Fishing Boat Buyers Guide

Published April 27th, 2023 by Bernardo

South Florida is renowned for its diverse and plentiful fishing opportunities, from the deep blue waters of the oceans, intercoastals, and Gulf Stream to the expansive network of fresh and brackish waters of many canals and lakes. However, you need the right boat to make the most of these prime fishing spots. With so many fishing boat options available, choosing the right one for your needs can be overwhelming. 

As one of the top boat dealerships in South Florida, Nautical Ventures offers a wide selection of the best fishing boat brands and can help guide you through the buying process. Keep reading as we explore some of the common fishing boat types and models available at our South Florida boat dealerships to help you find the perfect fishing boat for your needs.


Common Types of Fishing Boats in Florida

When it comes to fishing in South Florida, having the right boat is crucial. Whether you're casting lines in the ocean, rivers, or lakes, the type of boat you use can make all the difference in your fishing success. We'll take a closer look at some of the most popular fishing boat types and models available in South Florida. Understanding the differences between these boat types can help you make an informed decision when buying your next fishing boat.



Center console boats are a popular choice for fishing in South Florida, with a design that puts the captain in the middle of the vessel with a centrally located helm station or console. This allows for greater maneuverability and visibility. 

These boats offer plenty of deck space for casting lines and often come equipped with features like live bait wells, rod holders, and fish boxes for storing your catch. The center console allows 360-degree access to the boat deck, making it easier for passengers to move around and fish from any angle. Center consoles are commonly used for fishing, diving, and other recreational activities. Outboard engines, inboard engines, or a combination of the two can power center console boats.



Dual-console boats are a versatile option for those looking for a comfortable and convenient fishing vessel. They feature a split design that includes a windshield and helm on both sides, making them ideal for fishing in any weather condition. This design also offers increased seating and storage capacity, making it a popular choice for families and larger groups.

The dual-console design provides several advantages over other boat designs. Each console typically contains its own steering wheel, throttle, and other controls, allowing multiple passengers to take turns operating the boat. This feature is great for longer fishing trips or when the captain needs a break. Additionally, the separate consoles provide added protection from wind and spray for the passengers seated behind them.



Walkaround boats are specifically designed with a wraparound deck that allows for easy movement around the entire vessel. Featuring a walkway around the cabin or console, this design provides passengers with unobstructed access to move from the bow to the stern, making it the ideal choice for fishing, diving, or other recreational activities.

These boats are equipped with fishing features such as rod holders and live bait wells, making them perfect for casting from various angles. Additionally, they provide a comfortable cabin that offers shelter during inclement weather.


Bay boats are a popular type of powerboat in South Florida, designed for inshore fishing in shallow and protected waters, such as bays and estuaries. These boats are typically low profile, which makes navigating tight spots and shallow water much easier.

Equipped with features like trolling motors, live bait wells, and rod holders, bay boats are perfectly suited for targeting species like snook, redfish, and trout. They are versatile and functional, making them a great choice for anglers who prefer inshore fishing. Bay boats are a practical and efficient choice for those looking to fish in the Gulf’s shallow waters, and their specialized features make them ideal for catching a variety of species.


What Kind of Fishing Boat Do You Need? 

With so many fishing boat options available, it can be overwhelming to determine the right kind of boat for your regular fishing needs. The type of fishing you plan to do, and the location are two key factors to consider when choosing a fishing boat. Keep reading as we explore the different types of fishing boats and identify the best boats for freshwater, inshore, and offshore fishing in South Florida.


Freshwater Fishing Boats

Having the right type of fishing boat is essential for those looking to fish in freshwater lakes and rivers. Freshwater fishing boats are designed with specific features that cater to the needs of sports fishermen. In the following section, we'll discuss some of the best freshwater fishing boats for South Florida, with key features that sport fishermen look for, such as easy trailering, livewells, rod holders, fish finders, and more.


Axopar 22

The Axopar 22 fishing boat is a top choice for Florida fishers because of its efficient fishing features; the low-profile design that enables easy navigation, a spacious cockpit with plenty of seating and storage, and key features such as rod holders, baitwells, and fish finder technology. The boat's sharp entry bow and low center of gravity also provide additional stability, making it a safe and effective option.

The Axopar 22 is available in different models, each with unique features to suit any fishing expedition in Florida, such as an open center console with ample seating and storage, a T-top model with a canvas roof, and a cabin model with sleeping quarters, a toilet, and a sink. All Axopar 22 models come equipped with a range of features, including a swim platform, retractable boarding ladder, and ample storage for gear and equipment. Powered by outboard engines, the boat can reach speeds of up to 46 knots, depending on the configuration and engine size.


Tidewater 180 CC

Anglers searching for a dependable and budget-friendly option for inshore fishing should consider the Tidewater 180 CC fishing boats. These boats boast a roomy cockpit with plenty of seating and storage, as well as a center console for effortless navigation. The Tidewater 180 CC is suitable for inshore and nearshore fishing, as well as other recreational activities such as water sports and cruising. With features like a livewell, rod holders, and a spacious casting deck, the Tidewater 180 CC is an ideal choice for catching species such as redfish, trout, and snook.


Inshore Fishing Boats

Inshore fishing boats are designed for navigating the shallow waters of bays, estuaries, and other nearshore areas and are perfect for targeting species like snook, trout, and redfish. These boats typically have features that sport fishers look for, such as livewells, rod holders, tackle stations, fish finders, fish boxes, and rod storage. These features make finding and catching fish on the water easier.

Sailfish 241 CC

Sailfish 241 CC fishing boats are a versatile option for anglers looking for a boat that can handle both inshore and offshore fishing. These boats are designed for comfort and performance, with a spacious cockpit, ample seating, and plenty of storage. Key features of the Sailfish 241 CC line include a large livewell, rod holders, a hardtop with rod storage, and a fishfinder, making it an excellent choice for targeting a wide range of species.


Offshore Fishing Boats

Offshore fishing boats need to be equipped to handle rough water and the demands of deep-sea fishing. These boats require more powerful motors and specialized features, like rod holders, rocket launchers, and a transom bait station. Additional features include raw water washdown, in-deck fishboxes, and built-in tackle stations. Outriggers and a casting platform are also common features of offshore fishing boats.


Bluewater 2350

Bluewater 2350 fishing boats are known for their durability and offshore fishing capabilities. These boats are designed to easily handle rough seas, thanks to their deep-V hull and high gunwales. Key features of the Bluewater 2350 line include a large livewell, rod holders, a hardtop with 6-rod rocket launchers, and ample storage for tackle and gear. The Bluewater 2350 is a popular choice among serious offshore anglers in South Florida.


Boat Financing in Florida

If you've decided you want to finance your new boat, you're not alone. Seventy percent of us enthusiasts do. We offer credit financing for those who qualify.

Nautical Ventures finances more outboards, boats, and boat trailers than anyone else, so we understand our special needs. Only someone who knows how we feel when we hit the starter button understands that hitting the water ASAP is our biggest concern.

Browse the Best Selection of New & Used Fishing Boats in Florida!

South Florida's vast waterways offer endless fishing opportunities, and having the right fishing boat makes the experience exciting and enjoyable. Regardless of what kind of fishing boats you have considered, our knowledgeable and passionate staff at Nautical Ventures can help you get the best boat for your next fishing trip. 

If you're ready to invest in a fishing boat, contact Nautical Ventures to learn more about our extensive inventory or schedule a visit to one of our showrooms. Don't miss out on your next big catch!

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