When I asked several top boat manufacturers for their opinion of what characteristics make an ideal vessel for anglers fishing with live bait, I heard mostly about superior livewell systems. But while the number, location and capability of livewells certainly rank high among live-bait-boat qualities, I was sure there must be more. Besides livewells, I suggest the following should also be considered:
- The number and location of rod holders, including a place to perch kite rods or multiple lines to feed kites (i.e., a rocket launcher);
- Convenient rigging station for bridling materials, dip nets, etc.;
- Optional bonito/tuna tubes for larger liveys;
- Ample electrical outlets for kite reels; and
- A strong saltwater washdown system for cleaning up slime and scales.
What’s convenient to one angler might not be for another. And many specific live-bait-boat features must be added as options. To get you started: Here are seven offshore center-consoles that offer superb live-bait amenities. They are listed alphabetically.