The growing popularity of inshore and nearshore saltwater fishing is creating a demand by anglers for boats catering to their specific needs. Whether the pursuit is venturing into the backcountry to search for snook in the mangroves, intercepting migrating tarpon in the pass or stalking redfish in the marshes, there is a rig to meet your needs.
By design, inshore models are built with open cockpits so anglers can move freely from bow to stern when fish make strong runs around the boat. A clutter-free layout is a must so tackle can be at the ready when searching for prowling predators. Inshore boats should be solidly built and lightweight for traversing the skinniest of waters, while having the capability to tame moderate chop when venturing into open water.
Because inshore boats are so species-specific, the decision on which to own becomes a matter of where the boat will be used the most. If fly fishing and light tackle angling inside the bays is your style, then an ultra-shallow draft model is your best bet. If you plan to go outside the bay and cross open water, a boat with a wave-taming deeper-sided hull might be better. You can even find hybrid models that can handle a trip into offshore waters if bigger game like grouper and snapper are on the agenda.
You’ll also want to consider power options, and the good news is today’s four stroke models are lighter in weight, more economical and can go farther with less fuel.
Offering all of the above and carrying the badge of a legendary name is the MAKO family of inshore models. Here’s the lineup to help you get started on researching the perfect boat for you. Take the next step by visiting a Bass Pro Shops/Cabela’s Boating Center, where you will find expert advice in a no-pressure sales environment.
Pro Skiff models feature the exclusive Advanced Inverted V (AIV) design, while the Light Tackle Skiffs (LTS) sport the patented Rapid Planing System (RPS) transom. You get the better of two worlds in award-winning hulls specifically matched to the styles of inshore angling for which they are designed.
The AIV is a MAKO adaption of a 100-year-old boat design. It incorporates a vented keel, inverted V and anti-spray features. You will notice and appreciate the smooth, dry ride on choppy trips across bays and open water.
On the other hand, RPS combines a stepped hull design with a notched transom that allows undisturbed water to the prop. This award-winning stepped hull design results in faster holeshots (with little to no bow rise), better handling and higher overall top speeds. The benefits are better performance and handling and in shallow water where getting on plane can be challenging. You will also benefit from better maneuverability, because with the boat getting on plane quicker you gain steering control faster when traversing narrow canals and channels.
While vastly different in design, both hull styles produce a smooth, dry ride and easy, nimble handling in chop. They also provide amazing shallow-water capabilities, ensuring even skinny water won't keep you from your destination.
All models are made of 100% composite construction for a lifetime of rugged dependability, and are backed by the MAKO Assurance Warranty. Limited lifetime structural hull warranty, 5-year “stem-to-stern” coverage, 3-year gelcoat coverage and provisions for transferring ownership to a second owner are among the benefits.
A huge selling point of these MAKO models is that each comes with a custom-matched trailer. In other similar boats you might pay extra for the trailer.
The Pro Skiff 15 CC features a big bow deck with large lockable storage and an anchor locker, plus a removable, cushioned, 65-quart helm seat cooler. An outboard capacity of 60 horsepower makes the boat lightweight, nimble and easy to handle.
- 1-piece gelcoated fiberglass deck liner injected with expanding closed-cell foam for flotation, added strength and a quiet ride
- Raised non-skid bow casting deck with large, lockable storage and anchor locker
- Center console with 5 vertical rod holders, acrylic windscreen, stainless steel grab rail, space for mounting optional electronics and below-console storage
- Forward console seat with molded-in grab handles and 8-gallon aerated baitwell
- Removable 65-quart foam-filled helm seat/cooler
- 2-tone high-density marine-grade vinyl upholstery with composite substrates
- Custom-matched hot-dipped galvanized trailer with Super Lube hubs
WHO WANTS IT: A first-timer or anyone looking for a compact, lightweight inshore rig that is value priced without cutting back on the features needed to enjoy a leisurely day of light tackle fishing or fly casting.
The Pro Skiff 17 CC has been completely redesigned with wider beam, a bigger horsepower capacity and a striking new swept gunnel and graphics package. The Advanced Inverted V (AIV) hull has also been improved, providing the ultimate in smooth performance, plus a quick holeshot, a dry ride and nimble handling and turning.
- Redesigned for 2019 with a wider beam and increased maximum horsepower
- Advanced Inverted V (AIV) hull with integrated anti-spray design for a smooth, stable and dry ride
- 1-piece fiberglass stringer system with gelcoat finish and fully injected, closed-cell foam flotation
- Bow and aft casting decks with massive lockable storage in bow, plus anchor/cast net locker
- Molded center console with integrated 8-gallon baitwell, molded-in grab handles, 5 vertical flush-mounted rod holders, below-console storage area and hinged padded seat cushion and back
- Aft 19-gallon baitwell with adjustable aerator & overflow
- Rotomolded, removable Orion 65-quart foam-filled helm seat/cooler
- Custom hot-dipped galvanized trailer with Super Lube hubs
WHO WANTS IT: Anyone who wants to enjoy a full gamut of saltwater-geared activities. The Pro Skiff 17 CC has a wide beam and nearly 3/4-ton capacity, making it a capable utility boat for hauling tools and supplies. For fun, you have plenty of room for scuba gear, and it makes a perfect snorkeling base, too. And of course, you can enjoy a day of fishing with the well-appointed features.
Like the name implies, the “top drive” feature is a tower that allows the operator to spot fish from a platform 50" above the cockpit sole. The AIV hull makes the boat much more stable, even with an elevated center of gravity, than a V-hull or flat-bottom skiff, and provides brisk acceleration, amazing stability and a smooth, dry ride.
- 50" raised driving/spotting platform with Mercury SmartCraft digital system tachometer with multifunction displays
- Bow and aft molded raised casting decks with non-skid surface and storage
- Midship 18-gallon and aft 25-gallon baitwells
- 55-quart and 65-quart removable foam-filled coolers with superior ice-keeping ability
- 4" hydraulic jack plate
- 1-piece gelcoated fiberglass stringer system filled with closed-cell flotation foam
- Upgraded tandem-axle trailer with enclosed I-beam frame, disc brakes, aluminum wheels with 13" radial tires, Sure Lube hubs, spare tire carrier with matching full-size spare, tongue jack, heavy-duty 1,400-pound capacity winch and submersible LED lights
WHO WANTS IT: Sight anglers scanning the seas for predators like cobia cruising outside the surf, or when searching far and wide for migrating tarpon, redfish and other prized species. Unlike the traditional poling skiff, the Pro Skiff 19 Top Drive is easily operated and fished solo, but has a person capacity of up to six anglers. With high-density, marine grade upholstery, expansive non-skid decks, two coolers plus midship and aft baitwells, it’s a great boat for anglers and families.
The Pro Skiff 19 CC Guide Package is a spacious, smooth and stable craft that’s loaded up with advanced options ready to serve the die-hard guide or hardcore inshore angler. Thanks to the award-winning Advanced Inverted V (AIV) hull with clear-water channels and integrated anti-spray design, the Pro Skiff 19 provides brisk acceleration, amazing stability and a smooth, dry ride.
- Minn Kota Riptide Terrova 24V, 80-lb. thrust, 54" shaft trolling motor
- 2 Power-Pole Pro Series II 8' White shallow-water anchors
- Simrad GO7 XSE with TotalScan transducer
- BayStar hydraulic steering
- Pro-Air aeration system for aft baitwell
- 2-bank trolling battery charger
- 4" hydraulic jack plate & smart tabs
- Tandem-axle trailer with brakes, custom aluminum wheels with 13" tires, spare tire carrier with matching spare, submersible LED lights and Sure Lube hubs
WHO WANTS IT: Guides, tournament anglers or hardcore inshore angler. You get high end accessories like the Minn Kota trolling motor and electronics that are precision matched for the boat. With high-density, marine-grade upholstery, expansive non-skid decks, two coolers and a 25-gallon baitwell, the boat is ready to compete.
The 19 CPX is a built with an overbuilt fiberglass hull engineered to handle the hardest chop. There's a huge front deck with ample storage, a fully appointed console, two onboard coolers and two flip-up jump seats in the aft deck for passengers.
- Fully molded composite liner with integrated bow & stern platforms
- Molded, patterned non-skid deck, cockpit sole and gunnels
- Hull/deck joint chemically sealed and bonded 360° and mechanically fastened every 6"
- Flip-flop helm seat with 72-quart cushioned cooler
- Elevated fiberglass console with binnacle-mounted control with power trim
- Aft port and starboard jump seats
- Port and starboard bow storage boxes
- Custom-matched aluminum trailer
WHO WANTS IT: Anglers whose fishing can take them inshore for stalking redfish in shallow marshes, or offshore over the wrecks for grouper and snapper. You can go either direction in this versatile boat. The 19 CPX offers a perfectly calculated balance of power and finesse that will get you out with the crew and in with the fish in supreme confidence.
Whether you're searching the flats for bonefish or cruising the bay for redfish, the 100% composite 18 LTS has the fierce inshore attitude to get you there. The aggressive fiberglass hull and wide beam combine to give you a dry ride in choppy seas and rock-solid stability at rest.
- 2-tone high-density marine-grade vinyl upholstery with stain-resistant coating and composite substrates on seats
- Flip-flop helm seat with 72-qt. cushioned cooler
- Center console with analog gauges, contoured acrylic windscreen, grab rail, stainless steel steering wheel and 6 vertical rod holders
- Forward-console 18-gal. baitwell with padded seat cushion
- Raised bow and aft non-slip casting decks with watertight storage compartments
- Stainless steel cleats and bow and transom eyes
- Custom-matched aluminum trailer with Sure Lube hubs
WHO WANTS IT: Those seeking a shallow-draft inshore boat that is economical on two fronts. You get great gas mileage on the water with the maximum 60 horsepower outboard, plus the 18 LTS is easy to tow behind a compact SUV.
The 21 LTS is an aggressive predator that's ready for any inshore challenge. Built to specs supplied by top redfish tournament pros, the 21 LTS is rated for 225 horses when long runs are part of the game. The hull and deck joint are chemically bonded 360° and mechanically fastened every 6" with stainless steel fasteners for a lifetime of durability. That level of attention to detail is just an example of how this boat is built to withstand the rigors of tough duty.
- Raised bow & aft casting decks with diamond-patterned non-skid surface
- 2 bow dry storage areas and bow port and starboard seats/storage boxes
- Closed-molded fiberglass console with rod holders and removable cooler/fishbox
- Removable 72-qt. forward-console cooler with integrated seat cushion
- Anodized aluminum helm seat frame with 4-rod rocket launcher
- Aft casting deck with 2 large dry storage compartments
- Aft 30-gal. baitwell with Pro-Air aeration system
- Custom-matched aluminum trailer with Sure Lube hubs
WHO WANTS IT: Hardcore inshore anglers needing the peace of mind and dependability of a boat built tough, and laid out to compete.