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I stumbled on a few ponds around my area, and I'm breaking down. I'm gonna buy some canoe of craigslist and use my 50% discount at humminbird to buy a small sonar. What could possibly go wrong? Advice or warnings?

 

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If you're going to be solo and don't have a truck, you may want to go kayak first.  They're just easier in every way and they are everywhere.  

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FIRST - Buy and ALWAYS wear a PFD.

If you haven't yet, give some thought to how you are going to transport it, store it, and use it. How much weight can you handle? How many people in the boat? Solo only? How much stability do you need? Do you want to stand and fish?

Search this forum for topics related to canoes. There have been many discussions this year alone and things to look for and considerations specifically related to fishing.

Regarding canoe vs. kayak - there have also been several discussions about the pros and cons of that. Find those threads and read up.

Here's a post I made in one of the treads that are linked below:

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.

 

Here's some reading to get you started:

 

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Transporting is your biggest issue. Other than that; life jacket, paddle, sun block, hummingbird is a great idea and just enjoy it. You will find ways to mod your canoe to fit you and that is fun too. 

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I tournament fish with a buddy regularly, so I've got my own pfd and all that jazz. I have a car, but now that I've graduated a truck is first on the list. I've found a 15' green pelican for $300 in my area, checking it out soon.

 

I'll check out the readings posted, but I don't think I have enough options around me to be that selective.

 

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I don't know what the market is like in your area, but I would only use a pelican canoe if it was given to me! There are many great used canoes in the $300 range that are so much better than than a pelican. I am not try to put down anyone who has one, but man, make sure you try that canoe out before considering purchase. The only good thing I have seen about pelicans is that they are close to indestructible. I have had fiberglass(4), aluminum (3), plastic (1) canoes and a few kayaks also. They all have their pros and cons so you really need to research about the specific models you are looking at and how it fits with what you are going to be using it for. 

Bruce

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You can do better than that on Craigslist. I got my Old Town essentially new for $400...plus foam feet, ratchet tie-down straps, and new paddles!

Transport is actually very easy for a small car. The 4 foam feet and 2 tie-down straps are all you need, though extras as backup are smart. Just make sure you have 2 tow-hook points under the front end and another one in the rear to attach the tie-downs. On some newer cars, like my wife's Chrysler 200, they may not be very accessible. Trucks and SUVs seem more difficult because of their height and getting the canoe off and on. With my little civic by myself I just basically powerclean the canoe overhead sideways and walk it on the foam feet across the roof.

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Just looking at my area, plus "areas near you" I'm not seeing anything recent at all, however, it is mid-June. However, my buddy just got a great job, so we might just buy two kayaks haha.  

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