One of the most popular boating activities, freshwater fishing can be enjoyed by experienced boaters and beginners alike. Whether you’re interested in extreme sportfishing or a laid-back jaunt around the lake, freshwater fishing is a classic recreational boating experience that offers many rewards. Not only is it a great way to enjoy the outdoors and get some exercise, but freshwater fishing offers opportunities to bond with family and friends, not to mention enjoying a meal of freshly caught fish afterwards! While the chance to enjoy nature is an added benefit, many anglers may also not be aware that freshwater fishing is also an important way to support the environment in general.
- Fishing not only increases environmental appreciation and awareness, but the licenses and taxes you pay on everything from fuel to tackle also help support your local fish and wildlife agencies.
- Check out our boat marina locator page today to research freshwater fishing spots in your area.
If you’re interested in buying a fishing boat, one of the first things you’ll want to do is determine which activities you’d like to use the boat for. Freshwater fishing boats present a variety of versatile options for every angler, no matter what your budget or needs.
Best Boats for Freshwater Fishing
All-Purpose Fishing Boats All-purpose fishing boats are capable of pursuing many different types of species (both in saltwater and freshwater), but also can be used for entertainment and watersports.
Bass Boats Often used for tournaments, bass fishing boats feature powerful motors as well as an ample deck and storage room for two to three onboard anglers.
Bowriders Often able to comfortably hold between six and ten people, bowriders are a very popular style of runabout boat with an open bow area. While most commonly associated with recreational watersports, a bowrider can also be used for freshwater fishing.
Center Console A center console boat is designed so that the console (and all of the controls) is at the very center of the boat and is surrounded by a large, open deck. These make good freshwater fishing boats because of their large deck space.
Deck Boats Ideal for large groups of people, deck boats come equipped with a large and generous deck as well as a powerful engine that makes them great for watersports. Versatile deck boats can also be used for recreational freshwater fishing.
Dinghies One of the simplest freshwater fishing boats that exists, dinghies are a small and lightweight choice that is perfect for being towed behind a larger boat or placed on top of a car to drive to a different fishing location.
Fish and Ski Boats This type of bowrider is designed for the dual pursuit of freshwater fishing and watersports, with generous seating areas and often a sunpad that converts to a fishing platform.
Flat Boats These simple, no-frills freshwater fishing boats can navigate through water that is less than two feet deep, which makes them ideal for coastal areas.
House Boats From sleeping berths to dining areas, houseboats are designed to bring all the comforts of home onboard. Part of any relaxing cruise aboard a houseboat can always include a bit of recreational freshwater fishing!
Inboard Cruisers These large motorboats feature an inboard engine and are often 30 feet or longer. Equipped with sleeping areas and more, they are great family boats for weekend cruises and have a large deck area that can also be used for fishing.
Inflatable Boats Easy to store and extremely low-cost, inflatable boats can be large and powerful enough to use for everything from motorsports and scuba diving to saltwater or freshwater fishing.
Jet Boats Known for their speed and maneuverability, jet boats are powered by an inboard water jet pump. They’re extremely well-suited for watersports but can also be used for recreational fishing.
Jon Boats These freshwater fishing boats are all about making the catch. Simple and inexpensive, they feature an aluminum flat-bottomed design with 1 to 3 bench seats.
Multi-Hull Powerboats These high-performance catamarans featuring dual-hulls give a softer ride than V-bottom boats. They make excellent saltwater and freshwater fishing boats.
Pontoon Boats Extremely well-suited for onboard entertaining, pontoon boats are known for their large, boat-wide decks and ample seating areas. They also offer a stable platform for freshwater fishing.
Sportfishing Boats These high-performance freshwater fishing boats are equipped with all the bells and whistles you need make your fishing experience as successful as possible.
Stern Drive Cruisers Stern drive cruisers combine the best benefits of both inboard and outboard drive systems. Commonly used for recreational cruising and watersports, they can also be used for freshwater fishing.
Walkaround Built primarily for fishing, walkarounds make ideal freshwater fishing boats for the entire family because of additional onboard amenities such as plumbing and stowaway seating.
Use Discover Boating’s Excellent Boat Selector Tool to help you find the right boat for your needs:
Boat Selector Tool
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