There is a lot to consider when choosing a fishing boat. Where do you plan on fishing and what type of water should you prepare for? What type of fish do you plan to catch? This video walks you through the basics and will give you a good idea of the direction you want to go.
Bass boats are designed for use in fresh water, as you might expect. They are fast and tend to be low to the water to give you the best access to the fish. In addition to the engine they usually come with an electric trolling motor for quiet cruising. Casting platforms in the bow and the stern are characteristic of this type of boat. They often come with amenities like depth sounders and marine stereo equipment.
Runabouts are also great for fresh water fishing on a lake or river. These smaller boats are usually made of aluminum or fiberglass, but classic boats can be found that have wooden hulls. Outboard motors are not uncommon, but they also come with inboard engines. Most are between 15 and thirty feet in length. A runabout will not have a cabin or a lot of amenities for other activities. You can certainly add marine speakers or other electronics to make your boating experience better. However, these boats are basically designed to get you out there and bring back your fish.
Some lakes do not allow boats with motors, but that doesn’t mean you can’t fish there. A simple canoe can be a very peaceful way to get out on the water and do some fishing. If even that is beyond your budget, consider a float tube. I’m not talking about a recycled truck tire tube, either. Float tubes come in many different styles and many are specifically designed for fishing with storage areas for fish and tackle.
If you want to do some saltwater fishing then you are definitely going to need something larger and seaworthy. Inshore boats are typically designed with a flat bottom or shallow draft for plying more shallow waters. Most are around 25 feet long and offer lots of deck space and storage for rods and tackle. The hull is usually made of aluminum or fiberglass and they often have outboard type motors.
Offshore boats are much larger and are built to withstand an ocean environment. You should expect to spend quite a bit for a boat of this type. Luxury yachts often fall into this category because they have features that facilitate fishing.