The sun has not yet crested over the horizon. The birds have only begun to stir in their nests. You check the weather again. It’s going to be a beautiful day. And you can’t imagine spending it anywhere but on the lake, casting your line. Each cast is like pulling the lever on a slot machine: a new opportunity to hit the jackpot.
After pulling on your waders and stepping into your boots, you stealthily enter the garage and gather your equipment. Soon, arms laden with poles, tackle boxes, and a cooler of your favorite lakeside refreshment, you start loading down your car. Excitement soon fades to frustration as the game of Tetris unfolds.
Finally you climb into the car, feeling like you’ve been caught in some Indiana Jones style trap, lines and poles surrounding you on all sides. The realization hits you. It’s time for a new car, one that meets your fishing needs. But what to get?
Determine your needs
Though fishing is your primary concern at the moment, buying a car strictly for fishing is, most likely, not plausible. Grabbing a two-seater truck when you have a family of four probably won’t cut it. Make a list of all of your needs.
Does it need to have seating for seven? If so, aim for something with seats that fold down. Do you need to pull a boat? Look for something with an optional tow package and power to spare. Are your fishing holes usually off the beaten path? Make sure 4-wheel drive is included.
Take your list and do some research. If your buying used, start with what’s out there. Look at the classified ads and dig into those models. There are many sites online where you can research older vehicles to determine if they meet your needs. They’ll also be coupled with reviews from people who have owned the vehicles and can give you an idea of whether or not they’ll meet your needs like you think they will. Just because a car has collapsible seats doesn’t mean it’s convenient or easy to fold them down.
Determine your budget
Though you’d like to go down to the Land Rover dealership and get that fancy new Discovery, dropping over $60k on a new car may not be in your budget. Figure out what you’re willing and able to spend.
If you’re in the market for a primary vehicle that you can take fishing, look into the crossovers. They’ll get you the storage capacity you need for all of those poles and coolers, while still giving you the seating for a family or a group of friends. Many of them are large enough to pull your boat as well.
If your new fishing vehicle is going to be a secondary vehicle, there are plenty of good used options out there like Jeep Cherokees or Suzuki Samurai’s. These could be purchased and outfitted for less than $10k in most cases. A used fishing vehicle also comes with the added benefit of being able to take a few dings when the road gets rough without it breaking your heart or wallet.