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I'm in the market for buying a used canoe. Any special features I should look out for for bass fishing? Thanks

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Weight and stability.  And that you like paddling it. Get some time on the water wit it before you buy, if you can. 

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I guess I'm late to this party !

How do you plan on using your canoe?

  • Solo or more than one person? (to determine the length of the canoe - for two anglers you want at least 14', 15' would be better)
  • Do you want to stand and fish? (to determine how much stability you will need - you can get stability with factors like hull design, beam, weight, and length; you can add stability with outriggers)
  • How much gear do you want to take with you? (another factor in length of canoe)
  • John mentioned weight. Weight can go both ways. A heavier canoe may tend to be more stable, but that brings with it penalties on ease of transportation and potential portaging. Light weight canoes are easier to transport and manhandle...but may not be as stable. Something to think about.
  • How will you transport it? Car-top, truck bed, back of SUV/van, trailer? (affects how heavy a canoe you can handle)
  • Do you plan to ONLY paddle the canoe, or are you thinking about motoring it?  (If you are only paddling, ease of paddling is a major factor. AND, some of the factors that give you stability for standing might negatively affect ease of paddling [like a wide beam])

Those are a few things to thing about.

For me, I selected a heavily accessorized canoe for bass fishing after considering all small watercraft from float tubes up to bass boats. Factors that influenced my decision was that I would be fishing solo, with a maximum trip length of about 10 hours, didn't need to take a lot of gear (usually 3-5 rods, 5 or 6 plano boxes, lunch, tote box with misc stuff in it), wanted to motor it nearly exclusively, wanted to stand all day, and wanted very light weight for ease of transport. I ended up with an 11'6" boat with a bare hull weight of 34 pounds, outriggers for stability, and a trolling motor for power. I car-top it without any problems.  

Others on this board have most excellent bass fishing canoes at the other end of the spectrum that suit their needs: hull weights up to 100 pounds, stable without outriggers, lengths of 15' or so to accommodate two anglers, lots of room for gear, etc.

Finally, the stability of the boat can't be overemphasized - fishing from a canoe is different from just paddling around in one. Trying to stand and fish, or just sitting and doing a "mongo hookset", leaning over the gunwale to land fish, etc. are all activities that can lead to rolling the boat.

AND, buy a PFD and wear it ALL the time you are on the water. I do.

Good luck on your search !

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2 hours ago, Goose52 said:

I guess I'm late to this party !

How do you plan on using your canoe?

  • Solo or more than one person? (to determine the length of the canoe - for two anglers you want at least 14', 15' would be better)
  • Do you want to stand and fish? (to determine how much stability you will need - you can get stability with factors like hull design, beam, weight, and length; you can add stability with outriggers)
  • How much gear do you want to take with you? (another factor in length of canoe)
  • John mentioned weight. Weight can go both ways. A heavier canoe may tend to be more stable, but that brings with it penalties on ease of transportation and potential portaging. Light weight canoes are easier to transport and manhandle...but may not be as stable. Something to think about.
  • How will you transport it? Car-top, truck bed, back of SUV/van, trailer? (affects how heavy a canoe you can handle)
  • Do you plan to ONLY paddle the canoe, or are you thinking about motoring it?  (If you are only paddling, ease of paddling is a major factor. AND, some of the factors that give you stability for standing might negatively affect ease of paddling [like a wide beam])

Those are a few things to thing about.

For me, I selected a heavily accessorized canoe for bass fishing after considering all small watercraft from float tubes up to bass boats. Factors that influenced my decision was that I would be fishing solo, with a maximum trip length of about 10 hours, didn't need to take a lot of gear (usually 3-5 rods, 5 or 6 plano boxes, lunch, tote box with misc stuff in it), wanted to motor it nearly exclusively, wanted to stand all day, and wanted very light weight for ease of transport. I ended up with an 11'6" boat with a bare hull weight of 34 pounds, outriggers for stability, and a trolling motor for power. I car-top it without any problems.  

Others on this board have most excellent bass fishing canoes at the other end of the spectrum that suit their needs: hull weights up to 100 pounds, stable without outriggers, lengths of 15' or so to accommodate two anglers, lots of room for gear, etc.

Finally, the stability of the boat can't be overemphasized - fishing from a canoe is different from just paddling around in one. Trying to stand and fish, or just sitting and doing a "mongo hookset", leaning over the gunwale to land fish, etc. are all activities that can lead to rolling the boat.

AND, buy a PFD and wear it ALL the time you are on the water. I do.

Good luck on your search !

Appreciate the reply goose, I will be fishing by myself most of the time but definitely need enough room for 2, it would be nice to stand, I would bring 4 rods and a small tackle bag, I have an SUV but I don't have an idea on how to car top it, and eventually I would like to get a trolling motor. Thanks for the reply! 

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