Canoe fishing can be fun and relaxing. However, it is essential to choose the right canoe. Before you begin searching for a canoe, there are a few things to consider.
The first thing to consider before shopping for the best canoe for hunting and fishing is where you plan to use your canoe. Will you use your canoe on a lake, in a river, or for surf fishing?
The second thing to consider is how long each trip will be. Perhaps you plan to fish for a few hours or entire days. Comfort for extended periods in your canoe will play a role in deciding which canoe is best for you.
The third thing to consider is the conditions of the water. Will the surface be flat as a lake? Will it be flowing like a river – slowly or swiftly? Or, will it be choppy like the surf at the beach?
How to Choose the Best Canoe for Hunting and Fishing
Whether you are choosing the best canoe for river fishing or the best canoe for fly fishing, several factors should be considered. It is also beneficial to consider the differences between canoe vs. kayak fishing to find the best fit for your fishing needs.
Below are some of the things to consider when choosing the best fishing canoe.
Type of Canoe
There are several types of canoes to choose from. The type of canoe that is best for you is determined by how you will use the canoe and where you will use the canoe.
River canoes have the maneuverability and are impact resistant. These canoes are great for riding the rapids or traveling swift streams and rivers. Recreational canoes work great on flat water. These are very stable and great for fishing on lakes or ponds.
Multi-purpose canoes are extremely versatile and can be used for flat and rough water surfaces. Multi-purpose canoes offer more capacity, making these a desirable choice for the fisherman.
Hull Materials and Shape
There are several reasons to consider the hull materials used to construct a canoe. The type of materials used in a canoe can affect how heavy the canoe is. If you are searching for a lightweight fishing canoe, it is important to choose a canoe with light but durable hull material.
The type of hull material can also affect how expensive the canoe is and/or how tough and durable the canoe will be. You want to get the most durable canoe for your money.
Another consideration is the shape of the hull. Flat-bottomed canoes offer excellent stability but may be difficult to maneuver when loaded with fishing gear. Rounded bottoms are designed to be fast and are typically found on specialized canoes.
Shallow-arch bottoms have great stability and are designed to be more efficient and stay on course when paddling. V-bottom hulls also have great stability and are more efficient and stay on course better than shallow-arch boats.
The size of your canoe will also be determined by how you plan to use it. Length, width, and depth should all be considered before purchasing a canoe.
Some of the most popular canoes average 16 to 17 feet. Depending on your plans, you may prefer a shorter or longer canoe. Longer canoes hold more fishing gear while shorter canoes can easily travel in narrow streams and inlets.
The width of the canoe is also important. Wider canoes tend to be more stable which is perfect for fishing while narrow canoes tend to be easier to maneuver.
The depth of the canoe plays a vital role in the stability of the canoe. Though taller sides aid in keeping water out of your canoe, they are also more susceptible to changing winds. Shallow canoes can allow more water in but are not affected by the wind as much as canoes with taller sides.
Another consideration is the number and type of seats. The number of seats is simply choice. Do you want a canoe the entire family can paddle or fish from? Or, do you want single or double seats?
However, the type of seat can be an important decision. While solid seats are often more durable, woven seats help to keep you dry on the water by allowing water to drain from the seat. You will also want to determine comfort level – flat benches offer less comfort than molded seats.
7 Best Fishing Canoes Reviews in 2019
The Sun Dolphin Mackinaw canoe is a great recreational canoe for the entire family. The Mackinaw is equipped with 3 molded plastic seats with a cooler and storage compartment located under the center seat. For your convenience, each seat has a drink holder molded into it.
The dimensions of this canoe are 187 x 42 x 318.5 inches, and it weighs 94 pounds. This canoe is made from durable 15-year UV-stabilized Fortifex high-density polyethylene. The hull is designed to maximize stability, and it paddles with ease and stays on course.
The Sun Dolphin Mackinaw canoe is ideal for a relaxing ride with the family and/or fishing with the family.
- UV-stabilized Fortiflex high-density polyethylene
- Paddle Holders
- Beverage Holders
- Seating capacity for 3
- Storage compartment
- Cooler under center seat
- This canoe has bow and stern tie-down eyelets as well as built-in transport handles making it easier to load and secure
- Drink holders molded into the seats allows you to secure your drink while paddling or fishing
- The molded plastic seats are designed for comfort – especially great on long sight-seeing excursions or a day of fishing
- The built-in storage compartment gives you room to store fishing and/or camping equipment
- The built-in cooler means that you will always have a cool drink when paddling on a warm day
- The deepness of the canoe may not make it suitable for shallow water or inlets
The MYCANOE portable paddle boat collapses for easy transport and storage. It takes only 10 minutes to assemble and 5 minutes to fold it. When folded, the canoe forms a 37 x8 x 25-inch case and weighs 52 pounds. It has a maximum load capacity of 390 pounds, but the recommended load capacity is 280 pounds.
The MYCANOE folding canoe is equipped with two seats that can be detached and reattached to create eight seating patterns. It is ideal for two passengers and roomy enough for fishing, photography, paddling to your favorite camping spot.
- TUV-certified origami folding canoe
- Specifications when folded – 37 x 8 x 26 inches
- Specifications when unfolded – 9’4” x 37”
- Oar holders
- The ten-minute assembly times allows you the opportunity to get on the water quicker
- The five-minute folding time allows you to get ready to leave in a brief period. This is especially important if you get caught out during a sudden storm.
- Detachable seats allow you to create a seating pattern that is specific to what you wish to use the canoe for and creates plenty of room for two to fish
- The fact that it is lightweight makes it easier to load and transport
- The 37 x 8 x 25-inch case allows for convenient storing
- May not be suitable for long trips on the water
Also read: The Best Fishing Gift Ideas For Anglers
The Sevylor Ogden canoe is an inflatable canoe with a rugged PVC construction. It has multiple air chambers which allow you to return to shore if one chamber is punctured. The Sevylor Ogden also incorporates an Airtight System that is guaranteed not to leak.
There is plenty of storage area equipped with bungee cords for securing your equipment. Adjustable, elevated seats make it more comfortable for you and easier to paddle for long days on the water.
This lightweight canoe wears only 26.9 pounds and is easy to transport and easy to inflate. Just a few minutes and you are up and canoeing.
- Heavy-duty PVC construction
- Polyester Cover
- Multiple Air Chambers
- Valve is double threaded
- Storage areas
- Adjustable seats
- Packaging includes 2 paddles, a hand pump, pressure gauge, and carry bag, making it easier for you on the water.
- The adjustable, elevated seats make the canoe easier to paddle and more comfortable for longer days on the water.
- The large storage area allows you to carry all your equipment secured by bungee straps, decreasing the risk of losing your gear.
- Multiple air chambers give you the security of knowing you can get back to shore if a chamber is punctured.
- With a weight capacity of 355 pounds, this canoe is great for lake fishing with a friend or family member.
- This inflatable raft may not be suitable for maneuvering through rapids.
The Saranac 146 canoe comes in red or green and features contoured seats with backs for a comfortable ride. This is the perfect canoe for family fun on the water or the avid fisherman.
It has a great fishing canoe setup, complete with molded-in rod holders and storage compartments under the center bench seat. This is an ideal canoe for your fishing gear.
To make your day of fishing more comfortable and fun, this canoe also comes equipped with storage trays, cup holders, and paddle rests – all molded to keep your hands free for catching that big one!
- Thermoplastic hull
- Contoured bow and stern seats
- Center bench seat with storage capabilities
- Molded-in storage trays on all seats
- Molded-in fishing rod holder
- Built-in fishing rod, cup, and storage trays make this the ideal canoe for the avid fisherman
- Outfitting a canoe for fishing is made easier with the storage capacity this canoe has
- The durable thermoplastic hull offers abrasion and impact resistance
- Molded-in paddle rests on the bow and stern make paddling and sitting still easier. You won’t have to worry about losing your paddle while fishing.
- Cup holders in all three seats make it easier to have your drink handy without the worry of spilling
- This canoe is heavier than the inflatable and folding canoes.
The Mad River Journey canoe has a triple-layer polyethylene construction that makes it rugged and suitable for any type of water. This river canoe allows you to handle rocky rapids without worry.
The journey canoe has comfortable woven bench seating for two and a storage capacity that is great for traveling to a private campsite for hunting, fishing, or family fun.
- Durable triple-layer polyethylene construction
- Foam Core
- Maximum weight capacity of 1100 pounds
- Carry weight is approximately 83 pounds
- High-density polyethylene construction makes this an ideal canoe for rough waters
- The rugged design provides less worry and scratches or dings while navigating swift, rocky waters
- The triple-layer polyethylene also makes this canoe almost maintenance free
- This canoe has a weight capacity that makes it easier to travel to distant locations with all necessary equipment in tow – great for camping, hunting, or fishing
- This canoe is not equipped with built-in rod holders
- The seats are woven but not contoured for maximum comfort
This Grumman canoe is versatile and suitable for a calm lake, a rushing stream, or a flowing river. It is double-ended so that it can be paddled from either end.
It is spacious and is designed to hold up to six people comfortably. This would make a great canoe for family camping trips or simple sight-seeing trips with the entire family.
It has storage space that allows you to travel with all the supplies you need for camping or the equipment you need for fishing.
- Aluminum construction
- Coated with a special sealant to ensure the canoe is watertight
- Acrylic non-skid floor coating
- Carrying weight is 80 pounds
- Floatation devices at each end ensures this canoe will not sink
- Rugged and strong enough for all types of water conditions
- Roomy enough for the entire family plus equipment
- This canoe is easy to maneuver and can be used by beginners and professionals
- This roomy canoe has the capacity to hold up to six people, making it the perfect canoe for adventurous families
- The price may be a bit steep for the recreational canoer
- Does not have built-in fishing rod holders
This handcrafted 16-foot canoe is designed using old-age craftsmanship and modern materials that help make the canoe durable and the wood abrasion-resistant. Western red cedar gives this canoe a natural beauty that is rarely found in modern canoes.
This lightweight canoe weighs approximately 45 pounds and is easy to transport and easy to maneuver in the water. This maneuverability makes this canoe ideal for getting into those hard to reach spots where the big fish hide.
- Redwood and fiberglass body
- Clear graded cedar hull
- A wooden paddle is supplied with purchase
- The combination of old-fashioned craftsmanship and the use of modern sealing materials make this canoe both beautiful and durable
- With a weight of only 45 pounds, it is easy to maneuver in the water and easy to carry and transport at the end of your adventure
- The rugged construction allows you to use the canoe in several types of water and is large and roomy enough for the entire family
- Has a very steep price tag
Also Read: Best Rain Gear for Fishing
In comparing these seven canoes, I have tried to keep in mind the features that will work best for the avid fisherman. Storage capacity and comfortable seating are two principal factors in choosing a canoe for long fishing trips. Maneuverability and ruggedness also play a vital role in choosing the right canoe for your needs.
With these things in mind, I feel the best fishing canoe from this group of reviews is the Old Town Canoes & Kayaks Saranac Recreational Family Canoe. Already equipped with molded fishing rod holders and under the seat storage space, this canoe is easily outfitted for fishing, hunting, or camping.
The molded storage trays and cup holders make it easier to keep your bait or lures within reach while you fish and to have your drink handy on the hottest days.
It is durable and can carry a maximum load of 700-750 pounds, making it the perfect canoe for fishing with a friend.