Old Man Winter keeps hanging around and it looks like he will be with us for a while longer.

During this time, many anglers are thinking about boats. Those who do not have one are thinking about getting on board, while others have upgrading in mind. Regardless of your motivation, this is a good time to be thinking in that direction, as it is a good time of year to purchase a boat and prepare for the good fishing that lies ahead.

Readers often ask for advice on purchasing a boat and one of the most common questions is what boat is best for coastal fishing.

The first thing I point out is that there is not one boat that would be good for all of the types of fishing offered in the Galveston Bay Complex.

The question that has to be answered is “where are you going to use the boat?” If the answer is in the bays, around the jetties and offshore, I will punt, as each area requires a different boat design.

We will pass on discussing offshore and concentrate on inshore boating.

If you plan to fish the back bays and wade fish others, a shallow running boat is the answer. A good trolling motor should be part of the package you seek.

Open bays, such as lower Galveston and East Bays, are better suited for a deeper draft boat that can handle choppy waters in the open waters. Such a boat would be ideal for use around the jetties.

Small, flat bottom boats and kayaks are fine for protected waters, where the angler does not venture far from shore.

Much, much more can be written about the best choice of boat for your needs. Again, I try to emphasize that the perfect boat does not exist for fishing all of the Galveston Bay Complex.

Capt. Joe Kent is a columnist for The Daily News. Report your catch to reel.report@galvnews.com or call 409-683-5273.

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