Boat Test: 2018 Bass Tracker Heritage

Boat Tested2018 Bass Tracker Heritage
Price As TestedNot Available
Category Bass Boat
Manufacturer Bass Tracker
Length16ft 8in / 5.08 m
Beam6ft 5in / 1.96 m
Max HP40
Drive TypeOutboard
Engine MakeMercury
In 1972 Johnny Morris started Bass Pro Shops with eight (yes, just eight) square feet of space in the back of his father's store. In 1978, building on the success of the store, he introduced Bass Tracker as an all-in-one package: boat, motor and trailer.

For 2018, to mark the 40th anniversary, you can get the Bass Tracker Heritage for $9,995 USD. That includes the boat, the 40-horsepower motor and trailer. Seriously, there’s no catch!

It’s legit. The 16-foot, eight inch hull is one-piece, all-welded with a full-length longitudinal stringer system. The Mercury outboard comes factory rigged and it comes with a Minn Kota trolling motor and Lowrance fishfinder.

We recruited fish pro Bob Miley to give us his expert opinion on this budget boat. His first thoughts: this is not a cheap throw-together.

“I had an opportunity in ’78, 1978 to fish out of one of the first ones. And the quality on this one here has been outstanding,” He said as we headed out in South Florida to try for some largemouth bass. “Johnny Morris has improved the quality on this. Everything is fit. Everything is nice, down to seats, the finish on the seats, the finish on the deck, on the console, and it’s just a nice all around package.”

The hull has foam filling which makes it a quiet ride and rdquo; let's not spook the legal team here rdquo; very difficult, though not theoretically impossible, to sink.

Included in the price is the trailer and cover. And Bob says that means this will do more than allow families to affordably get out on the water near their homes.

“I like fishing the Thousand Islands in Canada, and I wouldn’t be afraid to tow it up there (from Florida),” he said as he causally reeled in a bass. “The thirteen inch wheels that it has on it, (are) good for highway and all around speed. The boat is light, so you wouldn’t get that much wear on the tires. You wouldn’t get that much pull or drag on the car. Great fuel economy. You could go anywhere with this.”

When you think of it, it doesn’t matter if you’re in a $10,000 or $110,000 boat, you’re still fishing.

“This is a quality boat for a budget minded family,” Miley says. “And not only that, … a lot of the Pros will use this boat to get in to another area that they want to fish. You know ’cause this boat is accessible to get in to hard to get in to areas, lakes, and boat ramps and stuff.”

Sure there are better (read: more expensive) boats and more (see: previous) gadgets but you’re never going to get this good for this price while paying retail. #impressed 
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