Surf fishing gear can get pretty heavy and difficult to transport. When you’ve got multiple surf fishing rods, tackle boxes, a fishing cooler, and other bulky gear – moving it all by hand can get old pretty quick. Fishing carts are the perfect solution for this common problem faced by surf and pier fishermen.
Wheeled fishing carts let you load all your fishing gear onto a single easy-to-move fishing command center. You’ll be able to setup multiple rods in easy to access rod holders, lash bulkier items to the cart’s frame, and wheel the entire rig over soft sand and other tricky terrain.
I’ll break down some of the best fishing carts for the beach, pier, and other situations, as well as explain how to pick the right cart for your needs.
Quick Answer: 7 Best Fishing Carts
- Best Overall: Fish-N-Mate 310 Cart with Poly Wheels
- Runner Up: Sea Striker BRSC-DLX Beach Runner
- Best Collapsible/Folding Fishing Cart: Berkley Jumbo Fishing Cart
- Best Pier Fishing Cart: Mighty Max Pier Fishing Cart
- Best Multi Use Marine Cart: Tipke 2100 Marine Fold-it Utility Cart
- Budget Pick: Berkley Sportsman’s Pro Cart
- Also Consider: Gorilla Carts Poly Bed Fish & Marine Cart
Best Overall: Fish-N-Mate 310 Cart with Poly Wheels
If you’re looking for a cart that will glide effortlessly over soft sand, mud, and other challenging terrain, you’ll have a tough time beating this one. It features oversized 15-inch balloon tires – that will make quick work of the finest sand and silt out there – even when loaded down with heavy gear.
The tires float over the sand, and won’t ‘dig’ into the sand like many smaller tires will. Inflating the tires is done with a simple 1 to 2 PSI bike pump, which unfortunately is not included with purchase.
Eight rod holders come built into the frame, allowing you to carry plenty of rod/reel combos. With a 200-pound carrying capacity, you’ll be able to haul fully loaded coolers, tackle boxes, beach chairs, and plenty of extras on top of that.
The durable aluminium frame is well-made and lightweight, making pulling the cart nearly effortless. A cutting board, small bait holder, and slotted knife holder give you a convenient spot to prep and cut bait.
Keep in mind that the cart doesn’t come with a built-in liner for keeping small items contained. If you’re interested in a cart liner – check out the Angler’s 150 Large Cart Liner.
- Dimensions: 18” x 35” x 49”
- Weight Capacity: 200 lbs
- Oversized inflatable 15-inch balloon tires can handle sand, shells, and other difficult terrain
- Eight built-in rod holders
- Integrated bait holder and cutting board
- Durable and lightweight aluminium frame
View Pricing On:
Runner Up: Sea Striker BRSC-DLX Beach Runner
Rugged, durable, and well-priced, this fishing cart makes a fine option for pier and shore fishing. It features large pneumatic tires that work well on the beach as well as on flat surfaces like parking lots or sidewalks. The tires aren’t quite as smooth on sand as larger balloon style tires, but will work reasonably well on a variety of surfaces.
The frame is made from galvanized powder-coated steel that keeps it protected from the elements. Measuring 34” x 14.5” x 7”, the cart has plenty of room for beach chairs, 5-gallon buckets, coolers and as well as 7 rods and reels in the built-in rod holders.
Assembly is quick and easy with all the tools needed to put it together included with purchase. One thing to keep in mind is the nuts/bolts securing the frame tend to loosen over time. Applying a little locktite to all the bolts will keep everything tight and prevent accidental loosening.
If you’re looking for a durable, utilitarian fishing cart that doesn’t cost an arm and leg, this cart is probably your best option. While there are better carts out there, nothing comes close in this price range.
- Dimensions: 34” x 14.5” x 7”
- Large pneumatic tires work well on flat and sandy surfaces
- 7 built-in rod holders
- Quick and easy to assemble
- Reasonably priced
Best Collapsible/Folding Fishing Cart: Berkley Jumbo Fishing Cart
This easily-collapsible cart from the fishing pros over at Berkley is the perfect choice when you need a full-sized cart that folds up small enough to fit in a compact car. It features heavy-duty wheels, a durable fabric liner, and eight removable rod holders surrounding the frame.
With a generous 54 by 25.5 by 13-inch frame, this cart really lives up to its ‘Jumbo’ moniker. It can transport up to 200 pounds of gear, and has enough room for a tackle bag, 72-quart cooler, chairs, bait buckets, and plenty more.
A combination cutting board, bait cup, and knife slot comes mounted to the rear of the cart – allowing you to flip it up for a convenient place to cut and prep bait. Knobby treaded tires work well in sand, gravel, and parking lot pavement, and are tough enough to roll over sharp objects without blowing them out.
The entire cart sits high on the ground – so you don’t need to bend over when wheeling it around.
- Dimensions: 54” x 25.5” x 13”
- Weight Capacity: 200 lbs
- Durable fabric liner keeps all your gear secure
- Heavy-duty wheels work well in sand, gravel, and on flat surfaces
- Built-in cutting board, bait cup & knife holder for prepping bait
- 8 removable rod holders
View Pricing On:
Best Pier Fishing Cart: Mighty Max Pier Fishing Cart
If you’re looking for a fishing cart ideally suited to pier fishing, you’ll have a hard time topping this bad boy. It’s built like a tank and features durable flat-free wheels without bearings that will never seize up or go flat. The tires will work well on packed sand, wet sand, and a variety of flat surfaces, but aren’t recommended for soft or fine sand.
Made from weatherproof HDPP Resin, the cart will never rust, corrode, or oxidize. The cart’s 14” wide flatbed frame can be expanded by sliding – and features three different length settings: 31”, 34” and 38”. This makes it ideal for fitting large, medium, and small fishing coolers.
Weighing just 23 pounds, the cart can hold an impressive 300 pounds of gear. An adjustable telescoping handle can retract and spin 180°, and can even be tucked under the cart for easy transport. You can attach 4 fishing rods using the 2 included rod holders and built-in tool rack.
Mighty Max manufactures all their carts in the USA, and backs them up with a two-year warranty – so you can rest assured you’re getting a quality product.
- Weight Capacity: 300 lbs
- Rugged no-flat rubber wheels work well on flat surfaces
- Flatbed frame can extend from 31” to 34” to 38”
- Made from DPP Resin material that will never rust or fade in the sun
- Four rod holders
- Handle telescopes from 22 to 34 inches
Best Multi-use Marine Cart: Tipke 2100 Marine Fold-it Utility Cart
Collapsible, tough-as-nails, and lightweight this marine utility cart from Tipke is a great choice if you want a cart for general use around the water. It weighs just 33 pounds, and features an impressive 330-pound weight capacity – putting in the upper range for hauling capability.
Large 20-inch pneumatic tires provide flexibility over a wide variety of terrain, including packed sand. The tires are on the narrower side though, so they’re not ideal for soft, loose sand.
A marine-grade aluminum body prevents rust and corrosion, and helps to keep the overall weight down. A removable front panel makes loading and unloading a breeze, so you can load heavy items without throwing out your back.
While it will work well for pier and shore fishing, its versatile design also makes it great for boating, camping, gardening, and even bicycling (with the optional bike hitch). It rolls smoothly even when fully loaded, making it great for heavy-duty use.
- Inside Dimensions: 33” x 23” x 11.5”
- Folded Dimensions: 41” x 9.5” x 22”
- Weight Capacity: 330 lbs
- Versatile marine utility cart for use around water
- Marine-grade aluminum body prevents rust
- Large 20-inch wheels work over different terrain
- Optional bike hitch
Budget Pick: Berkley Sportsman’s Pro Cart
If you’re looking for a solid fishing cart without spending an arm and a leg, this compact surf fishing cart is an excellent option. It includes 4 removable rod holders, an integrated seat, as well as a built it lid cutting board. A telescopic handle allows for easy transport, while rubber-coated solid plastic wheels will float over a variety of surfaces.
Ideal for shore, pier, lake, and river fishing, the compact cart makes a perfect companion around the water. Large pivoting feet support the entire cart when its rested upright – and can support an impressive 300 pounds of weight. The compartment has enough room to stash a 8 large utility boxes or a cooler and several tackle boxes.
A corrosion resistant aluminum frame with an electrostatic finish keeps the frame protected from rust and corrosion, while a heavy-duty fabric protects your gear from the elements.
- Dimensions: 20” x 27.5” x 29.5”
- Weight Capacity: 300 lbs
- Compact shore fishing cart provides excellent performance for the price
- 4 removable rod holders
- Lid doubles as seat and cutting board
- Large rubber coated plastic wheels can tackle sand and other tough terrain
Also Consider: Gorilla Carts Poly Bed Fish & Marine Cart
This versatile cart is not only an ideal option for shore and pier fishing – it’s also pretty darn eye-catching. With 13 inch all terrain tires, 8 built in rod holders, and a foldable, movable bait tray, you’ll have everything you need to start catching fish by the water. When it’s time to move the cart, you can load all the accessories into the bed – saving yourself valuable space.
A sturdy aluminum frame and stainless-steel hardware keep your cart protected from the elements, while the durable poly bed can support up to 200 pounds. The spacious 36” x 24” bed is great when you have lots of smaller items you need to keep secure.
Assembling the cart is simple and straightforward, and can be put together with basic tools in about 5 minutes. It’s also compact enough to fit in most medium and compact cars. If you need to fit it in a small space, simply pull the pins securing the wheels, front bracket, and handle in place and you’ll have a compact package that can fit nearly anywhere.
- Bed Size: 36” x 24”
- Weight Capacity: 200 lbs
- Sturdy aluminum frame and stainless-steel hardware
- Spacious bed can fit everything you need for shore or pier fishing
- Assembly and tear-down is fast and easy
- 8 built in rod holders plus movable bait tray
How to pick the right fishing cart
Fishing carts vary widely in terms of design, functionality, and features. Let’s take a look at some of the most important features to be on the lookout for when picking out a fishing cart.
A cart’s size is one of the most important factors to consider when picking out a cart.
If you tend to bring everything but the kitchen sink along with you, then you’ll want to go with a cart that can hold more gear. Larger carts will have enough room to stash a 50+ quart fishing cooler, bait buckets, multiple tackle boxes, 6 to 8 surf fishing rods, beach chairs, plus more.
If you like to pack light, going with a smaller cart makes sense. Smaller carts will be easier to transport than larger ones, and will still give you enough room to haul a decent amount of fishing gear.
Wheels are another important factor for any cart used around sand, rocks, and other challenging terrain.
You’ll find several different wheels/tires used on fishing carts. The most effective over soft sand are inflatable oversized balloon tires, which will effectively “float” over the sand rather than sink in. Balloon tires aren’t as great over hard flat surfaces, so if you want a cart for pier fishing you’ll want a solid tire.
Hard rubber and plastic tires are common in many fishing carts. These will work fairly well in sand, shells, rubble, as well as on flat surfaces like concrete and asphalt. Larger, wider tires will work better in loose sand, while smaller wheels and tires may have difficulty.
Weight capacity is important – especially if you like to pack heavy. Fishing carts typically have weight capacities in the 200 to 350-pound range, which should give you enough room for all your surf fishing gear.
Most fishing carts can also double as general use utility carts – so you can use them for the beach, camping, gardening, barbecues, and other outdoor events. If your planning on hauling a lot of heavy gear, then going with a high weight capacity makes sense.
Portability is another important consideration, especially if you need to transport your cart in a small or compact vehicle. Several of the carts reviewed above are able to fold up or collapse, allowing you to fit them in the trunk or backseat of a small car.
Some carts can fold completely flat, while others have easily removable wheels and handles that allow you to cut down on added bulk while packing.
Pier Cart vs. Beach Cart
Depending on your fishing style, you may be better served by either a pier cart or a beach cart.
Beach carts are suited for use on softer sand, and will feature larger, wider tires that can float over the sand rather than sink in. They’ll be able to handle soft, wet, and hard packed sand with ease, so you can fish anywhere your feet will take you.
Pier carts are suited for use on harder surfaces, like the wood, concrete, and asphalt. They usually feature smaller, harder wheels that roll smooth over flat surfaces.
If you need a cart suited for both pier and beach use, you’ll want to go with a larger wheeled cart. This will still work well on flat surface, while being able to traverse softer sand.
Add-ons and Modifications
There are a number of add-ons and modifications you can make to your fishing cart to further enhance its versatility and functionality.
- Balloon Tires. If your cart doesn’t come with balloon tires, don’t despair! You can still set it up your cart for use in fine, silty sand. Check out the Angler’s 334 15″ Poly Wheel for an easy to install kit with 2 x oversized wheels, axle, and mounting hardware kit.
- Cart Liner. Some fishing carts come without a built-in cart liner, making them less than ideal for carrying small items. Check out the Angler’s 150 Large Cart Liner for a sturdy, heavy-duty liner for a reasonable price.
- Extra Rod holders. While most fishing carts come with a decent number of rod holders, if you want to increase the number of rod holders, you can do so with some PVC piping and a little DIY. Check out this video for an in-depth look on how to modify a Berkley fishing cart with extra rod holders: