Which Boat Is Right For Me: Bay Boats

Which Boat Is Right For Me: Bay Boats

Love to fish for flounder, redfish, tarpon, or trout? This installment of “Which Boat is Right For Me” is for you! Today we will be introducing the world of bay boats which are becoming more and more popular along the east coast.

Bay Boats

Similar to their flats boat counterparts, bay boats offer a smooth ride but with many of the same features.  They are perfect for getting up in creeks, cast-netting, and are considered fishing machines.

Main Benefits of Bay Boats:

  • Very shallow draft
  • Specially equipped for fishing
  • Wide-open casting decks

Bay boats will generally have at least two live wells, power pole anchoring systems, and plenty of tackle storage. T-tops are optional and many engines are mounted on a jack-plate which allows for height adjustment in very shallow water. Bay boats can have incredible power on the back with 21 footers boasting 300 horsepower!

T-tops are optional on most bay boats and can save your skin on a long day of fishing. However, they can cut down on casting room so it is an important option to consider.

Choosing the Right Size:

Bay boats are limited in length and the largest available models top out around 26 feet. Anything larger and you are looking at an offshore center console. However, larger bay boats are able to go offshore and most will at least have a modified V-hull to cut through small chop.

On the other end of the spectrum, there are plenty of small models available from companies such as Grady-White, Yellowfin, and Edgewater which are perfect for inshore fishing. It will come down to how much room, and fishing options, you plan on including on your vessel.

For those who plan on occasionally heading offshore on a slick day, it is probably better to stick to a larger bay boat in the 24-26′ range. If you live inland or don’t plan on heading offshore, an 18-22 footer is a solid option.

Need Help?

We come across thousands of boats every week and are experts at helping our clients narrow down that perfect boat. Please email or call with any questions you may have and we will get back to you ASAP.

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