Pedal Boat Fishing Tips for Beginners

By Debbie Hanson

May 19, 2021

Learn pedal boat fishing basics. Find out how to paddle boat fish, best types of areas to fish from a pedal boat, safety considerations, pedal boat fishing tips

If you enjoy spending time on small lakes and ponds, pedal boat fishing can be a great way to get some exercise outdoors while catching your favorite freshwater fish on calm inland waterways. If you want to learn about fishing from a pedal boat (also sometimes referred to as paddle boats), these tips for beginners can help.

Choosing the Best Pedal Boat for Fishing

Are pedal boats good for fishing? Absolutely, pedal boats are becoming a popular boat of choice for families because some models can seat up to five people and they are easy to use. When choosing the best pedal boat for fishing, look for a model that has a built-in storage compartment for tackle, flush-mount rod holders, and adjustable backrests.

How to Operate a Pedal Boat

When learning how to paddle boat fish, the first thing you need to know is that a paddle boat (also called a pedal boat) is powered by using your feet to turn the pedals. When you start pedaling, the pedals turn a paddle wheel underneath the watercraft. To steer the boat, you use a steering handle that is located between the two front seats.

Safety When Fishing On a Pedal Boat

Always keep safety top of mind when learning how to boat. Make sure you’re wearing the right type of personal flotation device when pedal boat fishing, bring along PFDs for each of your passengers, stay aware of your surroundings, and keep your fishing gear to a minimum (rod and reel combo and a few artificial baits or lures). In addition, it’s important to know the maximum weight capacity for the boat. Never overload your pedal boat or go beyond the weight capacity limit.

Fishing Tips for Pedal Boaters

Pedal boats can allow you to quietly navigate through coves and secluded fishing spots that larger motorized boats aren’t able to access. These types of areas will give you opportunities to catch freshwater fish like largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, bluegill, perch, crappie. One of the key tips to remember when learning how to fish from a pedal boat is to make a quiet approach into your fishing spot. If you need to move in close to structure to make your casts, pedal slowly so that you avoid spooking the fish.

Now that you know the basics of how to paddle boat fish, the next step is to buy your fishing license and get out on the water to give it a try!

Debbie Hanson
Debbie Hanson
Debbie Hanson is an award-winning outdoor writer, women’s sport fishing advocate, IGFA world record holder, and freshwater guide living in Southwest Florida. Hanson’s written work has appeared in publications such as Florida Game & Fish Magazine, BoatUS Magazine, and USA Today Hunt & Fish. To learn more about her work, visit or follow her on Instagram @shefishes2.