canoe fishing

-- Last Updated: Mar-16-04 6:29 PM EST --

I'm planning to fish out of my new canoe this year. What is the best way? I'll mostly be in lakes. I will usually have my son with me. How difficult is it to fish out of? Will I always have to be anchored? also are there any cheap rod holders out there? I was thinking of maybe making some if I can think of an easy way. I appreciate any help.

i troll most everything…
…when on the move and jig/drift when feeling lazy with a nice breeze blowing. I use very light spinning gear, point the rod tip out the opposite side I’m paddling on (pointed at either 10:30 or 2:30 on a clock dial) and hook the handle of the rod under my crooked knee. Allows me to respomd to a strike much faster than a rod holder would. Might take some practice, but it’s second nature to me now.

Biggest concern I’d have is that you and your son coordinate those casts. I saw a nasty end to a fishing outing when a treble hook went through someones eyebrow barely missing her eye! Had to paddle back to a lodge to get medical attention.

Good luck with the fish and happy paddling.


Canoe fishing is great.
Good luck!

What type of fishing?

What type of canoe?

Plastic navy and others have done some neat rod holder stuff with PVC pipe attached to ice chests I believe. You can also buy clamp-on types from Spring Creek etc.

Canoe fishing
Is a snap. My son and I used a canoe quite abit before switching to SOT kayaks. We used shorter rods to avoid hooking one another. A drift sock works well to slow your drift on windy days and an anchor made out of a coffee can filled with Quickcrete works great for holding you in one spot. PVC couplers and pipe make great, cheap rod holders. Lash a 2" coupler under the thwart and seat with cabble ties and you can safely store your rods while paddling. A piece of PVC pipe lashed to the seats vertically makes a great “rocket launcher” for trolling.

It is really simple. First if you do not need it leave it at home. I carry 2 rods and a small tackle box as opposed to the 9 and 3 boxes I use in a bassboat. Also paddle into the wind and drift with it. Get a light paddle so you can wield it with one hand. I use a 50 inch bent shaft and my bow man uses a 52. Simplify and throw spinnerbaits and crankbaits for bass as plastic worm fishing gets tough in the wind in a canoe. Shorter rods are a good idea especially with a younger person who may forget about what is behind him. Also a longer canoe is easier to fish in because it puts space between you and will not blow all over in the wind. Have fun with it and look for small backwaters other boaters cannot get to.

canoe fishing with son
In reply to your query about canoe fishing with your son, John…I have done many years of canoe fishing - well actually I don’t fish - I did the paddling and a good friend of mine did the fishing - fly fishing at that. It was a perfect match - I enjoy paddling to no end, and while he gracefully arced and shot the line over the bow time and time again, I slowly paddled or not, depending on wind and currents, or just sat and enjoyed a pipe while watching his fishing art…I would recommend that setup to you - you paddle and let your son have the fishing fun…but as you are aware, NEVER stand up in a canoe. I don’t see the need for anchoring if one of you is slowly paddling…

Axel Kleer

Toronto (unfortunately)

NEVER stand up, not so!
I take exception to one statement just made “NEVER stand up in a canoe”. Not true! I have an Old Town Guide 147, and from time to time, we do stand up fly fishing. In fact, when in the marshes and mangroves on the Gulf Coast, I actually push pole the thing!

Now the secret is to only have one person stand up, if two are in the boat. If solo, you can also stand up. Just don’t have 2 persons do it at the same time, for obvious reasons. It does take awhile to get your sea legs.

I’ve fished many canoes and kayaks, and this is one area canoes absolutely have over yaks, and that’s the ability to stand up in. But it takes the right canoe and the right conditions. Obviously, you need flat or fairly calm water. Second, the canoe must have both good initial and secondary stability. Second, the canoe should be somewhat heavy, I know this is not what folks like to hear, but it’s a matter of physics. Most of the canoes I’ve fished out of are the Old Town PE hulls (poly and super link) such as Discovery models. They are incredibly stable compared to the Wenonahs and Mad Rivers. They usually weigh much more.

Still, it’s not that difficult to handle a 90lb canoe as long as you don’t try to lift it over your head. In fact, you should NEVER lift ANY canoe or kayak over your head. Totally unnecessary. A harness or cart, a loading bar, and a roof rack will make any canoe an ease to load and transport, and is well worth every dollar. Not to mention saving your back!

“never lift any canoe” not so
How do you portage from lake to lake or around waterfalls where portage wheels are illegal? Even if a portage wheels were legal how would you cross the thigh deep swamp (3 inches of water and 2 feet of mud) in the middle of the portage? In Quetico each year just about everyone I see has a canoe on his or her head.

That type of fishing requires
a solo canoe, I’d think. I’m not that familiar with portages over waterfalls, but seems to me you really don’t want to log a 70-75 lb canoe over your head while crossing wet, slippery rock? You could use a harness to carry it on your side. Still… I think rocky rivers and streams are a completely different story than areas like lakes, ponds, and coastal areas where I mostly fish. That’s why they make so many different boats.

A lot of wierd “NEVERS” being said…
Johnbia, don’t know what canoe you have but have fun. I stand and fish in my Old town Penobscot all the time. It’s 58 pounds and I lift it over my head to cary it properly with the yoke all the time. Please remember PFD’s and safety gear. If your new to the sport consider a class.

Have fun!

I used to canoe alot when younger and I’m trying to get my family involved. I had my 2 year old out with my wife last weekend and everyone had fun. I have high end PFD’s hoping if their comfortable no one will complain and so far so good but the 2 yr old gets crabby sometimes. I haven’t fished out of it yet but am looking forward to it. I have a bell northwind in royalex.

Canoe fishing
Here are some suggestions:

Look for quite coves or backwaters if you’re on a larger lake.

I like to go as early in the day as I can when the water is like glass and leave before it gets choppy.

I use a product called a Down East Rod Holder which clamps to the canoe gunnel as is great for paddle trolling. Sometimes I also use the rod under leg technique for a second line, but the Down East Rod Holder is much better.

Good luck.