Kayak vs Canoe Fishing

Thomas A. Fortenberry  06
Kayak vs Canoe Fishing

Fishing is an old practice which dated back to the Paleolithic age. The isotopic analysis shows that around 40,000 years ago Tianyuan men from eastern Asia consumed fish regularly. There were cave paintings, discarded fish bones and shell middens which confirmed about this ancient practice.

The fishing at the ancient was necessary for surviving purpose. But, today people fish not only for business purposes but also as a recreational habit. Fishing also takes away the monotony of everyday life and removes stress. A fishing boat can provide all the joy and recreation for fishing in both saltwater and freshwater. If you have a sturdy fishing boat and some fishing gears, you are ready to have fun! You can also taste the freshly caught fish, and you know what, nothing tastes better than freshly caught fish. However, the confusion arises when you have various choices to make, and the most confusing one is a canoe or kayak, as both of them offer pretty similar fishing experience.

If you are going to buy a fishing boat and confused about kayak vs canoe, we are here for you. Learn the merits and demerits of each boat and choose the right one. Before showing the best option out of the ‘kayak vs canoe’ debate, let’s find out more about what they are.

What is a Canoe?

Originally came from Native America, the canoe is a small narrow vessel. The length of a canoe is somewhere between 13 to 18 feet. Primarily, they were made form yellow or red cedar. Most age old red canoes were made from this red cedar as this is well known for durability and lightweight performance. In modern day, different kinds of materials like polycarbonate, inflatable materials, fiber or even plastic is used to make a canoe. Canoe comes with open hull design and able to carry more than one person and offer a lot of storage space. Traditionally, they were propelled using a single-handed paddle; however, the motorized canoe is also found.


What is a Kayak?

Kayak is also a small boat which is being used for thousands of years. Aleut, Yup’ik and Inuit people used them for hunting expeditions. Kayak is designed with cover deck with only one sitting arrangement which means kayak can carry a single person. However, there are a few tandem kayaks also available which can carry two persons. The benefit of the covered deck is that it prevents water to get in, which means it is sturdier than a canoe. Kayak is generally paddled with a dual handed paddle.


Kayak vs Canoe Fishing

Fishing with both kayak and canoe is an exciting experience. They offer a similar kind of fishing experience. However, there are certain drawbacks and benefits for each of them. Let’s find out more about canoe vs kayak pros cons;

Stability: Canoe vs Kayak

  • The canoe is usually designed in a way that, it stays a bit higher on the water, which makes it a bit less stable, especially when you are going to catch fish in a standing mode. Of course, you can catch fish with a canoe in the rough Mastering the skills of canoe fishing with is a matter of practice and time.
  • Moreover, you can choose outrigger canoe if you often fish in rough water. Outrigger canoe offers at least one lateral support to provide more stability in rough
  • Kayak is designed to keep you closer to water and hence makes more stable moves. There are also sit-on-top kayaks which offer flexibility to fish while standing.


Dependability on Rough Water

  • In rough water, both kayak and canoe struggle a lot as they are a relatively small vessel.
  • For a recreational canoe, they tend to suffer more as they sit high on the water. So, fishing while standing on any of these canoes is not much safe. However, for calm water canoe is the best fishing boat.
  • Kayak can handle rough water more than a canoe. The covered in-water design allows them to handle shakes more than most boats. However, sit-on-top kayak still suffers a lot in rough weather.

Storage Space for Fish and Fishing Gears

  • Not only for keeping fishing gears, but you also need a room for safekeeping your fish. With its open deck design canoe lets, you put all of your fishing gear, fish carrying case and much more. However, they are unable to protect your stared goods from bad weather or water that may accidentally splash
  • For a kayak, storage space may vary according to its type. Hybrid kayaks offer moderate space for fishing, but sit-on-top kayak has no space to offer except the sitting space.

Comfort for Long Time Fishing

  • With an open hull, design canoe provides extra room for stretching your leg and body as much as you want. This feature particularly gives you more comfort than a kayak when you are in a long time fishing mood. Canoe also stays higher on the water than kayak which means you are less likely to get drenched by splashed water.
  • Ordinary kayak does not provide enough space for body movement. Sit-on-top kayak offers limited space for body movement but, the seat is situated in the hull which might feel uncomfortable if someone stays for a longer time.

A place for Keeping Accessories

  • Both fishing kayak and canoe offer dedicated space for keeping various fishing accessories.
  • You will find, fishing rob holders, bait storage space and fish finder holder in most kayaks and canoes.
  • Some dedicated fishing kayaks and canoes also have accessory rods build in so that, you do not have to buy additional


Which is Pricier Fishing Boat?

Price is an important factor while choosing between kayak vs canoe. Price is variable thing which depends on a lot of factors. Generally, canoe is a bit pricier than a kayak. But, again it depends on design and material.

Inflatable kayaks are less expensive than other type kayaks. However, if you are looking for a recreational kayak or a hybrid kayak, you need to pay more.


In summary, it can be said that canoe and kayak both are good for occasional fishing. However, for term happy fishing experience, you need to consider the above factors and choose according to your need. If budget is a big issue, consider buying a good quality inflatable kayak, and if you want more comfort for a longer fishing time, a good quality canoe can provide full body movement, and you can stretch your leg and body as much as you need. Find the below table to view overall fishing performance about kayak vs canoe.


Final Words

Fishing is an exciting way to pass some leisure time. To some,, fishing is a habit, and to others, it’s something more. Fishing soothes our heart and removes mental stress. For quality anglers, fishing boat is a must as land fishing is less enjoyable and finding fish in single spot is becoming scarcer. Fishing with a fishing boat offers great boating experience with quality fishing time. Both kayak and canoe are highly popular for fishing in river, lake or even offshore fishing. However, choosing the right one is tough.

We believe that reading our article will provide enough insight about kayak vs canoe fishing so that, you can choose your dream fishing boat according to your need. For any more queries, please write us. Happy Fishing!

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