Must threads are about kayak fishing.Im looking for a canoe to fish from and im looking forward tohearing from people that use canoes to fish from! thanks Peter

depends where

– Last Updated: May-22-04 9:55 AM EST –

It depends on where you expect to fish and how you are going to transport your canoe. Is weight important for unloading from the car top? Is weight important if portaging from lake to lake or up and down river banks? Do you plan to stand up (I don't)? Is it big lake water, smaller lakes, or rivers? How much paddling will you do once on the water? Generally speaking, a wide bottom would be better. If going with other people then you ned to consider length and how much the canoe can hold. If in small water without too much paddling then consider something wide and short. If paddling to the other side of a fairly big lake then you need something that moves relatively efficiently which usually means something in the 16, 17 foot range. If taking a few people then you might consider something with a middle seat. Do you want to worry about banging up against rocks or tree stumps in thewater? If not you might think aluminum. And so on.
A good general purpose canoe that I have found good for fishing in large and small lakes and on rivers is the royalex We-no-nah Adirondack. Reasonably tough, can handle good load, can handle waves, reasonablly stable, moves pretty good through the water solo or with another paddler, small enough (16 feet) to get into tight places, good on rivers, only 62 pounds, solidly built (compared to some other similiar canoes by other manufacturers).

3 boats
Here is what I use. Big water and lots of paddling equals the Minn2 it is 18.5 feet and very sea worthy. In ultes light kevlar it weighs 42 pounds. For smaller water we use an Echo. 16.5 feet and made in tuff weave fiberglass,65 pounds. For solo I just bought a Vagabond in tuff weave. 14.5 feet and 47 pounds. The tuffweave boats are strong enough that we take them on rivers as well. My uncle owns a Saranac (15 feet)in royalex that he paddles rivers and solo fishes in from the front seat facing the canoe backwards. His friend has a Heron in royalex for the same purpose. All of the canoes mentioned are WENONAH’s. Go to their website and have a look. they make 2 boats for fishing but they are wide and slow. If you want stability over speed and paddling ease look hard at them: Fisherman and Kingfisher. Some people gawk at the prices compared to the sporting goods store boats but there is a night and day diference in quality and performance.

Last year I started using a Bell Morningstar RX for lake fishing. I mostly paddle solo using a kneeling thwart and/or use a small cooler as a “saddle”. The Morningstar turns very well, but doesn’t track as straight as some of the Wenonahs. It’s been good in waves, but like any lightly-loaded canoe it’s a huge sail in any kind of breeze. I tried a drift sock a couple of weeks ago and was very pleased with how well it slowed my drift rate.

souris river
We rented two 17’ souris river canoes, they were fiberglass but the lay up is the same for kevlar.

They were very stable yet fast, a real joy for two people.

I was looking for a fishing canoe too and considered the OT Guide 147 and OT Predator. My main criteria is it had to be short enough to cartop on my jeep and fit in a 10x10 storage unit, and it had to be wide for stability (for the girlfriend). I ended up with a NEO Wilderness 14 (Dick’s Sporting Goods) - not as nice as OT, but it was a great deal $379 with $100 gear thrown in free. Excellent fishing platform and only weighs 68 lbs. I may be getting a trolling motor later to book around the lakes more efficiently.

OT Penobscot 16
is my fishing canoe. It is 58 lbs in royalex. It paddles solo pretty well with a center seat added and can carry plenty of gear. It may feel tender at first, but it is a nice platform. I usually fish with my lab and a cooler, always fun.

Started with a Mad River Explorer
Great boat for two and gear, river trips and up to class II WW. (maybe more WW but that is all I’ve done). Really a beast to paddle solo but I’m not the best. Ended up getting a nice high volume solo boat. Swift Shearwater, excellent fishing platform and a good river boat. Good on flatwater but not a speedy hull. No complaints with this boat. If you’re needing a tandem with better solo paddling character check out the MR Malecite, Wenonah solo plus and others on the review section of this site. Best place for info is right here.

Hope this helps

Another vote for the Penobscot 16
I’m on my second OT Penobscot. Excellent canoe, probably the best-tracking of the Royalex boats. And unless you’re fishing in whitewater, you’ll find you need tracking ability more than maneuverability (though the Penobscot can be turned without too much difficulty). It can also be soloed in a pinch. However, I also have two solo canoes, the better of which is a Wenonah Vagabond.

Most people opt for a flat-bottomed (in cross section) canoe for the initial stability when using it as a fishing platform. However, once you get used to it, the shallow arch bottom such as on the Penobscot is stable enough and performs better. As for material, you can’t beat Royalex…quiet, relatively light weight, slides easily over obstructions. The other plastics are OK, but are heavier.

OT Osprey rowing
I fish from an OT Osprey 14 rowing version.

-Three seats for the crowded days

-Oars are a godsend on windy big water

-weighs 55lbs

-Short, wide, and stable

-Solo or tandem trditional paddling is excellent

My 2 cents. I do think my next boat will be a Penobscot 16 (kids are getting bigger)


Add another to the list
Had the chance to paddle a Bell Magic a few times and ended up buying one. Took it to the lake last Sunday for fishing purposes and it worked nicely. Surprisingly stable to sit and fish from but you need to pay attention to the boat wakes. The real pleasure was moving from place to place with minimal effort and good speed.

The Ultimate Fishing Canoe
I have a We-no-nah “Fisherman” in Kevlar. 14’ long and 39" wide. Only 36 pounds. Easy to topper and portage to the really good spots. Works for tandem and solo (use bow seat backwards and add a bit of ballast in opposite end). Stable as a rock. It won’t paddle like a narrower/longer canoe - but it makes up for it as a great fishing platform. I paddle it for miles some days and it is still pleasant enough. I have it rigged with an anchor I can drop/raise/adjust from anywhere in the boat without moving - I designed a removable two foot pulpit I can install on bow or stern. I also made a removable fishing station for the yoke - it has two Scotty pole holders, a drink holder and even a mount for my sonar unit (fish finder, depth finder, temperature and compass). I can even install a motor if I ever decide to - it is wide and stable enough.

Galyan’s Woodsman III (Bell Northstar)
I’ve put a lot of miles on mine since I got it in April. My review is at:

Lots of choices out there, and it all depends on your use, budget, etc. but I think this is a great all-around canoe for the price. I’ve also noticed that the Olive Drab color doesn’t spook wildlife – I’ve gotten close to some interesting critters fishing from this very stable canoe. And I’m thinking about installing an electric motor with a mounting bracket which should really make it go!

Another vote for the OT Pen 16
I too fish from an OT Penobscot 16. I have the center seat which makes it nice to solo from. The boat is very seaworthy. I fish both lakes and rivers, often with my Pointer. A great boat overall, and not too heavy at 58 lbs.


– Last Updated: Jul-03-04 10:32 PM EST –

Hi Peter,
Maybe this should be titled..."Beware the $80 canoe"....
Whatever you do, don't pick up an extremely fast, shallow, rounded hull...;-)*@$%#$&+!@ A boat without "initial" stability WILL be pretty efficient/fast, but once you get to your desired spot, then you have to start casting. Even if you've paddled for a long while;-), you NEED "secondary" stability, if nothing else, although I once purchased a 12' FG canoe with little, if any type of stability;-)... NOT the type of excitement that one wants...
Thank God/Allah/Whoever.. the pond's lack of depth gave me the confidence....but once at sea I thought I'd dump with every little twitch....*#^%)%( Threw some line with the flyrod for ~5minutes and then carefully & quietly "packed it in"...any attempt to set a hook would have initiated a communing with the trout...
MadRiver's Explorer ("V" hull design)(kevlar/Royalex) and OT's Penobscot 16'(Royalex) would be at the top of my list...

$.01...It's all about Having Fun!...not saving $$$

And another OT Penobscot 16
Good points already made. It’s a great platform. I too have the center seat hung. I use my sailing rudder (I sail it too) in a partial down position to aid in paddling as it allows me to simply power stroke to the fishing hole versus corrective strokes.

Great with a trolling motor too. I have a home made bracket and hang my 36 pound Minn Kota on it. Really scoots.

Great for fly fishing. I am very used to my boat and stand up in it often for casting… lash all your gear though! (grin)

Good luck with your choice!