small fishing canoe

Hi Everyone,

I was hoping that someone could give me some advice about buying a canoe. I’m looking at smaller canoes - a small two-seater - for my wife, two-year-old daughter, and I. I’ll mostly be using it just by myself (before they wake up) for fishing, but I wanted to get something that could hold all of us even though we won’t be using it together too often. Could you all please recommend a canoe that has a nice fishing set up, is stable, and preferably light since I’ll be loading it alone most of the time? Thanks a lot!


Consider a boat cart to use when by
yourself. That will reduce the need for a “light” boat when only you are going out. You can easily put all of your gear into the canoe and then roll it down to the water. This will widen your choices for boats to carry three people.

Fishing Canoe
SPorts Pal and Raddison, the same company, make light, short, stable canoes that are inexpensive but paddle poorly for under a K$.

Lincoln makes a short little pond tandem that paddles better but costs more, how much more depends on how light you want it to be.

some ideas
Old Town Camper – you will need to find old stock or used, the Royalex material used to make it is no longer available. Old Town used to make a Stillwater 14 ft in fiberglass – again, you will be looking for used or NOS. Weight?

Wenonah Fisherman, Heron, Aurora – any in Tuff-weave will be relatively light, but $$ new. Can’t recall if any of these were made with Royalex. If so, used or NOS might be an option and cheaper.

Thank you for the tips.

Neighbors have a Stillwater
14 feet. 63 lbs.I swear its getting heavier each time we help them move it.

Stable. Good for fishing.

Really benefits from a cart.

Wenonah mentioned
/every hull TomD mentioned is still made, and in both tuffweave and kevlar. they were all made in royalex, but not exclusively. All would work, the longer hulls would benefit from addition of center seat for solo work. Fisherman and Heron pretty wide to solo, but can be done. Paddled a Kevlar Heron today both solo and tandem + a 70# Chesapeake Retriever. With the dog moving around it was a handful, but never got seriously tipped. Speed was not fast, about like a Mad River Explorer, but it turned well under load, and took no effort to paddle at a cruise. soloed backward from the front seat it was a bit bow light, had to lean forward from the front edge of the seat to put the bow in contact with the water, or kneel. Sorta wide to solo, but its so easy to control that i could move along staying on the left and just using a slight flick of the wrist at the end of the stroke to correct. Used a 50" Gillespie 14 degree wood bentshaft. Paddled in gusty wind on a small lake, little waves, just wind.

Never soloed a Fisherman and at almost 40" across the gunwales at the solo station probably will not.


Actually most any symmetrical (both ends same shape) canoes designed for tandem will work. Solo you paddle from the front seat paddling backwards, balances better that way. You will want traditional seats that you can use facing either way.

Bill H.

Fisherman as solo
I paddled my Fisherman solo quite often. Sat in bow seat backwards with cheap large drybag filled mostly with water in the other end for ballast. Boat is short enough that turning in that mode wasn’t hard and going straight was pretty easy too. Stood in it with a pole a lot of the time, and that worked pretty well too. Even in royalex, the 39" width didn’t make it too hard to left to carry, but it was not as easy as narrower canoes.

It’s a little small for two adults and a kid, unless they are all on the small side. Given the choice between the two, I would go with a Heron instead.