Bass Boat vs Fishing Boat: What’s the difference?

If you’ve been curious about the difference between a bass boat and a fishing boat, look no further. After you have feasted upon this information, you’ll be able to feel confident in the choice that you make regarding your boat.

The main difference between a bass boat and a fishing boat is the space. There is more room for people on a fishing boat than there is in a bass boat. Often times bass boats have a better option when it comes to livewells and storage space.

But what else is different? How do you know if you’re picking a bass boat or a fishing boat? The only way to answer that is to keep scrolling through this article where you’ll find the answers to your questions. We are going to try to touch the main parts that are important in regards to choosing the boat that you’d like to purchase.


If you’re trying to find something that’s going to have the better option for going out on the water for fishing, then it’s quite obvious why you’ve come to this place. In regards to some accommodations, it’s pretty different between the two.

With a bass boat, they have platforms both at the front and the back of the boat that allow you to cast off there. There are also places where you can add fishing chairs. Although the most that you can fit comfortably would be three. There is also storage space for tackle and other equipment.

Most of the bass boats include an aerated on-board tank for fish. So that is definitely a great accessory to have as you’re headed out onto the water to get some good fishing done.

Switching over to the fishing boat, there is definitely more space for you to be able to have more people. Fishing boats are able to comfortably fit eight people into the boat. They also usually have a protective windshield. Most of these boats are commonly used for water sports or day cruising. There are removable components as well as lots of storage places. This makes it a bit easier to move around.

The other things that you’re able to get with a fishing/ski boat are built-in ski racks, elevated platforms, and you can even add or remove some fishing chairs, depending on the sport that you’re going to be doing that day.


When you’re looking at the layout for both the bass and the fishing/ski boat you can see that there’s certainly a lot more space that is allotted in the fishing boat.

A bass boat has storage that is mostly for the main equipment that you’re going to be taking with you out in the water. It includes rod storage, tackle storage, lockers, and livewells. Generally, the storage compartments for a bass boat can cover the majority of the back if you don’t have more than a couple of people riding in the boat. Then again, it depends on the bass boat model as well.

As we mentioned before, there is a storage place in the bass boats that are used to store the fish that you’ve caught, so that’s something that the other boat doesn’t necessarily come with unless you’ve got yourself some special boat.

With the fishing boats, there are a lot of places that they chose to have the storage which helped to be able to make the fishing/ski boats roomier. Usually, since these are used for water sports, there will be a lot of space for life jackets, some times snacks, and flags as well. There can be some rod storage as well.

When you’re looking between these, it really is depending on whether or not you’re going to be going out for tournaments, or if you’re using this boat for some family time. If it’s more storage you need for entertainment purposes then the fishing boat is where you’d want to go. For tournaments, it would certainly be the bass boat.


When you’re going to go look for the power that’s behind the boat, you’ll find that the bass boat is going to have a high-horsepower trolling motor. Since they are smaller, it’s going to allow you the power that you need to get to where you want in a timely manner. Perfect if you’re someone that’s looking for that holeshot.

Bass boats are usually going to have outboard engines just in case you need to take another person with you out onto the water.

With fishing/skiing boats, you’re going to know that you’ll have a comfortable ride no matter what speed you’re going. This is definitely going to be powerful as well, but adaptable enough to have skiers or tubers behind your boat along the water.

Typically, you don’t want to go above 150 horsepower when it comes to your motor, especially in regards to those being pulled behind. You don’t want to go too far or too low because that, in turn, could end up causing more damage than actually helping you get to where you need to.

So be sure that when you’re planning on getting a boat–especially if it’s used, that you check the label on the inside of the boat that shows you the maximum capacity that you can have in regards to horsepower.


As you step back and you’re looking at the options that we’ve already talked about, one thing that is probably most important is the maneuverability of the boat. In regards to that, there are multiple options for this.

In regards to shallow water and rough water, your best option is going to be the bass boat. When rough water starts, the fishing/ski boat isn’t really as sturdy and reliable as the other. With that, it’s just as important to note that the fish/ski boat is going to be better at moving around in the water in regards to sharper turns.

F/S boats are commonly used for water sports, so it’s definitely going to make sense that they would be able to turn well compared to other boats. Fishing boats are able to plane well, but they also have the likelihood of bouncing off the water as you go, simply because of the shape of the hull and the balance of the equipment.

The small bass boats are sturdy and able to reply and react better on rough water, usually because of an added jack plate that allows a shift in the depth of the propeller. You can also add a jack plate to your F/S boat, but there are usually some equipment racks and other things that are added onto the boat. So be sure that you’re aware of the places where everything will go before you decide to install the jack plate.

Make your choice

Like this has been said as we’ve kept going through this article is that it’s really going to depend on where you’re headed with the boat. If you’re going out for some tournaments, then that’s something that you’d want to look into a bass boat for. They provide you with adequate storage as well as the horsepower and space that you’d need in order to get the best bass experience.

If you’re looking for a boat that you’re going to be using with your family for some water sports, or just going out on the water for a ride to head out and watch the sunset or just to spend some time on the water, this is going to be the best bet. If you occasionally fish, then that’s a great option as well. Seeing as how this would mostly be used for entertainment than fishing.

The choice is yours, but in reality, there’s really no way that you can go wrong if you know what the purpose of your boat is going to be. With that, you can make a confident decision that you’re going to choose the right boat for you.

Boating is something that’s definitely more relaxing than other activities that you can do outside. So, whether it’s for family or for personal usage, there’s an option for everyone, and that’s the great thing about these boats. You can find the boat that you’re going to have for years to come.

Geoff Southworth

I am a California native and I enjoy all the outdoors has to offer. My latest adventures have been taking the family camping, hiking and surfing.

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