How Fast Can A Fishing Boat Go? | LakeWizard

Key Takeaways

  • A fishing boat can go 40-90 miles per hour. The high-performance boats will also go 60-80 mph with amazing cruise speeds.
  • Wind speed, weight, and water conditions can slow a boat down and impact the top speed capabilities on any given day.
  • Upgrading the engine and the propeller can also increase the maximum speed of a boat.

During a fishing trip, speed can be critical on the lake or deep in the ocean. So how fast can a fishing boat go, and which type is the fastest?

A fishing boat can go as fast as 40-90 miles per hour, but it will depend on the boat type. For example, a smaller Jon boat has a max speed between 10-45 mph, while a larger center console boat can reach speeds between 60-80 mph.

I gathered information from the technical sheets of the most popular fishing boats to determine fishing boat speed. I also decided to analyze the speed differences based on the boat type, so speed demons and leisure fishermen know what kind of boat suits them best.

Table of contents


How Fast Can A Fishing Boat Go?

A fishing boat can go as fast as 40-90 mph, depending on the boat size, propeller type, and overall weight. All fishing boats have different specs and features affecting their top speed.

Some models even offer higher speeds. Let’s review how fast a fishing boat can go based on the type of boat it is. This will give readers a better understanding of what they can expect.

Jon Boat

The average speed for a Jon boat will vary by size. It’s safe to expect a speed between 10-45 mph and horsepower between 5-20. Here are the average speeds for each Jon boat size.

  • 8-10 Feet: 5-10 mph
  • 12 Feet: 10-15 mph
  • 14-16 Feet: 20-30 mph
  • 18-20 Feet: 35-45 mph

Center Console Boat

High-performance center console boats are sold in bigger sizes and pack much more power and speed. On average, this boat can reach 60-80 mph. This includes both the top speed and cruising speed depending on the number of outboard engines.

  • Two Outboards: 60-70 mph
  • Four Outboards: 70-80 mph

Dual-Console Boat

The dual-console boat is another fast fishing boat similar to the center console but has a standard console port side and starboard. Speed-wise, fishermen can expect similar performance with maximum speeds between 65-85 mph.

Walkaround Boat

The average walkaround boat is 18-32 feet long. This is standard for most fishing boat models. The speed ranges between 25-32 mph for cruising, and they cap out with a max speed between 40-50 mph.

Sport Fishing Boat

Despite the name, sport fishing boats won’t blow anybody away with speed. They are best used for their comfort because their maximum speed is between 23-35 mph, depending on the boat’s size and engine type.

Bass Boat

Bass boats are fishing boats with all equipment built-in strictly for catching bass. These are strictly freshwater recreational fishing boats that reach 40 and 70 miles per hour.

Bay Boat

This boat’s speed will impress most people. While they aren't necessarily racing boats, expect top speeds over 70 mph while cruising on the water with this fishing vessel.

Best-Selling Fishing Boats Speed Comparison

We have compiled a list of ten of the best-selling fishing boats. In this list, we also listed the maximum speed for each boat. This should help anybody curious about the fastest boats available.

Fishing Boat Model Max. Speed
Triton 21 XRT 73.7 mph
Nitro Z19 Sport 68.4 mph
Freeman 33 63 mph
Skeeter WX2200 58 mph
Wellcraft 302 56.7 mph
Princecraft Hudson 170 DL WS 52 mph
Albury Brothers 23 50 mph
Pursuit C238 48.4 mph
Starcraft Superfisherman 186 47 mph
Boston Whaler 170 Montauk 45.3 mph

What Is The Maximum Speed Of A Fishing Boat?

The world record for the fastest boat is 275.97 knots or 317.58 MPH. We likely won’t find any fishing boats with this top speed, but most fishing boats should max out speeds between 50-75 MPH.

Top speed also depends on where we are fishing. Saltwater or deepwater fishing boats are more built for speed because of the longer range and rougher waters.

Many freshwater fishing ventures are done at a more leisurely pace. The objective is to catch fish and enjoy a day on the water, not reach high boating speeds.

For this reason, expect to max out a freshwater fishing boat closer to 40 MPH. This is because of both the lake rules and the boat’s design.

How Does Fishing Boat Speed Compare To Other Boats?

Fishing vessels generally have a higher top speed than other boats, such as pontoons, trawlers, and deck boats. But ultimately, it depends on the boat’s size and engine capabilities.

Trawler Boats

Trawlers can be used as commercial fishing boats to carry massive hauls with top-notch payload and weight capacity. They are also available in smaller sizes as a recreational fishing boat but the maximum boat speed is extremely slow, between 11-23 mph on average.

Some smaller models under 45 feet will use a single engine, and they can push 25 mph, but this is not a boat built for speed. Most commercial fishing boats are much bigger. The average size is 250 feet to over 350 feet long.

Pontoon Boats

The average pontoon boat can reach a top speed between 22-45 mph, depending on its size. This is not a boat you’d use to go fast and the top speeds won’t impress. It has a wider build with a large deck to host parties and gatherings on the lake for the day.

Bowrider Boat

Bowriders can be used as fishing boats, but it’s more of a recreational speedboat. They are one of the fastest recreation boats with maximum speeds of up to 85 mph.

Ski Boat

Ski boats are recreational boats for lakes and other freshwater environments. It’s safe to expect a top speed of 45 and 55 mph when using this boat style.

How Can You Increase The Speed Of A Fishing Boat?

With the right modifications, we can increase the speed of our fishing boat. This makes it much easier and quicker to get out on the water and enjoy our time catching fish. Here are a few ways how it can be done.

Upgrade The Propellor

The propeller is perhaps one of the most important components when assessing speed, so upgrading this part should be first on the list if you aim for increased performance.

For example, a boat running an aluminum prop can upgrade to a stainless steel prop and see an instant increase in top speed and cruise speed. The stainless steel prop is strong, thinner, and has less water drag.

The blades don’t flex when moving through the water, either. This makes the prop movements quicker. Expect a top speed increase of 3-5 MPH.

Upgrade The Engine

It's also an option to upgrade the outboard engine type. A four-stroke engine can be changed to a two-stroke engine to improve the boat's power and top-speed capabilities.

The two-stroke engine is faster because it uses two piston strokes to generate one power revolution. This is twice as fast as a four-stroke engine, resulting in better top speed and much more horsepower.

What Can Impact How Fast A Fishing Boat Can Go?

The boat’s top speed does not always perform as advertised. Other factors to consider, like wind, water conditions, and weight onboard, can impact how fast we can go on the water that day.

Wind Speed

The weather and wind speed can slow a boat down. When winds are high, it becomes much more difficult to reach the estimated top speed a boat is capable of because of resistance. It’s also unsafe to try and battle the wind going that fast.


The weight on the boat can cause it to go faster or slower. In fact, one of the common ways fishermen will increase their speed is by decreasing the total weight onboard.

Water Conditions

Lastly, water conditions also matter. It’s much easier to approach top speeds when the water is calm and safer. Rough conditions cause boats to slow down and proceed with caution because they can capsize if they go too fast.