Exploring the Best Boats for Muskie Fishing

Dave Hebeda

The muskie isn’t called a fish of 10,000 casts for nothing.

Muskies are notoriously difficult to catch in large part due to their picky eating habits. They are highly selective about what to attack and feed in small windows of time guided by moon phases and the weather. It also gets more selective the larger it becomes.

While understanding their behavior and a good lure and rod are key to landing an impressive muskie so is using the right boat, especially one perfect for muskie hunting like the Alumacraft multispecies.

Ready to land a monster muskie? David Hebeda explains how.

Tailor-Made Muskie Fishing

As muskie boats, Alumacrafts are endlessly impressive. It’s durable but also light and agile. It offers fantastic control and handling, but also comfort when encountering high speeds.

More importantly, catching a big fish doesn’t require a big boat.

Tuffy Boats, based in New London, Wisconsin, is believed to be the only company in the U.S. that makes boats specifically with muskie fishing in mind. For nearly 50 years, Tuffy has known precisely what it takes to become a successful muskie fisherman.

Its line of boats excels in freshwater, and muskies are consistently among the most-wanted freshwater fish in North America.

A redesign at the turn of the 21st century improved Tuffy’s already effective muskie boats. Modifications and additions included redesigned interiors and further strengthened the hulls of its Esox Deep V and Deep V Osprey boats.

The company’s Esox low profile also stands out for its design that fosters better control and stability on the water and provides a spacious interior that muskie fishing usually requires.

David Hebeda

More Boats to Consider

Musky Hunter Magazine has long been a must-read for muskie fishing enthusiasts. It’s also a go-to source of the best boats for muskie fishermen.

At one time, the magazine’s field editor, Pete Maina, swore by the Tuffy Esox Magnum that was rigged for fishing from the stern. The magazine’s editor, on the other hand, loved his Ranger 690VS which sported a large front casting deck on the bow.

The big debate among staff seemed to be split evenly on preferring trollers or consoles. The magazine noted that casters should look for a boat with a tiller motor arrangement, while trollers generally prefer console models.

The Ranger 681T was also popular. Though production ceased on the Ranger model in 1997, many of its features are still prized by muskie fishermen today, including its head-reserved outboard trolling motor, a command post on the stern, and the ability to operate the bow mount trolling motor from the boat’s rear.

In general, Tracker Deep V models are also popular since they are built tough to perform well in bigger waters where muskies live and have a bow with a sharp deadrise for adding boating stability. Storage is a must for the big fish, and many recommend boats with large insulated livewells, such as the Esox Limited and the Magnum.

Bottom Line

Muskie fishing takes determination and patience. The best boat will be built to tackle rough waters while still providing comfort and maximum stability to make one’s dream muskie fishing experience come true.

David Hebeda
David Hebeda