How to Rig a Fishing Canoe

How to Rig a Fishing Canoe
Canoes have long been a staple fishing tool for many anglers looking for a light weight craft that can maneuver fast flowing streams or remote mountain lakes. But with a myriad of accessories on the market today, you can turn an ordinary canoe into a stable, sleek fishing machine complete with electronics and gadgets normally reserved for the power boat set.


Difficulty: Moderate

Rigging the Canoe

Things You’ll Need:
  • Canoe
  • Portable fish finder
  • Clamp on fishing rod holders
  • Stablizing pontoons
  • Electric trolling motor
Step 1
Attach the stabilizing bar of the pontoons across the the width of the canoe and lock it in place by tightening the knobs on the bar. Adjust the height of the pontoons by moving them up or down depending on water conditions. Raise the pontoons if there are waves and lower them for maximum stability in calm water. These pontoons will allow anglers to fish off shore in pursuit of large game fish without fear of flipping the canoe.
Step 2
Place clamp-on rod holders at strategic areas of the canoe. If you are planning to troll with your canoe, attach several rod holders on each side of the canoe so the fishing rods are far enough apart so they will not tangle. Once the rod holders are in place, simply tighten the knobs down on the clamps so the rod holders will not move around during your fishing excursion.
Step 3
Mount a portable fish finder to the stern of the canoe as this is the most stable section of the craft. Make sure the fish finder's transducer is pointing straight down and away from any paddling or motor turbulence so the unit will give the most accurate reading. Choose a fish finder that has self-contained batteries so there are not any power cords laying around on the bottom of the canoe.
Step 4
Place an electric trolling motor on the stern of the canoe if the boat has a flat end. If the canoe has a tapered end, then mount the trolling motor off to one side near the back of the canoe. Tighten the knobs on the clamp once you have the motor in place. Be sure to make room for a deep cycle battery when mounting the motor as this is the power source to keep the boat in motion.

Tips & Warnings

If you plan to anchor and fish from your canoe, use a small anchor at the stern and bow of the boat so the canoe does not swing around in a light breeze.
Be sure to check local weather forecasts before taking your canoe off shore on a large lake. Even with the stabilizing pontoons aboard, the canoe will take on water as wave heights begin to build over a foot.


Article Written By Brian M. Kelly

Brian M. Kelly has been freelance writing since 2003. His work has been published in respected outdoor magazines such as Outdoor Life, Great Lakes Angler and Salmon Trout Steelheader. He holds an associate's degree in automated machine design from Macomb College.

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