What Are The Top 5 Boats For Fishing

Having a boat can open up a lot more fishing opportunities and it can give you access to many more places to fish. But with the variety of fishing waters, from ponds to wild rivers, lakes, and reservoirs you would need a fleet of boats to fish them all.

Family runabout:

The Family Runabouts Are Usually for 4 to 8 people.

They are ideal for multiple uses like to go fishing, water skiing, or just to take the family and friends for a boat ride.

These boats are comfortable, versatile and fast. They come in a wide variety of price ranges and configurations, so you can tailor the price and design to fit your pocketbook and needs.

Some of these have features for anglers, like pedestal seats and fish finders along with beverage holders and GPS systems.

There are many different manufacturers and they all have some different amenities and sizes.

Here are Just a Couple.


Bayliner is a very popular brand in our area. They have models that run from 16 to 22 feet in length. You can get them with decks, cup holders. stereos, and many other features. Most Bayliner Boats come with outboard motors.


Crestliner has three different sizes for their multi-species fish hawk boats. They are 17.6, 18.6 and a 19.6-foot boat and they have horsepower from 90 to 115 horsepower in the 17.6 and 115 horsepower to 150 in the 18.6 and 150 horsepower up to 225 horsepower in the 19.6 foot.

Down Side.  It is a lot harder to fly fish out of these style of boats because of the distance to the water. The lower or loser that you are to the water the easier it is to retrieve your line after you cast it out. This is a great boat for the family that just wants to fish and do some boating. One other downfall is you’re pretty much restricted to large lakes and reservoirs, and you need a ramp to launch them.

Party Boats:

Here are a couple of different ones.

These are also known as pontoon boats. These can be great family fun, pulling the kids and friends around on the floating devices. You can even just relax and sunbathe and have a few drinks if that is what you want to do.

I have a friend and his wife that take theirs out and they will spend the night on theirs. It has a barbeque, cooler and a porta-potty, it even has screened curtains to keep out the bugs while they sleep. These are not the best for fly fishing either but it can be done.

Crestliner Pontoon Boats:

They come in at 20 feet and these will hold 9 to 13 people with horsepower ranging from 9,9 to 150 horsepower. The 22 foot will carry 10 to 14 people an have a horsepower from 9.9 up to 200 horsepower and the 25 foot will carry 12 to 16 people and have horsepower from 9.9 to 200. These do have a removable table and chairs. You can also get them with  15 gallons live well and pump spraying station

Avalon Pontoon Boats:

The Avalon GS Fish seems like a well-built fishing pontoon. It is a full 8 1/2′ width, it has lots of room for fighting your fish. This is offered in two layouts, the Quad Fish with four fishing stations and a comfortable center bench in lengths from 19′ – 23′.

They also have the 23′ Rear Fish, which provides a cruising pontoon with two large bow benches to go along with two rear fishing stations. With either layout, you will also get a rear fishing center. It has a live well and rod holders, and two rear casting platforms to get to the fish. A ladder is also included as well. They do have a very fancy pontoon boat that starts at$94,000 called Excalibur.

Drift Boats:

Drift Boats are ideal for fast moving rivers and streams. These are designed for 2 to 4 people, it is usually a rower and 1 or 2 guys fishing while the rower or guide tries to keep you in the fish. I have seen several guys fishing with drift boats by themselves. These are used on a lot of streams and rivers in Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington, Wyoming, and Colorado. These are probably used a lot back east as well, I just have not fished that many places in the Eastern States. I see quite a few guys that use the drift boat on lakes and reservoirs here in Idaho. So they probably do so elsewhere.

Here are just three of many:


Clackacraft has been making drift boats for over 40 years. They have 8 different models, they run from 14 to 18 feet in length. They also have an unheard of 100 years against punctures and leaks of the hull for the original owner. I can’t believe this it is unheard of.

Willie Boats:

Willie Boats has been in business 40+ years, they are an all aluminum drift boat that has a .190 to a .250 aluminum hull, it depends on the length of the boat. They have a motto that is  “Simply The Best”. The drift boat sizes run from 12 to 20 feet and they have a powerboat option of 20 to 28 feet.

They have several options, such as flooring, seating, splash wells, side trays, cabinet boxes, fuel tanks, fish boxes, power plants, and trailers. This means you can have it designed any way you would like it.

RO Drift Boats:

RO Drift Boats are made in Bozeman Montana, they have been around for over 20 years. they have several different models and they are all around 16 feet in length. But they all have different floor plans and arrangements. They have 14 different standard features like a 4-inch padded rowers seat and padded swivel seats front and back. This is just to name a few there are lots more to choose from.

Bass Boats:

Bass boats are generally between 17 and 21 feet long, equipped primarily for bass fishing and other types of panfish. These are usually used in freshwaters such as lakes, rivers, and streams.

Most bass boats feature swivel chairs that allow the angler to cast to any place around the boat They normally have storage bins for fishing tackle and equipment like rods and lures.

Most of them have a live well with recirculating water where the caught fish may be stored and kept alive. The bass boats usually have 2 different motors, they have an outboard motor to propel them to where they want to go fishing.

They also have an electric trolling motor to move them around or to hold them still when they find the fish. They are usually made with aluminum or fiberglass.

Here are a couple of brands. 

Ranger Boats:

The Ranger boats are usually in the 17 to 21-foot range ad you can get them with up to a 250 horsepower outboard on certain models. They have electric trolling motors with foot controls, fish finders live wells. They have both aluminum and fiberglass models available.

Nitro Boats: 

The Nitro boats also are usually in the 17 to 21-foot range. They have Mercury outboards up to 300 horsepower on certain models. They also have Minn Kota brand trolling motors and Lowrance brand fishfinders.

Jet Boats:

Thunder Jet: 

Thunder Jet started in Clarkson, Washington in 1981 with just 5 different models and they now have over 18 different models. Most of these jet boats are for fishermen. They are from 18 to 28 feet, they have both inboard and outboard motors available, depending on your wants.

The jet boats are used on rivers that have big water, they are used by many salmon and steelhead fishermen. Many people use these on rivers, but also on lakes and with their family dragging them on their inflatable toys.


Yamaha jet boats for fishing have center consoles, they have 6 models between 19 foot and 21-foot lengths. These boats have lots of amenities like rope and anchor locker, aerated live well,  jet wash spray system. They have a marine stereo, speakers and cup holders and there are lots more and this is the fishing models. They also have several models for family fun and tubing, they are well known for their wakeboarding behind them. Yamaha also has 16 different wave runners, so they have something to offer everyone.

Dean Jensen

I started fly fishing in 1972 and I have learned quite a bit about this wonderful sport called fly fishing and I want to share some of the things that I have learned.

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