The Top 10 Best Bay Boats For Fishing The Texas Coast

Buying a new boat for coastal fishing is a fun experience!

If you’re a soon-to-be first time boat owner or you’re looking to upgrade, maybe my Top 10 list will help you decide on what fishing boat to buy….

The bay boats listed below are some of the most efficient and reliable boats you will see on the Texas coast…

But before we dive right into the list…

You have to ask yourself a few honest questions before buying a boat….

First, determine what kind of fishing you’ll mostly do on your boat.

If you had company on your boat (Customer, Friends, Family) how many people could fish comfortably during a fishing trip without constantly crowding each other?

Are you looking to anchor fish the jetties with live and dead bait or are you interested in drifting across shallow reefs in the bay and getting to hard to reach places to throwing top waters and soft plastic lures?

Do you like to wade the flats in areas only accessible by boat for fat Redfish and Huge Speckled Trout?
HOW YOU FISH, WHERE YOU FISH and HOW OFTEN YOU FISH and of course…. How Much $$$Money$$$ you’re willing to spend on a reliable boat is what you have to consider…

Catching fish or not…

Owning a boat is like taking a mini vacation as soon as you leave the boat ramp….

The adventures you have on the water is irreplaceable. Seeing the different aquatic wildlife you normally don’t see on land is euphoric feeling….

Boats are awesome but they also have downsides….

“If you want to call it that…”

The downside of owning a boat is mainly the COST, MAINTENANCE, REPAIR, STORAGE and sometimes VEHICLE PULLING CAPABILITIES.

We’ve all heard of what the abbreviation for BOAT stands for right?…….

If you haven’t, it stands for….

Break Out Another Thousand…

As soon as you buy a boat the wear and tear will make this statement VERY true….

Remember this statement….


If you don’t fish very often, getting an expensive tournament-ready machine may be overkill for your needs.

You might want a high gunnel, stable and dry boat to take a comfortable fishing excursion with the family without all the bells and whistles from time-to-time….

Hell, you might be a first time boat owner like we all once were and you want to purchase a decent “beginner boat”.

Either way, listed below are some of the best and most trusted brands that churn the coastal waters of Texas…

Let’s get started with the…..

The Top 10 Best Bay Boats For Fishing The Texas Coast

Haynie Boats#1 Haynie Boats – This is probably the most popular boat amongst tournament anglers and guides on the Texas coast.

Haynie Boat makes many different models that might be the perfect choice for your needs.

If you want the all in one fishing boat for the Texas coast, You won’t go wrong  with buying a Haynie boat.

Haynie boats probably makeup 40% of the boats that participate in popular fishing tournaments like the Rudys Pro Redfish Series and the HT’s Redfish series.

And for good reason….

Haynie makes the all around perfect boat for the Texas coast no matter what bay system you try to fish. Although Haynie is #1 on my list as the best all around boat manufacturer for the Texas coast, a close second is probably the most stunning boat to look at going 70+ on the water…

That boat is listed as #2…..

SCB Simmons Custom Boats#2 SCB – Simmons BoatsProbably known as the fastest fishing haul on the Texas coast.

This boat is built with the tournament anglers in mind.

If you need to make a long run down the ICW to catch a huge Speckled Trout or fat Redfish for a tournament….

And still make it to weigh in!?!?!?!?

Simmons Custom Boats is the best, and most sexiest boat for fishing you will ever see and fish from… The SCB is (In my opinion) the most gorgeous, head turning, built for speed beast on the water.

This boat is not cheap by any means….

But then again….

What boat is?

You have to pay the cost to be the boss right?

Anyway, coming in at #3 is a boat that performs well (just like #1) in most conditions. Where the Haynie performs well at the Jetties, and the SCB is known for speed and comfort….

Shoalwater#3 ShoalwaterIs an all around great boat with a haul built to take on chop with good top end speed.

Shoalwater boats are not not known for being the fastest, but they’re definitely not the slowest when powered by a decent HP outboard.

It’s great for running in shallow water which is very frequent on the Texas coast. Shoalwater has a few different models that makeup a very versatile boat for many conditions.

For the days the wind jumps up and the run across the bay is not as wet with a Shoalwater haul. Shoal waters main location is based in Port O’COnnor Texas. Powered by Mercury. Manufacturing boats for over 30 years.

Majek Boat#4 MajekLocated in Corpus Christi Tx, the Majek boat company has 5 base models to build your dream boat from.

The Majek Extreme, the Majek Illusion, the Redfish Line, The Texas Slam and Majek Ultra Cat.

Majek boats are very durable and very versatile for Texas Bays and inlets. You cant go wrong with a Majek boat.


#5 Alumacraft Alumacraft is a company that’s been around for a long time. An alweld Alumacraft

aluminum built boat that comes in many sizes, highly customizable and can perform just like its fiberglass counterpart.

The cost is cheaper than owning a fiberglass built boat and can be customizable to your liking.

Aluminum boats are highly customizable and can be turned into the perfect fishing boat for your style of fishing.

Fan boats, Flounder gigging boat or a utility boat for strictly checking crab traps and catching bait. Aluminum boats are much lighter than fiberglass.

The moment you run up on a sandbar in a few inches of water – is when you’ll love to have an aluminum boat to easily push off whatever you grounded yourself too. the *Economy of an aluminum boat is also something to consider when purchasing a Bay boat.

Aluminum boats are much lighter than fiberglass bay boats. This makes learning the water and getting to shallow locations a good fit option. If you only fish small, protected bodies of the bay or inside of creeks, bayous and rivers, an aluminum boat might be the perfect fit for you.

Nautic Star #6 Nautic StarJust a good all around boat that will take care of your needs on the water.

You won’t be able to get really skinny with this boat but you can definitely “Putt-Putt” in position to setup for a long wade.

This boat will definitly keep the family dry if the wind picks up and you need to cross the open bay.

Boston Whaler#7 Boston WhalerProbably one of the most well known, reliable and expensive boat brands of all time.

And for good reason…

You will see many guides on the Texas coast with a Boston Whaler. The Boston whaler is known for being nicknamed the “unsinkable boat”.

The Boston Whaler has been in business longer than any of the names on this list with an outstanding reputation.

Blue Wave

#8 Blue WaveThe Blue Wave is a good boat for the everyday angler that wants to enjoy some good times on the water without breaking the bank.

The Blue Wave is not the shallowest running boat, but can be moved into wading position. Operating water depth is 2 foot and deeper.

The Blue Wave operated very well at the jetties. It’s very stable and will keep you dry the entire time. The Blue wave has deep gunnels and it’s know for being a very stable boat to fish from.


Blazer Bay

#9 Blazer BayThe Blazer bay is a good open water bay boat. It’s good for drifting across reefs, anchoring at the jetties and setting up on a few open water deep spots.

This boat is definitely not for the super shallow areas of the bay. Blazer Bay boats might be the perfect family bay boat. It has deep gunnels to keep the kids safe inside the boat while under way or when the horseplaying gets a little carried away on the boat. 

This boat can get shallow with a decent Jack Plate but you wont be running super skiiny like #10 on this list…

Shallow Sport#10 Shallow SportProbably one of the best boats for fishing shallow water. This boat can get skinny and get on plane in inches of water. With the help of a good Jack Plate, this boat could rival an airboat….. Maybe not…. But it’s definitely a great shallow water boat. It’s not built for taking on rough water at the jetties.

If the name of the boat didn’t give it away, the Shallow Sport boat performs the best in shallow water. If you normally fish areas that are two foot or less, this boat might be the perfect option for you. Shallow sport boats are not known for having high gunnels at all, so make sure the kids are sitting down and everything on the boat is secure.

There are many boat brands old and new that will suit your needs on the water. Get whatever you like that fits your needs and style of fishing. You don’t have to break the bank. Just stay within your means and get whatever you like.

Honorable Mention Boat Manufacturers

JH Performance
El Pescador

Where to Buy The Boats Listed Above

Texas Marine
Ron Hoover
Boat Etc
2 Cool Classified Ads
Your Local Certified Boat Dealer

Must Have Boat Accessories To Fish The Texas Coast

Trolling Motor – Staying in the same place while fishing is boring and covering more water is effective and fun. Trolling motors allow a boat to get in super stealthy mode… Throwing lures at working birds or working a long shoreline, a trolling motor is vital accessory for your boat.

Power Pole – The Probably one of the most innovative accessories on the market for your boat today. The Power Pole shallow water anchor is a super strong anchor made fishing by yourself just a little less of a hassle. Remember throwing the huge anchor off the boat just to get it stuck on some unknown obstruction in the water? No more! A Power Pole allows you to stop and position your boat in a quick and quiet way that doesn’t spook fish as easily and doesn’t take as much effort

Drift Sock – On a good windy day, the drift sock will slow your boat down over the area you want to cover. I use this technique a lot on windy days… When the wind is pushing my aluminum boat faster than I would like, my drift sock slows me down well enough to cover an area very thoroughly.

Radio – A radio playing your favorite tunes is just what you need. Slow days turn into good, chill vibes on the water… And it gets a little boring and restless sometimes when you’re not in the hardcore fisherman mood. Music is a good way to keep you focused on the good times and not so much worry about the seriousness of catching a fish Music is always a good addition to have on the boat but definitely a luxury item that you could definitely go without.

Depth Finder – I depth finder with GPS is a great add-on to your boat. Knowing where you are, how fast your moving, how deep of water you’re in and bait activity in deep water is crucial information.

Jack PlateHaving a Automatic Jack Plate gives your boat better performance when launching in shallow water and getting on plane quicker… A lot of times jack plates even increase the top end speed for boats. The tilt feature changes both the angle of the propeller and the height, while the jack plate lifts your motor vertically giving you a few more inches to play with (Insert male humor)…

That’s it folks!!!!

Let me know what you guys think in the comment section below….

How do you feel about my top 10 list and who do you think should be replaced?

Ty Wagner Fishing

Tight Lines!!!

Ty Wagner

8 Responses to “The Top 10 Best Bay Boats For Fishing The Texas Coast”

  • Scott Stratmann:

    You have put together a great article for the newbies and the rest of us old salty dogs that have been getting off the porch and in the bays for many years. Thanks again and God Bless.

  • Thanks for the compliments Scott!

    It’s great to hear some encouraging words when you have some people looking at who should be replaced and what boat shouldn’t make the list. I felt like this was a diverse list to fit just about everyones fishing needs and price range if they wanted to purchase a boat….

    Hope to see you on the water one day man. 😉

    Tight Lines!

  • Bayman:

    Nice article Ty! I’ve been extremely happy with Bluewaves. I’m on my second and have a hard time finding a better boat for the money. As you know, I wade 90% of the time and my 190 will get me into water about a foot, drop the power pole and get out. It will also take some pretty rough water crossing Galveston Bay. Keep up the good work.


  • Joel pasion:

    Nice Article. Thanks Sir Ty

  • My dad will be retiring soon and he plans to have his own boat for retirement. It was explained here that he should consider what kind of boat would he like to have to know what type should he buy. Moreover, it’s highly recommended to consult experts when planning to buy a boat.

  • Joe:

    Thanks Ty for another great article. Boats a very personal and so people who may own a different boat will always not like the fact that their boat is not #1… or not even on the list. Your list are all great boats and I have been on many of them over the years. Personally I happened to pick up a used New Water Ibis that I love and have a great timegetting very skinny in the Lower Laguna Madre. You take care and keep up the good work. I really appreciate it. Joe

  • Thanks for the kind words Joe! It makes the effort of writing long informative blog post for the coastal angler worthwhile. 😉

  • It is actually a nice and helpful piece of info. I’m glad that you shared this useful info with us. Please keep us informed like this. Thank you for sharing.

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