I see more and more micro-boats on the water every year. There’s been a massive increase in the number of fishing kayaks sneaking terrorizing fish populations in the shallow lagoons and backwaters, but kayaks aren’t for everyone. The Bass Hunter is an excellent alternative for an angler who wants to access the inaccessible and do it in comfort.
Imported by Deborah and Greg Carson of Bass Import Gear in Singleton, NSW, the Bass Hunter is an American boat designed for fishing in rivers, lakes and dams. It’s unique in that you can carry it around in any box trailer, ute tray and on top of your 4WD or camp trailer, but still have the fishing luxuries like an electric motor, fish finder and comfortable seats with backs that allow you to swivel 360%.
The Bass Hunter is made of one piece, rotomoulded plastic, and is therefore virtually unbreakable. There are no plastic-welded seams to split. That also means that there’s no issues dragging this craft to the water – or dragging it across a nasty rock-bar to get access to the next pool, where the fishing will undoubtably be better.
Internally, the boat is spray-lined with foam and it will float even if the Bass Hunter is totally full of water. There are two dry storage compartments and practical recesses for your lures and drinks holders.
Loading and unloading the boat was simple – they’re designed to drag to the back of your trailer or vehicle. You lift the bow up to the lip and then lift the transom to slide it in. One person can do it fairly easily from a standard ute tray or trailer.
The pontoon-style design means that this little boat is stable – really stable – to the point that by the end of the boat test I was trying to put it into the situation where it could possibly capsize. One-up for the designers, I couldn’t do it and you’d be hard pressed to do it in any reasonable fishing situation. If I stood right up in the front corner, I could just dip the edge underwater. This water self-drained off the gunwales when I moved back to the centreline.
Importantly, there’s the ability to swivel the seats sideways and fish with your feet up on the top of the gunwales. The boat is stable enough to make this a very comfortable fishing position. For instance, you hear a bass boof out the back of the boat and it takes only a second to swing around and fire a cast in that direction – you can’t do that in a kayak or canoe!
Getting the attitude of the Bass Hunter just right is quite easy for one or two up fishing – the seats slide along an aluminum extruded rail and they can be slid in seconds to optimise the weight distribution.
The basic boat and seats cost $1,989 ex Singleton, once built there’s plenty of options that make this more of a fishing craft.
Greg’s test craft was fitted with a HD iPilot Minn Kota 55lb with a cut-down shaft. With the battery located under the fishing seat in a wooden cradle (trial only), this little motor easily shot the craft to around 3 knots.
With a hull weight of 61kg and a load capacity of an extra 249kg, there’s minimal load on the electric motor while maneuvering along a bank fishing, allowing an angler to fish for a long time on a single battery. However, if you’re keen to do some longer runs in the Bass Hunter, there’s the capacity to add an outboard motor of up to 5hp on the transom.
Greg’s own craft also has a Humminbird Side Imaging fish finder fitted, so there’s no need to leave the technology at home. This boat will hold it.
As an example, you could buy a boat the same as the test craft – with the iPilot, including the quick release mounting system and Side Image, for under $7,000 fully fitted out ready to go for the ultimate small water fishing craft loaded with technology. You can get more information about the Bass Hunter from the Australian website (www.bassimportgear.com.au) or by calling Deb on 0409 786 353 or Greg on 0458 711 722. Email is --e-mail address hidden--
BASS HUNTER SPECIFICATIONS
|Weight:||61kg (hull only)|
The pontoon-style design is responsible for the Bass Hunter’s inherent stability.Reads: 6439