If you’re in the market for a new fishing boat and aren’t quite sure which one to get, have you considered buying an aluminum vessel? For one thing, they’re cheap; certainly cheaper than getting any of the ones made from fiberglass. They are also quite light – a feature you’ll soon appreciate the moment you have to push it off of or on to sandbars.
There’s also the fact that they can take more of a beating than boats with a polyester construction. Not to mention that they are extremely low-maintenance and corrosion-resistant. So, they typically don’t have any lifetime limit to them.
Nonetheless, to reap these benefits, you have to ensure you get the best aluminum fishing boat for your angling needs. In this guide, we’ve reviewed the top 10 picks for 2020 and put together a comprehensive buyer’s guide to help you choose the best one.
The Alumacraft Trophy 205 represents the next frontier in heavy-gauge aluminum fishing boats. It is built with the latest livewell technology, comes with spacious storage for all your fishing gear, as well as adjustable ergonomic seating for those long days spent out on the water.
It also has a lockable 8 in. rod compartment and several other fishing accessories guaranteed to give you a memorable experience while you’re out fishing.
● High performance
● Durable heavy-gauge aluminum construction
● Can get quite icy when using it in cold weather conditions
Contrary to what you might believe, aluminum crafts don’t always have to be so basic. Some models come with pretty swanky features to help you get the most out of your time on the water.
The Legend 20 XTR Troller, for instance, is a remarkable piece of machinery. It comes with several amazing features that you just won’t find in any other vessel. These include a deluxe ergonomic reclining captain’s chair, swim platform with a fold-down step, and a Humminbird Helix GPS fish/ depth finder.
It also has a full all-weather top, wireless stereo with two speakers and an MP3 port, two deluxe rod holders, and several other fantastic features.
● Has lots of fishing features and accessories
If you want an affordable fishing boat without all the bells and whistles you find in other aluminum models; the Lowe V1260 is a great option to consider. This utility boat comes with extruded gunnels for your fishing accessories, bow and stern castings with handles, three full bench seats, and an aluminum-clad transom.
The Ranger VX1888 WT aluminum boat is an absolute beast. It has a deep-V hull that’s designed to cut through the water and deliver an unprecedented amount of stability even in the roughest of conditions. It also has plenty of storage for fishing gear, as well as spacious baitwells and livewells.
● Wood-free construction makes it highly durable
● Offers unmatched stability
The Lowe 22 Bay is designed to withstand the corrosive properties of saltwater. This is something you don’t often find with other aluminum fishing boats. It has a massive casting platform, a 16-gallon baitwell, leaning post, and jump seats in the rear deck. It also comes with fold-down fishing seats, rod lockers, and several storage compartments for all your gear.
● Built for both freshwater and saltwater fishing
● Comes with several fishing accessories
● Has a spacious casting deck
The Crestliner 1850 Raptor is the ultimate freshwater aluminum fishing boat. It is outfitted with everything you need to reel in some big catches. It offers a spacious casting deck, ample rod and tackle storage, two aerated livewells, and several other fishing features. It even has a swim platform with an under-mount ladder.
● Large passenger capacity
● Requires frequent application of anti-fouling paint, which can be quite expensive
If you’re looking for a boat designed for hardcore sport fishing enthusiasts, you’ll love what the G3 Sportsman 2400 brings to the table. This all-aluminum all-welded heavy-gauge vessel comes with a walk-through windshield, a fully-loaded command center with high-quality gauges, and Lowrance electronics.
It also has an aerated livewell, lockable rod storage, four fishing chairs, and several other fishing-friendly features.
● Comes with loads of fishing accessories and features
● Comfortable ergonomic seating
● Built for sport fishing
The Smokercraft Ultima Legacy 182 is a tournament-ready and family-friendly aluminum boat like no other. Its spacious layout, massive bow and stern casting decks, and amenities make it one of the most versatile fishing crafts we’ve encountered.
It even has two flip-up stern seats that make it perfect for bringing the family along for a fun day on the water spent fishing or engaging in watersports.
● Has lots of fishing amenities
The Lund 2075 Pro Guide is the perfect spin and fly fishing vessel. It comes with several rod storage compartments in the bow and cockpit, a livewell/baitwell, and port storage. It seats up to six people at a go and is specially designed with hardcore anglers in mind.
● Large bow platform that’s ideal for fly fishing
● Built for high-performance
● Plenty of storage for fishing gear and accessories
The Excel Shallow Water F4 Pro Console is by far the best aluminum fishing boat for flats fishing we’ve come across. It performs exceptionally well in shallow water that’s just a few inches deep, making it perfect for duck hunting in the marsh or cruising to your favorite fishing rig.
It comes with two built-in gun boxes, rod storage, a front deck livewell, an aluminum center console, and multiple box storage compartments for fishing gear.
● Can cruise through water that’s a few inches deep
● Has plenty of storage
● No protection against the elements
How to Choose the Best Aluminum Fishing Boat – Buyer’s Guide
With so many different options in the market right now, choosing the best aluminum fishing boat for your angling needs can get confusing, especially if you’re a first-time boat-buyer. Here are the main things you need to consider when deciding which one to get.
1. Fishing Location
The first step to identifying the right vessel for your fishing needs is – (1) understand the fishing activity you plan to engage in; and (2) figure out where you’ll be doing it. This will advise the hull design of the aluminum boat you should get.
It usually boils down to either getting a boat with a deep-V hull or a mod-V hull. Here’s the difference between them.
Deep-V hulls offer the stability you need to be able to navigate bigger waves in choppier waters. So, you get a much smoother ride to and from the fishing hotspots. There’s also the fact that they sit deeper in the vessel, which is great if you plan to have small kids on board.
Aluminum fishing boats with deep-V hulls are commonly used when fishing for bass, catfish, trout, salmon, and walleye. They can seat 5+ people and come with several seating configurations, including convertible bows, jump seats, or even pedestal seats.
Mod-V hulls are great for skimming over shallow waters. They usually have a higher deck, which provides more space for casting. They are also a lot easier to maneuver compared to deep-V hull boats, so they’re able to get around tight spots a lot quicker.
Mod-V hull fishing boats are typically used for getting to hunting spots. They have a much smaller passenger capacity and can only seat 2-3 people at a time.
If you’re not quite sure what hull-type is suited to the type of on-water activity you want to engage in, just look around. Whatever boat the majority uses at the specific water body you’ll be boating in is likely what you should get.
2. Interior Features
Given that you’ll be spending a lot of time out on the water, you need to do it in a vessel that’s comfortable and accommodating. Otherwise, you’ll be itching to get home an hour after you kick-off your fishing expedition. So, you need to get a boat with an interior layout that you like.
First, consider the number of people you plan to have onboard at any given time and ensure that you get a craft with ample seating to cater to that. Next, if you’ll be navigating choppy waters in your aluminum boat or fishing in iffy weather conditions, it helps to get a vessel with a walk-through windshield to guard against the elements.
Knowledge Is Power – Take Advantage of It
With this knowledge in mind, you’re now ready to find the best aluminum fishing boat for your needs. Any of the 10 vessels we’ve reviewed in this guide would be a great choice.
Visit the manufacturer’s website to view all the available customization options of the model you’re interested in, and talk to a local dealer to schedule a demo. Getting a first-hand feel for the boat you want to buy is an important part of the decision-making process.
In the meantime, if you’re in the market for a new jet boat, we’ve reviewed the best jet boats for 2020 worth checking out.