Gearing Up: The Rides
Canoes built with the fisherman in mind.
There are as many kinds of canoes as there are types of paddlers. And not all canoes make good fishing platforms. We’ve found five that are ideally suited for anglers. They range from a boat that you can keep in your closet to one that can haul a ton of gear-literally. Find the one right for you, and hit the water casting.
[BRACKET “1”] Esquif Mallard
This little-known Canadian boat maker molds a winner with a 12-foot, 45-pound fish finder with plenty of stability. The square stern accepts trolling kickers or outboards up to 2 horsepower. $1,007; 866-479-5351; esquif.com
[BRACKET “2”] Pakcanoe 150T
These packable canoes are not gimmicks. The 150T fits into a 35x17x13-inch bag and can be assembled in two alternative hull shapes: a wide, flat bottom for fishing; or a deep, angular bow for serious whitewater. The reinforced PVC skin and tubular aluminum frame absorbs even severe impacts. $1,645; 888-863-9500; pakboats.com
[BRACKET “3”] Old Town Predator C133
Short enough for a pickup truck bed, the 13-foot 3-inch Predator still carries 800 pounds of fishermen, crankbaits, and ice chests. At 78 pounds it’s no lightweight, but it’s one of the widest canoes around, with 40 inches across the center thwart. $750; 207-827-5514; oldtowncanoe.com
[BRACKET “4”] Wenonah Kingfisher
This smart, wide-hull design sports fishable stability and enough nimbleness for river tripping. Among the four different layups: Kevlar Flex-core at 51 pounds, with substantial toughness over traditional Kevlar; and rock-worthy Royalex, available in camo._ $1,249 in Royalex; $1,699 in Kevlar Flex-core; 507-454-5430; wenonah.com _
[BRACKET “5”] Scott Canoe Hudson Bay Freighter
Take everybody, take it all, and take it anywhere, in the 21-foot-long, 56-inch-wide Hudson Bay Freighter. It has a payload of a ton-yes, a ton-and is rated for a 15-horse outboard. Whitecaps, winds, and hordes of adolescents are no problem for the three reinforced keels and fiberglass subfloor. $3,029 in fiberglass; $4,300 in Kevlar; 705-647-6549; www.scottcanoe.com