The title says it. What do you think? I’m looking at a fishing platform, and have been debating the canoe vs kayak, and am heavily leaning toward the canoe.
Not heeled that much! I do a fair amount of solo canoeing on the ocean… The most germane question is do you feel comfortable. Paddling is not about the equipment solely.
A low slung seat helps a lot or the ability to kneel. It also blurs the line between canoe and kayak.
Certainly, there are occasionally calm ocean conditions in which you can get away with paddling and fishing in a canoe. But in general, I think that paddling in the ocean in a canoe is a bad idea, because the range of conditions which a canoe can handle is much narrower than the range of conditions which a sit-inside or sit-on-top kayak can handle, and because your margin of safety is much smaller in a canoe than it is in a sit-inside or a sit-on-top kayak. If you tip over a sit-on-top fishing kayak when you’re out on the ocean, you can right it and climb back on top of it in a couple of seconds. If you swamp or tip over a canoe when you’re out on the ocean, you could be in a lot of trouble.
I suggest that you locate a kayak fishing forum in a coastal area, such as the Northwest Kayak Anglers Forum or the Northern California Kayak Anglers Forum, and ask the members of that forum “Have you ever seen anybody fishing in the ocean from a canoe? Do you think I can safely fish in the ocean from a canoe?” I suspect that you will get a resounding and strongly worded “no” in response to both questions. Admittedly, these are KAYAK fishing forums, so the members of the forums may be biased towards kayaks, and may lack canoeing experience. But there are many very experienced kayak anglers who are members of these forums, and if they have never seen anybody fishing in the ocean from a canoe, you should consider that fact when deciding what kind of boat to buy.
There are a lot of reasons why sit-on-top kayaks are such effective and popular fishing platforms, both on the ocean and inland. I encourage you to research and try out some paddle and pedal sit-on-top fishing kayaks.
Here’s the background behind what I’m saying: I have canoed since I was a kid, I have 32 years of whitewater kayaking experience, and I have pretty extensive kayak fishing experience. I do almost all of my kayak fishing from a pedal kayak (13’ Hobie Revolution), and only use my 13’ Ocean Kayak Trident for fishing on shallow rivers and as a platform for spearfishing. I have occasionally fished from a canoe, but find a sit-on-top kayak to be way better for fishing. I would only consider taking a canoe out on the ocean in very calm and protected conditions and where it was not necessary to launch and land through surf, and due to the greater risks of paddling a canoe in the ocean, I would be unlikely to do it even then.
So a guy once asked if you could paddle the Florida CT in a canoe. It was done, but I wouldn’t. He didn’t elaborate on the canoe. As you may know there are expedition canoes with full spray skirts. There are canoe float bags that give it many of the kayak floatation and roll characteristics. As pmmpete said you could be capsized and in trouble. Every boat that fishes in the ocean must pick its weather. Every boat that fishes in the river, 3.5 miles wide, must pick its weather. Personally I wouldn’t go “near shore” in anything less than my center console. But there are people in the Florida panhandle that fish for big fish from a SUP.
Most of my kayak fishing has been inshore on the flats or up in the marsh creeks in my SOT or a Touring Sit in kayak. Around here a jig head with gulp bait or a dead shrimp does real well. Minimalist fishing can be done.
I don’t know where you’re at but here is the prime kayak fishing forum for NE Florida.
I’m in New England. I’ll check out that forum, though.
Sit on top kayak would be your best choice for safety reasons already stated, things like tide and wind can change quickly. It seems like the Hobies are ideal for those conditions, but they are heavy. There are some lighter SOT paddle kayaks built for fishing if you look around. I just bought A viking Profish 400. They’ve beefed it up a bit from the original 53 lb weight, closer to 61 0r 62 now, but compared to most paddle fishing yaks that are 75 lbs and up, it’s a reasonable compromise. The 400 is reasonably priced. If you want to spend five or six hundred more to get even lighter, check out the Hurricane Skimmer or the Eddyline Carribean. Depending on the length you decide on, you’re talking 45 to 50 lbs. If you look around, some kayak shops still carry the leftover discontinued Hurricane Phoenix at a lower price, also lightweight. I fish a river feeding the Chesapeake Bay every Fall and get out into the Bay a little bit and I have no doubt the Viking will handle it just fine. These kayaks are very popular in New Zealand where they’re built and paddled in rough conditions so they are already tested for open water tidal conditions. You can find the 400 at Austin Canoe and Kayak in Texas. I’m in Pa and mine shipped in 4 days with free shipping. Great people to deal with.