It was tough to chose among the dozens of boats we reviewed last year to come up with the 10 Top Fishing Boats of 2012, but it looks like 2013 this job will be even tougher. Two stand-outs, however, are going to make those choices just a little bit easier.

pathfinder 2600 bay boat

The Pathfinder 2600 HPS Bay Crusher is not only bigger than the average bay boat - it's better, too.

After spending a day fishing on the Pathfinder 2600 HPS Bay Crusher, running it in the bay, through the inlet, and out into the open Atlantic, we know that this bay boat is going to be a tough one to beat. The 2600 has the advantages of size and weight over most competing models introduced this year, yet it doesn't give up shallow water accessibility nor one iota of fishability. Though the price tag is big—as are operating expenses, with a honkin’ big Yamaha F350 on the transom—so are the fishing possibilities. Top-end is an eye-watering 61.9 mph, transom deadrise is 18-degrees, and beam is 8'10". Not only does the Pathfinder 2600 HPS Bay Crusher look like a front-runner at this point in the year, it practically looks like a shoe-in.

jim smith 105 fishing yacht

Clearly a candidate for the Top 10 Fishing Boats of 2013, this Jim Smith convertible isn't a fishing boat at all - it's a fishing yacht.

Then again, the 2600 also looks down-right tiny when compared to a monster canyon runner like the Jim Smith 105. This huge fishing machine bulls its way towards the top of the list because it’s gigantic, luxurious, and yet still performs like a thoroughbred, with a 45-mph top-end. Sure, you’ll need to feed 32 churning MAN cylinders to keep her running. Yes, mooring costs could exceed the average American’s house payments. And of course, the 5’7” draft and 25’ beam will make it challenging to run through some inlets. But with one glance at the picture, you know this yacht belongs in the top 10.

What fishing boat do you think deserves top-honors for the 2013 model year? Let us know, in the Comments section below.

Written by: Lenny Rudow
With over two decades of experience in marine journalism, Lenny Rudow has contributed to publications including YachtWorld,, Boating Magazine, Marlin Magazine, Boating World, Saltwater Sportsman, Texas Fish & Game, and many others. Lenny is a graduate of the Westlawn School of Yacht Design, and he has won numerous BWI and OWAA writing awards.