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Are Canoes Good for Fishing?

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Do you love fishing? Fishing engages the family. While some people fish for food, others fish for fun. A better way to fish instead of standing on docks is to go to your fishing spot with a canoe.

Are canoes good for fishing?

Canoes are very suitable for fishing and they have been used in fishing for a very long time. Canoes have enough space to keep the fish and still retain maneuverability and stability.

Closeup shot of wooden canoe with vintage fishing rod and net on the lake

What are some awesome ways to enjoy fishing with a canoe? What are the advantages and disadvantages of fishing with a canoe? Continue reading.

Canoes for Fishing: Are They Safe?

People have been using canoes to fish for a very long time. Canoes are popular, especially in rural places. Canoes are very safe for use.

Just like other methods of fishing, fishing with canoes has its pros and cons. Let’s discuss some advantages of fishing with a canoe.

Advantages of Fishing with a Canoe

Some advantages of fishing with a canoe are:

1. Comfort and Space

Unlike kayaks, canoes are large enough to accommodate two or three persons. Asides from the number of persons that can enter a canoe, canoes also have space to carry a lot of fish.

Kayaks are not very comfortable since they have limited space. In canoes, you can stretch, stand, and move about. You have more comfort in a canoe, so you can spend more time offshore.

2. Maneuverability

Just like kayaks, canoes have high maneuverability and stability. This means that you can easily turn and move from one spot to another. Also, canoes not do easily capsize. So long as you sit in the right part of your canoe and you do not go canoeing in fast-flowing water, you should be safe from capsizing.

3. Fishing Close to the Fish

This is one reason why canoe fishing is better than dock fishing. Many fishes will avoid docks because they are afraid of humans. When canoeing, you can go closer to the fish.

This means that someone fishing with a canoe will get more fish than someone standing on a dock and fishing. Cool, right?

Boy and father fishing in a canoe

4. No Disturbance of Aquatic Wildlife

Canoes usually move slowly and gently. Other fast-moving boats such as powerboats can disturb fish and even scare them away. The speed and gentility of canoes help you to go closer to fish without scaring them away. This means that when it comes to fishing, canoeing might actually be better than using powerboats.

5. Best for Family Recreation

Remember that two or three persons can enter the same canoe. You can fish with your parents, children, or siblings. Unlike in ships filled with a lot of people, you get to spend more time with your canoe partners alone and away from distractions.

Do you agree that canoe fishing is awesome? That’s great. Now let us discuss some disadvantages of fishing with a canoe.

Disadvantages of Fishing with a Canoe

Here are a few cons of fishing with a canoe:

1. Staying in a Spot (Anchoring)

When you catch a fish, it is important that you stay in one spot. Canoes usually do not have enough stability to stay in one spot when you catch a lot of fish (or a very strong fish).

To help you stay in one spot, you should install anchors in your canoe. It is even better if your canoe has two anchors (one in the bow and the other in the stern). Keeping your boat in one spot is essential in fishing.

Three canoes on a lake rocky beach in the Maine wilderness

2. Transportation to the Sea or River

Let’s say that you live far from the river and you have a canoe. How would you transport your canoe to the river? Unlike dock fishing where you only have to go with your fishing gear, you need to carry your canoe to the river if you want to fish with a canoe.

You can attach your canoe to your truck with a trailer or you can keep your canoe around the dock (if it is allowed).

3. Canoeing to the Preferred Spot

You have decided to take your canoe to the river. What if the fishing spot is far away?

Unlike using powerboats, you have to paddle your canoe down to the fishing spot. This can consume a lot of your time and energy. Well, let’s hope that you catch a lot of fish so that you can forget the time and energy spent.

As you can see, everything has its pros and cons. How can you enjoy your fishing experience? Continue reading.

Useful Tips for Fishing with a Canoe

Here are some useful (and lifesaving) tips that you should follow when fishing with a canoe:

1. Always Go with a Map or GPS

Fishing tackles, rod, reel, and map on the background

Your safety is very important. Make sure that you have a map or GPS so that you can find your way back if you get lost or go too far. Please do not go fishing without a map.

2. Stay at the Center of the Canoe When Fishing

Staying at the center of the canoe will help prevent the boat from capsizing. When you sit at the center, you have higher stability to drag the fish into the boat. You can even stand at the center of the boat (don’t stand if you are not stable).

3. Return Undersized or Gravid Fishes

Undersized fish are fish that have not matured enough to reproduce nor have reached table size. Gravid fish are female fish filled with eggs. You should return undersized and gravid fishes so that the population of their species can increase steadily.

4. Keep Your Fishing Accessories in a Waterproof Bag or Container

To prevent your fishing gear from falling in and getting lost in the river, you should store them in a waterproof container to keep them afloat if they fall away from the canoe. Your equipment can harm fish when you leave it there, so it is better to store them in a container that will prevent them from getting lost in the river or sea.

5. Approach the Fishing Spot as Slowly and as Quiet as Possible

Man fishing in river from canoe

When you are close to a fishing spot, you should paddle the canoe slowly and gently so that the fish will not swim away (because of shock or fear).

Canoeing vs. Kayaking for Fishing: Which is Better?

Your choice to fish with either canoe or kayak depends on several factors. Some factors that you should consider when choosing between a canoe or kayak:

  • Comfort: Talking about comfort, canoes are more comfortable than kayaks. You can spend more time in a canoe than in a kayak because of comfort.
  • Space: Canoes are larger than kayaks and can carry more persons.
  • Stability: Since kayakers sit lower than people in canoes, kayaks are more stable. This is why kayaks can easily go from fast to slow waters.
  • Fishing Accessories: Both canoes and kayaks have many fishing accessories, but canoes have been used for fishing for a very long time.
  • Maneuverability: Kayakers can maneuver very easily as kayaks are small and thin.
  • Passengers: Canoes can carry two or more persons. Most kayaks, however, are for single passengers
  • Portage: Portage means carrying your canoe or kayak on land or low waters where they are stuck. You need to carry your canoe and kayaks to a more comfortable place, but is it easier to carry a canoe as two or more persons can carry it at once.

It is clear that even though canoes appear to be better for fishing, kayaks have their own advantages. You should decide the best one to use.

Related Questions and Answers

More useful information for you:

1. What Should You Consider When Buying a Canoe for Fishing?

Canoes and kayaks stored at a renting place

Here are some factors that you should consider when buying or hiring a canoe for the purpose of fishing:

  • Size: The size of the canoe matters a lot. Larger canoes are more stable, but smaller canoes are faster. Also, it is easier to paddle long canoes (i.e. lengthy canoes).
  • Shape: Slim canoes are faster, but canoes with a high width are more stable. If the fishing spot is not very far from shore, you should go for a canoe with more width (because of the space).
  • Material: Canoes can be made of wood, fiberglass, plastic, etc. When buying a canoe, remember that the material used will affect when your canoe will start to wear out.
  • Accessories: You should always have a GPS, fishfinder, map, and other needed accessories in your canoe.
  • Carrying Capacity: The carrying capacity of a canoe determines how many passengers and fish can fit in the canoe at once. Make sure that you do not carry more than the carrying capacity of the boat to prevent it from sinking.

Make sure that you get the best canoe for your fishing trip.

2. What If Your Canoe is Not Large Enough for the Fish You Caught?

If you caught more fish than your canoe can carry, here are some suggestions for you:

  • Call for Help: Other fisherpeople around can help you carry some of the fish.
  • Keep Some Attached to the Canoe: In rural places, most fishermen keep their fish in nets tied to the boat. This means that the fishes are still swimming in the water, but can’t go far away from the boat. When you approach the shore, all you have to do is lift the net.
  • Release Some Fishes: You should release some fish that you caught back into the river or sea. As a guide, start with undersized and gravid fish before you start releasing others.

Next time, consider going with a larger boat. You should, however, stick to local fishing guidelines.

3. Can a Canoe Sink?

Happy couple canoeing with another couple on a lake

A canoe can sink for various reasons. For example, a canoe can sink when it is holding more than its carrying capacity.

Also, a canoe can sink when there’s a hole in the body. Your canoe will sink when you allow water to enter (and stay in it).

Useful insight, right?

Final Thoughts

Canoes are great for fishing. People have been fishing with canoes for many years and canoes will still be used in fishing in many years to come. Make sure to use the tips mentioned in this article the next time you go fishing with your canoe.