50 years of bass boat evolution

boatevolution_lead_combined_cp.jpg

Since the inception of the Bassmaster Classic, bass boats have seen fantastic design improvements that help anglers not only catch more fish, but do so efficiently and safely.

The past 50 years of bass boat innovations have been like going from the invention of the wheel to rocket ships. Before Ray Scott founded the Bass Anglers Sportsman Society (B.A.S.S.) in 1967, the typical “bass boat” was an aluminum flat-bottom boat powered by a small tiller outboard. A hand-controlled electric maneuvering motor was fixed to the transom.

Soon after the founding of B.A.S.S., MotorGuide’s newfangled bow-mounted, foot-controlled electric motor became one of the earliest and most essential bass-boat innovations. In 1969, Forrest Wood’s first six Ranger bass boats had bow space to support an electric motor.

Ranger, Skeeter and a few other companies were making flat-bottomed, blunt-nosed fiberglass boats specifically for bass fishing at this time. These boats had no livewells. A ­6-gallon tank on the floor near the transom supplied the fuel, and stick steering from the bow seat was common.