Hmmm, I think that in the NE waters, if you have any kind of run out to the fishing grounds, the option of standing for both the Capt. and the passengers is a must. A center console takes up space, but 3" of foam doesn't help in 3' of chop. This would be my main concern about a poling skiff. Most captains stand while running most passengers suffer in silence.
"Bay" boats really aren't technical poling skiffs....can't have everything. For NE, I thing a 20' bay boat with a trolling motor would work well.
One cast can change your day...maybe your life.