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#11926529 - 11/09/16 08:57 PM Kayak vs Canoe fishing
Mulholland Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 10/28/13
Posts: 1920
Loc: Plano, TX
Why is kayak fishing so popular but not so much canoe fishing? I've owned a couple of big boats now and have a procraft 201 combo Ill be hitting the water with soon but just decided on a canoe as my next paddle craft after renting one to try.

I've had 2 man pond boats and loved them, had a pescador and have used a few other gals and wasn't blown away by fishing out of them... Lack of space for equipment and inability to move around much, and lack of ability to bring a friend or dog all lead to me preferring a variety of 2 man pond boats for small water fishing.

But I didn't want another vehicle to register, or maintain, I was craving the maintenance free fishing and ease of a kayak again but instead I went with a buddy and rented a canoe for the day at Tyler State Park... And I can't for the life of me figure out how I ever got sold on kayaks?

I'm picking up a canoe Saturday morning, an old town Saranac 146, and I am beyond excited. It weighs the same as a kayak but has 3 seats, 2 with backs, all 3 with storage compartments... Rod holders and paddle holders... I can comfortable take 5-6 rods on board without even getting really creative... 750lb capacity and sub 80lb weight?

Are canoes a lot more popular than I previously realized or is everyone missing out? I get the unsinkable nature of a sit on top is attractive, but if you don't go out in rougher water anyways, and don't enjoy wet rides... What does one give you over the other?

I am so excited to be paddling again. I even prefer the single paddle to the double. Is it just that sit on top kayaks and double paddles look spiffy? Is the canoe silhouette and single paddle not hip enough for the plastic navy?

I'd love to hear opinions and feedback. This thing perfectly marries the joys of paddling, fishing without giving up all of my equipment, or the ability to bring a friend or my dog with me.

Edited by Mulholland (11/09/16 08:58 PM)

#11926591 - 11/09/16 10:06 PM Re: Kayak vs Canoe fishing [Re: Mulholland]
Tallgrass05 Online   content
bill maher's protege

Registered: 03/02/05
Posts: 42230
Loc: Kansas
It's whatever floats your boat, literally. I've had a BassTracker boat, canoed a lot, especially in Arkansas, and now have two SINKs. I like the kayaks better than the canoe times. I don't see any canoe makers going out of business, so they are still selling.

#11926606 - 11/09/16 10:29 PM Re: Kayak vs Canoe fishing [Re: Mulholland]
Mulholland Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 10/28/13
Posts: 1920
Loc: Plano, TX
I've been missing out a long time. I was really missing a smaller boat for little lakes and ponds but the 2 man boats are a bear solo to drag in and out of truck bed, and if I'm hitching up a trailer it'll be my big boat, why get that involved for so many sacrifices? The kayak was awesome and I would totally own one just for the purpose of paddling for fun, but I hated fishing from it... When your arms are your only motor fishing beyond drifting becomes a challenge, this was much improved for me in the kayak with both more room to move things around and also more easy manipulating a single paddle for quick adjustments rather than a huge double. I was always constantly terrified I would be diving overboard after rods and tackle on the kayaks. In the canoe, there is enough room for a typical floorboard worth of tackle strewn about after a day of tough fishing, including the horde of rods you need to throw it all.

I really just had no idea too. I hope I'm not the only one! I was surprised to not see more high end fishing canoes though... Probably some room in the market for an innovator from any of the established brands. I would love to see one fully rigged out for bass duty. I may have to try my own hand at it with this one.

#11926784 - 11/10/16 07:16 AM Re: Kayak vs Canoe fishing [Re: Mulholland]
Brad R Online   content
Extreme Angler

Registered: 03/09/15
Posts: 1839
Loc: Texas
Mulholland, I have both. I own what I believe is the premier fishing canoe, a Meyers Sportspal, mine the S-15 model which has the square stern for mounting a trolling motor back there. And, I have a Native Propel 10.

Differences I've noticed:

1) the canoe is MUCH easier to stand in. Another "Brad" and I went out one day, it became really windy on Wheeler Branch but I stood up and used my trolling motor at near full speed to cross through the waves back toward the little island standing the whole time;

2) it holds tons of gear and it doesn't need to be specialized. A big cooler works just as well as a blackpak;

3) Two big men can fish out of it effortlessly.

4) Downsides are a vessel this big requires a trailer in most cases, and, for me, the biggest objection is canoes don't hold position well on water. They are like leaves blowing across the water. You will need some anchoring ideas. And, canoes are great for floating down rivers in light currents, but the fishing canoe versions (the bigger wider ones) are not as efficient when paddling - less speed, less turning ability, etc., on open water.

The general pros for a kayak are there are models that are light and relatively easy to get to the lake, on, and off the water and back home, so great finesse vessels. This is, of course, if you select a smaller one. A PA 14 would have the same issues as a big canoe.

I'd say go the canoe way if you fish with a buddy and need to be in the same boat, do bigger trips like camping out, fish certain sorts of places. Go kayak if you are planning to solo, pack lighter, get on and off the water easier.

I am going to split the difference next time, get an ATAK 120 I think. I don't want ANY mechanical stuff: no trolling motors, no pedals, nothing to grease, no rudder cables that could snap, etc. So, paddle it will be for me. I will likely lose the magnificent "holding water" I have with the Propel's forward and backward pedaling, but...

The ATAK 120 will still allow me to stand and fish, it paddles fast and can be used in grassy water, nothing to grease, can load it in the back of a truck bed with an extender. I don't want to haul a trailer anymore, either.

Something for everyone between canoes and kayaks!


Edited by Brad R (11/10/16 07:19 AM)

#11926858 - 11/10/16 07:47 AM Re: Kayak vs Canoe fishing [Re: Mulholland]
christian myrick Offline
TFF Team Angler

Registered: 08/03/11
Posts: 3167
Loc: little elm
I started in a canoe with my father over 30 years ago. We did a lot of fishing but more expedition paddles. What i have learned is canoes take more skill,,,not saying kayaks dont take skill but a canoe is as a rule of thumb less stable, can hold water, righting a flipped canoe is much more difficult than a sit on top kayak. Wind effects you a lot more also. Imo canoes are way better than a tandem kayak and generally make more sense on long paddle/camping trips. I am now in a viking reload that reacts much like the canoe we had when i was a boy. Its great to paddle, i love them both and will always do one or both for the rest of my life.

#11926985 - 11/10/16 08:51 AM Re: Kayak vs Canoe fishing [Re: Mulholland]
Floon Swenson Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 09/06/16
Posts: 1752
Not to repeat what all has been said, because I think y'all pretty much covered it, but for me, the biggest advantage a kayak has to a canoe (strictly for angling purposes here) is when you're dealing with wind on an open body of water. Especially when you're fishing solo. Outside of that scenario, a canoe can work as good, or better.

#11927027 - 11/10/16 09:11 AM Re: Kayak vs Canoe fishing [Re: Mulholland]
Dan90210 ☮ Online   content
Nonbinary Gender of the Year 2017

Registered: 11/18/09
Posts: 27620
Loc: Denton County
Canoes get the nod with two people.

One guy, I go kayak all the way. Canoes are tippy IMO.

I can stand in my jackson Big Rig no problem, doing so in a canoe makes me nervous.
Originally Posted By: junbengreat
Pulled a gun on his dryer and they caught a bunch of fish.

#11927102 - 11/10/16 09:47 AM Re: Kayak vs Canoe fishing [Re: Mulholland]
Matty Offline

Registered: 06/17/06
Posts: 173
Loc: Plano
The answer lies within one word you used in your original post ... "prefer". It's all about preference. Kayak fishing isn't for everyone. Heck, there isn't even one kayak that fits all kayakers.

I like to fish small waters, especially rivers and the kayak helps me navigate easier and stand. I used to stand a little in the canoe but it was not really a stable option. Plus, with my kayak I'm not dependent on having a partner to fish with.

#11927117 - 11/10/16 09:56 AM Re: Kayak vs Canoe fishing [Re: Mulholland]
lconn4 Offline
TFF Celebrity

Registered: 12/02/12
Posts: 9185
Loc: Cherokee County
I've paddled or floated something to fish from since I was a kid starting out in an inflatable two man raft in the mid 60s. It did the job to get off the bank, was lightweight, and made fishing more enjoyable. Next up was the innertube, very stable, not very roomy, but got me off the bank. Later came small boats, canoes, and more modern tubes and sit inside kayaks. It wasn't until I moved to south Florida and was introduced to an abundance of different types of water to fish... from fresh water lakes and creeks to the salt water mangrove tunnels, open ocean flats, to the deep blue sea that I realized the sit on top kayak was the only one craft that could get me safely and efficiently to any of them in windy conditions.

The sit on top kayak to me was the ultimate craft for fishing. Its biggest advantages was that it was self bailing, low windage, and very stable, as you sit below the waterline. It didn't hurt that it was also cheap, less than a thousand bucks with upgraded seat. Once I had proven to myself that I could take it out in the worst conditions and climb back aboard in the event I overturned, I have never considered any other craft superior for fishing so many different types of waters and conditions.

I've got nothing against canoes as many of my fishing buddies have gone to some of the more modern offerings and hybrid kayaks, but if I can only choose one for many types of water in windy conditions, it is the sit on top.
A good rule of angling philosphy is not to interfere with another fisherman's ways of being happy, unless you want to be hated.

Zane Grey, Tales of Fishes, 1919

#11927169 - 11/10/16 10:28 AM Re: Kayak vs Canoe fishing [Re: Mulholland]
bert Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 07/20/01
Posts: 2171
Loc: Garland, TX, USA

I learned to paddle in an old Grumman aluminum and won't ever say I disliked the canoe for fishing or paddling. However today's sit on tops give me freedom the canoe never has especially when fishing.

"Ipsa scientia potestas est"-Knowledge in itself is power - Sir Francis Bacon

"Beware the lolipop of mediocrity, one lick and you could suck forever" - unknown author

#11927451 - 11/10/16 01:32 PM Re: Kayak vs Canoe fishing [Re: Mulholland]
karstopo Offline
Pro Angler

Registered: 05/22/16
Posts: 519
Loc: Brazoria County
I like both canoes and kayaks. What my WS Commander 140 gives me over a canoe is a much lower wind profile and superior stand up and cast stability. Pair it with a light weight straight shaft carbon kayak paddle and I can paddle while standing and stalking redfish.

I love a canoe on a nice small lake. I love paddling a canoe with a canoemate up forward. I don't like canoes in the wind if I'm handing it solo.

I fish with friends sometimes. We almost always bring our own craft. I will fish with someone in the same small boat or canoe, but it's fun to be able to go,where you want to go without consulting your boatmate.

Edited by karstopo (11/10/16 01:34 PM)
Edit Reason: Auto correct

#11930219 - 11/12/16 09:49 AM Re: Kayak vs Canoe fishing [Re: Mulholland]
jippedgenes Offline
Pro Angler

Registered: 08/12/11
Posts: 781
I had a canoe, if there was any wind and I was not tied up of anchored I was getting blown around.

kayak does not catch the wind like a canoe and is way easier to maneuver. I will say that having a partner in the canoe holding you in place so you can focus on fishing is nice but I rarely have a partner. Wish I still had my canoe. I want both

#11931307 - 11/13/16 06:58 AM Re: Kayak vs Canoe fishing [Re: Mulholland]
christian myrick Offline
TFF Team Angler

Registered: 08/03/11
Posts: 3167
Loc: little elm
There are many canoes that you can stand in. I had a dagger legend...that thing is a boat dock. It was made for white water or fast rivers. Super maneuverable but doesnt paddle fast...ever. it held like 1000 lbs. Canoes are like kayaks in the way you can get them for very specific tasks. I also had an old town guide. I could also stand in that with ease it was a very general purpose canoe. Great boat. I think an advantage canoes have over kayaks is portaging. One man carries a canoe. From the center over your head resting on your shoulders. This makes rougher terran easier than a cart.

#11932346 - 11/13/16 06:35 PM Re: Kayak vs Canoe fishing [Re: Brad R]
C.M. Offline

Registered: 09/09/16
Posts: 200
Originally Posted By: Brad R
The ATAK 120 will still allow me to stand and fish, it paddles fast and can be used in grassy water, nothing to grease, can load it in the back of a truck bed with an extender.

You don't need extender with 12' (and even 14') kayak. I have crewcab truck (i.e. smaller bed) and it fits just fine, only thing you need is a red flag/rug. It literally takes 5 mins to launch or get off water.

Kayak is considerably more stable, if you flip it -- it is easy to get back in. Way less affected by wind. IT doesn't need trolling motor or any other stuff (just paddle and seat, which is often part of the yak already). In terms of gear all you need is 1 rod, 1 very small bag of lures (in cold weather I simply carry few jigs and lures in my pocket), 1 soft cooler from bucees (which fits limit of reds, flounder and still has space for trout), optional net, fish grip with pliers (in salt water), sonar (in freshwater). In terms of ice -- get small bag if fishing for half day or big bag if fishing full day in summer. You can't get lighter than that.

You could also throw kayak around, it requires no maintenance and you don't care about dragging it over shell or rocks. My current yak is Pescador 12' and I love it -- my second yak is 14' Malibu Stealth with trolling motor, it hangs on the wall for almost a year now (simply too big and heavy).

P.S. Tandem kayaks simply make no sense -- the fact that ppl buy them puzzles me to no end...

#11933591 - 11/14/16 12:08 PM Re: Kayak vs Canoe fishing [Re: C.M.]
JJ4MEL Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 01/21/09
Posts: 1173
Loc: Celina/Prosper, TX
Originally Posted By: C.M.
[quote=Brad R]
P.S. Tandem kayaks simply make no sense -- the fact that ppl buy them puzzles me to no end...

Care to elaborate? My tandem is fantastic to take out with my daughter. Allows me to paddle and her fish, low profile to the wind, and still easy to manage solo. Streamlined enough so only 1 person needs to paddle and move across the water with ease. Plenty of storage like any other sit on top kayak, maybe a bit more as I have space in the middle for a cooler and still have space in the back for my crate, gear etc.

I guess that makes no sense to some people and puzzles them to no end.

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