Boat fishing is the next logical step for anyone tired of casting from the river bank or lake shore. You’ll be able to find the perfect spot to catch your fill in less time with the power of human ingenuity! But you should be careful. The wrong boat can run your fishing plans aground. Don’t limit your fishing options with inadequate research. Figure out what type of fishing you want to do, where you plan on doing it, and how many people will be coming with you.
Here at North Georgia Watersports, we understand there are a lot of options facing potential boat owners, so we’ve put together this short guide for making sure the basic components are there for your fishing needs.
When you’re ready to make a purchase, head to our location in Blairsville, Georgia, near Atlanta, where our team of friendly and knowledgeable staff will help you find what you’re looking for in a fishing boat.
Hulls: Fresh vs Salt
Fishing in freshwater can be quite different than fishing in saltwater, and even if you’ll be spending most of your time in one area there are a few details to consider.
Aiming to take on bass, catfish, or other fish that prefer the shallow waters close to the bank? A lightweight boat with a long tail or surface drive motor will serve you well. The lighter your boat, the more easily you can traverse the shallows without running aground. These boats won’t do well in deeper or rougher water, so don’t plan on using a riverboat for the deep blue sea.
When going after saltwater fish, you’ll generally be casting into the bay or far enough out that you can reach the real deep water. Larger, ocean-going boats are designed for sport fishing. Deepwater boats have big aluminum hulls to survive rough, deep water. Their hulls are deeper as well and will keep you out of shallow waters but make for great trolling.
Bay fishing doesn’t need anything quite so big, and you’ll want a flat, wide hull for smooth navigation over weedy water.
How many people do you plan to take on your fishing trips? A solo fisherman just won’t need as much room as a group of eager anglers. Larger cabins fit more people, but that means a bigger, more expensive boat. And if your boat isn’t big enough or has a flat bottom, you’ll find trolling quite difficult.
A center console boat is a better fit for one or two people and allows for faster travel for those who don’t want to be anchored by a big boat crowded with passengers. Don’t plan on bringing an extra friend though, because these boats just won’t have enough room for anything extra.
There are medium designs too, like walkaround fishing boats that provide room for a handful of people while keeping a compact cabin and hull size. While lacking much (if any) cabin space, these boats will give you plenty of room for multiple people to cast off.
The “Reel” Cost
Boats can be expensive, and big, fast, or specialized vessels will only increase cost. Make a budget so you don’t get carried away with additional amenities or unnecessary upgrades. Also include operational costs like fuel, maintenance, insurance, parts, gear, storage, winterization, and slip rental. Everything can add up fast, so don’t wait until you’re in the showroom to figure out the numbers.
There’s a lot of details to think over when purchasing a new fishing boat, but a little research goes a long way to helping you make an informed decision. If you still have questions, or you just want to take a look at our great selection of new and pre-owned fishing boats, visit North Georgia Watersports in Blairsville, Georgia, where we know how to have fun on the water. We’re also proud to serve Gainesville, Hiawassee, and Blue Ridge, as well as our neighbors in Murphy, North Carolina. Come in today and learn why our customers keep coming back!