Fishing is one of the most popular outdoor recreational activities. Nothing beats the excitement of feeling that first tug on the line and reeling in your catch. To fully enjoy the fishing experience, having the right boat is vital. Whether looking for your first fishing boat or upgrading to something bigger, there are plenty of options for fishing boats for sale.
Types of Fishing Boats for Sale
There are several main types of fishing boats to choose from when looking for your next vessel. The most common categories include:
- Bass boats – Designed for freshwater bass fishing, with an elevated casting deck and plenty of storage for tackle and gear. Bass boats are usually aluminum or fiberglass.
- Bay boats – Versatile powerboats well-suited for protected coastal waters and calm rivers. Bay boats offer stability and open layouts.
- Flats boats – Purpose-built for saltwater flats fishing in shallow waters. Flats boats have skinny drafts and often feature polling platforms.
- Offshore boats – Big, seaworthy boats built for offshore big game fishing. Offshore boats offer extended range and heavy-duty equipment.
- Bowriders/deck boats – Family-friendly fishing boats with open bow sections. Bowriders and deck boats offer stability and ample seating.
Each category has a range of sizes, layouts, and capabilities. Carefully consider where and how you plan to fish to select the correct type of boat.
What length boat is best for fishing?
Ideal fishing boat length depends on factors like fishing location, number of people, and towing vehicle capacity. Generally, 16 to 18 feet works well for solo anglers and smaller waters, while 20+ feet provides more room for additional passengers and gear for larger lakes.
Is it better to buy new or used fishing boats?
Both new and used fishing boats have advantages. New boats offer the latest designs, warranties, and technology. Used boats are more affordable and often come well-equipped. Evaluate condition, pricing, and value when deciding.
What should I look for when viewing a used fishing boat?
When viewing a used boat, look for signs of damage on the hull, carpet, seats, and storage compartments. Test drive it to ensure good engine performance. Have a mechanic inspect the engine compression and electronics. Check registrations and documentation as well.
Key Features to Look for When Buying a Fishing Boat
When comparing different fishing boats for sale, there are several key features to evaluate:
- Propulsion – Outboard, inboard, and trolling motors each have pros and cons. Consider speed, thrust, maintenance, and tank capacity.
- Electronics – Fishfinder sonars, GPS units, and marine radios are essential fishing boat electronics. Evaluate onboard systems.
- Livewells – Built-in fish boxes and aerated livewells safely hold your catch. Look for large, insulated live wells.
- Rod storage – Interior and exterior rod holders and storage racks safely secure fishing rods while underway.
- Anchoring – Anchors, ropes, cleats, and trolleys allow you to hold position over fishing spots.
- Seating – Helm and aft seating should be comfortable and support long days on the water.
Prioritize the most useful features for the bodies of water you’ll be fishing regularly. The ideal fishing boat will have the right blend of performance, disability, and utility for your needs.
Once you’ve settled on the type of fishing boat you want, it’s time to search for specific vessels for sale. Here are some recommendations on where to find options:
- Online classifieds – Sites like Craigslist often list local fishing boats for sale by owner. Be sure to view any boat before purchasing.
- Boat dealerships – Visit local marine dealers to see new and used models. Dealers can also help with financing and accessories.
- Boat shows – Attend a local boat show to see and compare a variety of makes and models in one place.
- Marinas – Ask local marinas about fishing boats for sale in your area. Marinas often know about boats that have yet to be publicly listed.
- Fishing forums – Join fishing message boards and Facebook groups to connect with people selling boats in your region.
Cast a wide net when searching by checking all of these resources. Comparing multiple boats is the best way to find the vessel that checks all your boxes.
When you find promising fishing boats for sale, schedule a thorough inspection before making any purchasing decisions:
- Test drive – Schedule an extensive test drive to evaluate handling, performance, electronics, and ease of launch and retrieval.
- Engine and systems – Have a marine mechanic inspect the engine, wiring, bilges, electronics, steering, and fuel system.
- Hull condition – Check for cracks, damage, leaks, or other hull, deck, and interior issues. Knock on the hull to listen for voids.
- Safety equipment – Ensure required safety gear like life jackets, throwable flotation devices, fire extinguishers, and distress signals are onboard.
- Registrations – Review current registration stickers and documentation to ensure they are up to date.
- Overall maintenance – Look for signs of neglect like corrosion, mildew, and poor upkeep. Well-maintained boats are best.
Comparing multiple boats side-by-side makes it easier to find issues and see which vessel is the best value for your fishing needs. Take your time with a purchase before thoroughly inspecting each system.
Top Places to Find Fishing Boats for Sale in Ontario
Ontario is a premier fishing destination with abundant lakes, rivers, and shorelines. For anglers based in Ontario, you’ll have plenty of options when shopping locally for a fishing boat. Here are some of the top places to find fishing boats for sale in Ontario:
- Lake Simcoe – A productive fishery close to Toronto, Lake Simcoe is a hotspot for bass, walleye, and panfish. Check around Barrie, Orillia, and Georgina.
- Thousand Islands – The St. Lawrence River channels around the Thousand Islands hold bass, pike, muskie, walleye, and more.
- Ottawa River – Flowing along the Ontario and Quebec border, the Ottawa River has spectacular walleye, pike, bass, and muskie opportunities.
- Georgian Bay – Part of Lake Huron, Georgian Bay is renowned for its clear waters, granite islands, and diverse fishery.
Wherever you plan to fish most in Ontario, look nearby to find a selection of new and used fishing boats for sale ready for local waters.
Aluminum fishing boats offer many benefits, making them an intelligent choice for anglers. Some of the top aluminum fishing boat models and brands to look for include:
- Lund Alaskan – Rugged, welded aluminum construction in various fishing-friendly layouts. They are known for their stability and durability.
- Lowe Roughneck – Large aluminum fishing boats with ample power and storage space. Customizable layouts.
- Alumacraft Trophy – All-welded construction optimized for tournament fishing. Spacious casting decks and lockable storage.
- Crestliner PT 18 – Compact yet stable aluminum boat with an open floor plan. Great for small lakes and rivers.
- Tracker Pro Guide V-16 – Roomy interior with Pro-Series II hull and rotating co-pilot chair. They are tuned for bass fishing.
Aluminum provides strength and durability while remaining lightweight. Look for stable, corrosion-resistant aluminum boats built to handle years of fishing.
To find the perfect fishing boat for sale near your location, follow these steps:
- Make a list of your must-have features – Your boat needs to match how and where you fish. Focus on necessities like size, power, and layout.
- Set a budget – Research pricing to set a realistic budget. Consider the cost of the boat, motor, trailer, gear, insurance, and maintenance.
- Search local listings – Check online classifieds, dealership websites, and forum sale sections. Expand your search area as needed.
- Act quickly on promising listings – Boats in great shape at fair prices go fast. Be ready to view and buy once you find a match.
- Attend boat shows – Try to attend local boat shows where you can see many options from multiple dealers.
Finding the ideal fishing boat for sale to match your needs and budget is exciting. Focus on choosing a boat suited for the fishing you do most often and the bodies of water you frequent. Evaluate layout, performance, electronics, and disability when comparing options. Consider buying used boats to get more value.
With good research and shopping tactics, you can find the perfect fishing boat for sale ready to take you to the fish this season. Soon you’ll be landing trophy catches from the comfort of your new vessel!