Bass Cat discontinued the Pantera in 2012 in favor of increasingly sophisticated bass-boat models such as the Jaguar, Lynx and Cougar FTD. But with the advent of the sleek new Pantera Classic, younger anglers can now get into a tournament-grade machine without breaking the bank.
With a 7½-foot beam and a swing-away tongue on the standard tandem-axle trailer, the Pantera Classic stores nicely into most two-car garages. With a 200 hp outboard, storage length is 21 feet 10 inches. However, where you’ll really enjoy the Pantera Classic is on the water, especially when powered by a Mercury 200 Pro XS, as was our tester. With two adult males on board, the single-console version (a passenger console is an option) bolted to plane in 2.5 seconds and reached 30 mph in 5 seconds, quickly airing out at 71.5 mph at 5,850 rpm. An R&R manual jack plate easily fine-tunes the ride, and SeaStar Solutions hydraulic steering keeps you in control. The console and bow station feature standard 7-inch Humminbird Helix multifunction displays, but you can upgrade to a 12-inch MFD at the helm. An interactive panel replaces the traditional switch panel at the helm, and dual USB ports are standing by to keep phones charged. You’ll have plenty of sticks to catch fish thanks to center locking rod storage that can hold up to 16 fishing rods up to 8 feet in length. Surrounding the center rod locker are three big stowage compartments in the 6-foot-wide-by-7½-foot-long foredeck.
With an expansive front casting deck and a recessed Minn Kota Fortrex 80 trolling motor, you can ply the edges of the lily pads and points with ease. There are pedestal seats fore and aft. We found a cooler under the center steps and another under the center glove-box storage. There’s also passenger-side stowage for five more rods. Under the 6-foot-wide-by-3½-foot-long aft deck resides the livewell to keep fish frisky until weigh-in, as well as bilge access and two additional storage lockers.
With the Pantera Classic, Bass Cat returns to its roots yet in a boat that’s far beyond the basics.
* Compact design lets you keep the boat in most two-car garages for secure storage.
* Livewell is pump-in/pump-out with a baffle to minimize sloshing and separate fish.
* Locking center rod storage handles up to 16 sticks as long as 8 feet.
Price: $44,795 (as tested)
How We Tested
Engine: Mercury 200 Pro XS Drive/Prop: Outboard/Mercury Fury 14″ x 24″ 3-blade stainless steel Gear Ratio: 1.75:1 Fuel Load: 9 gal. Crew Weight: 440 lb.
Bass Cat – Mountain Home, Arkansas; 807-481-5135; basscat.com