski, you will need to have a rack on the back of the jet ski which can double as a fishing pole holder. We like this model. 

You have options for this rack as well. The first of which is to build your own rack and the second of which is to purchase a rack.  Fabricating it yourself will often be cheaper and give you more options to customize it to your own jet ski and cooler. 

A rack can cost up to $400.  While this may seem like a substantial investment in a cooler rack, it will be an important and useful part of setting your jet ski up for fishing.

Anchor

The final recommendation for setting your jet ski up for fishing, an anchor, is the most necessary.  Here is one of the best all around PWC anchors. An anchor can be stored on your jet ski until you arrive at the fishing spot then should be dropped in the water, just as you would do on a traditional fishing boat, to prevent your jet ski from floating away.  Without an anchor you may need to readjust your jet ski fairly often which can scare away fish or disrupt the water in your fishing spot thus negatively impacting your experience fishing from your jet ski.

Overall, these are basic suggestions of how you would set up a jet ski for fishing and while all three, a rod holder, a cooler, and an anchor, may not be necessary in every situation, they will make your jet ski fishing outing go more smoothly and allow you to have a safer fishing trip.

Is Jet Ski Fishing Safe?

Jet ski fishing is very safe if you know what you are doing. By fishing off of a jet ski, you are closer to the action and can get in the best fishing spots a boat cannot. By sitting on a jet ski, you can be safer than on a boat where you are standing and walking around.

Conclusion

Fishing from jet skis is becoming increasingly popular for numerous reasons including the lower cost, the more convenient storage, and the versatility of jet skis themselves. 

Many people who fish from jet skis have found that there are added advantages such as increased visibility and the ability to move from one fishing spot to another more quickly which may further interest you in giving this type of fishing a try. 

If you do not already have a jet ski or plan to purchase one with the intent to fish off of it, you may want to look at jet skis that are highly recommended for this activity, such as the ones listed above, or at features that make jet skis advantageous for fishing.  However, whether you plan to buy a new jet ski for fishing or use your current jet ski, you will need to make some adjustments to set your jet ski up for fishing, including installing a rod holder, attaching a cooler, and bringing along an anchor. 

Fishing from jet skis is only increasing in popularity and as the popularity increases it will become easier to find resources about how to adjust your jet ski, products designed specifically for fishing from a jet ski, or tips on how to adapt to this new way to fish.  Because of this and the other previously mentioned advantages of fishing from a jet ski, there is no better time to start fishing from a jet ski than now.

Eric

I have been an avid boater / jet ski fanatic since I was a kid.

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