The 20 Best Jon Boat Accessories You Shouldn’t Be Without

Designed for fishing and hunting, the jon boat is a simple and affordable watercraft that’s perfect for outdoor enthusiasts. The lightweight construction and basic frame make it especially easy to use, but some people find that the lack of added features can limit the boat’s potential. Good thing there are tons of accessories you can buy after sales.

Jon boat accessories are pretty easy to find, and there are quite a few on the market today. But if you want to get your hands on only the best and most useful essentials for your watercraft, these top choices should max out your enjoyment and make your vessel all the more efficient and comfortable.

1. Seating

jon boat seats

Jon boats are typically designed with two or three fixed benches that stretch across the width of the boat to give you and your buddies a place to sit. But over long periods of fishing and hunting, those jon boat seats can get pretty uncomfortable. Fortunately, there are lots of better options on the market.

Choose a seat that offers substantial seating space and comfortable padding to accommodate your rump during long bouts of fishing. For a little added versatility, you can also opt to purchase a chair mount that swivels that lets you turn and face various directions without having to leave your seat.

We recommend the Wise Series Molded Fishing Boat Seat with Marine Grade Cushion Pads and pair it with the Attwood Seat Mount with Swivel.

2. Cup Holders

jon boat necessities

Nothing could be better than floating along with a cold drink in one hand a fishing rod in the other. Too bad jon boats don’t typically come with cup holders. On the upside, you could always just a buy a couple of holders and mount them to the inside of your boat.

There are lots of different cup holder designs available, including choices that can fold into themselves to stay out of the way when you don’t need them. If you’re looking for something a little sleeker, you could try steel cup holders that give off a cleaner, less cluttered look.

We like the Camco Adjustable Drink Holder or for something more durable, check out the Palmyth Stainless Steel Boat Ring Cup Holder.

3. Sportsman Trunk

storage trunk

No one wants to move around on a cluttered jon boat. But because these boats are designed with minimal storage and compartments, it becomes tough to keep a tidy boat especially if you don’t buy a separate storage trunk for all of your essentials.

A storage trunk designed for outdoor use can provide ample space and protection for your most valuable essentials. Make sure you choose something that’s designed to withstand sun exposure, moisture, and demanding environments to keep your stuff safe and sound.

We love the durability of the YETI LoadOut GoBox Case.

4. Navigational Lights

jon boat lights

Just like any other vessel, jon boats need to have navigational lights to help other watercrafts make the necessary navigational decisions relative to your position on the water. In layman’s terms, navigational jon boat lights help others determine where you’re boat is facing, what direction you’re going, and how to avoid an accident, especially in low light and low visibility situations.

Colored LED strips can be a cost-effective way to make your boat more visible in the dark. As any other watercraft, you’re going to need a red light on your port side and a green one on the starboard side.

We recommend getting some of these LED Row Marine Navigation Light Strip Kit.

5. Marine Flashlight

marine flashlight

On the topic of lights, it’s equally important that you bring along a worthy flashlight. You’ll never know when you find yourself in fog, rain, or darkness, or when you might need a little extra light to look into potential damage on your boat.

But not just any flashlight will do. There are tons of flashlights designed specifically for use in the water. Those that withstand water exposure and float when they fall overboard can be particularly helpful when you’re on a boat.

Try out the Floating Waterproof LED Flashlight by Dorcy.

6. Fish Finder

fishfinder

Even an expert fisherman could use some help now and again. If you want to make sure you come home with a cooler full of fish every time you shove off from the shore, then it might be time to invest in a fish finder.

These nifty gadgets detect fish by way of sonar, and may even be able to accurately tell you how far the fish are from your boat. Manufacturers offer a range of designs and features for these devices, but the most efficient ones should tout user friendliness and accurate sonar performance to lead you down the right way.

Look into getting yourself the Garmin Fishfinder with Chirp Transducer.

7. Rod Holders

rod holder with combo mount

Holding on to a rod for extended periods of time can put strain on your fingers and wrists, especially if you’re in for a long wait. Fortunately, you don’t really need to keep your clutches on your rod if there isn’t a nibble just yet.

Rod holders that mount to your boat’s gunwale can keep your rods in place while you wait for a catch. Some designs sit fixed against your boat, while others use hinges and joints to let you position your rod to your liking.

We like the Adjustable Powerlock Rod Holder with Combo Mount by Bekith.

8. Bite Alarm

bite alarm

One thing you’ll realize once you have your rods set up in their designated holders is that the task of having to check on them every so often can be pretty repetitive. That’s why bite alarms can come in pretty handy especially if you’re using holders.

Designed to tell you when you’ve got a bite, these alarm attach to your rod and detect the movement of a fish on the other end of the line. With a bunch of holders and alarms, you can have a number of rods in place while you sit back and wait for a bite.

We find these Electronic Bite Alarm Indicator Sound Bite Alarm by Freetoo.

9. Trolling Motor

trolling motor

Trolling can be a smart way to attract fish and expedite the gratification of your entire trip. Of course, the only way to troll the water would be to use a trolling motor. These engines are designed with much lower thrust than the average motor. The reason for this is to let you move at a slower pace so your bait mimics the movement of live fish.

Trolling motors need a mount and the motor itself, which can be purchased as a set. Thrust depends mostly on the weight of your boat. But as general rule, you should have two pounds of thrust for every 100lbs of boat and gear.

Try out these Bow Mount Electric Trolling Motor by Haswing.

10. Bilge Pump

bilge pump

You’re going to get water in your jon boat - that’s just how it is. As you wrestle fish and pull them on board, or when you confront rough conditions, it’s expected that you’ll welcome some water into your vessel. And while it shouldn’t really sink your boat, it can make things pretty uncomfortable.

A bucket can be a practical, cost-effective solution to get unwanted water out of your jon. But if you want something a little more efficient, then a bilge pump might be worth looking into. These devices can get rid of water at a rate of 5000L per hour, which is way more than you need but handy nonetheless.

You can always use the Freegrace Premium Collapsible Bucket or for a more efficient way, we recommend the Submersible Boat Bilge Water Pump by Maxzone.

11. Tool Kit

tool box

A tool kit is one of those things you never want to have to use, but you’d be happy to have around if the situation calls for it. There’s no telling what kind of circumstances you might face while you’re out on the water, and a tool kit helps make sure that you’re ready for whatever comes your way.

So, what should your tool kit have? Marine pliers, a multi-tool, some wrenches and screwdrivers, spare batteries, duct tape, cable ties, and drain plugs all bundled together in a space-saving tool box should be more than enough for quick repairs.

We recommend the Plastic Tool Box by RovyVon to keep all your tool in the one place.

12. Cooler or Live Well

live bait cooler

A live well is a specialized cooler that works to keep caught fish and bait alive. This maintains the freshness of your catch, and ensures that your bait remains enticing to predators waiting to take a snap at your line.

Some live wells use a pump system that aerates the inside to keep fish in a more natural temporary containment. But for those on a budget, a simple cooler should be more than enough to satisfy your needs.

We found the Live Bait Cooler by Engel works really well.

13. Waterproof Bag

dry bag

If your jon boat has limited space, then you might not have room for a storage trunk. Or maybe you do have one on board, but you just don’t want to toss your clean clothes and other personal effects in with your fishing gear.

In that case, you might find that a waterproof bag comes in handy. These bags are measured in liters, and provide ample, safe storage space for your most valuable and important necessities. Waterproof material ensures that no moisture will penetrate the bag even when submerged, making it ideal for gadgets and clothes.

We love to always have the Waterproof Dry Bag by Heeta on board.

14. Waterproof Phone Pouch

waterproof phone pouch

Modern day fisherman are never without their smartphone. But because the rough conditions of a fishing boat might put your phone at risk of falling over or getting wet, it helps to keep it secure in a waterproof phone pouch.

These pouches are a dime a dozen, so you could probably buy a bunch to have them at the ready whenever they’re necessary. Just make sure you’re buying a design that promises zero water penetration to guarantee the safety of your device.

The Joto Universal Waterproof Pouch for Cellphone is a must on any trip on the water.

15. Emergency Oars

emergency oars

Most jon boats use a motor to navigate the waters - things are just easier and faster that way. And while your motor might be a dependable workhorse, there’s really no way to anticipate when it might break down or give up on you.

Being stuck without a paddle can be a major drawback and may even be reason for you to call for help. But if you’ve got a set of oars on board, then you should be able to paddle back to land - albeit with a little effort. Telescoping emergency oars can also help save space on board so they don’t eat up too much of your storage area.

We found it's important to have the Attwood Emergency Telescoping Oars on board.

16. Oar Locks

oar locks

Since you might find yourself in a situation that needs a set of oars, might as well toss in a few oar locks. These little accessories keep your oars in place so you can paddle back to dry land without overworking your arms.

Some oar locks fix to your boat’s gunwales permanently, while others can be attached and removed to suit your needs. Zinc plated steel oar locks are usually the most durable, providing weatherproof performance that withstands significant wear and tear.

If you need to use your emergency oars, it's handy to also get yourself some Clamp-On Oar Locks by Sea Dog.

17. Mushroom Anchor

mushroom anchor

An anchor should keep you stable in the water and fixed in your position even when confronted with moderately strong waves. Since you’re on a jon boat, you’re not going to need an extra large or heavy anchor, especially if you don’t really have too much gear or such a big vessel.

In most cases, an 8 to 12 lbs mushroom anchor should be enough to keep your boat steady. If you want to step up the weight just in case, remember that your anchor will be on-board when not in use, and that could add to the overall weight of your boat.

We recommend the Danielson Mushroom Pe Coat Anchor to keep you steady.

18. Anchor Cleats

anchor cleats

There’s no point in using an anchor if you don’t have cleats to tether it to your boat. Anchor cleats are inexpensive and easy to install, requiring no more than a few screws to secure to your jon boat.

There are lots of different kinds of cleats using various materials, but if you want something that will last, you might want to look into galvanized iron cleats that can stand up to even the toughest conditions.

These Galvanized Iron Dock Cleats by Simplified Living are great!

19. Bimini Top

bimini top

If you expect that you might find yourself exposed to harsh sunlight while you’re out, then a bucket hat might not provide sufficient protection. In that case, a job boat canopy might be a good investment.

Also called a jon boat bimini top, these covers provide maximum shade that keeps you from having to confront the sweltering heat of the sun. Just remember that a bimini top might have to be removed when there’s strong wind, so buy a design you can easily take down should the situation call for it.

Try out the Bimini Top Canopy Sun Shade by Nisorpa.

20. Storage Cover

boat cover

Finally, it pays to make sure your boat is stored safe and sound when it isn’t in use. And while you might have space in your garage just for your boat, it doesn’t hurt to buy a durable cover to keep dust and dirt at bay.

A rugged jon boat storage cover should keep your boat protected from filth, moisture, and various other elements. Before you throw it on though, make sure you dry out your boat and give it a good clean down to prevent residual moisture from turning into mold and mildew.

It's essential to protect your jon boat, we recommend the Classic Accessories StormPro Heavy Duty Tri-Hull Cover.

All the Bells and Whistles

There’s a lot you could add to your jon boat to get the best out of its use. Various parts, accessories, and essentials won’t only expand your boat’s functionality, but also provide you more convenience and efficiency every time you push off of the shore.

With the right jon boat accessories, you might just find yourself reeling in more fish than you did before. So make sure you check out our recommendations for the most helpful jon boat necessities to help you achieve the ultimate fishing experience.