Good first fishing canoe

Same question, different forum.

I can’t have a bassboat or a jon boat because I haven’t anyplace to store it so I’m starting with a canoe. Mostly for fishing but cruising and exploring as well. Flat water or slow rivers (my wife will be the co-pilot) for just the two of us. I’ve done the grumman bang-a-langs but it has to be car-topped - I’m in the city.

All recommendations welcome.

Thank you.


Old Town Guide
Relatively inexpensive, light for its size, good pedigree.

It’s not a square stern, though.

But you can still rig a trolling motor with a trolling motor mount gizmo that’s readily available.

  • Big D

Old Town Discovery, bit more expensive
slightly less stable, but plenty of that anyway, but easier to paddle. Wenonah makes several that will fill the bill. But, for the money, the Guide Big D mentioned is hard to beat.

Wenonah Kingfisher
I just got the Wenonah Kingfisher in Tuf-weave fiberglass and really like it!

What price range are you looking at?

The less expensive boats will be heavier and not as easy to car top. If you can drop $1000 or more you can get into a canoe that will be easier to carry and car top as the weight drops in the 60 lb and under category. My 80 pound plastic canoe sits on racks in the backyard neglected while my 58 pounder and 34 pounder get wet all the time. Mostly because I don’t have to struggle gettting them out to the car and down to the lake.

Amen. My Mohaw tandem gets its
center thwart replaced every 5 or 6 years not because it wears out, but due to rot from sitting, it weighs 80 lbs.

Two suggestions
Consider the Mad River Explorer or Wenonah Spirit II. Versatile boats that are stable enough for fishing and also will work for camping trips and river trips.

They track nicely on flat water and can easily handle class II rapids.

osprey 155

– Last Updated: Jun-16-07 8:12 PM EST –

I just finished 5 days on the Buffalo river in Arkansas in this canoe from Old Town. The river was up and many class 2 rapids were encountered. This boat held plenty of gear and performed very well in the water. In fact it did way better than I thought. It is very responsive and tracks pretty well.

Thank you all
I aspire to the Old Town, however I’ve decided that the pelican colorado is a good first boat (Dick’s had a sale). The places we’ll take it are relatively mild and my wife needs to understand about canoes before we upgrade - although she did see the OTs at Dicks and concedes that they are worth it.

I’m now a boat owner and will always have a canoe but will admit to wanting a bassboat (once I have the room).



Might consider an OT Penobscot
A good river boat for up to class II and a decent tripping boat for 2 people. Also decent fishing platform and reasonably priced (there are several used ones about) and weighs 58# in Royalex.

How’s your Bell Magic for fishing?
It looks great, but have wondered about the narrow width at the gunwales. Looks a little tight for the knees.

Sale at Dick’s
and I own a pelican colorado.

We’re going out tomorrow on the maiden voyage in the Skokie Lagoons here north of chicago…Mrs. S. is new to canoes.

Thank you all.