Sometimes, catching the next big fish is just not enough. Sometimes, people love action more than they enjoy the thrill of catching fish. That’s fine, we’ve all been there.
But here’s a question for you: what is it that people who love fishing also like? The most popular answer is hunting. Not everyone who fancies fishing also fancies hunting, but many do. Are you one of them? If you’re still with me, then the answer is probably yes.
Of all kinds of hunting, duck hunting is the one that anglers love the most. And that makes perfect sense. At first glance, all the equipment you can use for fishing, you can also use for duck hunting. There are a few exceptions, such as fishing rods and hooks and everything you use to get that fish, but all the auxiliary equipment, paraphernalia, so to speak.
Top 5 Best One-man Pontoon Boats
1Sevylor Tahiti Hunt and Fish Kayak — Cheapest Boat
The Sevylor two-seat hunting boat doesn’t look very safe and stable, but don’t let the looks fool you. An inflatable boat is not automatically dangerous. True, it can be pierced if you run into a floating piece of wood or any other sort of debris at full speed, but you can damage a hard bottom boat in precisely the same way. Unlike a rigid boat, a PVC boat can be patched in the event of an emergency in a few minutes and then restored to its full working capacity. Even if you can’t do that for some reason, this boat comprises of several airtight chambers inflated independently. If one of them is punctured and fully deflated, the boat will still stay upright and afloat.
It comes with two seats and can hold up to 360 pounds. That’s enough for two people armed with rifles and for some game, but you have to calculate the weight carefully.
The boat has 21 gauges, and it’s made for lake use. Easy to inflate and deflate, it’s perfect for duck hunting.
It is effortless to paddle, but there is no option to install a trolling motor. That hardly is a disadvantage for hunting ducks, as it is all too easy to spook them with the sound of a working engine, even though trolling motors are quiet anyway. The oars are more silent and can help you get your big game. But that’s not nearly as essential as its color. Color seems to be a straightforward parameter, but it doesn’t make it any less critical. The dark olive green color scheme is crucial for sneaking up on a flock of ducks.
It’s still made for fishing first and everything else second, so choose wisely.
- Several airtight chambers
- 21 gauges
- Easy to inflate and deflate
- Dark olive green color
- No transom
2Beavertail 2000 Series Stealth Twin Gun Sneak Boat — Explicitly Made for Sneaking on Ducks
If working the oar all the way to get close to ducks is not for you, try this sneak boat. It is made especially for sneaking up on sitting ducks, and any hunter is going to be immensely pleased with this boat even if the only way to move it was the oars. However, you can install a trolling motor if you wish, and the boat will easily handle that load. Its maximum load capacity is 460 pounds, and that’s more than enough for carrying you, a partner of yours, a trolling motor, hunting gear, and the game.
While this boat is not inflatable or even collapsible, it is still super lightweight due to the material it is made from. It is roto-molded from compounded polyethylene, and that’s why it floats naturally. Thanks to this feature, the boat has a tiny draft, which is useful for navigating shallow waters and marshes. How shallow? Up to four inches, but recommend five inches for extra safety. The bottom is designed like a couple of rafts, and that allows not just for a small draft but also for high stability.
The boat is padded and filled with foam. That means good insulation and extra safety. The color scheme is “marsh brown,” and it’s really inconspicuous in the fall.
- Transom. You can install a trolling motor if you wish
- Maximum load capacity is 460 pounds
- Super lightweight. Although rigid, the boat is roto-molded from compounded polyethylene
- Tiny draft. Windage is not an issue
- High stability. The bottom is designed like a couple of rafts
- Not inflatable or even collapsible
3Beavertail Final Attack Portable Pit Blind — Best Wheeled Boat for Hiding on Land and Water
First, let’s talk about what is terrible about this boat. It’s shown with a lid on the pictures, but the top has to be purchased separately. On the upside, you don’t need that lid for this boat to function. It’s great for stealth regardless of if you have that lid or not. It is a low profile watercraft, and if you lie down on the bottom, the ducks won’t see you coming until it’s too late for them.
It is extremely simple to cover it with vegetation to conceal it. It doesn’t stand out even in the low grass.
The Final Attack is so much more than just a watercraft. It is also equipped with a couple of low profile wheels, and transporting it on land terrains, such as a grass field, is also a possibility. With this boat/blind combo, you can hide in plain view in a matter of seconds.
At the same time, it is not a layout boat. You can haul it, in fact, it is the only way to move it on dry land, but you can also install an electric trolling motor on the transom. It’s a fully fledged boat that also doubles as a blind hideout.
- Low profile. Which means lower windage. It's also great for stealth
- Fittings for grass and branches. It is extremely simple to cover the boat with vegetation to conceal it
- Wheels. The boat is equipped with a couple of low profile wheels
- Top has to be purchased separately
4Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100 Fishing Kayak — Most Comfortable Boat
The Tamarack kayak is one of the best boats for anglers. For hunters? It’s definitely suitable, but it’s not specially designed for hunting ducks. Fortunately, the core idea behind a watercraft’s concept is not defining when it comes to possible uses.
Like most other boats on my list, the Tamarack is made from polyethylene. That makes perfect sense since that means a lower weight and lesser draft. For duck hunting, the draft is one of the key factors that can seriously affect the game.
The boat is equipped with a footrest that can be fixed in multiple positions. It is ideal for anglers who have to sit in the same pose for hours, but for duck hunters, who wait for a duck to get close and have to stay still, it’s also a pretty good contraption.
- Made from polyethylene
- Lower weight and lesser draft
- footrest that can be fixed in multiple positions
- Not specially designed for hunting ducks
5Elkton Outdoors Tandem Fishing Kayak — Best Overall
Like the Beavertail 2000 boat, this Elkton boat is roto-molded. That ensures that the hull will endure any impacts without cracking or falling apart.
It is probably the most perfect kayak for fishing, but it makes a decent hunting boat as well. Its low profile and the camo color scheme aren’t something that ducks can detect easily.
Most of its cool features have something to do with fishing, like the rod holders and bungee cords. It’s a two-seat kayak made especially for fishing, but some of the features would come in handy when you hunt ducks. For instance, you get two storage areas, at the bow and at the transom. They were designed with anglers in mind, but it doesn’t make them any less useful for duck hunting. The boat can easily hold two armed men with all the gear and their game. Or, you can bring your dog with you instead of another guy. Either way, you will find that the Elkton kayak is just the thing for duck hunting. If you plan to hunt something other than waterfowl, something more substantial, then I would advise against this boat, but since it’s duck hunting we’re talking about, this kayak will make a pretty decent buy.
- Robust. The hull will endure any impacts without cracking or falling apart
- Hard to notice. The boat has a camo color scheme
- Two storage areas
- Load capacity. The boat can easily hold two armed men with all the gear and their game
- Just the thing for duck hunting
- Most of its cool features have something to do with fishing
Boat TypesAlthough there are hundreds of boats for duck hunting, there are only so many types.
Layout BoatA layout boat is meant for hunting in open waters. It is designed for shooting waterfowl. It usually lacks an engine and oars. As a rule, it is towed to the place of hunting along with hunters and decoys. Typically, layout boats are made of fiberglass. A good layout boat must be equipped with wave flooding protection. Remember, a boat of this type must remain buoyant no matter what. Check if it’s filled with polyurethane foam. It should be, and if it’s not, it’s a deathtrap.
Sneak BoatA sneak boat for duck hunting is usually 12 feet long. But that doesn’t make it a sneak boat.A boat of this type is supposed to be masked by vegetation and anchored among a flock of decoys in a duck pond. So, can any boat be named a sneak boat? Not at all! To attribute a vessel to this variety, it must come with all the equipment for hiding the boat. It’s nothing complicated, however, usually, it’s just wooden or plastic grass rails and elastic straps for fastening reeds. Everything that helps to turn the boat into a floating island to keep the game relaxed counts.
Marsh BoatThe name is telling. Marsh boats are indeed designed for hunting in reservoirs overrun with weeds. Such boats are sometimes equipped with transom-mounted low-power electric or gasoline trolling motors. Any boat with a capacity of 1-2 people qualifies. A marsh boat must have a low weight and be easy to transport. Marsh boats can be used in places inaccessible to large boats. They move quickly through any aquatic vegetation and are convenient for picking up waterfowl.The hunter usually lies in the boat expecting ducks to get close, and when the game is finally close, sits up and starts shooting.
Scull BoatIf you’re a pro, you definitely know what sculling is. For those not in the know, it’s basically propelling the boat forward with a single oar. As with marsh boats, the hunter has to lie in the boat, but in this scenario, he also gets to move. Ducks are not upset by a seemingly empty vessel, and you can even cut in their flock, as long as you take it slow.
Duck SkiffA duck skiff is the right type of boat when you know you need to take your time to get to the game in the first place. The skiff must be equipped with a trolling motor. Otherwise, there is no point in using this particular type of boat. A duck skiff is probably the most popular non-inflatable boat for duck hunting.
Boat / Blind ComboA large boat for open water duck hunting. Like a duck skiff, but bigger. These boats usually come with lots of features, some of which can be completely pointless. Why? Because they are aimed at tourists first. But still, some of the stock features are pretty cool, such as camouflage coloring.
Boats for HuntingAs a rule, boats for hunting are used for two purposes:
- hunting waterfowl directly from the boat;
- delivering hunters and their equipment to the place of hunting