Don't be afraid to take it out on all of the metro reserviors. The pontoons are much more stable than some people think its just the wind that might give you problems when you are fishing. I was caught out at Aurora when the wind kicked up one day but I had no problem rowing sideways in the 2-3 foot waves, just don't try to go directly into the wind when its that bad. I also go out regularly to Chatfield and CC. I haven't gone to Quincy since it is under communist rule .
I don't know exactly where you live but I am out here by Chatfield and I know that the south ponds are a good place to start. I am assuming that you want to get out and test everything out. If so that is definetly a good idea since the rowing is something that needs practice when you first start out. I have seen beginners do more circles than a one legged duck if you know what I mean. It will also give you a chance to see what type of mods you may want to do to your pontoon. I sure couldn't leave mine the way I got it. Had to have a rod rack, trolling rod holder, fish measuring board. They sure are a lot of fun.
PVC tubing and some PVC glue. I had to keep it portable since I break my pontoon down every time I go so I mounted it to the framing where the seat is. I attached it using some bolts and wing nuts. I'll find some pics and post them up for you.
Here they are. The first is my rod rack that can hold up to 5 rods.
This is a pic of my trolling rod holder
And last is my measuring board that also doubles as a work station or whatever I need it for. It was one of the best ideas that I came up with.
Oh yeah I also carry a net with me. I used some split rubber hosing to act as a holder for my net. It is mounted on the outside frame. If you look closely in the top of the second pic you can see one of the two pieces of the black tubing.
Our are a little different then. Mine is the cabelas version of the fish cat cougar. They call it the panther and the only difference between mine and the cougar is that mine is 9' pontoons instead of 8'.