Best 5 Fishing Boats Under $50,000

Bayliner Tropy T22 Fishing Boat. Photo: Bayliner.

So you have $50,000 burning a hole in your pocket, and you’d like to buy a brand-new fishing boat? There’s a surprisingly wide range of choices within that budget, for anglers of all types. As you embark on your search for the ideal fishing machine for your needs, check out these five picks. Each is worthy of being ranked among the best five fishing boats under $50,000, and one of them might just prove perfect for you and your family.

1. Bayliner Trophy T22

The Bayliner Trophy T22 center console delivers some serious bang for the buck when it comes to maximizing size in fiberglass fishing boats. It comes in two flavors, the CC (starting at a MSRP of $42,399) and the CX (starting at $43,114). The big difference between these models is in the stern seating arrangement; the CC has fold-down jump seats on either side of the stern livewell, while the CX version has a larger bench seat across the transom and a pass-through to the swim platform on one side. Thus, die-hard anglers are likely to opt for the CC while those with family comforts in mind will likely favor the CX.

Otherwise, the models are mostly identical. They have a 22’7” LOA and an 8’6” beam, can carry up to 300 horses, have a 65-gallon fuel capacity, and run on an 18-degree deadrise V-hull. These are self-bailing, wood-free boats and come packaged with a tandem axle galvanized trailer with brakes and a swing-away tongue, and a standard 150-horse Mercury FourStroke outboard. The list of standard features isn’t extensive but does include such perks as a 25-gallon livewell, a head compartment in the console, and a two-speaker 120-watt stereo system. One interesting detail is the rounded nature of the bow topsides, which carries its beam far forward to expand the amount of elbow room forward of the console.

See Bayliner T22 listings for sale on Boat Trader.

Visit Bayliner Boats for more information.

2. Lund 1875 Impact

Walleye sharpies will find the Lund 1875 Impact — and its $31,817 base price — an attractive option. Note, however, that this doesn’t include a number of options most of us would call must-haves, like an automatic bilge pump, fire extinguisher, and rod tubes in the rod locker, so expect the real world price for a fully rigged boat to go up a notch. The Sport edition has a walkthrough windshield, while the SS model is a side console. In either case, LOA is 18’11”, beam is 8’0”, max horsepower is 150, and fuel capacity is 36 gallons.

The 1875 Impact has twin livewells with 16 gallons aft and 11 gallons in the bow, six seat bases and three seats that can be arranged to your liking, locking rod stowage boxes, and is pre-wired for a bow-mount electric trolling motor. A swing-away tongue trailer also comes standard. A real stand-out feature is the 0.160”-thick double-plated bottom from the bow to amidships. Few builders double down on hull thickness in this critical area of the boat, which is likely to take the brunt of the impact if you strike something.

See Lund 1875 Impact listings for sale on Boat Trader.

Visit Lund Boats for more information.

3. Ranger Z518L

It’s tough to find a high-quality fiberglass bass boat for under $50K, but the Ranger Z518L just squeaks under the bar at $49,770. And it has plenty of juice at that price-point, with a 200 horse Mercury ProXS, that will net you speeds in the 60s and a cruising speed of well over 40 mph. This 18’10” long, 8’1” wide boat may be smaller than many in this round-up, but it’s rigged to the teeth with just about everything a bass angler could want ranging from the 24-volt Minn Kota Fortrex 80 electric trolling motor on the bow, to the setback plate on the stern. In fact, most of the options list consists of upgrades or different brands for equipment that’s already included as standard fare.

This boat also has some uncommon touches unique to the brand, like the Power Ventilation rod stowage boxes (that will prevent moisture build-up on your treasured rods and reels), pultruded transom construction, and the torsion-axel trailer covered in Road Armor trailer protectant.

See Ranger Z518L listings for sale on Boat Trader.

Visit Ranger Boats for more information.

4. Robalo 226 Cayman

Robalo’s 226 Cayman doesn’t leave a lot of wiggle room for options with a MAP of $49,095, but it does come well equipped at that price. This is a bay boat style center console with extensive raised fore and aft casting decks, 15 degrees of transom deadrise, one foot of draft, 60 gallons of fuel capacity, and a maximum horsepower rating of 250. LOA is 22’6” and beam is 8’6”. For a boat costing less than $50,000 it has an amazingly long list of standard features, including: a Yamaha F200 four-stroke outboard; a four-speaker stereo system; tilt-hydraulic steering; a console head compartment; six vertical rodracks; both bow (20 gallon) and stern (30 gallon) livewells; removable bow cushions; a 45-gallon fishbox; a rodbox; gas-assist struts on the large hatches; cockpit courtesy lighting; two gunwals-mount rodholders; a raw water washdown; and an aluminum tandem axel trailer with a fold-away tongue. It’s also set apart from much of the competition with some construction touches that go beyond the norm, including Kevlar reinforcement in the hull and a poured composite transom.

See Robalo 226 Cayman listings for sale on Boat Trader.

Visit Robalo Boats for more information.

5. Sun Tracker Fishin’ Barge 24 XP3

If you want a pontoon boat for fishing in the lake or bay, the Sun Tracker Fishin’ Barge 24 XP3 is right up your alley. It posts a national “No Haggle No Hassle” price tag of $39,795, with a 150 HP Mercury FourStroke. A trailer isn’t included with this rig, but you can add one for $3,995 and still be well within budget. Like other Sun Tracker pontoons you’ll find plenty of comfy seating including a huge port-side lounger with a dinette table, but at the bow and stern rather than the usual couches you’ll discover swiveling fishing seats mounted on pedestals.

The boat also has dual 16-gallon livewells (one forward and one aft), a 7’6” rod locker, integrated tackle stowage, and rod holders fore and aft. The boat’s LOA is 26’2” (deck length is 24’1”), beam is 8’6”, and max power is 250 horses. This is a triple-log pontoon with nose cones, strakes, and spray deflectors, and deck construction includes seven-ply pressure-treated plywood with extruded Z-bar deck supports and through-bolted M-brackets.

See Sun Tracker Fishin’ Barge 24 XP3 listings for sale on Boat Trader

Visit Sun tracker Boats for more information.

Is it a sure thing that the perfect boat of your dreams appears on this list? Of course not. Might there be other makes and models out there that fall into the $50,000-and-under price range which you’d like even more? Of course there are. But these five fishing boats all meet the budget, and each earns its place on this list as one of the best five boats under $50,000 on the market, today.

Written by: Lenny Rudow

With over two decades of experience in marine journalism, Lenny Rudow has contributed to publications including YachtWorld, boats.com, Boating Magazine, Marlin Magazine, Boating World, Saltwater Sportsman, Texas Fish & Game, and many others. Lenny is a graduate of the Westlawn School of Yacht Design, and he has won numerous BWI and OWAA writing awards.

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