Fishing Boat Rental Services: Finding Your Target Fish

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Fishing boat rental services are a great way to explore new waters. When booking a fishing boat rental, you'll probably want to target specific sport fish. 

Here's a quick rundown of how to find the species of fish you're targeting.


Bluegill, crappie, yellow perch, and sunfish are broadly categorized as panfish. If you're looking for a fun day on the water, particularly with children, panfish are ideal to target.

  • Location: When booking a fishing boat rental, it's worth spending a little extra money for a depth finder and sonar system. Panfish commonly school up in shallow, protected locations. Seawalls, steep rock drop-offs, and docks normally hold large schools of panfish. You can also use your depth finder to locate submerged structures like trees, humps, rock piles, and sandbars. 
  • Baits: Panfish forge on small minnows and insects. Many fishing boat rental providers sell live bait and tackle. In most cases, once you find a school of panfish, you'll be catching fish for hours. Basic jigging or suspending presentations are perfect for panfish. Because panfish have small and delicate mouths, remember to downsize your hooks.


Largemouth, smallmouth, and striped bass are among the most popular species of gamefish. Because these fish are heavily targeted, finding and catching them can be a challenge. 

  • Location: Bass can found in both shallow and deep water. One of the biggest variables to consider is water temperature. Bass are most active in cool water. Too cold or too warm, and the bass bite will likely shut down. Packing a water thermometer on your fishing boat rental trip can be critical. When locating bass, look for stable water temperatures. In most bodies of water, the "Goldilocks rule" is important to keep in mind — bass don't like it too cold or too warm. Look for mid-range water temps for the body of water you're fishing. 
  • Baits: Bass eat just about anything they can fit into their gullet. When choosing baits, think about the most common forge for the body of water. For instance, if the fish are eating 2-3 inch shad, you likely want to choose shad imitations or baits in the 2-3 inch size range. The best way to figure out what works is to experiment. If you're trolling, tie on a different lure for each rod. If you're fishing with a buddy, start with two starkly different baits. Once you figure out a pattern, you can consistently catch bass on your fishing boat rental trip.