Best Fishing Canoes: Ratings, Reviews, and Top Picks

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If you are a first-time angler, choosing a canoe can be overwhelming. The range of vessels differs based on aesthetic quality, sale prices, size, and brand.

Whether for fishing or recreational use, investing in the right one is crucial. Canoes are not cheap, so you want to ensure that you are making the right choice.

Choose the best fishing canoe for you from our list below. These vessels are gauged based on their functionality, overall quality, and affordability. 

6 Best Fishing Canoes

1. Lifetime Kodiak Canoe 

Key Features

  • Innovating skeg wheel
  • It comes with canoe paddles
  • Luggage-style handles for convenient transportation

The Lifetime brand is known for its budgeted but quality canoes. This Kodiak Canoe can cater to up to three persons with a maximum capacity of 600 lbs.

Its front seat has 2 cup holders; the middle seat is equipped with a cup holder and a rod holder, while the rear seat features ditty trays where you can store small accessories. 

This canoe has fishing features like centralized rod holders, an electric motor mount, and storage space for fishing accessories.

It is constructed using high-density Polyethylene (HDPE), making it impact-resistant and UV-protected.

2. Old Town Sportsman Discovery Solo 119 Fishing Canoe

Key Features

  • Uses thermoformed seat
  • 354-pound maximum capacity
  • Stable base with its wide hull

This canoe for solo angling has convenient features such as customizable accessory tracks, padded armrests, rod holders, and a custom tackle box.

It may not be too spacious, but it has designated storage spaces to ensure that your fishing accessories and some personal things are well organized. 

It only weighs 56 pounds, perfect for anglers who need to walk long distances carrying the canoe before reaching the fishing destination.

Old town Sportsman Canoe may be lightweight, but the way it was crafted doesn’t look and feel cheap. It’s made from layers of high-density Polyethylene and 3-layer hull construction of closed-cell foam.

3. Pelican – Boat Intruder 12 – Jon Fishing Boat 

Key Features

  • 2 built-in motor mounts
  • UV- protected finish 
  • Two back and one front carrying handles

The Jon fishing canoe is suitable for both angling and recreational use. It has a rugged style but is extremely stable.

It is equipped with built-in seats that can cater to up to two persons with a maximum weight capacity of 420 lbs. If you are a heavy packer, this canoe gives you a spacious interior for up to 36 cubic feet of cargo. 

This brand incorporated additional floatation inside the canoe’s hull to deliver excellent balance and stability. The Pelican Boat Intruder Canoe uses a unique multi-layer material, the RAM-X.

The RAM-X material gives it a high impact resistance property. The shape of the canoe will return to its original shape when you accidentally bump into something.

4. Sun Dolphin Mackinaw SS 15.6-Foot Canoe

Key Features

  • Three color choices (hazelnut, green, blue)
  • Exterior made from hard polymer
  • Rod holders available

This 15.6-foot craft canoe features a square-stern design where you can situate the trolling motor. It’s perfect for those who don’t want to paddle and want to explore fishing in different bodies of water.

It has three seats with built-in cup holders. Underneath the center seat is where drinks are cooler, and the dry storage is placed.

Its maximum weight capacity is 800 lbs. which can cater to up to three persons while still giving enough allowance for other things.

The canoe’s hull is constructed using rugged UV-stabilized fortiflex Polyethylene to withstand all water and weather conditions. In addition, the high gunwales and wide, flat bottom base will give you confidence in its stability. 

5. Old Town Saranac 146 Recreational Family Canoe

Key Features

  • Molded handles for easy carriage
  • 6-inch hatch for storage
  • Suitable canoe for kids

One of the outstanding features of Old Town Saranac Canoe is its aesthetic appearance. It consists of two contoured seats and a center bench seat. It also serves as a storage compartment for your valuables, fishing gear, and other essentials.

The contoured seats offer comfort and convenience with adjustable backrests, cup holders, and storage trays. 

This canoe will surely last a lifetime because its hull is made from thermoformed Polyethylene. It is abrasion and impact-resistant so that you can paddle in any water condition.

It has a total weight capacity of 750 pounds that can cater to up to three persons. 

6. Sun Dolphin Scout SS Canoe 

Key Features

  • Six built-in rod holders
  • Bow and stern tie-down eyelets
  • Protective construction against water damage or corrosion

It has six built-in rod holders around the canoe for easy handling and setting of your fishing pole. There’s a transom where you can readily set up an electric trolling motor providing extra versatility hints.

Among the Sun Dolphin canoes, the Scout SS canoe is the smallest and lightest vessel suitable for river or lake boating.

Aside from its design, the Fortiflex polyethylene is used in its exterior to aid in its stability and durability. The molded-in seats also have properties that assist in flotation.

Source: Canva Pro

Things to Consider When Buying

Before spending your hard-earned money, ensuring that the canoe you will be investing in suits your paddling needs is important. Here are the factors that you can take a look into:


 If you are just a solo user, you’ll just have to consider the best size that can fit your essentials. The bigger the size, the larger the weight capacity is.

If you get a canoe for family use, measure its length, width, and depth. The size would also affect portability. 


The canoe’s hull design is the one that dictates stability. As you notice, the hull design is in a different shape. 

A round-hull canoe is for speed and supports secondary stability. The flat hull enhances primary stability, perfect for flatwater canoeing. 


To achieve maximum comfort, consider the material used, the seats’ design, and the overall space. 

Canoe seats are usually made from quality materials that can support long hours of stay. The larger your area, the more leg space to stretch if you paddle for long hours. 


The weight and durability of the canoe would depend on the type of material used. It is also where the prices are based from.

The most common canoe construction material includes aluminum, fiberglass, carbon fiber, and Polyethylene.


It is given that canoes have limited space. Storage spaces are where you can safe-keep your belongings while on your water activity.

Without storage spaces, your canoe may look cluttered, limiting the area where you can stay comfortably.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a fishing canoe?

A fishing canoe has more floor area compared to a kayak. Since it is spacious, there will be more open space where you can store your fishing essentials, such as rods, baits, and other personal belongings.
Canoes are open on top with narrow or pointed ends, and they can cater to more than one paddler.

What is the difference between a fishing kayak and a fishing canoe?

One of the differences between a fishing kayak and a fishing canoe is its design. Canoes can cater to multiple passengers with their open vessel design.
At the same time, the kayak is typically smaller because these are closed vessels. 

Final Thoughts

Choosing the suitable canoe for your adventure needs thorough research. There are a lot of trusted brands in the market, but it will all boil down to your budget, preference, and manner of usage.

No matter what type or brand of canoe you invest in, the most important thing is how you utilize and enjoy it.

Diana Nadim
Fishing Expert
Diana began fishing at the age of seven, as it has been a long-time family tradition. From catching small bullheads to catching strippers on the backwaters of Bighorn, she loves to get out in the wild and have a marvelous day on the water. Her dad was an expert angler, and he taught her fishing along with her two siblings. They used to go to the Bighorn River in Montana and Henry’s fork, Idaho. As a pragmatic person, she is obsessed with creating well-researched and practical guides and reviews of the best fishing methods and gear.
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