With the 4hp Yamaha on the back, the Bass Catcher was quite nimble.

Rosco Bass Catcher review

TRADITIONALLY people have associated the use of canoes in Australia with the skinny waters west of the Great Divide or in the very upper reaches of coastal creeks.
And while these craft are ideally suited to these waters, refinements in design and construction material means these craft can now be used in a much wider variety of situations.
The Rosco Bass Catcher is one such craft I tested recently.
My first foray with this craft was around nine or 10 years ago with wellknown fishing journalist Warren Steptoe.

Back then I got to have a bit of a play in it as Warren took some photos for his review.
While the traditional shape has been kept, refinements in the upswept and flared bow and upswept keel now make this craft even more suited to a wider variety of conditions.

The higher bow provides a drier ride in the choppy environment of more open waters.
The upswept keel means less drag and a more efficient planing speed, making travelling long distances easier.

Designed as both a single and multi-person craft, the Rosco Bass Catcher comes in a couple of sizes ranging from 4.3 (300) to 4.6m (500) and weighs 32kg and 42kg respectively.
Two seats are standard, but you do have the option for a third one, which can be built in or a removable drop-in style.

With its sleek water line, wide beam (1m for the 500) and high level of stability the Bass Catcher has a massive payload of 450kg.
Incorporate this massive payload with an integral transom that can take either an electric motor or an outboard (up to 4hp) and you have a very capable vessel that can travel long distances with plenty of gear on board.
This makes it perfect for that weekend away in an isolated creek.

However, the team at Rosco has definitely thought outside the square when it comes to the versatility of this craft.
To increase its stability and fishablity, you have the option of single or double outriggers.
And even though I tested it with the 4hp Yamaha and two people on board, the addition of the outriggers made a remarkable difference.
Initially we tried it with just one, but two really gave us the freedom to move around, lean over the side and pretty much do anything we wanted.

The beauty of the outriggers, apart from the added stability, is that they can double as storage areas.
If you were to run a board between the front and rear pole there would be a massive amount of extra space.
Having the outriggers would also make it much easier to fish with a couple of kids on board.
You could spend more time relaxing and enjoying yourself.

This diversity of the Rosco Bass Catcher ensures it ticks plenty of boxes in versatility.
Not only is it an ideal craft to paddle, but put nsome propulsion on the back and you have a craft nthat could take you and plenty of gear to many different places.
In fact I know Troy has taken his offshore and trolled a few lures around the Cape at Fraser Island.

Obviously conditions were pretty good, but it gives you an idea of the diverse areas where it can be used.
And being relatively light, it is easy to carry on top of your car or campervan.
Alternatively you can put it on a trailer, making it even easier and faster to launch and retrieve.

Another feature that makes the Rosco Bass Catcher unique is the capability of sailing it.
That’s right, it is possible to hoist the mast and sail and enjoy the peace and quiet as you skim across the water, with only the wind as your source of power.
To test this we motored out to the leads of the creek with the plan of sailing back.

If you are only going a short distance, and not very fast, you can leave the sail up (which is what we did for this trail).
But as I discovered when we returned you can easily roll the sail onto the mast and strap it to the outriggers so it takes up no space at all, which is a very clever idea.
You may not always be able to use the sail but it does make this an even more versatile craft, which can be used as a serious fishing vessel or a fun boat that the whole family can use and enjoy.
After turning around at the beacon, the wind filled the sail, and even with the small keel for tracking we held a pretty straight line.
The main reason for this was Troy’s use of the paddle which was acting as both rudder and keel.
As a gust of wind filled the sail we picked up speed; not a rocket ship, but faster than I thought it would go.

The Rosco Bass Catcher is well balanced and can be used one-up or with multiple people.
The Rosco Bass Catcher is well balanced and can be used one-up or with multiple people.
This one was fitted with the optional third seat.
This one was fitted with the optional third seat.
Under way with the electric motor.
Under way with the electric motor.
Heading back from the leads two-up under sail.
Heading back from the leads two-up under sail.
The Bass Catcher is a very versatile craft and can even be used under sail.
The Bass Catcher is a very versatile craft and can
even be used under sail.
The addition of a single outrigger increased the stability and manoeuvrability.
The addition of a single outrigger increased the stability and manoeuvrability.
At idle the Yamaha maintained a good trolling speed.
At idle the Yamaha maintained a good trolling speed.

You could see the wake behind the outriggers and stern of the boat, which gives a good indication of speed.

Again, you may not use the sail every time but it does add to its versatility and turns this canoe into a multi-use craft.
So if you are after more than just an ordinary canoe and want to expand your fishing horizon from the sheltered creeks, check out the Rosco Bass Catcher.

Rosco is having an on water demo day on March 9, so I’d strongly suggest that you give them a call so you can experience what this canoe can do first-hand.
The team is very knowledgeable on most things paddling and they are happy to share their wisdom, so if you have any questions it would be a good time to ask.
To book for the demo day or find out more about the Bass Catcher and other craft, call 07 3391 1088 or visit www.roscocanoes.com.au

About Ben Collins

Ben Collins

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    What size 4 stroke outboard motor is suitable for the Roscoe Bass Catcher, please advise.

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