Fishing Canoes

If you want a relaxing way to explore some of the most secluded and remote fishing spots, a fishing canoe or kayak could be the right type of boat for you. Fishing canoes can be particularly useful for navigating rivers, lakes, and ponds. Learn more about fishing canoes in this section.

Fishing canoes can be particularly useful for navigating rivers, lakes, and ponds because they are small boats that are easy to transport. Just keep in mind that a fishing canoe won't offer you all the conveniences of a larger boat, but that's also part of the attraction. Some anglers prefer reducing the amount of gear and tackle that they take along on their canoe fishing trips down to the necessities.

While fishing from a canoe is a good way for you to reach remote fishing spots, you will find it much easier to cast and land fish if you have another angler along. One angler can paddle or stabilize the canoe while the other angler casts or lands the fish. Learning a few canoe fishing tips like this can be helpful, especially if the wind picks up or if you are fishing in a waterway with current.

Fishing Canoe Features

When selecting the best canoe for fishing, you should consider features such as length, width, and material. These types of features are directly related to stability, the way the canoe handles in the water, how easy it is to transport, and how well it holds up to the elements.


When you are making a decision on the length of your fishing canoe, you will want to consider where you plan to use it, and where you intend to store it. Longer canoes are best for traveling greater distances; however, if you plan to take your canoe from one fishing spot to another, a shorter boat will be easier to maneuver and transport. You may want to consider a canoe that is around 12 to 16-feet in length for fishing.


In general, fishing canoes with wider hulls and lower centers of gravity are more stable. While a narrow canoe may be lighter and are easier to paddle, a wider canoe with a higher level of stability will be important when you are fighting large fish. You may want to consider a fishing canoe that is at least 24-inches wide.


Your canoe should also be made from durable materials that will hold up to the elements, such as aluminum, thermoplastic or fiberglass composite. If you want a canoe that can withstand the elements for many years, aluminum is probably the best option to consider. The downside of aluminum canoes is that they are heavy and not as easy to transport. Thermoplastic, on the other hand, tends to be one of the most popular canoe materials because it is lighter than aluminum while still being fairly durable. Finally, fiberglass composite canoes are usually easier to repair, but are heavier than thermoplastic and can crack upon impact with hard structure such as rocks or pilings.

Canoe Fishing Gear

When it comes to safety and fishability on the water, having the right gear along on your canoe fishing adventures is important. Paddles, personal flotation devices or lifejackets, portable seats, and rod holders are just a few examples of gear that you will want to have on board when fishing from a canoe. While other canoe fishing accessories or gear, like fish finders or trolling motors, can be beneficial to have along when exploring new waterways or on longer trips.


Not sure how to select a canoe paddle? Opt for the shortest paddle that will allow you to reach the water. In the middle of a stroke, you should be able to hold the paddle grip so that your top hand is close to the height of your nose, while the point where the blade meets the shaft should be at the water line. If you are using a canoe with higher seats, be sure to use a paddle that is slightly longer so that you don’t have any issues reaching the water with the paddle blade.


Even if you are a good swimmer, be sure to wear a personal flotation device (PFD) or lifejacket at all times when fishing from a canoe. Vest-style Type III certified PFDs are one of the best lifejacket choices for canoe anglers because they are lightweight, non-restricting, and intended for use in calm waters.


Having portable foam or padded canoe seats with backrests can be a big advantage when you are fishing for several hours. These types of seats reduce back strain and fatigue by providing the support of a backrest along with cushioned padding for comfort. Portable seats with backrests are usually either clipped on or tied on with straps to the original canoe bench.

Fishing Rod Holders

While many fishing canoes come with flush-mount rod holders, there are also adjustable rod holders that can clamped onto the gunwale of the canoe. Regardless, you will want a fishing rod holder that keeps your rod secure in case you want to troll or you get a bite while paddling.

Learn how to fish from a canoe and other canoe fishing tips in this section.