10 Best Aluminum Fishing Boats
When you’re searching for the best aluminum fishing boats, there’s no substitute for renting different boats and getting a feel for how each performs, handles the waves, and serves as a fishing platform. Still, there are a million and one aluminum fishing boats out there.
Embark upon the search for your own personal “best” and consider our top 10 aluminum fishing boats:
- Crestliner XFC 189
- G3 Bay 20 GX
- Lowe Fish & Ski 1800
- Lund 1400 Fury
- Ranger RT178
- Starcraft CX Fish
- Tracker Grizzly 2072 CC
- Vexus AVX2080
- Weldcraft 300 Cuddy King OS
- Xpress HD 16DBX
1. Crestliner XFC 189
Think of the Crestliner XFC 189 as the Cadillac of crappie boats. Designed specifically for panfish anglers, it incorporates 23-gallon livewells with removable bait buckets in both the bow and the stern. There’s locking rod stowage for rigs up to 8,’ three pedestal bases for seats in the bow, and a “supermount” accessory mounting system on the gunwale for those crappie fishing spider rigs.
But don’t think a panfish boat is limited to just crappie; the XFC 189 will also do a good job playing the role of a bass boat, with an electronics flat at the helm that can accommodate a 12” unit and a second one on the bow for fishfinders up to 7.” Also, note that the boat comes with a MotorGuide X3 electric trolling motor as standard fare.
- Estimated MSRP range: $30,204
Visit Crestliner to learn more.
2. G3 Bay 20 GX
Aluminum boats may make for the best freshwater fishing boats, but they can also be awesome fishing machines for saltwater angling. Case in point: the G3 20 GX. The boat sports a bay boat design with elevated fore and aft casting decks (with flip-up jump seats in the rear), a center console with vertical rodracks, and an electric trolling motor on the bow. Tackle stowage is integrated into the console, and a livewell lives under the forward console seat.
Plus, the entire interior is ruggedized with Tuff Coat spray-in liner and the package comes standard sitting on a Bear aluminum trailer with a detachable tongue.
- Estimated MSRP range: $34,000
Visit G3 to learn more.
3. Lowe Fish & Ski 1800
The Lowe Fish & Ski 1800 will be ideal for family anglers with kids who enjoy being pulled around the lake on a tow-toy when the bite is slow. The boat has what is essentially a bowrider-style layout, with a tall wraparound windshield for added protection from the elements.
But it doesn’t sacrifice fishability one bit, offering up a long list of standard features like a locking rod locker with four 6’6” tubes, a 24-gallon livewell, and five seat bases for swiveling fishing seats. Added bonus: the aft jump seats fold down to create an elevated aft casting deck.
- Estimated MSRP range: $37,430
Visit Lowe Boats to learn more.
4. Lund 1400 Fury
The Lund 1400 Fury is a small aluminum fishing boat with few amenities beyond the basics. It has a livewell, rod boxes in the inwales, a raised front deck with stowage compartments, and two swivel seats. So, why the heck would such a simple little boat make our list of the best aluminum fishing boats?
Because you can purchase a boat-motor-trailer package brand new for well under $15K. For a lot of people, the best boat is the one they can afford, and in this case, the monthly payment will likely be lower than your cell phone bill.
- Estimated MSRP range: $12,078
Visit Lund to learn more.
5. Ranger RT178 (Bass Boat)
Bass boats can easily break the bank but those just starting out in the bass fishing world can get into the game with the easily-affordable Ranger RT178, which costs about half as much as the average new car. Plus it comes with a 60-hp Mercury FourStroke outboard and a custom-matched trailer.
This isn’t a flashy fishing machine but it covers all the bases, with an 8’ rod box, integrated tackle stowage, an electric trolling motor with recessed pedal, and a divided livewell with timer.
This rig also comes with a number of perks rarely seen on standard equipment lists, like a Lowrance Hook Reveal seven-inch fishfinder, an onboard lithium-capable battery charger, and a remote drain plug.
- Estimated MSRP range: $26,995
6. Starcraft CX Fish
Anglers who love the pontoon boat lifestyle will gravitate towards the Starcraft CX Fish, an aluminum pontoon boat that comes equipped to fish. It boasts an aerated livewell, a locking rod box, pedestal-mount swiveling fishing seats, and a fishing station in the stern.
The station is a nice perk, with integrated fishing rod holders, cupholders, a cutting surface, and a tackle stowage compartment that holds three boxes.
Meanwhile, the CX Fish has all the luxuries of a pontoon that large families will love like comfy seating, a Bimini top, a removable cocktail table, a JL Audio MM50 Bluetooth stereo system, a boarding ladder, and a pop-up changing room (with optional porta-pottie). Add the optional grill and underwater lighting, and whenever it’s the fishing time it’s party time, too.
- Estimated MSRP range: $63,000
Visit Starcraft to learn more.
7. Tracker Grizzly 2072 CC
Thanks to the sheer heft and size it delivers at a relatively low price point, the Tracker Grizzly 2072 CC makes our top 10 list. At 21’5” long and 8’3” wide it has a massive footprint for a boat that comes with 115- to 150-hp, is packaged with a trailer, and yet costs less than some high-end motorcycles.
This giant Jon boat still comes integrated with critical fishing features and then some. There are two livewells (32 and nine gallons), a Versatrack gunwale accessory mounting system, and a rotomolded center console with four port and starboard vertical rod holders.
- Estimated MSRP range: $31,595
Visit Tracker Boats to learn more.
8. Vexus AVX2080
Many people think you need an uber-expensive fiberglass boat to be a competitive bass fisher, but the Vexus AVX2028 proves that’s not true. Serious bass anglers will be wowed by the dual rod boxes that can carry over a dozen rigs up to 8’5” long, a livewell with divider and pump-out, room for a 10” flush-mount MFD at the helm, and a Minn Kota Fortrex electric motor on the bow.
Beyond all the goodies what really matters to competitive bass anglers, however, is performance. And with an all-welded pad hull design, the AVX2080 can blast to the hotspots in the mid-60s when loaded with anglers and gear, while a light boat can clip the 70-mph mark.
- Estimated MSRP range: $51,820
Visit Vexus Boats to learn more.
9. Weldcract 300 Cuddy King OS
If you plan to fish in big waters no matter what the weather has in store, it’ll be tough to beat the Weldcraft 300 Cuddy King OS. This boat is monstrous for an aluminum rig, stretching the tape to 34’1” long and 9’5” wide. It tips the scales at 7,140 pounds.
This is an offshore-capable fishing machine that will be more at home on the ocean than the lake, so this one is for you anglers who plan to go mooching for salmon or drag 100-pound halibut over the gunwales.
- Estimated MSRP range: $420,000
Visit Weldcraft to learn more.
10. Xpress HD 16DBX
If you want an aluminum fishing boat you can use to catch bass one day, go duck hunting the next, and enjoy some bow fishing the day after that, check out the Xpress HD 16DBX. This 16-footer (which comes stock with a Yamaha F25 outboard but can handle up to 50 horses) is fully finished in camo paint outside and camo Xtreme coat liner inside and arrives with a BackTrack single-axel aluminum trailer.
You’ll want to add the optional rod holders, a Garmin or Humminbird fishfinder, an electric trolling motor, and pedestal seats to bring the fishability up to snuff. But if you want to enjoy all sorts of outdoor sporting activities on top of fishing, this one checks all the boxes.
- Estimated MSRP range: $12,995
Visit Xpress to learn more.
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With over three decades of experience in marine journalism, Lenny Rudow has contributed to dozens of boating and fishing publications and websites ranging from BoatU.S. Magazine to BDOutdoors.com. Rudow is currently the Angler in Chief at Rudow’s FishTalk, he is a past president of Boating Writers International (BWI), a graduate of the Westlawn School of Yacht Design, and has won numerous BWI and OWAA writing awards.