Angler Qwest 820 Pro Fish

March 2016 Boat Test Monday PDB Staff

This article originally appeared in our 2016 Shootout issue. If you are interested in seeing this in print along with 28 other boat reviews, click HERE to purchase the back issue.

Three Things

The center console layout, ample tackle storage, plus a great performance kick all highlight this serious fishing model from Angler Qwest. 

Breakdown

Some purpose-built boats you can look at for the first time and know they’re going to be a hit and that’s the case with this pontoon. We took notice of it last year when it was first released and while we wouldn’t have thought it could be possible at that time, somehow the engineers were able to actually improve the 2016 version.

Starting at the center console, the T-Top from Fishmaster is new and it now has the option to pivot forward for easier storing. The actual dash was designed for great visibility for both sitting and standing drivers and mounted right in the center on this specific boat is a Humminbird Helix 5 GPS map. On each side of the GPS are well-labeled rocker switches with multi-function gauges below. Controls for the Prospec stereo are near the 12-volt outlet and USB/Auxiliary port and because the radio is Bluetooth capable, we especially like the Ram Mount cell phone holder that is close by.

The stainless steel steering wheel includes a power knob for quicker turning and because it does tilt, you can easily adjust it for your driving preference. For 2016 the helm bench seat has been lowered slightly since the builder discovered more pontoon owners prefer to sit while driving, yet with the taller seatback that folds forward, those who would like to stand still have something to lean against. Plus there’s even a fold-down foot rail so the driver can really get comfortable.

Forward of the helm in the bow is one of three livewells. It’s built into a bench seat and the aerated livewell is on its own pump. Behind the helm chair is a baitwell that again is on its own pump and the third livewell is located in the stern. Did we mention this boat is for serious fishing? The newly designed Rear U-Wall Fish Station in the stern includes a larger livewell than last year’s model, more rod holders and a larger cleaning area that includes a high-pressure wash-down.

Over the years we’ve been surprised to see some great fishing models that came up short on tackle storage, but that isn’t the case with this Angler Qwest. There are four fishing chairs, two in the bow and two in the stern, and in three of those corners are individual fishing stations that include pullout tackle storage with the fourth corner designated for the stern gate. Also, below the helm bench on the side is an area for even more tackle trays and on the other side are actual pullout drawers for pliers and other fishing-specific tools. Throughout the boat there are some other great storage areas and included with the T-Top is a clip-on storage bag that is ideal for storing lifejackets. 

Inspection  

Three 23-inch diameter baffled pontoons are the base of this boat and integrated into the design are splash guards on the nosecones and a full-length keel. There are also lifting strakes on all the tubes, plus a 25-inch transom. 

Handling

We must confess, we were pleasantly surprised by just how zippy this pontoon performed. Paired with a Suzuki 150hp four-stroke we easily reached the 40 mph mark, but it was how effortless she banked in the turns that we really loved. 

Final Thoughts

The AQ 820 Pro Fish is the perfect fishing machine for the weekend fisherman as well as a great platform for a professional guide since it can fish eight people comfortably. 

2016 Boat Specifications

Number of Occupants             12

Maximum Speed                      40.6 mph                   

Wild Ponies                             150 hp

No. of Gates                           4

0-20 MPH                                3.0 seconds   

Ladder Measurement              3’ 7” deep

Why we love this boat…For serious fishing, it would be hard (if not impossible) to find a better fishing-specific pontoon on the market. This ‘toon is loaded!

Just being picky…There is extra storage room built into the back of the stern livewell, but we’d like to see a solid door here instead of a just a snap-over, since it faces the water. 

PDB Days Reader Choice Feedback

"I like the tackle boxes, livewell and overall layout."

"This boat is built like a true center console boat, which makes it a great fishing model."

NOTABLE STANDARDS

Fiberglass center console w/ aerated livewell, stainless steel steering wheel w/ power knob, 2 LED courtesy lights, Prospec stereo, universal cell phone holder, stainless steel cup holders, 4 folding fishing seats, 2 forward and 1 rear corner tackle storage units w/ vertical rod holders and cup holders, breakdown T-Top, fiberglass capt. Stand w/ built-in aerated baitwell, internal tackle storage boxes and storage drawers along w/ additional storage for gear and/or batteries, fold-down foot rest, console storage door w/ additional foot rest, Rear U-Wall fishing station w/ livewell, built-in measuring board, high-pressure raw water wash-down, rocket launchers and vertical rod holders, LED nav. lights, extra wide transducer mounts on both tubes. 

OPTIONS ON TEST BOAT

Gen. II Triple Tube pkg. (center tube, lifting strakes on all 3 tubes, hydraulic steering, aluminum underskin, trim gauge, 25 gal. built-in fuel tank, 25-inch transom), gray teak flooring upgrade, Humminbird Helix 5, LED docking lights, individual seat and console covers, half front gate w/ trolling motor harness, Saltwater pkg., and plugs and Sharkhide. 

VITAL STATS

LOA                  21’ 6”

Beam                 8’

Hull Design     Three Pontoons

Dry Weight       1900 lbs.

Fuel Capacity    25 gallons 

TEST DRIVE

Engine                                                             Suzuki DF150TX

Cylinder Type                                                 In-line 4

Cubic-inch Displacement/Horsepower           174.9ci/150hp

Lower Unit Gear Ratio                                   2.50:1

Propeller                                                          16 X 20 

RPM     vs.   SPEED    vs.   DB-A

Idle                  2.6                  N/A

1000                4.1                  N/A

1500                6.1                  N/A

2000                8.2                  N/A

2500                13.2                N/A

3000                18.6                N/A

3500                23.6                N/A

4000                28.9                N/A

4500                33.1                N/A

5000                37.1                N/A

5500                40.6                N/A

St. LouisMich.

989-681-4300 

www.qwestpontoons.com

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