What Part Of A Boat Do You Fish On?

Fishing from a boat is among the most effective fishing methods, regardless of the type of fishing you prefer. Boats are effective for all forms of fresh and saltwater fishing, and they are among the most important tools for all anglers. However, if you have little boat fishing experience, it is important to understand where you should fish from when using a boat for angling. 

The best part of a boat to fish on is the fishing deck if the boat has one. If not, look for an open area on the boat deck that is free of obstructions and has good, stable areas to stand. If the boat has a fishing seat or a fishing platform, these are also ideal locations to fish from. 

Boats can be simple, or they can be incredibly complex, but it is always important to understand the best locations to fish from on a boat. Boats have specific dynamics that must be kept in mind, including balance, buoyancy, and stability. All fishing boats have designated areas from which to fish, so let’s learn more about these parts of fishing boats and why they are important. 

fisherman reeling a trolling rod on a boat

What Part Of A Boat Do You Fish On?

Boats are complex. Even the most basic boats have several components, parts, and features that are important to understand, especially for fishing. Without understanding the fundamental aspects of a boat and where to fish from, your fishing excursion will be difficult, frustrating, and far less successful, especially if you are fishing with other people. 

Some boats are more complex than others and have more to learn, but every boat has ideal fishing locations and areas that should never be used for fishing. 

It is important for every angler who gets on a boat to know where to fish from, the areas on a boat that are safe for fishing, the ideal locations to fish from, and why these areas are so important. 

Let’s explore the best locations on a boat to fish from, what makes them good for this purpose, and why it is important to only fish from these areas if possible. 

Any Flat And Clear Areas Of The Deck

The best place to fish from on a boat is any area of the deck that is flat and clear. 

Not all boats have designated fishing locations. Boats designed for fishing have a flat and clear location to fish from almost everywhere on the vessel, but some boats only have one or two locations that fit this description. 

It is important to find a place on the deck that is clear of obstructions, has plenty of space to stand, has good space to cast from, and provides a good vantage point. 

Most boats have a clear area on deck that allows an angler to reach the bow, starboard, and port sides of the boat, but some have 360° areas around the helm or cockpit designed for fishing. 

It is important to identify these areas on the boat before setting off so you know exactly where to go when you spot a fish or when you reach your casting destination. 

The Fishing Deck 

If the vessel you are fishing from has a fishing deck, this is the ideal location to fish from on the boat. 

 A fishing deck is a portion of the deck designed for fishing. This area will typically have a wide open space with plenty of areas to move around in, low railings to prevent obstructing casts and fishing rigs, a place to sit when necessary, and it is often equipped with holding areas for caught fish. 

Fishing decks are designed to be sturdy and steady. They have floors with a textured surface for optimum traction and to prevent slipping. They are sometimes fitted with fishing rigs where fishing poles can be mounted, and they may even have a fishing seat that an angler can strap into for wrestling powerful fish out of the water. 

The fishing deck is the best place to fish from on a boat, but not all vessels are equipped in this way. If the boat you use has a fishing deck, try to position the vessel accordingly and use the deck as much as possible, as it is the optimal location for casting and fishing from. 

solo man fishing on the fishing deck of boat

The Bow

The bow of the boat is another good location to fish from. The bow is the very front section of the vessel. This area of most boats is relatively clear; it is away from the engines, separate from the helm and cockpit, and provides good access to the front and both sides of the boat. 

If the boat is positioned well in the water, the bow is an excellent place to fish from. 

The bow provides the angler with access to fish 180° in front of the helm or cockpit, which maximizes the area that can be safely fished from the boat. This is especially true for small fishing boats and when fishing in narrow sections of water such as rivers. 

Fishing from the bow is also effective in open water, as it provides the best range of fishing opportunities and provides more space for fishing than anywhere else on the boat. 

If you have the opportunity to do so safely, the bow is an ideal place to fish from when on a boat, so long as the fish are reachable from this location and the boat is well-positioned on the water.

stern of a fishing boat underway

The Stern

The stern is not an ideal fishing location on most boats, but if the boat is big enough to have a platform or raised area above the transom that provides a safe area, it can be a great location for fishing from. 

The stern can be difficult to fish from because there are likely to be many obstacles that can obstruct safe fishing, and this area of the boat can feel very unsteady at times. 

However, if it is safe, fishing from the back of the boat is often a good option and can provide a good range to fish in. 

back of fishing boat showing fresh caught fish and trolling rods

Designated Fishing Seats

Designated fishing seats can be found on many purpose-built fishing boats, especially those that are designed for deep-sea fishing and boats that are made to target very large and powerful fish species. 

Dedicated fishing seats can be simple seats that provide a place to fish from when a fish is taking a long time to reel in, or they can be heavy-duty seats with seatbelts or a harness to strap the angler into when battling a particularly powerful specimen. 

Fishing seats are the best place to fish from when available and provide a great position for fishing from. However, they can reduce mobility, and they do require good fishing skills to use well.

fishing seat on a boat in the ocean

The Fishing Platform

Some boats are equipped with fishing platforms. These are constructed above the cockpit and are a flat, raised area that provides fishing access everywhere around the boat. 

These fishing platforms are ideal for fishing in open water, such as large lakes or the ocean, and are among the best fishing locations on a boat. 

Not all boats are equipped with fishing platforms, but when a fishing platform is available, it can be the best location on a boat to fish from. 

A high fishing platform provides an excellent vantage point to see fish. It provides clear 360° fishing access entirely around the boat and raises the angler up and overall potential obstructions and delicate equipment. 

If the boat you use for fishing has such a platform, this is among the best places to fish from, and it should be used thoroughly, 

Do All Boats Have A Fishing Deck?

Fishing decks are the best place to fish from on any boat, but do all vessels have such an area to use when fishing?

Not all boats have a fishing deck. Some boats are simply too small to have a dedicated fishing deck, even if it is a fishing boat, and other vessels do not have a fishing deck because the boat is designed with other primary functions in mind. 

Some boats are designed to be as multi-functional as possible and have a fishing deck to use, and others are purpose-built for fishing. These usually have a fishing deck perfectly positioned for the optimal fishing position. 

Not all boats are equipped with a fishing deck, but those that do are the best boats to fish from. If you have access to a boat with a fishing deck, this is the vessel to use the next time you go on a fishing adventure. 

However, a while a fishing deck is a great feature to have, it is not the only place to fish from a boat, and there are plenty of excellent fishing locations from boats that are not equipped with the feature. 

If your boat does not have a fishing deck, do not consider it a disadvantage, but rather get to know your vessel well and find the optimal fishing locations on it for yourself. 

five trolling rods on the fishing deck of a boat underway

Why Are Fishing Locations Important On Boats?

Not all boats are optimized for fishing, as not all boats are intended for this purpose. Most boats are capable of providing a good fishing platform in some way. Why is it so important to look for the right fishing location on a boat?

It is important to fish from the right locations on a boat for several reasons. The primary reason is that the best location will provide the best access to the water, and provide the best wide area to fish in, maximizing your chance of success while fishing. 

If a boat is small, fishing from the wrong location can cause balance and stability issues. This can result in the angler falling over while fishing, splashing the boat too much, which scares away fish, or even rocking the vessel so much that people or equipment end up in the water. 

Fishing in the wrong location on a boat can also make fishing very challenging. Fishing near high railings inhibits mobility and casting options. Fishing near the cockpit or motors risks damaging sensitive equipment or getting snagged on something while fishing. 

The wrong location also means that the angler will not be able to properly access the fish they are targeting, and this can make simple processes such as pulling a fish out of the water very challenging. 

Finding the right location on a boat to fish from makes the experience far easier, prevents unnecessary issues, and significantly increases the probability of success while fishing. 

Always look for the ideal places to cast from when fishing from a boat, and you will find more fish; the fish will be easier to catch, and you can cast with confidence, knowing that you have set yourself up for success on the water. 

How Do You Know Where To Fish From On a Boat?

We have established that most boats have optimal locations to fish from and that some boats have areas specifically designed for fishing, but what if you have no experience fishing from a boat? How do you know where to fish from?

There are several locations on almost every boat that is good for fishing from. You only have to know what to look for. 

Here are some of the best parts of a boat to fish from, especially if you have little or no experience fishing from a boat. 

fishing boat caught a marlin

Position Yourself Where The Fish Are

The best place to fish from on a boat is always where the fish are. If the fish are on the starboard side, fish from the right side of the boat. If the fish are on the port side, fish from the left of the boat. If the fish are in front of the boat, fish from the bow. 

Always place yourself as close to the fish as you can while remaining in a safe position on the boat. This is a basic tip, but it is crucial for fishing successfully from a boat. 

Position Yourself With The Current In Mind

If you are fishing in open water, such as the ocean, or in a river with a flowing current, it is always a good idea to position yourself to fish with the current. 

Never try to cast out against the current, or your rig will be swept away from where you want it to be. 

Identify the current and flow of the water, and position yourself on the boat to make the best use of the current. This is usually on the bow or along the side of the boat facing the current. 

This practical step will set you up for the best fishing success and helps you know where to position yourself on the vessel for the best results. 

Look For A Clear Area On Deck

If the boat has no fishing deck, look for an area on the deck that is free of obstacles and obstructions. Find a place that is as open as possible and as close to the edge of the boat as possible. 

Ensure you have room to move, room to cast, and room to move your rod where you need it to be. Open locations on small boats can be challenging to find, but larger vessels should have plenty of places to fish from. 

Look For A Sturdy Location On Deck

Always ensure that the location that you fish from is sturdy and steady. Never fish from a section of the boat that is unstable, never stand on removable plates, and always ensure that you find an area with good traction to avoid slipping. 

Always be mindful of where you are standing when fishing from a boat. Find an area that feels secure to fish from, and you will feel much more confident to cast far and reel hard. 

Use Fishing Seats If Available

Fishing seats are always among the best and safest places to fish from. If the vessel you use for fishing has dedicated fishing seats, use the seats or stand in the same area as the seats. 

If the boat is positioned well, this is usually the best place to fish from on a boat. 

Beware Of High Railings

Try not to fish near high railings. These can be a significant hindrance while fishing. 

High railings prevent proper casting techniques, they make it very difficult to pull fish into the boat, and they can significantly limit rod mobility. 

Look for an open area with no railings or very low railings before you cast. 

Avoid Obstructions

It is always critical to avoid fishing from areas on a boat with potential obstructions and areas where any gear or equipment could be damaged. 

Avoid fishing near the helm and cockpit, do not cast over the engine of the boat, avoid harming radio or sonar equipment, and be careful not to snag any cushions or soft materials on the boat. 

Always fish in the most open and clear area you can find on the vessel. 


You can fish from most areas on a boat, so long as there is no risk of damaging the boat, any gear, or equipment while doing so. Fishing decks, fishing platforms, and fishing seats are optimal areas to fish from on a boat, but any clear area on deck will do well for fishing. 

Find the best place to fish from on every boat you use, and your fishing trips will become far more successful. The location from which you fish from a boat is critical and must be chosen carefully.

Tommy Bull
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