There are so many types of boats on the market that one could never touch on all of them. This blog series will attempt to highlight the various types relevant to Southeast Texas and Southwest Louisiana. By far, one of the top boat types in demand here is the ever-popular Bay Boat! According to Discover Boating’s website, “Bay fishing boats are specialized and most popular in coastal areas where snook, redfish, tarpon, sea trout, permit and bonefish live. They can float and run in water less than two feet deep and are ideal for fishing with three people on board. A bay boat reserves little room for creature comforts, giving large casting decks on the bow and stern, plus tackle storage, rod holders and livewells instead of upholstered seating and carpet.” It is all about the fishing with this boat. However, there are now a few new models at Texas Marine designed with luxury in mind, such as the NauticStar 210 Coastal. It offers ammenities like cushioned seats and wide V-Berths for increased comfort while still maintaining perfect fish ability.
These days, Bay boats have become a hot commodity with the bass fishing community also. Bay boats are very versatile and can be utilized quite efficiently in fresh water. They are low profile, inshore fishing boats. They are intended for protected coastal waters because of their construction, in contrast to the open ocean. However, this type construction with rolled edges and flat decks is just as effective at the lake, inshore and offshore. In boat blogger John Brownlee’s words “Bay boats have proven incredibly popular with people who love fishing in shallow water, but who aren’t necessarily interested in sight-casting to tailing bonefish all the time. Bay boats are adept al all but the shallowest of inshore tasks and can be called upon for almost anything else…you have the ability to venture into a larger body of water with less fear of being caught in a sudden storm. The higher freeboard gives you more security.”
Texas Marine is the #1 dealer of NauticStar Bay boats in the entire nation. NauticStar standard of quality has earned them the top spot as the #1 Bay Boat sold in all of Texas and Louisiana. In their own words they are “Superbly engineered boat lines to fit your lifestyle. Whether you’re an avid fisherman, a professional or someone who enjoys hitting the water with family and friends.” One of Texas Marines’ most popular is the 214 XTS Shallow Bay boat and its exceptional for fishing in skinny water. This boat can maneuver through some of the narrowest shallow water areas you can find in the Sabine River bottoms without sacrificing performance and stability. It is the perfect crossover boat for fresh or salt water. Its loaded with features such as 2 built in aerated live wells, bait well, bow fish box, 3 jump seats and 20 rod holders plus so much more.
Another popular brand Texas Marine sells is Shoalwater. There is just something magical about skimming over a clear tequila colored skinny water flat, deep in the estuaries of the Gulf Coast. You must experience that moment to believe it. Most in the boating community have never experienced it because they don’t know where to find a boat that can go that shallow. If you know where to look they are quite plentiful. Texas Marine stocks more Shoalwater boats than any other dealer in the nation. The Shoalwater’ 23’ Cat design has become a top seller for a good reason. You can have the best of both worlds with this one. Shallow water fishing without having to feel crowed. When fishing Galveston Bay, with a buddy, this can be a huge asset because it is a specific type of boat capable of skimming across some of the shallowest backwater flats imaginable. This boat can be “launched and run in a mud puddle,” as one skinny water forum post recently put it. The Shoalwater 15′ Bay boat weighs in at around 550 pounds. If you pair it with a small motor, it can reach the most isolated rarely fished locations. Polling anything heavier to fish these flats will wear out even the most determined angler. Light boats, like Shoalwater, are much more productive in these type waters.
Fishing a Bay boat in freshwater is a bit tricky and depends largely on the boat model. You may have to do some rigging on your own to make it more accommodating for bass fishing, but that too depends on the angler. Some say installing rails around the boat, for rodholders when trolling, bimini top for hot days and just making lake fishing easier is the way to go. These boats make the best all-purpose boats any crossover angler could want. They work in the largest lakes and reservoirs, rivers (like the Mississippi), Oxbows and private lakes. They are able to meet any demand except the open ocean. Heck, you can even rig some of these Bay boats up for catching gator.
Come on by today and let Texas Marine show you these top performing all purpose boats for your next excursion.