Welcome to the Fishing Boat Buyers Guide, now in its 11th edition. Over the past 10 years, we have delivered in these pages highlights from the best fishing-boat builders. This year is no different, with 24 models for inshore, nearshore and offshore fishing. We’re also bringing you a wealth of information on some very fishy topics.
One of the best things about the world of boats is how diverse it is, with models for nearly every pursuit or activity. To help you select the right make and model for your favorite fishery, we reached out to a number of respected captains to get their input on the features they look for in a vessel. They share their hard-earned knowledge to take some of the guesswork out of finding the perfect boat for your preferred species and techniques.
Should you find yourself giddy with anticipation at the prospect of buying a new offshore center-console or other fishing boat, join the club. For many saltwater anglers, purchasing an offshore- or inshore-fishing machine represents one of the biggest decisions of their lives. Once the deal is done and outfitting complete, this boat will become your key to adventure, glory and creating memories that last for generations. For that dream to come true, however, you need to put in some due diligence in researching the boat and marine accessories that meet your expectations, style of fishing, and budget.
In the content below, we feature a wide range of fishing boats. Use these profiles, images and video links as starting points. Narrow your wish list to those models that seem to best meet your angling and boating needs and desires. The next steps should include field research. Find out who carries the brands that interest you. Visit as many dealerships and factory-direct builders as possible within your driving range to compare value and premium brands. This will help narrow your list further. These articles are created to help you choose the right power and equipment, and how best to store or trailer your boat between trips. Sea trials are key to pulling the trigger, and in this content, we deliver our editors’ professional tips on making the most of sea trials to evaluate the boat, power and accessories, and whether you should slip, hoist, dry-stack or trailer your new fishing boat.
So, what does this experience and dedication do for you?
These offerings from 13 manufacturers represent the best of the best in the fishing-boat world. You’ll see center-consoles, catamarans, bay boats, hybrids and more, complete with all the facts and figures you need.
We have a variety of helpful advice on rigging your new boat, from power to electronics. We provide insight into some added equipment that can help your boat fish better so you can make each trip more productive. Look for expert guidance on everything from livewells to outriggers. We’ve even offered tips on boathandling.