Go Boating

Bass Boats: Exceeding All Expectations for Fishing

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.

Bass Boat

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:

  • Cost
  • Storage options
  • Trailering
  • Use


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.

Storage options

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.


Bass Fishing Tips & Tactics

Bass is a generic term that can relate to several species of fish. A popular fish species often visualized is the largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides) and one of the most sought by fisherman.

Largemouth Bass

Other types include:

  • White bass (Morone chrysops)
  • Striped bass (M. saxatilis)
  • Spotted bass (M. punctulatus)
  • Smallmouth bass (M. dolomieu)
  • Guadalupe bass (M. treculii)
  • Choctaw bass (M. haiaka)

Largemouth bass

A highly popular fish in North America, the largemouth bass is olive green in color with a distinct dark strip and can reach up to 22 pounds in weight and 29.5 inches in body length. This popular game fish survives on a diet of snakes, small fish, shrimp, scuds, insects, frogs, crawfish, and bait fish. Life expectancy in the wild is in the region of 16 years. Largemouth bass can easily catch prey that is at least 25-50% of body length.

Here are several of the most practical tips and tactics for bass fishing:

Pre-spawn season

Bass fishing is particularly active throughout the largemouth pre-spawn season. The start of pre-spawn is usually early spring when the temperature of the water starts to reach 55-65°. Throughout this period the male and female fish will start to feed aggressively in the shallow areas and seek out the most attractive nesting site. Bass are easy to detect during this time and often quite close to shore. Use a catch and release policy for the female fish to ensure the spawning cycle can be completed.

Bass habits

Weather can dictate the whereabouts of bass. Bright sunlight can force the fish to look for areas of shelter. Bass are more active when there is little sun or cloudy and will leave their place of shelter. So, when it is sunny outside, the best fishing areas to keep your live bait or lure are those places the fish might use for protection and shelter.

Right time of day

Bass fishing is most productive at the start of the day or left until the evening. The best time to arrive at a preferred fishing spot is one or two hours before sunset or sunup – although bass will feed earlier in the afternoon if the water is muddy or it is a cloudy day.

Map study

Study a map to help identify drops-offs and different depths. Most bodies of water have maps and easily source online using local or state resources. Maps can also list sunken structures or cribs that are used for protection. A map can be marked with successful or non-productive areas for future reference.

Captured bass

A captured bass will often throw-up the stomach contents when fighting you. By looking inside the mouth, it is possible to see the feed and this can be mimicked with a similar looking lure. Alternatively, for live bait try to catch what the bass are feeding on and hook that to the end of the line.

Watch the line

Give the line a thorough examination every so often to ensure it isn’t starting to fray or wear. The fishing line is often in contact with stumps, branches, gravel, rocks, etc. A low-quality line can easily break, especially when targeting a monster bass.

Size of lure

The size of lure isn’t likely to have an impact on the size of fish you hook. Many of the largemouth bass will go after prey that is a quarter or half its body length. If unsuccessful at catching any bass on your lures, it might be practical to swap-out for a smaller size to see if more positive results are achieved.

Live bait

If artificial lures aren’t producing the productive catch of bass it might benefit to start using a variety of live bait. Frogs, crayfish, and worms are great options to use as live bait. A slip bobber can also be used to help with adjusting the baits depth for more effective casting.