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Best Fishing Canoe

Last Updated: 12.07.24

Fishing Canoes – Buying Guide, Reviews, and Comparison


Are you looking for the best fishing canoe money can get you but you lack the time to go through all the fishing canoe reviews on the internet? If so, this short paragraph should tell you all you need to know about the subject. After doing the research on your behalf, we have reached the conclusion that the Old Town Canoes & Kayaks Discovery 119 is the best canoe out there. Among the features that make it stand out is the fact that it is durable and lightweight, the reason why maneuvering it won’t be a problem. What is more, the model comes equipped with black vinyl gunwales that are said to be quite sturdy. If the Old Town Canoes & Kayaks Discovery 119 is out of stock, we suggest you give the Grumman 12′ 9″ Solo Canoe a good look as it is a dependable second option.



Comparison table


The Good
The Bad



5 Best Fishing Canoes (Reviews) in 2024


In order to make the process of choosing a model easier for you, we have composed a list of high-quality models for you to consider. So, don’t waste any more time; keep on reading and see for yourself!



1. Old Town Discovery 119 Solo Canoe 11 Feet 9 Inches


With a great price to value ratio, this 11` model is advertised as being efficient and durable thanks to its three-layer roto-molded polyethylene construction. According to specialized reviews, this model is particularly stable and agile, the reason why it is suitable for avid fishermen, but remember that fishing jackets will also help you stay dry and comfortable so don’t forget yours at home. However, the model is not recommended for stand-up casting due to its lack of stability.

As one previous buyer pointed out, this product is particularly easy to use by novices when it comes to canoeing. The reason for this lies in the fact that this unit is very intuitive and lets the user know whenever he/she moves away from the center of the canoe by becoming tippy.

Additionally, because the product is quite roomy, the users can pack plenty of gear whenever out fishing so you can fit your travel rod combo.  Another advantage of the model is the fact that, due to its small size and slimness, this canoe is quite fast while still remaining sturdy.

What is more, this product was designed to be used for solo use, and it is considered suitable for paddling with a double-bladed paddle. In order to make the model more comfortable, the manufacturer installed durable nylon web seats.


The product is lightweight and efficient, made of high-quality roto-molded polyethylene, allowing you to enjoy it for many years from now on without considering fixing it.

It comes equipped with seats made of a long-lasting and comfortable web, perfect for a good posture when paddling. The chair is very sturdy and can easily hold up to 300 pounds or even more, which means it’s intended for everyone, even for children, so if you plan to get your child a gift, check our helpful hints as well.

The item is available in three different colors, including a camouflage print and a bold red. Therefore, you can pick the one that best matches your personality.

What we also liked about this single canoe is its roomy construction, giving you plenty of space to stretch or flex your legs.


It is intended for single use, so make sure you know how to paddle before you take it for a ride on the river.

Some customers claimed that the construction seems a bit flimsy, meaning it is not recommended for you to stand in this canoe.

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2. Grumman 12′ 9″ Solo Canoe – Aluminum


Another model that is worth your time and money is the Grumman 12′ 9″ Solo Canoe. Easy to maneuver and quite lightweight (it only weighs 44 pounds), this product can be glided easily by using a single or a double paddle. Also, because it has a wide beam and a low profile, the unit is quite stable and has reduced wind resistance.

When it comes to the materials used in making it, the manufacturer guarantees that the canoe was constructed using a special age-hardened, stretch-formed aluminum alloy that is significantly stronger than the traditional alloys. Consequently, the model is said to last a long period of time and perform well.

Likewise, this model is also great if you intend to team up and fish with a friend. Thanks to the fact that it has a maximum weight capacity of 585 lbs., the unit can easily support to adults and their gear. However, if you intend to use it with a friend, please be advised and add a second seat to the canoe.

Additionally, happy customers claim that although the model is a bit expensive, it is all worth it due to the product’s reliability and durability.


The boat measures almost 13 feet in length, providing you with plenty of space to stretch your legs and arms, as well as store all your belongings during the ride. (tip: you can try a pontoon boat)

It is perfect for people of all weights, coming with a maximum weight capacity of 545 pounds. Therefore, you can rest assured everyone will be a good match and will enjoy a pleasant experience paddling.

Surprisingly lightweight, the product is easy to maneuver and glide using double-bladed or single-bladed paddles.

It is made of high-quality aluminum alloys that resist corrosion, strong wind, rains, harmful sun rays, and saltwater.


Although marketed as a solo boat, you could use the help of a friend as the product is rather hard to move on your own. However, you’ll have to attach a second chair.

It doesn’t come with included paddles, so make sure you purchase a set for you and your friend.

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3. Old Town Discovery 169 Recreational Canoe


If you are scouring the market looking for a canoe that you can use recreationally, the Old Town Canoes & Kayaks Discovery 169 is the model for you. With an impressive length of almost 17 feet, this model was designed to be used to travel long distances and to function well even when carrying heavy loads.

As a plus, the three-layer construction of the unit ensures that it is durable and that it can handle the abuse fairly well. Among the features that make the model stand out are the fact that it has comfy, sturdy nylon web seats and a carrying yoke and a thwart.

Moreover, the product comes equipped with vinyl gunwales and carrying handles that make the model easy to transport while on land. Technically speaking, this model has a length if 16′ 9″ and a width of 37″. Moreover, the maximum load range that the model can support is of 1,350 to 1,400 lbs.

The hull characteristics of the model include a shallow arch bottom, straight sides, and a moderate rocker. Additionally, the model handles well in both rivers and lakes and it can be easily transported on the top of one’s car.


The item features a sturdy construction, made of durable roto-molded polyethylene that will resist all weather conditions. It won’t rust or be affected by harmful sun rays or dust, meaning you will enjoy it for many years from now on.

Carrying it around thanks to the comfortable molded handles is easy. Transportation and storage are both convenient, especially since you will be able to handle them on your own.

The canoe includes web seats made of durable nylon for increased comfort when paddling.

We also liked that it provides plenty of room for your legs and all your belongings.


It is big and heavy, weighing at least 70 pounds if we’re talking about the 14-feet long canoe. We suggest you ask a friend for help if you’re not well-built.

Prepare to spend extra money on additional paddles and protective gear.

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4. Old Town Canoes Saranac 160 Recreational Family Canoe


If you are looking for a more affordable family model, the Old Town Canoes & Kayaks Saranac 160 is the product that you should have your eyes on. Made with a thermoplastic hull, this unit is considered durable. Also, thanks to the material used, this canoe has a great abrasion and impact resistance. Therefore this is a unit that can run smoothly and quietly.

Moreover, the product comes fitted with three seats. Each seat has a tray where needed items can be stored. Similarly, all seats have cup holders so that the users can enjoy their drinks without worrying about them spilling. According to previous buyers, a major plus of this model is the fact that the seats have backrests. An integrated cooler and a dry box are also supplied by the manufacturer. As a result, you won’t have to invest in additional commodities.

Because this is a family canoe, the model can hold a maximum load of 700 to 750 pounds. Furthermore, the model is 16` in length and weighs 79 pounds reason why it is quite stable and can be safely used with children. Besides, the unit can be transported effortlessly on the roof of an SUV.


The canoe is perfect for a small family trip down the lake as it is designed to accommodate up to three adults.

The interior is roomy and comfortable, providing enough space to stretch your legs and deposit your personal belongings, including a small backpack and some sandwiches.

The maximum load range is 750 pounds, which makes this boat suitable for three adults.

It is made of high-quality materials. The thermoplastic hull is designed to last and to offer protection against abrasion and impact. Therefore, you can rest assured this canoe will last you many years from now on.


The entire construction is rather bulky so make sure you can carry it to your destination. The product also seems heavy and is mainly designed for three well-built adults rather than one adult and two kids.

Although comfortable, the seat backs are flimsy, and you may have to replace them sooner rather than later.

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5. Sun Dolphin Mackinaw Canoe

We couldn’t have ended this top without mentioning the Sun Dolphin Mackinaw 15.6-Ft. Canoe. Small while still convenient this model is ideal as a family canoe thanks to the fact that it comes fitted with three comfortable seats. As a way of making the unit ever more family-friendly, the manufacturer has outfitted the canoe with a dry storage compartment and a cooler under the center seat. Furthermore, all seats have molded-in drink holders.

Since the unit is made from polyethylene, this canoe is highly durable and can stand the test of time. Moreover, the unit is quite roomy particularly because it has a square stern; so, if you settle for this product, you won’t have to worry about having enough space for the much-needed fishing gear.

Even more so, this product is said to be particularly stable, a reason why standing in it in order to fish won’t be a problem. Besides, many users have pointed out that this product glides easily on the water and that is very easy to manage. Similarly, another previous buyer was happy with that fact that the unit is really easy to clean and store in between uses.


This boat comes equipped with everything you need for a relaxing day on the river alongside your family.

It features three seats so you can bring along your children too. There is enough place to rest your feet, and the canoe even features a storage compartment and cooler under the seats, perfect for keeping your lunch and cold drinks.

Speaking of drinks, there are also drink holders molded into the seats to ensure you stay hydrated throughout the day.

The canoe is made of high-quality materials that will resist harsh weather conditions.


Transporting this boat may be a bit difficult due to its size and weight. There are no handles available, so it will take time and muscles to make this item float.

According to some customers, the seats seem to be narrow and uncomfortable, especially if you plan on spending the entire day on the water. There are no seat backs either to support your spine.

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Buying guide


If you are searching for the best lightweight fishing canoe but you have no idea what features you should look for in an item like this, we’ve got you covered. Because we know just how difficult selecting a good canoe for fishing can be, we have done the legwork for you, and we have composed a list of aspects that you should definitely consider. So, keep on reading and select the model you best feel fits your needs! (aside from canoes, you could try an inflatable fishing boat)


Any talk about canoes should have as a starting point the size of the unit. As many specialists indicate, this aspect is particularly relevant due to the fact that the length determines the speed and the maneuverability of the model.

Also, shorter boats are said to be less heavy and easier to handle during windy weather. Moreover, shorter units can fit places that are inaccessible to longer models. Still, if you want to buy a larger model, please consider those that are 16` and longer, as they are said to be less tippy.

Besides, always keep in mind that wider boats are more stable than the narrower ones and that deeper models normally have taller margins, reason why there are fewer chances for the water to get in. (we also recomment reading our adidas Climacool Boat Lace Water Shoe Review)


Solo vs. family models

When in the market for the best canoe for fishing, one crucial decision that you should make is between a solo model and a family one. In order to make this choice, it is important that you consider the circumstances when you’ll be using the unit.

Therefore, if you are a lone fisherman that enjoys spending time alone on its boat away from the noises and the stress of civilization, buying a solo canoe seems to be the best option. However, if you like spending time with your family or even killing time with your friends while out in nature having small adventures, the latter option might be better suited.

One particular feature that differentiates between the two models, apart from the unit’s size, is the fact that family models are better equipped to accommodate more users. For instance, family models usually come equipped with two to three seats where you can sit your family/friends.

Additionally, technically speaking, family models are better suited to support a heavier load. For instance, a solo model generally has a maximum load range of 450 to 500 lbs. By contrast, some family-friendly models are capable of supporting no less than up to 1,350 to 1,400 lbs.



Another aspect that can help you select a model from the myriad of models up for sale is the type of material used in making the canoe. From this perspective, our recommendation to you is that you settle for a product constructed from dependable, durable materials.

A quick glance at the market will let you understand that the main materials you have to choose from are roto-molded or polyethylene, carbon, royalex, and kevlar. The most commonly used material has to be polyethylene. According to specialized reviews, this is a solid, durable fiber that can take a lot of abuse, reason why, if you are in the market for the best bass fishing canoe you should look for a model made from this material.

More affordable and equally commonly used is the royalex. This material is said to be very lightweight, a reason why many prefer it to others. Moreover, the canoes constructed from it are appraised for their elasticity and quietness while in the water.

On the other side of the price scale are the canoes made from carbon and Kevlar. Although quite expensive, these models are significantly lightweight and much faster than their similar counterparts. What is more, these units are said to be of high quality and to have the ability to perform at the highest of standards.

Ability to safely store gear

Because you are trying to find the best stable fishing canoe, our recommendation to you is that you look for a model that can offer enough room and support for you and your gear. In order to make sure that the model you like best is large enough, we suggest that you take the time to verify just how wide the unit is.

After doing so, it is advisable that you actually check and see whether or not the selected canoe can safely hold you and the fishing equipment. Additionally, another way to make certain that you’ve found the right canoe is by going online to read the feedback left by previous buyers. By doing so, you’ll also be able to find out if there are any undisclosed issues with the model.


Why buy one?

If, until now, we have talked about things that you should consider when you want to buy a new fishing canoe, let’s take a moment and talk about exactly why you should get one. While fishing from the shore is undoubtedly a much easier task, pro anglers will always be happy to let you know that the real action comes from facing the depths. 

As a result, this is why canoes are so favored and sought after by many fishing aficionados. They allow you to get to deep and otherwise inaccessible waters with great ease, without scaring off all the fish in the process. Furthermore, they are equally good for lakes and rivers, especially calmer ones. 

While the nature of the item makes some people view it as pretty basic, a canoe is the best proof that simplicity can be quite complex sometimes. Its curved shape and excellent stability are great for providing the stealth that is crucial for anglers when they are trying to catch the next big thing.

Furthermore, experienced folks will tell you that one of the hardest parts in fishing is actually managing to get to your spot without spooking the prey in the process. A canoe makes that process a breeze since it does not make any noise and simply glides across the water when you are using your paddles. 

Also, we can be the ones to tell you that fishing is not the most accessory-free pastime out there. From rod holders to hooks, bait, and other things, you really need to bring a ton of fishing gear with you if you want to be a successful angler. With that in mind, even a single-person canoe can be great for providing plenty of storage space for your things and offering a temporary home.


What to consider?

For most of us, the first canoe is pretty much like the first car that we ever own – it doesn’t have to be among the best fishing canoes. You get something that is functional and reliable but has often seen better days and may even be in the need for some repairs. 

Performance almost always takes a back seat to affordability for beginners, especially since it allows you to bail out if you become disenchanted with the sport.

Other than performance, strength is also a quality that is often overlooked. Great anglers can be a novice at paddling, especially if they’ve only fished in calm lakes before. When it comes to rivers, beginners are certain that they’ll hit pretty much every rock in it so a good boat will always be a strong one. 

As a result, instead of focusing on learning to avoid obstacles, they focus on getting a product that can survive the first session. What you have to remember is that unlike skis and bikes, canoes are quite difficult to store and transport so the love for this activity will grow slowly yet undoubtedly. 

If you’re serious about honing this craft, you will want to keep in mind that it will be an arduous journey and your love for it will only develop if you remember what it was what drew you in, to begin with. If you think about canoeing and immediately develop a sense of fun and freedom, you can rest assured that you’re in a good starting spot.



Frequently Asked Questions:


Q: Which one is better for fishing – a canoe or a kayak?

Exploring the deep waters and fishing for their inhabitants has become a very popular activity in the modern world. However, fishing trips require a lot of preparation to set up and a lot of anglers are still locked in the centuries-old debate: Which one is better? A canoe or a kayak?

The best fishing canoes provide a great way to reach areas that you may not be able to with an ordinary, larger boat. Since prime fishing grounds are usually exactly in that type of area, such means of transportation are always sought-after. Lightweight and quite easy to strap on the hood of a car, canoes are great for getting into wilder, uncharted areas.

A kayak, however, usually has a sit-on-top style where you have to sit with your legs bent or straight-out flat. The direction you generally face is forward and you have to put down your fishing pole and grab the two-bladed paddle in order to move. As a result, it’s safe to say that while both are good, canoes are better for beginners since they’re easier to handle. 

Q: Can you stand in a fishing canoe?

Standing in a fishing canoe is one of the things that help settle the longstanding dispute between rod holders when it comes to the benefits of kayaks and canoes. Beginners but also veterans seem to prefer the second type of boat because it’s more maneuverable and comfortable. 

While a kayak forces you to usually sit with your legs bent or straight-out flat, a canoe provides more space and lets you sit higher above the water, also changing the casting technique. If the need arises, you can also stand and still feel a sense of security due to the balance it offers. 

To move a kayak, you generally have to put down your fishing pole and pick up the paddle while a fishing canoe has the added advantage of being able to equip an electric trolling motor that’s sure to make those long and hot fishing trips easier.


Q: Is canoeing safe for non-swimmers?

Embarking on a trip in your fishing canoe can be a great way to relieve stress and explore the great outdoors. However, what do you do if you love going exploring but simply abhor the mere idea of being so close to the water?

As dangerous as it obviously is to venture out on a lake or river if you don’t know how to swim, it can definitely be done with some prior preparation and that is without including clean underwear in your storage space. 

The first thing that you want to do as a non-swimmer is to conquer your fear of water. Take a bath, go to the beach, do anything that gets you in direct contact with the dreaded liquid. Then, get a life jacket and make sure it’s a good one and you’re used to wearing it. Third, take a kayak lesson before hopping on-board and you should pretty much be guaranteed a fun time.



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