“Bay boat” is a loose term to describe smaller boats that are designed for fishing near shores and around bays and inlets. They have higher sides and slightly deeper hulls compared to boats made specifically for shallow flats, but they are capable of handling shallow water while maintaining stability and safety in choppier seas.
Most boaters will keep land within sight while on a bay boat, but with advances in engineering, design, and technology, many bay boats are capable of handing off shore fishing during calm weather.
Advantages of a Bay Boat
If you are looking for a versatile boat that can give you near-shore fishing and the ability to move into shallower flats, a bay boat is probably a good choice. You’ll have a lot of options for fishing with a bay boat. They’re generally small enough to maneuver over flats, allowing you to fish for permit, bonefish, and other species that feed in shallow water, while the v-bottom design allows bay boats to handle some chop and makes them ideal for fishing over coral reefs and wrecks.
They won’t have much room for a large number of passengers, however, so boaters who want something for a big group will probably be happier with a larger model like the Scout 420 LXF. The 251 XS, our largest bay boat, can carry ten people, but the 177 Winyah is built for a maximum of five. You’ll want to think about your group size before selecting a bay boat.
Because of a bay boat’s size, they are much easier to trailer and haul. You’ll need a strong vehicle, but you won’t need a semi truck to take your bay boat from the water to the marina to your storage location and back to the water. We have boats available that weight above 15,000 pounds, but when dry and without the engine, our largest bay boat only weighs 2,300 pounds. This makes it an excellent choice for boaters and anglers who want to take their boat on all types of water, from shores and flats to freshwater lakes to rivers.
Bay Boat Options from Scout
Scout has a wide variety of bay boats available. Our smallest bay boat is the 177 Winyah, a 17-footer that sits five people and runs best with an engine in the 70 to 90 horsepower range. You can also choose the 201 Bay Scout, a bay boat that measures 19’ 10” and can carry six people. Another popular bay boat is the 221 Winyah Bay, a 10-passenger vessel that provides excellent fishability and comfort. All of our bay boats come with numerous amenities, including live wells, rod holders, and high-quality upholstery materials.
Find the Right Bay Boat for Your Needs
You can have the perfect bay boat for your specific needs by purchasing a Scout. With high-quality engineering and advanced designs, our boats create a higher standard of performance.
Browse our current selection or schedule a test drive and discover why Scout is the leader in high-quality fishing boats.