Carp bait boats make carp fishing in challenging swims much more manageable, thanks to how easily you can deliver bait to hard-to-reach spots. They can be extremely precise, stealthy, and easy to transport to the river bank and back. Additionally, premium bait boats come with cool features like fish finders, which take even more headaches from carp fishing.
We’ll review some of the best bait boats currently available in this article, with the Waverunner Atom making some serious waves on its way to the top spot. So stick around if you want to learn about the right bait boat for you.
|Waverunner Atom||Check Today's Price|
|Angling Technics Microcat MKIII||Check Today's Price|
|Waverunner Shuttle||Check Today's Price|
|Angling Technics Procat MK III||Check Today's Price|
|Lake Reaper||Check Today's Price|
|Anatec Catamaran||Check Today's Price|
|Waverunner MK4||Check Today's Price|
|Goolsky Flytec 2011-5||Check Today's Price|
Detailed Best Bait Boat Reviews
Now, let’s dive into our top picks and see why they made it to the list.
1. Waverunner Atom – Best Overall (4.5/5 Stars)
- The boat’s Catamaran Hull design keeps it stable and buoyant
- Comes with an electromagnetic hopper with a 1.5 kg capacity
- Easy to manoeuvre with precision
- Comes with a patented hook-release system
The Waverunner Atom is a gorgeous bait boat perfectly balancing aesthetics with functionality. It sports a jet-black finish and headlights and rear lights that make it easy to see your boat’s orientation as it moves over the lake.
Radio interference can be an issue when carp fishing in venues where other anglers are using radios or bait boats. However, you won’t face this issue, thanks to Atom’s revamped 5.8 GHz radio gear.
This bait boat is incredibly stable, with all credit going to its Catamaran Hull. As a result, you won’t need to worry about losing your boat or its contents, except when faced with the heaviest of waves.
The Atom provides 500 meters in range, making it perfect for most UK lakes. Also, Waverunner included a fail-safe return mechanism in this bait boat, so your boat can find its way back when it goes out of range.
Regarding the boat’s capacity, the Atom comes with a single hopper capable of delivering 15 kg of the best carp bait. Additionally, the hopper comes with an electromagnetic operating system for efficient unloading and a magnetic hook release system that lets you store your hook bait separately.
If there’s one drawback to this bait boat, it’s that it doesn’t come with modern features like a GPS tracker. However, that’s to be expected, given its mid-range price point.
2. Angling Technics Microcat MKIII – Runner Up (4/5 Stars)
- Fantastic for use in shallow water
- Comes with twin hoppers with dual hopper configurations
- Easy-to-operate handset included
The Angling Technics Microcat MKIII is the third iteration of Angling Technic’s Microcat line of bait boats and features significant improvements on what its predecessors did right.
Notably, this bait boat is operated by jet pumps, making it extremely quiet as it moves over shallow water. Unfortunately, the feature causes the boat’s battery life to take a significant hit as the jet pumps drain the battery quickly. Undoubtedly, the boat’s jet pumps are responsible for its meagre 45-minute runtime.
On the design side of things, the Microcat MKIII sports a sleek design, with an internal antenna that prevents the boat from snagging on a tree and a low hull height that makes placing bait underneath low-hanging trees a breeze. But, admittedly, this isn’t the most stable bait boat to sail on choppy waters, which can be attributed to its low hull height.
You can deliver a higher capacity of bait, thanks to the Microcat MKIII’s dual hoppers. Each hopper can be operated individually. You can also operate them simultaneously or keep your hook bait in one hopper and other bait in the other.
All told, the Microcat MKIII is a great shallow water bait boat that offers stealthy operation. The carp won’t know what hit them.
3. Waverunner Shuttle – Best Alternative to Waverunner Atom (4/5 Stars)
- The rear line clip makes hook bait placement easy
- Decent 2-hour runtime
- Sleek and modern design
- Comes with a weed guard for fishing in weedy lakes
Waverunner boats offer a similar experience, so you can expect a lot of the same functionality included on the Waverunner Atom in the Waverunner Shuttle. Where the Shuttle differs from the Atom is in the size department: the Shuttle is the smaller boat of the two. It’s also a heavy contender among cheap bait boats packed with features.
You’d be forgiven for thinking the Shuttle has a limited bait capacity, being a smaller bait boat. However, this bait boat punches above its weight with a 1.5 kg capacity, thanks to its sizeable magnetic hopper.
Weighing 6.5 kg in total, this bait boat is pretty easy to carry around, and the ergonomic handle on its topside makes transporting it even easier.
Two engine-operated propellers provide the Shuttle with much-needed thrust, while the boat’s weed guards make fishing on a lake with weeds easier.
You get two hours of runtime with the Shuttle’s two 6-volt lead-acid batteries and 400-meter range. Two rechargeable AA batteries are all you need to power the boat’s remote control handset. The only drawback is its funnelled hopper, which isn’t great for delivering spod mixes.
4. Angling Technics Procat MK III – Beginners’ Pick (4/5 Stars)
- Portable and lightweight
- Comes with a folding carry handle for easy transportation
- Beginner-friendly bait boat
If you’re looking for a quality bait boat that’s good for beginners, the Angling Technics Procat MKIII has you covered. This boat weighs a diminutive 2.75 kg, making transporting it fairly straightforward, even though it doesn’t come with a carry bag (sold separately).
Its small hopper can carry bait up to 0.75 kg, and it’s best used on calm shallow waters. Though its small batteries provide a modest 90-minute runtime (which you can augment with spare batteries), the boat is extremely quiet, which is great for stealth fishing.
The Procat MKIII also comes with navigation lights, a folding carry handle, and a battery meter built into it.
It isn’t the most feature-rich bait boat, but that characteristic is precisely what makes it perfect for beginner bait boat users.
5. Lake Reaper – Most Lightweight (4/5 Stars)
- Durable and lightweight construction
- Decent 400-meter range
- Ample 3-hour runtime
If you’re looking for a lightweight way to deliver your bait, the Lake Reaper bait boat is perfect for your needs. Weighing a mere 5.7 kg, this boat is as light as they come, meaning you won’t have any problems bringing it along on fishing trips.
The Lake Reaper comes in two colours, camouflage and black, and is powered by a pair of 6-volt lead-acid batteries that provide a respectable 3-hour runtime. Moreover, the boat comes with a 240-volt charger for recharging the batteries.
You can monitor your battery levels on newer versions of this bait boat, thanks to a snazzy battery indicator, which you can see from a distance.
Additionally, this bait boat offers a decent range of 400 meters, and at 22 cm tall, it can handle rough waters just fine.
Unfortunately, the Lake Reaper only comes with a hopper capacity of 1 kg and no clip line, so you’re going to have to place your hook bait and normal bait together. However, given its price, this is one of the best budget bait boats you can get for your money.
6. Anatec Catamaran – Most DIY (4/5 Stars)
- DIY-friendly boat lets you save money
- Powerful 7.14-volt lithium batteries
- Comes with a remote-controllable hook release mechanism
- Two hoppers provide ample bait capacity
The real selling point of the Anatec Catamaran is how DIY it is. You can easily pop off the top and service the boat and its parts, saving you time and money in maintenance fees. That’s a handy option to have because this isn’t a light bait boat, so the less lugging around from place to place you can spare yourself, the better.
Regarding bait capacity, the Catamaran comes with two hoppers that can each hold 1 kg of bait. Each hopper can be operated independent of the other, making it possible to deliver a bait to multiple locations on one trip. It’s also possible to control how quickly the hatch opens, enabling you to spread bait over larger areas.
Twin motors (brushless) power the Catamaran in collaboration with the boat’s two 7.14 volt lithium batteries. Thanks to the motors, guiding the boat along the water is a breeze. And having a Catamaran design, the Anatec is pretty stable on choppy waters.
Additionally, you can control the hook release mechanism of the Catamaran’s rear line clip using the boat’s Graupner handset. It helps a ton when you want to release your hook bait while leaving the other bait inside the hoppers untouched.
7. Waverunner MK4 – Highest Bait Capacity (4/5 Stars)
- Has a large hopper capacity (carries up to 5 kg of bait)
- Offers a long 1000-meter range
- Comes with a spare battery and solar charger
- Relatively light despite its capacity
As the largest bait boat in the Waverunner range, the Waverunner MK4 is a behemoth in size and features. Let’s address the elephant in the room, namely its whopping 5 kg of bait capacity: this bait boat can deliver a lot of chum! What’s equally impressive is that the boat is relatively light (it weighs 8.5 kg) despite the amount of load it can bear.
Additionally, the MK4’s two hoppers and twin hook releases mean you’ll be spoilt for choice with regard to your options of rig placement and bait delivery.
The MK4 continues the “bigger is better” trend with its range, offering a massive 1000-meter range. For context, most of the other boats on our list average a 500-meter range. You can take this thing far, making it the best bait boat for transporting fishing bait by a wide margin.
Moreover, this bait boat operates on a 5.8 GHz frequency, so you’re not going to get your wires crossed with other bait boats and radios in the vicinity.
Waverunner throws in a free spare battery and solar charger with the MK4. These are necessary freebies because they’ll help justify this bait boat’s eye-watering price if you’re not entirely convinced by its other cool features.
8. Goolsky Flytec 2011-5 – Best Budget Boat (4/5 Stars)
- Budget-friendly price
- Lithium-polymer battery power provides 5-6 hours of runtime
- Can deliver 1.5 kg of bait
- Sturdy build
Low price, two hoppers, and 5+-hours of runtime are only a few of the insane features the Goolsky Flytec 2011-5 has going for it. Weighing 2 kg, the Flytec 2011-5 is very lightweight yet durably constructed with injection-moulded ABS. Moreover, this bait boat sports a flat hull for stability, though it sacrifices the boat’s maximum speed.
Delivering bait is possible, thanks to two hoppers on the boat’s rear end. Together, the hoppers can carry 1.5 kg of cargo and can be operated independently of one another. Unfortunately, the Flytec 2011-5 doesn’t come with a line clip for rigs, meaning you’ll have to use one of the hoppers to deliver your line.
Additionally, the Flytec 2011-5 comes with a rechargeable 5200 mAh lithium polymer battery, which provides an impressive 5+ hours of runtime on a single charge. However, you’ll need to charge the battery for twelve hours to fully use it. Moreover, lithium polymer batteries have a huge over-charging problem, so you’ll have to be careful about charging them.
This bait boat has a searchlight upfront, which, admittedly, could be brighter. There are also a trio of LED lights on its right-hand side, which indicate the current battery level of the boat.
One place where the Flytec 2011-5 falls short is in the range department: while its manufacturers claim this bait boat has a range of 500 meters, the reality is closer to 200 meters. However, the short-range isn’t too much of a problem when you view the Flytec 20115 for what it is: an entry-level bait boat. It’s easily the best bait boat you can buy among budget models.
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Bait Boat
After going through our bait boat reviews, let’s have a look at some factors you’ll need to consider when choosing a bait boat.
Most quality bait boats have an average battery life that ranges between 90 minutes and two hours when fully charged. Some higher-end models even come with a spare battery or a solar battery charger.
Therefore, aim for a bait boat with long battery life and the option for a spare if you intend on using your bait boat for long sessions, like the Waverunner MK4.
The average bait boat provides a range of 500 meters, while higher-end models come with a maximum range of 1000 meters, like the Waverunner MK4.
How much bait you’re able to deliver will depend on the size of your bait boat’s hopper. Therefore, it’s an essential consideration to make before putting your money down.
You can pick between a single hopper bait boat and a double hopper one, with the latter category of bait boat capable of delivering more bait to multiple locations on a single trip.
Regarding capacity, you’ll find bait boats capable of holding 1.5 kg (Waverunner Shuttle) on the low end and 5 kg (Waverunner MK4) on the higher end of the price spectrum.
Most bait boats can’t go backwards. However, some come with a return to base functionality, which sends the boat in reverse to its original starting point when it leaves signal range or is manually activated by the user.
Readily-Available Spare Parts
With regular use, your bait boat will need maintenance, so how easy it is to get your hands on spare parts when you need them will be a crucial consideration to make when choosing a bait boat.
Moreover, some bait boats allow for DIY maintenance. So, if you’re one of those anglers who knows their way around some tools, the above consideration will also factor into your buying decision.
How much you’re willing to spend on a bait boat will depend on factors like your level of experience with these devices and how seriously you take your carp fishing hobby. Even a budget bait boat can set you back some good money, so prepare to spend big for a higher quality model.
Bait Boats – Cheating or Not?
Some carp anglers argue that bait boats ruin the angling experience and make it less authentic. Some fisheries even go as far as banning anglers from bringing bait boats along.
While there’s some weight to the above argument, is that enough reason not to explore the option of a bait boat? Let’s examine some of the benefits bait boats offer anglers.
We think using a bait boat for fishing in hard-to-reach spots balances things out. Its usefulness is undeniable when you consider that it can deliver your hook bait and fishing tackle to ordinarily tricky areas.
Another benefit of using a bait boat is that they’re incredibly stealthy. It can be a problem when multiple people are fishing in the same area, and one angler has noisy fishing practices that scare the carp away.
No matter how good an angler you consider yourself, it’ll be impossible to get a bite in such waters. However, the noiselessness of a bait boat solves the said issue.
Carp fishing isn’t just for the able-bodied, and we believe a medical condition that prevents an angler from spombing or casting shouldn’t shut out this person who wants to take up this hobby. Bait boats solve the above issue and even the playing field somewhat.
How Not to Buy a Bait Boat
Bait boats aren’t the most affordable fishing tool you can buy, so getting your hands on a second-hand one can be tempting. However, that might not be the best course of action to take. The reason is simple: it’ll be harder to fix any issues with a second-hand model that eventually crops up.
Typically, brand new bait boats suffer problems due to inconsistency in their build quality. The problem even extends to models made by the same manufacturer.
For the above reason, most manufacturers are willing to rectify any problems you encounter with a product you bought brand new. Also, many of the products have warranties, meaning you can get the issue fixed with no additional charge if the problem crops up while your warranty subsists and it wasn’t caused by wilful damage.
However, manufacturers aren’t as willing to solve issues with second-hand bait boats. So, if your second-hand bait boat runs into any problems, you’ll be left high and dry. Therefore, we recommend you save yourself the trouble and save up for a brand new bait boat instead.
Can I Use a Bait Boat in Windy Weather?
We wouldn’t advise you do that. Bait boats can be very lightweight, so if you use them in windy weather, you risk losing your cargo or – worse – the entire boat.
This has been a rundown of the best bait boats currently available for purchase right now.
We highly recommend the Waverunner Atom due to its adequate range, decent hopper size, and considerable battery life. It’s an incredible bait boat for beginners and veterans alike, and Waverunner charges a fair price for it.
As an alternative, the Angling Technics Microcat MKIII ticks all the right boxes regarding hopper size, battery life, and range and comes with the added benefit of jet pumps that make it a stealthy option.
Finally, if you’re looking for a budget-friendly alternative to the Atom, go for the Waverunner Shuttle instead. It offers many of Atom’s features without the premium price tag.