Can You Use a Center Console For Bass Fishing?

Yes, you can use a center console for bass fishing, but with a few caveats.

If you already own a center console and want to go bass fishing, you can most definitely make it work for most bodies of water where bass are present. On the other hand, if you’re looking to purchase a boat specifically for bass fishing, there are several much better alternatives.

If you’re not familiar, center console boats have, as the name implies, a console at the center where the boat is controlled. Other key features include a deep V hull, a high horsepower outboard (sometimes multiple), and things like live wells and storage compartments.

Traditionally, center console boats have been primarily used for offshore or near-shore saltwater fishing and general-purpose saltwater boating, but they have gained popularity over the years among many types of boaters for both coastal and inland waters.

Let’s review some pros and cons when it comes to using a center console for bass fishing as well as some scenarios where it may or may not be the appropriate boat for such a specific fishing style.

Center console boats have more space and seating when compared to bass boats.

Pros of Using a Center Console for Bass Fishing

Although center consoles would not be my first pick for a bass fishing boat, they do have some attributes that would make them worthwhile after all.

First off, they can go really fast, so you won’t waste any time moving from one spot to another. When it comes to bass fishing, time is of the essence.

Another pro with center consoles for bass fishing is they’re roomy. While a bass boat can carry at best three anglers, depending on the size of the center console you could have groups of 3, 4, 5, or even more anglers. Plus, there are usually much better seating options on a center console too.

Next on the list of things center consoles have going for them is since they’re designed for offshore saltwater conditions, they can handle just about anything on most bodies of freshwater. If you plan to fish on a big reservoir or the great lakes, a center console can help you handle rough conditions and windy days much better than any bass boat.

Lastly, because center consoles are a type of fishing boat, they’re usually already equipped with all the accessories you’ll need for bass fishing. These include things like a fish finder, trolling motor, tackle storage, and more.

Shallow marshy areas can hold huge bass, but you’ll never get to them in a center console.

Cons of Using a Center Console for Bass Fishing

As I briefly mentioned earlier, although center console boats CAN be used for bass fishing, that doesn’t mean they’re the best choice.

Center consoles are much bigger than most bass boats or other types of freshwater fishing boats, so they can be difficult to maneuver in tight spaces or shallow water. They’re also a poor overall choice for small bodies of water for the same reason.

In addition, you may run into problems with horsepower restrictions on some lakes and rivers that you wouldn’t otherwise have to worry about in coastal areas. If your center console is decked out with multiple outboards, odds are you’ll be way over the horsepower limit for some great bass fishing lakes.

Best and Worst Uses for Center Console Boats and Bass Fishing

The best-case scenario for using a center console for bass fishing is on large bodies of water and targeting bass in offshore areas like brush piles, rock ledges, and other offshore structures. That way you’ll have plenty of room and won’t have to maneuver around tight and shallow areas.

The worst possible scenario for using a center console for bass fishing would be a small body of water that’s mostly shallow and has a lot of small coves, marshes, and backwaters. These types of places can have exceptional fishing but will be a nightmare to operate a center console in.

There’s a reason bass boats are called bass boats, few boat types do it better.

In Summary

Can you use a center console for bass fishing? Well, in theory, you can use an innertube for bass fishing as well, but that doesn’t mean it’s the ideal choice.

Kidding aside, if you already own a center console, you can bass fish with relative ease if you go to a bigger lake or river and stay away from the shallow areas. However, if you’re in search of a boat primarily for bass fishing, there are many better choices such as bass boats, Deep V’s, Jon boats, and pontoon boats.

Alex Johnson