Fishing Vacation: 8 Awesome Places to Rent a Boat in the U.S.

Rent a boat at one of these great fishing destinations and take the hassle out of owning one. 

By Trent Jonas

Fishing Vacation: 8 Awesome Places to Rent a Boat in the U.S.

The expense of boat ownership is certainly not something we’re all willing to take on but if you're a fisherman, a boat opens up plenty more opportunities for some great angling. If you're not quite ready to take the plunge, there are boat rental places across the country with a fleet of awesome offerings. Here are some of our favorite spots to rent a boat at a world-class fishing destination. 

Roland & Mary Ann Martin’s Marina & Resort at Lake Okeechobee, FL

If you’re looking to chase world-class bucketmouths on Lake Okeechobee, Roland and Mary Ann Martin’s Marina and Resort is the place to rent your boat. The marina rents bass boats, pontoons, and v-bottom boats. In addition to boat rentals, the resort offers top-notch guide services to put you on the famous Okeechobee largemouth bass. They also offer transient dockage for those who bring their own boats, condo rentals, two restaurants, and an RV park on the premises 

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Lake O Alliance (@lakeoalliance) on

Anglers Point at Lake St. Clair, MI

Lake St. Clair is one of the nation's premier fisheries, renowned for trophy walleye, lunker smallmouth bass, and monster muskies. If you’re looking to get out on Lake St. Clair and lay into one of the fish species for which it’s famous, rent your boat from Angler’s Point. They’ll get you set up with a vessel and can also hook you up with bait, tackle, and even nuggets of wisdom about where to find the fish.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Anglers Point (@anglerspoint) on

Lake Norman Marina at Lake Norman, NC

Not far outside of Charlotte, North Carolina, you’ll find Lake Norman, which is one of the state’s largest lakes—second only to Kerr Lake—and a highly-regarded bass fishery. White bass, largemouth, and striped bass can all be found in the lake’s waters. As far as finding a boat to get you out on the water goes—and on the fish—look to Lake Norman Marina, which is also a new boat dealer. This means that your rental will be shiny and new, and in top condition for your excursion.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Lake Norman Boat Rentals (@lakenormanmarina_boat_rentals) on

Lakeview Cove Marina at Bull Shoals Lake, AR

The second-largest lake in Arkansas, Bull Shoals Lake—in the Ozarks—is a tremendously popular destination for anglers. This is because its 45,000-plus acres is home to some of the nation’s most popular gamefish species, such as walleye, largemouth, smallmouth, and spotted bass, as well as crappie. Lakeview Cove Marina is the place to go to rent a boat and gear up for your fishing excursion on Bull Shoals. 

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Dylan Waters (@dwater05) on

SK Watercraft Rentals on the Willamette River, OR

If you’re looking for an urban fishing experience in the Pacific Northwest, head to the Willamette River in Portland. The Willamette flows through the middle of Portland, and you’ll be surrounded by the city on both sides—and fish in every direction. Anglers can expect to see chinook and coho salmon, as well as steelhead trout, smallmouth bass, sturgeon, and shad. SK Watercraft Rentals offers 14-foot aluminum fishing boats for rent in downtown Portland, as well as larger pontoons and speedboats.

Sam Rayburn Boat Rentals at Sam Rayburn Reservoir, TX

Sam Rayburn Reservoir is the biggest that is entirely within the state boundaries of Texas. It’s also an incredibly popular fishery—home to several tournaments per year—for anglers chasing largemouth and white bass. You’ll also find some monster catfish and fat crappie in Sam Rayburn. If you need a boat to land your lunker, head over to Sam Rayburn Boat Rentals. They’ll get you set up with all you need to come back with a trophy.

Randy’s Resort Rentals on Mille Lacs Lake, MN

If you’re heading up to Mille Lacs Lake—one of Minnesota’s largest—to chase walleye, muskie, or trophy-sized smallmouth bass, you’ll need a boat to get around. Fortunately, Randy’s Resort, on the lakes southeast shoreline, rents them. They have several lengths and styles to choose from, from a 16-foot runabout to a 28-foot pontoon and several models in between. They’ll even rent you a snowmobile and an ice house if you come up to ice fish in the winter. 

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Rachel Mann (@you_the_mann) on

Lake Barkley Marina on Lake Barkley, KY

Lake Barkley—one of the two lakes that frame the Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area—is a 58,000-acre reservoir that straddles the border between Kentucky and Tennessee. The lake is a popular angling destination for its largemouth and smallmouth bass, crappie, and panfish, like bluegill. Lake Barkley Marina is the place to go to rent a boat that will get you out to where the fish are biting.

Subscribe for future Step Outside News!