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5 Best Flats Fishing Boat Manufacturers

Author: Bullbuster Team

List Of Flats Boat Manufacturers

Are you looking to purchase a flats boat and doing your initial research on which boat to buy?  Below are 5 flats boat manufacturers that you should look into.  Flats boats are designed for fishing in shallow water or the "flats".  Many flats boats have a poling platform where one can push their boat along this shallow area of water to sneak up on fish like bonefish, redfish, tarpon, and permit. 

1) Hells Bay Boatworks

"Building The Worlds Finest Skiffs"

Hells Bay flats skiffs are some of the original flats boats. They are some of the best designed flats boats in the industry and are used by the very best guides and flats fishermen.  Their quality is reflected in their price, but you get what you pay for right?

Hells Bay Skiffs
Hells Bay Skiffs Website

Watch the video below to see some of the history behind this boat company. Also, see why it is so important to spend more time fishing

2) Maverick Boats

"Fish The Legend"

Maverick skiffs are one of the most known flats boats in the industry.  While not as high end as the Hells Bay, these boats will put you on the fish and are excellent for poling the flats for bonefish or heading deep into the Florida Everglades. 

Maverick Flats Boats

3) Egret Boats

"Flat Out Better"

Egrets boats make a great flats skiff. These boats are often a bit bigger than your average flats skiff, and are often powered to move FAST!  These boats can pole on the flats, but many anglers use them to target inshore fish such as snook and tarpon.  It doesn't hurt that these boats are made out of Carbon Fiber and are VERY light. 


Egret Flats Boats

4) Beaver Tail Skiffs

Beaver tail skiffs is a newer flats boat company that has entered into the market and has had to innovate. Each owner of a Beaver Tail Skiff has input on to the specs of their skiff and therefore gets to customize their boat. 

Beaver Tail Skiffs Flats Boats

5) Dusky Flats Boat

Dusky boat company has been around for a while.  This boat company is mainly known for its larger center console boats such as the famous "Bouncers Dusky 33" , but also has and 18 foot flats boat that is factory direct. 

Dusky Flats Boat

What To Look For In A Flats Boat

If you have looked into the above manufacturers and still need help comparing them use this guide on 12 Important Things To Look For In A Flats Boat to help you out.  Below are some of the basics from this guide and from a bit of common sense around the topic of getting a boat to chase fish in shallow water. 

1) Your Draft - This is how shallow your boat can go.  Since a flats boat is specifically designed to get up on shallow water to chase fish, this is an important feature. 

2) The Poling Platform - If you own your flats boat you are probably going to spend a lot of time of the poling platform. So before you buy your boat, make sure you like it!

3) The Livewell - Flats fishermen often use different live boat than an offshore fisherman, so this may require a different type of live well.  Shrimp and crabs often need different water conditions then lets say a mullet or a threadfin herring. Your flats boat should have the live well, or live wells for the type of fishing you want to do. 

4) The Warranty - Things may break, make sure your manufacturer has a good warranty to back you up if they do. 

5) The Power - Different boat manufacturers have partnerships with different motor companies. Make sure that you like the motor behind your skiff because you are the one who is going to be out on the water with it and paying/doing the maintenance for it. 

Fish That Flats Boats Are Most Often Used To Target

Flats boats are often used to fish shallow water areas in bays or around islands.  Below is a list of fish that flats boats are often used to target: 

1) Bonefish

2) Permit

3) Tarpon

4) Redfish

5) Snook

6) Tripletail

7) Snapper

8) Jack Crevalle

9) Sharks

10) Giant Trevally

11) Milkfish

12) Pompano 

13) Black Drum

14) Sea Trout

15) Barracuda

16) Calico Bass

17) Spotted Bay Bass

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