Difficulties on my first catfishing canoe trip

Discussion in 'Kayaker and Canoe Fishing' started by jolie, Aug 26, 2008.

  1. jolie

    jolie New Member

    Messages:
    828
    State:
    PA
    Just saw this canoe

    posted my first canoeing trip in the member reports
    http://www.catfish1.com/forums/showthread.php?t=90813

    It was interesting! I've been bankfishing for catfish most the year and the canoe has Broadened my horizons. There are definite limitations, I hadn't appreciated but I am now convinced the added mobility and ability to cover the river makes it worth it.

    I was wondering if you guys could comment on some of the problems I was having...perhaps you have some ideas to share about them

    Snagging. my first and most annoying problem with the canoe was that Anchored the canoe swayed in the wind and current. With my carolina rig, if I was near any snaggish bottom- after a few of these moments the whole setup was snagged. I compensated by finding less-snaggish bottoms usually in heavier current.

    Pulling Snags. Was A pain in the Arse!:angry: A determined pull on the pole usually caused the canoe to swing. pulling hard, the boat would start to swing oscillate, swinging one way into it ran into the line and then pulling the other way. Usually trying to pull out one snag caused another one on the other pull.

    Reach. 14" of canoe yet I felt like I could only reach to 3-4' away before I had to come to a more upright position, which wouldn't have been wise in a laden down canoe, on the river, in the dark. I think I'm just going to have to deal with this one!

    Subtle bites. Are hard. you've got the swaying canoe... usually there a nice adventage for guessing what pole is about to go off and having it in your hands. also since the canoe gives, the hook site just isn't as powerful as on land. Does this mean circle hooks are even better when out on a canoe than on shore???

    Anchor line. heres a dumb one, you've got to have like a lot of feet of anchor line to make sure you can hold in the deepest hole on the river. BUT on the other hand , a wound coil of anchor line seemed to inevitable twist into miles of knots. Then you've got like 6" of anchor line:tounge_out:
    is there a better way

    Light. ok, here's probably a bad thing to admit, but I pulled the canoe thing off with just a little flashlight. IT was really dark:smile2: and half the time the flashlight would fall in the bottom of the canoe and roll beyond reach. I think the rules actually require a light visible for 360° but a lantern on a canoe would be a disaster; as any little rolling motion would surely knock it over. So do you guys have mounts?

    well enough for now...
    I'd appreciate any insight.
     
  2. jolie

    jolie New Member

    Messages:
    828
    State:
    PA
    oh thought of one more question.

    the canoe would obviously sway less with two anchors. the feat of somehow putting two anchors down on a rolly-polly canoe on a dark river night is boggling to think of...

    BUT it I do wonder if people do it? perhaps its more reasonable in still water like a lake??
     

  3. yellowcat

    yellowcat New Member

    Messages:
    36
    State:
    Hot springs, NC
    I tried a canoe fishing trip one time and decided to go back to fishing out of a raft or aluminum John Boat. They are just too unstable in moving water and it is hard enough to fish out of a boat in a river at night, almost impossible if you don't have sturdy base.
     
  4. Bill in SC

    Bill in SC New Member

    Messages:
    4,451
    State:
    South Caro
    Fishing from a canoe would be challenging to say the least. You have listed the difficulties. A flat bottomed jon would be your best upgrade. As for the swaying, you can get a five gallon bucket and cut 1 1/2 inch holes in the bottom of it. (see pic) Attach about 5 feet of rope to the handle, tie it to the rear of your canoe, and toss it out the back when you are in current. The bucket will serve as a stabilizer like the tail of a kite. I throw one of each side of my skiff when I am in current that makes the boat sway. Hope this helps.
    Bill in SC
     

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  5. catman4926

    catman4926 New Member

    Messages:
    1,602
    State:
    Texas
    Jason,

    I have seen this guy fishing on the river and he has made a little pontoon for his canoe that he puts on and takes off when he's finished and for the light you should get you a good head light. As for the moving of the boat two anchors will take care of that. Hope this helps and by the way I think I would use circle hooks let them set them self and not take a chance turning over
     
  6. brother hilljack

    brother hilljack New Member

    Messages:
    7,305
    State:
    Shelbyville, TN
    the canoe in current could be a challenge. I think I would switch to a john boat! Cost about the same used and it is much more stable. I think the canoe would do fine on small creeks and large ponds, but that is as far as I would take it
     
  7. jolie

    jolie New Member

    Messages:
    828
    State:
    PA
    wow you guyz are making me feel very brave.

    there is yaks all over this forum. they must be brave too!!

    actually I've had the canoe for many years now, and I hadn't dared use it for this. for a long time I had a pretty silly concern, i was worried that on the river I would be swept downstream if I did the canoe solo.

    it wasn't really that bad. kept in mind this is a smaller river with summertime flow, and I've carefully scouted my spots so I'm not near shallow water.
     
  8. kitsinni

    kitsinni New Member

    Messages:
    1,573
    State:
    Ohio
    First thing I will say is DON'T do that again with just a flashlight! I think it is illegal in most if not all places and very dangerous LOL. :roll_eyes: You need something that people can see from 360 degrees. This is not only for you, but for them! Also get a headlamp in addition to whatever lighting you use on the canoe, that way you can have light and your hands to use.

    I have catfished from Canoes and I have had luck, but you are totally correct with your post, there are problems. Here are some things I do.

    First if you can have someone with you, it will make it much easier. That way if you get a big enough cat you can go after them!

    The Carolina rig is a problem from a Canoe or Kayak. I have had the same exact problem you mentioned. It is basically impossible to keep a kayak or canoe from moving in a river regardless of weather you are tied up or anchored. What I have used is a rig where the weight is actually on the bottome, then a few feet up there is a swivel that has a leader tied to it. That will allow you to have the weight on the bottom of the river but keep your bait/hook up a bit. This also works for drifting or trolling bait around behind the boat. You may have to work with the rig a bit to figure out what works best for where you fish. I end up cutting snags half the time becuase I would have to either A) pull my boat right on the hole I'm trying to fish to get it out or B) will end up ruining my other line trying to get the first one out. This might sound dumb, but I usually make one pole my priority pole, and if that one snags I go get it out, but if the other one snags I just cut it and don't bother the priority pole.

    In a canoe one of the biggest problems, especially battling a bigger fish is landing him once he is at the boat. I would suggest getting a pair of Lip Grippers and attach a bouy to them. That way if you can get that on the fished lip and he does get away you might be able to catch the bouy swimming away, and that way if you drop it in you don't lose it.

    Subtle bites can be a problem to notice in a canoe with all the movement. Like I said about I have a priority pole, and usually I will leave that one in my hands with my fingers on the line to actually feel the bite. It is amazing how many fish I have caught that I would not have even known about if I wasn't holding my line.
     
  9. Katmandeux

    Katmandeux New Member

    Messages:
    1,618
    State:
    Checotah, Oklahoma
    This thread has potential! Should make for some interesting reading as it matures.

    Thoughts:

    I would sit on the floor of the canoe, not the seat...much more stable.

    Cabela's has a battery powered led anchor light you might want to look at. It just clamps on. As for lanterns, I bought a little Coleman led lantern early last spring, and now my gas lanterns are just growing cobwebs. I love that little thing. Headlamps are great, and I wouldn't be w/o one, but they are not 360 degree lights.

    On your Carolina rig, you can make it semi-snagless by using a piece of plastic worm between the eye and point your hook. Another option, depending on the current, is a weedless jig with a chunk of cutbait on it. You can get these up to about 2 ounces.
     
  10. Ghosth

    Ghosth New Member

    Messages:
    241
    State:
    North Dakota
    Well I used to fish out of a canoe a lot in my younger years. But I never tried to fish out of one in a river at night and alone to boot.

    First problem is your alone, like you say 15' of boat and you can only reach 3 or 4 feet. Moving is something to be done carefully with low center of gravity. Speaking of which I often used a seat cushion on the floor, knelt on that. I could sit up for visibility, or reach. Sit back on my heels and lean against the seat for stability. Also helped move my weight forward a bit which helped balance.

    Instead of a carolina rig you might want to try drifting some bobbers into a good hole. Less snags, fewer problems and easier to see a bite.

    If your out on a river anchored your going to swing. Unless you pull up on a sandbar, double tie to a tree, rock, etc.

    Also while it may seem like a lot of gear, canoe actually is a lot more stable with more load not less. I used to carry a 6 gallon bucket with lid that I'd fill full of water and put in the bow when I was paddling solo.

    As for the anchor rope, again I'd go to a bucket to hold the loose rope. Strip it into the bucket as you lift the anchor and it should slide right back out again as you drop it. I always used 1/4" braided nylon, don't skimp on quality.

    Consider looking for spots where you can beach the canoe and fish out of it.

    Hope any of this helps, and be CAREFUL out there.
     
  11. rush_60

    rush_60 New Member

    Messages:
    1,719
    State:
    Troy, KS
    1 Snaggs - In current I dont fish with any leader or distance between the weight and hook. You get less sway with the bait and less chance of it snagging. I also keep my hooks smaller for the same reason.

    2 Pulling Snaggs - Sometimes you have to pull anchor and get directly over the snag or downstream to get it loose.

    3 Reach - Some guys use homemade outriggers to steady up a tippy boat. Try building an outrigger for just one side (based on hawaiian canoes) that way you can still land fish on the other side.

    4 Subtle bites - I use circle hooks and set the clicker on the reel

    5 Anchor line - I've had the same problem. I think you just have to watch how you wind it and feed it out slow. Its a pain.

    6 Light - Ok if you dont mind looking like a dork, take a head lamp, and a small, round, clear, plastic container. Scratch up the inside of the container. Glue it to the end of the light on the head lamp. Wear the head lamp with it sitting on top of your head and the strap under your chin. The scratches make the container glow more than if it was just clear. Walmart also sells lights that hook onto canoes. Im not sure what they use for battery power. I use a scotty sea light. hooks right in a scotty's mount and uses 2 AA batteries.

    7 Sway - The 5 gallon bucket will work but might be too big for a canoe and you might need more anchor to hold your position. Try smaller buckets like 1 or 2 gallon and go up from there. It also depends on how much current you are fishing in too, so a 5 gallon might work fine.

    Also consider an anchor trolly to hook the bucket onto. I'm not going to explain it here but get on kayakfishingstuff website and they have all the info you need. Or PM me and I'd be glad to give you more info.
    Have fun and post your results.
     
  12. brother hilljack

    brother hilljack New Member

    Messages:
    7,305
    State:
    Shelbyville, TN
    Wow!! This sounds like some great advice. You may be able to get the canoe going afterall. I like the canoe modification idea by adding a stabilizing pontoon to one side!
     
  13. jolie

    jolie New Member

    Messages:
    828
    State:
    PA
    I've seen some rigs that are billed as Less snaggable..

    one is the old wolf river rig

    ===================X==========Hook
     
  14. jolie

    jolie New Member

    Messages:
    828
    State:
    PA
    I've seen some rigs that are billed as Less snaggable.. (the dots are just placeholders, ignore them)

    one is the old wolf river rig (The X is a three ways swivel)

    ===================X==========Hook
    ...................................I
    ...................................I
    .....................................I
    ...................................... ======Weight

    the other is even more interesting
    ================X ======X=======Hook
    ...................................I
    ...................................I
    .....................................I
    ...................................... ======Weight
    these X's are regular barrel swivels ; what interesing about this is that the main line slides through the eye of the swivel...

    However in the past I've always avoided "Tricky Rigging". At night, your going to snagg and every knot is just inconveniant and time consuming to be making lots of knots in low light (and with a Blazing latern, you do in your night vision SO bad that all that extra light Doesn't make it easier)...
    but my question is Will these rigs Snag Less?? if So how? Since there is still a weight, and lots of movement, seems that the mentioned rigs (even though they are clever) would still find have a hook, dragged by the rod, with enough weight to create a taunt line... Have you guys tried them?
    PS. I hope I relieve other canoeist / boaters on this forum to announce that I borrowed a friend's working LED latern, I'm going to see If I can't tie it down somehow for added stability. That way I can at least get some more time in this weekend!
    I intend to try out some of the great suggestions!
     
  15. rush_60

    rush_60 New Member

    Messages:
    1,719
    State:
    Troy, KS
    You might do a little research on slip bobbers. They would get you above the snags. I dont know much about them, but I'm planning on giving them a try. I dont think you would have to worry as much about the sway of your boat either with those.
     
  16. kitsinni

    kitsinni New Member

    Messages:
    1,573
    State:
    Ohio
    The problem with using a bobber in a river is that you will be casting a lot. You can cast up stream and use the current to pull your bait over the hole you want to fish, but you can't really get them to stay in one place.