Fishing from a canoe can be a rewarding experience. This article will cover some of the advantages of canoe fishing, and give you some tips for outfitting your fishing canoe.
Advantages of Canoe Fishing
Cost: Compared to boats, canoes are relatively cheap. You can find plenty of cheap used canoes by searching sites like Craigslist and Ebay. You also don’t have to worry about gas or buying any type of trailer to transport the canoe. You can simply strap it to the top of your car.
Portability: Compared to boats, canoes are more portable. You can carry your canoe to places you might not be able to get to with a boat.
Maneuverability: Canoes allow you to fish places you might not be able to fish with a boat. You can maneuver through small streams, ponds, and structure with relative ease.
Outfitting a Fishing Canoe
You can catch plenty of fish without adding anything to your canoe, but if you plan on doing a lot of fishing from you canoe, you will want to consider the following tips.
Seats: When fishing from a canoe, standing is not an option, so most of your time will be spent in the seat. Some canoes come with seat-backs, but if your canoe has bench seats, you might want to consider purchasing a few seat-backs. You can buy seat-backs that clip right on and fold out.
Trolling Motor: If you plan on covering a lot of water, purchasing a small (30-45 pound) trolling motor is a great choice to consider. You can find these relatively cheap. You can mount the trolling motor on the back or side of your canoe. You can buy or make a motor mount. You will also need to purchase a battery and box on which the motor runs. Again, this is not a must, but paddling all day can become quite tiresome, especially if you plan on doing a lot of fishing from your canoe.
Anchors: You can buy or make your own anchors, but you will want to have two in your canoe. If you plan on staying in one place to fish, your canoe will drift quite a bit if you only have one anchor down.
Portable Fish Finder: Again, this is not a must, but a portable fish finder is obviously going to help to you catch more fish. You can find these for relatively cheap, and most of them can be suction-mounted directly to your canoe.
Rod Holders: Consider buying a few rod holders, especially if you plan on trolling. Your canoe can become quite cluttered, and the last thing you want is to knock your rod into the water if it is just hanging on the side of your canoe.
Storage: As mentioned above, you are not going to have a lot of space in your canoe, so you want to keep everything organized and within reach. Consider buy some waterproof containers and bags in which to store your tackle. You can clip or strap the containers to the side of your canoe. Make sure everything is in reach so you avoid making any quick movements which might result in you ending up in the water. Having everything secured in a set location also reduce the amount of noise you make as you fish. The lack of noise from a canoe is one of its benefits. Also, if you do land a fish, you want to have to have some space to land the fish. You don't want a big flathead or striper thrashing around your canoe and knocking everything into the water.
Safety: Make sure you have a life-jacket or some other type of flotation device with you. You should also bring plenty of rope so you can tie your canoe if you do plan to get out of the water.
Again, if you plan on fishing from your canoe on a somewhat regular basis, adding some of the above features will make your experience more comfortable and successful.
For some great information on buying a fishing canoe, check out this article.