Expert Reviews: The Best Fishing Boats for Lakes

Julie Grace

August 18, 2023


Fishing is one of the most popular recreational activities out there, and many anglers enjoy spending time on a tranquil lake catching their favorite type of fish. If you’re an avid angler looking for the best fishing boats for lakes to upgrade the experience, you’ve come to the right place! I’ll review some of the most popular vessels so that you can make an informed purchase decision.

What Are Boats for Lake Fishing?

Boats for lakes are vessels specifically designed and optimized for a specific kind of adventure. They come in various sizes, shapes, and designs, ranging from small kayaks and canoes to larger pontoon boats and motorboats. These machines typically have features that make them well-suited for fishing, such as built-in rod holders, live wells for storing bait and fish, and comfortable seating arrangements.

They may also have specialized equipment like fish finders and depth sounders to help anglers locate fish and navigate the waters. The type of boat you choose will depend on your specific needs, preferences, and budget. Smaller boats like kayaks and canoes are more affordable and easy to transport but may be limited in terms of space and carrying capacity. Larger boats like pontoons and motorboats offer more room and amenities but may be more expensive and require a trailer for transport.

A boat on a lake
These vessels are designed to help anglers access the best fishing spots

Crestliner 1660 Retriever Is a Reliable and Practical Machine

The Crestliner 1660 Retriever is a versatile and durable machine designed for serious anglers who demand both performance and value. Built with Crestliner’s legendary all-welded aluminum hull construction, the 1660 Retriever is tough enough to handle whatever conditions you may encounter on the water.

Check Out the Specifications Crestliner 1660 Retriever Will Provide You With

The 1660 Retriever comes equipped with a variety of features that anglers will appreciate. Here are some of the key features to be aware of:

  • Large bow casting deck with pedestal seating,
  • Aerated livewell with a timer,
  • Multiple rod storage compartments,
  • Low-profile gunnel design that makes it easy to reach over the sides and cast or net fish,
  • It’s 16 feet, 4 inches in length, and with a 72-inch beam,
  • The maximum horsepower rating of 40,
  • The price starts at $17,000.

Another of the standout features that I absolutely must mention is its optional SureMount Gunnel Accessory System, which allows you to easily mount and adjust accessories like rod holders, cup holders, and fish finders without drilling holes in the boat. This innovative system provides endless customization options and helps keep your boat clutter-free.

Pros and Cons of Crestliner 1660 Retriever

The more info you have, the better. This being said, let’s go over some of this vessel’s most important pros and cons.

Pros Cons
All-welded aluminum hull construction for durability and longevity Limited seating capacity of up to 4 passengers
Optional SureMount Gunnel Accessory System for easy customization of accessories without drilling holes in the boat Limited top speed and horsepower capacity
Large bow casting deck with pedestal seating for comfortable and efficient fishing Limited storage space for larger objects
Multiple rod storage compartments for keeping rods organized and protected May be more expensive compared to some other aluminum boats
Aerated livewell with timer for keeping bait and catch alive and healthy Does not come with a standard trolling motor

Customers Reviews

Crestliner 1660 Retriever received a positive overall rating, with high marks for performance, handling, and value. The reason is the all-welded construction, spacious casting deck, and customizable accessory system. Also, many users are extremely satisfied with a comfortable boat with plenty of space for gear and equipment, although some have noted that it may not be the fastest or most fuel-efficient option on the market.

Anglers on a johnboat
This John boat is a great choice for lake fishing

Lowe SF 212 Offers a Unique Blend of Fishing and Recreational Features

The Lowe SF 212 is a versatile and spacious pontoon boat that is designed for angling and recreation on lakes and rivers. With its innovative features, comfortable seating, and smooth ride, the SF 212 offers a superior boating experience that can be enjoyed by anglers and families alike.

The SF 212 is also designed for relaxation and entertainment, with plenty of comfortable seating options and a large aft sun deck that is perfect for soaking up the sun or watching the sunset. But whether you’re looking to cast a line, enjoy a family outing, or simply cruise around the lake, the SF 212 is a great choice that delivers on performance, comfort, and value.

Check Out the Specifications of Lowe SF 212

One of the standout features of the SF 212 is its fishing-friendly design, which includes a large bow station with a livewell, tackle storage, and rod holders. Here are other key features you should know about before making a purchase:

  • Comfortable captain’s chair with a swivel,
  • 21 feet in length and with a 102-inch beam suitable for up to 12 passengers,
  • Built with Lowe’s signature all-welded construction and features a durable aluminum hull that is both lightweight and corrosion-resistant,
  • A full console that includes a fish finder, speedometer, and other instrumentation,
  • Bluetooth-enabled stereo system,
  • LED lighting throughout, creating a welcoming and enjoyable atmosphere for all passengers,
  • The price starts at $30,000.

Pros and Cons of Lowe SF 212

As with any boat, the pros and cons of the Lowe SF 212 will depend on your specific needs and preferences. However, let’s check some of the things you need to know about this vessel.

Pros Cons
Fishing-friendly features like a bow station, livewell, and rod holders May be more expensive compared to some other pontoons
Max person weight is 1,400 lb or 635.03 kg May not be suitable for rougher waters or offshore fishing
Comfortable seating and amenities like a sun deck, Bluetooth-enabled stereo system, and LED lighting Limited top speed and horsepower capacity
Smooth and stable ride thanks to the boat's 25-inch diameter multi-chambered logs May not be ideal for speed enthusiasts or wakeboarding
Full console with fish finder, speedometer, and other instrumentation for easy navigation and fishing The boat's large size may require a larger trailer and tow vehicle

Customers Reviews

Lowe SF 212 was praised for its comfortable and stylish design, versatile features, and solid construction. The boat was described as a great choice for families and anglers who want a reliable and enjoyable boating experience. Many anglers also can’t get over its stability, smooth ride, and ample seating and storage.

Pontoon boat tied to a dock
This boat is rated highly for its versatility and value

Lund 189 Pro-V GL Is a Top-of-the-Line Fishing Vessel

The Lund 189 Pro-V GL is a high-performance boat designed for serious anglers who demand the best speed and fishing features. With its sleek design, cutting-edge technology, and comfortable seating, the Pro-V GL offers a superior experience that can help you take your angling game to the next level.

Check Out the Specification of the Lund 189 Pro-V GL

At 18 feet, 9 inches in length, and with a 102-inch beam, the Pro-V GL is relatively compact but still offers plenty of room. The boat can accommodate up to six passengers and has a maximum horsepower rating of 200, making it one of the fastest and most powerful boats in its class. Here are some other key features:

  • Pro-Control Center Console that provides easy access to switches and gauges,
  • Lowrance HDS LIVE fishfinder with Active Imaging,
  • Minn Kota Terrova trolling motor with i-Pilot Link,
  • Multiple rod storage compartments,
  • Large, aerated livewell with a timer and recirculation system,
  • Premium seating with air-ride pedestals,
  • Custom-molded steering wheel,
  • Integrated stereo system,
  • The price starts at $66,000.

Pros and Cons of Lund 189 Pro-V GL

Let’s check what are the key pros and cons of this amazing vessel in the table below.

Pros Cons
Advanced fishing technology, including a Pro-Control Center Console, Lowrance HDS LIVE fishfinder, and Minn Kota Terrova trolling motor with i-Pilot Link May be more expensive compared to some other vessels
High-speed and high-performance capabilities, with a maximum horsepower rating of 200 Limited seating capacity of up to six passengers
Multiple rod storage compartments and a large, aerated livewell with a timer and recirculation system for optimal fishing functionality May not be ideal for larger bodies of water or offshore fishing
Sleek and stylish design with a full windshield and chrome accents May not be as fuel-efficient compared to some other boats
Durable and reliable construction, with Lund's signature IPS2 hull design and Double-Plated Bow

Customers Reviews

According to the most recent online reviews I could find, it appears that the Lund 189 Pro-V GL is generally well-regarded by customers and experts alike for its performance, fishing-specific features, and comfortable amenities.

Boats at the shore with a full moon in the sky
If you want to upgrade your angling in the lake, then Lund 189 Pro-V GL is the right vessel for you

How to Choose One of the Best Fishing Boats for Lakes?

Choosing the best boat for lakes can be a daunting task, but considering these three important criteria can help you narrow down your options and find the right boat for your needs:

Size and Type of Boat

The size and type of boat you choose will depend on factors such as the number of passengers, the type of water you’ll be fishing in, and the types of fish you’ll be targeting. For example, smaller boats like kayaks and canoes may be suitable for solo anglers or small groups, while larger boats like pontoon boats and motorboats may be better for larger groups or families. Consider the size and type of fish you’re targeting, as well as the type of fishing you’ll be doing (e.g., trolling, casting) to determine the appropriate size and type of boat.

Fishing Features

Fishing boats come with a variety of features designed to make angling easier and more productive, such as rod holders, livewells, fish finders, and trolling motors. Consider the fishing features that are important to you based on your experience level, style, and the types of fish you’ll be targeting. For example, if you plan to fish in deeper waters, a fish finder may be essential, while a trolling motor can help you maneuver in shallow waters.

Comfort and Convenience

A comfortable and convenient boat can make a big difference in your overall experience. Consider factors such as seating, storage space, and ease of use when choosing a boat. Comfortable seating can help you fish for longer periods without fatigue, while ample storage space can ensure you have all the gear you need at your fingertips. Ease of use factors such as the boat’s maneuverability, handling, and ease of launching can also impact your overall experience.

Follow Some Additional Tips Before Buying the Boat for Lakes

In addition to the three criteria I mentioned above, here are some additional tips to keep in mind before buying a boat for lakes:

  • Research and test drive – Before making a purchase, do your research and read reviews from other boaters. Additionally, consider test-driving the boat to get a feel for its handling, speed, and other features. This can help you determine whether the boat is a good fit for your needs and preferences.
  • Budget – Boats can range in price from a few thousand dollars to tens of thousands of dollars or more. Before making a purchase, consider your budget and what you can realistically afford. Don’t forget to factor in additional costs such as maintenance, fuel, and storage.
  • Safety equipment – It’s important to ensure that your boat has all the necessary safety equipment, such as life jackets, flares, and a first aid kit. Check the boat’s safety equipment before purchasing and make sure it’s up to date and in good condition.
  • Warranty and service – Look for a boat that comes with a warranty, and make sure you understand the terms and conditions. Additionally, consider the availability of service and support in your area. It’s important to have access to reliable and experienced professionals for maintenance and repairs.
  • Storage and transport – Consider where you’ll store your boat when it’s not in use and whether you’ll need to transport it to and from the lake. Ensure that you have a suitable storage location and trailer for your boat.

By keeping these additional tips in mind, you can make a more informed decision when choosing a boat for lakes that fits your needs and budget while also ensuring that you have the necessary safety equipment, support, and storage arrangements in place.

Pick the best vessel for you

With the Right Vessel, You’ll Have the Best Fishing at the Lake Experience

Fishing is a great way to connect with nature and enjoy the outdoors. Regardless of whether you have years of experience or are just starting, it’s important to take the necessary time and focus on finding the right vessel for your outing. Your boat should match the type of fishing you’re doing and provide ample space for your family and friends. So next time you’re gearing up to hit your favorite spot, take some tips from this blog post to ensure you make a worthwhile investment that brings your angling dreams to life!