I took my big canoe (Esquif Cargo) out yesterday. I wanted to see how far I could go on a tank of gas in the 2.5HP engine. To be on the safe side, I brought some extra gas along. The plan was to run upstream as far as we could get, then float back down to the put-in while fishing.
Turns out that we had a rip-roaring storm followed by rising pressure. The big fish were hunkered down in huge mats of stargrass and it was going to be a huge pain in the butt to get them. So we downsized and plucked panfish from the edges of the stargrass on fly rods.
Then we figured, well hey, since we're not going to fish real hard, lets put more gas in the tank and see how far upriver we can get. I haven't mapped it out yet, but we got what I think is about eight miles upstream. Not bad for a canoe with a 2.5HP weedeater (the stargrass was everywhere). My wife was kind enough to bring us some more gas so that we could get back to our launch before dark. The launch closes at dark. Plus I didn't bring lights for the boat to stay legal after sunset.
Anyway, there was a little paddling involved to control drifts when we did decide to fish a little bit.
I was impressed with my boat's performance getting that far upstream on two tanks of gas (a tank is .3 gallons) against a rising current and having to constantly remove stargrass from the prop. I'm glad that I didn't get a bigger engine. This one maxes out the boat's speed and handling. When I run it full throttle, it doesn't go any faster than running it at about 3/4 throttle. The curse of a displacement hull. But really, it's not a bad speed for a canoe. It'll work great for run up/float down trips. An hour of running upstream will get me nearly a full day of floating/fishing back down.
- Big D