Fishing From A Jet Ski: What You Need To Know

Yes, fishing with a jet ski is possible, and it’s actually not that bad.

After getting the new Sea-Doo Fish Pro, I have lots of experience fishing with it out on Lake Michigan. Mostly for catching smallmouth bass, yellow perch, and some walleye. Not only is it great for the Great Lakes, but it’s also completely viable in the oceans as well.

Here’s an image of me on the Fish Pro.

If you don’t have the Fish Pro jet ski, and you just have a regular one, you can still fish on it. The only jet skis that fishing might be difficult on would be one that does not have a neutral gear as you would have to turn the ski off while fishing or just deal with the forward idle. Also, standup ones of course.

What I like about jet ski fishing

Here are some things that I really enjoy about fishing with a jet ski:

  • Easy to maneuver around tight spaces because of the small size
  • Quick and easy to pack your stuff
  • Jet skis are usually faster than fishing boats which means more fun, and less time to get to the fishing spots
  • If the fishing is getting lame, you can always just do some doughnuts or tailwhips
  • Looking into the water and spotting fish is very easy in a jet ski
  • Storing them in the winter is cheaper
  • Usually costs less than a fishing boat

What I don’t like about jet ski fishing

Although it is cool and all to fish from a jet ski, a boat still has many things to offer that a jet ski can’t. It usually always comes down to the kind of person, some people are jet ski fishermen, and some people just aren’t. Here are some points that I don’t like about jet ski fishing that might help you decide this for yourself:

  • If there are waves, you’re probably going to get wet
  • Jet skis are less stable than boats (you need a lot of balance)
  • You always need to have a life jacket on
  • Very hard to have multiple people on one jet ski
  • Not much of a backrest and it can be kind of awkward trying to sit correctly (people with bad backs will probably have problems)
  • Standing is also uncomfortable as you have to have one leg on each side to keep balance
  • Little storage compared to boats
  • There’s no electric motor, so you either have to keep the gas one on, anchor, or just drift
  • You use a lot of gas if you have to sit in neutral all the time, which also wears down the motor
  • The engine noise scares away the fish (most of my success came from casting very far away or when the engine is turned off)
  • Not many jet skis have a fish finder or space for extra tackle storage

What’s the best kind of fishing to do with a jet ski?

Whether it be trolling, deep-sea, river, bass, or pretty much any kind of fishing, jet skis can do it. Some may need some additional products such as rod holders or live wells, but they can still do it.

I feel that the best kind of fishing for fishing on a jet ski is ocean fishing (deep sea, reafs, etc.) or small river fishing. The reason I feel ocean fishing is so good for jet skis is that you don’t usually have to be close to land to catch fish.

If you have to stay near land, you will either have to keep it in natural or constantly have to turn off and on the engine to keep from drifting into the land (this is one of the biggest problems I ran into on Lake Michigan).

The reason why small river fishing may be good for jet skis is that you can obviously get to places that regular boats can’t. The downside is you will need to have the engine on to keep yourself from hitting the shore. This could scare fish away and waste a lot of gas.

What is the best fishing Jet ski?

As I said before, my favorite jet ski for fishing is the Sea-Doo Fish Pro. This is really the only jet ski made specifically for fishing (at least at the time I’m writing this). There are other jet skis that you can get specific attachments and products for that will make it good for fishing though.

For example, the Fish Pro already comes with a fish finder on it. You can get a fishfinder and install it on a different jet ski, but it is nowhere near as convenient as already having it on. The Fish Pro also has trolling modes and many other small details that just make it great for fishing.

What gear and attachments should you get for fishing on a jet ski?

If you want to troll or just want a place to put your fishing rods, get a rod holder. There are very nice ones such as this one here on Amazon that fits into the back of your ski and has space for a cooler. There are also other ones such as this one that works just as well but is significantly cheaper.

Also, fish finders are great and you can totally install one on a jet ski if yours doesn’t have one already. You could install something such as the Garmin Striker 4, or you could get a handheld fish finder such as this one here on Amazon. The handheld one is so easy because you don’t have to do any wiring or a custom install.

Check out what this guy has done to create the ultimate fishing ski:

Lastly, make sure you wear gloves. This is for all jet ski riders, but you don’t know how many times I’ve gotten blisters on my hands (one literally went to my bone) because I never wore gloves.


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