Fishing Canoe

Is it safe for two people to fish in a 12 foot canoe? I’m looking at a used Katahdin 12. I really like it for its weight and its 41" width. It will only be used in lakes for fishing.


would be little smallish
depending on your needs though. Wife and I fish out of a 14’ OT Guide all the time last summer. Only thing was having to move and reinstall her front seat a little farther back so her legs were not crammed into the point.

So take that into account for front person. Must be comfy.

We are pretty basic fisherpeople, 1 rod each, 1 small plano box of jigs n hooks each, 1 net and a portable depth finder. And the standard extra paddle, munchies and drinks.

Now if you need a 14 tier tachle box, 6 rods, large cooler and stuff then yea its going to be small.

Probably won’t be long…
…before you wish it was bigger.

We started in a 13 footer. It worked okay if I was very careful about where my tackle was going. 14’ is at the low end of comfortable, IMO, and still plenty light in several models - even in royalex. Check out the Wenonah Fisherman, Old Town Osprey, Bell Angler, and the like. All relatively slow boats, but good for fishing from.

If only…

– Last Updated: Apr-09-09 8:12 PM EST –

I would definitely go with one of the canoes you mentioned if money was not an issue. I have an opportunity to get this canoe used, in very good shape, and for alot less than the others. Most of the used canoes I see are the much larger 65-70+ pound canoes. For some reason the 14 footers just aren't out there.

We are also very basic fishermen so nothing more than a rod for each and a very small tackle box. Also, we're all very small with me being the largest at a whopping 5'-6".

Safe ??
… should be , as long as you don’t fall out or flip it .

As for reasonable , I don’t think so … toooo small for two people , even if you are the largest at 5’-6" it’s gonna feel mighty crowded in there .

Find a 15’ or longer if at all possible in your price range , I think you’ll be pleased you passed a 12’ tandem up for sure .

Now if in a little cow pond for an hour at a time , it won’t matter nuch … but lakes and any sizable waters call you to find out what’s out there , and here is where a bigger boat shows it advantages .

Custom Boats
Check out these custom boats. These are 12 footers. Sure looks comfortable.

There are a lot of models that you might have better luck finding used.

For instance…

Old Town’s Camper 16 is about 59lbs. They’re pretty popular with the recreational crowd and good for fishing from. The OT Penobscot is a higher performance canoe in the same weight range. It takes a little getting used to, but can be good for fishing. Both these boats are pretty common on the used market and should be available at times for under $600.

canoedad , at least go out and …

– Last Updated: Apr-10-09 8:32 PM EST –

..... paddle/fish out of some longer canoes before purchasing a 12' tandem . While trying different length canoes out tandem and fishing , try a 12 footer for the comparison sake also .

A not very expensive canoe , but good value and reasonable comforts and handling for the money is a used "Coleman" RamX 15' ... near new ones can be found on eBay regularly for 300. and less .

Also don't you think 85 lbs. for that 12' Custom canoe is kinda heavy ?? ... I have two Old Towns , a 16'-9" that weighs 85 lbs. and it really is an excellent and powerful craft , and a 16'-10" that is made from Royalex that weighs around 70 lbs. .

Just try some longer boats first before making a purchase .

one other safety factor…
Two people casting from a 12 ft. canoe means that both will have to be very careful of how they are casting, so as not to hook their partner. You’re sitting just far enough from each other on a canoe of that length that your rod and hooks will reach your partner on the cast if you’re not watching. A 15 ft. canoe is about minimum to avoid this potential problem. And other than that, I wouldn’t recommend a tandem canoe that short for ANY reason, anyway.

no prob for us
my son and I have tarpon 100 and 120’s, respectively for when we want to fish/paddle separately…

but we fish MUCH more often from a 8’ “bass buggy” little plastic jon boat and my 12ft. OT Pack canoe (folding chair for him in front of thwart)

I do agree you have to watch tackle/limit gear/etc…but we usually do pack specific rods/gear/etc for the days events we are planning.

best day to go fishng? when you can! :slight_smile:

enjoy whatever boat you choose and use it often!

Old Town Guide 147
I would steer you toward the Old Town Guide as a 2 person fishing canoe. The best part about the Guide 147, is you can get them for under $500 at Dick’s Sporting Goods…brand spankin new!

They’re comfy, stable, plenty roomy for 2 people and gear. Their only draw back is their weight, roughly 75 pounds. But with cost, durability, stability, and comfort taken into account, I dont think the weight is all that bad. We sure enjoy ours.

I wouldn’t
If it was only a kid in the front and /or you’ll be castign both rods. Stuffing two people into a 12’ canoe can be done but your eventually going to roll it (due to pushed capacity/increased tenderness) or hook one another. ( Ask me how I know!) IMHO 14’ is MINIMUM for two adults to fish out of and I almost never use anything shorter than 15 1/2’. The longer boat gives you more initial stability, larger capacity , paddles ALLOT better and is much safer for the stren paddler (when the front seat ocupant swings back for a cast.)

Tons of good wide 14-16’ canoes out there for cheap $ so you don’t have to make a major investment.


– Last Updated: May-15-09 4:28 PM EST –

trying to count all the times i have heard "you better watch out up there, your lure just missed my face" nope can't remember, been too often. glad i'm in a 16'9. also hoping to God that i NEVER hook him. no room to run in there. btw i have had some whizzing past my head a time or two. i guess the point really is be aware of where everyone is located with every cast. especially if you're not throwing weedless.