Boats for fishing come in many types and sizes. Most recreational fishermen of modest means choose an open-centre console outboard. Commercial fishermen prefer inboards for economy. Those who are after big game on the open ocean will want a larger boat with diesel engines and those fishing in very shallow water will want a skiff with a flat bottom to navigate the shallow water. This article is a guide to choosing sport fishing boats.
Fishing in lakes or protected bays
In protected waters with little or no wave action, a boat as small as eight feet can be a sport fishing boat. It can be rowed or propelled by a small outboard motor. Small-centre consoles For most lake and bay fishing, a boat between 14 and 20 feet is ideal. Boats of this size have the advantage of being easily tailored to a hot spot. Outboard motors of 25 to 150 horsepower will provide plenty of speed. Centre-console boats are uniquely suited to sport fishing. With free access around the console, it is easy to fight a fish no mater where it tries to go.
Offshore fishing boats
Centre consoles For fishing in the open ocean, centre consoles in the 22 to 35 foot range are acceptable. These boats can accommodate a lot of fishing gear and plenty of electronics like depth finder, GPS, and radio. Wellcraft Wellcraft makes centre console offshore fishing boats up to 25 feet. They are moderately priced and favoured by sports fishermen of modest means. Shamrock Shamrock makes inboard boats in the 25 foot range. They are favoured by commercial fishermen for their sturdy construction and economical inboard engines. Bigger boats For those going offshore in rough weather, or heading to places far from shore, larger boats are advisable though the cost gets into the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Hatteras Hatteras make very reliable and sturdy boats in the 35 to 60 foot range These boats have superstructure which includes a bridge from which the captain can steer and has an excellent view to find fish. These boats also have some bunk space for overnight ventures. Rampage Rampage makes offshore boats in the 30 to 45 foot range. They are more affordable than Hatteras and pretty much do the same job. Bertram Bertram makes top-of-the-line fishing boats in a wide range of sizes. For those who can afford one of these boats, they hold their value for resale very well.