Types of Fishing Boats
Have you ever dreamed of hitting the open water in a boat, enjoying your favorite sport with friends? If so, you know that having the right equipment is essential for success. The types of fishing boats that you use can have a huge impact on your ability to catch fish and enjoy your time out in the water.
At one time, fishing boats were (relatively) simple vessels designed to carry a few anglers out onto the water. Nowadays, there is an overwhelming array of fishing boat types available for recreational and commercial use.
From center console boats to pontoon boats and beyond, every type of fishing vessel comes with its unique features and advantages — not to mention drawbacks. In this blog post, we’ll explore some of the most common types of fishing boats so that you can decide which style best suits your needs on the water!
We’ll cover everything from small river crafts, pontoons, and Jon barges up to offshore-use center consoles – so read on to find out more!
Small Types of Fishing Boats
A rowboat is a small, lightweight, and maneuverable craft propelled either by oars or an outboard motor.
If you’re in the market for an uncomplicated and cost-effective boat, then a rowboat is worth considering. These vessels provide more space than kayaks or canoes while remaining stable on lakes and ponds – perfect conditions if you have children who are looking to enjoy watersports.
Rowboats also come with minimal fixtures such as bench seating but customarily offer ample room beneath decks to store fishing tackle (Fishing tackle is the equipment used by fishers. Almost any equipment or gear used for fishing can be called fishing tackle. Some examples are hooks, lines, sinkers, floats, rods, reels, baits, lures, arrows, spears, nets, gaffs, traps, waders, and tackle boxes.). An ideal choice when it comes to getting around small bodies of water!
Rowboats come in a diverse range of sizes and prices, ranging from an inflatable model costing as little as $100 to handcrafted wooden boats for over $20K. Those looking for an adventure on moving waters may want to invest in the tried and true drift boat – perfect for fishing over shallow or deep river beds; though some caution is advised when rowing these vessels into deeper lakes or oceans!
With modern rowboats, a variety of materials and designs are available to suit any need – from the simple inflatable rubber flat-bottomed boat for leisurely paddles in calm waters, to more robust aluminum or glass builds with stronger hulls. Some even come equipped with outboard motors or the option for one; otherwise, traditional rowing is still an available choice.
2. Jon Boat
A Jon boat is a flat-bottom vessel that can navigate most types of waterways, including shallow creeks and calm lakes.
Jon boats are ideal for anglers looking for a no-frills approach to fishing expeditions, a lightweight alternative to bass or flats boats. Ranging in size from 10 – 20 feet, these aluminum craft feature bench seating up to three and ample storage room, allowing you the flexibility of transporting your tackle effortlessly.
Additionally, more modern models come in the light yet durable fiberglass or polyethylene construction materials that do not compromise functionality but provide an enhanced level of longevity. With their simple design combined with affordability and convenience—Jon boats make a great choice for any recreational fisherman!
Jon boats are an ideal choice for anglers wanting to explore waters such as lakes, ponds, and larger rivers. Though near-shore fishing may not be recommended in Jon boats due to their size restrictions; bay fishing is still a viable option available! These vessels offer a no-fuss option when it comes to transport – with some requiring nothing more than the back of a truck!
You have a choice between manual rowing or fitting them with outboard trolling motors – making your time spent on lakes, ponds, and bigger rivers even more enjoyable. With the addition of a simple outboard trolling motor, they can be navigated through almost any conditions from marshes and swamps all the way upriver.
Fishing solo, with the ability to access shallow or remote waters? The sit-on-top fishing kayak is your best bet. Rising as an increasingly popular choice, this type of fishing boat offers an array of sizes from 6′ to 16′. Most suitable for fishing are those between 9 and 13 feet which can provide you with great maneuverability while still enabling decent speed.
Shorter options provide more maneuverability while longer ones offer up speed; however, when it comes down to fishing you’ll want something that allows flexibility rather than full-on velocity capabilities.
That’s not all! Even better news: installing trolling motors on some models will liberate you from having to paddle and fish at the same time! An absolute must if managing both rod and net simultaneously proves too challenging during landings in your cozy little ride!
Kayaks are the perfect way to explore any body of water, from lakes and ponds to oceans. They come in different designs tailored for every type of environment so you can pick just the right one for your needs – if fishing is what draws you out on calm waters then a specialized kayak will be ideal!
But whatever kind it is – there’s an appropriate price tag that comes with it: used models start at around $100 but sea-worthy vessels could cost up to $3,000 or more depending on build materials and propulsion systems like pedal drives.
Fishing kayaks offer a unique and exciting experience for the solitary angler, offering convenience and ease of transport! However, they don’t have more room on these vessels. Not only are these vessels perfect for navigating small creeks to access hard-to-reach fish spots; some models even feature raised seating so that you can see what’s ahead in shallow water.
Additional extras such as rod holders live bait storage racks, and more make it easy -and safe – to bring all of the supplies required on your journey. With a little physical fitness required to power your vessel, fishing from a kayak can be an enjoyable challenge for both inshore and offshore big game fishermen alike.
Kayaking offers the opportunity to explore remote and shallow waterways that are inaccessible by other vessels, making it perfect for fishing in flats or mangroves. The small size also means they can be easily transported on larger boats like center consoles.
However, kayaks require more manual labor than regular ships—paddling requires stamina! Also, there’s limited storage capacity onboard – meaning your packing skills need to be on point! This activity may not be suitable for complete beginners so it’s best practiced with experienced guides in a group setting while taking extra safety precautions when venturing offshore.
The canoe is an excellent choice for shallow and slow-moving rivers. They are lightweight and portable, they can be carried around by one person or two with ease.
Canoes provide superior mobility and convenience while out fishing. Boasting lightweight designs with pointed bows and sterns or blunt backs to accommodate small motors, canoes give fishermen of any level access to ponds, lakes, and waterways of varying depths.
Ranging from 8-23 feet in length, the optimal size for angling is between 8’ -13′. Constructed of wood, aluminum, fiberglass, or molded plastic materials; these vessels make a perfect fit for ponds and lakes of any depth – allowing even those with limited space access to some prime sportfishing opportunities.
Canoeing is an ideal way to explore tranquil in-shore waters while fishing. Shorter canoes tend to be more affordable, ranging from $150 (used) up to around $700, however, full-length canoe models may cost over $2000 when handcrafted.
Features such as trolling motors add further ease while also preventing one from having to constantly use oars.
The only major downside when fishing off these types of fishing boats is maintaining balance should multiple anglers be on board; an easily avoidable occurrence through proper preparation before embarking on your journey!
However, if extra features are needed for an enhanced experience, there are specialized fishing canoes that come with added modifications such as elevated seating positions & storage racks. To ensure maximum stability during those unpredictable moments when out on choppy waters opt for flat hulls made from lightweight materials which makes transportation effortless!
5. Inflatable Boat
Inflatable boats are a great option for those wanting to explore the open waters without breaking their pocket. These vessels are designed with air chambers and inflatable tubes that protect the exterior walls against water damage, making them lightweight, durable, and easy to transport.
Inflatable boats tend to be more cost-effective in comparison to other vessels as they range between $300 -$1000 depending on size. There’s plenty of room for equipment such as rods and supplies, allowing anglers to tackle any sized catch!
With lots of extra features like adjustable seating positions, paddles, oars & trolling motors; these versatile vessels provide an enjoyable and safe experience for any angler regardless of skill level.
Inflatable boats also feature advanced safety benefits due to their air-filled walls and deep keels which provide increased stability in choppy seas, a major plus when fishing in unpredictable waters! They come with the bonus of easy storage, simply deflate and roll up – making them an ideal choice for those tight on space at home or out on the water.
Perfect for navigating white-water rapids, these vessels are great options when you want some extra thrills on a river. With lengths ranging from 15 to 25 feet and capable of carrying 2–6 passengers plus a captain, these vessels provide maximum excitement while offering optional amenities like bimini shades and bait tanks. But don’t forget: expect to get wet during this daring adventure!
RIBs, or Rigid Inflatable Boats, are the perfect option for those looking to traverse rough waters and transport quickly. They offer more storage space than standard inflatables and benefit from a fiberglass or aluminum hull that provides extra durability – though you may still get wet!
Skiffs are the perfect vessels for fishing off shallow waters, providing extra protection from wind and waves. They can navigate through waters as skinny as 12 inches. They offer a variety of sizes ranging from 15 to 25 feet with open deck designs that allow for easy access to equipment and supplies.
These types of fishing boats come equipped with safety features like built-in railings and non-skid surfaces which make them ideal choices when you’re looking for a reliable way to fish inshore while remaining protected against rough weather conditions. Powered by either outboard motors or sails, they provide an enjoyable ride through tranquil waters!
Skiffs come in a range of designs, with hulls made from wood or fiberglass (or both!) and V-shape, modified V, or flat hull options. Prices can vary drastically.
Small models such as 12 feet skiff kits start from around $600 in plans to build your boat up to buying one used at approximately $1850 – with new starting roughly at $4500 and running until an impressive 34-foot model that costs upwards of eighty-five thousand dollars. It is possible to make do without powerful motors if smaller outboards combined with trolling engines suffice!
With two people and a captain, the flat-bottom skiff is ideal for shallow-water fishing. Perfectly suited to calm waters with no engine noise that could startle fish away; enjoy unhindered visibility thanks to its signature bow mounted right up front. However, limited storage space onboard plus sensitivity to weather means you’ll need sun protection as well as your belongings!
7. Deck Boat
Deck boats are the perfect choice for larger groups, equipped with a spacious cabin and plenty of seating.
Powerful outboard motors provide enough thrust to push these vessels through choppy seas while convertible tops allow passengers to enjoy some sunbathing during their voyage! With storage space below decks and room to move around – deck boats are great fun on lake or sea trips alike!
Hull options such as modified V, deep V, and traditional V offer an array of choices for those who wish to explore the oceans. Built with sturdy fiberglass material, these types of fishing boats are well-crafted for oceanic use and provide a high level of safety assurance.
Those looking to take their leisure fishing game up a notch should consider deck boats – they feature ample living space along with amenities suitable for both short trips or extended family outings. Deck boat engines usually deliver good power output that allows you not only to fish but also enjoy activities including tubing & water skiing!
Deck boats are the perfect combination of features for a fishing adventure. With sizes ranging from 15’ to over 26′, there’s something for every angler, whether you choose a used or brand new model – prices can range between $5500 and up to more than $100,000.
Inboard and outboard engines are available on many models, allowing extra flexibility when it comes time to hit the water; however, they do require deeper waters such as larger lakes and oceans due to their size restrictions in smaller areas.
If you’re looking for a versatile boat to meet your multipurpose recreational needs, the runabout is an excellent option. With its myriad of customization features, it can accommodate any activity – be it fishing or swimming! Outboard motors are more affordable yet just as effective.
Runabouts were not intended for fishing, their ample seating can make it difficult to do so. Nonetheless, more dedicated anglers have found success by utilizing models that come with an inboard drive and a large back swimming platform which serves as the perfect base for casting lines out into bays or inland waterways.
Runabouts typically feature modified V hulls made either of fiberglass (for lower-end prices)or wood(at higher-end costs). Due to its shallow water design however, they are best suited for lakes and bigger ponds; less ideal situations like choppy waters may lead to costly repairs if attempted with these types of fishing vessel.
Prices vary widely depending on age – used boats start around $4 500 while brand new ones range between 15 000-225000 USD (and even higher).
9. Bass Boat
For the angler looking for a fishing-focused vessel to take them out on their favorite body of water, Bass Boats offer undeniable advantages. For added convenience, you can even outfit your boat with both an outboard motor and trolling engine – allowing ultimate control over where it takes you! Whether in search of aluminum or fiberglass construction, there is something available within every price range; from mid-$10k’s entry-level 16′ models up to luxurious 26ft tournament grade rigs costing nearly $110K+.
Bass boats are the ideal choice for anglers looking to maximize deck space in a small area without sacrificing power and speed. Their V-hull design allows them to gain significant speeds while their flat hulls can take you into ultra-shallow waters. Bass boats feature large live wells, lots of storage options tailored towards fishing gear, as well as a range of electronics like fish finders – making it more than ready for any tournament or recreational activity!
For the serious angler looking to target bass, multi-species boats are a must. With comfortable seating for two to four people and plenty of storage space, these vessels provide an exceptional fishing experience – perfect for landing largemouths, smallmouths, and rock bass. Although they can be pricier than alternatives, these vessels may not meet all fishing needs – namely those of trout or salmon aficionados looking for larger groups on board.
Mid-sized Types of Fishing Boats
10. Bay Boat
Saltwater anglers looking for an ideal boat to fish coastal bays and inshore areas will appreciate the features of a bay boat. Built with raised decks on both the bow and stern, they provide increased visibility while fishing from above – allowing you to quickly spot potential catches and cast them out accurately. With lengths ranging from 16′ – 28′, these types of fishing boats remain popular in gulf regions due to their wave handling capabilities as well as roomy design that allows up to four fishermen or women at once!
Fishing boats are popular in larger bays due to their low profile and higher freeboard, allowing them to navigate shallow waters while stability when conditions are more choppy. These versatile vessels can range significantly in price depending on the size of the craft–ranging from used models starting at $9800 up to fully decked-out new boats costing $395,000 or more. Generally constructed out of fiberglass (though some have fiberglass/wood combinations), these fishing crafts provide anglers an opportunity for a great outdoor experience!
Bay boats are popular fishing vessels because of their user-friendly design and ability to handle high speeds in shallow waters. Their modified V hull allows them to navigate 10” – 12″ depths, making them perfect for inshore anglers who don’t want to venture far offshore. However, they can be a tight squeeze when flyfishing with four people on board: 16′ is the maximum size recommended due to limited space aboard smaller models. As such, bay boats offer more modest excursions compared to deeper-draft flats boat counterparts that feature poling platforms for accessing shallower water conditions.
11. Walkaround Boat
Walkaround boats are a great option for fishermen looking to explore both fresh and saltwater environments. These center console designs offer plenty of room so anglers or passengers can move throughout, making them perfect for navigating bays, coastlines, rivers – even the deep sea!
Walkarounds are a great option if you need a versatile fishing vessel that can handle both open waters and shallow coves with ease. These mid-sized boats feature higher sides than their bay counterparts, making them better suited for rougher seas conditions while still providing plenty of space to move around freely when angling. Powered by outboard motors, these vessels often boast up to triple power!
Walkaround boats come with many features designed for comfort and convenience – including large storage lockers, dinette seating (for overnight trips!), rod holders, and live wells/bait tanks. Overall, walkaround boats are a great choice for anglers who need a little more room and power than the bay boat can provide. They are perfect for larger groups of friends or family looking to fish open waters or explore shallow coves without sacrificing performance or luxury.
The catamaran is a popular choice among offshore anglers due to its stability and open layout. Catamarans are usually built with two parallel hulls, providing superior stability on the water. This makes them great for when you need to stand up and cast without rocking too much.
They also feature plenty of room for gear and people; some even have multiple decks so multiple people can fish at once. Larger models may even come with cabins for overnight trips or luxury features like wet bars and staterooms!
Catamarans are generally powered by outboard motors but can also be set up with stern drives or even inboard motors. They are great for deep-sea fishing, as they can handle larger ocean swells and higher speeds than other boats. However, their large size means they may not be the best option if you’re looking to fish shallow coves or rivers. Catamarans provide plenty of space and stability for offshore anglers who venture out into open waters.
Featuring aerodynamic designs that use less energy, they help save you money while still providing plenty of flexibility in size and price – from shorter 20′ models priced under $25K to luxurious 70′ yachts over $3M! Not only are these boats capable of cruising rough waters inshore or offshore, but also bring low fuel costs due making them perfect for fishing trips with friends.
The smaller models boast affordability and robustness even in rough waters while the larger varieties come at a luxury price tag but provide more comfort without sacrificing performance.
With the right setup, it can become a luxurious home away from home – complete with all the amenities needed for a successful fishing trip!
Pontoon boats generally feature two or three tubes (or “pontoons”) that provide stability on the water. They are relatively inexpensive compared to other boats – and require less maintenance due to their simple design.
Another great feature is their shallow drafts, which allow them access to shallow coves and rivers inaccessible by deeper draft vessels.
Most pontoon boats feature outboard motors, but some models can be equipped with stern drives or even inboard motors for extra power. Pontoon boats come with a variety of amenities depending on your budget – from small fishing benches to luxurious interiors complete with wet bars and loungers!
For anglers looking for a spacious vessel that’s economical and easy to maintain, a pontoon boat is an excellent choice. While not as fast or maneuverable as some other boats, they provide plenty of stability and are great for larger groups that want to spend the day fishing and socializing.
Pontoon boats weren’t designed specifically for fishing, but their ample comfort and safety features quickly made them a favorite choice among families and the elderly. Built from aluminum or more expensive models with fiberglass hulls. Ranging from a 15-footer at $1250 used up to an expansive 30′ model costing as much as $350K preowned or even higher when purchased new – these watercraft offer great versatility in terms of size option. Thanks to its out-of-the-water design, the classic two pontoons plus flat deck setup are perfect for use on lakes, rivers, and bays.
14. Center Console Boats
Center console boats are designed for offshore anglers who want to take on larger swells and longer trips.
These vessels have plenty of room for gear storage, live wells, bait prep stations, fish boxes, seating, etc., so you can bring everything you need with you on your next fishing trip.
Center consoles are great for those who want to venture out into the open ocean and take on deep-sea fishing trips. Their high-powered engines and robust construction make them perfect for tackling large swells and strong currents, so you can confidently reel in your next big catch!
With center console boats ranging in length from 18’ to 40’, there is something for anglers of all sizes and budgets. Whether you are looking for a budget-friendly used boat starting at $9500 or splurging up to $900000 on one that can accommodate 25 people – the perfect solution awaits! Create your ideal fishing setup with outboard motors offering varying power outputs depending on the size of your craft; each comes fully equipped with robust fiberglass or balsa/vinyl ester resin construction ensuring durable performance through any weather condition.
Center consoles are the ultimate choice for anglers looking to maximize their fishing experience and maintain budget consciousness. Enjoy a 360° fishability that allows you to follow your catch as it moves around the boat, preventing tangled lines or broken reels. Plus, these boats remain trailerable so they can be taken almost anywhere without hassle! With these vessels being incredibly flexible in terms of weather conditions and the ability to switch between inshore/offshore locations – center console sport fishers have become one of today’s most popular boat types.
15. Pilothouse Boat
Pilothouse boats are the perfect choice for anglers looking to stay protected from the elements while out at sea. Featuring a raised, enclosed deck that provides a dry interior with plenty of space for gear storage and seating options.
These boats offer an excellent mix of comfort and convenience – providing a haven during adverse weather days or long trips offshore!
Made of aluminum up to the mid-20 foot length, and then transitioning into wood/resin composite hulls that provide an excellent deep V structure, pilothouse boats prove reliable in rough waters. Outboard motors power most smaller models while larger vessels may have either inboard or even engine room components.
Pilothouse boats deliver a unique blend of power and style, boasting an impressive range in both size and price: from the 16′ entry-level model starting at $13,500 to the 118’ luxury ocean trawler up over 5.5 million – you’re sure to find one that meets your needs!
Pilothouse boats come with plenty of amenities for a pleasant day out on the water – including proper bathrooms! However, these vessels can be quite cramped and generate significantly more bumpy rides than some other boat types due to their unique design. Be sure to consider air conditioning as well if you plan on taking extended trips in your pilothouse boat since enclosed spaces tend to get hotter quickly.
16. Cuddy Cabin Boat
Cuddy cabin boats are the perfect combination of comfort and performance for those looking to take on day trips or multi-day adventures. Offering a comfortable place to rest, enjoy meals, and store gear all in one.
Cuddy cabin boats offer something that few other vessels can: a great haven in any kind of weather as well as plenty of space for entertaining while out at sea.
Cuddy cabins are the perfect vessels for leisure-seeking anglers, who plan to bring their family along. These boats feature a front cabin as well as an area in the back designed specifically with fishing activities in mind. Constructed using materials like fiberglass and wood/foam combinations, they range from 16’ – 28’ long; used models will start at around $12,200 while new ones can cost up to 90k (or even more if you opt for luxury versions). For those looking for both quality time on the water and catching fish – look no further than cuddy cabins!
Some Types of Fishing boats come with a variety of outboard and inboard motors, making them ideal for exploring the sea. A longer boat is built to handle harsher conditions offshore while a shorter craft is best suited for inshore fishing or rivers. Casting off the back proves most successful but difficult from other parts due to a lack of shade or an open cabin lacking air conditioning on hot days.
Boats perfectly suited for fishing come with either outboard or inboard motor, often equipped with a V-hull design. Ideal environments to deploy these vessels include bays and rivers. A longer boat is built to handle harsher conditions offshore while a shorter craft is best suited for inshore fishing or rivers. Casting off the back proves most successful but difficult from other parts due to a lack of shade or an open cabin lacking air conditioning on hot days. If you plan on spending extended days aboard such craft without air conditioning facilities installed, be sure your vessel has adequate ventilation in living areas so cabin fever doesn’t take its toll!
17. Bowrider Boat
Bowrider boats are the perfect choice for families or groups looking to enjoy a day of watersports and cruising on the lake. Thanks to their open bow design and plenty of seating options, these boats offer great versatility coupled with enough power to keep speeds comfortably fast yet safe.
Although it can comfortably hold up to six people, overcrowding may occur if you’re all looking to fish at once! Perfectly suited to both coastal and inland fishing spots alike, these vessels bring efficiency and practicality at their finest!
Large Types of Fishing Boats
18. Flybridge Sport Fishing Boat
For serious anglers seeking the ultimate fishing experience, flybridge sport fishing boats offer a thrilling combination of power and performance. Prices can range from used starting at $7,500 to cutting-edge vessels commanding up to an eye-watering $6.5 million price tag for new builds! Boats come in various lengths between 28’-115′, outboard and inboard motors available, as well as V hull designs that will take you afar into deep waters fast…or closer inshore if needed via modified V configurations.
A flybridge sport fishing boat is the ultimate vessel for deep-sea anglers who are passionate about their craft. It offers plenty of room in its interior seating and resting area, making it a comfortable home base when you’re out on longer trips. While less maneuverable than smaller center console setups, this large size provides excellent visibility to spot tuna or marlin from a reasonable distance away! The only downside is its steep price tag; making it cost-prohibitive for most fishermen who don’t specialize professionally in hosting offshore fishing chartering experiences.
19. Convertible Yacht
Convertible boats are the serious angler’s dream to tackle larger catches. Featuring more advanced features than some other models, these saltwater fishing vessels have plenty of room and amenities necessary for successful coastal or offshore voyages – from marlin to sharks!
They’re bigger, have more amenities, and offer plenty of room to accommodate multiple fishers who want to take on coastal waters or head out into open seas – just not inland!
For those looking to embark on a nautical adventure, outboard or inboard motors are available and can take you up to speeds of 30mph across the sea. Advanced hull configurations like V-shapes or deep-V, they’re perfect for weekend getaways with family – or even leisurely weeks away!
The downside is that these vessels do come at an expensive cost – prices ranging between used $90,500 for smaller models towards new boats that could exceed 8 million dollars. Construction materials vary widely but usually consist of wood, steel fiberglass as well as custom proprietary resins; lengths range anywhere from 28’ commencing over 60′.
There are many different Types of Fishing Boats, each with its advantages and disadvantages.
Now that you know the 19 most popular types of fishing boats, it’s time to find the perfect one for your needs. Keep in mind what type of fish you’re planning on catching, how many people will be joining you on your trips, and what size boat you need to accommodate everyone comfortably. With a little bit of research, you’ll be well on your way to choosing the right fishing boat for all your future adventures out on the water.
Do you have any experience with fishing boats? What fishing boat type do you prefer? Let us know in the comments below.
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