Canoe Fishing Tips

If you want to catch fish on secluded lakes and streams, canoe fishing may be a good option for you. A fishing canoe can give you the opportunity to enjoy a relaxing day on the water and get some upper-body exercise as you paddle.

These lightweight vessels are very portable with the use of a roof rack or trailer, so they are ideal to use for exploring different fishing spots. However, there are some canoe fishing tips you should know about before paddling off to try fishing from a canoe for the first time.

  • One of the most important canoe fishing tips for first-timers is to bring a friend with you. This way you can both take turns paddling and fishing. Plus, you will have extra help in case you need to paddle through any currents or get tired on the way back.
  • Don't forget to wear your life jacket or PFD at all times on every canoe trips you take. Make sure anyone else who joins you for a day on the water has a proper fitting PDF as well.
  • Stay centered in the canoe at all times to avoid tipping. This is especially important to remember when casting, fighting a fish, or reeling in a fish. Remember, the more narrow the design of the canoe, the easier it can tip. The best canoe for fishing will be wide enough to offer plenty of stability.
  • Keep your gear minimal and simple. Bring along only the tackle and gear that you know you'll use. If you plan on targeting smallmouth bass, for example, plan to leave your big tackle box full of muskellunge lures at home.
  • Use waterproof dry bags or gear cases and secure any canoe fishing gear that you aren't using. This way, if your canoe does tip, your gear will stay dry and you won't lose anything down at the bottom of a lake or stream.
  • If you are canoe fishing in clear or shallow waters, do your best to approach these types of fishing spots as quietly as possible. In these conditions, fish can easily be scared off by sudden or loud noises. It's also important to avoid hitting the side of your canoe with your paddle or making any other disturbances.
  • When canoeing from one fishing spot to another, you can troll a spoon behind your canoe and try to catch species like lake trout, northern pike or walleye. When you find a good spot, remember to cast close to any structure or vegetation for your best chance at a bite.

The most important canoe fishing tips to remember are the tips that will keep you safe on the water. Consider taking a boating safety course prior to your first canoe fishing trip because each state has a specific set of safety laws that recreational paddlers and boaters are required to follow. The best canoe trip is a safe canoe trip!