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· Registered
335 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I read Huges’s post about the opening of Split Rock Reservoir.

It got me thinking.

I’ve been mulling getting some sort of small boat for a while.

Most of my fishing is done with my club and I’ve been a non-boater for a while.

I can’t afford a real bass boat right now (combination of $$$, space, vehicle).

When I don’t fish with the club I tend to go to places like Waywayanda, Swartswood, and Wampus where I can rent a boat.

My wife likes to fish with me and has become a little jealous of me being able to fish with the club without her.

I think this is a good problem (she’d be very happy if I was able to take her out fishing more!!!!)

So I had been thinking about purchasing something.

Originally I thought of a jon boat, then I was thinking something inflatable.

Today, I just found out about an 18-foot aluminum canoe for about $350.

I hadn’t thought about this before and could use a little feedback.

I have a MinnKotta Endura 55# (transom mount) - is this something that can go on a canoe?

Will an 18 foot canoe even fit on the roof of my car (I have a newer Focus hatchback)?

Is this something that I can launch easily myself (how heavy is something like this)?

Is a canoe a decent fishing platform?

Any feedback will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks, Fish-Eye…..<*))}}}}>><{{

· Registered
252 Posts
Easy on & off is the key!

I have been fishing from a canoe for the last 4 years. If you have small local ponds it is the way to go. Small bodies of water or rivers is your best bet from a canoe. Keep in mind the easier it is for you to get it on & off your car the more you will use it. Mine is 59lbs 15'. I can get it on & off my car with no problem by myself. Not only that, but I can also go solo, which I usually do.
You really don't need a trolling motor with a canoe. If you are fishing big windblown lakes I would go with a semi-v & the trolling motor. Canoes that are cheap are usuually very heavy & hard to handle.

· Administrator
21,735 Posts
FisH: keep in mind local regulations on waters that you fish....for example, Wampus will not give a permit to an inflatable boat.....

a jon is the overall best because, not only will be allowed on any water that allows boating, but if you want, you could always in the future park it on your favorite NYC reservoir water....Canoes are not allowed on the reservoirs.....

you never know! you might fall in love with one of those waters and want to leave a boat at one of them....the Jon covers all the possbilities........

· Registered
620 Posts
check the width

After doing a little homework and renting canoes at a few lakes, I bought a canoe a few years ago from BJ's Wholesale. I bought it for all the same reasons you are. $350 Here's what I found,
- 18 feet long may be tricky putting on and off car solo. Especially if you are worried about scratches. Also the longer the canoe the narrower the beam and less stable while fishing. They had a 14ft canoe with a 36in beam vs. the longer canoes which typically have a 24 inch beam. The wider beam definitely is more stable in the water.
When I saw the canoe in the store I thought it would be easy to handle loading and unloading by my self, but wasn't the reality. I've seen guys build contraptions to slide the canoe on top or you can buy a swivel that attaches to a trailer hitch and allows one person to load on top. Can get expensive.
The canoe is good for lakes like Wampus and smaller ponds but gets tricky on bigger water where winds can pick up and motor boat wake can bounce you around and tip you.
Also not to comfortable if your on the water for a while as your movement is limited and difficult to stretch your legs.

· Registered
1,426 Posts

>I think this is a good problem (she’d be very happy if I was able >to take her out fishing more!!!!)

Consider yourself lucky!

>Originally I thought of a jon boat, then I was thinking something >inflatable.

Jon boat - not a bad idea, no paddling, works.

>Today, I just found out about an 18-foot aluminum canoe for >about $350.

I have a 18' Craftsman Alum canoe, great on SLOW water, lakes, slow rivers. It has a keel that will get caught and cause sudden stops when running anything over classI's. Got the canoe for free (buddy owed me some money), but he bought it used for $150.

Recently, I picked up an Old Town Discovery 158. 70#, so a bit heavy, but I can manage to load it on my Jeep w/ a little huff'n and puff'n or easily with a buddy. Used Discovery's can be bought for $350-$450 depending on condition.

>I have a MinnKotta Endura 55# (transom mount) - is this >something that can go on a canoe?

Yes. BUT - concider local regs, you'll have to register it. Also, if your good with wood/tools, you can make a mount for it. I've seen some nice ones out of aluminum for around $100. Get a batter box if you go this option.

>Will an 18 foot canoe even fit on the roof of my car (I have a >newer Focus hatchback)?

With enough rope, I can tie any canoe on any vehicle. You may want to consider some racks, Yakima or Tuhle ($$$) or they sell some foam pads for the rails of the canoe for around $50 and some straps. I'ld add additional rope to tie down!!!!!

>Is this something that I can launch easily myself (how heavy is >something like this)?

Yes, but easier w/ a buddy.

>Is a canoe a decent fishing platform?

Depends on the canoe. Check out the rocker. That will tell you how stable it is in the water. I can stand up in both the 158 and the alum Craftsman canoe. On an Old Town Penobscot, you'll flip the boat.

>Any feedback will be greatly appreciated.

Ever thought about a kayak? GREAT fishing vessle for fast running rivers and does a decent job on lakes.

By the way, I'm one who can't make up my mind, so I got the jon first, the alum canoe next, then the yak, now the 158.

· Tinman
552 Posts
Jon boat

If you can transport it with your car, a jon boat is the way to go. It's wide, stable, and can handle two or three people. You can also stand up in it. With a 55 pound elec on the back, you'll be able to waterski off the thing. I put a 40lb MinnKota on my 12' jon boat, and I can create a wake behind me. (I'm not a small guy.)

Plus with a jon boat you can paint it camo and go duck or goose hunting! Or just look like you're going hunting (it impresses the women folk). You can also take your dog with you when you go fishing. (Big dog's in canoe's usually means "swimming") Plus there's room for a cooler full of beer!

Now think about it, what could be better then being out on a nice day, bass fishing out of your jon boat with a cooler full of beverages and your trusty dog sitting next to you for company?

Nothing. That's what.



· Wishin' I'm Fishin'
18,645 Posts
ah, choices....
Life is good !!!

First off, I also would choose not to use a inflatable to fish from myself. I am sure many do it fine, but not for me.
Now ponder this: do you think you alone can lift the john-boat without fear of damaging your car? Do you think you can do the canoe?. Not sure, but I would "think" the johnboats are heavier than a canoe. I HAVE done canoes alone for years off of cartops, but I am a big guy, too. I have bought a kit which has four foam blacks made specifically for using with canoes being cartopped, and three nylon tie-dwn straps. The canoe sits upside-down on the roof, with the roof being protected by the four gunnale mounted foam blocks[the have a notch cut in them, wrapping around the gunnale]. One nylon tie goes through the cab windows and around the top of the canoe, and tightens it to the car. One strap at each end too, to the frame of the vehicle[often, there are convienient tow hooks there].
Me, I alwys 'overdo', so I use several additional pieces of rope to tie it down further, being redundant on the side of safety. When mine is tied down, I can grab the canoe, and only move the whole TRUCK !!!! I have 'tooled on the highway' with it on the
Now, fishing out of a canoe is certainly not as comfortable as a johnboat could be, and you would have to be far more careful to stand in a canoe than a johnboat too, but I have often stood and fished from mine on quiet waters, the ones I seek when using the canoe.
I have a stern-mount-type 12 volt troller[which then requires registering the craft in NY with ANY motor]. Just makes it easy to fish a spot, and hold it in place. Yes, wind can be a issue with canoes, but again, I seek more protected small waters that are often tucked in behind hills.

Now Decisions must be made by you....
Are you planning on fishing the NYC Res system?
Can you load either yourself?
How often alone?VS with others?

· Super Moderator
8,152 Posts
I would definitely not recommend the inflatable !

I strongly recommend the jon boat over the canoe for reasons already mentioned by others....stability, extra room, etc,.

As far as transporting is concerned....anything that requires to be lifted and tied to the roof is a pain in the ass. True, a canoe is a little easier to load than a john boat but it's still a pain.

Regardless of which boat you choose, you should DEFINITELY consider a special loader. They are a solid investment if you plan on transporting your boat on a regular basis, especially if you will be loading the boat alone.

Take a look at and I'm sure you'll agree these products are the most convenient way to transport your boat without breaking your back.....check out the Eide Car-A-Boat model 5500 in particular.

The best of luck to you....


· Registered
1,086 Posts
It's a matter of tradeoffs

Hi Fisheye,
Not long ago, I was in your position. I had some cash for a boat, but not much space to store it. I knew I would be using it alone sometimes, but other times I would want the space for a partner, or to take my girls out in it.

I went with a Sea Eagle 9 inflatable. It folds up to store in my garage, or to transport in the trunk of my car. I bought it with the floorboard and motormount package, so it is a stable fishing platform, and it zips around pretty well with my 40 lb thrust trolling motor. I can easily get it from my car to the water, even by myself. Not every lake allows inflatables, but there are many small lakes near me that it works very well on. As far as hooks, the fabric on a QUALITY inflatable is capable of handling the rocks, logs etc. you will encounter on whitewater, and there are multiple chambers in the unlikely event of a puncture. I have never had a problem with hooks, they just glide across the fabric in the rare cases they touch it. I don't have to hassle with a trailer or a cartop rack, and as long as I can get anywhere near the water I can get it in. The only downside (to me) is that it takes 20-30 minutes to set it up.

You have to consider many factors, including the regs on the bodies of water you are likely to fish, but if you do go inflatable, and get a good quality one, there are some advantages. Hope I didn't totally confuse you.

· Registered
4,820 Posts
i second most of john's comments on inflatables... there are definitely pluses and minuses... if you live in an apartment, it may be the only way to go!... the set-up gets to be a drag, but they can be very comfortable to fish from and super-mobile... i have owned a sea eagle 9 and sevylor fish hunter... the sea eagles have a bit tougher fabric but the sevylor's motor mount blows away the SE... that is the one drag with the SE... the motor mount is horribly engineered with these stupid knuckle-busting ring clips while the sevylor mount is a thing of beauty: telescopic rods with 2 simple wing nuts.

you have to expect getting the occassional puncture in these things, but they're really easy to patch... oh, and the sevylors have these cool rod holders also, but like i said the sea eagles are a bit more durable.

· Registered
335 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thank you, thank you, thank you.

You guys are f’ing amazing.

Now I know why I love this site.

I raise what I think is a fairly simple question and I get back so much great unbiased info from guys who have been there, done that and are so free to share.

It’s like dealing with something between a Washington "Think Tank" and a bunch of "Talmudic Scholars"

You guys came back with some thoughts that I never considered (regulations, beam, scratches, yikes….)

It sounds like the canoe is probably not the right option for me at this point.

I think it probably is too bulky to load and unload by myself (or with the Mrs.).

I have not seen a Sea Eagle other then looking at their web site (I think they are out in Port Jeff???).

I’ll try to take a gander at either the NY Boat show or one of the Sporting shows.

But from the input it seems like jon boat is the way to go.

My only problems are that I will now have to clean out my small garage and use it for a garage and sounds like I will have to buy a dog and some more beer.

Thanks again, Fish-Eye…..<*))}}}}>><{{

· Smile, and enjoy life!!
2,160 Posts
we have had all of the above.

inflatables in the high end class are great. looking for multi air chambers.. the more the better. that way one rock can't do you in. inflatable still = doubt though. convenience =100 reliability=50 stability=some good some bad.

crawdad... reliable, stable, but rides low. you have to take care in rough water. ability to mount rear and front motors. good single or double platform. works best with a trailer, but can be car topped or trucked.

foldable boat... !!!!! amazing. stable. foldable. transportable. takes on the profile of a surfboard on your roof. moves quite well with a 4 or 5 hp. moves qell with a 30-50# thrust electric. body is impervious to everyday obstacles... trees, rocks, sand.

canoe... can go places the boats can't. car topper. can be stable, but most are not. ours is a square back that is really wide. i can stand and cast from it, but price was 800$ i belv. moves great with gas or 50# electric.

kayak.. ask AKO or scott c. great for back waters or some open water. andrew is a purist and swears by his kayak. good alternative. quick, quiet and stealthy. cartoppable=100%.

good luck.
the Porta-bote is my choice by far.

we may have a trailer and crawdad for sale soon. also may have a solid 4hp johnson sea horse gas motor for sale.. excellent running condition. great little kicker for any boat.

--- love and kisses

· Administrator
21,735 Posts
fish: I was thinking the same sentiments as you as I read all of the comments that everyone took the time to write down for you....

you are right: that is what makes this board so wonderful!!

now: if you are going to be at the Boat show, might be a nice time to meet some of the members as we are planning an informal get together there on Sunday the 4th of JAN........

· Banned
3,747 Posts
How about one of those plastic Bantams. I have a 10 footer but they make smaller ones to 8ft. Mine weighs 125lbs. Fish's two although I like to do it alone. I trailer it but you can launch it out of a van or pickup no problem. You can stand in it as it is likely the most stable of the bunch. It has mounts built in for bow and stern. You can get them for under 350.00 if you look. I used to have a 14 ft V-hull that was just too heavy and cumbersome to launch in smaller waters. I also have a Float Cat from Hobie. This little guy is wicked for small water angling. It is a catamaran type of vessel. It's about 6ft long and you are totally above the water. Very cool, only 25lbs and I've run a 55lb Minn Kota on is balls to the wall fast. My old motor had a bad bearing on it and when I would open it up, it sounded like George Jetsons space craft. If you heard it but didn't see a boat on the water, you'd likely think you were going to be abducted.

· Registered
252 Posts
This could be you & the Mrs!
Check out this site. I have a one , a semi-v on the Croton and a small Striper boat for the Hudson. I live 1/2 mile from the Hudson, 6 miles from the Croton & guess from what I have caught the most fish using. I have a small pond 1 mile from home that I can hit every point & cove in 1 hour. No other boat preasure at all. If you have small ponds by you, you are missing a great fishing opportunity if you don't consider a canoe.

· Pitchin' Fool
4,397 Posts
I had the Sea Eagle 8 and I had some great fishing days off that thing. It is durable and Id drag that thing over anything and didnt get a puncture at all. It had wooden floors and was stable enough to do some flipping and pitching all day.

The only drawback was in cooler weather, the thing was a bitch to inflate, took more than 30 mins to do so. Plus in windy conditons, it was all over the place.

I really like this one though...check it out....

That'll be an awesome ESBA tourney boat...LOL.....


526 Posts
Hey Fish-Eye. I recently went through the same decision making process. Room, cost, considerations etc. I wound up with a kayak. I usually fish alone and needed something I could cartop and move easily by myself. I also fish mostly local, calm water too, so its perfect for me, though there are plenty of folks who fish from yaks offshore as well. I bought a Wilderness Systems Tarpon 120. Lot you can do to rig it for fishing too. Check out for some ideas.
A few other ideas from m research. Check out the Ocean Kayak Ambush. It's kind of a cross between a kayak and a flats boat. Its set up for an electric trolling motor too.
River Ridge Canoes has an incredible canoe built just for fishing. It's really beautiful, but a little costly. Check out their website too.
Lastly, just got some info the other day on a perfect Long Island bass boat. It's from a company called Water Moccasin Boats in La. They have one and two person fishing boats set up for electric motors only. Really nice. I just got the Kayak but I'm already tryting to figure out how to get one of these as well! They have a website,, but call and ask for the hardcopy catalog. Much better pictures and views.
Good luck. Hope to see oyu on the water.
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