Rick Pierce, Bass Cat president, is a fisherman at heart and an engineer who loves bass boats. Pierce and his design team continue to refine Bass Cat boats such as the Jaguar, squeezing in more fishability, more speed and better handling in each passing model year.
Last time we ran the Jaguar with a Mercury Racing 450R outboard, we made 88 mph. Pierce’s team has since refined the boat with its new Soft Touch Series hull form to give easy, smooth handling and better top-end speed. The new Jaguar officially topped 93 mph in our test, but the GPS telltale later showed 94 mph. And we could’ve gone faster, but while the Jag was still gaining speed, we gobbled up water too fast to let the ride develop. We think 100 mph is achievable. But what we liked most was that 75 mph was like a cruise down a country road—easy peasy, with no pressure on the skipper. The handling in turns, the ride in rough water, and the solid way it met the chop were enough to sell it to us, but the boat was built to fish.
So, how does the Jag fish? When a serious bass angler gets in the engineering room, details develop that never occur to most boatbuilders. Examples include the dual angler rod boxes, plus one more amidships, and tackle racks that extend accordion-style, offering Plano boxes. Patented latches snap open at a touch and latch just as quickly at the tap of a toe. Thanks to their positioning and creative design, they can’t leak into the compartments. Deep, triangular livewells stop sloshing—better for the fish and the ride. The bow deck can handle two 12-inch displays, allowing you to use side scan and live sonar concurrently. Rod lockers have small tackle trays for keeping pesky gear in place, and a deep helm compartment lets anglers stow items securely out of the way. The wide beam and narrow gunwales afford two anglers breathing room on the wide casting deck.
If the Bass Cat team thinks of anything else to make your fishing easier, you can bet it will be built into the next model. Bass Cat is always improving its boats, which is why we always look forward to the next new model year.
- Ingenious stainless-steel latches close with a snap and won’t leak in the compartments.
- Bilge hatch slides off of hinge pins to ease access to the batteries and pumps below.
- Dual fuel tanks balance the load for performance.
How We Tested
- Engine: Mercury 450R
- Drive/Prop: Outboard/Bravo 4 20″ 4-blade stainless steel
- Gear Ratio: 1.60:1 Fuel Load: 30 gal. Crew Weight: 400 lb.
Pricing and Specs
|$166,700 (as tested MSRP)
Bass Cat Boats – Midway, Arkansas; 870-481-5135; basscat.com