If you are an aspiring pike angler looking for a boat to help you in your pike fishing pursuits, I have great news for you. There are a ton of different boat variations out there that will work excellent for pike, and there isn’t one type of boat that truly shines above others, in my opinion.
Let’s take a look at some of the best boat options out there for dedicated pike fishing.
There are a few types of vessels on the water that are preferred by anglers for several reasons, and each type has advantages and disadvantages.
Also called Jon boats, flat-bottom boats have, as the name suggests, a flat or nearly flat bottom.
Jon boats offer excellent stability thanks to their flat bottom, and this is very noticeable when fishing from a smaller craft and tip far less when walking around in them when compared to a small deep-V style boat.
Author Note: While the vast majority of Jon boats are aluminum, there are a few rare examples of them being made from fiberglass, but the aluminum part is definitely preferred due to another advantage that Jon boats possess.
Jon boats excel at getting into very shallow water due to their low draught, which is again due to the flat bottom, making them the best boat for shallow and small lakes and rivers that other boats would not fare well in.
Jon boats are also very affordable when compared to other boat types, and they are essentially maintenance-free. Jon boats are incredibly utilitarian and can be seen as the pickup truck of the boating world.
Deep-V boats are the choice for anglers in the midwest in particular who are multi-species, walleye, musky, and pike anglers.
The top of the line Deep-V boats are made from both fiberglass and aluminum and have great performance in choppy waters on large bodies of water thanks to the deep draught and wide beam designs they typically have.
Deep-V boats can also come in small designs as small as 10 feet long, and these small boats are typically made from fiberglass and are comparable to Jon boats with the exception of decreased stability.
The V shape of the Deep-V also makes them great at traversing distances in very rough water.
Bass boats are designed specifically for bass anglers, but they can work great for nearly all species, including pike.
The hull design of bass boats is like that of a Deep-V, but the actual V shape is far less pronounced. This allows bass boats to have a much shallower draught than a traditional Deep-V boat and offers a bit of the advantage of both shallow running boat designs and large water boat designs.
Bass boats are mostly constructed of fiberglass, but there are manufacturers who take the design and shape and construct it of aluminum as well.
We can’t forget about kayaks! Kayaks have become insanely popular in recent years for anglers of all types, and kayak designs have come a long way in catering to anglers.
Some angling kayaks having many of the same features as larger fishing vessels like sonar mounting options, trolling motors, bait wells, and more.
A kayak might be a great option for you for smaller waters in particular, and you don’t need a big truck to haul them around, which is great for people with cars and allows access to bodies of water that might not have boat launches.
The best fishing kayaks are expensive, but compared to actual motorized fishing vessels, they are incredibly cheap.
The best pike boat depends on the angler, the best boat for one angler could be very different based on the needs of other anglers, and much of this can also boil down to personal preference. Let’s look at to consider when looking for a pike fishing boat.
Boats are expensive, and that’s a fact. Not everyone has the same budget, and ultimately this will be the largest deciding factor on what boat most people end up choosing.
Author Note: You can find boats for around 1,500 dollars if you buy secondhand in the classifieds or craigslist, it might only be a 13 or 14-foot aluminum boat with a 1978 Evinrude 25 horsepower tiller, but it will get you on the water.
If money isn’t an issue, the sky is the limit, and you could get a 20-foot fiberglass deep-V for 70,000, and it will be fully decked out with a brand new 250 horsepower engine and top-of-the-line electronics.
The bottom line in the budget category is to simply get the best that you can afford.
What kind of water are you going to fish on? Do you have a mixed bag of lakes and rivers? How big are the bodies of water you plan on fishing? All of these questions are ones that you should consider when looking for a pike boat.
You don’t want to take a big fiberglass boat on a small and shallow river filled with rocks, stumps, and trees, and if this is what you plan on fishing, you should look at getting a flat bottom or small aluminum deep-V boat.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, from shallow and small bodies of water, if you plan on fishing large lakes, flowages, or rivers, a small aluminum boat is not your best choice.
Fishing in windy conditions in a small boat is not fun, and not only can it be dangerous on large bodies of water, but it will also be nearly impossible to fish structure efficiently as the wind blows your light little boat-like sail across the lake.
On big bodies of water, a boat of at least 16 feet in length is as small as I would go, and I would think 18 feet would be the sweet spot for most fishing situations.
If you get something like a 16-18 foot flat bottom or deep-V aluminum, you can still fish big water if the weather is calm and fish small rivers and lakes as well.
Personal preference is also a big factor in what boat to use for pike fishing. Some anglers simply prefer certain boat types of certain features, and it boils down to the individual when it comes to some aspects of the boat wanted.
Guide Tip: My personal preference is to use mid-sized deep-V boats. I also fish some pretty deep and large lakes, so I have a fiberglass boat, and even with fiberglass boats, you can fish lakes and areas that are pretty shallow as long as you know the body of water intimately.
But if I had to choose a boat that was used for fishing a wide variety of water from small to large, you really can’t go wrong with a 16-foot aluminum deep-v design, and in ultra-shallow water, you can always get out and pull the boat along while wading.
Maintenance of boats and boat motors can be very expensive, and this is another factor you should keep in mind.
I have an acronym for the word boat, and that acronym is “Bust Out Another Thousand.”
Author Note: Hit a rock pile and blow out your engine’s lower unit? That’s a few Grand. New Trolling motor? $1200, new batteries, 200-400 dollars, etc.
In my younger years fishing from a 1982 14 foot Mirrocraft Northport Troller, the most expensive thing was 10 dollars in gas and maybe a trolling motor or something. It wasn’t until I got my first big boat, a 19’5 foot Champion FishHunter, that I realized just how expensive boat maintenance really was.
At the end of the day, a boat is a boat, and it will get you on the water, and since everyone has a different budget and fish in different bodies of water, it’s difficult to pick one design.
Get the best boat you can afford and the one that suits your fishing situations the best and fish, boats don’t catch fish, and you might find yourself in a small puddle jumper out fishing a guy in a $70,000 rig.