What Are The Best Center Console Boats For Fishing?

What Are The Best Center Console Boats For Fishing?

The center console boat has emerged as one of the country's favorite vessels for ocean fishing and everyday boating. So, what are the best center console boats for fishing? Let's dive in and check out some key features to look for, top center console boat picks, and how to choose the best one.

Key Features of Center Console Boats for Fishing

Deck Space and Layout

Plenty of open deck space is important for fishing maneuverability, especially if you have several guests on board. The walk-around design of many center console boats is also important. If you have to wrangle a fish, you will want easy access to all sides of the boat.

Fishing Gear Storage

You want to choose a center console boat with plenty of storage options for all your fishing gear, including rod holders and tackle boxes. Add-ons like live wells and bait stations are also important, especially if you plan to fish in the ocean. Secure and organized storage for all your gear will help you have a more productive fishing trip.

Power and Performance

Give some thought to power and performance when choosing a center console boat. You want one with enough engine speed and horsepower to get you out on the ocean and back quickly so you can spend more time fishing. Fuel efficiency is important, as is fuel capacity. You should know how much range you have on a full tank of fuel before you ever leave the dock.

Technology and Electronics

Many newer boats now have integrated technology that fishermen want. This includes digital touchscreens that provide readouts on speed, ballast, depth, and other important factors. Fish finders, GPS, and other essential navigation tools are sometimes included. Tools like a digital anemometer can make it easier to dock if you get back home in windy conditions.

Top Picks for Center Console Fishing Boats

Boston Whaler 280 Outrage

At 28 feet in length, the Boston Whaler 280 Outrage has seating for up to 12 people and either 500 or 800 HP, depending on the engine configuration you buy. It comes with a bait prep area, a 30-gallon live well, and two large fish boxes. The rear bench folds away to maximize room for landing fish.

Grady-White Canyon 336

Everything about the Grady-White Canyon 336 is built for family fishing trips. It measures 33'6" at the centerline, hence the name. Twin or even triple engine configurations deliver up to 1,050 HP, with a 361-gallon fuel tank. It has two fish tanks, 11 rod holders, rod storage racks, and many other features designed for fishermen.

Everglades 273cc

The Everglades 273cc is considered one of the best inshore/offshore hybrid boats on the market. It has a maximum of 600 HP available from three different engine configurations. Fish-friendly features include a 31-gallon live well, a cooler, a fish box, plenty of rod holders, and more.

Sea Hunt Gamefish 30

The Sea Hunt Gamefish 30 measures just under 30 feet in length. It has a roomy cockpit designed for 360 degrees of fighting fish. It offers three live wells, a transom fish box, and a 19-gallon freshwater tank. Sea Hunt's Battle Station add-on package includes captain chairs with folding armrests, a flip-down footrest, and other comfortable features for the avid fisherman.

Considerations When Choosing a Center Console Boat for Fishing

Budget and Cost

What is the best center console boat for your budget? These types of boats are pricey. For example, a new Boston Whaler 280 Outrage can run between $60,000 and $200,000, depending on which package you buy. It's similar to buying a luxury car but often with much higher monthly payments. You have to weigh the initial purchase price versus the long-term value you will get from the vessel. Weigh your financing options carefully and look for a low-interest rate since this will be an investment in your lifestyle. Don't forget that insurance and licensing costs can also vary widely, depending on what state you live in.

Size and Capacity

Is the boat big enough for all your intended friends or family members to spend a comfortable day on the water? Keep in mind that you will also need to store your boat someplace, especially if you live in an area with a winter season. Most vessels listed above are almost twice as long as a Chevy pickup, so parking them in a standard garage isn't an option. Put some thought into where you're going to keep the vessel year-round before investing.

Intended Fishing Environment

Another factor to consider when purchasing a center console boat is where you intend to fish on a regular basis. Fishing in the open ocean is not the same as fishing on a lake or a manmade reservoir. If you plan to fish in multiple environments, consider a hybrid vessel like the Everglades 273cc. Ask how a boat performs in various water conditions when shopping for a boat.

Maintenance and Durability

Ongoing maintenance is a part of boat ownership. It's the best way to protect your investment. However, read reviews of boats before buying one to get a sense of the ongoing maintenance requirements.

Welcome the Boating Lifestyle with Center Console Boats

What is a center console boat without all the features and add-ons to make life easier? At Gemlux, we carry a wide range of boat accessories to maximize your days on the water. Once you have picked out your center console boat, browse our catalog for must-have additions to make those fishing days much more satisfying.