16 Top Bay Boats

No single boat design, except perhaps the center console, has had as much impact on our fishing as the bay boat.

bay boats best flats inshore offshore boat
16 Top Bay Boats
Top Bay BoatsStaff

No single boat design, except perhaps the center console, has had as much impact on our fishing as the bay boat. A logical hybrid of the inshore skiff, built to handle protected shallow waters, and the open ocean-going runabout designed for reef and offshore fishing, the bay boat has given anglers a broader choice of places and ways to fish than ever before.

From bays to reefs, this truly is the most versatile fishing boat on the water. Safe, comfortable, affordable, and compact, with nearly endless potential for customization to fit any fisherman’s preferences, the bay boat comes as close to a no-compromise fishing platform as we’ve ever seen.

Here then is a look at 16 of the top Bay Boats you’ll see on the water. There truly is something here for every angler.

bay boats best flats inshore offshore boat
2000 Carolina Bay
Tidewater 2000 Carolina Bay BoatTidewater Boats

Tidewater 2000 Carolina Bay Boat

Roominess is one of the most important aspects of any fishing boat. Tidewater designed their 2000 Carolina Bay boat with this in mind and did everything they could to achieve an oversized front casting deck, which they accomplished by incorporating a more aggressive bow flare. Not only does this flare increase fishing space but it also gives passengers a dryer and more comfortable ride. The boat also features dual livewells, pull up cleats, fold up jumpseats and plenty of places to carry all the rods you could ever need.

bay boats best flats inshore offshore boat
Pathfinder 2600 TRS
Pathfinder 2600 TRSCourtesy of Pathfinder

Pathfinder 2600 TRS

The new Pathfinder 2600 TRS does it all with style, comfort and high performance. There's cushioned seating for 10 including aft deck seating with flip up backrests and the forward deck can be transformed into a lounge area worthy of a dual console. The console has a fully finished interior with optional pump out potty and the standard deluxe helm seating is perfect for a quiet cruise for two. Even with all this, Pathfinder's angling legacy shines through with full trolling motor capability, lockable storage and a 36 gallon live well.

bay boats best flats inshore offshore boat
Sportsman Masters 247
Sportsman Masters 247Courtesy Sportsman Boats

Sportsman Masters 247

The Sportsman Masters 247 Bay Boat is a multi-purpose boat for the family and serious angler. It boasts a sleek, clean profile capable of deep-water performance with a smooth ride. Standard features include two 25-gallon aerated live wells, large forward storage box, four flush mounted gunwale rod holders, a swim platform with ladder, large bow casting deck with lockable storage for 10 rods, a trolling motor plug and harness, lockable console storage with room for porta potty, Telaflex Seastar hydraulic steering, rear foldup bench seat with lockable storage, Yamaha digital gauges, and the exclusive total-access hatch providing easy entry to all systems.

bay boats best flats inshore offshore boat
Skeeter SX 2250
Skeeter SX 2250Courtesy Skeeter Boats

Skeeter SX 2250

Skeeter’s SX2250 features a newly-designed cap that incorporates ample fore and aft decks for comfortable stand-up fishing, and increased freeboard for added safety and security offshore. Two independently-plumbed livewells — a 35-gallon, double-ram, gasketed, oval-shaped hold in the aft deck and a 17-gallon, gasketed oval beneath the forward-console seat –– hold plenty of live baits. Console rod holders, and a 9-foot rod box stow an array of rigs for any purpose. A tapered 24 degree-deadrise and V-entry ensures Skeeter's signature "Smoothe Dry Ride" in the waves, yet still fishes in 13 inches of water.

bay boats best flats inshore offshore boat
Sea Hunt BX 24BR
Sea Hunt BX 24BRCourtesy Sea Hunt Boats

Sea Hunt BX 24BR

The new Sea Hunt BX 24 BR chases redfish in a foot of water or handles all the demands of fishing comfortably offshore for grouper and snapper. The shallow draft designed for inshore access is augmented with a sharp entry deadrise and Carolina flair to maintain comfort and reliability on less than perfect days. The boat is loaded with tackle trays, gear storage and is roomy enough for a porta potty under the console.

bay boats best flats inshore offshore boat
Scout 251 XS
Scout 251 XSCourtesy

Scout 251 XS

The 251 XS from Scout Boats sports all the valued features of a bay boat, augmented by a proud bow and aggressive lines to transition anglers offshore efficiently and comfortably. Fold-down seats aft create a level spacious casting platform, and the forward deck converts as well with a removable fiberglass insert; the addition of cushions forward creates a gunwale-to-gunwale sun pad. 251 XS also showcases Scout’s innovative and patented T-top/glass enclosure.

bay boats best flats inshore offshore boat
Yellowfin 24
Yellowfin 24Courtesy Yellowfin Yachts

Yellowfin 24

Specifically designed for serious fishermen, Yellowfin’s 24 Bay offers plenty of punch and a long list of angler friendly standards. At 24 feet, 11 inches, with an 8-foot, 6-inch beam, the 24 Bay is rated for up to 350 horsepower, allowing anglers to get to their favorite spot fast, even in choppy conditions. The hull features a composite foam transom, Corecell coring above the waterline and Baltek coring in the running surface. An oversize front deck coupled with a spacious rear deck provides ample space for multiple anglers.

bay boats best flats inshore offshore boat
Sailfish 2100BB
Sailfish 2100BBCourtesy Sailfish Boats

Sailfish 2100BB

The 2100BB from Sailfish incorporates an aggressive 18-degree deadrise for a soft ride in big water, while the wide beam allows shallow draft for fishing inshore and on the flats. The 2100BB, with large front and rear fishing decks, a 21-inch-deep cockpit, multiple helm seating / leaning post options, and a 3-livewell capability answers the demands of anglers inshore and off.

bay boats best flats inshore offshore boat
Ranger 240 Bahia
Ranger 240 BahiaCourtesy Ranger Boats

Ranger 240 Bahia

Ranger’s new 240 Bahia offers the versatility to fish the shallows and make offshore runs in the same boat without sacrificing features or performance. Appealing to hardcore guides, professional fishermen and families alike, the 240 is based on the popular and proven hull design of Ranger’s 220 Bahia, introduced in 2010. The new design highlights Ranger’s 45-year commitment to building the highest-quality, strongest-performing boats on the water.

bay boats best flats inshore offshore boat
Everglades 243CC
Everglades 243CCCourtesy Everglades Boats

Everglades 243CC

Ever since it hit the scene, the Everglades 243cc has been a hit with fishermen. A 36-gallon circulating livewell, 75-gallon in-floor fish box, 8 rod holders and twin tackle lockers, all standard, contribute to this boat’s popularity. A stylish console featuring a patented sliding windshield and combination helm seat/leaning post are added bonuses to an already loaded boat. The boat also has a fiberglass hardtop that incorporates overhead life jacket storage, blue and white LED lights, spreader lights and built-in speakers.

bay boats best flats inshore offshore boat
Edgewater 240IS
Edgewater 240ISCourtesy Edgewater Boats

Edgewater 240IS

At 24 feet, Edgewater’s 240IS provides an ideal angling platform for fishing inshore, while preserving the option to venture offshore. The single- piece infusion hull construction of this sleekly designed craft provides durability while the SPI black carbon-fiber hatches add a touch of class to this fishing machine. Multiple live wells, 79 square feet of useable deck space and ample room for storage come standard but Edgewater’s list of options allows plenty of room for customizing.

bay boats best flats inshore offshore boat
Contender 25
Contender 25Courtesy Contender

Contender 25

Contender maintains a tradition of building hard-core fishing boats, and 25 Bay keeps that promise. Large casting platforms – forward and aft – provide ample room for several fishermen without crowding. Bolster pads the full length of the cockpit are built for fish fights. The twin stepped hull with 15 ½ degree deadrise runs smooth and dry, in a foot of water or offshore. The design provides improved performance at speed and added stealth inshore. An optional jackplate gets the 25 up and out in the shallows.

bay boats best flats inshore offshore boat
Century 2001
Century 2001Courtesy Century Boats

Century 2001

The Century 2001 Inshore is loaded with all the amenities to handle a serious fishing trip or just taking it easy on the water. The feature packed helm includes lockable console storage and padded deluxe leaning post. In the bow, dual doors open to a 40 gallon fish/storage box with overboard drain. Shown here with a Yamaha F115XA, the 2001 offers strength and durability.

bay boats best flats inshore offshore boat
Cape Bay 23
Cape Bay 23Courtesy Capehorn Boats

Cape Bay 23

The new Cape Bay 23 from Cape Horn Boats boasts an aggressive look with nimble handing. With the modern “Even Keel” design it is sure to impress with a quiet, smooth riding hull. A test drive introduces a new level in performance with no bow rise on take-off. This first-in-bay-boat hull design fills a need to launch in skinny water. It also helps stabilize the hull while under way. It is for those who seek the best of both worlds, rugged and refined. Flush hardware is placed where you need it.The optional hard top gives the Cape Bay an unmistakable look.

bay boats best flats inshore offshore boat
Carolina Sea Skiff
Carolina Sea SkiffCourtesy Carolina Skiff

Carolina Sea Skiff

Combining durability and versatility with affordability makes Carolina Skiffs’ new Sea Skiff an attractive option for anglers who demand functionality and bang for their buck. One of the key aspects of this boat is the amount of storage space. Anglers can stash tons of gear to keep the cockpit free and clear without losing accessibility. The Sea Skiff sports flush jump seats in the stern, a rear center bait well, combing boards to transport all your rods, a large center console (with rod holders) featuring a large dashboard for flush mount screens.

bay boats best flats inshore offshore boat
Sea Born FX25
Sea Born FX25Courtesy Sea Born Boats

Sea Born FX25

Bay boats of today need to accommodate diverse fishing palates. That’s exactly what Sea Born had in mind when they designed the FX25. With a subtle bow flare, single-step hull and integrated engine bracket, the FX25 offers a clean profile that performs well inshore and nearshore. The outboard compartments in the transition step double as lockable rod-storage boxes that have room for four outfits per side. Solidly built with hand-laid biaxial fiberglass, the FX25 is a tough boat that will keep your angling options open at all times.