Compact, sturdy, and well-equipped with fishing gear sums up the hugely popular bass boats. Bass boats are a unique style of boat in that they are designed for one very specific use. You guessed it: bass fishing. They are highly focused to provide the best bass fishing experience, and although they can be used while pursuing other species, they are one of the most specialized types of fishing boats on the water. Top-tier bass boats are generally built with fiberglass, but the majority of the low to midrange models and plenty of high-end offerings are aluminum. So, overall the bulk of the market is served by aluminum bass boats.
High-end bass boats are exceptionally fast, sometimes hitting or exceeding 70 mph. The idea is to make it to the best fishing spots as quickly as possible and then offer a stable platform from which to fish competitively in tournaments, so even midrange models often reach speeds in the 50s. Lightweight and easily trailerable, bass boats are mobile and can be launched anywhere the fishing is good or where the next tournament takes place.
What Makes a Good Aluminum Bass Boat?
- Lightweight: Aluminum bass boats are extremely lightweight so a smaller engine can be used to power them. They’re also easy to launch, trailer, and tow.
- Plenty of fishing equipment: The whole point of a bass boat is to fish with it and so models will come equipped with a wide range of options including livewells, rod lockers, and integrated tackle stowage.
- An electric trolling motor: This is key to stealthily maneuvering the boat and holding it in position as you fish.
- Good range of electronics: Bass boats are often equipped with the latest high-tech fishfinders, including side-scan sonar, real-time imaging, and 3D fishfinders.
- Spacious casting platforms: The more deck space the better when it comes to fishing and the best bass boats on the market offer spacious, flat casting platforms with plenty of room (as well as integrated storage).
- A more affordable price tag: Aluminum bass boats tend to be more affordable than fiberglass ones. As an example, a basic bass boat about 17 feet long can be found for less than $30,000, while a similarly sized fiberglass model will start closer to $35,000. At the other end of the spectrum, a top-end 21-foot fiberglass bass boat can break $100,000, while the best aluminum models rarely go over the $65,000 range.
The Best Aluminum Bass Boat Brands
Bass boats are a breed of their own, and the manufacturers building them are experts at crafting fishing boats that are fast, stable, and equipped with everything you could possibly need. There are many excellent brands out there but these are some of the best:
5 of the Best Aluminum Bass Boats
There are a lot of aluminum bass boats to choose from, a testament to the extreme popularity of these speedy fishing boats. New models are launched each year, and here we take a look at some of the best on the market. But it’s of course worth remembering that there are thousands of used bass boats for sale too on boat-selling marketplaces such as Rightboat. Check out our guide to what to look for when buying a used boat and you could save yourself a huge amount of money.
- Crestliner MX21: This tournament-level aluminum bass boat is one mean machine. As big and as powerful as its fiberglass cousins, the Crestliner MX21 can be rigged with up to a whopping 250hp. It has huge casting decks, a 45-gallon livewell, large tackle storage compartments, and twin rod boxes that hold a total of 10 rods up to 8’6” long. The hull is 0.125” gauge aluminum, and the MX21 has a fiberglass console with space for 12” flush-mounted electronics. From the recessed foot control for the trolling motor to the tandem axle trailer, this is a top of the range model and one of the best aluminum bass boats for rough waters. Pricing starts slightly under $53,000.
Photo credit: Crestliner
- Lowe Skorpion 17: Lowe is one of the best-known manufacturers of bass boats, and no list would be complete without one of their many models. We particularly like the Skorpion 17 for its easy affordability and great value for the money, starting at under $20,000. With a modified V hull, an outboard from 20 to 60 hp, an aerated livewell, a foot-pedal-controlled trolling motor, and four comfortable seats, it has everything you need for a fun and successful day of fishing. It may not be the fastest bass boat around nor have the most bells and whistles, but it gets you into the game at an extremely reasonable cost.
Photo credit: Lowe
- 2075 Lund Pro V Bass XS: If you want a serious contender to a fiberglass bass boat then look no further than the 2075 Pro V Bass XS tournament fishing boat by Lund. This model seats four people (while most bass boats accommodate two or three) so it’s perfect for families or those wanting a bit more space. Features include two large casting decks with bow and center rod storage and a 28-gallon aerated livewell, and it can be rigged with a potent 250hp engine. This is a serious fishing boat that is bound to turn heads. Prices start at slightly over $60,000.
Photo credit: Lund
- Ranger RT198P: If you’re looking for an affordable bass boat that offers performance along with good bang for the buck, then Ranger’s RT198P is a great option at around $39,000. You get the reliability and excellent reputation of Ranger combined with a relatively high-powered yet well-priced boat. The RT198P offers 150hp, flush-mounted electronics, and the whole range of fishing equipment. There’s tons of clever storage space, and well-thought extras such as a retractable rod strap, cooler, and center rod storage in the spacious front casting deck. And for a mid-level bass boat, this one really turns heads, with its sleek appearance, color-matched trailer and suite of extras.
Photo credit: Ranger Boats
- Tracker Pro Team 195 TXW Tournament Edition: Tracker is one of the biggest builders of aluminum boats around, and the Pro Team 195 TXW Tournament Edition is their premium model. Priced in the upper-$30,000-range with a 150hp outboard, it’s capable of speeds in the 50s and comes rigged and ready to fish right out of the box with a Minn Kota 70-pound-thrust electric trolling motor, an onboard three-bank battery charger, a Lowrance HOOK2 Reveal 5” fishfinder, and a single-axle trailer all included in the package price.
Photo credit: Tracker Boats
Which of these options will prove to be the best aluminum bass boat for you, personally, depends on your own priorities and your own budget. And there are plenty of other options out there to choose from. Whichever rig ends up in your garage, however, we can say one thing for sure: when you step up onto the deck and start casting, those bass had better beware.
Related article: Best Bass Boat Brands
This article was most recently updated in May 2023 by Lenny Rudow
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