When To Hit The Open Ocean
The Coast Guard has relatively little authority to tell anglers where and when they can take their boats and, so its up to you to make the right decisions for your safety.
In far too many cases, anglers in small boats perish before the Coast Guard can reach them. This despite being in boats that could have handled the conditions with the right knowledge and tools.
Knowing when it is safe to go out depends on understanding your skillset and your boat. If you are still getting to know your boat, its a very good idea to take it out on sheltered waters in all sorts of conditions so that you can get a feel for how it handles in wind and waves without taking the risk of being offshore.
Regardless of how experienced you are, if thunderstorms are predicted, its best not to go out. It can be very difficult to predict how thunderstorms will factor in a given patch of ocean, and you may be overwhelmed with waves and wind you cant handle before you know it.
What To Look For
Look for attributes like spacious layouts with lots of room to move and fight a fish stainless steel rod holders that wont rust or break under the tension of a goliath fish on the line aerated livewells and large fishboxes to protect your bait and your trophy catches outriggers for deep-sea trolling state-of-the-art technology that gives you the upper hand and fuel capacity to venture wherever the fish are biting. You also want a well-crafted hull that slices cleanly through big water and provides a soft, dry ride in even rough weather conditions.
Buyers Guide To The Best Saltwater Fishing Boats
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So, you are looking to purchase your very own saltwater fishing boat, and you arent quite sure where to start.
In order to help ease the stress of finding the best saltwater fishing boats that would suit your fishing need, weve compiled a short list of factors that buyers should consider before taking the final plunge.
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Offshore Fishing In Luxury
If money is not an issue and you want to fish offshore in full luxury one of the best boats for offshore fishing is the Grady White. These luxurious offshore fishing boats can cost as much as $750,000 dollars. A few variations in size are available and can be powered by fuel-efficient twin 48 outboards. One fine example of a Grady White offshore boat is the Express 330. This vessel includes the creature comforts you would find at home.
Offshore Fishing Boat Buying Options
Usually you have 3 options when buying a boat.
With outboard engines, the best setups are dual or triple setups. So then as an example, this is a setup that contains 2 or 3 outboard motors. In summary if your offshore fishing boat is rated to handle 300 horsepower you can equip your vessel with 2x 150 horsepowers instead. Why? In brief, if one engine stops you have the other to take you back to shore.
The Best Boats For Tackling The Big Water
The best saltwater fishing boats these days have to be more than just big enough to handle the ocean waves. Todays anglers want boats that can do more than just troll far offshore, they must be equally adept at drifting the shallows for inshore species like snook, cobia and tarpon. The best saltwater fishing boats need to be able to manage the big swells when trolling, yet still carry a shallow enough draft that they can get in close to shore without spooking skinny-water trophies like redfish. And, they need to do it all with more creature comforts than ever before and be easy to tow to where the hot bite is.
Advances in outboard power and sophisticated marine electronics have really helped expand the versatility of todays saltwater fishing boats, making them more capable, more comfortable and far safer than ever before. A few weeks ago we offered our top picks for the best freshwater fishing boats. Here are our choices for the best saltwater fishing boats for 2020.
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Smaller Size Boats Appeal To You More Than Larger Ones
You can choose a smaller vessel if you plan on fishing in smaller bodies of water or rivers. This is a very inexpensive option. Furthermore, you can save fuel by choosing smaller boats. There are places where boats of smaller sizes can go, but larger boats havent discovered them. Paddles are available on some small boats motors are available on some of the smaller boats as well. The trolling motors of some of the smaller boats provide fast drives hence, there is easy access to fishing habitats and other places.
Who Will You Be Fishing With
This is another question you should ask yourself, as this will help you decide which is the best fishing boat for you.
If you will be fishing with one or two buddies and fishing is the only reason you will be on the water, you can get by with a standard bass boat or a fish and ski boat. You wont need a whole lot of room, and the boat will have all of the features you need to fish.
If you will be fishing with your family and your family will enjoy cruising on the water, you would be best to choose a pontoon fishing boat. The fishing models of pontoon boats give you the best of both worlds. There is plenty of storage and fishing features that come with the boat, and it also gives your friends and family a place to sit and relax while on the water.
You can also choose a fish and ski option if you will be doing some fishing in between the times that someone will be pulled for tubing, wakeboarding, or skiing.
If you will be fishing with more than four people, you will need a boat to accommodate this. A bass boat would not be the best because it will only seat four people safely. You should choose a fish and ski model or a pontoon model for this case.
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What’s The Best 23 Offshore Fishing Boat
View Full ProfileView Full ProfileView Full ProfileView Full ProfileView Full ProfileView Full ProfileHighInterestThere is no one “best” 23′ offshore fishing boat. Sorry. I have owned and/or fished: 23′ Formula, 23 Slickcraft, 23′ Sea Craft , 23 Mako, 23 Sea Ox, 23 Cobia, 23 Regulator, 23 Wellcraft, 23 Grady, 23 Sea Ray Laguna CC, 22 Twin V, and countless others. Some had features that the others did not. Some were faster, some were wetter, some were more comfortable, and well, as with any boat, there are trade offs. You need to do your own research as to what you want from a boat. I agree that the 23 Sea Craft was a great boat. But was it better than the 23 Regulator? Not so sure. The 23 Formula rode like no other boat that I ever had, but it was slow, heavy, and wet. Good luck with your search.Mayhem13Best 23 for offshore?……..none really. Weather and deep water can make for poor conditions for any 23 foot boat which IMO is a bay boat.
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Top Sport Fishing Boats For 2021
While its true that 2020 is one of those years that many of us would perhaps prefer to forget, when it comes to sportfishing yachts and purpose-built saltwater fishing boats, it was actually a banner season. If youre a serious fisherman considering owning a boat, read our list of some of the best sportfishing yachts currently on the market. Whether you like massive convertibles, speedy center consoles, or expressive express yachts, these sportfishing boats all made newsworthy headlines in 2020 and are now great models for boat buyers to consider purchasing for the 2021 boating season.
Make Sure Someone Is Keeping Tabs On You
Make sure that somebody knows where you are fishing and when youre supposed to come back and knows what to do if you dont arrive when you should.
This is an important responsibility, so make sure you let this person know that your life is in their hands so that they dont forget that theyre supposed to be watching for you.
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Major Players In The Outboard Motor Market
The top names in outboard motors will likely sound familiar. They come from the worlds most popular engine manufacturing companies, and most of them also make cars or motorcycles. Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki, and Mercury come to mind first. Nissan currently makes outboard motors under the Tohatsu brand, though older vintages carry the Nissan badge. Evinrude is an exception since the brand is only associated with outboards, but the company is owned by the same people that make Rotax engines, Can-Am ATVs, and Sea-Doo jet skis.
Offshore Fishing Boat Size
The size of the boat you need for offshore fishing is dictated by the conditions and your risk tolerance. You could fish offshore in a boat as small as 10 ft, although even the more adventurous offshore fisherman prefer a boat of at least 15 ft.
The smaller the boat, the greater the risk with offshore fishing. However, offshore conditions can become treacherous even for considerably larger boats. To be very confident on the open water, youll want a seaworthy boat at least 30 or 40 feet long.
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Sea Fox 368 Commander
When you think of 35-plus-foot triple-engine center consoles you probably dont think of Sea Fox boats. At least, you wouldnt have prior to 2020, because Sea Fox didnt have any offerings in that range. But now they do, and when we got a ride on their new 368 Commander we liked what we saw. Serious fishing cred is instantly established with a huge tackle station in the back of the leaning post, a pair of twin 50-gallon pressurized transom livewells, and an aft-facing hard-top MFD. Comfort gets a boost with an extending aft sunshade and a huge forward console lounger. The clincher: 27 rodholders ring the boat, line the hard top, and grace the transom.
Visit Sea Fox for more information.
Everglades 243 Cc Bay Boat
When fishing for catfish, you need a sport fishing boat with a hull designed for freshwater-use. The Everglades 243 CC Bay Boat is designed for both inshore and offshore fishing. Youll particularly like the patent-pending upper station to help you spot catfish you never even knew were there.
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When Only The Best Will Do
You cant put a group of anglers together for long before the conversation shifts to debates over the best freshwater fishing boats.
Freshwater fishing is all about being versatile, and that places special demands on a boat. It has to handle rough open lakes and marshy stump-filled bays, providing equal stability in big lake swells or back bay shallows. Freeboard need to be high enough to keep guests dry when running through the rough stuff, yet low enough for easy pitching when fishing in tight. You need big live wells and tons of space for gear, because versatility also means being able to fish for bass in the morning, stripers or lake trout at mid-day and walleye in the evening often all in the same day. The best freshwater fishing boats meet these different challenges, and do it without breaking the bank.
Here are five of the best freshwater fishing boats available today. No matter where you wet a line, youll find these rides are all very tough to beat.
The Best Offshore Fishing Boats Of 2020
Finding the best fishing boats for your needs is no small task even if you limit your search specifically to the best offshore fishing boats, only. Truth be told there are always a number of trade-offs to make with any boat. Design a deeper V in the hull and you may improve ride characteristics, but youll likely reduce stability. Make a lighter boat and itll be more fuel efficient, but itll also be tossed around a bit more by the waves. The list goes on and on, and the best offshore fishing boats are those that attain a measure of balance in both critical and peripheral elements.
That said, some features are more important than others and we can boil down the most important to the following main characteristics:
- Hull design
Considering these among the most important attributes an offshore angler is likely to consider, our top contenders for best offshore fishing boats of 2020 include:
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When You Need A Bigger Boat: The Best Ocean Fishing Boats
If youre a fan of shows like National Geographics Wicked Tuna or The Discovery Channels Deadliest Catch, you may have acquired a taste for the high-seas adventure and ocean fishing. But before you click to purchase the first sportfishing boat you find on eBay, its a good idea to reel it in a bit.
Its important to consider where youll be fishing, as well as just how much fishing youll be doing. Unless youre into Alaskan king crab fishing, you probably dont need a boat able to take on the Bering Sea or the extreme North Atlantic.
What you need is something a bit hardier than a pontoon, bass or jon boat. Along with the traditional sportfishing boat, trawlers, center consoles and walkarounds all make great ocean fishing boats.
Glacier Bay 260/2665 Canyon Runner 19962008
At a Glance: A popular model, this top-tier cat was a popular model for Glacier Bay for many years. One of the smoothest, most comfortable and safest platforms for fishing offshore. Lighter than most any monohull her size. She rides on a pair of sharp, thin displacement hulls that were retooled in 1999 with a finer entry and wider chines.
Standard features include a leaning post with 35 gallon bait tank, console head compartment, fresh/raw-water washdowns, two macerated in-deck fish boxes, bait prep station, and lockable rod storage.
The 260s deep cockpit is a plus and so is the aggressive nonskid. Her aft deck is ready for action with over 60 square feet of working space. The stability of these boats is legendary. Twin 150hp 4-stroke Yamahas cruise at 2526 knots at nearly two mpg .
Price Range: Older models can be found in the $25K range. Newer boats go for around $40K.
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Invincible Boats 42 Open Fisherman
The Invincible Boats 42 Open Fisherman was designed with pro anglers in mind. This sport fishing boat offers an unmatched passage-making capability and remarkable stability that you dont get with any other long-range boat. It has 360-degree walkaround fishability and is fully customizable.
Contender 27 Open 19952007
At a Glance: Rough water, no problemthis legendary sport fishing machine still sets the standard in every category that counts. Lightweight, fast, with excellent range and a near flawless finish, the 27s fully cored hull is relatively light compared with other center consoles her size.
The deck layout is completely uncluttered, and wide walkways around the console make it easy to get around. Features include an integrated swim/dive platform, 50-gallon aft livewell, huge 140-gallon forward fish box, 76-gallon aft fish box, leaning post with rod holders, in-floor rod lockers.
The Contender 27s generous 810 beam just slightly exceeds the legal width for trailering in all states. A superb open water performer, 200hp Yamaha outboards top out at 45 knots.
Price Range: Strictly an East Coast boat. Anywhere from $35K to around $80K.
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