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The Best Fishing Canoes

author image Cindy Hill
A freelance writer since 1978 and attorney since 1981, Cindy Hill has won awards for articles on organic agriculture and wild foods, and has published widely in the areas of law, public policy, local foods and gardening. She holds a B.A. in political science from State University of New York and a Master of Environmental Law and a J.D. from Vermont Law School.
The Best Fishing Canoes
People are fishing from a canoe. Photo Credit Comstock Images/Stockbyte/Getty Images


Fishing from a canoe is a timeless tradition. Quiet, peaceful, light and maneuverable, fishing canoes can be handled easily by one or two people and make it possible for anglers to fish small lakes and rocky rivers that are inaccessible to bigger fishing boats. The best fishing canoe meets your specific fishing needs for weight, room, size and portability.

Adirondack Guide Boat

The Adirondack Guide Boat developed before the 1840s, according to the Adirondack Museum. Adirondack Guide Boats are canoes that are amply sized to fit 2 to 3 travelers—traditionally one or two fishermen and their guide, and gear for an extended fishing trip. The boats are also rowed, rather than paddled, and are light enough, despite their size, to allow comfortable portage from lake to lake to follow the best fishing of the season. Today, a few custom guide boat builders remain working at the craft, but the leading consumer source is Adirondack Guide Boat of Ferrisburg, Vermont. Although Adirondack sells guide boats in Kevlar and cedar, the best option is the 16 foot cedar guide boat kit—producing a legendary fishing craft that you can customize to your specifications, ensuring a stellar boat that meets your fishing needs.

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Mad River Synergy

The 2007 product reviews by Canoe and Kayak magazine note that the Mad River Synergy 12 foot sit-on-top canoe was "a hit with everyone," while consumer reviewers at Paddling.net note that the Synergy 12 fits numerous fishing rods and gear, easily floats over Class 2 rapids and has handy built-in fishing-rod holders. Made by Mad River Canoe of Vermont, a top-line canoe builder since 1971, the Synergy 12 draws on kayak design developments for practical inspiration. Mad River makes three fishing canoes: the Angler 14, Synergy 14 and Synergy 12. The Royalex Angler excels for calm lake and marsh paddling, but the Synergy models run rivers as well as float on still water and have generous storage capacity and a number of accessories specifically designed for fishing satisfaction. The 12-foot model is the lightest and most maneuverable of the three Mad River fishing canoes.

Esquif Cargo

The Esquif Cargo flat-backed canoe is 17 feet long and made of Royalex; its proportions are precisely those recommended by the Bass Pro Shops professionals in their article "How to Select a Canoe," and Royalex is Bass Pro Shop's top recommended canoe material for its exceptional durability. The Cargo is highly stable and can be paddled or driven with a motor up to 3 hp. Esquif is a relative new canoe company from Canada hat has quickly risen to the top of most canoe review lists because of their products' incredible agility and speed. The Cargo is one of three models that Esquif has designed specifically for hunting and fishing use.

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