Buying the best bass fishing boat in 2023 can be quite the decision-making process, with so many new models to pick from. Maybe you’ve been to a few boat shows, or you’re thinking of checking out one soon, and you’re wanting to know which boats to keep your eye on.
Or maybe you just want to buy something right now to hit the lake as soon as possible. Either way, you’re in the right place!
Keep reading to see our top picks for the best bass fishing boats for anglers in 2023, then stick around for the bass fishing boat buyer’s guide and frequently asked questions by bass fishing boat buyers.
Our Top Picks
Nitro Z18 Pro
Bass Raider 10E Angler Fishing Boat
Best Multi-Purpose Fishing Boat
Lowe Boats Skorpion 17
The Nitro Z18 Pro is the most popular fiberglass tournament boat for bass anglers and the best bass fishing boat you can find when it comes to value and smooth rides. It’s an official boat of Major League Fishing because it balances power and fishability.
This boat weighs 1700 pounds dry, is 18’ 8” long, and has a 6’ 3” bottom width. It can fit up to four persons with a maximum weight of 550 pounds for total people, though it can store up to 1350 pounds with gear included. Its fuel capacity is 40 gallons.
The Nitro Z18 Pro may be one of the smallest bass fishing boats on this list, but it’s incredibly efficient at bringing bass out of hiding!
- Fish finder with side and down scan, digital sonar, and GPS included, plus ethernet included between fish finders
- Six drink holders
- Driver’s seat, passenger seat, bike seat with pedestal, and a folding fishing seat with composite frame
- Nitro Vortex Technology (NVT) for a smoother, drier ride
- Rapid Planning System (RPS) for quicker holeshots and maximum speed
- 34 square foot bow deck for casting mobility
- Smaller fuel tank, so you will need to get gas more often
The Bass Raider 10E Angler Fishing Boat is the best bass fishing boat for recreational fishers on a tight budget and who just want to get out on the lake. It’s not going to be winning competitions, but it will allow you to catch some bass and enjoy time on the lake.
This boat only weighs 145 pounds and features multiple storage compartments, drink holders, and two vertical rod holders. It’s pre-wired to easily connect to an electric or sonar motor with a 12V electrical outlet.
- Comfortable swivel seats for 360-degree rotation
- Easy to transport with four robust carrying handles
- Lightweight and easy to launch
- Additional flotation inside the hull
- Holds up to 600 pounds, which is high for a budget boat!
- Only two seats with no room to add on
- Made of plastic
Best Multi-Purpose Fishing Boat
If you’re looking for a multi-purpose bass fishing boat for bass and other species, then look no further than the Lowe Skorpion 17. The boat features a modified V hull, which provides a near-perfect combination of handling, stability, and the ability to fish multiple species.
This is a 17-foot aluminum fishing boat with big casting decks, a fish finder and trolling motor, and room for plenty of gear storage. It only weighs 670 pounds and can hold up to 1101 pounds, including passengers and gear.
- Two fold-down fishing seats and two driver/passenger seats included
- Three cup holders
- Stylish and clutter-free console featuring low-light readability
- Available in multiple colors
- Aluminum boats tend to suffer from corrosion in time
The Ranger Boats Z521R is a next-generation fiberglass bass fishing boat. It comes equipped with an enhanced performance profile professional anglers are going to be impressed by, which includes a 21’9” length, 96” beam, and 54-gallon fuel capacity.
- Auto-on storage box LEDs
- Heated, sliding, Cloud Nine air-ride seating with power adjustable lumbar
- The double-wall 10-quart cooler keeps ice all-day
- Wireless phone charger in Coinbox
- Five-person max capacity
- Only comes with two seats, but seats can be added
The Bass Cat Cougar FTD is the best bass fishing boat in terms of storage. This boat features a Full Term Deck (FTD) that is capable of accommodating a team of anglers. With so many custom features and storage access, you’re going to be amazed.
This boat is 20’4” long and 94” wide with a hull weight of 2030 pounds. Its full capacity is 52 gallons, made from All Fiberglass, and has a Horsepower rating between 200 and 300.
It features comfortable Bass Cat Wave Crusher Seats with added storage under the seats. Every square inch of this boat was planned to increase your ability to compete!
- Includes two fully insulated ice chests
- Large storage areas in the front deck
- Enclosed day box for easy access to small items
- Perfect Team competition layout
- Twin rod boxes hold 8-foot rods
- Original designs only come with two seats, but seats can be added
Best Bass Fishing Boats Buyer’s Guide
The Boat’s Purpose
Reflecting on the intentions of the boat will help narrow down the best bass fishing boat for your situation.
- Recreational Fishing: If you enjoy joyrides with the family and occasional recreational fishing, then a boat to support your recreational needs should also be a focal point in your bass fishing boat selection process.
- Competitive or Professional Angling: Investing in an elite fishing boat is a must if you’re pursuing a career as a competitive or professional bass angler.
- Custom Bass Fishing: Custom bass fishing boats have been designed and built just for bass and are tailored to the needs of bass anglers. If bass is the only species you intend to target, then a custom bass fishing boat is what you want.
- Multi-Purpose Fishing: You will want to purchase a multi-purpose fishing boat if you intend to target multiple fish species in various water conditions.
Size affects your bass fishing experience, so you need to pay attention to the size of the boat you’re buying. Smaller boats are easier to maneuver than large boats, which allows you into the tight spaces bass like to hide.
Length and Width
The best bass fishing boats are usually somewhere between 15 and 25 feet long, though some models can be smaller or longer. Bass fishing boats are usually around 95 inches wide (or just under 8 feet).
Weight is an important factor in selecting the best bass fishing boat. You also need to be aware of how much weight the vehicle in which you will be towing your new fishing boat can handle.
Bass fishing boats normally weigh somewhere between 980 and 2900 pounds, not including extras like fuel, gear, or a trailer.
Fishing boats are usually either made from aluminum or fiberglass, although you will find some budget boats made from plastic.
Aluminum boats are usually cheaper and lighter; however, they are also more resilient than fiberglass boats and can survive running into something better than a fiberglass boat. If they do get damaged, they are easier and cheaper to repair.
An aluminum boat also weighs less and is easier to launch at the boat ramp or push on and off sandbars. They are also easier to tow with a smaller vehicle.
A big downside, however, to aluminum boats is corrosion, especially in saltwater environments. Aluminum boats also tend to be colder because the material absorbs cold temperatures faster, making an aluminum boat a chilly ride on cool days.
Fiberglass boats are heavier and more stable in the water than aluminum boats. Since they weigh more, they aren’t easily impacted by the wind and are more predictable.
They’re easier to manufacture and have more intricate, attractive designs. These boats also come with more accessories, such as tackle stations, seating modules, and fish boxes.
In general, fiberglass looks better, and anglers can’t resist them even if they are more expensive to repair and are easily damaged by hail or minor accidents.
Bass boats are normally moved by an outboard motor and a trolling motor. Trolling motors are what slow the boat down while the actual fishing is happening. Standard onboard motors move the boat rapidly through the water from location to location.
Your bass fishing boat needs to include comfortable seating, and you need to consider the durability, weight capacity, dimensions, materials, and features of the chairs.
If you have concerns about the seating in the boat, check that the seats can easily be replaced before making your purchase. The best bass fishing boats come with swivel chairs allowing you to easily cast in any direction.
The best bass fishing boats usually come in a V-Hull design. The depth of the “V” on the boat will determine how well the boat can handle deep rough or shallow water.
Frequently Asked Questions about the Best Bass Fishing Boats
What are the two poles sticking up on the back of bass boats?
This is called a Power-Pole anchor system, which is used by bass anglers on the back of their boats to lock themselves into a shallow area to provide a stable surface for casting in the same area for hours. Some fishermen only use one pole, but some find using two to be more beneficial.
How much horsepower do I need for my boat?
Horsepower is a unit of power equal to 550 foot-pounds per second to measure the power of the engine. When buying a new boat, you need to consider the following factors:
- Manufacturer Limits: Pay attention to the boat’s capacity plate or owner’s manual.
- Boat Horsepower-to-Weight Ratio: Horsepower per pound or pounds per horsepower.
- Fuel Efficiency: The amount of fuel the boat will consume, impacted by the horsepower.
- Boat Use: How you use your boat and what function it serves.
- Number of Passengers: The number of people that will normally be on your boat.
Each horsepower should have between 25 and 40 pounds of weight on your bass fishing boat.
Wrapping up the Best Bass Fishing Boats for Anglers in 2023
You’re caught up to speed on how to select your new bass fishing boat. The Nitro Z18 Pro offers a smooth ride, creating the best bass fishing boat experience, but all of these picks are sure to impress you depending on your new boat’s purpose.
Are you looking for more fishing tips and recommendations? Check out the Fishing in Minnesota page!