Fishing Boat Top Speed (How Fast They Can Go) | LakeWizard

When you love fishing, you want to get into the water as often as possible. For this, you need a fishing boat. But how fast should a fishing boat be?

The issue arises when picking out a fishing boat. Important features like speed play into the decision you make. So, how fast do fishing boats go?

Fishing boats move quite fast despite many people believing otherwise. They can reach top speeds of 84 mph, especially if the vessel is multi-purpose. It’s better to note that there are different types of fishing boats with varying speeds.

Here you can find more information about the different types of fishing boats. The details include the top speeds for fishing boats which average between 41 to 72 mph. The difference in top speed is because you need to consider different factors.

Understanding fishing boat speeds help with decision-making. After reading the information, you will know which fishing boats are fast and why.

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How Fast Do Most Fishing Boats Go?

Fishing boats are some of the most common types of boats around. These are the kind of boats whose main purpose is fishing, no matter the size. The good news is fishing boats' structure works because they can work on salt or freshwater.

When comparing a fishing boat to any other type of boat, you can make a few observations. These boats are made to be incredibly stable, especially in choppy waters. On top of that, they have incredible strength and are built to last.

Most fishing boats possess a trolling motor system, rod lockers, outboard power system and front bow. Bigger fishing boats have a diesel engine which delivers as much power as possible when out fishing anywhere.

In terms of speed, a fishing boat needs to move fast. If you’re a commercial fisherman, moving slowly means wasting lots of time and money. But, when using an efficient and fast boat, not many can stand in your way.

Therefore, ensure you get a fast fishing boat that moves you from points A to B and C in the least time possible. It’s also relevant when you engage in recreational fishing because you get your favorite spot faster. Plus, moving fast in the open waters is lots of fun.

How Fast are Fishing Boats

When researching more about speed, you have to note different types of fishing boats. Most fishing boats fall into two main categories, namely:

  • Recreational Fishing Boats
  • Commercial Fishing Boats

Recreational Fishing Boats

Have you ever wanted to own a small to medium-sized fishing boat that takes you to your favorite fishing spot? Well, that’s the very definition of a recreational fishing boat. You can use it to head out and catch some fish, then hang out with some friends and family cooking the fish.

It’s all about multi-use when you have a recreational fishing boat. While most commercial fishing boats have a primary purpose, recreational ones can have several.

In terms of cost, it’s different for recreational fishing boats because it depends on the type you choose. Still, you need a decent budget to buy yourself a reliable recreational fishing boat.

Also, you have to consider if you want to take the boat out in salt or freshwater. Most freshwater boats may not suit saltwater, but most saltwater boats do suit freshwater. So, find out more information about this because it can dictate the boat's durability.

Bass Boat

A good Bass Boat works well as a recreational fishing vessel and ranges in length between 16 to 26 feet. This type of boat suits freshwater use only in rivers and lakes. It has a lower freeboard and V-shaped hull.

When it comes to speed, it’s all about the boat's horsepower. The more horsepower a bass boat has, the faster the top speed it can achieve.


You can take a flatboat when you want to go out to calm shallow freshwater. Its length ranges from 20 to  100+ feet. Note that flatboats' design doesn’t suit open waters, so always stay in the shallow parts. The bottom of the boat is flat, making it easy to overturn in choppy waters.

Expect your favorite flatboat to average 40 mph in terms of speed. It’s the best speed since flatboats aren’t built for speed. It’s better to always stay within the speed limit since the boat doesn’t have good stability.

Bay Boat

While Bass Boat and Flat Boats suit freshwaters, the Bay Boat is the best for saltwater fishing. Like the Flat Boat, its design suits calm shallow waters so that you can use it for shore fishing. Its length ranges from 20 to 25 feet

Bay bots suit saltwater since they are made using quality fiberglass. This material holds its own when faced with the corrosive nature of salty water. But, always stay in the calm parts and avoid choppy waters that can overturn the recreational fishing boat.

There are two models of Bay Boats, each with varying top speed:

  • Scout 251 XSS with a top speed 56 mph
  • Scout 231 XS with a top speed 60 mph

Center Console Boats

If you love recreational fishing in salt and freshwater, you need a boat that suits both. The best for this purpose is a Center Console Boat. The boat's design, stability, and make it suitable for offshore fishing where you face lots of choppy waters.

This boat’s length ranges from 18 to 40 feet, with a helm at the vessel's center. As for speed, the vessel’s top speed ranges from 60 mph to 85 mph. The outboard motors on the boats help them achieve such high speed in the open waters.

Bow Rider

Day fishing is something that many people enjoy, especially those living near a large body of water. If you want a reliable boat for this type of fishing that won’t blow up your budget, choose a Bow Rider. This affordable boat’s length ranges from 20 to 35 feet.

One advantage of the Bow Rider is its multi-use. You can head off fishing, relax with other folks and even hurl items. Usually, it has a trendy new-age look that many modern boat enthusiasts like.

Commercial Fishing Boats

A commercial fishing boat heads out into the open waters to bring back as much fish as it can hold. These boats have big storage tanks to hold the fish until they reach the shores. But, you’ll notice that commercial fishing boats aren’t built for speed, unlike the recreational ones.

They also serve a singular purpose: to catch and store fish for selling. There are different types of commercial fishing boats, such as:


Trawlers are slow commercial fishing boats that average 4.6 to 10 mph. They have a distinct industrial appearance and are built to carry lots of weight.

A good trawler contains suspended trawler nets that trap fish underwater.


Seiners are a bit faster than trawlers, with top speeds of 5 to 11 mph. These commercial fishing boats look like trawlers, but they don’t have the nets suspended.

Instead, the purpose of these boats is to catch fish that stay near the water's surface.


Have you ever seen those commercial fishing boats with long fishing lines? Those are Longliners whose long lines carry hundreds of hooks with baits.

Using that one fishing line, you can catch hundreds of fish. The Longliners' top speed ranges from 9 to 12 mph in terms of speed.


A drifter commercial fishing boat’s top speed is up to 17 mph. This type of boat uses a drift net to catch fish in the water.

It’s easy to spot the fishing nets since they resemble curtains and tend to drift on the water.

Artisanal (Small) Boats

Lastly, you can check out Artisanal boats that are way smaller than recreational or commercial models. The good news is although they are small in size, Artisanal boats can serve as recreational or commercial vessels.

The boats are most popular with people who engage in commercial fishing but find bigger boats costly. These smaller boats require you to row them out into the water. But, you can also attach a motor to the boat and a generator to power it.

One of the best traits of the Artisanal boat is its capacity to stay stable and fish in open waters. It’s ideal for low-budget fishing and can reach top speeds from 10 to 15 mph. The top speeds are mostly possible when you attach a motor to the Artisanal boat

Fishing is a favorite pastime for many, but it’s also a commercial venture for millions worldwide. Whether you do it for recreational or commercial purposes, you need a proper fishing boat. These boats must sail in salt and freshwater to achieve your end goal.