Editor’s note: This is the first in a two-part Sportsman Boat Showcase. Next month, top aluminum boats will be featured.

The ultimate fishing boat would be different things to different fishermen, depending on whether they exorcise their passion in inshore or coastal backwaters, lakes and rivers, or the bluewater deep.

To help you decide which boat best scratches your itch, we have put together a list of top fiberglass candidates. Next month, we’ll follow up with our list of the aluminum boats that should be considered by any outdoorsman.

The key part of building fishing boats is designing a layout and equipping them with the features fishermen want. These manufacturers incorporate input from the fishermen who use their boats, and it shows whenever they introduce a new model.

These are fishing machines, with the preferred features and equipment located where fishermen say they should be. 

With the advance in materials and technology, boat building has become a combination of science and skill. Strength-to-weight ratios are constantly improving, and they are important for safety, performance and efficiency.

However, between the first gel coat being sprayed into the mold and the last accessory being attached, skilled craftsmen are who ensure integrity, fit and finish of every craft that rolls out of the factories.

All you need to fish successfully on any of these boats is the proper license, fuel in the tank and your tackle. They come with everything else as standard equipment.

However, each manufacturer offers select accessories to allow fishermen to customize and individualize their boats. 

This showcase is divided into three sections: bass boats, bay and flats boats, and big water boats.

There are three boats in each section that represent different sizes and price ranges. Several have features that might cross the boundaries, especially between the bay boats and the big water boats.

The bass boat category includes models from Phoenix, Skeeter and Stratos. The bay and flats boat category includes boats from Bullet, Bulls Bay and Ranger. And the big-water category features models from Cape Horn, NauticStar and Pioneer.

The NauticStar, Pioneer and Ranger models somewhat blur the lines, so don’t skip past them just because they’re not in the category you are researching.

Every boat in this list includes a thoroughbred’s list of features and capabilities.

So, without further ado, here is the Sportsman’s 2015 Fiberglass Boating Showcase.  

Bass Boats

PHOENIX 721 Pro XP

SKEETER ZX250

STRATOS 189 VLO

Bay and Flats Boats

BULLET 22SF

BULLS BAY 2200

RANGER 2510 Bay

Big Water Boats

CAPE HORN 27xs

NAUTICSTAR 231 COASTAL

PIONEER 222 SPORTFISH