NC Angler Forums banner
1 - 20 of 22 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
186 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I primarily kayak fish, but with having two young boys at home im wanting to get into something I can carry the whole family in. I've never been in a canoe but have started to look into them. Does anybody have any suggestions on brands,sizes, styles,etc.? I would probably be interested in installing a trolling motor and battery as well.

I looked at Old Town and saw a few, one looked cool. The discover 15 sport, but it seems more like a boat than a canoe.

Thanks
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
24 Posts
Earlier this year I set up a 14'6" square stern canoe with a trolling motor. It has been a fun boat for me and my 9 year old. I'm sure that the Old Towns are very good, but I went with a Esquif Heron (Heron - Esquif). I've been very happy with the canoe so far. Let me know if you have questions about the set up.
218853


218854
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
122 Posts
I have a Wenonah Aurora, 16', and a Wenonah Spirit II, 17'. The Aurora will be plenty big enough, we have camped out of ours many times. Very stable because of the rocker built into the hull, something many lower cost canoes don't have. I also have a 16' Old Town but I like the Wenonahs better. Needed a canoe in a hurry so had to get the Old Town.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
186 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
That Esquif looks awesome. How does it paddle? I like the idea of a motor in it. I've got some plans to do some float and camp trips down the road. In torn between the square stern and standard canoe.

I'm originally from the Mississippi Valley in IA and ILL and would love to do some multi day trips. How does a 17 foot canoe paddle solo?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
393 Posts
I own a 17 foot Souris River Quetico 17. It’s a Kevlar 17 foot canoe designed for tripping. In other words 2 paddlers plus gear. On occasion I have paddled it solo and it can be a chore. I would sit in the front seat but face the opposite way. That position puts the solo paddler nearer to the center of the boat. Weight would need to be added to the bow to get it lower in the water. Otherwise the bow would be raised up and easily get caught by the wind.

Center position is the optimal paddle position for a solo paddler. A center seat could be added or the paddler could kneel in the center but generally a 17 foot canoe is too wide to be
paddled from the center.

I would consider selling this canoe but right now it’s located in Chicago.

~JOE~
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
186 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Gotcha. That makes sense. So some of the solo long canoes have a narrower beam so get the paddler closer to the water?

I've considered Jon boats, but storage and maintenance isn't something I'm interested in, but a canoe would allow me to go fishing with brother and dad, and my sons when they get older.

Toward that end I dont want to get something that winds up too small down the road. That 16 to 17 foot range seems good.

Thanks for the input.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
393 Posts
I also own a 15 foot Bell Merlin II solo canoe. Again a Kevlar boat. 38 pounds. This boat has a single center seat and it also can be paddled from the kneeling position. The boat is narrow at about 29 inches in the center. She is a dream to paddle. I love it. I use a kayak paddle and a bent shaft canoe paddle. I fished out of it for about 6 years till I bought a Hobie kayak.

For two people you will want a canoe designed for 2 paddlers. Also consider how you will transport it, where you will launch it and what kind of water will you use it on. If it’s too heavy to carry that will limit where you take it. You might need a cart to transport it from the vehicle to the water. If you plan on using it on rocky creeks and rivers it will get banged up so the material it is made out of should be considered.

~JOE~
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
24 Posts
Great discussion. That 15 foot Bell sounds awesome and unbelievably light. I can't claim to be a great judge of how the Esquif Heron paddles... We've had it out on no-motor lakes and some mill ponds and it seems to paddle fine for my needs. When I'm solo, I use my kayak, so also can't comment on using the Heron solo, but I would certainly need to put some ballast weight up front. The Heron is really made for a trolling motor. Mine has a Minn Kota 45# saltwater motor with a 60Ah lithium battery. I think it is relatively stable, at least we've never flipped yet (knock on wood). At 69 lbs, it is not super light, but lighter than some of the old towns. Maybe one thing to note is that you do need to "cut down" your trolling motor shaft so that the handle is easy to handle (not sticking up too high)... lots of DIY videos on youtube, but was still a stressful process with a brand new motor ;) Also, if you get a trolling motor, you need to register the canoe like a motor boat.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
I primarily kayak fish, but with having two young boys at home im wanting to get into something I can carry the whole family in. I've never been in a canoe but have started to look into them. Does anybody have any suggestions on brands,sizes, styles,etc.? I would probably be interested in installing a trolling motor and battery as well.

I looked at Old Town and saw a few, one looked cool. The discover 15 sport, but it seems more like a boat than a canoe.

Thanks
I’ve had a Grumman 17’ square stern for many years. I have the option of a 5 HP outboard I can put on there. Grumman’s have a lifetime warranty. I loaded it with three adults and their scuba gear and the outboard for diving in the FL Keys many years ago and it did just fine.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
135 Posts
I’ve had a Sundolphin Mackinaw SS 15.5’ square back canoe for a few seasons now and have used it a bunch. It’s plenty of room for two adults plus gear, or one adult and two kids. I usually take it out with my 55 lb thrust trolling motor, which will get it up to 3.5 mph on a full charge. The main drawback for the canoe is that it’s heavy (100+ lbs). I had to buy a Yakima Dry Dock for my trailer hitch, so I could flip the canoe over, then push it onto my roof rack.

I’ve caught a ton of fish out of it, including a 55 lb blue catfish on my own (didn’t pull it into the canoe, for obvious reasons…) I usually take my kids out in the evenings and we’ll just troll in our local lake for white perch and crappie, while they happily eat snacks and chat away. Just what the canoe was intended for…

Good luck!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
24 Posts
Hi Pond Pounder, Could you share a little about your trolling set up? Catching crappie/perch while trolling would be fun for my 9 year old. Are you just casting out curly tail grubs on jig heads? jig head weight? Any tips appreciated.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
393 Posts
If you are interested my trolling set up is a 3 way swivel attached to the main line, then for the other 2 lines I use one leader of +- 4 feet and the other about 1 foot. To those leader lines I attach a crankbait on one and a spinner or a fly to the other. My rods are in rod holders and I simply troll all over the place.

Trust me it works. You never know what will bite or where it will happen. Last week I caught a 3 lb largemouth about 6 foot down over 20 feet of water.
I caught my largest NC bass trolling last year. She taped out at a shade over 25 inches.

~JOE~
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
24 Posts
Thank you Joe. Is it important to put the crankbait on the longer leader? Do you use a crankbait designed to run a specific depth? Do you know the approximate speed you are going? I will give it a try and appreciate the advice.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
393 Posts
Some say crankbait should go on the longer leader others say shorter. I run my cranks on the longer. The crank baits I usually use will run between 8 and 10 feet. I troll 2 rods and at times I run 2 different crankbait depths to see which depth produces better. I switch up colors too.

As far as speed I’m not sure but I would guess 2-3 mph.

~JOE~
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
186 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks for the input. I think I'm figuring something in 15 to 16 foot range. So far I like the old town discover 15"8. Penobscot 16 is close. Also looking at nova craft, but that length seems like a good compromise. I've got some years before my boys are old enough to handle some long distance trips, but I'm dreaming. I miss seeing the Mississippi, and the thought about this midwestern transplant getting to play huck finn in his old home state with my NC born sons makes me smile.

But also much credit to NC rivers! They're much less silted. Pristine.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
181 Posts
I am currently using an Old Town Pathfinder 14'10. It's 58 pounds I believe. It's a tandem canoe, but I installed a center seat, and I use it solo. I am loving it. It's plenty stable and pretty quick (I also use a kayak paddle). It has plenty of room and I can stand and fish with ease. I plan on using it as a tandem at times as well, though I haven't had the chance yet. I know it's a little short for two people fishing but it won't be impossible.
I used to have a Discovery 158, did the same exact thing. Installed a center seat and used it solo most of the time, and used it as a tandem as well. Was a great boat but my only gripe was it was pretty heavy (90 pounds I believe) for one person.
Water Boat Sky Cloud Plant community
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
135 Posts
For trolling, I use the following:

Scotty 449 Portable Clamp
Scotty Gear Head Mount Extender
Scotty Powerlock Rod Holder

I use one set-up on each side of the canoe and sometimes I used a 3rd/4th one on the back, near the trolling motor mount (just a clamp and a rod holder there). If I troll 4 rods, I’ll typically use two longer rods in the sides (long crappie style rods are good for this) and shorter rods in the back.

For trolling, I use two different set-ups. On Jordan Lake, I like to either troll crappie crank baits or jigs / minnows.

For the crappie cranks, I really like the Arkie series 200 and 300 crankbaits. You can purchase the 200 series at Walmart (they dive down to 10-12 feet, depending on the line diameter and distance from the boat). The 300 series have to be ordered from the Arkie website, but will dive 16’-18’. My favorite color for Jordan Lake is Sexee Shad, followed by chrome with black back. Troll them in the creeks or in water up to 24’ for best results. Ideal speed is 1.6-1.8 mph and I have best results in the spring and fall.

You can also troll 1/16 oz red or black BPS minnow jigheads with good results. They can either be tipped just with a minnow or you can use a Bobby Garland Stroll’r body. My favorite colors are black with a chartreuse tail or blue with a white tail. Silver sparkle curl tail jigs also work well (put some slab sauce or other scent on your jigs for an extra boost). Because these are so light, they need to be trolled slower, 0.8-1 mph.

In the winter (my most productive time to fish) I use a simple double drop rig on an ultra light rod with #6 gamakatsu crappie hooks attached to loop knots 6-8” apart and about 6-8” above a snap swivel on the bottom of the rig, which I use with a 3/8” teardrop weight. When the fish are stacked near the bottom in/around the bridge channels, this rig can be deadly, especially if the weather warms a bit and the fish start to bite. I have watched many old timers tight line fishing nearby not catch nearly as many fish if they’re holding close to the bottom. If the bite is slow, I’ll use two rods (one in a holder, dragging on the bottom) and will slowly lift the other rod 3-6” off the bottom, waiting to feel a bite. Oftentimes, it will just be a small “thump” as the crappie inhales the minnow. Reel it up steadily, with a fairly loose drag, so the fish doesn’t pull off (they have delicate mouths!) Always have a net ready, just Incase you get a good one.

Sorry for the novel, but this is everything I’ve learned about crappie fishing the last few seasons on Jordan Lake. Good luck!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
24 Posts
Wanted to follow-up on this good thread from two months ago. This morning we tried trolling with our trolling-motor-powered square stern canoe for the first time. We went to the Weaver Creek Canoe launch. Got there right at 6:30am. We now have two of the Scotty rod holder set-ups recommended by Pond Pounder. We started with the 3-way swivel set-up suggested by Joetrain. I was running Rapala SR4s on the 4ft piece, and small rooster tails on the 1ft leader. The rooster tail kept wrapping the longer leader, so I simply cut off the shorter leader and kept trolling. Water temp was 87F, and our trolling speed was 1 to 1.5 mph according the garmin. First fish was a pretty decent catfish that hit a blue SR4. Second fish was a nice crappie, and third was bass, both hit my son's holographic shad SR4. My son was amazed at how white the bass was, he is used to seeing them with darker green backs. Overall, a good first experience with a new technique. I welcome any advice on the right lure to use on the shorter leader.
Smile Vertebrate Mammal Fisherman Water Water Hand Vertebrate Body of water Fisherman
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
393 Posts
Try running your cranks on the shorter leader and a small spinner on the longer. My last few outings I’ve tried it and it works fine. Experiment with leader length too.

I have found that this year small black Panther Martin spinners with a gold blade have been my best producers.

~JOE~
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
24 Posts
Try running your cranks on the shorter leader and a small spinner on the longer. My last few outings I’ve tried it and it works fine. Experiment with leader length too.

I have found that this year small black Panther Martin spinners with a gold blade have been my best producers.

~JOE~
Thanks Joe. Meant to mention that my main line is braid, and the leader was 12lb test FC. Does the leader material make a big difference in terms of running true w/o wrapping, etc...?
 
1 - 20 of 22 Posts
Top