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Choosing the Right Inflatable Boat for Your Fishing Adventures

Inflatable fishing boats are not the traditional way of fishing. However, with the increasing stability of PVC technology and the increasing price of conventional fishing boats, inflatable fishing boats are becoming increasingly common in the angling world.

an inflatable fishing boat on the shore

However, these aren’t your childhood blow-up pool rafts. Instead, we’re talking about the same boats that Navy Seals and white water rafters use on the water – incredibly durable, portable, and inexpensive boats. 

If you’re looking to save some money and garage space on a fishing boat, an inflatable boat should be your first choice.

What does an inflatable fishing boat offer? There are several factors, including material, portability, and handling.

a person fishing off of an inflatable fishing boat

These boats are less expensive than chrome or solid counterparts, but they might compromise handling and maneuverability. Here are the 12 of the best inflatable fishing boats!

Top 12 Inflatable Fishing Boats

  1. Classic Accessories Colorado XTS
  2. Intex Seahawk Inflatable Boat
  3. Sea Eagle PackFish7 Inflatable Fishing Boat
  4. Newport Vessels Dana
  5. Newport Vessels Inflatable Sport Dinghies
  6. Airhead Angler Bay Inflatable Boat
  7. DAMA Inflatable Fishing Pontoon Tube Boat
  8. Sea Eagle Stealth Stalker 10 Boat
  9. Inflatable Sport Boats Killer Whale
  10. Sea Eagle 285 Inflatable Fishing Pontoon Boat
  11. Intex Excursion Pro Inflatable Fishing Kayak
  12. Classic Accessories Pontoon

Classic Accessories Colorado XTS

Class Accessories has been in the business of making inflatable pontoons for over a decade now, and their boats continue to get better.

Classic Accessories Colorado XTS

The Classics Accessories Colorado was a great pontoon and is still one of the most popular inflatable fishing pontoons available. However, the company kicked it up a notch with the Colorado XTS.

Any Classic Accessories Colorado pontoon has two inflatable pontoons and a comfortable seat in the middle.

There is a stripping basket and fish ruler, 20 separate pockets, and insulated drink holders. These boats are sturdy and look like professional fishing boats when in the water.

The XTS added a swiveling chair for maximum reach and a more robust anchor system.

It also has a removable wheel for more accessible transport, as the entire boat weighs about eighty pounds when deflated. The Colorado XTS is an excellent choice for a solid class 1 approved pontoon.


Intex Seahawk Inflatable Boat

While Classic Accessories sells an excellent pontoon-style inflatable fishing boat, you might be looking for something with a little more of a classic shape.

Intex Seahawk Inflatable Boat

The Intex Seahawk inflatable boat looks like an inflatable life raft and is a reliable way to bring a few fishing friends with you. It can seat up to four people (although that’s a little crowded).

Many fishing boats, inflatable or otherwise, are simply too expensive to be feasible. However, the main selling point of the Intex Seahawk is that it is highly affordable.

Even if you only fish a few times a year, you can buy this boat and get used to it. Like many inflatable boats, the Seahawk sits on top of the water instead of in it.

This means that it can be challenging to maneuver in windy conditions but works well in calm waters and smaller lakes or rivers. For fishing, it’s the perfect inexpensive and easily stored boat.


Sea Eagle PackFish7 Inflatable Fishing Boat

If you are a solo angler and want a solid fishing boat that will hold up for hours of fishing, check out the Sea Eagle PackFish7. Part of the PackFish line, this boat was made specifically for fishing and has all the requirements for a day on the water.

Sea Eagle PackFish7 Inflatable Fishing Boat

With a built-in fish ruler, multiple storage pockets, and fishing rod holders, the PackFish is rigged for some serious fishing.

The wooden floorboard is removable and helps give a more solid foundation, while the inflatable seat is comfortable enough to sit in all day. It comes with oars and is easy to carry, whether inflated or deflated.

Unlike many inflatable rafts, this boat has enough balance that you can stand and cast or sit while you fish.

For a smaller inflatable that doesn’t seat more than one person, it’s pretty impressive balance and handling. The sides are wide and made of tough nylon that won’t break under pressure.


Newport Vessels Dana

Newport Vessels have several inflatable options in its fleet. The smallest of these is the Dana, an 8-foot, 10-inch inflatable dinghy.

Newport Vessels Dana

However, just because it’s small doesn’t mean this boat isn’t serious. It’s rated as safe by the United States Coast Guard and is incredibly sturdy.

Newport makes inflatable boats capable of holding multiple people and a small motor to get you to the fish (although if you add a motor, you’ll need to register the boat according to your state’s laws).

This dinghy is designed to handle well in the water, despite it being inflatable and lighter than many traditional boats.

The Dana was created for one-person fishing expeditions but is weight rated for up to two adults. It also has a wooden floor and aluminum bench for added stability.

You won’t even remember that you’re in an inflatable boat on the water – it’s pretty close to the real thing!


Newport Vessels Inflatable Sport Dinghies

If you want the stability and the high quality of the Dana but don’t love the size, check out the rest of the Newport Vessels inflatable dinghies.

These boats are equally as solid and reliable as the Dana. We talked about that one separately because it was meant for solo fishing, but if you want larger trips, look at a different size.

Newport has several sizes available, starting with the 8 foot 10 inches Dana and going all the way up to the 12 foot 6 inch Newport Catalina. All six of these models have very similar shapes, and all are Coast Guard rated.

Although you can take more than one person out in boats as small as the Dana, it’s much easier in a large boat.

This is especially true if you plan on bringing fishing gear, snacks, water, and other fishing trip essentials. However, any of these high-end inflatable boats would make the perfect choice for a fishing expert.


Airhead Angler Bay Inflatable Boat

This option is much cheaper than others on the list. It doesn’t have as high-quality PVC, wooden components, or as many fancy extras, but it is affordable, and it’s large.

Airhead Angler Bay Inflatable Boat

Marketed as a three-person boat, this raft will comfortably fit two adults and fishing gear. It does fit three people, but not if you also want to fish.

Although it’s not quite as sturdy as some of the more expensive options on this list, the Airhead Angler Bay will hold up in any condition.

The main complaint customers have is that it tends to lose air after a while. However, if you bring the pump on the water with you, you can prevent that issue.

For a sturdy boat that works well and doesn’t break the bank, this is a great choice. You can spend all day fishing in it, either by yourself or with a friend. For a competitive price, this boat offers a great way to fish or float around.


DAMA Inflatable Fishing Pontoon Tube Boat

Some of the best inflatable fishing boats are huge and can hold up to three people. On the other hand, others are meant for a more intimate fishing experience.

DAMA Inflatable Fishing Pontoon Tube Boat

This DAMA inflatable tube boat doesn’t even have a bottom – it’s just a seat over the water with a pontoon on either side.

The DAMA pontoon is small and perfect for fishing on small lakes, ponds, or still creeks.

It’s more of a float than a boat, but it is built with incredibly sturdy material and is easy to maneuver. If you don’t mind getting your feet a little wet when you’re fishing, you’ll love this personal pontoon.

It’s the perfect combination of lounging in the pool and fishing – you can relax with your feet in the water, an awning over your head, and float around the pond leisurely catching fish.

This pontoon works excellently with a fish finder – it’s so quiet that the fish get close to you!


Sea Eagle Stealth Stalker 10 Boat

Sea Eagle is one of the most reliable boating brands available, and the Stealth Stalker is by far their most popular inflatable boat. It has all the luxury of a solid boat while staying lightweight and portable.

The Stealth Stalker can easily seat two people and comes with two comfortable swivel chairs for ideal fishing.

This little boat packs a lot of versatility with sturdy material, exceptional portability, and a very high weight load. It includes the seats, rod holders, storage pockets, and space for fishing gear and coolers.

The Sea Eagle Stealth Stalker is motor capable and comes with a manufacturer’s proof of sale.

If your state requires a sale’s deed, Sea Eagle will provide one within a few days. The company is known for having some of the best customer service.


Inflatable Sport Boats Killer Whale

Inflatable Sport Boats is a well-named brand: it sells three different inflatable sports boats.

Inflatable Sport Boats Killer Whale

Each boat is high-quality, capable of equipping a motor, has a three-year warranty, and is sealed to last in fresh and saltwater. However, the one we want to talk about is the largest of the three.

The Killer Whale is 10 feet 8 inches long. You can easily fit three people in this. Unlike several other boats on this list, the Killer Whale wasn’t made for fishing.

There aren’t rod holders or a built-in fish ruler. However, it’s an incredibly versatile boat and will work wonders if you live near the ocean or a larger lake.

Because of the nature of inflatable boats, they should stay in calmer waters. However, the boats made by this company are rated for some ocean journeys as well.

Of course, you can’t be too far out in them, but these boats are sturdy enough to pull an innertube or keep up with the other speedboats.


Sea Eagle 285 Inflatable Fishing Pontoon Boat

The Sea Eagle 285 exists for solo fishing. Onboard, you can find two Scotty mounts and rod holders, a singular swivel chair, and a built-in fish ruler and stripping apron.

Its unique shape increases maneuverability in the water and fishing space while staying light and portable.

For solo fishing, you won’t find a better deal on a high-quality fishing boat than the Sea Eagle. It folds up to weigh seven pounds and can fit in a closet (although we recommend cleaning it first or keeping it in the garage after fishing).

This boat is customizable as well–you can take out the swivel chair, add a motor, or introduce other fishing equipment. With the Sea Eagle, you can make fishing trips continue a few days.


Intex Excursion Pro Inflatable Fishing Kayak

Although boats are more common for fishing, you can also fish out of a canoe or a kayak. This inflatable kayak fits two people (or one person and lots of fish) and inflates within a few minutes.

Intex Excursion Pro Inflatable Fishing Kayak

Kayaks are great because they cut the water effortlessly and can get up to much higher speeds when rowing.

This particular kayak can become an expert fishing vessel with mounts for rods and fishing equipment. There are also two different skegs for shallow and deep water.

If you’re looking for something a little sportier than a boat or want to be able to row with your family when not fishing, this kayak is a great choice. It’s just as sturdy and portable as the boats on this list but adds a layer of versatility that you only get with a kayak.


Classic Accessories Pontoon

Like the Colorado at the start of this list, the Classic Accessories Roanoke works well on any water. It is smaller than the Colorado but just as versatile, rated for fresh and saltwater.

This pontoon weighs 43 pounds fully assembled and is easy to carry and inflate. Like its larger cousin, you can put the Roanoke together in under twenty minutes and get out on the water. There is plenty of storage space in the back and along the sides as well.

Although the Colorado is a bigger and better seller for Classic Accessories, this pontoon is smaller and easier to carry.

The Roanoke pontoon is an excellent option for a high-quality vessel in a slightly smaller size. It gives the perfect compromise on size without losing any quality or maneuverability in the water.


Final Thoughts

Before you decide on a boat, take your fishing habits and your own needs into account. How often do you fish? Is it worth buying a sturdier vessel so it will last longer?

Also, if you fish alone, you might not need the largest boats on the list, but if you often bring company, don’t get a single-person float!

From the Intex Excursion Pro to the Airhead Angler Bay, these are all some of the best inflatable fishing boats for lake, river, or creek fishing.

If you want something that’s just a little bit bigger than an inflatable fishing boat but still just as versatile, you may want to take a look at some of the great fishing skiffs out there.

Rocco Smith

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