BOATING

We're here for your on-the-water lifestyle from dreaming about owning a boat to the years of enjoyment that come after buying it. Find useful tips, how-to's, and important things to know throughout an entire boat ownership experience that can only be found at your Bass Pro Shops Boating Center! 

Boating
Trot Lines

Learn The Ropes of Boating

An abiding rule with mariners is that rope becomes “line” when it comes on the boat. Is the christening of rope just a formal seamanship term? Not at all and here are reasons why.

Boating
Trot Lines

Build a Boating First Aid Plan

Accidents happen, even on the water. That is why boaters should be prepared with what to do should someone onboard—or on another vessel—need medical help. Knowledge, quick action and proper treatment can slow down an injury before it worsens.

Boating
Trot Lines

How to Choose a Tow Vehicle

Once upon a time, choosing a tow vehicle to pull a boat began and ended with one feature—fastening a hitch and tow ball to the rear fender. Today, boaters can benefit from vehicles that are geared specifically for towing boats.

Boating
Trot Lines

Boat Financing Beginner's Guide

Why should you be thinking about boating during the dead of winter? There are a lot of reasons, beyond just brightening those cold days with daydreams of warm, sunny days on the water. One is that boat show season is coming soon, and with it the opportunity to take advantage of the best deals of the year. 

Boating
Trot Lines

10 Holiday Gift Ideas For Boaters

Is there a boater on your holiday shopping list? If so, narrow down the choices to practical gifts. Boaters love gadgets and accessories that serve a purpose. Here are our 10 ideas to help fill your list.

Boating
Sun Tracker while people enjoy the water

Should I Trade My Boat Or Sell It?

You’ve had another great summer with your boat. In the back of your mind, though, is one thought—you want to upgrade to a newer model. We'll help you consider whether you should trade your current boat in at a dealership or try to sell it privately yourself.

Boating
Mako Boat running shot

Boating Terms & Jargon Glossary

The language of boating jargon has a logical purpose—shorten phrases into single words of uniformity that can be clearly communicated—and understood—by anyone involved in the navigation or tending to of the vessel.

Boating
Cooler filled with ice graphic

How To Pack A Cooler For The Boat

At first, you might think delving into this topic is a waste of time. All it takes to pack a cooler is tossing in the goods and topping it off with ice, right? Not quite!

Boating
Two men discussing Tracker Boat

Getting To Know Your Boat On The Water

The dealership called and the boat of your dreams will arrive soon for you to pick up. This exciting news has you giddy and already making plans to rush to the dealership, hook up the boat and go to the lake for a maiden voyage.

Fishing – Boating
Fishing Knots

Knots To Know for Fishing & Boating

Knots. Many are challenging to learn, let alone remember how to tie. Tying some knots takes time, too much of it, when you’d rather be fishing. In this day of instant gratification, you won’t find a packaged, ready-to-use Improved Clinch Knot at Bass Pro Shops or Cabela’s. Too bad!

Fishing – Boating
Three men fishing in the rain on Tracker Boat

Find New Boating & Fishing Gear

You update your wardrobe for spring and summer—so, why not your boat? Get ready for a season of fun on the water with these new products. From rainwear and other apparel to electronics and trolling motors, these are but a few of the offerings you can find online at Basspro.com and Cabelas.com and at select Bass Pro Shops/Cabela’s Boating Centers.  

Boating
Three men fishing on Nitro Boat

10 Winter Boating Tips

Soaking in the rays and spending long summer days on the water. Those are the dreams of boaters during winter. But, why wait when you can take a cruise now? Sunny, mild winter days are rare but perfect for getting your boating fix before summer finally arrives.

Boating
Bass Pro Boating Center Boats

Buying A New vs. Used Boat

Is a new boat for you? Or is pre-owned more your style? Let us help with some tips to guide you toward the boat that is right for you, new or used!

Boating
Danyeal Posing next to Tracker Boat

Boat Buying Tips From A Boat Sales Consultant

Buying a boat is much different than an automobile for more than the obvious reasons. Getting you from one place to the next is the fundamental use of a vehicle. More than just a mode of transportation, a boat is your ticket to fun, from fishing and cruising to tubing, skiing and more.

Boating
Trot Lines

Do’s and Don’ts of Towing A Boat On The Water

Birds of a feather flock together. When a boater is in need, another will gladly pitch in to help. Such is the case with rendering aid and towing a fellow boater in need, right? Not necessarily, and here is why.

Boating
Trot Lines

How To Choose A Trolling Motor

A successful day of fishing from a boat comes down to teamwork. Your outboard can get you from the shore to the hot spot, but it falls short in maneuvering the boat to where the fish are biting.

Boating
Trot Lines

10 Pointers For Towing a Boat

Is there more to towing a boat than just hooking it to your vehicle and heading to the lake? Of course! There are lots of details you need to know about even before buying your boat.

Boating
Trot Lines

Boat Insurance 101

There are two main options for boat insurance policies—a new policy, independent from any other you have, or an umbrella policy, which is bundled with your homeowner’s insurance. Discover what you need to know to insure your boat, and why you need coverage.

Boating
Nitro Boat being launched

Boating Etiquette

Don’t be that guy. You know, that guy who ties up the busy launch ramp by packing gear into his boat. Or that guy at the marina who cranks up the Led Zeppelin so loud you can’t hear yourself think.

Boating
Boat Hull Graphic

Boat Hull Comparison

When boat shopping, the first question that comes to mind is how you plan to use it. Anglers want tackle storage, families like comfortable seating and wakeboarders need speed. With the needs and features checked off the list, what comes next? Most often it’s the price. There might be something missing from the list, though—the boat’s hull design.

Boating
Coast guard logo over water

Coast Guard Rules To Know & Follow

Boaters in the 42 states with mandatory boater education laws must obey specific rules when boating on their home waters. If you live in those states, there are other rules to know and follow—the U.S. Coast Guard Rules of the Road.

Boating
Cell phone on holder in boat

Helpful Mobile Apps For Boating

You might have heard the phrase, or even used it yourself to describe the ubiquitous mobile phone software that connects everyone with the cyberworld. Not surprisingly, there are apps for just about any boating need. Reserve a slip from your phone, find the best times to fish, file and share a float plan and check the marine weather. Yep, there are apps for ALL that.

Boating
Family enjoying fruit on boat table

Heat Safety On The Water

Nothing beats the heat like taking a refreshing dip in the lake on a hot summer day. Does that quick swim really cool you off, though? You might be surprised to know the answer is not really. There is more to keeping cool in the heat than just making a splash.

Boating
Dog running after ball by Sun Tracker

Boating with Pets

Pretend for a moment that you are your dog taking a cruise on the family boat. The fresh air awakens the senses with myriad new smells—even more than sticking your head outside the window of the family car. As you lie on the aft lounge, the sun warms your coat and you drift off to blissful sleep. There is water, water, everywhere, and you can’t wait to take a flying leap into it!

Boating
Mako Boats

Mako Boat Skiff Comparison

The growing popularity of inshore and nearshore saltwater fishing is creating a demand by anglers for boats catering to their specific needs. Whether the pursuit is venturing into the backcountry to search for snook in the mangroves, intercepting migrating tarpon in the pass or stalking redfish in the marshes, there is a rig to meet your needs

Boating
Woman putting lifejacket on little girl

Boating Safety Basics

You go boating to have fun. There is a serious side, though, that when overlooked can bring unwanted and/or tragic circumstances to your favorite pastime. The topic is boating safety, and it’s not as boring as you might think.

Boating
Older couple enjoying hot beverage

10 Fall Boating Activities The Keep The Fun Going

Fall signals the conclusion of boating season, or does it? Not really! Even in northern climes, there are fun boating activities—many you never thought of—that can extend the season for creating memories on the water. It’s time to break tradition and make boating part of your fall traditions. Waterways are less crowded, days are cooler, and above all else, changing leaves add a brilliant splash of color to the backdrop this time of year.

Boating
Tracker 195 txw and Nitro z18

TRACKER 195 TXW And NITRO Z18 Model Comparison

Once upon a time, a wide gap separated fiberglass and aluminum bass boats. Performance, stability, durability and interior storage made fiberglass the front-runner on mainstream bass lakes. Lower prices, better fuel economy and getting to unpressured skinny water were short list advantages of lighter weight aluminum models.

Boating
Trot Lines

How To Choose Watersports Towing Hardware

Watersports have evolved over time into highly specialized—or not—activities that can be enjoyed by anyone. You can stay seated and take a lazy spin on a basic innertube, be more daring and stand up and glide across the surface on water skis or go airborne with a wakeboard. No matter which speed or thrill level you choose, the most important connection between you and the boat is the tow point.

Boating
Trot Lines

How to Choose an Outboard Propeller

Should I switch from an aluminum propeller to one made of stainless steel? Will a four-blade prop improve my holeshot? Is my prop too big or small? What prop do I need to make my boat go faster?

Boating
Trot Lines

How Does That Part Work?

You turn on the depthfinder and the high definition screen lights up with a colorful display of the bottom contours and a number displaying the depth. How the heck does that work? Well, there is a part in the bottom of your boat that makes it happen.

Boating
Trot Lines

Launching and Loading Checklist

Going through a checklist of steps you need to take for launching and loading a boat might seem too much like work. Yet the little things add up—like remembering to install the drain plug—and all it takes is forgetting one step to ruin an otherwise picture-perfect day on the water.

Boating
Tahoe Deck Series

Compare Models: TAHOE Deck Series

Think of TAHOE Deck Series boats like today’s ever popular crossover SUVs. You get a smooth sedan-like ride with the roomy interior of a sport utility vehicle. What’s cool about these deck boats is they are designed for fishing and family entertainment.

Boating
Bass Pro Boating Batteries

How To Choose a Boat Battery

Marine batteries are the unsung heroes of boat accessories. They stay hidden in a dark compartment, mostly ignored by everyone onboard, as they quietly do their jobs. That is, until the engine fails to start or the trolling motor doesn’t work.

Boating
Conservation river

Tips For Green Boating

Boating is your gateway to the fun of being on the water. Why not respect this precious resource with environmentally friendly boating practices?

Boating
Family enjoying water while cleaning Sun Tracker

DIY Boat Care Tips For At Home

What boater doesn’t like sunshine and water? Can there be too much of such good things? The final answer is yes—especially when it comes to keeping a boat in tiptop shape.

Boating
Waking boarding behind Tahoe Boat

Need Ideas For A Boating Vacation?

Just as there are boats designed for every interest, the same goes for where to go and enjoy boating activities. You might already know the best places on your home lake for fishing. The truth is, though, some lakes are better than others, and that goes for just about any other activity in the boating world.

Boating
Wake boarding behind boat

Watersports for All Ages

Wakeboarding. Waterskiing. Tubing. All three watersports peg the fun needle for thrill-seeking boaters. What is so fun about watersports is anyone, regardless of age, gender or skill level can find a ride that suits their boating fancy.

Boating
Enjoying  the water around Sun Tracker Boat

Get Your Boat Ready For Spring

As winter nears an end the shared attitude among boaters is usually—"thank goodness".Whether mild or one for the record books, how many times during the colder, darker season did you daydream of getting out in your boat, basking in the warm sunshine? Well, now is the time to start preparing to make the most of those days ahead.

Boating
Bass Pro Boating Center Boats

How To Navigate a Busy Boat Show

Do you find yourself daydreaming about boating in the dead of winter? If you’re suffering from cabin fever, a cure awaits you at a boat show. The best news? There’s likely a show coming to a city near you in the coming months.

Boating
Buying graphic

A Smart Buy In Boating & Off Roading

One-stop shopping — customers like it for the savings and convenience. You can fill a grocery cart
 at the supermarket with all you need, but the idea of finding everything needed to go boating in one stop seems 
unrealistic. It's not. Here is how we do it.

Boating
Invasive mussels

How To Avoid Spreading Invasive Aquatic Species

A well-kept boat is the joy of any proud boat owner. There is more to keeping a boat clean, though, than just soapy water and good old-fashioned elbow grease—especially lately. 

Boating
Trot Lines

Prep Your Deep V for Northern Spring Fishing

For northern anglers, waiting for ice to melt is kind of like watching water boil. It’s a real test of patience. Here are tasks that should be considered to prevent problems later on, or sooner.

Boating
Trot Lines

Tips For Better Boat Performance

Improving the performance of your boat is more than making it go faster. Better fuel economy and even safer boating are among the benefits of fine tuning the performance of the boat, engine or both.

Boating
Trot Lines

Boater FAQs

Got questions? Here are answers to common questions asked by boaters.

Boating
Boat Capacity Label

Boat Capacity Plates Decoded

Do you ever look at the white boat capacity plate near the console of your boat? Probably not. You might think it’s there to justify a legal requirement by the manufacturer.

Boating
Tracker Boat in water while men fish

Parts of the Boat Explained

You don’t need to go overboard when it comes to knowing the parts of a boat. What is a good idea, however, is understanding the basic functions of boat parts. Ideally, many of the vital parts and the functions they perform are all connected.

Boating
Man pulling boat anchor out

How to Choose a Boat Anchor

Does your boat have an anchor? If so, is it of sufficient size and strength to hold your boat in place? Believe it or not, many boat owners decide on which anchor to buy based on convenience and storage space.

Boating
Fireworks over Tahoe Boat

The Best Fireworks Viewing Is From The Boat

The Fourth of July is like Christmas Day for boaters. Nothing represents this celebratory summer holiday more than a cookout (on or by the water!), a lot of watersports fun and of course, fireworks!

Boating
Truck pulling Nitro Boat out of water

Trailering Your Boat On Vacation? Follow Our Travel Tips

Do you sometimes want to be a kid again? You can by taking a real kid fishing. Children are curious about and fascinated with the outdoors. Even the simple things that you might have outgrown—like skipping rocks along the shoreline—excite young minds. You might even rediscover how those little things can make spending outdoors so satisfying and fun.

Fishing – Boating
Fish in livewell

Keep Fish Healthy In The Livewell

You catch, weigh and release bass in tournaments, giving little thought to what happens to the fish next. After all, bass are released into the wild to be caught another day in catch-and-release tournaments, right? Not necessarily and here is why.

Boating
Kids tubing behind Sun Tracker Boat

How To Choose A Tube & Other Towables

Choosing watersports towables can be like deciding which thrill ride you want to take at a theme park. It all depends on your level of courage and how much you want to laugh and scream as your waterborne joyride is towed behind the boat.

Boating
Targa v19 combo and v19 WT

TRACKER TARGA V-19 Deep V Boat Comparison

When waves and wind roughen the surface on wide-open lakes, it’s hard to beat a Deep V aluminum boat. These lightweight rigs are equally at home in shallow water, too, making Deep Vs the ideal choice for anglers seeking versatility and value in a boat. 

Boating
Tahoe Boat running shot

Outboard vs. Sterndrive? How Do I Choose?

Life is good. You have just decided to buy a new TAHOE sport boat. There it sits in the showroom, ready to be all yours. You envision warm, sunny days on the water with the family in the boat of your dreams. There is nothing left to do but give the nod to the sales consultant and close the deal, right?

Boating
Sun Tracker Fishing Barge, Party Barge and Sport Fish

Comparing SUN TRACKER 22ft. Pontoon Models

Not all pontoons are created equal for every task. What separates them is the boater's choice in on-the-water activities, performance needs, and the pontoon's interior organization, particularly at the bow and stern. Find out what pontoon configuration may be best for you!

Boating
Family sitting on boat in showroom

Top 5 Questions From First-time Boat Buyers

This summer, did you spend weekends on the boats of friends or family, wishing you had your own? That’s not surprising. Along the way, you most likely discovered that boating takes the enjoyment of being outdoors to another level (if you didn’t, maybe you should consider trying again with different friends!).


Boat Service & Maintenance

Service – Boating
Woman working on Tracker Boat

How To Replace Trailer Bunks

Unless stored in marina slips or dry docks, most boats spend their downtime on the trailer. Boat trailers are prone to normal wear, just like your vehicle. Tires need replacing, that’s a given. Brakes and lights need checking and replacement. But what about those trailer parts that you don’t give much thought about?

Service – Boating
Bass Pro Boating Center Pro winterizing

Where Can You Have A Saltwater Boat Winterized?

Shorter days and chillier nights mean that winter is coming. Are you prepared for it? Before you put another log on the fire, take a seat and tune into a football game, remember that there are chores to do beyond stacking firewood.

Service – Boating
Woman working on Tracker Boat

DIY Tips To Repair Boat Wear & Tear

Even the best-built boats need TLC over time. That tiny upholstery tear in the passenger seat needs attention before it spreads. Same thing with the spider crack in the gelcoat. Someone spilled a glass of red wine on the cockpit carpet, and it’s looking pretty shabby, too.

Service – Boating
Mercury Marine Technicians

Power Pros Are Mercury Master Certified Technicians

As a boat owner, you want to spend more time on the water and less time at the dealership. Preventive maintenance and unplanned repairs are obviously givens, and where and who you choose to do the work can prolong those sunny days of fun on the water.

Service – Boating
Woman working on Tracker Boat

What to Know About Repowering A Boat

Today’s well-built boats are made to last. That means repowering—or updating the engine—will eventually need to happen if your boat is a long-term investment. What is more, preowned boats need repowering sooner than new boats. In either case, repowering extends the life of a boat regardless of age. That’s a good thing, and so are the choices that can make your boat perform even better.

Service – Boating
Man winterizing boat

Should You Winterize Your Boat?

Winterizing the boat. Just the thought can send shivers down the spines of boat owners. For one, the timing generally means the end of a fun boating season. Plus, winterizing ranks low on the priority list of “fun” fall chores like raking leaves and cleaning gutters.Before blowing them all off, remember, those chores have a purpose. For boaters, winterizing keeps money in the fun budget, instead of being wasted on costly repairs.

Service – Boating
Truck pulling Tracker Boat

Trailer Maintenance Tips and Checklist

For boaters, nothing is worse than a trip to the lake being cut short by a mechanical breakdown of the boat trailer. The sad—but true—fact is your boat spends more time on the trailer than on the water. The good news is that most problems can be avoided by taking precautionary steps at home.

Service – Boating
Man winterizing boat

Warm Climate Boat Maintenance & Winterization Tips

Winterizing the boat is an all-too-familiar autumn ritual for northern boaters. What about boaters living in warmer climates? Is it worth spending the time and money on a boat that won’t be used until next spring?

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