Bay fishing boats are a highly-popular design for inshore fishing. It is a cross between flats boats and open-water boats with deep V bottoms. As a hybrid design, these types of offshore fishing boats can be used successfully in a few different environments. These freshwater and saltwater fishing boats offer plenty of space for anglers to spread out and cast their lines. Most boats of this style can accommodate about four fishermen at once.
Bay boats are now made by many different manufacturers even though this style is a relatively new design. Fiberglass and aluminum fishing boats range in price depending on the manufacturer and features you choose. Just like a car, you can select different packages and features when buying a new boat. It is important to keep in mind that used boats are a great economical choice.
What are the characteristics of a bay fishing boat?
Bay boats are a hybrid of other boat designs, but there are a few features that set these boats apart from others. A bay fishing boat has the following characteristics:
- A medium length. Most boats are between 20 and 26 feet in length.
- Livewells. It is common to find one or more wells for storing live fish in these boats.
- Storage compartments. Most boats of this type have several rod storage holsters as well as places to keep your other gear secure.
- A center console. With a center console, there is room to walk around the back of the boat with ease.
What type of engine does a bay fishing boat have?
Saltwater bay fishing boats usually use a single outboard motor. Bay fishing boats can also be used with a trolling motor when anglers want to operate their boat quietly.
What are the types of bay fishing boats?
Bay fishing boats are available in several different varieties. Aluminum bay fishing boats have a hull composed mainly of aluminum. These boats are also available with fiberglass hulls. Aluminum is more durable and more affordable. However, fiberglass boats offer better ride comfort and oftentimes have better aesthetic appeal than aluminum boats. Bay fishing boats can also have a hard top or T-top. Many of these boats do not have a top at all, leaving the console open instead.
What kind of fishing can I do on bay fishing boats?
Bay fishing boats can be used in fresh or saltwater but they are used most by saltwater fishermen. When using this type of boat as a saltwater fishing boat, anglers frequently catch tarpon, redfish, striped bass, sea trout and bonefish.
How do I use a bay fishing boat?
Operating bay fishing boats requires that you have knowledge of using a trolling motor and outboard motor if both are equipped on your boat. A bay boat is meant to be operated primarily in shallow water. As such, you can improve your navigation by understanding the limitations of your boat and learning how to use a depth finder. In many cases, the motor in one of these boats can be raised or lowered to navigate shallower areas.
Where can I use a bay fishing boat?
Although these boats can perform as offshore fishing boats, they are better suited to shallows and flats. These boats are rarely used as deep sea fishing boats due to their designand size.
What are the advantages of using bay fishing boats?
One of the best features of a bay fishing boat is that it will typically have a movable engine mount. Bay boats with this feature will allow you to adjust to shallower areas, which makes this watercraft a little more versatile than other similar boats with V-shaped hulls. Due to the relatively short length of these boats, they can be operated easily in tight areas without issues.
What are the cons of using a saltwater bay fishing boat?
Bay fishing boats may be similar to larger boats with V-shaped hulls, but they cannot always be used in far-offshore excursions like larger boats can. In other words, bay boats generally only excel in shallow water, even if they can sometimes handle cruises in deeper water.
Who should consider using a bay fishing boat?
Both fiberglass and aluminum fishing boats are well-suited to families and serious anglers. The best bay boat for family trips will usually be a longer boat with a wide deck. The roominess of a boat with a larger deck will provide more comfort for a larger group of people. These boats are also frequently used in tournaments. Serious fishermen enjoy the compact size and maneuverability that these boats offer in tight backwater areas.
How much do bay fishing boats cost?
When looking for the best affordable bay boat on the market, you can expect to pay around $25,000 for base model. Higher-end bay boats brands can cost between $32,000 to $105,000 for a new boat. When buying a brand-new boat, financing options can help you afford the boat you want. Used boats are also available for more affordable prices. Download our guide for more helpful tips on buying a boat.
What are the topbay boats brands?
Bay boats are a highly popular design that can be found from many different manufacturers. The top bay boat manufacturers include the following:
- Boson Whaler
- Carolina Skiff
- Pathfinder Boats
- Sportsman Boats
- Sea Born
Where can I find a bay fishing boat?
Aluminum fishing boats usually need to be purchased in person, but you can also build a custom boat package online. While it may be easier to buy a bay boat in person, you can also find used boats for sale on marketplaces such as eBay, Craigslist and others. When shopping in person, many stores will have a showroom that allows you to see different types of boats up close. It may be helpful to look at boats available from these bay boat manufacturerswhen shopping around:
- BlueWave Boats
- Sportsman Boats