Guide to Selecting the Best Bass Boat: Bass-Kickin’ Gotta-Have Boat Features
The common denominator in all great aluminum Bass Boats is first and foremost “fishability” – that special blending of comfort, convenience and angling efficiency a bass angler experiences while confidently getting to his fishing spot, effortlessly tossing the appropriate lure from a purpose-built platform. All culminating in the satisfaction of landing a trophy lunker.
Here are the key points to consider when selecting the best boat for your requirements and how Lowe Boats dominates the aluminum bass boat category:
Length. While larger bass boats (18 to 19 feet) with larger outboards are terrific for big lakes, midsize and smaller bass boats (typically 16 to 17 feet) with smaller outboards can be ideal in other locations. In addition, budget, your need for speed, plus your tow vehicle’s capacity will determine appropriate boat length. To address your specific requirements, your Lowe Boats dealer carries a wide-range of aluminum boat and engine sizes to fit your requirements – and budget.
Casting platform size and shape.
If you and your bass fishing partner both operate off the front of the fishing boat, or you simply want ample personal space, a large, open front casting deck delivers the necessary working room. Look for an aluminum boat that has a wider, more rectangular (gunnel to gunnel) bow deck. Some older style bass boats are overly pointy up front and lack the desirable elbowroom and resulting fishability. This is where Lowe Boats Stingers truly shine, with some of the biggest decks in all of aluminum bass boats.
The old saying is “the fish won’t bite till we get there,” but bass anglers typically like to get to a hot spot before the competition. By design, lightweight aluminum bass boats offer the advantage of being speedy with smaller, more affordable outboards when compared to heavier glass boats. In fact, if speed truly isn’t an issue for you, there are several fishing boat models suitable for serious bass angling that perform just fine with outboards as small as 20 hp.
Many of today’s multi-species (bass & crappie) boat designs provide the option of switching the single bow platform seat to two side-by-side seats. The latter arrangement can be desirable when bass fishing with kids and significant others – or crappie fishing. If the boat you want only comes with one seat base up front, you or your dealer can always add additional seat bases. Speaking of seats, if you fish with two companions, your buddies will require a third seat between the driver and passenger seats. And, to keep your passenger out of the wind when running, consider a boat with twin consoles and windshields.
Serious tournament bass fishermen prefer two livewells to keep the catch separate, which makes culling easier. They also want livewells with timers to keep the water aerated and bass lively, without running the aerator continuously and unnecessarily draining the battery. More casual, recreational bass anglers are likely to have their needs satisfied with a single livewell. If you’ll be taking along live minnows or leeches, a livewell with a built-in bait bucket is mighty handy.
You don’t want to have step over tackle boxes and gear when tussling with a tournament-winning bass. Make sure the bass boat you’re considering has ample dry storage compartments to stow all those boxes of plastic worms, crankbaits and jigs where they’re easy to find but out of the way. For added convenience, many boats offer built-in tackle trays for superb tackle organization. Another deck space saving extra that makes life aboard easier is a built-in cooler.
While the primary rods you use on any given day will be on the deck and easy to grab, you’ll still want rod lockers large enough to store them when you’re trailering to and from the lake. For all your extra rods you don’t want to leave the launch ramp without, make sure your boat has ample rod locker space for all. Lowe bass boats have rod lockers and bungee strap/tie-down rod storage on deck.
Today, most aluminum bass boats come pre-rigged with a 12-volt trolling motor and a single deep-cycle battery to maneuver all day with little effort. If you want – or need – to use a more powerful 24-volt trolling motor for bass fishing in more challenging conditions, make sure there’s room to stow two batteries. Wireless foot pedals and handheld remote controllers add significant operating convenience and comfort.
Along with a trolling motor, the typical aluminum bass boat will come pre-rigged with a fish-finding sonar unit. If you want to upgrade from the basic sonar that’s factory-installed, your dealer can help you select a unit with increased fish locating capability. If you travel to various lakes you may also want to consider a GPS based chartplotter with built-in map software that will let you conveniently explore unfamiliar lakes and easily find everything from weedbeds to the best restaurants in the area. No need to carry a bunch of paper charts. And, if your boat’s console comes standard with just a fuel gauge and speedometer, your dealer can usually add additional matching instruments such as tachometer, voltmeter and trim indicator.
You want your investment to last for years to come, which is why savvy anglers prefer low-maintenance aluminum bass boats that have no wood, which can eventually rot. But all aluminum boats aren’t created equal when it comes to their hull structure. Lowe Boat’s limited lifetime warranty is among the best in the industry. Learn more about Lowe Boats superior construction here.
Overall, the best bass boat for you is the one from which you’ll actually enjoy fishing. It will get you to the spot comfortably and reliably, keep your gear organized and secure, keep your catch lively, and last for years with little to no maintenance required.
Finding the right boat.
The Lowe Boats comparison tool is designed specifically to assist you in finding the appropriate boat for your requirements. Get over to a boat show (here’s our schedule) where your local Lowe Boats dealer, you’ll find a boat that doesn’t compromise either fishability or your budget.