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Small Fishing Boats

These boats are very versatile, since most can be used in either fresh or saltwater.

Small Fishing Boats are Easy to Transport

Small fishing boats offer a great deal of versatility since most can be used in either fresh or saltwater and provide anglers with access to narrow inlets, bays, flats and shallow shorelines where many species of game fish prefer to feed. Due to the size of these types of fishing boats, they are much easier to transport and use for exploring different waterways.

When considering the ideal small fishing boat for you and your family, think about the areas you plan to fish, the species you prefer to catch, the number of passengers you will have on board, and where you intend to store the boat.

Powered by outboard engine, trolling motor or paddles, small fishing boats are a good choice for first-time boat owners. There are several different types that may fit your preferences and lifestyle.

  • Kayaks. Fishing kayaks are paddle-powered or pedal-powered small fishing boats that allow you to fish tight spots that a motorboat wouldn't be able to access. They are quiet, convenient, economical, 16 feet or less in length, and come in either sit-on-top or sit-inside models.
  • Inflatables. If you have a limited amount of storage or transporting space, an inflatable boat might be the best small fishing boat for you. Inflatables are made in sizes up to 30 feet.
  • Aluminum fishing boats. This is a small fishing boat, generally no greater than 24 feet in length, and can be transported using either a small, light trailer or by placing it on top of a truck rack. The smallest, simplest types of aluminum fishing boats are often called jon boats.
  • Flats boats. Small fishing boats that generally require less than and two feet of water to operate. These flat-bottomed boats are generally less than 25 feet in length and are most often used by saltwater anglers when fishing for species such as bonefish, snook or redfish.
  • Bass boats. These types of fishing boats are generally less than 26 feet in length and come equipped with large outboard motors and state-of-the-art livewell systems.
  • Jon boats. Jon boats are basic, inexpensive small boats that are constructed with aluminum flat-bottoms and bench seating. They are 20 feet in length or less and are easy to transport.
  • Small pontoon boats. Since pontoon boats are known for stability, small pontoon boats are a good choice for those who intend to take fishing trips with young children or grandparents.

Once you have narrowed down your fishing boat options, find out how to register your boat and where to boat near you.