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Personal Fishing Craft


Crickschop04

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I do a lot of fishing by myself and I'm not in a situation right now where I can afford a boat. I was thinking about either a single person canoe, a lower end kayak or a float tube. I would just be using them in area resivoirs or the backwaters. Any thoughts, advice, or experiences?

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I would recommend a good used canoe. That's all I owned for the first 30 years I fished. I've also hunted ducks and deer with one. A canoe certainly has it's limits - rough water, big water. It also has advantages. You'll be able to fish water that most boats will avoid.

If you can, paddle what you're going to buy before you buy it to make sure you're comfortable with it. After 5 canoes, 3 worked quite well for me. First one was an Aero Craft aluminum which was discontinued in the late 60's. Quite stable and easy to attach a stable motor mount. Previous model was a Coleman which was okay but never found a motor mount I liked. My current one is a River Ridge - very stable, manueverable, durable and a little spendy.

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Canoe. Very versatile, one person can usually handle it if you don't get one that’s too heavy, and cheap. I bought a used lightweight from a boundary waters outfitter for less than $500.

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I've got a 15' alumacraft canoe which I bought for the very same reasons your looking at. My advice would be to buy one longer. The problem is when I sit on the back seat, the front rises too high out of the water and catches the slightest breeze, making boat position hard to maintain, taking time away from why I'm there. I weigh about 170, so not a real heavy weight. something to keep in mind while you shop.

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I have a canoe and love it. I'll throw something else out there for you to chew on. I have a 10' 1964 sea king aluminum row boat that I love just as much. It's small and light weight. Floats in the same shallow stuff my canoe will, and goes across the lake and the backwaters just as well. However, there is a little more room in it for kids, gear, dog, guns (duck hunting also) cooler, etc.

Now your decision is more difficult. Sorry. grin.gif

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I like my Outcast raft. I have the two-seater, but the one seat versions are excellent. Better than a canoe in some ways: stable, can stand up. Easy to row, and fairly quick, though they don't carry with a paddle-stroke like a canoe does, and don't track as well as a canoe, though they will hold up to wind--the whole boat blows, but it doesn't spin out like a canoe with one guy does.

Overall a small raft is lighter than a canoe, and a tad easier to handle solo. It's fairly easy to carry them for short distances. Some of the small ones will fit into the back of an Explorer. They can handle a fair amount of cargo, and a trolling motor/battery too, and they will get going with a trolling motor. Better than a float tube, you're not in the water, though the open frame/two pontoon setup means boatwakes and waves will splash your feet and if you drop something, it tends to keep going.

This is going to cost considerably more than a canoe.

If you ever fish rivers, it's a very good boat style. More comfy and more stable than a canoe. You won't dump, and I've run class threes in mine with comfort. Much better for pulling up or hanging up on rock--no noise, easy off.

You can see pics at cabelas, such as i318552sq02.jpg

ice

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Once in a while I'll fish out of my kayak...it doesn't work all that well; tackle is tough to get to from inside the hull, it's hard to cast without banging your elbows, etc.. That being said, I get places I could never get with my Skeeter or via wading. So there is some upside! A rod holder, anchor and a tray for terminal tackle helps, too.

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Quote:

The problem is when I sit on the back seat, the front rises too high out of the water and catches the slightest breeze, making boat position hard to maintain, taking time away from why I'm there. I weigh about 170, so not a real heavy weight. something to keep in mind while you shop.


When I'm alone I take an empty 5 gallon bucket or 2 along and before launching fill the pail(s) with water and put as far to the front as you can get. It's an easy and effective way to have stable ballast in the front. And if it's not too warm you also have a place to keep a few panfish if you want a meal.

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