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.
- 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.
With enhanced power, convenience and fishability the Pro Skiff 19 CC is back and ready to take you farther with more confidence and creature comforts than ever before. 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.
- Bow and aft molded raised casting decks with non-skid surface and storage
- BayStar hydraulic steering
- Pro-Air aeration system for aft baitwell
- Rotomolded, removable Orion® 65-qt. (61.51 L) foam-filled helm seat/cooler w/superior ice-keeping ability
- Tandem-axle trailer with brakes, hot-dipped galvanized wheels with 14" tires, spare tire carrier with matching spare, submersible LED lights and Sure Lube hubs
WHO WANTS IT: Guides, familes, or hardcore inshore anglers. With high-density, marine grade upholstery, 6 person capacity, expansive non-skid decks, two coolers and a 25-gallon baitwell, it’s a great boat for anglers and families.
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 115 horsepower outboard, plus the 18 LTS is easy to tow behind a compact SUV.