No matter how you like to fish, having just the right boat makes all the difference when it comes to comfort, convenience and success on the water
#3 IF YOU LIKE TO DO IT ALL
What if you like to cast and troll while chasing every species of fish in the lake? That’s easy—you need a multi-species boat. Combining the large casting decks and lateral stability of bass boats with the deep-V hulls and higher gunnels of big-water boats, multi-species rigs may represent a design compromise, but they work surprisingly well. They won’t handle open water quite like a true big-water boat, and they don’t have the same spacious casting decks as a proper bass boat, but their ability to do a bit of everything has made them immensely popular.
When shopping for a multi-species rig, look for a modified-V hull with reverse chines that will deliver improved handling and a drier ride in choppy conditions. Some designs incorporate a bass boat-like planing pad at the transom for even smoother driving performance.
Also check the casting deck heights to ensure you can easily reach the waterline to handle fish without having to lean precariously over the side. Some bow decks sit higher off the water than others, and one that’s too tall will prove annoying in very short order.
When shopping for a multi-species rig, look for a modified-V hull with reverse chines
Multi-species boats come with dual consoles and full windshields, or side consoles with a bubble windscreen over the dash. There are also tiller models. Full windshield models provide the greatest comfort when you’re fishing early or late in the year. They also have more storage space in the twin consoles, but they tend to be the priciest models due to the extra components. Tiller versions are the simplest, cheapest and arguably the most versatile thanks to their capacity for precision backtrolling, but they offer the least weather protection. Side consoles represent the middle ground.