Deciding On The Best Bass Boat 2022
Looking for a new boat? With so many bass boats to choose from, what’s the best way to zero in on one that’s both comfortable and functional? What are some of the features you’re looking for in the best bass boat to make your time on the water more productive and enjoyable?
I called Buck’s Island marina to discuss what’s involved in helping a customer find the best bass fishing boats. I spoke with Dan O’Sullivan and asked him about the process he uses to ensure their customers leave the parking lot with a smile and a boat that matches their fishing style.
O’Sullivan is in the marketing department at Buck’s Island and he explained that how a customer answers a few questions helps to narrow his recommendations considerably and help match up the best bass boat:
- Do they fish recreationally or also in tournaments and local or regional?
- Do they prefer fiberglass or aluminum?
O’Sullivan referred to the extensive selection of aluminum and fiberglass boats carried by Buck’s Island. He also described three primary boat/motor combinations and added a fourth to include premium tournament packages:
- Recreation and local tournaments/club fishing
- Regional tournaments
- Professional circuit
Before we get down into specific offers, there are some general things that you need to consider before you commit to that dream, best bass boat.
Size – Longer, wider, heavier boats are more stable, draft shallower, and ride smoother in rough water.
Hull – Design options include the latest Performance hulls, Deep-V, Modified-V, Flat-Bottom, Skiff, and Offshore.
- Deep v-shaped boats are designed for larger bodies of water and provide a smoother ride through choppy water. They have added draft and less stability then other hulls.
- Modified v hulls start out in the bow with a modified v shape which flattens out in the stern. The result is a lower water profile making for a stabile, fast, well handling all around boat,
- Flat-Bottom boats offer shallow draft and stability and are good in calm and small water, but not good for rough or choppy conditions.
- Skiffs are designed for use in shallow water or flats. They feature squared sterns, sharp bows with a flat bottom adding up to less draft. Because they sit more on the water can be a little tippy and aren’t designed for rough water use.
- Offshore boats are all about deadrise which is the angle where each side of the bottom intersects with an imaginary horizontal line (the water line). Generally, the steeper the deadrise the more efficiently the hull can run through waves
Seating – Ensure the seats in your prospective boat are comfortable, durable, and a good fit. (Test them)
Trolling motors/Power Poles – Their voltage and amp draw determines the number of batteries aboard. Therefore, carefully inventory the amount of storage you need.
Sonar Mounts -Your fishing style will determine what mounting system you need. (Gimbal, Ram, Bridge, Dash)
Aluminum vs. Fiberglass – Each has pros and cons. New building techniques make aluminum hulls comparable to composites.
Horsepower – The size, weight, and where you fish will determine the appropriately sized motor.
O’Sullivan first described two models of aluminum boats made by G3 and another manufactured by Avid.
*All boats featured in this article represent standard packages for the 2022 models listed. However, most of these watercraft have additional options and color schemes available.
Best Bass Boat – Aluminum
G3 – The G3 line of boats has a fully welded, all-aluminum, .100 hull. The 1610 is an excellent choice for recreational anglers. It’s an affordable option that seats four and is ideal for bass and panfishing. However, if more room and horsepower are preferred, the 1810 has more space and stability and can accommodate the recreational and club angler.
|Sportsman 1610||Sportsman 1810|
|Length: 16'10"||Length: 18'10"|
|Width: 7'8"||Width: 7'8"|
|Dry Weight: 1066 lbs||Dry Weight: 1190 lbs|
|Yamaha F70LA||Yamaha 115 VMAX SHO|
|Minn Kota 55 Edge, 12-volt, 45″ shaft||Minn Kota Edge 70, 24-volt 45" shaft|
|Lowrance Hook2 4X GPS||Lowrance HOOK Reveal 5X GPS|
|Dry Weight: 1,594 lbs|
|Yamaha VF200 LA|
|Minn Kota Ultrex 80|
|Humminbird Helix 9 (console)|
|Humminbird Helix 9 (bow)|
Best Bass Boat – Fiberglass
Skeeter – Skeeter’s ZX series is their best-selling line of bass boats spanning their 75-years in the business. Dan recommended this boat for the recreational angler fishing local waterways.
|Length: 18'6"||Length: 19'6"|
|Width: 7'11"||Width: 7'11"|
|Draft- 16"||Draft- 16"|
|Dry Weight: 1,710 lbs||Dry Weight: 2,020 lbs|
|Yamaha 150 SHO||Yamaha 200 SHO|
|Minn Kota Edge 70||Minn Kota Fortrex 80|
|Humminbird Helix 5 Chirp GPS (console)||Humminbird Helix 7 (console)|
|Humminbird Helix 7 (bow)|
|12" manual jack plate|
Tournament Skeeter – The ZXR and FXR are two Skeeter models designed for the tournament angler. The ZXR is equipped with ‘Value” packaging and is a well-outfitted tournament-ready boat, while the FXR boats have almost all the bells and whistles. The FXR line has the premium features that the serious tournament fisherman needs in several color/package options. The Apex package includes premium touches for both boat and trailer.
|Length: 20'4"||Length: 20'4"||Length: 21'4"|
|Width: 8'1"||Width: 8'1"||Length: 8'1"|
|Draft- 17"||Draft- 17"||Length: 17'|
|Dry Weight: 2,175 lbs||Dry Weight: 2,175 lbs||Length: 2,275 lbs|
|Yamaha VF250LA||Yamaha VF250||Yamaha 250 SHO|
|Minn Kota Ultrex iPilot 112||Minn Kota Fortrex 112||Minn Kota Ultrex 112 MDI w/Link|
|Humminbird Helix 12 SI (console)||Humminbird Helix 15 G4N MSI (console)||Humminbird Helix 12 SI (console)|
|Humminbird Helix 9 DI (bow)||Humminbird Helix 12 GN MSI (bow)||Humminbird Helix 9 DI (bow)|
|8' Minn Kota Raptors||2 - Minn Kota Raptor power poles w/Active-Anchoring||2 x Minn Kota Raptors|
|Hydraulic jack plate||Hydraulic jack plate|
|Padded front deck||Padded front deck|
|Hamby Keel Protector||Keel guard|
Apex– This is Skeeter’s premium package designed for the professional angler that wants a top-tier boating experience. This option combines virtually every premium feature into a single package for comfort and a striking appearance. Also included is an automotive-quality semi-metallic gel coat finish. Features include:
- NEW Dual 8′ Minn Kota Raptors w/ Active-Anchoring
- Humminbird G4N HELIX 15 MEGA SI (console)
- Humminbird G4N HELIX 12 MEGA DI (bow)
- Minn Kota Ultrex 112 36v w/ i-Pilot Link w/MEGA-Down Imaging transducer built-In Humminbird 5-Port Ethernet Switch Network/connecting both Helix units to the Ultrex Link & Raptors!
- Choice of six exclusive APEX color packages featuring Skeeter Tri-Tec Gel Coat
- EVA cockpit flooring
- ATLAS 12″ hydraulic jack plate w/ digital gauge
Falcon – Dan loves the addition of the saltwater stringers and considers the Falcon’s ride equal to other top-tier boats and for a lower price point. The F185 & F195 are good options for recreational anglers or club fishermen with 100% composite construction. Two tournament-ready models in the F205 and F215 with excellent ride and speed in value trim packages. The F21 is a tournament boat with high-end features and better holeshots. The TE option (Tournament Edition) has all the amenities necessary for the tournament pro featuring premium features bow to stern.
|Length: 18'5"||Length: 19'5"||Length: 20'4"||Length: 21'5"||Length: 21'6"||Length: 21'5"|
|Width: 7'10"||Width: 7'10"||Width: 8'3"||Width: 8'3"||Width: 8'3"||Width: 8'3"|
|Dry Weight: 1,650 lbs||Dry Weight: 1,675 lbs||Dry Weight: 1,890 lbs||Dry Weight: 1,975 lbs||Dry Weight: 1,975 lbs||Dry Weight: 1,975 lbs|
|Mercury 150 Pro XS||YAMAHA SHO 200HP||Mercury 250 PRO XS||Mercury Pro XS 250||Mercury 250 PRO XS||Mercury 250 PRO XS|
|Minn Kota Edge 70||Minn Kota Maxxum 70H||Minn Kota Ultrex 112||Minn Kota Fortrex 45" 112 36V||Minn Kota Ultrex 112||Minn Kota Ultrex 112|
|Lowrance Hook 7 Reveal (console)||Helix 7 Chirp MDI GPS (console)||Humminbird Helix 9 Chirp MSI GPS (console)||Humminbird Helix 9 CHIRP MSI GPS (console)||Humminbird Solix 12 MSI (console)||Humminbird Solix 12 MSI (console)|
|Lowrance Hook 5 Reveal (bow)||Helix 7 Chirp GPS (bow)||Humminbird Helix 9 Chirp DS GPS (bow)||Humminbird Helix 9 CHIRP DS GPS (bow)||Humminbird Solix 10 MDI (bow)||Humminbird Solix 10MDI (bow)|
|Dual Power-Pole 8' Blades||Humminbird 5 port ethernet hub||Adjustable Jack Plate||Hydraulic jack plate w/gauge||Hydraulic Jack Plate w/Gauge|
|Adjustable jack plate||Dual Power-Pole 8' Blades||Keel Guard||2 - 8' Blade Power Poles||2- 8' Blade Power Poles|
|Keel Guard||Atlas hydraulic jack plate||Keel Guard||Upgraded custom seat & windshields|
|Keel guard||Padded cockpit floor liner|
Bass Cat – Well-built and finished with a large following of dedicated owners. A company with many innovative concepts in their 50+ years in the business. The Sabre has everything to satisfy even seasoned anglers. Available with up to 175hp, the Sabre FTD provides performance that fits any budget. The Eyra is one of their fastest hulls. The Cougar FTD is a popular model with the touring anglers. the Puma STS features the Soft-Touch-System which is designed for an incredibly smooth ride in all conditions.
|Sabre||Pantera 2||Eyra||Cougar FTD||Puma STS|
|Length: 18'1″||Length: 19'1″||Length: 20'2″||Length: 20' 4"||Length: 20'7|
|Width: 7'9"||Width: 7'9"||Width: 7'10"||Width: 7'10"||Width: 8'|
|Dry Weight: 1,215 lbs||Dry Weight: 1,425 lbs||Dry Weight: 1,715 lbs||Dry Weight: 1,805 lbs||Dry Weight: 2,100 lbss|
|Mercury Pro XS 175hp||Mercury 200 Pro XS||Mercury 250 Pro Xs||Mercury 250 Pro XS||Mercury 250 Pro XS|
|Minn Kota Ultrex 80/MDI/IP/ 45″ 24V||Minn Kota Ultrex 80/MDI/IP/ 45″ 24V||Minn Kota Fortrex 80 45″ 24V||Minn Kota Fortrex 80 45″ 24V||Minn Kota Ultrex 112/MDI/IP 45″ 36V|
|Humminbird Helix 7 (console)||Humminbird Helix 7 CHIRP MSI GPS (console)||Humminbird Helix 12 CHIRP MDI GPS G4N CHO||Humminbird Helix 9 CHIRP MSI GPS (console)||2 - Helix 9's (console)|
|Humminbird Helix 7 (bow)||Humminbird Helix 7 CHIRP MDI GPS CHO (console)||Humminbird Helix 10 CHIRP MSI GPS G4N||Humminbird Helix 12 CHIRP MDI GPS G4N CHO||Elevated graph mounting for direct gimbal placement (2- bow)|
|R&R jack plate||Humminbird Helix 7 CHIRP MDI GPS CHO (bow)||Reflex-flooring in cockpit||Hydraulic Jack plate||Slidemaster Jack plate|
|R&R 6-Bolt 8″ Slidemaster Jack plate||Hydraulic Jack plate||Keel guard|
Best Bass Boat 2022 Conclusion
If one of your goals is to spend more time fishing this year, you need to understand what type of fisherman you really are and the models of boats that can give you everything you need with nothing you don’t. I hope the comparisons above have been helpful in helping you determine which models are right for you. Another point to keep in mind is if the “off-the-shelf” models above don’t fit exactly what you want out of your bass boat, you can always call a knowledgeable dealership like Buck’s Island and order a custom model outfitted with the features you need.