fishing canoe should be outfitted to keep anglers comfortable
whether sitting or kneeling since standing in a canoe is not
an option (unless you have outriggers). To outfit a canoe
for kneeling, a permanent option is placing adhesive cushioning
pads on the floor. While non-permanent knee pad options include
placing a spare piece of carpet, a non-adhesive pad, or perhaps
your sleeping cushion (if on a camping trip) on the floor
of the canoe.
sitting, canoe seats in a range of designs (from bench to
bucket) and many aftermarket additions are available to increase
seat comfort. A portable foam or padded seat provides extra
cushioning when fishing for extended hours. Carrying a cushion
is better than sitting on a lifejacket, an innocent, but dangerous,
maneuver many anglers make, transforming life vests into cushions
instead of their designed use as personal flotation devices.
great accessories to outfit canoes are seat backs or chairs.
A seat back provides a back rest and most mid- to high-end
models fold down when not in use. Seat backs clip or affix
with straps to canoe seats. Chairs are "L" shaped
and usually cushioned, giving you the support of a back rest
as well as a padded seat. Most chairs come with clips and
straps to securely fasten to the canoe's original seats. They
come in various designs (from basic plastic mesh ones that
clip onto seats to high-end padded ones) in a range of prices.
Durable seats also double as great campsite chairs for when
you're sitting by a fire instead of paddling on the water.
plenty of rope, straps, shock cords, and carabineers to keep
your gear in place and secure when canoeing. Your mind will
be slightly more at ease when padding in rough water knowing
that if the canoe gets swamped or capsizes, your tackle box
is secure and won't end up at the bottom of the lake. Keeping
items secure also helps you properly balance the canoe for
the best performance on the water, so you can focus on fishing.
bags and cases are handy accessories to use to keep clothes
dry and valuables (like cameras) protected. I also find water
bottles with loop-top caps can easily be clipped to the canoe's
seat with a carabineer. This keeps water at Your fingertips
for when I need it, which is especially important when it's
hot. You can also clip pliers, scissors and other often-used
fishing tools to a carabineers or straps to keep them close
at hand. This clip-trick also prevents items from moving around
on the floor of the canoe, aiding you in keeping your canoe
you've taken care of cushioning your body and securing gear,
the next step to outfitting a fishing canoe is adding the
angling bells and whistles. If you have an electric trolling
motor like I do or small gas motor (such as a 4HP), there
are a few mounting options. Square back canoes are designed
to be outfitted with a small motor at the stern, while for
other canoes side motor mounts are the best option. Side mounts
fit across the sides of the canoe behind the stern seat. Having
a motor makes canoe fishing a lot easier and less stressful.
I find their biggest advantage is that they allow you to maintain
boat control when fighting a fish. Otherwise in heavy winds
or waves you can drift a significant distance off fertile
fishing grounds when playing a fish.
drink crate is a great way
to store your gear
A crate fitted
to the canoe
Attached to outrigger pole with straps
compliment a motor, a portable fishfinder is another possible
add-on. Most of these compact, sonar units come with transducer
suction cup mounts, which work well on most canoes. Outfitted
with a motor and fish finder, a canoe can be an excellent
fishing machine. Dozens of other accessories can be added
to canoes to increase their fishing functionality, but after
the above big ticket items, the simplicity of a rod holder
is a must. With a rod holder I can focus on the fishfinder
and maintain proper boat position without worrying about losing
a rod when a fish strikes.
canoe trolley is very useful
started life as a furniture trolley
See How To Make The Trolley
important to remember the proper safety gear when operating
a canoe. Wear your life jacket at all times. Its also good
to have a small bucket or bilge pump, a signaling device,
and a throw bag/rope are within reach at all times. Keep a
spare paddle in the canoe as well and make sure you can access
it quickly when needed. I have a handheld two way radio and
my mobile phone onboard in case of emergencies.
matter how great the fishing was, a good day can turn bad
if you're not equipped to properly transport the canoe. Tie-down
or cam straps that lock in place are a top choice for securing
a canoe to your car top. If you have a roof rack on your vehicle,
using tubular foam that's cut lengthwise and placed on either
the rack or on the gunwales of the canoe prevents paint scratching
on both the canoe and rack. Without a roof rack, four foam
blocks placed on the canoe's gunwales are a simple but extremely
effective way to secure a canoe to a car top for transport.
Secure canoes to cars by strapping it down from the boat's
bow, stern and sides.
mentioned earlier, both
canoes and kayaks are inherently unstable water craft. Paddlers
of both should learn the techniques required to right their
craft after a capsize.
However, there is a way to make them both far more stable.
The addition of outriggers, either single or double, can turn
a canoe or kayak into a craft 'more' stable than a conventional
Give It A Go
fishing can be a good way to target your favorite fish and
with the right accessories and add ons, these lightweight
boats can be quite comfortable. Although not always best for
big water, canoes are my favorite option for accessing small
lakes and rivers. Try the above suggestions for outfitting
your canoe and you'll find a new appreciation for the fishing
functionality of these basic boats.