It’s no secret that Southwest Florida is known for its top-tier fishing. When it comes to finding the best fishing boats for Southwest Florida, you might think that any boat will do – but not so fast.
There are fishing destinations all over Southwest Florida, and where you do most of your fishing will help determine the type of boat you should get. The fishing boat you’d get for a trek to Key West will be very different from the fishing boat you’d get for in-shore fishing in the bays.
To help you figure out which boat is best for your fishing needs, we’ve put together a list of the best boats for inshore fishing in Southwest Florida. But first, let’s start with some key considerations you should keep in mind when shopping for a fishing boat.
Important Features for Inshore Fishing Boats
One of the most important things to consider when choosing a boat for inshore fishing is draft. Draft is how deep the hull of the boat sits in the water, and in Southwest Florida, you’ll want a boat with a shallow draft. That’s because our waters are often shallow and have lots of seagrass beds – both of which can be damaged by a boat with a deep draft.
Another important consideration is the size of the boat. Inshore fishing boats are typically smaller than offshore fishing boats because they don’t need to be as stable or have as much storage. That being said, you’ll want to make sure the boat you choose is big enough for your needs. If you plan on fishing with a few friends, you’ll need a bigger boat than if you’re just fishing by yourself.
Finally, you’ll want to think about the type of fishing you’ll be doing. If you’re planning on doing a lot of live bait fishing, you’ll want a boat with a live well. And if you’re planning on fly fishing, you might want a boat with a casting platform.
Now, let’s move onto our top picks for inshore fishing boats in Southwest Florida.
2023 Grady-White Coastal Explorer 251
If you’re looking for a boat that’s big enough for your fishing buddies but still small enough to navigate shallow waters, the Grady-White Coastal Explorer 251 is a great option.
The 251 CE comes with several fishing-friendly features, including:
- Ample horizontal and vertical fishing rod storage
- Forward casting fishing platform that converts into a sunpad/platform
- Shallow drafting SeaV2 design, which is exclusive to Grady-White Boats
- Dual Fishing Platforms Bow/Stern
In addition to these awesome fishing features, the Grady-White Coastal Explorer is a great family boat! A head area, water sport storage, and wide gunnels for easy access to the water make it a great fishing and family boat.
2023 Robalo 246 Cayman SD
The Robalo 246 Cayman SD is another great option for those looking for a boat that’s big enough for fishing but still small enough to navigate shallow waters.
This boat comes with several features that make it perfect for inshore fishing, including:
- Dual livewells in the aft
- Dual Fishing Platforms Bow/Stern
- Bench seat with a backrest that converts into a fishing platform
- Shallow drafting reverse V-plane hull with HydroLift design
- Ample bow seating
- Wide gunnels to walk from bow to stern
Additionally, all new 2023 Robalo models come with a Lifetime Limited Hull Warranty and 5-year Premier Level limited component warranty.
Browse New Fishing Boats Fort Myers & Naples
If you have any questions about boats that are great for inshore fishing in Southwest Florida, give Fish Tale a call! We’ve been new and used boats in Southwest Florida for over 20 years, and our experienced and knowledgeable sales team would love to help. Give us a call at (239) 463-4448 or stop by 1 of our 2 locations:
- Fort Myers – 15581 S Tamiami Trail, Fort Myers, FL 33908
- Naples – 2540 Davis Blvd, Naples, FL 34104
Want to see these boats in-person? Check them out at RSW Airport from now until August 2023.