If you are still fishing for bass on the Susquehanna River or other Pennsylvania Fishing Hotspots out of that 20-year-old aluminum river jet rig like many anglers, it may be time to update your fishing rig. Boy are you in for a surprise. A new aluminum river bass boat with a jet motor will easily set you back $20,000! Surprised? Well that is not even for a top of the line fishing boat. More elaborate fishing boats for bass are made like tanks, many advertise to bounce off rocks for those fishing for bass in rivers across the state. These high-end bass fishing boats will set you back in the range of $30-40 thousand dollars depending on brand and dealer.
Boat Costs vs. Needs
It sounds almost ridiculous to spend that much money on a river bass fishing boat but many anglers do. Try to get one of these high-end bass fishing boats and you could wait anywhere from a year or two to get one on the water. The benefit to spending this kind of money is the “bullet-proof” nature of their design coupled with all the other bells and whistles anglers are looking for in a river bass fishing boat. Bounce off rocks a cruising speeds, maybe? Some claim to, but the fact is that these high-end bass fishing boats are much more durable than the average factory boat. Most of these special setups are made of heavy duty hulls, some as thick as .190 gauge aluminum and covered with ultra-high-molecular-weight (UHMW) polyethylene, which adds additional protection to the bottom. Most factory aluminum boats are constructed of .080-.100 gauge bottoms with the heaviest being .125 gauge bottoms.
Spend $30-40 thousand dollars on a river boat, that is a tough decision especially when there are not that many fishing tournaments on the Susquehanna River. There used to be tournaments every weekend from February through December each and every year, but those days are long over specifically in the lower Susquehanna River where you cannot keep any bass. That being said, the entry-level to mid-level Jon boat will probably work for most weekend anglers. Expect to spend in the $15-20 thousand dollar range for a new mid-level aluminum jet rig. Still a lot of money but that is the only choice you have nowadays for a bass fishing boat capable of running the Susquehanna River and other large rivers across Pennsylvania. Your alternative is a basic Jon boat with a small prop motor. Plenty good for getting around and catching bass in Pennsylvania, however, if you are more than just a every once and awhile angler than you need more than just the basics. You need plenty of room inside the boat, a nice trolling motor and plenty of power in the rear to get you to where the bass are. Also, consider if you will be fishing with other anglers. Small Jon boats are limited in room and two or more anglers bass fishing together can get pretty tight.
Considerations for Buying a New Boat
As a dedicated bass fishing angler who has grown up fishing for bass on the Susquehanna River, I have been fishing in all different kinds of boats. My current river fishing boat is a 1448 Lowe with a 30 hp Yamaha Jet. Although its frame is a simple aluminum Jon boat, it is set up for bass fishing on the river. Added live well, transom mounted trolling motor, tackle storage, front deck and center steering console make this boat functional and fast on the water fishing for bass in Pennsylvania. It has proved to be quite the fishing rig, and while it is still great on the water it is time to move on.
For over two years now, I have been researching boats and talking to dozens of boat dealers. With the expense of buying a new boat, it pays to take your time and research each option that is out there. It is not that easy finding the right bass fishing boat you want these days with all the choices available. Finding a good boat dealer who is trustworthy, honest and fair is important and can be a big help in making the best boat choice for your needs. Another issue that many find when buying a new boat is most dealers do not have a lot full of boats sitting there for you to look or choose from. Most times they have base models without the extras, which means anything besides basic will have to be ordered. I do not know about you but if I am spending that much money on a bass fishing boat, I want to feel it, touch it, get in it and possibly take it for a ride before I buy it. Well in most cases that is not possible. Be prepared for buying a new boat from scrolling through the dealers or manufactures website or perhaps through a dealer catalog. Most manufacturers have websites with custom build features so you can change options, add features and pick colors right on the site with a rough idea of the final price for buying a new boat. Either way, the personal touch you probably want in the purchase, somewhat like buying a car, is going to be hard to find.
Make the Purchase
Once you have decided what model and options you want on your bass fishing boat, find a reputable boat dealer and go ahead and order it. Custom built boats may take anywhere from a few months to over a year to get depending on the brand and added features. Since most boat manufactures are no longer holding inventory, once ordered the factory will build your boat with all the additional options you requested.
This is the way I went. I just ordered my aluminum bass fishing boat and now the wait begins. After years of researching the boat and the dealer, the one thing that makes all of that worth it is the fact that when it does get delivered it will have everything on it that I want.
Things to Consider When Buying a New Boat
Do your research and find a dealer you can trust when buying a new boat for bass fishing. After many years bass fishing on the Susquehanna River, I have finally decided to upgrade to a bigger and more functional bass fishing boat.