sun dolphin pro 120

Sun Dolphin Pro 120

We’ve found it.

The Rolls Royce of small fishing boats. The Sun Dolphin Pro 120 is the small water angler’s dream boat.

It’s the closest 2 man fishing boat available to a real bass boat yet it’s still small, plastic, and low maintenance.

While it’s my favorite small boat to fish from it does have just a couple of major drawbacks that probably keep most people from buying. Below we’ll cover all the details of this awesome boat and the few reasons it might not be for you.

Sun Dolphin Pro 120 Specs Comparison

Length: 11.3 ft
Width: 62″
Height: 24″
Capacity: 532 lbs
Weight: 238 lbs
Material: High density polythylene
Horsepower Rating: 10HP
Max Thrust Trolling Motor: 40lbs

How does this compare to other boats?

The Sun Dolphin Pro 120 is definitely the largest of the small fishing boats. Compared to the two most popular mini pontoon boats – the Pelican Bass Raider 10e and the Sun Dolphin Sportsman 10 – it’s about 1ft longer and almost 2ft wider!

While this wider profile definitely provides more comfort on the water it’s also the first potential deal breaker for this awesome boat. Why?

It’s too big to fit in the back of your pickup truck!

If you like the idea of throwing your boat in the back of your truck and heading to the lake this is not the boat for you. You’re going to need a small trailer to haul this boat around.

The good news is that the boat has a flat bottom so you don’t necessarily need a boat trailer. You can essentially slide it onto a small utility trailer like this:

As far as weight capacity goes the Sun Dolphin Pro 120 is about the same as the Sportsman 10 but still lower than the 600lb max capacity of the Bass Raider 10e. I find that a little hard to believe seeing as the Pro 120 is such a bigger boat than the Bass Raider…

If you plan on dragging your boat down to the water’s edge you won’t like this next part but you probably saw it coming. The 238 lb boat weight is much higher than the Bass Raider and Sportsman 10 at 145 lbs and 138 lbs.

And remember that’s the weight of the boat with nothing in it!

By the time you load it up with a trolling motor, battery, and all your gear you’re not going to want to drag this thing anywhere.

One BIG advantage this boat has over the other two is the horsepower rating. You can have up to a 10 horsepower motor compared to a 3.5 horsepower motor on the other two comparison boats.

So looking at the specs alone on this boat we already know the following:

  1. If you want a boat that will fit in your truck bed this isn’t the one for you. Plan on buying a small trailer with this boat.
  2. You’re gonna want to use a boat ramp or at least back that trailer right up to the waters edge rather than drag this boat around.
  3. If you plan on fishing a large(r) body of water and want a bigger motor, this might be the boat for you.

Sun Dolphin Pro 120 Features

There are just a few features that make this mini bass boat stand out above the rest and that’s what we’ll cover here.

Carpeted Casting Decks

For me, this is huge.

I prefer to stand most of the time while I’m fishing, especially if I’m flipping or pitching boat docks and heavy vegetation. Suurrree – if I’m throwing a swimbait or a chatterbait I’ll take a seat and wind ’em in.

Having a real casting deck to stand on is probably my favorite feature of this small fishing boat and it’s a bonus that there’s second deck in the back for my fishing partner!

The decks also provide for great storage on the boat which I’m a huge fan of. There are 3 storage compartments in the front deck and a battery compartment in the back which is pre-wired to connect to a trolling motor of your choice at the front.

Having these compartments and a dedicated place for your battery keeps the boat organized and gives your more room to move around.

My Pelican Bass Raider has exactly “0” storage and therefore every single thing you bring with you including your battery is taking up valuable floor space.

The Sun Dolphin Pro 120 is really the only small fishing boat with storage like this.

Aerated Livewell

Again, this is a feature that only the Sun Dolphin Pro 120 has.

If you want a livewell for the Sun Dolphin Sportsman or the Pelican Bass Raider you’re going to have to make one yourself out of a cooler (which you can) but it’s going to take up precious floor space.

I’ve read that crabbers use this boat specifically for the livewell but if it were mine it would just be used for the occasional big bass competition with friends or something like that.

Navigation Lights

The Pro 120 comes with navigation lights at the bow and a detachable stern light.

While this may not be the most exciting feature it is something that the other plastic fishing boats do not offer. It just might be a deciding factor for your boat purchase.

You should check with your state’s regulations on boat lighting to be certain the Sun Dolphin Pro 120 meets the requirements for you.

Sun Dolphin Pro 120 Accessories

Trolling Motor

The first thing you’ll need for any small fishing boat is a trolling motor. The Pro 120 has a flat mount area right next to the pre-wired electrical outlet.

This will accommodate your typical transom mount style, hand controlled trolling motor .

I would recommend going with a 55 lb thrust Minn Kota C2 Endura if you’re looking for a reliable hand controlled trolling motor.

If you’re like me, this just won’t do.

I prefer a foot controlled trolling motor so that I can keep both hands on my rod while steering.

I used to recommend the MotorGuide Bulldog trolling motors until they were discontinued. These were the only transom mount motors that had a foot pedal on the market that I’m aware of. Too bad…

But there’s still hope!

The Sun Dolphin Pro 120 can be modified to work with a foot controlled trolling motor!

All you need to do is build a small wood box to mount the motor to. I would recommend the Minn Kota Edge.

Here’s a great example of a homemade trolling motor deck mount:

Anchor

If you’ve never fished from one of these small plastic boats before you might not be prepared for dealing with wind.

Fishing on a windy day can be very tough, especially if you are using a hand controlled trolling motor. You’ll be repositioning after every cast and possibly during your retrieve.

It’s ANNOYING!

I always recommend using a shallow water anchor pole which is essentially a long pole you can stick in the mud and tie off to.

Shallow Water Anchor Pole

There are several to choose from but I would not recommend going with anything shorter than 8ft as at least 1ft is going into the mud and you would ideally want it to stick out of the water at least a foot.

The SuperStick has always been a favorite.

If you’ve got the money to spend – the Power-Pole Micro Anchor is as good as it gets. Silent and remote operated just like the real power poles made for bass boats.

Boat Cover

If you’re going to store your boat outside it would be a good idea to keep it covered. Sun Dolphin makes a cover specifically for the Pro 120 so you know it will be a perfect fit.

Pricing

Although the Pro 120 is widely available online and at big box retailers, the price tag is up there. It’s typically around $1900 – $2400.

Bass Pro Shops would be my choice to buy it from with this deal. Other online sellers look lower but then they add on $350 for freight and your back to even.

This is a pretty high price to pay for a 2 man plastic fishing boat. If it’s too rich for you, consider the Pelican Bass Raider 10e or even the Sun Dolphin Sportsman which can be found between $500 – $700.

If you’ve got your heart set on this boat you should try searching for a used Sun Dolphin Pro 120 for sale on craigslist or local fishing forums as they are often available.

At the beginning of this article I called it the Rolls Royce of small fishing boats – and it’s got the price tag to prove it!

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