What canoe do you fish from?

Greetings all,

Got me a whacky idea for a sorta odd concept in canoe design. But what I’d like to do first is hear from some of the of canoe fisherman. All the kayak people, hold off on answering this one for now please. :slight_smile:

What kind of canoe do you fish from?

Why that model?

What model would you really like to have?

Do you stand up and pole or cast (without assistance from outriggers)?

If not, is this something you wish you could do?

As some of you know, I design built-it-yourself canoe and kayak plans. I’ll be tinkering with a prototype of my new idea soon. I’m hoping to use the info above to help decide if making a mold might be worth while.

Thanks in advance for your input.


Fishing Canoe
We-no-nah Fishermen (14 feet), I had the carrying yoke removed and a rowing seat with oar locks placed in it. I also had an old town anchor release system. Its fine for lakes and the mouths of major rivers, but not for uppper faster river water, or open bays like San Francisco, or Bodega.

I mostly troll with Northeastern styled streamer flys, but I do stand and fly cast. However, sitting and trolling is more effective and less visible to fish and other fishermen. I would like to some day own a Maine style Rangely wooden boat which is similar to an Old Town sport canoe, but wider, deeper and more stable.

I like
my OT Penobscot 16 in Royalex, typically use a fly rod as well as a spinning rod. I typically do not stand. No out riggers or any such things.

Fishing Canoe
I use a Dagger Reflection 16 for tandem. I have used the Old Town Osprey 140, the Old Town Penobscot 16 and the Wenonah Spirit II.

For Solo I use a Coleman 13 ft canoe(out of prduction) I have used the Old Town Osprey 140 and the Old Town Pack(Lower the seat for added stability).

we no nah’s
I have fished from a number of wenonah canoes. I have a Vagabond in toughweave that I fish smaller lakes and rivers with. I stand from time to time in it but not too often. For big flat water I fish from a minn2. It is awsome: stable and fast.

For rivers I have fished tandem from 2 canoes. One is a wenonah echo. 16.5 foot in toughweave. I also fish from a saranac. I took the echo out for years solo till I bought the vagabond. I stood in it all the time, even through small rapids. I think they all have pluses and negatives. If I had my way I would have a 15 foot royalex tandem for rivers,a 14ish foot solo royalex for rivers both with a few inches of rocker for turning. A 17 foot for flat water tandem with a bit of rocker in kevlar. Big tripper must be a minn2. A solo about 16 feet with a bit of rocker for fishing flatwater. People look for rerally wide canoes for fishing and I do not see why. I cannot give up speed on flat water for stability. On the river wide and slow is fine as thge water mover for me. Make a flat seat as I do not like the wenonah tractor seats for fishing.

my experience

– Last Updated: Aug-25-04 11:12 PM EST –

My first fishing canoe was a Navarro Loon 17 wood ribs & fiberglass. Beatiful canoe. Fast. Shallow V hull. Average primary stability and excellent secondary stability. I could stand and fish. I could even throw a cast net. Problems: 1. too heavy. 2. Being so long, it is hard to manuver into a spot or position. 3. Easily blown by wind when not paddled. 4. Not too durable for rough use. Result: Sold.

My second fishing canoe was a OT Discovery 147K. Very durable. Flat bottom with a kneel. Slow. Good primary and average secondary stability. I could do the same things in this canoe as I could in the Loon. But I think I like shallow V design better.
Problems: 1. Slow. 2. quite heavy for a person to load/unload. Result: Sold.

I usually fish solo but my wife comes along sometimes. If my wife goes with me more often, I would probably keep the OT canoe. Anyway I start to realize that getting a solo canoe is better for my purpose. I will sacrfice stability for speed. Stability is something a person can learn to adjust. Also, I think I will definitely install a trolling motor to increase range and free up hands in big waters.

My next canoe will be a 13' -- 15' solo canoe with a width around 30" and weigh under 50 lbs.

Side Note: I wish I had not sold the Loon 17 because it is fast, beautiful, and stable. But fishing is my first priority. We miss her :(

I have no complaints with my strip built Merlin solo. 15.5’ x approximately 30" wide. It’s fast, stable, narrow enough to paddle with a double bladed paddle and tracks well. Even though I added an extra layer of fiberglass to the exterior hull, it still came out to 46 lbs. Even though it is only 30" wide, I can stand and paddle or cast a flyrod. Stability is a relative term, so compared to the larger doubles, some may consider it tippy. http://www.loup-garou.net/May27quarterview.JPG I have a number of friends that have added sponsons and trolling motor brackets to their Old Town canoes for more stability and range.


Fishing Canoe
I use a Mad River Royalex Explorer. I stand to Fly Cast almost constantly. I use it for solo and tandam. I like the canoe and it serves me well. I am looking for the perfect “LIGHT SOLO CANOE”. I will NEVER even concider outriggers! I can see me having yet another obsticle to tangle my fly line. I want manoverability. And as stated in previous replies, stability is relative. I am comfortable standing, casting, and even walking all around my canoe.

I like NO Clutter! A fast efficient hull, with versatility. I fish Rivers and Lakes. I am only looking for a solo to make it easier on my old tired back! I don’t attatch anything like rod holders etc. to my canoe. It stays naked. For convenience I use a couple 5 gal. buckets with PVC rod holders screwed onto the bucket. Cheap, Easy, Efficient! Holds all my junk and keeps it dry.

In the neighborhood

– Last Updated: Aug-27-04 4:17 PM EST –


Saw your post on paddling.net and wanted to let you know we're in the same area. You mentioned wanting to try a lighterweight solo boat. I have a Swift Shearwater and a Bell Magic both in kevlar. They weigh 45 and 42 lbs respectively. If you can make the Raystown get together the weekend of Oct 16 (see the getting together forum) I'll have both boats there and you're welcome to try them out. The Shearwater is the better river-boat but does ok on flatwater. The Magic is fast and tracks harder but still can turn readily enough for slow rivers and of course excels on lakes.

If Raystown is not possible, give me an email and perhaps we can meet locally. My fishing has taken a bit of a backseat this year but I've paddled nearly every week.


if im gonna fish from a canoe…
I borrow my buddies 25 year old Coleman 17. Stable enough that even a 6’1" 345 lb. hippie can stand up comfortably.

River Fisherman
As I mostly fish for smallmouth bass in rivers, my OT Pathfinder is my primary canoe. I also use a 16’ Penobscot for rivers and a Wenonah MN II for trips to the BWCA.

The Pathfinder is tough (RX), fairly easy to carry (under 60#) and works well in the class II-III streams I like to fish. (Elkhorn in KY, New in WV and VA) as well as capable of hauling gear on multi-day floats.

I never stand while fishing out of a canoe and see no need to. Speed for lake tripping or manueverability and toughness for rivers is my primary concern.

Fishing from canoe
I am using a Clipper Prospector 14. A tad heavy at 52#, but stable as a barn. I have stood to casr but see no need to. If company is along, I have a 17 royalex Wenonah Sundowner. Surpsingly, the Clipper feels more forgiving. I carry two straight paddles, and leave the bent-shafts at home for fishing. Having had open heart surgery and just turning 70, I have finally invested in a small Minn-Kota motor. Had one on a 1970s 12’ Sinterplast plastic pumpkinseed, very beamy, and so slow I got the motor. I fabricate my own mounts.

OT Osprey
I fish with an OT Osprey 140. No outriggers. I’ve had my whole family of four out in it many times without any problems. I have the rowing configuration which is great when you want to move upwind or over long distances.


Fishing canoe
I’ve used a 3 different models to fish out of. My first was a Coleman. It was a beast, but it was super stable. My next was an Old Town Guide, heavy as hell, but a big improvement over the Coleman on the water. I presently use an Old Town Penobscot 16. Quick on the water, stable enough to stand in and light enough to portage into those backcountry ponds.

Mad River Duck Hunter 17
I fish from a 17-foot Mad River Duck Hunter. It is wide and stable. Our German Shepherd, who likes to move around checking out what is below, has yet to tip us over. We do not stand to cast.

The only thing I dislike about it is it being difficult to handle for one person. I plan to install a seat in the middle and try the canoe solo. At worst, it will be a seat for my daughter when she is old enough to join.

Why I went with Old Town Guide
I would like to take this opportunity to sing the praises of my Old Town Guide 147.

When I was looking for the ideal fly fishing canoe some years ago, I tested out numerous brands and models and found myself struggling with an age-old dilemna. Most recreational canoes are too narrow, and don’t have good stability. Some are so light, their hulls cannot support stand-up fishing. But the “sporting” models are usually over 100 lbs, and too wide, and a real bear to paddle. Another consideration was length. A longer canoe has better secondary stability, but is also much more susceptible to crosswind.

The Guide 14 was new at the time, but all the dimensions lined up to exactly the ideal boat. Further, the Polylink hull was tough, solid and dependable.

It was love at first sight! The love affair continues to this day - in fact, I just came back from a fishing trip in the marsh with my older son. I stood up in the back, and push poled him in skinny water for redfish. When I wasn’t poling, I paddled him around. The Guide might be a bit slow for a rec canoe, but it’s much faster than a sporting variety.

When the wind came up to 15-20 knots, he helped me paddle. Usually if I know the wind will be up, and I’m solo, I’ll bring a trolling motor. The Guide 14 is wide and heavy enough to well support a trolling motor. Anything less you will need stabilizers. Anything wider and heavier or longer, and you’ll need a motor all the time.

The hull is nice and thick, it not only supports a person standing, but it keeps the hull quiet, so if you drop a rod it doesn’t spook every fish for miles.

Some say this boat is a bit heavy at 75 lbs. But I never lift it. I bought a Yakima system for my old Jeep, and one for my new Jeep. I lift one end of the canoe and put it on the back rail, then pick up the other end and push the canoe into place.

For launching or storing, I could probably have gotten a canoe cart. But I simply drag it around. The scratches it gets from this pale by comparison to the ones that oysters and other water hazards have put in it. But like I said, this hull is tough and thick. Even if my abuse means it’ll only last another 10 years, that’s okay, because it’s PLASTIC and it’s CHEAP. The Guide costs $500, which is about what I pay for insurance alone on my motorboat in one year!

I strongly suggest you test all these canoes, and put this boat in your test list.

What kind of canoe do you fish from?

Mad River Explorer 14TT

Why that model?


What model would you really like to have?

Bell Wildfire red with wood gunnels

Do you stand up and pole or cast (without assistance from outriggers)? I can but don’t

If not, is this something you wish you could do?

No, I’d rather have speed and handling to play in class 2 water.

mohawk ranger
17’x 34" fg old keeper. we stand and cast for shrimp, mostly sit and fish or crab.

Canoe Fishing
-I fish out of an Old Towne Discover 16.

I originally selected it for the carry weight capacity and its ruggedness. This poor boat has endured the worst of it as I have paddled and drug it to the most obscure fishing holes.

As for choice of any model, this may not be my top choice for a mellow day trip, but I wouldn’t trade it for any other canoe when it comes to a long day of fishing or goofing around in.

I have stood in it, but with the rounded bottom it can feel a little uneasy when the craft is not weighted down. When fishing alone, I wouldn’t mind an outrigger at times. Especially when leaning over to net a trophy catch.

River fishing
I fish Rivers that are limited to mild Class II. I have been using a Mohawk Solo 13 this Summer and can’t complain.

When I fish tandem its generally with my son and he has a OT Guide. The Guide is very stable and tracks well, it is a low priced craft, but except for the weight, it seems to work well for two fishermen.