Six Tips for Choosing the Best Boat to Use for Walleye Fishing

By: Michael Hehn

You might be wondering, 'Do I need a boat to fish for walleye? Can't I just catch the fish from the shore?' Of course you can, but if you've had experience with walleye before, you know that they tend to change location depending on the season and on where their main food is located.

Some of the best walleye catches are also difficult to access from the shore. When walleye congregate in deeper waters, why miss out when you can be in on the action in the comfort of your own boat? Here are some things you might want to consider when buying or choosing a boat for walleye fishing:

Consider the frequency of your fishing trips.
If you fish a couple of times a year, you'll need a simple, no-frills boat. You might also want to invest in something cheaper but sturdy.

Consider your fishing style.
Walleye tend to make their appearance during the nighttime. If you'll be fishing mostly for this fish, consider the creature comforts and protection your boat can offer when you'll be using it .

Consider boat size
The size of the boat matters, especially if you will be fishing with a companion or two. You might also want to consider how well your boat will handle the passengers and equipment. A 14-foot boat, for example, will probably be comfortable enough for two to three anglers plus equipment. Longer ones can hold more.

Do you need a motor?
Consider the size of the lake or reservoir you will be fishing. A medium to large body of water will require that you use a boat with a motor so you can change locations easily. Imagine paddling your way around a lake as big as Lake Erie just to find your walleye.

Which bottom?
The way a fishing boat's bottom is shaped will impact how it performs in the water. A flat bottom, for example, is a good boat to use if the water isn't choppy and you don't need a lot of speed. For deeper waters, a V-bottom boat will work better because the shape cuts the water more efficiently, allowing you to move faster. If the lake you'll be fishing in is a bit large, consider a steeper V-bottom for more speed and a smoother ride.

Material and design
Boats that are perfect for walleye fishing come in a variety of layouts and styles. Simply choose which one will best fit your needs. As for materials, choose boats made of fiberglass or aluminum. They're sturdy and tough enough to see you through hundreds of walleye fishing trips.

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