Top 3 Best Freshwater Fishing Boats for All Anglers

Maya Brown

August 18, 2023


If you’re a fisherman who dreams of getting out on the water, then having your own ride should be top of your list. To make the search easier, here are the best freshwater fishing boats available on the market right now. It doesn’t need to cost an arm and a leg either – with the right knowledge and advice, it’s possible to find good-quality vessels at reasonable prices.

The personal recommendations I’ll discuss in detail are the Z521L Comanche Bass Boat, the Smoker Craft Pro Sportsman 2072 CC, and the Thunder Jet 210 Luxor Limited. Each has unique features and other equipment, so they come at different price ranges. That way, you might be able to find your perfect match, no matter the budget you’re working with.

What Are Freshwater Fishing Boats?

Freshwater fishing boats are a type of watercraft designed specifically for angling in rivers, lakes, and other freshwater bodies. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes, from small canoes and kayaks to larger pontoon and bass boats.

So, no matter if you’re a seasoned fisherman or a beginner angler, a freshwater fishing vessel can provide you with the perfect platform to explore and catch fish in your favorite waterways.

Why Do You Need Freshwater Fishing Boats to Fish?

They are essential for exploring these bodies of water for several reasons. First things first, you can access deeper waters that are often difficult to reach from the shore. You can also cover more water and explore different areas of a lake or river, increasing your chances of landing an impressive catch.

Moreover, these vessels are typically equipped with various features such as holders for fishing rods, live wells, trolling motors, and other storage compartments that’ll make the whole ordeal easier and more efficient. They may also have comfortable seating and other amenities to make the experience that much more enjoyable. So, let’s find your perfect match!

A man fishing on a boat
With a reliable boat by your side, your experience can be both efficient and enjoyable

A Brief Overview of My Recommendations

Before I get into detailed reviews of these boats, here’s a brief overview of their main specifications:

Boat Length Beam Fuel Capacity Person Capacity Price
Z521L Comanche 21'8'' 98'' 51 gallons 5 $82,000-$88,000
Pro Sportsman 2072 CC 20'6'' 99'' 33 gallons 6 $50,000-$52,000
210 Luxor Limited 21' 96'' 75 gallons 7 $150,000

Z521L Comanche Bass Boat Has Everything You Might Possibly Need Out There on the Water

With more than 50 years in the boating industry, Ranger Boats have proven time and time again their expertise in creating ultimate tools for serious anglers who demand the best, and this high-performance vessel is no exception. The Z521L Comanche Bass Boat is designed with tournament-level angling in mind, and it’s packed with features to help you land some impressive catches.

Key Features of the Z521L Bass Boat

The Z521L boasts a 21-foot, 8-inch length and a 98-inch beam, making it incredibly stable and spacious. It’s powered by a Mercury Pro XS Torque Master outboard engine with up to 300 horsepower, giving you plenty of speed and torque to get where you need to go. The vessel also has a massive 51-gallon fuel tank, allowing you to stay out on the water all day without worrying about running out of gas.

Besides these impressive specifications, here are other key features this boat boasts:

  • Lowrance electronics,
  • Minn Kota Fortrex 80 24V trolling motor,
  • Fiberglass stringer system with foam filling,
  • LED compartment,
  • Live well system.

Better yet, all of these features are housed in a sleek, modern design that’s sure to turn heads on the water. Of course, you can only get some of these features and performance for a cheap price. Still, once you consider all of them, a price tag of somewhere between $82,000 and $88,000, depending on the exact trim, is pretty reasonable.

Pros and Cons of the Z521L

The best thing about this particular vessel is surely its focus on bringing you impressive performance, along with incorporating everything you might possibly need while out there on the water, trying to land some of the common fish species of your area.

While this beast is definitely inspiring in terms of performance and amenities, its large size is not suitable if you’re planning to navigate smaller bodies of water. It also requires a trailer to transport, which may be a storage concern and an additional cost to the already hefty price that might not be affordable for all anglers. But if you can work around these downsides, the Z521L will definitely be the reliable partner you need out there on the water.

Inshore fishing rod on a boat
The Z521L is a great fishing companion with a stellar performance

Smoker Craft Pro Sportsman 2072 CC Is the Perfect Choice for Those Looking for Something Smaller

The Smoker Craft Pro Sportsman 2072 CC is a versatile and reliable center console vessel perfect for all types of angling techniques and adventures. This is an excellent choice for those that are looking for something a bit smaller and more straightforward, which means cleaning and maintenance will be quite simple.

Key Features of the Smoker Craft Pro Sportsman 2072 CC

Measuring 20 feet, 6 inches in length, and featuring a 99-inch beam, this machine offers plenty of space for you, your fellow fishermen, and all the gear, from the fishing rods all the way to the lures and baits. Its motor boasts up to 175 horsepower, providing ample speed through lakes and rivers in your area.

For a reasonable price of somewhere around $50,000 and $52,000, here’s what you can expect:

  • Trolling motor panel,
  • Ram mount hummingbird sonar unit,
  • Bow mount anchor release,
  • Storage compartments with locks,
  • Injected foam floatation.

Pros and Cons of the Smoker Craft Pro Sportsman 2072 CC

In my opinion, the biggest advantage of this model is its straightforward and simple design, which makes it a perfect choice for those just starting out their angling adventures. Sure, it’s not specifically designed for tournament-level fishing like some other vessels on the market, but the Pro Sportsman 2072 CC will do perfectly well on most adventures.

A man fishing on a boat
The Smoker Craft Pro Sportsman 2072 CC is an affordable option great for beginners

With the Thunder Jet 210 Luxor Limited, You Can Have All the Luxury and Comfort You Could Possibly Need

Last but not least, the Thunder Jet 210 Luxor Limited is the ultimate combination of luxury and performance in an aluminum boat. With a length of 21 feet and a beam measuring 96 inches, this beast provides ample space for your favorite fellow fishermen, as well as all of your gear, fishing rods, reels, and everything else.

Key Features of the Thunder Jet 210 Luxor Limited

This impressive machine is equipped with a Mercury outboard motor that boasts up to 250 horsepower, giving you plenty of speed even if you’re planning to land some common saltwater species from time to time.

Aside from impressive performance, here are some of the key features of the Thunder Jet 210 Luxor Limited:

  • Full-length box stringers,
  • Heavy-duty keel guard,
  • Transom live well with aerated locking,
  • Welded fittings,
  • Self-draining bow locker.

Pros and Cons of the Thunder Jet 210 Luxor Limited

The biggest upside to this majestic machine is definitely its impressive performance, as well as the luxurious and well-equipped design – with it, you’re really getting everything you would possibly need on any type of angling excursion. But all those features don’t come at a cheap price, and that’s basically the only downside. However, if your budget allows you this investment of around $150,000, there shouldn’t be any second-guessing, in my honest opinion.

Fisherman fishing from a boat
If you're willing to invest, the Thunder Jey 210 Luxor Limited is the perfect choice

How to Choose the Best Freshwater Fishing Boats

Purchasing a vessel is obviously a significant investment, so it’s essential to make a thoughtful decision before going ahead with your final purchase. To help you carefully weigh your options, here are the most important aspects you need to consider:

Size and Stability

When choosing your next vessel, the first aspects you should think about are the size and stability of the boat. A larger vessel will provide more space and storage for your fishing gear, while a smaller one will be easier to maneuver in tight spaces.

Stability is also important, as you want a machine that can handle rough water conditions and keep you safe. So, it all comes down to your specific requirements and the kind of adventures you’re looking to embark on.

Fishing Features

The best freshwater fishing boats will come equipped with features specifically designed for fishing, such as rod holders, live wells, and fish finders. These features will make the whole ordeal much more efficient and enjoyable, so it’s essential to consider this aspect and thoroughly research what you’re getting with each of your potential options.

Power and Performance

Another aspect that can greatly impact your boating experience is performance. You want a machine with an engine that has enough horsepower to move you quickly and efficiently through the water without sacrificing fuel economy. By taking the time to find a vessel with the right power and performance features, you can have safe and efficient trips for years to come.

Tips Before Buying the Product

It’s best to start by determining how you plan to use the vessel and what features are most important to you, as that will be of great help when narrowing down your search. It’s also important to set a budget for your purchase and consider the ongoing costs of ownership, such as fuel, maintenance, storage, as well as acquiring a valid license.

Research different brands and models, read reviews from other boaters, and, if possible, visit a dealer or attend a show to see your potential options in person. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, and take the time to test different boats to find the one that best meets your needs. After all, it’s a serious investment, and it should be treated as such.

Do Your Research and You’ll Have the Perfect Fishing Companion for Years to Come

In conclusion, every big investment entails lots of time and research. So, before you make your purchase, consider the budget you’re working with, your skill level, the type of fish you’re targeting, as well as the water conditions in which you’ll be angling. While one of these three top-rated boats can easily be your perfect match, do your own research to ensure you’re making the right decision. Take your time. The adventure will be waiting for you!