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6 Budget Fishing Boats to Buy Right Now

Cruising the Hanford Reach by Author

These budget fishing boats will cover all kinds of water in search of all kinds of fish species.

As country artist Chris Janson explains in his hit song, "I know what they say, money can't buy everything, but it can buy me a boat."

These boats will help any angler in their quest for everything that swims, and are some of the best buys in the market to research at your local boat show or dealer.

1. Drift Boat

Clackacraft Steelhead Deluxe


This entry-level fiberglass drift boat is manufactured by the most well-known name in the game. This 16-foot model is ideal for allowing some space for passengers, without sacrificing maneuverability. The side height is 23" and the boat weighs about 284 pounds.

The built-in rod gunnels are a nice touch to keep your rod tips protected and out of the way. This model will handle up to a 10hp motor, but a smaller motor or even a transom mounted electric trolling motor will serve its purpose.

2. Bay Trolling Boat


Klamath Center Console Series

This boat is ideal for crabbing, trolling for salmon in the bays, and inshore saltwater. The stand up helm allows room to move all around the boat. Heavy duty welded grab rails, bilge pump, transducer mounting bracket, bow cleat with chocks, two stern cleats, bow deck with storage, and self bailing motor well come standard on all models.

A long list of additional options from tops to baitwells, rod holders and flush mount pedestal seat inserts provide passengers with comfort and functionality, creating an efficient and enjoyable opportunity to chase down fish or pull pots in the bay.

3. Lake Boat


Ranger VS1680

Perfect for walleye, muskie and bass, this boat delivers a solid casting platform with a deep-V hull patterned for smooth handling. Its 24-gallon fuel capacity is placed on the centerline, so it rides fast on plane and handles with smooth maneuverability as the walk through windshield keeps passengers dry. The 16' 8" boat is rated for a 60 to 90hp motor.

With an abundance of storage, livewell, baitwell, bow mount minn kota trolling motor, and lowrance electronics standard, this boat is a fully equipped fish-finding machine that is versatile enough to target a multitude of different species. The performance and quality of Ranger boats is integrated into this precision welded, wood-free aluminum construction.

4. Kayak


Vibe Kayaks Sea Ghost 130 Angler Kayak Package

Naturally, if you're going for something on a budget, using a little elbow grease will help save on the gas bill and regular maintenance. The Sea Ghost is one of the most affordable ready-to-fish kayak models available. From lakes to surf, all the little details are included for an all-around angler.

The Sea Ghost comes standard with rod holders, rear tank well, foot controlled rudder system, front and rear hatches, and a lidded center console. The rudder comes in handy on long trips out on the water during windy conditions or strong currents.

5. Bass Boat


Nitro Z-6 115 ELPT OptiMax Pro XS

This entry-level tournament bass boat will have you to the honey hole and back to the weigh-in lickity-split, but putting fish in the 32 gallon aerated aft livewell with timer, divider and pump-out system is up to you. You'll be able to track them down with Mark-5x fishfinder, and chase them around with the MinnKota Edge 12V, 54 pound thrust foot controlled bow mount trolling motor while casting from this stable platform.

While it may be slightly smaller than it's other Nitro family members at 17' 4" long, its quality construction, stability and speed put it in another league above it's competitors in the same size class. The Mercury 115 ELPT OptiMax will break water and ride on plane like a quad-blade buzzbait, reaching up to 53mph. The structure of the hull is constructed for floatation and safety, a key component to the NITRO name.

6. All-around Boat


Lowe L1852MT

This 18-foot Olympic Jon Mod-V Bow with 20" transom is the perfect multi-use utility boat. This popular lodge model is fit for everything from bass fishing, salmon trolling, duck hunting and just getting around.

The console steering is a slight upgrade from the 15ft model and the size allows a maximum capacity of a half dozen passengers. With an outboard range of 10-60hp, this boat is an ideal all-around watercraft.

Now that you've got some options, don't let time waste before finding that budget fishing boat you've been after, and getting it in the water for some awesome angling action.


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6 Budget Fishing Boats to Buy Right Now