The Tracker Panfish 16 has a mission that’s clearly defined in her name, but she’s equally comfortable in skinny water fishing for anything from Bass to Crappie to Perch. Her unique “stick” steering at the forward seat allows for improved visibility while maneuvering through tight streams, flooded timber and stick-ups. Being a Tracker, she comes fully equipped and at a price point that’s hard to resist.
Marine-grade, cut-pile fishing-friendly Midnight Star carpet
Light-touch stick steering
2 oversized fishing chairs with locking swivel and 4 drink holders
Rugged 1-piece all-welded Mod V hull with all-aluminum transom
Minn Kota 12V thrust, foot-control trolling motor
Lowrance fishfinder with surface temperature and swivel
The Tracker Panfish 16 has a LOA of 16’2” (4.93 m), a beam of 70” (178 cm) and weighs only 766 lbs. (347 kg).
The Tracker Panfish 16 was made for maneuvering into skinny water, through weeds, and around flooded logs to get to the little hidey-holes where fish love to congregate. With the controls at the forward seat it’s easy to blaze a trail through it all, and once on site, lower the trolling motor and start fishing, all without ever leaving the seat you rode in on.
• Unique, light-touch stick steering for maximum visibility, fishability and precise handling • 2 oversized fishing chairs with locking swivel for floor-level fishing, 4 drink holders fore and aft • Rugged 1-piece all-welded Mod V hull with all-aluminum transom• DuraTrack All-Welded Limited Lifetime Hull Warranty • Minn Kota 12V 45 lb. thrust, foot-control trolling motor • Lowrance X-4 Pro fishfinder with surface temperature and swivel • 14-gallon (53.00 L) aerated livewell with cushion top • 2 top-loading carpeted 8' (2.44 m) rod/gear lockers• 2 underseat dry storage boxes and bow deck storage • Interstate cranking and trolling batteries • New marine-grade, cut-pile fishing-friendly Midnight Star carpet throughout • Custom factory-matched trailer with 13" (33.02 cm) radial wheels and all-welded frame
The Panfish 16 seats two comfortably, but two more can easily fit on the padded livewell in the center of the boat.
There’s plenty of room for storing all the gear needed for a day of fishing.
Starting with her most unique feature, the Panfish 16 is controlled from the forward seat with stick steering. This allows for great visibility while driving especially when working through a debris filled stream. With the base 20-hp engine, Tracker tells us that she’ll reach speeds between 22 to 24 mph. Need more? She’s rated for up to 40-hp.
Side mount stick steering eliminates the space of a console and keeps the driver well forward for better visibility. When it’s time to fish, the captain doesn’t need to move from the driver’s seat.
Seats are fore and aft and both swivel. Two more can fit on the padded seat in the middle, which keeps the light boat well balanced.
The Panfish 16 is offered with engine packages ranging from 20 to 40-hp.
Tracker’s seats are among the most comfortable we’ve sat on and are surprisingly plush. They also fold down and out of the way when not in use.
Once on Site
Once arrived on site, kill the outboard, raise the engine, lower the trolling motor, get baited up, and start fishing, all without EVER leaving the seat you started in.
Having the stick steering at the forward position not only allows for great visibility, but functionality. The captain is already in a perfect position at the trolling motor foot control. With the 14-gallon (53 L) aerated livewell in the center of the boat, all that’s required to bait up is to swivel the seat around. Tracker even included a removable minnow bucket as standard.
The padded seat in the middle of the boat is right over an aerated livewell and Tracker even includes a minnow bucket.
The control panel is mounted right next to the driver’s seat. Tracker even includes a built in, EPA compliant, fuel tank. Of course we’d rather see circuit breakers instead of fuses.
Rods can be stored in the two top-loading storage compartments, 10’ (3 m) to port and 7’ (2.1 m) to starboard. These are certainly convenient, but we’d also add bungees or straps to the top of these lids to secure a rod for those quick jaunts from one spot to the next, and not have to stow the rods or worry about the gear sliding around on the deck.
The comfort seats can be folded out of the way when not in use. And don’t worry, the hinges are pinchless.
Seats fold out of the way for easy transport or just when they’re not being used.
We’ll be maneuvering through the spots with the help of the included Minn Kota Edge 45-lb. thrust, 45” (114 cm) shaft foot-controlled trolling motor and we’ll have a good view of the bottom thanks to the Lowrance X-4 fishfinder.
Tracker uses cut-pile carpeting that is billed as being “fish-friendly” since it won’t snag on hooks. We’ve dragged hooks right across it without catching anything. Sort of the same when the hooks are over the side.
Once the day is done, it’s time to head back home. Tracker included plenty of storage throughout the Panfish 16 so that she can swallow up all the gear.
The storage compartments are welded into the frame of Tracker boats and serve as an integral and structural component. Notice the square-channel reinforcement so the hatch can be walked on without worry.
The included trailer comes color matched and is fully protected with Galvashield corrosion protection. EZ-Lube hubs remove the worry about highway travel. Driving onto the trailer couldn’t be easier thanks to the upright load guides that Tracker now adds to the standard package. And with a package weight of only 1,495 lbs. (678 kg), she can be transported by even the most modest tow vehicle.
The Panfish 16 comes complete with a color-matched single-axle trailer that even includes load guides and corrosion protection.
Pricing and Options
Tracker has a long-standing reputation for making its boats affordable and the Panfish 16 is another example of that commitment. With a 20-hp EL 4-stroke she carries an MSRP of $9,995. Adding power trim will bring it to $10,395. A 25-hp package will be $11,395, 30-hp is $11,995, and a 40-hp equipped package is $12,595.
Now we know what you’re thinking. “For that price you get a stripped boat”, right? Wrong! Tracker doesn’t play those games. This boat is fully equipped, ready to trailer, ready to fish, right off the showroom floor (of course we’re not considering registration etc…). In fact, taking a look at the options list shows how well equipped this boat is. There are only two items on it… a strap cover ($385) and a brake upgrade for the trailer ($445).
We’ve done plenty of reports on the construction of Tracker boats and they can be seen at the side bar to the right of this report. The broad-stroked version is that Tracker uses an all-welded construction method over riveting. The hull is one-piece with pressed in strakes and chines welded in for added strength. A longitudinal stringer system runs full length to support the running surface. The transom is box-beam and corner braced to unitize and further strengthen the hull. Then all the void areas are injected with expanding foam for more stiffness, a quiet ride, and to dampen noise from being transmitted to the water. The short version is, these boats are tough and made to take punishment.
Probably the easiest job in the industry is selling Tracker boats. They keep on coming off the assembly line in an endless stream and none stay for long on the showroom floor. They all come fully equipped, with scant options to worry about. And they all carry a price-point that is designed to keep them moving. Tracker makes its money not from jacking up the price and gouging customers for profit. It makes its money in shear volume. And the only way to do that is to offer a quality product at a decent price. Mission accomplished.
Standard and Optional Equipment
Tracker Panfish 16 (2014-) Standard and Optional Equipment
Outlet: 12-Volt Acc
= Standard = Optional
Tracker Panfish 16 (2014-) Warranty
Tracker Panfish 16 (2014-) Warranty Information
Warranties change from time to time. While BoatTEST.com has tried to ensure the most up-to-date warranty offered by each builder, it does not guarantee the accuracies of the information presented below. Please check with the boat builder or your local dealer before you buy any boat.
All-welded Limited Lifetime
Tracker Panfish 16 (2014-) Price
Tracker Panfish 16 (2014-) Price
Prices, features, designs, and equipment are subject to change. Please see your local dealer or visit the builder's website for the latest information available on this boat model.
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