If you’re a die-hard bass fisherman, you need the right boat for the task. Regardless of whether you’re a professional angler or just a weekend warrior, a bass boat is a must for the sport. A bass boat is a significant investment in the pastime, and it requires careful consideration of all models before pulling the trigger on your purchase.
Purchasing a bass boat is usually an emotionally fueled purchase, and it’s easy to get lost in the marketing hype. It’s important to assess your need for the boat and what you want to achieve with your bass fishing. With dozens of manufactures and hundreds of models, you have a huge selection to choose from for your new boat.
This guide to bass boats gives you everything you need to know about choosing the right model to suit your fishing.
- What Is a Bass Boat?
- Types of Bass Boats
- Advantages of Buying a Bass Boat
- Motor Options for Bass Boats
- Add-Ons for Bass Boats
- Top Bass Boat Brands
- Wrapping Up
What Is a Bass Boat?
A bass boat has a specific design catering to bass fishing. These boats have low profiles with a sleek look, and they create less disturbance in the water, allowing for better results with your fishing.
Most bass boats carry two to three anglers, but some models can seat up to five people, depending on the length of the vessel and the seating configuration. Most bass boats have lengths ranging from 16 to 26-feet, and there are plenty of options between these sizes.
The bass boat isn’t a great choice for recreational use as it doesn’t carry many passengers, and it has no crossover ability for watersports. Bass boats are expensive compared to other aluminum and bowrider models, which offer you a crossover design. The bass boat is truly a sports-specific vessel, but it’s worth every penny if you enjoy bass angling or fishing in lakes or estuaries.
Types of Bass Boats
Bass boats have different design features for serious anglers or people who just enjoy getting out on the water with their rods and reels. Bass boats come in a wide range of construction materials, from aluminum to fiberglass, to suit your needs and budget.
Bass boats typically rely on trolling or outboard motors to power the vessel and provide optimal performance on the water.
Anglers can also choose bass boats based on their engine or motor type, usually an outboard or trolling motor. Bass boats are ideal for recreational or competitive fishing and multi-purpose inland fishing excursions.
Bass boats are not sea-faring vessels, and they are only suitable for use in bodies of freshwater. The low-profile design of the sides means that bass boats will take on water in rough ocean conditions, sinking the boat.
However, if you’re a freshwater fishing enthusiast, the bass boat offers you the best sports-specific option available. Bass boats are also available in mini models suitable for one or two people. The flexibility in size and the wide range of customizations make them the ideal choice for freshwater anglers.
Advantages of Buying a Bass Boat
Bass boats are available in so many configurations, sizes, and styles that it will take you some time to go through all the models to find one that suits your fishing style.
So, it’s important to take your time in selecting the right boat. Don’t rush into the first deal you find. Research the different types of bass boats and go with the best one to fit your fishing requirements.
Bass boats come with several perks and advantages for freshwater anglers. Here are our top reasons for buying a bass boat for your next fishing trip.
Several Sizing Options
Bass boats come in several lengths and sizes, allowing you to carry up to five passengers in the biggest models. Choose the model that’s right for you and your trailer.
The bass boat comes with an aluminum or fiberglass hull design, making them lightweight and easy to load on the trailer and launch into the water.
Ideal for Shallow Waters
Trolling and outboard motors make the bass boat the perfect choice for fishing in shallow waters.
The bass boat comes with all the luxuries and accessories you need to make your time on the water fun and fulfilling. You get models with livewells, swivel chairs, coolers, and shade canopies. There’s plenty of storage space and room for casting.
Shallow Draft and Flat Bottom
Bass are sensitive to movement, and you need a boat that won’t disturb the water. The bass boat’s flat bottom and shallow draft make it ideal for keeping the water calm, preventing the boat from scaring off the fish.
Bass boats come with motors designed for stealth, not speed. It’s also important to note that the handling isn’t as good as a performance boat like a bowrider.
Large Livewells and Casting Decks
Bass boats come with large livewells and casting decks for easy fishing. You get more space for casting and a better fishing experience.
Motor Options for Bass Boats
Bass boats usually come with trolling or outboard motors to reduce noise in the water while offering as much performance as possible. Typically, bass boats do not have a design for speed; they focus on moving quietly through the water not to disturb the fish.
The outboard motor is the most popular choice, fitting the boat’s rear wall, dropping a propeller into the water for propulsion. You have several options for motor capacity and power to suit any size bass boat.
A trolling motor is a much smaller motor designed for use in shallow water.
These motors don’t have high power capacity, offering you a slow movement through the water. Bass anglers love these motors because they run quiet compared to an outboard.
Some of the new bass boat models feature jet drive propulsion systems, similar to what you get in a wave runner personal watercraft or jet ski. While these propulsion systems offer you less disturbance and more performance, they are the most expensive option.
Take time to match the motor with your boat and your fishing application. If you’re only using the boat in shallow water on lakes, the trolling or outboard motor is a good choice. However, if you’re looking for a professional boat for competitive fishing, we recommend investing in a jet propulsion system for your bass boat.
Add-Ons for Bass Boats
Bass boats come with a huge list of customizable options. You have options to upgrade the tech and electronics on the boat to suit your fishing experience. Many models include high-quality GPS systems for navigating lakes and marking your favorite fishing spots.
You also have options for hydraulic or electric anchors, extra storage, shades, electric steering, as well as fish-finder systems. Additional tech popular in bass boats includes sonar and depth finders and side imaging tools that help anglers locate bass populations and the best fishing spots on the water.
Top Bass Boat Brands
Bass fishing is a big business and a very popular pastime in the United States. There are several bass boat manufacturers and dozens of models to choose from when selecting your boat.
Here are our top choices for the best bass boat brands.
Bass Cat Bass Boats
This company has premises in Arkansas, and it’s one of the most established bass boat manufacturers in the US. Founded in 1971, Bas Cat Bass Boats saw its popularity with fishermen explode in 1984 with the release of its dedicated bass fishing boat.
The Pantera Pro 19 was a favorite among freshwater anglers, offering a good balance of speed and maneuverability. Since the success of the Pantera model, Bass Cat Bass Boats spent the next 25-years tweaking it to perfection. Today, Bass Cat Bass Boats offers you one of the best fishing boats in the industry.
The Bass Cat is the preferred choice of professional anglers, and it’s suitable for recreational or professional fishing.
Ranger Bass Boats
Ranger is another well-known bass boat brand founded in the 60s. Like Bass Cat, Ranger has its facilities in Arkansas, and it has a wide range of bass boats to suit any fishing requirements. Ranger rose to fame after it won recognition as the official bass boat of the 1972 Bassmaster Classic.
Since its success in the early 70s, Ranger continues to make some of the best bass boat models available, focusing on functionality and quality design. You have options for professional models or recreational boats for weekend warriors on the lake.
Lowe Bass Boats
Lowe Boats is another top-rated brand in bass boats. However, the company also offers a wide range of pontoon, hunting boats, and aluminum fishing boats.
Founded in 1907, Lowe Bass Boats produces some of the best quality boats, focusing on quality and performance.
Lund Bass Boats
Lund is a top boating brand offering you a range of fishing boats. The company’s bass boats are some of the best in the business, with sizes from 11-feet to 30-feet in length. Lund has models available with fiberglass or aluminum hulls to suit your fishing preference.
This Minnesota company is part of the Brunswick Corporation, the owner of Crestliner boats. Overall, Lund offers you a great line of bass boats with plenty of customization options.
Skeeter Bass Boats
Founded in 1948 in Texas, Skeeter Bass Boats are another choice for the hardcore bass fishing enthusiast. These boats feature design and construction with molded plywood, and they are a popular brand throughout Texas and Louisiana.
The wood is weather-resistant, and the company also has new models available in aluminum and fiberglass to suit your fishing needs.
Triton Bass Boats
Triton Bass Boats is the brainchild of Earl Bentz, a lifelong expert boat builder. Bentz started his career working for Hydra-Sports before moving on to found Stratos. After experiencing success with Stratos, Bentz ventured out to found Triton Boats, and the rest is history.
Triton offers you some of the best bass boats available, with innovative design and high-quality materials. Since launching in the 90s, Triton earned a reputation for performance, quality, and speed on the water.
Triton is the preferred choice of many professional anglers, offering superior performance and higher seating capacity compared to many other brands.
Tracker Bass Boats
Tracker Bass Boats are another leading brand. This brand focuses on providing affordable models with a simple design and small motors. If you’re on a budget and looking for the best price you can find on a bass boat, Tracker is worth considering.
These boats come with smaller seating capacities, and they are a good choice for one or two anglers. While the boats are affordable, they remain functional and perform well on the water.
StarCraft Bass Boats
StarCraft is a division of StarCraft Marine. This family-owned business manufacturers bass boats, as well as other boats, campers, and RVs. StarCraft initially started as a farming equipment manufacturer, moving into the boat market to expand their range.
StarCraft has a reputation for building affordable, fun boats. Founded in 1903, StarCraft is one of the oldest American brands in boating. They offer purpose-built bass boats for beginners and professional anglers.
Xpress Bass Boats
Xpress is an innovator in the bass boat industry. The company was the first brand to offer a fully-welded boat construction. They were the inventors of the “hyper-fit hull,” offering you the same design features found in fiberglass boats, increasing the level of performance from the vessel.
Xpress has a wide range of designs, and they are most known for their 22-foot boat, which is one of the largest in the industry, offering you plenty of seating, a large casting deck, and over 300-horsepower from the motor.
If you’re a dedicated bass or freshwater angler, the bass boat offers you the best fishing vessel for the sport. The bass boat features purpose-built designs to help you get the most out of your fishing experience.
With so much variety to choose from, you can pick up a bass boat in any size with your choice of customizations to fit your fishing needs and your budget.
Get yourself a bass boat and enjoy your time on the water for better bass fishing trips for pros or recreational anglers.