If your new passion is bass fishing or you fancy the megabucks in the upcoming bass tournament, then you need to gear up with the right kind of boat. You might be considering a bass boat as the best option because these boats are made for fishing, right?
But, there is more to it than meets the eye. In recent years, kayaks are gaining popularity among many anglers and bass fishermen. In fact, several fishing organizations are introducing kayak fishing tournaments to their national tournament circuits.
Though the Greenlands invented kayaks around 4000 years ago, they are the new love affair for many fishermen. Yet many anglers prefer bass boats over kayaks. So, which vessel is going to be your new adventure buddy, a bass boat or kayak? If you want some help to reach the decision, read on!
Which is Better: Bass Boat or Kayak?
If you are new to the fishing world, bass boats and kayaks may appear similar to you at first. They’re pretty much the same when it comes to functionality and form, and the only distinguishing factor seems to be size.
However, these boats are different from each other in many other ways, and even though these aren’t too obvious, they can have a significant impact on your fishing experience.
This is why it’s essential to be able to tell them apart from each other and learn a bit more about them before making a purchase. The factors listed below will help you do so:
A bass boat is a small freshwater fishing boat with an average length and width of 17 feet and 95 inches, respectively. It comes with a plethora of fishing gear, including live wells and swivel chairs.
The boat’s engine is of 250-300 HP and usually has trolling systems for moving across the shoreline. They are typically made up of aluminum or fiberglass and have V-shaped hulls.
A Kayak, on the other hand, is a sleek and narrow watercraft that closely resembles a canoe. It has a central cockpit, covered decks, and is propelled by either double-bladed paddles or inbuilt pedals.
Kayaks are usually made of fiberglass or polyethylene, although inflatable kayaks are also in demand. Fishing kayaks are 13 feet long on average and have wide beams of up to 42 inches that increase their lateral stability.
A major advantage of bass boats is that they have plenty of room. You can bring your friends, or enjoy fishing with your family, as these boats can easily fit three to five people. They also come with large storage compartments for keeping fish tackle and other equipment.
Also, their live wells are useful for anglers participating in tournaments, as they enable them to keep the fish alive for turning in for weighing.
On the contrary, kayaks only have enough space to accommodate one or two people and have little storage capacity. Moreover, you have to carry a minimum amount of equipment when boarding a kayak as it can’t handle much weight. So if you like fishing in solitude, then a kayak should be your vessel of choice.
Bass boats are motorized boats and can take you to your favorite spot in an instant without putting in much effort. It is the go-to boat for you if you are the run and gun type, letting you reach different fishing spots in a minimal amount of time.
Kayaks are slower as compared to bass boats. This is because you have to paddle this boat yourself, which can be exhausting. So no matter how fast you paddle, you can only reach an average speed of 3.5 mph in a kayak.
Hence, make sure you pre-plan your target spots when fishing with a kayak, which will save both time and energy.
Whether it’s a bass boat or kayak, you can have a great fishing experience with both of them, although subtle differences exist.
Bass boats are comfortable and speedy but have noisy engines, which scare fish away before you reach the spot. Also, these big-sized boats cannot go through narrow inlets, which is a set back for your exploratory side.
Also, speedy boats tempt you to change locations frequently. This is quite the opposite of the spirit of fishing, which requires patience and persistence.
On the flip side, a kayak is a winner in giving you the traditional fishing experience. It allows you to go into inlets or shallow waters that are less than six inches deep, increasing the chances of reeling in more fish.
Another quality of kayaks is their stealth. These boats let you sneak up on fishes by paddling gently in the water, allowing you to find plenty of them at the target spots.
When it comes to maneuvering, kayaks are a lot easier to handle. You can paddle into the lake without worrying about fueling your boat. In fact, paddling is easy to learn, making it a fun activity for children too.
A Kayak is also a pretty portable vessel, as you can easily strap it on top of your car or load it on a truck bed. The lightweight of it also means that you can launch it from any shoreline location. Putting in this type of physical effort makes kayaking a low impact activity that is beneficial for your aerobic fitness.
However, it is important to check the weather forecast before you go kayak fishing since they can easily tip over during windy conditions.
In comparison, the struggle is real with a bass boat. You always need a ramp, a trailer, and one other person to launch this boat into the water.
You cannot take bass boats into the ocean as well, since they are designed for fishing in freshwater. They also need to be hauled, so you need a strong enough vehicle for this purpose.
If cost is a concern, then bass boats aren’t for you, as they’re far too expensive than kayaks. A brand new bass boat can cost you as much as twenty to fifty grand. A kayak, though, has prices as low as $300 to $500.
Moreover, if you’re a frequent fisher, then a bass boat, again, will prove costly due to its heavy fuel consumption. So, if you’re on a budget, opt for a kayak and customize it according to your fishing style and storage needs.
Whether it’s a bass boat or kayak, it’s important to look after it, as this increases its longevity. Although you need to put in some effort to keep both types of boats clean and in working order, kayaks are easier to maintain.
Just ensure you keep these boats dry, check their hulls for damage regularly, and store them away from sunlight.
Bass boats need a more thorough maintenance strategy. You need to regularly check the fuel system, monitor fluid levels, and evaluate the electrical system. Also, you’ll have to perform outboard motor maintenance twice a year and inspect propellers and trailer tires for damage.
After reading this article, I’m sure you have already decided whether your choice of vessel will be a bass boat or kayak.
It all depends on your budget, fishing style, and somewhat on your personality. If you are fond of exercise and looking for ways to relieve stress in solitude, then nothing will beat a day out on a kayak.
But if you are a bit lazy, can’t survive without power tools, and love to enjoy your time out on the water with your friends and family, then investing in a bass boat is the answer.