If you are looking for a new or pre-owned bass boat, you’ll find no shortage of popular bass boat brands available. These brands specialize in creating boats designed and equipped for bass fishing primarily in freshwater, but some are ready for the rigors of saltwater as well. Bass boats typically have a powerful outboard motor for fast access to where the fish are and a stealthy electric trolling motor to avoid spooking them once you arrive. The boats also include specialized fishing features like livewells, fish-finders, open decks for casting, and storage spaces for rods and tackle.
With the wide array of brands on the market, working out which type of bass boat may be best for you will take some study. This guide should give you a good start towards understanding the advantages of different types of bass boats and learning about the best bass boat brands on the market today.
Different Types of Bass Boats
Before we begin exploring the different brands, let’s talk about the big differentiator among bass boats, the construction material. Bass boats are usually made out of either fiberglass or aluminum, with some bass boat brands focusing on one or the other, and others utilizing both materials. Here are the advantages of each type.
Advantages of aluminum
- Aluminum hulls are lighter, making them easier to tow and launch, reducing draft, giving them a higher power-to-weight ratio, and making them some of the most fuel-efficient boats on the water.
- Aluminum construction is usually less expensive when it comes to small -boat models, including bass boats (which generally top out at around 22 feet), creating boats that are more affordable.
- Aluminum boats require minimal maintenance.
- Impact damage is usually easier to repair with aluminum, since it tends to dent instead of shattering or cracking.
More information: The Best Aluminum Bass Boats on the Market Today
Alumacraft Classic 165 Sport aluminium bass boat. Photo credit: Alumacraft
Advantages of fiberglass
- Fiberglass construction allows for more complex shapes in the hull and topsides, and more molded-in integrated features and components.
- The strength, weight, and seaworthiness of many fiberglass boats allow them to be used more comfortably in heavier seas and at faster speeds than than many aluminum boats.
- With more weight and a bit more draft, fiberglass boats tend to drift slower in a breeze and don’t get buffeted around as much at the dock or boat ramp.
- Fiberglass boats can be made in nearly any color desired, and most people feel they have more visual appeal.
Nitro Z17 fiberglass bass boat. Photo credit: Nitro
Popular Bass Boat Brands
We’ve chosen 10 top brands based on performance, reputation, and value. However, there are many other factors that might make a brand the top brand for you. The companies below offer a wide array of models, from boats that are affordable to top performers.
Founded in 1971, Bass Cat is a small-volume builder of top-tier competition-level bass boats. All their models are available with a lifetime, transferable structural warranty.
Bass Cat offers six models of bass boats in their Premium range, two models in their Advantage range, and two in their Vision range. Their models have long lists of standard features that go well beyond the norm and include items like dip -net scabbards, digital switch panels, jack plates, and custom welded and fitted trailers.
Bass Cat bass boats for sale
Crestliner has won CSI (Customer Satisfaction Index) awards for 15 consecutive years for its boats, and the company’s aluminum bass boats are considered some of the best in the industry. Crestliner bass boats have all-welded aluminum hulls for strength and durability and back up their boats with a limited lifetime warranty on all main seam welds and a three-year bow-to-stern warranty.
Crestliner offers a wide variety of bass boat options for anglers, ranging from 16 feet to 21 feet, inches in length. Power options range from 20 horsepower to 250 horsepower. Their high-end offerings are tournament-ready and are built with 0.125” gauge aluminum, as opposed to the more common 0.10” gauge.
Crestliner bass boats for sale
Crestliner XF 189. Photo credit: Crestliner
Lowe builds aluminum boats only and has a reputation for making highly versatile bass boats with multiple power and interior options. Customization options include a multitude of innovative fishing features and style choices such as different electric trolling motors, fishfinders, and jack plates.
Lowe currently offers two series of boat models for bass fishing. The economical Skorpion line has three models available from 16 to 17 feet. The Stinger line includes four models dedicated to bass alone, plus two multispecies models, and ranges from 17 feet, 7 inches, to 19 feet, 10 inches. All feature angling accouterments like lockable rod storage, livewells, fish-finders, and tournament-style seating.
Lowe bass boats for sale
Lowe WV1260. Photo credi: Lowe Boats
In business since 1948, the Lund brand is extremely popular with people who know a lot about boats. This boatbuilder uses innovative layouts to create bass boats that use space efficiently without sacrificing comfort.
Lund’s aluminum boat line includes two bass boat styles between 17 feet, 9 inches and 20 feet, 10 inches long. One, the Pro-V Bass XS, is a premium-priced boat designed for tournament fishing that has all the features an angler could want, including a four-seat layout with hydraulic steering, lighted instrumentation, and a custom fiberglass console and dash. The more affordable Renegade line includes smaller, simpler models intended for crossover fishing for multiple species.
Lund bass boats for sale
Lund 1875 Pro V Bass XS. Photo credit: Lund Boats
Nitro is a top brand among fiberglass bass boats and its Z series has nine different models from 17 feet, 4 inches to 21 feet, 2 inches, widely ranging in both price and performance. All are sold as fully equipped boat-motor-trailer packages, and the vast majority of the options Nitro offers are upgrades to existing stock equipment.
Many of their models include high-tech electronics with features like side-scanning not just at the helm, but also on the bow. And these are often networked via NMEA2000, so units like the fishfinders and the trolling motors can work in sync.
Nitro bass boats for sale
Nitro Z18. Photo credit: Nitro
Founded in 1968, the Ranger brand is a household name in the world of bass boats and has a reputation or creating boats that are built to last. The company makes a wide range of bass boats, both fiberglass and aluminum, to appeal to various types of anglers.
Ranger’s aluminum bass boat line has six models. Each one offers foam-filled hulls, all-welded construction, and numerous fishing features. Their fiberglass lineup has 11 models from 18 feet, 8 inches to 21 feet, 9 inches.
Ranger bass boats for sale
Ranger Z519. Photo credit: Ranger Boats
Skeeter is a bass fishing -boat brand that has been in business for 75 years. The company designs tournament-worthy, high-end bass boats from 18 feet, 6 inches, to 21 feet, 4 inches. They come with an eye-opening lifetime limited structural warranty, a 10-year transferable warranty, and a three -year component warranty.
These are not inexpensive boats, and even in stock form are outfitted with powerful outboards, advanced electronics, jack plates, and potent electric trolling motors. You’ll have a difficult time finding any bass fishing features you can dream of that doesn’t appear on their list
Skeeter bass boats for sale
Skeeter FXR20 Apex. Photo credit: Skeeter Boats
Tracker has taken the top spot as America’s No. 1 seller of aluminum fishing boats by offering a wide selection of affordable boat models through the popular Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s Boating Centers, as well as additional area dealers. Made with all-welded aluminum hulls, Tracker boats come packed with fishing features like a Lowrance color fish-finder, pedestal seating at the bow and stern, and Minn Kota trolling motors.
Tracker offers a lineup of six modified-V bass boats ranging from 16 feet, 8 inches to 18 feet, 7 inches. Tracker models come with generally modest price tags and most don’t offer tournament-level performance, but they are packed with standard features and offer a tremendous bang for the buck.
Tracker bass boats for sale
Bass Tracker Classic XL. Photo credit: Tracker Boats
Triton builds a wide range of fiberglass bass boats from 18 feet, six6 inches to 21 feet in length. These are tournament-level boats and the newest, the 2024 20XP Patriot, boasts speeds of over 70 mph. Triton utilizes a double-brace, seven -cross-member stringer system to reduce hull and deck twisting and attain top-level performance.
Along with the top-tier performance, Triton brings a visual flair to the table. Their boats are available in 14 different color packages which are coordinated with the trailer. They also feature high-end accessories, like Centric II mesh pedestal seats, ResQ retractable reboarding ladders, and Vault trailer hubs.
Triton bass boats for sale
Triton 21XRT. Photo credit: Triton Boats
Xpress boats build a line of eight aluminum bass boats from 17 to 21 feet, ranging from tournament-level to beginner boats. While they come fairly well equipped, a huge list of optional items allows for a lot of customization ranging from blinker-style trim control to premium sound systems with RGB lighting.
One unusual component of the Xpress bass boat offerings is the Xplorer lineup, which is designed to serve as a bass fishing machine during the summer and a waterfowl hunting boat in the winter. It has a basic bass boat design but a smaller foredeck coupled with an enlarged cockpit, and is finished completely in camo.
Xpress bass boats for sale
Xpress X21Pro. Photo credit: Xpress boats
If you love bass fishing, there’s no doubt that sooner or later there will be a bass boat in your future. Just which one you choose will be a tough call. Maybe it will be one of the top 10 brands we’ve called out here, and maybe a smaller builder or a custom make that strikes your fancy. Either way, it’s a sure thing that once you make your choice your bass fishing will get a whole lot better.