When selecting a used boat for fishing on Minnesota lakes consider how the boat will be used and check the engine, electrical system, bilge pumps and stringers. Also, check how the boat floats without heavy gear and look for rot, cabin leaks and joint separation.
The best boats for freshwater fishing include all-purpose fishing boats that are also used for entertaining and water sports. Center console boats with large open decks surrounding the console are good for fishing with a number of people. Dinghies and inflatable boats are simple options, easy to transport. Flatboats can be navigated in less than two feet of water. Jon boats are flat-bottomed aluminum boats, inexpensive and designed for fishing. Entertainment and fishing are easily accommodated on pontoon boats.
When checking a used boat's engine, pull the dipstick to ensure the oil isn't milky. Carbon encasing around the plugs is another bad sign. For boats with electrical systems, check each switch separately and also turn all on at once. Check inside the fuse box and look for wiring that is straight and well-supported. Abnormalities in the rail where the boat hits the dock may indicate hull to deck joint separations. Large cracks at the edges in the transom or a spongy deck suggest problems due to rot.