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The Ultimate Buyer’s Guide on Canoes for Fishing

No matter how good your fishing gear is, having a canoe at your disposal can be an indispensable advantage and luxury.

person fishing in a canoe

A canoe enables you to move silently through the water as well as fish in areas that would’ve been likely unreachable otherwise.

Furthermore, whether you’re a seasoned angler looking for the perfect replacement for an old canoe or a newcomer just getting started with your brand new hobby, a good fishing canoe will keep you safe and comfortable while you wait to reel in the perfect catch.

But picking out the best canoe for your preferred style of fishing can be tricky, and no one wants to risk making the wrong choice and wasting their money.

a person fishing in a canoe

Fortunately, there are many great canoes designed with anglers in mind.

We’ve taken the time to break down the best points of seven of the best fishing canoes available for this season and listed them all so you can choose the right canoe for all your fishing expeditions.

Top 7 Canoes for Fishing

  1. Lifetime Kodiak
  2. Old Town Discovery 158 Canoe
  3. Old Town Sportsman Discovery Solo 119 Canoe
  4. Sea Eagle Travel Canoe
  5. Old Town Penobscot 174 Canoe
  6. Sundolphin Mackinaw Canoe
  7. Wenonah Fusion

Lifetime Kodiak

The Lifetime Kodiak canoe is a full 13 feet long from end to end. It has three adjustable seats, with padded backing molded in to provide additional floatation if necessary, and a maximum weight capacity of 600 pounds.

Lifetime Kodiak

This canoe comes at a reasonable price and includes a pair of single-bladed paddles.

It also comes with a remarkably wide variety of features given its low cost, including two fishing rod holders built directly into the central seat, handles on the front and back of the canoe for ease of carrying, a molded plastic cup holder at the front, and ditty trays in the back for all your storage purposes.

If you’d rather not paddle the canoe yourself, it also boasts a transom motor mount bracket already installed, allowing you to attach a motor as desired.


Old Town Discovery 158 Canoe

This lightweight but sturdy canoe measures 18 feet long and 8 inches wide and has a weight capacity of 1,150 pounds.

Old Town Discovery 158 Canoe

It’s built to comfortably seat two people and has nylon webbing treated to resist UV radiation for cushioning, so there’s no worry that you’ll start to feel uncomfortable on those whole day-long fishing trips.

As expected from a well-known and reliable brand name like Old Town, the Discovery 158 canoe is very durable and can easily withstand all the scrapes and scratches those of you with a more active lifestyle are likely to put it through.

The hull of the canoe is made from three full layers of molded polyethylene, with vinyl gunwales designed to provide some additional durability.

It also includes a pair of built-in molded plastic handles on the end caps to allow you to easily carry the canoe from your car and back as needed. 


Old Town Sportsman Discovery Solo 119 Canoe

For the more solitary angler or sport hunter, the Old Town Sportsman Discovery Solo 119 canoe is a tough choice to beat. 

Old Town Sportsman Discovery Solo 119 Canoe

Built for one person with a single fully-adjustable kayak-style seat that includes padded armrests, the canoe allows you to make full use of its entire maximum weight capacity of 354 pounds by providing you with an absolutely huge amount of storage space.

It’s also easy to keep organized, as it features built-in tackle trays and dedicated shotgun shell storage.

Not only does this canoe have four flush-mounted fishing rod holders and a seat-side cup holder for your drinks, but it also comes with a free custom tackle box as a gift from the manufacturer, which is a particularly classy touch on their part. 

The canoe measures 11 feet long by 9 inches wide and weighs in at a light and comfortable 56 pounds, making it easy to carry.


Sea Eagle Travel Canoe

This brand name is well known for having spent years producing quality inflatable canoes, and the Sea Eagle Travel Canoe is no exception to their lofty standards.

Sea Eagle Travel Canoe

This high-pressure drop-stitch canoe is shockingly durable while still being extremely lightweight, and it has an impressive maximum weight capacity of 915 pounds.

It measures a full 16 feet long, and the craft’s three internal inflatable chambers provide a fantastic degree of extra buoyancy. 

It seats two, but both seats are fully removable, so it can easily be adjusted to turn it into an even roomier solo craft if you’re a solitary angler who’d prefer not to have any unnecessary weight lying around if you can avoid it.

For the more safety-conscious among us, the non-slip EVA deck pads make standing up to cast out your line a much safer prospect, and there are multiple convenient D-rings for securely attaching your tackle box or any other gear.


Old Town Penobscot 174 Canoe

At 17 feet and 3.96 inches long and 36 inches wide, the measurements of this canoe are pleasantly roomy with plenty of extra storage space.

It has the weight capacity to make good use of that space, too, with a usable weight capacity of 1,410 pounds and a total weight capacity of an even 1,500 pounds.

Old Town Penobscot 174 Canoe

Three full layers of polyethylene ensure its durability. At the same time, the aluminum construction of the gunwales makes for a lighter weight – which is excellent, as it also has two built-in carry handles to make it easy to transport from your car down to the water.

The nylon web mesh seating provides breathable and comfortable padding that has the durability to remain in good shape for years, even with frequent exposure to water and intense sunlight.

Overall, the Old Town Penobscot 174 is an excellent choice for a touring canoe.


Sundolphin Mackinaw Canoe

The Sundolphin Mackinaw canoe provides a wide range of convenient features at a thoroughly affordable price.

Sundolphin Mackinaw Canoe

This canoe can easily seat a full three adults, has a total weight capacity of 800 pounds, and comes in a stylish but nicely understated dark green color.

The robust 15.6-foot-long craft is a hybrid canoe, meaning that it can be paddled purely on the strength of your powerful muscles or turned into a motorized vehicle, depending on your preferences, simply by attaching an electric trolling motor to the square stern.

Although the motor does need to be purchased separately, that kind of versatility is more than worth spending a little extra money.

Not only is this canoe versatile, but it’s also luxurious, boasting amenities such as a storage compartment hidden inside the center seat, attached fishing rod holders, a built-in cooler for bait or drinks, and a personal cup-holder for each seat.


Wenonah Fusion

The Wenonah Fusion canoe is one of the namesake sports and leisure company’s best products on the market to date.

Wenonah Fusion

A solo craft, it measures 13 feet long and 31 feet wide, allowing for plenty of room to stretch your legs.

Combined with the standard-issue padded high back seat that comes with it, this makes for a very comfortable canoe for those who prefer long fishing trips.

It comes with an optional foot-controlled rudder for easy and agile maneuvering and can be paddled using either a single-blade or double-bladed paddle.

Unfortunately, storage trays and fishing rod holders are not built-in or included with the purchase, but the extra space does allow for plenty of room to add them if you prefer to create a personalized set-up.

The gel coat paint finish comes in a vivid array of ten different colors: aqua, blue, burgundy, green, grey, ivory, mango, red, sage, and sand.


Final Thoughts

Any one of these canoes could be a fantastic choice, and all of them are top-quality equipment that any angler can count on for an excellent fishing trip.

Which one is the best for you will ultimately come down to your preferences, as they boast different features and perks that may appeal to you.

Ultimately, the most important thing is that you’ve chosen the canoe that makes you happy and comfortable – after all, it’s your money to spend.

So take your pick and head out to your favorite fishing spot to take full advantage of a reliable canoe. Of course, if you’re looking for a full-blown bass boat, we’ve got you covered there, too!

Rocco Smith

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