Best Florida Fishing Boats 2020

Hybrid Bay Boats For Inshore Offshore Fishing

We may be deep in the heart of winter currently, but that means it’s a great time to fish in South Florida! While the rest of the country sits under a freeze, Floridians hop onboard with their rods to find the next great catch.

Fishing in Florida is undoubtedly one of the biggest activities for both locals and visitors alike. Tarpon is among the most popular game fish in Florida. Known for its fighting ability and acrobatics, but not as source of food, this is a catch-and-release sport fish, often referred to as the “silver king of sportfish”. But which boats are best for going after Tarpon and other popular Florida fish species? Let’s take a look at some of the most ideal boats for fishing in South Florida during the winter months.

Grady-White 251 Coastal Explorer

Grady-White 250 Coastal Explorer. Photo by Grady-White.

Grady-White 251 Coastal Explorer

In terms of larger shallow water boats, you can’t do much better than the Grady-White 251 Coastal Explorer. This vessel offers more offshore, rough water capability than nearly any other bay boat on the market, making it a truly versatile boat. With a bow casting platform, 74-qt insulated fish boxes, ample rod holders, 25-gallon and 12.75 gallon livewells and draft of 14″, this is a Florida fisherman’s dream.

Andros Tarpon 26

One of the most versatile fishing boats on the market -the Andros Boatworks’ Tarpon 26 is a sweet ride with functional fishing features ideal for Florida’s fishing grounds and shallow waters. This vessel combines the ride and stability of a traditional offshore boat with the shallow draft and running capability of a flats boat. This makes it ideal for South Florida’s sandbars and inshore fishing grounds, but seaworthy enough to handle the waves when the seas pickup.

With a draft of a mere 10 inches and a full transom with hydraulic bracket, you can tune your motor and ride safely in the shallows.

Sheaffer S240

Whether you’re fishing in the flats or running 40 miles out for your favorite offshore spot, the Sheaffer S240 is the ultimate hybrid bay boat. Capable of both inshore and offshore and prized as a Tarpon fishing boat, this modified V eats up chop and impressively handles turns yet also provides a shallow draft. It even comes with an optional half tower, thre quarter or full tower with dual controls. Loaded and ready for fishing the Sheefer S240 is the perfect fit for the hardcore Tarpon fisherman, weekend warrior and everybody in between.

Gause 26

The Gause 26 is the culmination of decades of the Gause family working to build the perfect fishing boat for the West Coast of Florida. The goal was to produce a seaworthy saltwater fishing boat with the inshore fishing capabilities of a flats boat. This vessel has a full tower with all the views that affords, along with a smooth, quiet ride and tons of dry storage, making it a nice family-friendly fishing boat as well.

Written by: Ryan McVinney

C. Ryan McVinney is a film director, writer and producer. As an experienced boater he regularly produces and directs on-the-water video shoots for major boat manufacturers, yacht brokers and dealers, as well as independent film and media companies. He is president of the National Soho House Film Club with chapters in Miami, FL, Manhattan, NY and Los Angeles, CA and regularly contributes content to YachtWorld, and Boat Trader.


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