One of the most popular water activities is fishing. It is something that you can do solo or with the whole family. Fishing can be done from land or boat, and is suitable for all levels from beginners to more advanced/professional. People who fish are often referred to as “anglers.” This will serve as a guide to anglers who are interested in purchasing a fishing boat; as well as share some general tips and information about fishing boats.
Purchasing a Fishing Boat
Whether you are just starting out or have been fishing for years, purchasing a fishing boat is a huge step and investment. There are a variety of things to consider when deciding which boat to purchase – your budget, what type of fishing you are wanting to do, if you will be in freshwater or saltwater, the size you want, add-on options, and finding a boat that fits your lifestyle. There are a handful of different types of fishing boats, and we will go over them below.
All Purpose: All purpose fishing boats are the most versatile out there. They are made of aluminum or fiberglass, and allow anglers to experiment with a variety of types of fishing.
Aluminum: These are one of the most popular fishing boats out on the water because of their budget-friendly price. They are also on the smaller side, so they are typically easier to haul around.
Bass: If you are wanting to fish for Bass predominantly, you will want to consider purchasing a bass boat. These boats are made specifically for Bass fishing, so they do not offer much flexibility. Typically, Bass boats are made of fiberglass and are lightweight enough to sit on top of the water so they can glide across it with as little disruption to the fish as possible.
Bay/Flat: If you are more of a saltwater flat angler, you will want to look into a bay or flat boat. These are specific to saltwater and flat areas for fishing, so you will need to make sure that is what you are looking for. However, there are also a few hybrid models out there that might be more versatile.
Center Console and Deck: These are different types of boats, but both are pretty standard designs. A center console boat features a single-deck, open hull where the helm is in the center of the boat. A deck boat features a large deck where the bow of the boat is the largest space. Center consoles are mainly used for fishing, and are preferred by more intermediate and professional anglers. Deck boats can be used for cruising and/or fishing, which make them a good option for beginner anglers or anyone looking to get into boating.
Ski and Fish: These are designed for both watersports and fishing. Although they are not more inclined for one or the other, they are a good all-around boat for watersports.
Pontoon: Pontoons are great for cruising, pulling tubes, and casting a line. They are very versatile and meant for people of all ages to enjoy. Pontoons are more geared towards freshwater use.
Multi-Hull Powerboats: If you are a more advanced angler, or plan on fishing in rough conditions, you will want to look into multi-hull powerboats, sportfishing yachts, and walkarounds. All of these are different builds of boats, but are meant for deep seas and or rough terrains such as foul weather and larger waves.
Fishing Boat Features
Now that you have decided which type of fishing boat you are wanting to purchase, it is also important to think about what kind of features or accessories you are wanting. These can include, but are not limited to, fishing rod holders, baitwells, livewells, coolers, tackle boxes, specialized gear and more. Some fishing boats are made with these features, but others are not, and you will have to purchase these as add-ons. This is where your budget comes back into play.
Purchasing a boat that is all inclusive is going to cost more than a “base model” boat. It is similar to purchasing a car that has a variety of model types. The types of features you want on your boat depend on what type of fishing you will partake in.
After Purchasing Your Fishing Boat
After you have decided what type of boat and features you want, it is time to purchase your boat. Once you have acquired your fishing boat, it is time to put it to use. While using your boat, you will want to make sure you know how to properly care for your new investment so you can keep it in pristine condition. You will want to read over your boat's specific manual, figure out its maintenance schedule, and make sure to keep up with it. Fishing boats require a bit more cleaning than regular boats because of the constant water from reeling your fish in, plus if you decide to clean your fish on your boat. You will want to make sure to clean it thoroughly after every use, and do a deep clean every so often.
If you keep up with your boat's maintenance, it will not only keep it looking good, but also will help it last longer. Boats are investments, and should be treated as such. Most importantly, now that you have your fishing boat, it is time to have fun – regardless of your experience level.