Bass boats are fast, low-profile boats built for fishing parties and easily maneuver around rivers or lakes to arrive at a preferred fishing spot.
Most of the bass boats are built with purpose-made seats or platforms for complete openness to fish.
Other features include:
- Built-in tackle boxes
- Fish cleaning station
- Aerated livewell
- Rod holders
A bass boat is built to accept 2-3 anglers to cast lines from the spacious platform areas at the front and rear of the vessel. Certain models are rated to accept 3-5 anglers, but in general, most of bass boat models offer comfortable seating for the lower number of passengers.
A tournament or professional-grade model of the bass boat is built to accept an outboard motor rated at 125-300HP. Alternatively, a buddy or casual tournament angler can accept the low-performance models in aluminum or fiberglass, which are fitted with a 150HP motor.
Aluminum is the less expensive and lighter of the construction materials. But, the fiberglass built models can provide greater versatility in relation to outboard motor size, performance and handling and size. An entry-level bass boat is in the region of 16-18 ft in length. A professional tournament edition is closer to 18-20 ft in length.
Whether the bass boat is constructed in fiberglass or aluminum, the layout or floor plan is quite similar in either case. Seating is quite low in the vessel and situated close to the stern. The aft deck is usually spacious and open to provide anglers a comfortable casting platform. Stool seats are built into the stern or the bow deck to provide the angler with 360° motion range to cast the fishing line.
A trolling motor is deployed and used for the most precise and stealthy control after arriving at the fishing hole. Bass boats are purpose built with a lot of storage space in the gunnels and floors to accept the wide-ranging supplies.
A standard feature of the tournament bass boat is the built-in aerated livewells (provides oxygenated, cool water to the hooked bass). A trolling motor is a further common feature. Plus, sonar equipment and GPS are installed to help travel to the right fishing spot with precision.
Popular bass boat brands include Bass Cat, Nitro, Ranger, Tracker, and Triton; each model of fishing boat varies slightly from the other to ensure a great choice is available in the market.
What is the right bass boat?
A variety of issues need careful consideration when it comes to deciding on the right bass boat to purchase. Some of the critical factors include:
- Storage options
A bass boat purchase can be heavily impacted by the number of add-ons and accessories chosen. Outfit the vessel with the must-have features to match the specific angling practice. Any extra add-ons that aren’t critical can be included at a later date.
The fishing season for bass is usually restricted to part of the year, so for the out-of-season lay-up period it is critical to have proper storage in place. A boat storage facility is a practical and safe option to provide a high level of protection when the vessel isn’t in actual use. A cost-effective option is storing at home, but this is subject to approval in the local area and an ability to protect and cover from the weather.
Getting the bass boat to and from the fishing site is achieved by towing from the place of storage. A critical issue to determine early with a planned purchase is the ability to tow the vessel on the highway. Any road vehicle used must have the rating to safely tow the weight of the boat – usually in the region of 3,500 pounds or more. Check the user manual for the vehicle to establish the safe towable limit. Most trucks and SUV’s have the ability to tow the vessel from lake to lake.
Investing in a bass boat is more practical for those that plan on visiting the lakes and rivers often throughout the season. But, for the occasional angler that plans on going out on the water 1-2 times each season, a boat rental might be the most practical and cost-effective option. Bass boat rental is possible at most of the popular fishing sites across the country.