help picking first canoe for Fishing

Any advice on choosing my first canoe for flyfishing on med-large rivers (primarely in PA the Susquahanna, Juniata, and clarion). I am looking to spend $800 or less. I will be looking for a tandum canoe. I heard alot of good thing about the old town guide 16’, which fits my budget, but am looking for some good advice before i decide. thank you for your time.

Are you fishing solo or with a partner?
Do you want to be able to stand and fish? Can you drive right to the river and drop the canoe in, or do you have to carry it to the put in? Are you cartopping, or is the canoe being carried in the bed of a truck?

The Guide is a fairly heavy canoe and a load for one person to handle. Being built out of Polylink 3, its durable. The molded seats make it difficult to turn the canoe around and use the bow as the stern when paddling solo, thereby reducing the amount of canoe that is kicked up in the “bow” and your wind resistance. Unless you are fishing with a partner most of the time, you may want to consider another canoe, either a solo or a tandem with bench type seats.

The questions I asked will help with guiding you toward canoes that may fit your needs. Good buys of canoes better than the Guide can be found in the used market, though if you need to buy on credit, that market may not be open to you. Sometimes, though, canoe shops will have a used canoe or several at a good price.

For a tandem canoe
It’s tough to go wrong with Old Town. Look at Campers, Guides, and if you can find one a Discovery! The Discovery models are the cats pajamas for fishing.

Lots of other options, too. But in your price range, and for your purposes, I think you’d do well to give a good solid look at Old Town canoes.

  • Big D

more info…

– Last Updated: Mar-12-08 1:29 AM EST –

I will most often be fishing with another person, car topping the canoe, putting it in right at the river (usually), if possible i'd like to stand up and fish, but its not necessary. Any ideas on canoes other then old town would be helpful, that way I can make a more educated decision...thanks for your time again.

It’s tough to beat an Old Town. I’ve owned 4 OT canoes, including the Guide. Using a tandem solo can be done by turning the canoe around so you are in the bow seat and paddling it backwards. The molded seats don’t work too well for that, cane or web are better. Dropping a cane or web seat in the middle makes paddling a tandem much better for me, it seems to distribute the weight more evenly so you can use the boats hull to track better in the wind.

One of my favorite tandems to fish out of if is the OT Penobscot 16, bu tthat is out of your price range unless you are looking for used. Other canoes that spring ot mind are the Wenonah Adirondack or Aurora, Bell Northwind.

Mohawk Intrepid 16

– Last Updated: Mar-13-08 1:23 PM EST –

If you can find one used. Pretty good boats, will handle up to Class 3 water. Stable enough for a good hookset and floating without paddling when you want to. Nearly indestructable.

Bell and Nova Craft makes any number of canoes that'll do what you want, but you'll have a hard time finding one in your price range.

Despite what Kayakangler says, the wettest I've ever been fishing was using a Penobscot 16. That's a boat that likes to be paddled. It's tough to be paddling and fishing simultaneously.

Dick's sells a 14' (or maybe 13') canoe made by Johnson but sold under their Quest brand for about $400. It has no keel (a good thing) and no internal frame (also a good thing). It's not the best performing or the lightest boat you'll find, but I think it's a bargain based on what you get for what you pay. 14' (or maybe 13') is a bit short for two people to fish from though. You'd both have to be consciencious and careful about back casts. It's doable if you trust your paddle partner. I plan on buying one of these myself. Every once in a while I need to scratch the canoe itch and leave my kayaks at home.

Good luck. Have fun. Sometimes the looking and shopping is a big part of the fun.

Also, use the Product Reviews from this site (you can click on the "Product Reviews" button on the left menu). I have found that to be an invaluable tool in assessing boats. Just pour yourself a beverage of your choice, kick back and spend an evening looking over what folks have had to say about their boats. Just be wary of the "I've never paddled before, but this boat was a lot of fun when I borrowed my cousin's for an afternoon so I gave it a 10" kind of reviews.

- Big D

Sportspal Canoe
I got a 11 foot Myers Sportspal canoe and I love it for fishing. I use the motor mount with a Johnson outboard or a 55 lbs thrust Endura Minn-Kota trolling motor with a 36 inch shaft. The only negative is that the power coat paint chips off badly so the canoe is butt-ugly.

A few
Nova Craft Angler or Haida

Wenonah Northfork or Fisherman

Mad River Angler

Bell Angler or Yellowstone

mad river explorer 14 tt
for car topping it is only 72 pounds. Too small for tandem tripping, OK for fishing.

Wenonah Kingfisher
Take a look at the Wenonah Kingfisher. I have the Tufweave model and love it!

fishing canoe
I recomend a Big Bear 14 ft. by 43 inches, You can stand up and walk around without tipping over. Made in Maine.

Bear Creek Canoe

Our sales representative and factory outlet is John Gardner in Cumberland, Maine (207-829-3544

Pelican Bayou
I know pelican sometimes gets a bad rap, but this is a great platform for fishing, add a 5 HP motor, and you can fly. I was in my friend’s last summer, and it was up to 17 MPH, handles great, and yeah, you can stand, but gets kinda shaky.

950lbs capacity, very stable, almost like a fishing boat, but not quite. Honestly, it is a great buy, and just in your price range.

Downside is that it is very slow to paddle alone, with 2 it is ok for when the engine must be lifted in the shallows.

Anyway have a look.

Fishing the Susquehanna , Juniata and th

– Last Updated: Apr-05-08 10:24 AM EST –

OK, question #1. , you ever been on those waters ?? ....... They go one way for all practical purposes when in a canoe, and that's downriver !! ..... you can duck into the shore line eddys and grasses when possible to stop (almost), or take a tour through some of the little island passages ...... You will encounter rock ledges and bang bangs on the way downstream ....... DON'T get a canoe with a KEEL, it will impede your turning ability in moving water !! ........ stay the HELL out of the Main Stream Susquehanna in the area of the convergence with the Juniata, and whatever you do, stay close to shore line where current is slower ........ you ever look at those pillows on the main stream Susqui ?? (WEAR YOUR VERY GOOD LIFE VEST, ALWAYS)(CARRY AN EXTRA PADDLE) !! ....... be careful and DO GO tandem (that means not solo (alone) ......... now for the boat , (remember NO KEEL) , a shorter boat like 14' is not the ticket for tandem moving water ....... 16' is perfect but as little rocker as posible for a fishing platform ....... the Old Town Discovery 169 (16'-9") is most excellent for rocking down the river and fishing all the while, and your budget will easily cover it, IF , you simply go to BASS PRO SHOP (before you buy there just get another 10% off with sign up for their credit card too)....... believe me, you can buy a brand new 169 Discovery from them at almost less than you can get a used one from eBay or someone else !!! ........ ever heard of oil canning, in general plastic canoes will most all do this to some degree, especially keeless ones, but don't dispair, despite what the critics want to tell you about oil canning, it also has great advantages for river rocking because that flex in the bottom sure does make the passage over some of those rocks quite a bit smoother, also the slight upwards flex in the middle of the flat bottom absolutely increases stability (and the flex is very minor) ....... one last thing, do yourself a favor and buy a bunch of YUM 3-1/4" Crawbugs with 1/8-1/4 oz. jig heads to slip in them (teach yourself how to rig them with the point end of the hook stuck into the crawbugs head like weedless, you'll figure it out), this time of year (NOW), the Smallmouth are stacked up like cord wood and that's the ticket (Pumpkin Green), only !! ....... they avg. 17-1/2" and 21" is not unusual, some are 14"-16" also (but what the hey) there are tons of them in these waters, so get that canoe and get on with it before May starts, fish it out through May and then , well , keep on doing it there but it slows a lot ........ Old Town , Polylink or Superlink are just fine and the meanest, rock beaters out there, plus they make pretty good lake and pond boats for fishing also, heck I stand in mine all the time, even when moving in smooth river water !! ....... remeber , BASS PRO SHOP , unbelievable on the 169 Discovery, blows your mind !! ........ get out at Riverfront where Juniata and Susqui converge at the bridge, or go aways further (1 mile) and slip into (DELEATED !!!) for the gold mine !! ....... best to ya , and BE CAREFUL in that water, STAY CLOSE to shore in the MAIN SUSQUI (this side) ... !!

Susquahanna, Juniata and Clarion
Learn this site and use it to plan those trips on the rivers !! … the water STAGE is very important to safety !! … … no heroicts required , got it !!

Susquehanna, Juniata and Clarion

– Last Updated: Apr-05-08 10:21 AM EST –

You know something , that Riverfront camp ground has plastic boats for rent, and they will take you up stream to the public ramp and drop you off too (in Duncanon).......... it's a nice long float downstream to get back to Riverfront, plenty of time to fish all the while !! ......... here is another site to aid you with water gauge conditions for pre-planning a float .. ..... you can also choose any state and river from that site in the drop down search box at top .. pay attention to the water gauges and forcast , the rivers rise and go back down fast (24 hrs) ...