Here are some fishing boats and alternatives on a budget.
One of the biggest hurdles to fishing is not owning a boat. Sure, you can fish from the shoreline or go with friends. But almost everyone wants to have their own boat at some point.
You may think a brand new boat is totally out of your budget, especially if you've ever taken the time to walk around and see the price tags of the stuff on display at any boat show.
But there are options out there that are more affordable than you think, and many have the standard features of many larger and more expensive boats.
Tracker Pro 160 & 170 Series $11-15,000
Tracker has a variety of options perfect for the bass enthusiast. Both the Pro 160 and 170 are an aluminum one-piece hull design that utilize a Mercury four stroke motor. They both come with Lowrance fish finders and a Minn Kota trolling motor standard. The 160 has a nine-gallon livewell and the 170 has a 15-gallon one.
Either way, these boats are fishing machines built to handle a variety of bass fishing situations in the $10-15,000 price range.
Tracker Guide V-16 $10,400
The Guide V-16 Laker DLX T is pretty similar to the Pro series mentioned above. Both models are aluminum fishing boats. The main difference is that the V-16 is more of an all-species boat built for the freshwater fishing enthusiast who likes variety.
This boat has a deep V-hull for more stability, and a Mercury four stroke motor standard. This boat has a lot of features for only around $10,000 with plenty of room to add upgrades later if you choose.
Lund 1600 Rebel $12,000
For the angler who doesn't need a lot of bells and whistles, the Lund 1600 Rebel features a simple and clean design. Dual port and starboard rod storage lockers will keep your expensive gear dry.
This boat also features a couple of gear storage areas in the bow, a casting deck, a 6-gallon fuel capacity, and a much cheaper sticker price than many of the fiberglass boats Lund offers.
Lowe Roughneck 1546 $8,000
The Roughneck is a very simple boat that can fit a variety of situations. It features a 15-25 horsepower outboard, 15-foot length and can hold up to four people. This is a great shallow water boat for the angler who likes to hit backwaters and other areas fishermen with bigger boats can't go.
The really great thing about this boat is that you can get it in two different camo patterns. Thus, this is a boat you could use for hunting waterfowl too, giving you a lot more bang for your buck.
Alumacraft Jon Boats $2-9,000
The great thing about a Jon boat is that they're fairly cheap. Alumacraft's website allows you to build a custom Jon boat with different engines, seats and other accessories.
Although, if you're looking at Jon boats, you'd probably be best off buying a bare bones model like the 1448 Jon for a little over $2,000. This is a great option for an angler on a budget because it means you can customize the boat to fit your needs as you go.
Ranger MPV 1652 $15,000
Ranger makes some top-quality boats and while many are quite expensive, the MPV 1652 is reasonably mid-priced at around $15,000. This is another fairly simple, but quite utilitarian design.
It features a rod storage locker, option electronics from Garmin, Hummingbird or Lowrance, option Minn Kota or Motorguide trolling motors and four different camo paint schemes, making this boat at home in both stump fields for bass and wetlands waiting for ducks.
Sun Dolphin 10.2 ft Fishing Boat $1,500
Some anglers may scoff at a plastic boat like this, but the Sun Dolphin is a more than adequate bass boat on a budget.
The deck and hull even have a lifetime warranty. This small boat can hold two anglers and comes with a livewell and enclosed battery compartment like you might see on larger boats. It also rod holders and a tri-hull that makes it pretty stable. My dad and I fished out of a similar-sized boat for years and it more than fit our needs.
Another nice thing about a boat like this is you can power it with a simple trolling motor. No need for an expensive outboard. The Sun Dolphin can be found for as little as $1,200 depending on where you buy it.
Bass Hunter 120 $999
These are some of the smallest pontoon boats you can buy. This is as simple as it gets. This is a good option for the angler who likes to go it solo, or for fishermen who want to get back into extremely shallow or areas too overgrown for other boats to pass through.
Another plus of a plastic boat like this is the ease of maintenance. Just hose off the dirt and mud and you're good to go. Just like the Sun Dolphin, these things can be powered by a simple trolling motor and can be had for under $1,000.
Sun Dolphin Journey 10 SS Kayak $260
Kayak fishing is not a bad idea for anyone who wants to get on the water on a budget, but it is important to make sure you get a fishing kayak because many other types of kayaks simply aren't built for fishing and it can make for an awkward and uncomfortable experience to fish from one that isn't made for it.
This one features a swivel rod holder, storage compartments and an open design so you won't get as cramped as an enclosed model. Another plus to kayaks is depending on your state or province, they often don't require boat registration. Which means you could literally pick one of these up at Walmart and take it straight to the lake to go fishing immediately.