river fishing canoe?

Any recommendations for fishing canoe on the Potomac (Harpers ferry to Greatfalls region) that will have trolling motor (TM size will be between 30-55lb thrust)? I want a tandem canoe but will be going solo a majority of the time.

Other specs:

Length: 14- 15ft for storage purposes

Weight: relatively light (I am mainly looking at royalex canoes)

Budget: I’d prefer less than 1,000

I have been looking online at OT Camper, OT osprey, Madriver Angler, Bell Angler and OT Stillwater 14.

If anyone knows where you can actually physically see one of these canoes in the D.C. area that would be a big help as well.

OT Osprey
If you want to go light and fish all day every day go for the osprey and ROW it.

You can row all day every day. Oars are light and only take a 15 minutes of instruction to be good enough for fishing.

A trolling motor weighs 60 pounds. A good battery weighs at least 60 pounds. You’ll also have to register the canoe and pay for a battery charger. All this stuff costs money.

A trolling motor battery lasts 8 hours maximum and them you have to row or paddle with an extra 120 pounds in the boat. The metal motor and batter with cause the canoe to sink if a wave comes in. People and duffel bags of camping gear float, motors and batteries take the boat straight down.

Oars are light, cheap, last a long time, and never run out of gas.

I spent many years using a canoe with a trolling motor until one sank. Now I use oars 99% of the time and a trollomg motor almost never.

can you tell us first what you have …

– Last Updated: Jan-21-09 12:13 AM EST –

...... in the way of experience in canoe , what parts of the Potomac you have been on and what you were in when on them ??

Trying to get an understanding of what you already know about the stretch you have mentioned .

Also , how much distance you would intend to cover in a day while fishing it . There's downstream and upstream to consider ... you going both ways ??

Take a look at Esquif
Heron is 14’6"

Mallard is 12"

I just purchased a Cargo to take my family out on the same river, same area.

Sold at Blue Mountain Outfitters in Marysville, PA and by Appomattox River Company in Farmville, Richmond, and Virginia Beach, Virginia. ARC will ship, don’t know if BMO will.

  • Big D

canoe w/ tm
I don’t have much experience with a canoe, however i am pretty familiar with this stretch of river as i have fished from a kayak for the past 2-3 years as often as i can.

My reason for wanting to switch from a kayak to a canoe are so friends (maybe even the wife) can come along. I wanted a trolling motor to extend my range from my put ins and to be able to move to spots quicker with less effort. I often will try to go fishing after work in the summer time when daylight is limited, so if I can eliminate a 20-30 minute paddle up stream it would result in a few more smallies on my line!

My standard fishing trip in a kayak is putting in, paddling upstream for 30 minutes, float and fish, paddle upsteam for 30 minutes, float and fish, etc…repeat until exhaustion or darkness.

All that paddling upstream takes time and energy from the fishing, so if i can reduce/eliminate that time from canoe w/ TM that would be great.

I figure a royalex canoe weighing 55-65 lbs should be able to move ok with just me in it with a trolling motor of the sizes i mentioned, right?

I do the same thing you do with a kayak. I bought an Esquif Cargo and a 2.5hp motor for the very reasons you mention. I went big with the canoe for two reasons. First, I want to be able to tote my kiddos and wife. Second, I stand to flyfish.

I’ve been using a Coleman Scanoe and rowing upstream and floating back when I didn’t use a kayak. I figure if I can row it, a trolling motor ought to do. I’d go with as strong of a trolling motor as you can afford. I’ve got a 40ft/lb thrust one and it did fine with my Scanoe until I busted the clamp. A smaller, lighter boat with a 55ft/lb thrust trolling motor ought to boogie pretty good.

It’s looking like we’re going to have to put together an Upper Potomac fishing regatta some weekend. Been seeing lots of folks on here lately who fish that water. Cool! More interested users will help draw attention to the importance of cleaning up that water.

  • Big D

Maybe add an outrigger
an outrigger like spring creek sell will help stabilize the boat with a motor. I’d recommend an Island hopper outboard instead of a trolling motor if you want to motor up and drift down. It will be much lighter.


upper Potomac , canoes and rivers …

– Last Updated: Jan-21-09 11:27 PM EST –

..... drewmc34 , you having spent time in the river , I feel reasonably certain you are aware of the rocks , submerged logs , shallow bars , etc. .

These things are factors in a moving river , more so with a trolling motor hanging down there deeper from the bottom of a canoe ... you can see where I'm going with this .

Hanging the prop pod or shaft on a submerged or shallow object can quickly unballance a canoe . It can lean heavily , can change direction very quickly (a snap) , and even be the cause of a capsize if the situation escalates .

One helpful tip is to "NOT" allow your TM to be locked in the vertical position . This gives it much more chance of bouncing free before it gets hung badly . Of course using reverse becomes problem with an unlocked free shaft because the motor wants to kick up , so you have to either lock it for reverse ops. or avoid reverse at higher power settings .

Another "great" option is a "remote" control TM ... seriously consider this .

I understand your desire to get to where you want to go faster , and that's a good thing when canoe fishing a big piece of river .

Also understand leaving and returning to the same put-in , and having the ability to stretch your range to cover more "best looking" fishing spots .

It's also worth mentioning that a familiar (to you) stretch of the river may have many faces , depending on season , water levels (and flow velocities) , grasses and submerged objects . I say this because it is never a good idea to get "too" cmfortable with a familiar stretch , it should always be approached with the same cautions as if new to you .

A 45 lb. TR is fine , a high Amp Hr. marine batt. is extra insurance (but weight goes up with Amp Hr.) , and you should not skimp on the marine batt. charger , be sure to get a good 3 stage charger to keep your batt. in tip top performance and condition .
A single phase charger is for charging one batt. at a time , a 2 phase will charge two batts. at a time , etc. ... don't confuse 3 stage and single phase .

Can't really say this canoe or that canoe , but can say you would probably be happier and feel more secure in a larger canoe with deep sides , wide beam , and some extra length (16'-17')... a square stern might (would !!) even be preferable for a TM and mainly fishing , you might even decide to get a small outboard for it in the future for even better range and speed . The "centered" rear mounting is a big plus with a motor on a canoe ... a nice big plastic canoe , Roylex or linear poly (preferably layers like Old Town , etc.) will best serve you , I think , and the plainer the better , no need for fancy stuff here ... besides you will probably end up adding more gizmos to it as you go along . I "would not" recomend any canoe with a keel for the river .

One last thing which actually was my first thought , is that powering upstream is the safer of the two ways to go , because downstream will always have the current speeding up a mis-encounter with a bounce or hangup , so always keep that in mind when powering downstream (it all happens much quicker going downstream) .

Potomac is a big river , I've been all over it forever now , in all kinds of craft including one of my favorites , our canoe ... go for it , you won't regret !!!

OK , that's all I know ... except how to catch those fish (Smallmouth and Tiger Muskie) , when they want to bite , lol ... and there's good other species fishin in it too if you like those .

Oh yeah , don't forget your paddles , lots of that going on too ... and you can easily customize the shaft length of most all electric TM's , (the remotes also)

Thanks for all the good info, I have emailed ARC about what they have in stock and prices, I will cross my fingers in hopes a used model of what I am looking for pops up on craigslist but I wont hold my breath.

Big D, I will keep an eye out for your Esquif Cargo, that thing looks awesome!

Yeah, it’s beautiful.
I bought it in late December and haven’t got it wet yet. I was hoping to, but then sense got the better of me. I’ll paddle in cold water, but never alone. Further, it didn’t seem to make much sense to me to take out a new boat in cold water, especially when I will be learning all about using the motor. So I’m getting my ducks in a row and eagerly waiting for late Feb or March. I have to get some spare props and shear pins so that WHEN I bust up the prop on a rock or ledge I will have what I need to replace it and be back on my way.

Before running it with a motor, I may paddle or row it downriver first just to familiarize myself with how it feels and how it maneuvers. The hull design is gorgeous. Another person on P-net has the same boat with a 2HP prop and runs it in the same area of river - and he loves it.

Hope to see you out there. If you haven’t bought by Spring, I’ll be happy to take you out and see whether you like it.

  • Big D

Question D
Did you get an extended handle for your motor so you can sit closer towards the middle?

I plan to put a great big cooler in the front as ballast.

  • Big D

The commish is wise.

Bell Angler
The Bell Angler is a really cool boats with the angler package. I think that you will really like it. Let me know if you ever need any help with Bell Canoe as I am the new Southeastern rep.