How far to canoe in a day?

Discussion in 'Boating' started by JAinSC, Feb 28, 2007.

  1. JAinSC

    JAinSC Active Member

    Messages:
    1,514
    State:
    South Carolina
    Does any one have any idea what a reasonable distance is to expect to cover in a day of canoeing down a small, medium-fast flowing river?

    I'd like to plan a float down the Edisto River here in South Carolina, and I'm not sure how far we should go in a day, allowing time for a bit of fishing, etc.
     
  2. gadzooks

    gadzooks New Member

    Messages:
    1,532
    State:
    Kingwood, Tx (Houston)
    Lots depends on the "engine", the paddler or paddlers. Also, how hard do you want to work? If its a casual trip with no obstructions or portages to work around and the water isn't white water with potential for dumping the canoe, around 15 miles can easily be done. More if you want to huff and puff. A friend who's a competitive marathon canoe/kayak racer can do 25 miles with no sweat. If you are including fishing in the trip, the float will take longer, at least 30% longer assuming you aren't stopping and fishing spots, but casting as you go.

    Camping is part of the fun when canoing. I usually don't like to push more than 10-12 miles when canoing or kayaking a river.
     

  3. Kutter

    Kutter New Member

    Messages:
    5,379
    State:
    Arnold, MO
    I agree with Jerry, 'cept I wouldn't go more than 8 miles if I were fishing. The biggest workout I have ever had was a couple of years ago, I did a 25 mile kayak run. I had done several 20 mile runs in a canoe before, but had never used a kayak. I'm here to tell you they got no relation to each other. The kayak can turn on a dime and get going quick, but, unlike a canoe, when you stop paddling, it stops cold in the water. I was used to a canoe floating quite a ways after I stopped paddling. That 25 mile trip took 12 hours of HARD paddling to get finished before dark. Never again will this old man try something like that again.
     
  4. gadzooks

    gadzooks New Member

    Messages:
    1,532
    State:
    Kingwood, Tx (Houston)
    For fishing, the 8 mile range is a good one. If catfishing, I like to set up camp on a sandbar and night fish. That really means you paddle down to your chosen campsite, fish the night, sleep a bit, fish the afternoon, rest that night and go the rest of the way to your take out the next morning. Bass fishing, floating is a great way to do it.
     
  5. BassMassey

    BassMassey Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,883
    State:
    Oconee
    I kinda have the same kinda trip in mind on a river in south georgia. renting a canoe and paddling downstream until i find the perfect sandbar on a big river bend with some downed trees on the outside bend. I think everything would work out great except the fear in the back of my mind of capsizing and loosing all my gear. does anyone have any suggestions to prevent this situation? I've been thinking of getting some of those foam noodle things that kids play with in the pool......and tying them all to my rods and everything.......any input would be appreciated
     
  6. gadzooks

    gadzooks New Member

    Messages:
    1,532
    State:
    Kingwood, Tx (Houston)
    Secure everything to the canoe thwarts. My rods, except for the ones with my Penn 209's, all have Blakemore rod floats on them. Basically, its pool noodle material sized and shaped for rods. You can get them at Bass Pro or, if you have one, an Academy sporting goods store. For your supplies, clothing, etc, you can either by dry bags or put the stuff inside two or so plastic bags...take extras. The main thing is to secure everything.

    If you haven't canoed much, rent a canoe and paddle without a load first. Try to take a friend, don't do it alone.
     
  7. craddock1

    craddock1 Active Member

    Messages:
    962
    State:
    TENNESSEE
    AS SOMEONE SAID. IT DEPENDS ON THE WATER LEVEL. There is a 10 mile stretch i use to like to make on the obed. when the water was up about 1 foot i could make it in 3 hours. if the water was at summer level it was more portage than floating and took 10 to 12 hours. i do not reccomend it but i once made it in less than 1 hour with the water up 4 feet. that was such a ride i tried it again. my canoe was destroyed in the rocks and i almost lost my life. i never found any of my equipment that was secured in the canoe and aided in the total break up of the canoe. water is the most powerful element on earth. it sure taught me to respect it.
     
  8. JAinSC

    JAinSC Active Member

    Messages:
    1,514
    State:
    South Carolina
    Thanks all for the help. I knew this crew would have some good advice for me.

    I'm thinking about the Edisto, up below St. George (above Canadys) for anyone that knows the river. The river always has pretty good current, but not white water. It flows between cypress and tupello lined banks, virtually no rocks. During low water in the late summer, it slows a bit, but still has enough water to get over the shallow spots. There's a stretch of a bit over 9 miles leading down to a campsite followed by another 13 miles (optional, could just quit at the campsite) to another take out point at Canady that looks interesting. I would fish for redbreast some along the way, and then maybe do a bit of catting around the campsite.
     
  9. gadzooks

    gadzooks New Member

    Messages:
    1,532
    State:
    Kingwood, Tx (Houston)
    Watch for overhanging tree branches and tree limbs, and jams in the river. The overhanging stuff can knock you out of your boat and the barely submerged jams can sink you. It its your first trip on the river, it may be better to paddle and scout. Fishing would best be done from the bank or a sand bar.
     
  10. peewee williams

    peewee williams New Member

    Messages:
    3,111
    State:
    Pembroke,Georgia
    Check out the "Boy Scouts".They do a lot of this and they strive to help others in every way. The Edisto has been a popular "tripping" river for my whole life.Also,before motors were popular.People often drifted down the rivers in larger more stable boats to duck hunt and fish.A push pole and a paddle will do for about any size John boat on a drift,and it is far more stable.A small 2 HP.outboard works great on 17 ft. Grumman Whitewater Canoes to 16 ft.6 ft wide John boats for drifting and emergency's as I have used one for such for 50 years.Don;t forget saltwater as people use to come and go with the tide for centurys.Great way to catch flounder and such.A float or drift is great if you just go to look and enjoy.Don;t forget the large rivers for the larger boats.The Savannah and Altamaha Rivers were drifted with large Log Rafts to get timber to the sea for export.Great drifts in winter to eliminate insects and our temperatures are normally,but not always mild.I love you Brothers and Sisters.peewee
     
  11. bootshowl

    bootshowl New Member

    Messages:
    2,288
    State:
    Indiana, J
    I have a bud who's backyard is on the Blue river @ Milltown IN. There's an outfit just up from there who went from farming to canoe rental. (genius)
    You rent yer canoe and paddle down to the town and they pick you up and take you back to where you started. The short run is 4-5 miles and most folks seem plum tuckered, sunburned, & thirsty. He's a quarter mile from the end and we'll be sitting there, an folks will come close and ask how much farther is it....please God how much farther is it? The rental is $25 and on a rainy weekend day that lil outfit will do $1500 a day. Like I said, genius. It's good calm water, maybe 3 ft at it's shallow bend. If you are not in shape canoeing hurts.
    :wink:
     
  12. gadzooks

    gadzooks New Member

    Messages:
    1,532
    State:
    Kingwood, Tx (Houston)
    Calm water is always more work that faster water. Used to canoe a river with nice rapids, not bad ones, but they moved you along. The 8 miles took about 4 hours if you didn't stop for a beer break. We hated the long pools, had to paddle hard to get through them.
     
  13. cashcat

    cashcat New Member

    Messages:
    14
    State:
    nebraska
    It always takes longer then you think. a 10mile car ride could easley take 8-12 hours on a small river
     
  14. poisonpits

    poisonpits Well-Known Member Supporting Member

    Messages:
    9,792
    State:
    arkansas
    Name:
    johnnie
    i use to race canoes in texas and if you are going to be traveling in low light or dark be real careful of limb lines.thoes hooks really hurt.
     
  15. catfishjohn

    catfishjohn New Member

    Messages:
    10,217
    State:
    Greenup Co. KY
    I had a friend(he passed away) that lived in Milltown.The Blue was right in his backyard.We canoed from his house down to the town.That was several years ago but we had a great time.Thanks for bringing back that memory! :smile2:
     
  16. riverdawg-1

    riverdawg-1 New Member

    Messages:
    738
    State:
    salem, va
    When we plan float trips I figure 1 mile per hour fishing{smallmouth bass} then catfish at night and camp. 1 mile an hour is mostly floating and occasionally stoping at very productive areas.
     
  17. peewee williams

    peewee williams New Member

    Messages:
    3,111
    State:
    Pembroke,Georgia
    Paddling often goes from fun,to work,to agony when you are not use to paddling all day.Very few people are in shape to do so.If you have the time to slow down and enjoy the water with them,many exhausted paddlers will joyfully accept a tow.Also,many power boats can not overtake and pass a canoe being paddled without making a large wake.By stopping,you can often allow them to idle by.Nothing was more frustrating after 4 days of cutting out canoe trails than to have a power boat hating canoeist paddling as fast as they could so you could not slow enough to pass safely.I would often be towing a boat loaded with heavy log and tree removal equipment with a 9.9 motor.Yes idiots can be found in canoes as well as powered craft.It is also great to have someone in a power boat to put in at your takeout point the last day,and travel in your direction until you meet.That way you have a tow if you are behind.Wind and river levels will often change times greatly for the same distance.DO NOT depend on cell phones to get out or receive from all areas or spots on the rivers in a emergency or for check ins with friends and family.With my son,there are areas on the Savannah and Ogeechee rivers,plus areas he works at where there is poor to no contact with his phone on outgoing or incoming signals.He has found these places all over N.C.,S.C.,Ga.,Fla.,and Ala.where he works.Have a emergency or even be at a promised call in time at these spots can have you with no help when you need it or worried and panicked home folks thinking Bigfoot or Jack the Ripper has gotten to you.If you ain;t use to paddling all day,condition yourself or take the time and go for the float.A paddle boat or canoe trip and a float trip are two completely different trips and times spent on the water for the same distance on the same body of water.On a float trip you paddle or use a push pole just enough to control your boat.Always ask about tight spots or conditions ahead when ever possible.Whenever possible.Have a member of the trip "Power Boat" the trip as close ahead of time as possible,when possible.Dangers such as trees,logs,caving banks and currents constantly change on the river.It can and often does change from last week.It is smart to scout ahead when ever possible.There is nothing wrong with having a power boat along for scouting ahead and resupplying.It can save the trip when you have to make a choice between chiggers and going for the toilet paper Leroy forgot or finding the fish are only biting the one lure that you just lost.Some roomy,comfortable power boats make great float boats.I think they are great for first timers to have along on all trips.Some great friends and folks can fast become truly deadly and dangerous enemies on these trips.I have seen men and women go to screaming,cussing and hysterical because of insects,snakes and such.I mean stark raving crazy,and no reasoning what so ever with them.They themselves did not know they were subject to such.I have also seen a grown woman deliberately make everyones life miserable so they would quit and take her home.Yes,they told her there would be no electricity,"But they didn;t tell me my hair dryer wouldn;t work and that they would b---h because I used the clean water for a little personal hygiene" she said.Seems she used all of the clean drinking water for bathing after being asked not to.She also begged and invited herself to come on the trip.She was actually threatening people including me and I was just passing by.Pick your companions carefully and pray if you or they are first timers.Also,I have had some long time friends and people that I loved dearly,that became people that I didn;t like and couldn;t get along with the day after the beer or liqueur ran out.Even worse,you get down the river and find one of the party has decided to throw a drunk.Good hearted people who decide that isolation will be good for someone with the wrong habit are dangerous too.Believe me,they can get you killed.It is no place for rehab unless it is for the soul.I love a float and have all of my life.Just choose your companions carefully or go it alone.I love you Brothers and Sisters.peewee
     
  18. JACKSON

    JACKSON New Member

    Messages:
    71
    State:
    South Carolina
    I don't have an answer about how you can paddle. I do know the Edisto gets pretty high in the spring .You may want to find out how high the river is Before you get there .There is some great red breast fishing in there. There are alot of flathead cats as well. Have a safe trip and good luck.
     
  19. Squaretail

    Squaretail New Member

    Messages:
    9
    State:
    Robards, KY
    Paddling often goes from fun,to work,to agony when you are not use to paddling all day.Very few people are in shape to do so.

    True- very true. As an old boyscout- I can confirm this. The main thing is to plan for a day or two of getting warmed up. and dont' forget the camera.
     
  20. Pylodictis Olivaris

    Pylodictis Olivaris New Member

    Messages:
    257
    State:
    Iowa
    Good luck on your trip....in my opinion they end up being a lot of work, as you have already heard. Enjoy the water and the fishing and try not to let that sore rear-end, shoulders, arms and back slow ya down!

    I think everytime I went canoeing I always swore to myself "never again"....but somehow each year I end up doing it again!