These are the best fishing boats (albeit the small watercraft category) and accessories tested throughout Alaska by the Fish Alaska team. These watercraft will get you out where you want to fish and the accessories will make the most of your trip.
Best Watercraft and Accessories
Rising Boat Net
The Boat Net is for netting big trout. You can put that 30-incher in this net. The frame and handle are made of anodized aluminum, and both are quite sturdy. The standard configuration has a 38” handle, and you can get handle extensions to extend its length. The handle is knurled, providing a secure grip. The threaded, sealed end-cap makes for waterproof storage in the handle. The hoop and handle are available in several colors. The bag is available in fish-friendly clear or black rubber. The hoop is 22” long and 14” wide at its widest point. The bag is 16” deep (unless you get the XL bag like we did, which is 22” deep), and it stretches to accommodate big fish.
This net is built to last a lifetime. You may need to replace the net bag, but the handle and hoop are truly durable. The net floats, but barely—not like a wooden net floats. It comes with an unconditional warranty for the hoop and handle. You can take the hoop off the handle and disassemble the hoop for travel. Custom net/hoop/handle configurations are possible.
Sea Eagle 437ps Paddleski Inflatable Boat
This versatile boat provides a stable platform for fun on the water. At 14’4” long with a 4’ beam and a hull weight of 67 pounds, the boat is easily packable and has a load capacity of 2 people and 855 pounds. Several add-ons are available for the boat including: Sea Eagle Sun and Rain Canopy, Scotty Fishing Accessories, and up to a 6 HP outboard motor. The boat features 5 air chambers, 7 carry handles, non-slip EVA foam deck padding, bow D-ring, and a self-bailing floor. This is the type of boat that you can fly with you on small planes and really increase your access to remote locations.
Fish Fighter Products Boat Seat Backpack
Storage space is always at a premium in the small boats we often use in the Great Land. The Boat Seat Backpack is an ingenious new product to help make the most of space you didn’t even know you had—the space behind your seat back. Fish Alaska Editor George Krumm received one of these last spring, and after a few trips decided he would outfit the other 4 seats in his open sled with them. Boat Seat Backpacks hold much more than you might think.
They are a great place to store PFDs, so each angler has one close at hand. In addition, each angler can store their lunch, raingear, and other items they bring on the boat in the main compartment. There is a small, external mesh pocket which is a good place to store a phone, car keys, wallet, etc. Boat Seat Backpacks are designed to fit on most boat seats, as long as there is a gap between the seat bottom and seat back. This is a fantastic product.
Fish Fighter Products QRS Tiller Support Handle
If you drive a big sled via tiller power, this handy device can make it much safer. It’s a grab handle to help you stay stable and upright, even when navigating in rough water or winding rivers. The Tiller Support Handle is made of marine-grade, powder-coated aluminum and is adjustable to 8 different positions. It attaches to a QRS Base and the appropriate Universal Gunnel Rail Slider (sold separately). Because the QRS base can move, and the QRS Tiller Support Handle is adjustable, you can really fine-tune placement of the device in your boat. It can also double as a grab handle for getting in and out of the boat. It’s also easily removable (you can remove it in a couple seconds) for times when you don’t need it.
Fish Fighter Products Rod Tender
The Rod Tender is essentially a mechanism to store your rod when traveling to a new spot, and it also provides a place to put cannonball leads from 5- to 24 ounces. It is bolted between the rod-holder mount and the gunnel slider. It can also be directly bolted to a gunnel. The rod holder holds the rod in a vertical orientation. Rod Tenders are made of marine-grade aluminum and King Starboard marine plastic. If you have an open sled, you could put one of these at each rod station to make it easier and faster to secure rods before moving to a new spot.
BUBBA Carbon Fiber Fishing Gaff
We tested the gaff with the 5’ handle and 4” hook. They also make them with 7’ handles, with either 3” or 4” hooks. It’s extremely tough and should last for many years. It’s also pretty good looking, with its shiny carbon-fiber shaft, covered about halfway with BUBBA’s iconic red grip material. The hook is stainless steel and is a good shape to help keep fish on. You won’t have any trouble gaffing halibut with this gaff. This is one of our favorites from the best watercraft and accessories category.
Fish Fighter Products Heavy Duty Boat Seat Base
If you’ve owned boats with swivel seats for very long, you’ve probably experienced some frustration with the swivels breaking or not working smoothly after a period of time. The Fish Fighter Heavy Duty Boat Seat Base can solve your problem. It’s designed to last for generations of continuous use. It’s made primarily of high-density, ultra-strength plastic. It won’t rust or corrode. It is a very strong seat base, and it swivels smoothly and easily. Seats can be easily removed, too. Editor George Krumm tried one to see how it worked with his seats. Recognizing that Fish Fighter had come up with a better mousetrap, he ordered them for the rest of his boat seats. These seat bases are direct replacements for Alumaweld, Fish-On, Tempress, and other seat bases. Mounting hardware is included.
BUBBA Large Carbon Fiber Fishing Net
This is a decent-sized landing net, large enough for big Kenai rainbows, but not big enough for Chinook over about 25 pounds. The Chinook in the photo weighed about 18 pounds. The handle is stout carbon fiber, and the yoke is equally strong. Nearly 1/3 of the carbon-fiber handle is wrapped with the same material found on the handles of Bubba knives, so it’s pretty grippy. The overall length of the net is about 6’. It does not collapse. The handle is about 4’ long and the hoop is roughly 23.5” across by about 27” long. The netting itself is small-mesh, PVC-coated nylon which is pretty easy on fish to be released and hooks don’t get caught in the mesh easily. It is a quality net. A little heavy, but very durable.
Fish Fighter Products El Dukee
The El Dukee is a dual-use product. Most of the time, it’s just a good-sized boat trash can that uses 13-gallon kitchen trash bags as a liner. Other times, it’s a throne away from home. A fold-down toilet seat provides a comfortable, stable place to “go” when the shore is simply too far away—a common situation in Alaska. The El Dukee is made from marine-grade aluminum. The seat, which snaps into the lid when not in use, is made of high-density plastic. The El Dukee comes with a removable 4-gallon bucket, as well as mounting hardware. Made in the USA.