I can float without a boat, CANOE?
March 22, 2008 9:05 PM   Subscribe

Help me get the most out of my canoe!

So...I've come into possession of a canoe. She's old---an aluminum Grumman 16 footer. She's a tank though---used her all last season with great success. She's a little big to solo on open water, tall enough she catches wind. However, I've taught my girlfriend how to be a bow paddler, and we have great fun. Mostly we fish in it, but sometimes we just go exploring. We move this canoe on top of my car, transporting the canoe is specifically not the issue.

Our setup in the past has included:
2 people (sometimes 3), 2 life jackets (or 3), 2-3 fishing poles, big ol' tacklebox, 10lb anchor and line, maybe a minnow bucket, and of course 2 paddles.

I was just about to pick up a used v-hull fishing boat, but then realized that I don't need to--so I'm sticking with the canoe. I just grabbed a 30lb/thrust trolling motor at Dick's for $55, and plan to finish the mount for it this week on vacation. I'll pick up a battery and box then too.

So, my question to you mefites: What Else Should I Do?
I've thought about mounting pvc rod holders so I can...troll. I think I'm going to set up an alternate "canoe" tackle box so I'm not bringing Johnny-hugemongous with me every time. Any special tips for a trolling motor mount? Any other amazing ideas you'd like to share? Lend me your canoe (mostly fishing) related wisdom...gear, technique, or otherwise. BTW---this is mostly a river canoe, but this summer she'll see a couple lakes.

Extra Bonus Question: tell me your favorite multi-species artificial lure and color (or your favorite for all black/white bass, walleye, and sauger.)
posted by TomMelee to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
My boyfriend and I plan to get a canoe and fashion a sailing rig and/or outrigger for it.
posted by bonobo at 12:49 AM on March 23, 2008

Best answer: I used to have a Grumman 16 foot Royalex canoe and used an electric trolling motor on it. It would move along at a fairly good clip; certainly faster than two of us could paddle. I had the motor mounted toward the rear and had to make sure the battery was as far forward as the cables would allow. This was so the bow wasn't sticking up into the air.

Those batteries are heavy.

We fished mid-Atlantic rivers and small lakes for bass, and for the four or five years I was into fishing, we caught more fish on Texas-rigged Power Worms than anything else. These look like Gummy Worms but one good sniff will you they're not. When you buy them ask the person behind the counter what the hot colors are for your locale.

We'd catch an occasional walleye, crappie, or muskie with these rigs as well.

Kudos for not upgrading the canoe to a boat. When I went from the canoe to a shiny new 17 foot aluminum bass boat, it actually marked the beginning of the end of fishing for me. Within a year I woke up one day and realized I was spending far more time unloading, loading, and maintaining the boat than I was with a line in the water.
posted by imjustsaying at 3:47 AM on March 23, 2008

Best answer: Keep it simple..

The idea of a smaller tackle box is good, I did the same thing for the canoe and the kayak. Think twice about rod holders, they'll probably be in the way when you cartop and possibly when you paddle (and, you WILL paddle, even with the motor).

I used a motor on an old 3 ton (well, it felt like it) glass canoe, made it fun, more fishing, less paddle time.

I also put together a pack with the emergency essentials, It always goes in the canoe or kayak, especially when on the river where there may not be another boat nearby. It included Toilet Paper, a knife, a small ax, matches, first aid kit, emergency fishing equipment, compass, spare rope and nylon line, lighter, ymmv on other items.

And, I second the texas rigged worms! best bass lure around!
posted by HuronBob at 6:10 AM on March 23, 2008

Response by poster: Thanks so far! I was actually thinking about an outrigger, but I don't think I really *really* have a need for one. I don't have an emergency kit per se, but I do have all those goodies, should have mentioned that.

I'm seeing a lot of portable fish-finders at places like bass pro shops...anyone have any experience w/ any of those?

Thanks for the advice on the powerworms. Just spent a buncha money last night on tubes and frogs and craws, already have minnows and lizards for the spawn. I'll grab some worms too---they're cheeep.
posted by TomMelee at 6:36 AM on March 23, 2008

Best answer: Get a tackle bag. They have plastic boxes to keep your tackle in and will float if you capsize. Dick's has a ton of different ones, but their online pictures weren't as illustrative.

If you want to paddle alone, you can weight the front of the canoe to get it down in the waterand out of the wind.

I've always been partial to inline spinners, but that's mostly because I have a talent for snagging plastic worms on things.
posted by advicepig at 7:19 AM on March 23, 2008

If you texas rig a worm, it will NOT snag... it's the perfect lure for weed beds, shore lines, etc, where most baits would snag something... I love pulling one over the top of lily pads and letting it drop between the pads....
posted by HuronBob at 12:11 PM on March 23, 2008

Best answer: You can weight the front of the canoe with water pretty easily if you get one of those collapsable plastic water containers or a dry bag. Get the giant basecamp version then pump water or pour into it while it's in the canoe on the water. You can siphon it back out. I've done this and it works well to weight the bow without having to haul a bunch of ballast around.

Alternatively I have a 50lb dog who will happily hang over the bow of any craft for as long as needed.
posted by fshgrl at 12:20 PM on March 23, 2008

You know, the outrigger ideas ain't bad - especially if you bought cheap whitewater kayak off craigslist, built the connecting mount yourself and used it's cockpit area for a great big beer cooler.

Adding pole holders for trolling is a great idea.

Additionally, I've always wondered about the possibility of rigging a pedometer to an oar - just to figure out how many times I paddled on an outing. Any distance calculation would be wildly inaccurate, the the paddle count would still be fun to see.
posted by terpia at 2:18 PM on March 23, 2008

Response by poster: Darn, I was hoping for more responses. That's ok though---thanks for all of yours! I'm excited because it now appears after doing the math that my battery will run my trolling motor at max speed for almost 24 hours on a single charge---which won't ever ever happen.

Going to do the motor mount today and I also sort of figured out how to do a trolling setup too---so that's exciting.

Thanks again for all your help!
posted by TomMelee at 7:15 AM on March 25, 2008

Oh, I can snag a Texas rigged worm. I'll add that to my useless talents list.
posted by advicepig at 11:47 AM on March 26, 2008

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