Boston Whaler 220 Duantless

The Best Fishing Boats – How To Choose

Are you looking to purchase one of the best fishing boats that meets your needs? You probably have found your favorite lure, rod, and fishing buddy is not half bad. Now let us help you find your fishing boat! At Skier’s Marine we want to be your trusted education source, even when we do not sell the product you are exploring.

As you consider the abundance of fishing boat options, you probably (and should) have many questions. These questions may sound like this: How do I pick a great fishing boat for my needs? What size boat should I purchase? What size motor do I need? We could go on!

Whether you are looking to participate in fishing tournaments or want the option to head out for an impromptu sunrise trip, these four key points will help you find the most effective fishing boat for your lifestyle.

Where do you plan on using your fishing boat?

Before diving into the different fishing boat brands and fishing boat sizes, it is important to decide where you plan to fish. Are you fishing in freshwater, saltwater, or both? To narrow down the types of boats you should research, first decide where you plan to use the boat.

If you frequent the lake, most freshwater spots have a 30-foot size restriction on fishing boats. In contrast, saltwater ways can accommodate larger vessels. Most inshore fishing also usually requires your fishing boat to be equipped with a trolling motor to help navigate the shallow areas of the water.

Best Fishing Boats - 2021 Tracker Pro 175

Saltwater fishing offers more flexibility on your boat’s size and the amount of horsepower needed to take you across the bay or ocean. If you plan to stay in the bay and near the shore, a smaller skiff or bay boat with a single outboard motor may be ideal for your family. Consider looking at a larger center console or cruiser with multiple engines (outboard or inboard) for bluewater fishing.Best Fishing Boats - Boston Whaler 220 Duantless

What kind of features does your fishing boat need?

Now that we know where we will fish, we can determine what features to look for in your perfect fishing boat.

When looking at fishing boat features, it is essential to consider how the features will benefit you and the passengers on board. Does it have enough seating or standing room for the number of people you plan to take fishing with you? A small aluminum bass boat may be all you need for you and a buddy on a local river or lake. Looking to go Marlin fishing a hundred miles offshore, a Boston Whaler Conquest 405 may be what you need.

For those in freshwater, a trolling motor, fishfinder, sonar, and a live well are probably at the top of your “must-haves” list. The quality of each of these components depends on your budget and level of experience.

Suppose you’re fishing in saltwater. In that case, you will want to look for similar features to the freshwater boats, plus radar, higher engine horsepower, and a large fuel capacity. Extra storage for all-day gear and perhaps outriggers, a bathroom, and a raw-water washdown could also be necessities. Center console fishing boats are great, sturdy options for a few hours offshore with some friends. Are comfort and family-friendly features top of your priority list? A walkaround boat with more seating and interior living space might be the right direction for you.

Which fishing boat brands are best?

The number of fishing boat brands available today is extensive and can be overwhelming. We recommend you do as much online research as possible using the above questions as your guide.

First, decide on the style boat that will fit your needs. Based on the information above, the main types of fishing boats are (subtypes also exist):

  • Fresh Water Use
    • Aluminum
      • Jon Boats
      • Fishing Boats
    • Fiberglass
      • Fishing Boats
  • Fresh Water/Saltwater Use
    • Plastic
      • Fishing Kayaks
    • Fiberglass
      • Skiffs
      • Center Console Hybrids
      • Center Consoles – Bay Boats
  • Saltwater Use
    • Fiberglass
      • Center Consoles – Oceanboats
      • Dual Consoles
      • Walkarounds
      • Convertibles

From here, we recommend you watch videos and visit the boat in person. It is important to touch and feel the boat and experience it on the water before purchasing.

Best Fishing Boats - 2021 Viking Yachts 42ST

According to a recent article in May of 2021, these are the best fishing boat brands:

  • Bertram (Flybridge Boats)
  • Boston Whaler (The Unsinkable Legends)
  • Grady White (High Used Boat Value)
  • Lund (Aluminum Fish)
  • Tracker (Aluminium Fish)
  • Viking (Convertible Yachts)

As with all boats, the engine manufacturer is as important as the boat manufacturer. Keep this in mind when considering the various fishing boat brands in your research. Yamaha and Mercury are two brands that Skier’s Marine trusts, and there are others with good reputations.

How do I find the right fishing boat for sale near me?

As always, we recommend finding a local dealer that you trust and one that has a reputable service center. There are many fishing boat dealers around the country. Start with your local dealers. They are typically are more invested in the longevity of their relationship with you as a customer. This desire to protect their local reputation gives them more incentive to take care of any issue that may arise quickly.


Once you have decided on the type of fishing boat you would like to purchase you can get more information on purchasing best practices in this article

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