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What Type of Fishing Boat is Best For You?

Fishing Boat

Do you love spending time outdoors fishing? If so, you need to have the right boat for the job. There are many different types of fishing boats on the market, and it can be tough to decide which one is right for you. Knowing what a boat can offer will help you sort out the ideal angling boat for you. In this article, we will discuss the different types of fishing boats available and help you choose the boat that is perfect for your needs.

20. Bay boats

They are perfect for shallow waters and can be used in both fresh and saltwater. These boats are usually between 18 and 24 feet long and have a shallow draft. This makes them ideal for people who want to fish in areas with lots of vegetation or near the shore. Bay boats usually have a capacity of four plus the captain, making them ideal for families.

19. Flats boats

These types of boats are great for shallow waters as well. They are smaller than bay boats, usually between 16 and 20 feet long. According to Discover Boating, they have a shallow draft and a flat bottom, which is perfect for angling in areas with little water. They are also very stable and easy to maneuver, hence easy to fish in skinny waters. Normally, flat boats have a capacity of three, the captain included.

18. Center console boats

Center console boats are a great option for those who want more room to move around while angling. They also offer a lot of storage space for all of your gear. They are among the most versatile and user-friendly fishing boats on the market. They offer wide visibility as you fish around and are perfect for both inshore and offshore trawling. The helm of center console boats is located in the middle of the console for great mobility and comes with an onboard toilet for your convenience. Center console boats come in various sizes ranging from 18-40 feet and have a capacity of 4-6 depending on the size.

17. Catamaran boats

Catamaran fishing boats are a good choice for those who want a stable platform to fish from while offshore. They are also good for those who want to explore and sightsee while they're out on the water. Catamarans are usually larger than other types of trawling boats, so they can accommodate more people and gear. They have two hulls connected by a frame, which makes them very stable, especially in unfavorable weather conditions. However, this also means that they are not as fast as other types of boats. Catamarans are usually 25-60 feet long and have a capacity of six or more people. The dual V hull provides a platform to cast. They are made of fiberglass or wood polyester combination, which gives a lighter boat with great strength.

16. Pontoon boats

Pontoon boats are the perfect option for anglers who want a relaxed day on the water. These boats offer plenty of space for fishing and relaxing, and they're stable and easy to maneuver. They have large decks, expandable Bimini, and high rails, making them ideal for trawling in rough waters. The safety of this boat makes it a favorite for families and the elderly. Pontoon boats start from 15 feet long, can accommodate more people, and are best for shore angling.

15. Bass boats

Anglers who want a fast and agile boat for chasing bass will love a bass boat. These boats are designed with fishing in mind, with features like live wells, storage for rods and tackle, and casting decks. According to Scout, these boats are the real deal, especially when catching fish in freshwaters like lakes or inshore. Bass boats are usually between 16 and 22 feet long, making them easy to trail and maneuver in tight spaces. They accommodate 2-4 people depending on size. Have an outboard and trolling motor, and you are good to go.

14. Jon boats

They are popular fishing boats that come in a variety of sizes from 8 to 24 feet long. Jon boats are known for their flat bottoms, making them suitable for catching fish in shallow waters. They're stable and easy to handle, making them a great choice for beginner anglers. Jon boats are usually powered by outboard motors, and they can accommodate up to four people. These Aluminum fishing boats are ideal for calm inland water fishing like creeks, ponds, rivers, and lakes.

13. Inflatable boats

Anglers who need to transport their boat in a small car or want to save storage space should go for inflatable boats. However, inflatable boats are not well-suited for use in rough waters or areas with lots of rocks or other obstacles like rivers. Inflatable boats have a capacity of 2-6 people and measure 15-25 feet. The hull design is important to consider when purchasing an inflatable boat. Some have a V, modified V-shaped hull that is good for cutting through waves, while others have a flat bottom that is better for stability in calm waters.

12. Kayaks

Kayaks are fishing boats that are designed to be used by one person. They are small and sleek, hence able to maneuver in tight spaces. One can transport them easily, and they are relatively inexpensive. They are best for angling in backwaters, flats, and rivers. Since they are operated manually, it requires the user to have some physical fitness and experience to control them. Kayaks are not an option for beginners. Most of them are 12-14 feet and made for one user.

11. Cuddy cabin boats

Cuddy cabin boats resemble a center console, only that cuddy cabin has an enclosed cabin in front. According to Salt Water Sportsman, these boats have some living amenities like a sleeping area and a small kitchen. This makes cuddy cabin boats for offshore angling. Most of them are 18-26 feet long and have a capacity of 4-6 people.

10. Pilothouse boats

Like the cabin boats, the Pilothouse boats have an enclosed cabin front. The difference is that pilothouse boats have no living area or the comfort of a cabin boat. They have a toilet and storage area. They come with large windshields and better visibility, making them suitable for open waters. Most of the time, they are used as commercial fishing vessels. Most of them are 26-40 feet and have a capacity of six people. The hull is mostly V, or deep V-shaped for stability and a smooth ride in open waters. They are usually made of Aluminum or resin wood combination.

9. Convertible boats

These are supreme sport fishing boats with a cabin that is convertible into an open space. This is the best option for those who want to fish in open and enclosed water and can have several days offshore. According to Fishing Booker, it is equipped with a strong engine and spacious living areas. Most of them are 30 feet and above and can accommodate six or more people. Convertible boats can be customized into luxurious boats, high-end sport fishing boats, or anything else.

8. Flybridge sport fishing boats

For people who want extended fishing days in the open waters, flybridge sport fishing boats are the best option. They have an upper deck that is best for trawling and relaxing. The living area is comfortable and large. You can go for outboard or inboard motors, either of which is powerful to navigate deep waters. You can also choose the V hull or modified one depending on your needs. They range from 30 feet and above and accommodate 6 people.

7. Deck boats

Deck boats are suitable for angling and also enjoying other water activities. They have a large deck space ideal for fishing without crowding at the back. Most of them come with the option of a live well which is a plus for bass fishing or deep-sea angling. You can also choose the Hull type, V, V modified, and deep V. They come in different sizes ranging from 15-26 feet with a capacity of 6 people and above, depending on the size.

6. Run about boats

Runabout boats are ideal for those who want a versatile fishing boat. They are available in different sizes, making them ideal for both small and large groups. According to Take me Fishing, they have a lot of storage space and can be used for different types of fishing. You can also use them for other activities like wakeboarding and skiing. You can customize it to fit your needs and choose an inboard or outboard drive. Runabout boats come in varying sizes ranging from 14-25 feet and have a capacity of 4 plus people. They are mostly used in open waters on good weather days or in protected waters.

5. Dual console boats

Dual console boats are best for those who want to fish with family or friends. They have a lot of space and can accommodate up to eight people. They have a lot of storage space and are great for catching fish in open waters. Unlike the center console, the dual-console has the helm on the side which gives you more space. It has a sitting space in front and at the back, making it ideal for family fishing activities. They come in sizes ranging from 16-30 feet and can work on any water.

4. Walk around boats

Walk-around boats are perfect for those who want to fish in both open and protected water. They have an enclosed cabin in front and an open fishing area all around, hence giving you the option of fishing in different waters. If you love fishing with your friends, walk-around boats will suit you. They have a lot of storage space and can accommodate up to eight people. Walk-around boats come in different sizes ranging from 16-30 feet.

3. Rowboat

It's one of the traditional fishing boats that are still in use. They are made of wood or aluminum and have two or more sets of oars. According to Boat biscuit, they can accommodate one to four people depending on the size. They are operated manually, making them perfect for those who want to fish in quiet waters. Rowboats come in different sizes ranging from 4.5- to over 32 feet. Modern rowboats are made of fiberglass or molded plastic. They have oarlocks, outriggers, and fishing rod holders. You can also get a motorized rowboat that is easy to operate.

2. Express cruiser

Express cruiser is a type of powerboat for people looking for more maneuverability on the deck. Deep-sea fishing, as well as overnight cruising, is the main target of this type of fishing boat. Smaller ones can work on large lakes too. It comes in different sizes and can range from 25-45 feet. Most of them provide stern or inboard drives since it is powered by a diesel engine, though you can choose to have an outboard drive. The hull is made of fiberglass, resin, or wood to withstand different water conditions. It comes with a V or deep V design which is popular for deep-sea fishing.

1. Airboats

Airboats use a large fan to propel themselves through the water. They are perfect for shallow waters since they can go over grass, sand, and mud. Airboats come in several sizes ranging from 6-30 feet with a capacity of up to four people. Airboats are also ideal for those who want to fish in both open and protected water.


Fishing is one of the most popular outdoor activities that most people and families enjoy. It is a great way to bond and relax. Fishing boats come in different types, shapes, and sizes, and each type of fishing boat has its own set of benefits and features. It is important to choose the right type of fishing boat that will fit your needs. Consider the type of fishing you want to do, the waters you will be fishing in, and the number of people you will be fishing with to choose the right fishing boat.

Dana Hanson

Written by Dana Hanson

Dana has extensive professional writing experience including technical and report writing, informational articles, persuasive articles, contrast and comparison, grant applications, and advertisement. She also enjoys creative writing, content writing on nearly any topic (particularly business and lifestyle), because as a lifelong learner, she loves to do research and possess a high skill level in this area. Her academic degrees include AA social Sci/BA English/MEd Adult Ed & Community & Human Resource Development and ABD in PhD studies in Indust & Org Psychology.

Read more posts by Dana Hanson

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