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New member here with a question. Does anyone here use or have an opinion on an aluminum bay boat primarily for bass?  In particular, I am looking at two fairly new to the market bay boats, the Ranger RB190 and the Lowe 20 bay. The Ranger is 18' 8" with a 90-115 and looks to me to be identical to their bass boat except the center console and a slightly wider beam. It is rated for 5 people. The Lowe is 20' with a 115-150 and also looks a lot like a bass boat as well. It is rated for 8 people. I can't imagine needing to have more than 4 people max on the boat. 

 

I would most likely be fishing big reservoirs in the south such as Table Rock, Ouachita, Sam Rayburn, etc. Salt in Venice, LA sounds like a fun added bonus if I had a bay boat. 

 

I am looking at bay boats over bass boats because I have a family of 4 that occasionally would all want to be on the lake and cruise and tube. My guess is 70% of the time will be 2 person fishing, 30% tubing and crusing.  My other family friendly choice is a deep V, but it doesn't look as effective as a bass boat. I want a fishing boat capable of moderately rough water with a shallow draft that can be used for family fun on occasion. 

 

This is would be my first real boat, and I don't want to make an expensive mistake. I welcome everyone's thoughts on the matter. Thanks. 

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Welcome aboard.

 

In the end you'll have to decide which boat works the best for you and meets YOUR needs.

 

Comparing them to the traditional bass boat it looks like the cons would be lack of gear storage, smaller casting decks, center console possibly getting in your way. That doesn't mean that the boat won't work out fine for your bass'n adventures. 

 

How skinny of water do you plan on going in? Seems like a deep v style might be better for the other stuff you want to do with a boat. 

 

 

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Take a look at the Sea Ark bay boats. I think they are a nicer set up and Sea Ark hulls are a bullet proof workhorse. 

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I agree a deep v seems to be the better family choice. I just don't know how bad it would be for bass. My problem is I don't have much boat experience so I don't know what I want out of a boat.

 

For example, I kayak fish in skinny water on small lakes but generally stay off of big ones. So....I don't know how skinny I want/need to go. I just know I don't want to be on the outside looking in, and lots of the shows I watch they are fishing in pretty shallow water. 

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Every boat you look at will have a statistic called "Draft" that will tell you the depth the hull sits in the water.  Are you going to get as skinny as a a bass boat?  No, but the difference is not that great.  One addition that some center consoles have that help are trim tabs that will help get on plane in shallower water.  Personnally, I don't like to take my 21 foot bass boat in any less than 2 feet of water unless I'm on my trolling motor.  Keeping in mind that I'm not going to get on plane in 2 feet either.  3 to 3.5 is my comfort zone.  Invest in a good long handled net because you will have a harder time lipping bass at water level due to the higher freeboard on a deep v center console.   

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I see plenty of people bass fishing out of aluminum Bay boats.  I considered buying one a few years back, but in the end I decided to stick with a side console. I just couldn't get past having the console taking up that space right in the middle of the boat.  I ended up buying an an Xpress h18 bass.  I know in Xpress case, the hull on their H18 bass and the H18 bay boat are exactly the same, the only difference is the console and interior layout.  

 

As far as the 20 Lowe bay, I've heard a lot of good things about those boats.  They are pretty popular in SE Louisiana, at least when it comes to Aluminum boats.

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I use an 18.5 ft center console duracraft. I don't think you could call it a bay boat because it's camo but it's pretty close . Not sure width but my buddies 6 ft tall sleep on the back deck sometimes . Center console does get in the way but the front deck is huge. The one thing I can't do is drive the main channel when there are big waves. Well I can do it but I trim up and go slow, bringing up the nose as much as possible. And by slow I mean like 8-12 mph 

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I looked at a lowe bay 20 and 22 today, along with some other Lowe aluminum bass boats. The bay 20 seemed like a really nice layout. Plenty of room for 4 passengers and big fishing decks. I really liked it but I don't really know what to look for. Their bass boats seemed very nice as well, but they don't have very good seating for a 4th person. I'm not sure how comfortable it would be to sit on the edge of the front platform facing backwards. 

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On 2/22/2019 at 8:24 PM, K1500 said:

Their bass boats seemed very nice as well, but they don't have very good seating for a 4th person. I'm not sure how comfortable it would be to sit on the edge of the front platform facing backwards. 

Have you ever watched Major League Fishing? That's were the camera man is sitting when they're up on plane zooming to the next spot. Not sure how comfortable it is tho. I guess depending on the water and the drivers skill level a person could be thrown up and out of the boat sitting there. I guess you could put a grab handle or two and use one of those throwable life preserver cushions to sit on.

 

It's really hard to find a bass boat that can be a traditional bass boat while seating 4 comfortably. Doesn't mean that there aren't any options....Just means you have to find them and pony up for it.

 

There's a guy that haunts my local lake in his Lund Pro-V 1875 that seams to get into skinny waters without issue. Not really sure what the draft is on his? The hull is designed for both shallow and rougher waters....They say.

 

Take a look at the Lund Pro-V Bass XS's as see if it fits in your budget. The XS as far as I can tell stands for extra seating? It has 2 pedestal seats along with two flip up seats on the rear casting deck. Probably one of the few have your cake and eat it too options available that's more of a traditional bass boat. They are kind of pricey!

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Yep, Lund IPS hulls can get into some skinny water and fit four people easily.  If the Pro V is out of your budget, look at the Impact line.  Lots of bass fisherman use them in the north country

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Fish n Ski boats are another option for family friendly fishing boats. They usually come with front and rear fishing seats and a trolling motor.

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Thanks for the heads up. I looked at the Lunds and I really like them but I am wanting to stay around 30k and they are 10k north of that. I am still thinking hard about the bay boat. I am also intrigued by taking it to the gulf and going for reds. I don't have a Lund dealer in Arkansas but I do have local tracker, ranger, and Lowe dealers. The shop near my house has a lowe bay 20 and it looked awfully nice. 

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If you are going to be dunking in salt make sure you get either an aluminum or galvanized trailer.  Aluminum is the best.  

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I have read that. Both the ranger and the Lowe have aluminum trailers. I would also spec saltwater trolling motor. 

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I've always been partial to the Carolina Skiff for an all around fishing boat. Big enough for some chop, shallow enough draft for getting in the weeds for bass or inshore. No carpet or fancy furniture for time to destroy. It has lots of room inside to walk around, hold coolers, baitwell, etc. Maybe one day.

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Rod storage is what throws me off the bay boat trail.  They are almost all lacking in that department.  Otherwise, I dig the layout. 

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On 2/19/2019 at 11:50 PM, K1500 said:

New member here with a question. Does anyone here use or have an opinion on an aluminum bay boat primarily for bass?  In particular, I am looking at two fairly new to the market bay boats, the Ranger RB190 and the Lowe 20 bay. The Ranger is 18' 8" with a 90-115 and looks to me to be identical to their bass boat except the center console and a slightly wider beam. It is rated for 5 people. The Lowe is 20' with a 115-150 and also looks a lot like a bass boat as well. It is rated for 8 people. I can't imagine needing to have more than 4 people max on the boat. 

 

I would most likely be fishing big reservoirs in the south such as Table Rock, Ouachita, Sam Rayburn, etc. Salt in Venice, LA sounds like a fun added bonus if I had a bay boat. 

 

I am looking at bay boats over bass boats because I have a family of 4 that occasionally would all want to be on the lake and cruise and tube. My guess is 70% of the time will be 2 person fishing, 30% tubing and crusing.  My other family friendly choice is a deep V, but it doesn't look as effective as a bass boat. I want a fishing boat capable of moderately rough water with a shallow draft that can be used for family fun on occasion. 

 

This is would be my first real boat, and I don't want to make an expensive mistake. I welcome everyone's thoughts on the matter. Thanks. 

My brother has the RB 190 and lives on a lake. He is a multi-species angler but still does quite a bit of bass fishing. We have gotten that ting into backwater ponds and bass fished with 3 people on it no problem. I have an Rt 188 so basically the bass boat version but this because  I am a (b)ass head. The Rb 190 is an awesome boat though, especially if you plan on using for all different types of fishing. It also seats about 5 people nicely. 

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Pulled the trigger on the 20' bay boat. I can't really believe I went all in, so we will see how it goes. Since I don't have a bunch of bass boat experience I may not know what I am missing. 

 

I went with an Xi5 trolling motor and hds7 live electronics in the back, cheap hook 4 in the front. Merc 115 pro xs ct. I hope it is a good 'do it all' boat for me and my family. 

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Keep us posted.  Congrats!!  

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11 hours ago, K1500 said:

Pulled the trigger on the 20' bay boat. I can't really believe I went all in, so we will see how it goes. Since I don't have a bunch of bass boat experience I may not know what I am missing. 

 

I went with an Xi5 trolling motor and hds7 live electronics in the back, cheap hook 4 in the front. Merc 115 pro xs ct. I hope it is a good 'do it all' boat for me and my family. 

Congrats! Great choice, looks really versatile and just right for your needs.

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