What are the best bait boats on the market? We look at the top 10 bait boats money can buy.
Carp anglers dream of their perfect set up. Customised big pit reels, a luxury memory foam bedchair, engraved rods – they all make the list, but if you could have any bait boat to complete your dream set up, what would it be? We set ourselves the arduous mission to find out what are the best bait boats on the market today. Here are our top 10 bait boats for carp fishing.
10. Lake Reaper Bait Boat with Fitted Fish Finder – £569
This is the most affordable bait boat to make the top ten list, priced at £569 with the fitted fish finder, but just £349.99 without it! Considering this boat is priced so much lower than the majority of others on the list, it genuinely boasts some fantastic features. The 400m range makes it a great option in almost any water, it carries a kilo of bait, come with an additional battery, the hooklink trap door is foolproof and effective, and it’s virtually silent in the water. You could do much worse than the Lake Reaper bait boat, especially for under £600, and for that reason, it makes the top ten list. You can view our extensive review on the Lake Reaper here.
9. Big Lake Upgraded MKIII – £595
Much like the Lake Reaper, Big Lake’s upgraded MKIII bait boat is a sound choice for the price. The battery life is awe-inspiring thanks to the Lipo batteries and IMAX charge, giving you over 2 hours use on a full charge, and 400m range demonstrates that it punches well above its price would suggest. The large bait hopper allows for up to 3kg of bait to be loaded, and the rear rig release is a cracking addition. Again, check out our in-depth review of the Big Lake Upgraded MKIII here.
8. Waverunner Atom Bait Boat – £699.99
With the Waverunner Atom, we start moving into the most renowned and celebrated boats on the market. The Atom was explicitly designed for use on UK waters, with a focus on keeping the model compact, accurate and able to reach snaggy areas under trees and in amongst weed. Darrell Peck, from Korda, has this to say about the Waverunner Atom:
“The thing that has struck me the most is the battery life – it just seems to go on and on especially when topped up from the solar panel.”
The Atom can be used at ranges up to a staggering 500m, carrying 1.5kg of bait and running for over 2 hours on a full charge. The patented rig release system has unrivalled accuracy for when each inch count. The boat features different lights that can be controlled individually, allowing for a completely customised experience. The Atom has been deep in the hearts of many anglers in the UK for some time now, and it’s easy to see why.
7. Angling Technics Procat MKIII – £608
Angling Technics need little introduction due to their years of revolutionary bait boat inventions that they have brought to modern carp fishing, and this isn’t their only inclusion on the top ten list. Now, at first glance, you can be forgiven for thinking that the Procat’s features are somewhat lacking when compared to other bait boats, but the most significant feature of the Procat, and the feature that has made it the best-selling bait boat of all time, is in its weight. It may only deliver 0.75kg of bait in its hopper and last 90 minutes on a full charge, but it weighs just 2.75kg with its battery. This makes it the perfect choice for a quick session, when you want to get on the bank quickly and quietly, and where every action makes a difference. Affordable, practical and ideal for the mobile or short-session angler.
6. Angling Technics Microcat MKIII with Bluesounder Echo System – £1,819
From one extreme to the other, and another entry for Angling Technics with the Microcat MKIII. This fully loaded MKIII variation is a heavy hitter and genuinely elegant addition to any setup. Angling Technics may have created an affordable model for their fans with the Procat, but this Microcat MKIII with Bluesounder Echo System was designed to do it all. The twin hoppers are designed to hold everything from particle to boilies, carrying a ton of bait, and the hoppers can actually be opening individually, allowing you bait up different spots on the same trip. The HD batteries keep the boat running for up to 70 minutes, which is relatively short in comparison to other boats, but the batteries are easily removable and can be charged on the bank with a power bank. The Bluesounder Echo system runs on 3xAA batteries and lasts for up to 250 hours, and the system works with any smartphone.
5. New Direction Smart Bait Boat – £950
From Angling Technics, who dragged carp fishing into the modern era, to New Direction who has consistently introduced the industry to first of its kind technology. ND’s Smart Bait Boat is another example of the technology that has made them famous. With homing systems, autopilot features that allow you to pre-set specific locations on a map for your boat to drive itself to, and the smart bait boat also features a multitude of options to customise the boat further such as fish finders and a camera. The twin hoppers hold up to 3.5kg of bait, and the 14.8V 7.5A Li-Ion batteries charge in just 5 hours. The sleek design on the boat, coupled with the front, mid and rear lights make this one of the best-looking boats on the market.
4. Anatec Catamaran Bait Boat – £1,948
The Anatec Catamaran presents the first celebrity bait boat on our list, having been used during a BBC documentary ‘Otters Blue Planet’ and films for the National Geographic channel. The Catamaran is often referred to as ‘The Daddy’ of bait boats, which is apt considering it’s been in production for 25 years. It has a purpose-built echo sounder installed and tested before dispatch, twin hoppers that can be individually controlled, a rig release system and powerful dual motors. The motors in the Catamaran are incredibly impressive, achieving speeds of 1 metre per second, and a range up to 500m allowing you place bait and rigs in quick time on vast waters. The Catamaran does represent the most expensive boat on our last, but that is due to the quality components that make up the boat, along with the extensive aftercare service available when bought through the eBay store below.
3. Cult Ranger Pro – £1,249
The flexibility of the Cult Range Pro has generated a real cult following if you can excuse the pun. The Cult Ranger is a genuine all-rounder, being suited to UK lakes just as much as on larger European lakes with its range of 400m-600m depending on weather conditions. A real selling point of the Cult Ranger is its lengthy battery life, lasting up to 5 hours on a single charge. It features the autopilot setting, allowing you to pre-set up to 21 spots and view an echosounder via a smartphone app, it features a feeding capacity of 3.5kg, and it comes complete with a spare battery. The Cult Ranger Pro looks the part on any water, and its functionalities garner it a well-deserved place on our top ten list.
2. Carp Royal King 6.0 Bait Boat – £1,450
The Carp Royal King 6.0 Bait Boat is one of the most impressive machines you could hope to see on any lake in the world. It’s big dark frame, coupled with a bright headlight strip that adorns the front of the boat will turn heads on the best syndicate in the world. It features an inbuilt echo sounder, holds 6kg of bait in its twin hoppers, features an autopilot mode with pre-set spots and has a range of 900m, which is just astonishing. If we’re honest, this could have easily come in first place, as could any boat in the top four, it’s all a question of preference. The Carp Royal King even features an air pressure sensor, a temperature gauge and an electronic compass to ensure the autopilot is entirely accurate. This is a boat for mammoth European waters that require you to fish at a completely unattainable distance to reach life-changing fish, and you’ll be hard-pressed to find a superior boat.
1. Carplounge RT4 – £1,050
Number 1 in our list of top ten bait boats is the Carplounge RT4.
It’s no secret how highly we think of the Carplounge RT4, just take a look at our in-depth review here, to see how impressed we were with it. But, it’s not just us that hold the Carplounge RT4 in high regards, Korda used and heralded the boat on their Masterclass 6 series, most notably used by Ali Hamidi at the famous Bury Hill Fisheries. But, why is the Carplounge RT4 top of our list of best bait boats? First of all, it looks the epitome of class with its carbon design that adorns the hand-built boat, with the bright LED headlights at the front and the aerodynamic under boat design. The boat features two rig release systems, with twin hoppers that can be individually operated to allow you bait two spots, with accurate rig placement on each in a single trip. The Carplounge RT4 is powered by twin jet drives to ensure straight and fast operation and the battery life, Carplounge claim, will last for a staggering 16km.
The features included in the standard £1,050 are superb, and a real triumph for Carplounge considering the praise that the boat has garnered. However, this boat tops the list for one big reason. The customisation options for the Carplounge are incredible. You can alter everything from boat design to the inclusion of GPS, fish finders, depth mapping, HD recording cameras, upgraded batteries, transportation and anything else you could ever want to customise. Carplounge offers anglers the opportunity to build the absolute best bait boat in the world for their angling, without question. The price obviously varies depending on the customisations, but complete luxury comes at a price.