From the outside looking in, all bass boats might look pretty similar. But as you know, there are thousands of different combinations, upgrades, and performance features. And the beauty of it all is that you can tweak, upgrade, and refine your boat until it’s perfectly optimized for your specific fishing needs.
6 Bass Boat Upgrades You’ll Definitely Want to Try
With bass boats, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. It’s nice to have a sparkly, shiny hull that glistens in the sun as it effortlessly cuts through the surface of the water. However, looks aren’t everything. If you’re a true angler, then you’re much more focused on performance.
Keeping this in mind, here are several upgrades that will take your bass boat to the next level – turning it into a fish slayer that makes your friends jealous.
- Upgrade Your Side-Imaging Sonar
If you’re really serious about bass fishing and are in it to actually catch fish – not just get into a staring contest with other anglers over who has the shiniest boat – you need to buy the best electronics you can afford. Not for the sheer fact of having the most expensive equipment, but because these gadgets work.
Side-imaging sonars – like the ones from Humminbird – are worth their weight in gold. They work by seeding out beams at different frequencies that essentially cast a “net” around your vessel and show you where the fish are.
You may also consider the new units from Lowrance that have “Down Imaging” technology.
“Down imaging sonar uses high frequency, thin sonar waves to produce an incredibly detailed ‘picture’ of what is beneath your vessel,” FishFinders explains. “The high frequency waves are what enable you to have a snapshot of what’s beneath you in unreal detail.”
Every brand has slightly different technology, but you can’t go wrong with Humminbird, Lowrance, Garmin, or Raymarine.
- Install a Wireless Trolling Motor
If you haven’t used a wireless, GPS-controlled trolling motor yet, stop what you’re doing and do some research. They’re absolutely incredible – especially if you like to fish alone.
Both Minn Kota and Motor Guide have units with these features included. But how exactly do they work? They use GPS positioning to allow you to push a button and automatically fish along a predetermined track. You can also use something called a “spot-lock” feature that basically acts as an electronic anchor for stopping anywhere along the path.
- Get an On-Board Charger
While most higher-end bass boats now come standard with on-board chargers, base models don’t always have this feature built in. Thankfully, it’s a relatively easy upgrade.
If you have the money to spend, you’ll end up saving a lot of time, hassle, and frustration by adding an on-board charger to maintain engine-cranking battery life at all times.
- Upgrade Your Boat Seats
Technology upgrades are sexy, but sometimes the simplest upgrades are the most important. For example, upgrading to new boat seats. Whether it’s bucket and benches, casting seats, folding boat seats, or entire seat packages, small upgrades can give you greater comfort and support. This makes bass fishing more enjoyable (and makes it possible to fish for longer periods of time with less pain and discomfort).
- Install Boat Buckles
Most bass boats come standard with velcro straps or old bungees that desperately need to be upgraded. One simple way to do this is by installing “boat buckles.”
As explained in this DIY tutorial, “Boat buckles are a retractable rod strap that hold your fishing rods in place when the boat is moving and conveniently stored inside the gunwale when you stop.”
You can install boat buckles in just a few minutes (and with basic tools, such as a tape measure and drill). This makes it one of the easiest and least expensive upgrades on this list.
- Upgrade Your Bluetooth Speakers
Fishing is a whole lot more fun when you have your favorite jams cranking in the background. Six or seven years ago, you had to shell out hundreds of dollars for a hardwired sound system. Today, you can install some wireless Bluetooth speakers and get great sound anywhere on your boat. This is highly recommended!
Adding it All Up
You don’t need the newest or best bass boat to be successful. Sometimes all it takes is a few tactful upgrades to your existing boat and it’ll blow you away. From engine upgrades to small things like adding a few boat buckles, every little thing helps. Customize your boat to your liking and you’ll get even more joy from fishing!