Love to Fish? The Best Fishing Boats to See at the Bay Bridge Boat Show

Anglers who love to fish the Chesapeake Bay and its surrounding waters will be flocking to the Bay Bridge Boat Show this April, to see the best fishing boats on the market today. Do you enjoy trolling for spring trophy stripers? Light tackle jigging or casting topwater in the shallows? Bottom fishing for perch, spot, and croaker? If you’re an angler who loves to fish and needs a new boat, we hope you’ve cleared April 12, 13, or 14 on your calendar. This is your one and only chance to see the best hot new fishing boats – ranging from center consoles to convertibles to cuddy cabins – in the same place at the same time before a new fishing season begins. And there will be over 400 boats on display at the show, so whatever size or type strikes your fancy, you can bet you’ll find it.

Love to Troll for Stripers

Bay Bridge Boat Show

Image courtesy of Grady-White Boats

Anglers who enjoy setting out a trolling spread for striped bass year-round will want to check out all-weather fishing boats with cabins and protection from the elements, like the Parkers and Grady-Whites on Dock E, the Steiger Craft on Dock D, or the Defiance on Dock C. All of these models will not only keep you warm and dry when it’s chilly and wet, but also offer features like a multitude of rodholders and rocket launchers, onboard tackle stowage, fishboxes, and everything else you need to set out those tandem rigs and umbrellas.

Love to Jig, Cast, Live-Line, and Chum

Bay Bridge Boat Show

Image courtesy of Boston Whaler

As much fun as trolling can be, many anglers prefer to fish in ways that allow for using lighter tackle to lure a wider range of species onto the end of your line. Wait a sec – truth be told, most of us love to fish in a multitude of different ways, depending on what’s most effective at any given time. Jigging with soft plastics or spoons and casting plugs in the shallows are tactics many light tackle aficionados enjoy. And when schoolie stripers are in season, few tactics are as effective as live-lining with spot, or chumming with bunker. You want a fishing boat that’s rigged and ready for all these options? In that case, a center console is right up your alley.

Since they’re so versatile, center consoles are one of the most popular boat types on the water today. Check out Land displays 24 and 32 to see a wide range of turn-key Sportsman center consoles, or head for nine through 12 and you’ll discover high-end, uber-luxurious Boston Whaler center consoles up to 38 feet long. Visit B2 (also on land) and you can check out the more utilitarian but virtually indestructible Carolina Skiffs. Or head for Dock D to see the ever-popular Robalo line of center console boats.

Offshore and More

Bay Bridge Boat Show

Image courtesy of Chesapeake Yacht Center

You say you also love fishing in the ocean, and you want a center console you can haul down to the beach when the opportunity presents itself? That’s not a problem, not by a long shot. Most of the builds we just mentioned are up to the task, and you can add to that list makes like the Cape Horns you’ll see at Land display C9 and the Sailfish center consoles at Dock D. There will even be some of those wave-smoothing powercats on display, like the Twin Vee on Dock C and a World Cat on Dock F.

At the Bay Bridge Boat Show you’ll even encounter boats that would more properly be termed fishing yachts, as opposed to calling them fishing boats. The epic HCB line including the quadruple-engine Suenos will be on Dock E. And you’ll have the opportunity to board one of the largest fishing machines in the show, a Viking, on Dock B.

What if you’re new to the area, and you’d like to check out the opportunities for joining a boating club that has fishing boats in its fleet? You simply want to peruse some fishing gear? Or, maybe you need to line up financing for that sweet new fishing boat? You’ll find all of the above – and more – at the Bay Bridge Boat Show. And we’d bet that if you love to fish, you’ll be able to find a fishing boat you’ll love for years to come here in the shadow of the Bridge this April.



Written by: Lenny Rudow of FishTalk Magazine
Images courtesy of: Grady White Boats, Boston WhalerChesapeake Yacht Center

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