Sportfishing boats can make or break a fishing trip. Get the right boat, and your trip will almost always be a success, even if the fishing was not that great. Get the wrong boat, and your day on the water can be nothing short of misery.
What makes the perfect boat, though?
That answer is, of course, subjective to what you like and where you fish, and the type of fishing you are doing, but there are a few basic parameters.
The perfect boat mixes comfort with storage and fishing space and is durable enough to withstand whatever body of water you are fishing.
Below is a rundown of the best sportfishing boats that accomplish all of that, plus are lower maintenance, good on fuel, and put you in the best position to catch fish possible.
Best Sportfishing Boats
The Yellowfin 36 Offshore sportfishing boat was introduced in 2003 to give serious sportfishing enthusiasts the power, performance, and range needed to win tournaments.
The initial Yellowfin 36 met those expectations and since, through several upgrades, have never looked back.
Able to handle double and triple 225 HP outboards, the boat also sports nine-foot rod boxes, two bait wells and fish boxes, four-rod holders, and wide covering boards.
There is more storage underneath, and the fuel tank holds 390 gallons. The length is 36.8’ with a 22” draft. With the power, room to move, and range, fishing on this Yellowfin is a pleasure.
Cobia 296 CC
The 296 CC is Cobia’s remade center console sportfishing boat. Running on twin Yamaha 4.2L V6 outboards, the 296 is ready for just about anything you throw at it.
It can comfortably hold 4 to 5 anglers and has two 28-gallon recirculating livewells, two 80-gallon fish boxes, and 30 square feet of unobstructed, free space aft of the leaning post/rocket launcher.
There are multiple tackle storage spaces for fishing, 8-rod holders around the boat, and two storage bins for tackle, bumpers, etc. The console is sunken for 360 degrees, bow to stern fishing room, and two forward benches provide more than enough room for casting.
Calling this a “bay boat” does not do it justice. It runs on a 243cc motor that can get you just about anywhere, while its platform/bow seating makes it easy to cast.
The Everglades 243cc has a 36-gallon livewell and a 67-gallon fish box. The fiberglass hardtop comes with LED lights, spreader lights, 4-rod holders, and a ski pylon.
On deck, there are drink holders, front and aft seating, plus a portable ladder for swimming. This boat comes with a 65-quart Yeti Cooler and four additional rod/cup holders. There is storage for rods under the gunwale, storage, and tackle lockers.
Grady-White Express 330
The Grady-White Express 330 is so comfortable it might trick you into thinking it is a family boat. It is, but it is also an amazing sportfishing boat.
33 feet long with a luxurious cabin, including stainless steel refrigerator, sink, and stove, this Express also features outrigger kits, 6 horizontal rod storage racks, a cabinet, and under berth storage.
Additionally, the Express 330 comes with 4-rod holders, a 45-gallon livewell, 254-quart fish box, and an integrated outboard mounting system with a swim platform and ladder.
This boat lets you treat all your guests to luxury without sacrificing fishing equipment, open space, or storage.
Invincible 36 Open Fisherman
The first thing that should be stated about the invincible 35 Open Fisherman is that it is gorgeous.
Beyond show-pony good looks, however, is a workhorse of a vessel that will more than meet most sportfishing needs. Powered by Triple Mercury Verado motors, the Invincible can pull off a 525-plus nautical mile range, so overnights are not an issue.
The Invincible 36 has a 360-degree walk-around open space for fishing, two livewells, three fish boxes, rod racks, gunnel gaff holders, and multiple rod holders.
There is also ample storage space for safety equipment and tackle, multiple automatic bilge pumps, and ample lighting options.
Invincible Boats 42’ Center Cabin
The 42’ Invincible Center Cabin is a unique boat in that it successfully merges comfort and luxury with fishability.
Sporting a plush interior complete with air conditioning, refrigerator, microwave, and sink, the Center Cabin has above and below deck livewells, under-deck storage, side storage, and an insulated fish box.
This boat has a nautical range of over 550 nautical miles and a 360-degree, walk-around fishing space.
Three automatic 200 GPH bilge pumps stand at the ready to remove excess water. So you never have to worry about power, there is also a battery charger, and the triple engines can produce over 1,600 HP.
For an inshore fishing experience, the Maverick Mirage is difficult to top. Its “V” hull form provides smoothness during open water rides and silence when poling, trolling or drifting.
Additionally, the Vacuum Assisted Resin System with carbon fiber and Kevlar laminate ensures exceptional strength while maintaining lightweight qualities.
The single Yamaha F150 motor helps the Mirage achieve a top speed of over 60 MPH, and its large deck can easily handle up to four anglers.
The console has ample space to add electronics. The boat comes with a push pole holder, 13 fore and aft rod tubes, and a 28-gallon livewell.
Pathfinder 2200 TRS
If you are looking for frills, the 2200 TRS is probably not your fishing boat. That said, anglers widely regard it as the best lightweight tackle boat on the market.
Newly redesigned in 2015, the 2200 TRS has under gunwale rod storage, a larger deck, multiple storage compartments, a 28-gallon livewell, and an automatic bilge pump.
Regarding fishing features, the boat features 2 4-bank rod racks, 2 gunnel rod holders, and locking rod storage on both port and starboard.
The console has a windshield and grab rail to ensure stability even in rough water, and it can be modified to hold multiple fishing electronics devices.
Pursuit OS 385
It is difficult to imagine a more complete fishing vessel than the Pursuit OS 385. With ample room for every type of fishing you can imagine, plus a galley and cabin and a fully-equipped cockpit, the question is, what does the boat lack?
The answer is not much. The galley comes with a stove, refrigerator, freezer, and sink. There is a head and ample sleeping quarters.
The OS 385 has four-rod holders in the gunwale, a recirculating, 50-gallon livewell, and a 75-gallon insulated and refrigerated fish box, as well as 2 additional fish boxes in-deck.
There are two cabin rod holders and a lockable gunwale rod storage compartment. Additionally, downriggers can be added with a simple modification.
The Regulator 28 is a center console boat built for open water or inshore fishing. Compact but with ample amenities, this boat is great for a family outing or fishing with friends, and it can hold its own in any tournament setting.
The console is state of the art, including a widescreen chart plotter, sonar displays, VHF radio, CHIRP transducer, and modification tools.
For fishing, there are two illuminated, forward fishing boxes and in-deck locking rod storage, and a fish box. Additionally, to keep fish alive, the boat has a 33-gallon transom livewell. Standard models come with four stainless steel rod holders.
Versatility is the name of the game for the SeaVee 340, from its twin or triple outboard capability to its two diverse configurations: Family mode or tournament fishing boat.
Regardless of what configuration you choose, the 340 has a maximum range of over 325 miles and a fuel capacity of over 230 gallons. It also has head capabilities, and some models have showers.
The deck layout is second to none as well. Every model has one fish box and a livewell, plus lockable rod lockers, transom storage, and a custom tackle station. The boat also has a transom dive door and ample aft storage.
Boston Whaler 280 Outrage
Whenever a boat is described as having everything a serious angler could want, you know it goes above and beyond.
With the 280 Outrage, whether you are a serious angler, weekend warrior, or family-oriented boater, you are covered. This boat was designed to merge comfort-oriented amenities with top-end fishing functionality.
The boat is powered by twin motors, 800 and 500 HP. It can handle up to 12 people and has a fuel capacity of 186 gallons.
For standard features, every boat comes with under gunwale rod racks, multiple rod holders, an aft tackle storage center, bait-prep area, 30-gallon livewell, and two fish boxes big enough to bring home dinner for everyone.
Bertram 35 Flybridge Sportfish
Whether you are boating for leisure or into hardcore fishing, you will be pampered on the Bertram 35 Flybridge Sportfish.
It is a boat that exudes luxury and captures the seriousness of landing giants. The boat has a fully stocked galley with cabinets, refrigerator, stovetop and microwave, stateroom, and fully equipped head.
There is under-gunwale storage, fish boxes with macerators, rod holding, and storage options for fishing.
The livewell resides in the transom and has an aquarium view. Additionally, there is a shower on deck with hot and cold water options and multiple portable and fixed seating options.
The 35ST is a boat built with one intent: Give you a customized fishing experience like no other. Start with the 400-gallon fuel cell and maximum 1200 HP, giving the boat a maximum cruising speed of over 65 MPH.
Then there are the fishing amenities. The boat has multiple rod holders, tons of rod storage space, a tackle station, wide deck fishing areas, livewell, and giant fish boxes for any fish you catch.
Three motors get you where you want to go and back quickly. Finally, the cockpit is state of the art, and it all can be customized to fit your personal fishing boat goals and dreams.
Grady White Express 370
The Express 370 is a 37-foot cabin cruiser that can be used as a fishing boat, family outing vessel, or a cool way to travel.
Boasting an incredible amount of storage, one-of-a-kind performance, a grand cabin, galley, enclosed head, and sleeping quarters, the Express 370 strives to merge sport with luxury and performance and largely succeeds.
The Express 370 has four-rod holders and horizontal storage racks for six rods for fishing.
On deck, there is a rigging station with a faucet, bait holder, and lockable drawers. The 291-quart fish box is refrigerated, and a 48-gallon livewell ensures your catch stays alive.
Hell’s Bay Professional
The 17.8-foot Professional is the ultimate “no-frills” ride because this shallow water skiff with poling capabilities was designed with one thing in mind: Catching fish.
Everything on the boat, from the poling platform to the 70 HP motor, screams fishing. You might be able to find a boat with less than a 4.5” draft, but you will not find one with as many standard features.
Onboard, there is storage for up to 9’ rods. Spray rails are incorporated into the hull for stability and ease of movement.
A livewell keeps the catch fresh with dual 800 GPH pumps, and hydraulic steering ensures a smooth ride even in tight spaces.
With an upgraded interior, new touchscreen electronics, and twin Evinrude outboards, the Hydra-Sports 25 is the ultimate day fishing adventure.
Basic features include spreader lights and rocket launchers, fish boxes, outrigger mounting plates, side trolling rod holders, and plenty of lighting for fishing when light and visibility are low.
The boat has horizontal rod racks, 2 insulated fish boxes, and a 32-gallon transom livewell. It can be powered by single or twin outboards.
The console has standard instrumentation, including a Raymarine and Garmin package, satellite radio and tempered glass windscreen, and ample fishing and sitting room.
The Jupiter 31 is one of the most popular sportfishing boats on the market for good reason: It is dependable, comfortable, and loaded with features that turn any fishing outing into an adventure.
Outfitted for twin outboards and stowing a 260-gallon fuel capacity, there are not too many places this boat cannot go.
The cuddy cabin configuration is roomy and comes with a refrigerator and microwave and a center helm with head/shower facilities.
For fishing equipment, this Jupiter has 2 fish boxes, a transom livewell, lockable rod storage, rod holders, and trolling rod holders. The electronics are standard, but there is space to expand.
Lund 1800 Sport Angler
Anglers designed Lund’s 1800 Sport Angler. It shows in every feature, from the superior small boat sportfishing horsepower to ample fishing room and chairs.
Powered by a single four-stroke Mercury engine, its maximum output is 115 HP, adequate for all but open ocean. The Sport Angler is equally at home in fresh and saltwater.
Its fishing equipment is barebones, but the way most anglers prefer it. There is not a lot of stuff to get in the way or trip over. It has 6-rod holders, 2 pedestal chairs, and a trolling configuration. Additionally, the 1800 has an 18-gallon fish box.
Scout 420 LXF
Scout is known for quality, and the 420 LXF is no exception. It seamlessly merges comfort, space, convenience, and fishing in a way that will create an enjoyable trip for everyone.
The cabin has an air conditioner and two berths that convert into a queen. The boat employs state-of-the-art electronics and a standard engine.
Every 420 comes with an 80-gallon cockpit baitwell, sink, and cutting board. There is ample rod storage in the cabin and on deck.
Additionally, the boat sports 2 fish boxes and a livewell. Rod holders are placed around the boat, and there is much room to fish and maneuver on deck.
For pure fishing, the SeaCraft 20 is unrivaled. Following the classic SeaCraft of decades past, this bay boat reminds one of an earlier time while providing modern conveniences.
At over 30 feet long, it can handle bay or ocean and is powered by twin 250 HP outboards. Rod holders are dispersed around the boat, and it has ample rod storage on deck and underneath.
Every Seacraft 20 has multiple fish boxes, bait preparation spaces, and a large livewell. Navigation is made easy with state-of-the-art electronics. Decks space is spacious, and there are several types of chairs to relax in.
With a 400 HP engine, the Striker 44 can get you where you want to go and then some.
The boat is a classic sportfishing boat with a strong influence of a commercial fishing boat, which means the focus is on fishing for long periods in comfort and convenience. Every Striker 44 has a galley with a refrigerator, oven, microwave, and a private head.
Its fishing equipment is both standard and unique, featuring multiple fish boxes and a very large livewell.
Rod holders are prolific, and there is on-deck and cabin rod storage. The electronics are standard for a large fishing boat, but there is ample modification space.
This list provides you with the best sportfishing boats on the market. Whether you are looking for sportfishing boats that only fish or allow you to entertain, you cannot go wrong with any of the vessels that made this list.