Bay boats and hybrids are the ‘tweeners that allow anglers to fish a wider range of places.
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The wide-ranging models and prices of today’s saltwater fishing boats give anglers plenty of options. While researching for your next boat, consider a couple of key points: 1) Know what game fish you intend to target, and where you plan to fish with the boat. 2) Be sure you have a plan for maintenance, storage and travel. 3) Have a vehicle capable of trailering the boat you want to buy. Salt Water Sportsman has the information you’re looking for, including new boats with in-depth reviews, marine electronics, gear and accessories, plus boat maintenance and boating tips.
Bay boats enable anglers to fish inshore, nearshore, and offshore under the right conditions. Of course, flats skiffs and offshore center-consoles have their place too. You wouldn’t want to take a bay boat into a fishing spot that only flats skiffs can reach, you’ll tear up the bottom and spook all the fish in the area. Similarly, you don’t want to take a bay boat offshore in conditions only a bigger center-console can handle. Taking on big waves and threatening weather can have disastrous results. So consider which type of fishing boat is really best for you before signing your John Hancock on the dotted line. Here you’ll find extensive content on different fishing boat types to help you make an informed decision.
Probably the most versatile fishing platform in salt water, bay boats are a hot category for anglers today. Bay boats under 23 feet are a great option for fishing bays, intracoastal waters and other inshore hot spots. Those over 23 feet are often seen offshore when the seas allow it. Offshore anglers who plan to buy a center-console under 25 feet often pick a bay boat, which is better suited for fishing inlets and bays when rough water or inclement weather make offshore fishing a risky proposition. Check out Salt Water Sportsman’s bay boat coverage.
Center-console fishing boats are the most popular and common fishing boats for offshore anglers. Few boat types have grown more in size, horsepower and popularity than offshore-style, outboard-powered center consoles over the past decade. The combination of today’s technology, fishability, hull design and family comforts make them tough to beat. Check out Salt Water Sportsman’s extensive center-console boats coverage.
Flats skiffs enable anglers to venture onto shallow flats only inches deep, as well as narrow creeks, bayous and canals. Most flats skiffs sport a 6- to 7 ½-foot beam, and range in length from 15 to 21 feet. Serious redfish, bonefish, snook, tarpon, striped bass and speckled trout fishermen often prefer flats skiffs as their vessel of choice. Flats boats definitely excel in shallow water and favorable weather, but some struggle in open water during periods of strong winds and choppy conditions. Check out Salt Water Sportsman’s expert flats skiff coverage.
Anyone who says marine electronics are not important doesn’t know what’s available for today’s boating anglers. The latest technology incorporated into today’s electronics is almost unbelievable. For instance, anglers now have the ability to precisely mark the silhouettes of fish while they cruise by using side-scan or 360 sonar technology. With a brand new boat, a boatbuilder will install the marine electronics you specify. If you bought a used boat, consider saving some cash to replace outdated electronics. Before buying anything, check out Salt Water Sportsman’s vast library of marine electronics reviews.
Experienced boaters recognize that boats require regular maintenance and upkeep. For those unwilling to maintain their boats on schedule, that often leads to expensive trips to a boat repair shop and missing valuable time otherwise spent on the water. So be proactive and save yourself some money. Salt Water Sportsman provides boating maintenance and general boating tips to get the most out of your fishing boat.