Fishing On Canoe: Exploring the Pros and Cons

Fishing kayaks have been gaining immense popularity among anglers, but as an avid canoeist, I can’t help but remain loyal to my trusty canoe. Let’s take a closer look at the pros and cons of each craft.

Comfort: Unraveling the Seating Experience

When it comes to comfort, the first thing to consider is the seating position. Fishing kayaks typically feature a sit-on-top design, which offers a low center of gravity and increased stability. However, one drawback is the limited range of movement. You can only face forward, making it difficult to look behind you. On the other hand, canoes provide a higher seating position, allowing for more flexibility in seating arrangements. With bent legs, you can easily squirm around and adjust your posture, alleviating any discomfort. Personally, this freedom of movement is a significant advantage as I tend to experience back problems with the rigid seating position of a kayak.

Moving Around: A Comparison of Propulsion

Propulsion is another crucial factor to consider. While kayaks rely on a two-bladed paddle, canoes are propelled using a single-blade paddle. Kayaks require you to switch between your fishing pole and paddle, which can be inconvenient. To prevent the paddle from escaping, it’s essential to use a tether. On the other hand, canoes allow for quick transitions as you can easily drop the paddle to the deck when not in use. Moreover, canoes offer the option of attaching an electric trolling motor, further facilitating effortless movement. It’s worth mentioning that pedal-powered kayaks have gained popularity, enabling hands-free movement through the use of pedals that drive two flippers.

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Weight and Capacity: A Comparison of Hauling

Weight plays a crucial role, especially when it comes to hauling your watercraft. Fishing kayaks tend to be heavier, with some weighing up to 100 pounds. This makes loading and unloading from a car roof a challenging task. Canoes, on the other hand, are generally lighter, with some models weighing as little as 23 pounds. Anything over 40 pounds is difficult to handle without assistance. However, it’s important to note that pedal-driven kayaks may require a truck or trailer for transportation.

In terms of carrying capacity, both canoes and kayaks offer ample room for your equipment. Kayaks typically feature covered wells and elastic cords to secure your belongings, ensuring they remain dry and safe. On the contrary, canoes provide a more accessible storage solution. You can simply drop items onto the deck whenever needed. It’s crucial to secure everything properly to prevent losses in case of tipping. Various accessories like spring-loaded retractors prove to be invaluable for keeping your gear secure. Though canoes allow for more storage, retrieving items located far from your position can be challenging. Canoes offer bags that attach to the thwarts and under the seat, effectively keeping your equipment dry.

Here is an image of a fishing canoe in action:

Fishing Canoe

Staying Put: Anchoring Techniques

Anchoring presents its own challenges in both canoes and kayaks. Numerous anchor styles are available, but personally, I prefer the mushroom-shaped ones due to their decreased likelihood of getting entangled. An alternative that I find convenient is a milk jug filled with sand. Its weight can be easily adjusted, and it’s less prone to getting stuck. In both crafts, you can either haul up the anchor by hand or use a pulley system from either the bow or stern.

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Fishing Techniques: Adapting to Your Craft

When fishing from a boat and standing, you have the advantage of utilizing your entire body for casting and reeling in fish. Canoes and kayaks, however, limit you to using only your arms and shoulders. Casting techniques also vary between the two. Kayaks bring you closer to the water’s surface, requiring adjustments to your cast. Some manufacturers offer specialized spinning rods designed specifically for kayaks. These rods feature slightly longer handles, making it easier to grab the reel when a fish strikes. In contrast, canoe fishing emphasizes the ability to get close to your target quietly, reducing the need for long casts. For this reason, a shorter rod proves more useful. Additionally, I find an 11-foot Tenkara-style rod ideal for targeting crappies or panfish around stumps.

Choosing Your Watercraft

The best way to determine which watercraft suits you is by trying each one. Expos and events like Canoecopia offer an excellent opportunity to explore a wide variety of self-propelled watercraft. When it comes to pricing, both canoes and kayaks come in a range of options, from affordable to more expensive models. Kayaks have the advantage of being customizable to fit your specific needs, whereas canoes often require additional accessories. While my bias lies with canoes, primarily due to the comfort they offer, fishing kayaks are tailored for single-use. Canoes, on the other hand, allow you to strip off the fishing gear and spend a leisurely day floating down a river. Whichever option you choose, the thrill of using your craft to land a big catch is unmatched.

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*Note: The article includes images from the original source.