By Skip Clement, Contributor
You don’t need a mega truck to pull it – just put it on the car top. You can fish out of it on nearly any body of water. Exercise is compulsory, but that can be controlled, so it’s done at your pace. Enjoying the nature of the environment is thrown in for free. You can fish where others cannot tread. The fish won’t hear you coming. No gasoline, oil, or diesel fuel required. A peanut butter and jelly sandwich and a jug of water are enough fuel for an entire day. No insurance is required. You do not need to access the water from a crowded ramp – almost anywhere will do. No state registration fees are imposed. You can buy a great one used for $200 or new, hi-end for under $1,200.
What is this thing?
Well, you guessed it, of course, it’s a canoe or a kayak. You just don’t need to be stuck on the river, pond, lake, canal bank or a dock. You can now fish anywhere you could see when you were standing on the water’s edge.
The added preparation to “go fishing” is time spent strapping the aquatic conveyance to the car roof and unloading it when you park. Yeah you, just you alone. That’s it.
The newer kayaks allow you to stand. Canoes addressed standing to fish long ago. The standing feature is super important to many anglers of the more serious nature. It means the difference between fishing and catching, and for some, being uncomfortable or comfortable on a day’s outing.
The biggest issue is defining what you want to do once aboard, and knowing the limits of your stamina in the fishing coordinate; you intend fishing. A Rapids Class rated river is a striking difference from your neighbors three-acre largemouth bass pond.
Selecting canoe versus a kayak has both a monetary component and performance requirement
There are dozens of canoe/kayak “forums” on the internet, but many idiots voice sound and fury but signify nothing. So be wise. It seems the canoe world, and to some extent, the kayak world has a lot of “no longer in business” signs. I’d stick with known entities, shop stores that sell canoes and kayaks as a major part of their business. Most of these shops provide rentals, so you can see for yourself what works best for you. Sometimes the big box stores will have someone who knows canoes and kayaks, although that’s rare.
Another source of tremendous value is kayak and canoe clubs. There are much more kayak clubs. You can usually source those on a shop visit or online.