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PostPosted: March 13th, 2014, 6:41 am 
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Hi all,

I'm looking for tips for when fishing from a canoe. Historically I've always taken a small trolling motor with me but am planning a longer trip and am thinking of leaving the motor behind to vut on the weight.

Does anyone ever fish while paddling to get to a destination or more so after having camp up.

Has anyone ever trolled using "man power" or is the better approach to jig or cast? Dipsy or three way swivel technique?

Im going on 2 lake trout lakes, 2 splake brookie lake and 1 lake know for bigger pike.

any advice will be great!

thank you


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PostPosted: March 13th, 2014, 7:38 am 
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Paddle to fishing destination - all the time and you can get a lot further using muscle power than a 12V marine battery will take you.

Trolling by people power. Works great. Personally, I think it works even better than a trolling motor because the lulls between strokes alter the action. Admittedly, snags are a bit more of a PITA. On most of my spoons and spinners I replace the treble hook with a worm hook and texas rig a worm.


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PostPosted: March 13th, 2014, 10:29 am 
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Yep, trolling is great when paddling a canoe... I lean the rod against a gunwale and brace the rod butt on the floor between knees or ankles, kneeling or sitting. Watch the rod tip for lure action and start covering distance.

Spinnerbaits work well if there are a lot of weeds and snags since they're more likely to be weedless... enjoy!

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PostPosted: March 13th, 2014, 11:51 am 
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The way I look at it is that since I'm putting all that effort into paddling in the first place, I might as well have a line in the water. Some of our best fish have come from trolling in the middle of the day.

I do find that a rod holder makes a huge difference for me. I know lots of people tuck the handle under a leg like FT described, but I find it awkward and uncomfortable myself. I'm also never entirely sure I'm not going to lose the rod if I snag.

Now you mentioned you are going trout fishing, so the next question is when? Trout tactics are a fair bit different from spring to summer. In spring you don't need any special tricks to get deep as the fish are shallow and you can just troll a spoon, Rapala, spinner etc.

In summer you do need to get deeper. A dipsy or a mini-dipsy may work but you will need a line counter and I'm not sure you'll get the same depth at paddling speed as you would trolling with a motor. I know lots of folks who use a 3-way swivel and I find it manageable when trolling with a motor, but it always seems to end up a tangled mess when I have tried it from a canoe. My favourite approach for trolling deep from the canoe is to use a bottom bouncer. That way I'm not worried about finding a specific depth and it is much easier to manage from an inconsitently moving canoe than the 3-way swivel is.

Bottom Bouncing for Trout

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PostPosted: March 13th, 2014, 12:39 pm 
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Location: Saskatoon
Always paddled when fishing, never with a trolling motor. I troll often while paddling, but my luck there has been limited - I must paddle too fast. If I know I'm paddling in a place deep enough, I'll use a pink lady while going from point A to point B. But I don't often use that because in a few hours of paddling I'll cross so much varied underwater terrain and don't want to be messing with the depth so often.

I'm another that uses a rod holder. I can change the angle up or down or side to side very easily. I have a mount in the thwart in front of me in the stern, and another in the deck plate at the bow. On my canoe with wood thwarts, I use a flush mount through a reinforced section of thwart & deck plate. On my other canoe with aluminum thwarts, it's a rail mount holder. The flush holder is nice because it barely raises the profile of the thwart.

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PostPosted: March 13th, 2014, 1:44 pm 
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You say you have historically used an engine. You might want to try the new 1.2 hp canoe outboards They only way about 15 lbs and only cost a few hundred bucks.


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PostPosted: March 13th, 2014, 3:12 pm 
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I just put my rod over my shoulder and paddle mostly for lake trout . big sinker in summer with large spoon, change your speed often.I catch my limit all the time and I go fishing every week.


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PostPosted: March 13th, 2014, 4:37 pm 
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Joined: April 27th, 2007, 10:54 am
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Location: Montreal, QC
Can those of you that troll while paddling explain the process to me a bit? Last time I tried my line kept tangling I'm talking SEVERE twisting to the point where it was practically reeling itself back in.

I had a swivel and a medium depth Rapala on it. We were two people paddling at a regular speed and I'm guessing we had about 40 feet of line out. Should I be using a different lure or what was I doing wrong?


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PostPosted: March 13th, 2014, 7:34 pm 
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Assuming it was a diving Rapala, then it shouldn't have been twisting at all. Spinner's in particular are designed to twist and can play havoc with the line. Spoons do too, but not nearly as bad as spinners. In contrast Rapala's are designed to wobble but not to spin around in circles so they don't usually cause any line twist.

What kind of line were you using and how old was it? I've tried some line brands/versions that were a pain. These days I stick with Berkley XT in large part because it holds up to being dragged over the bottom a lot better than other lines I have tried. It also doesn't twist too badly on me.

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PostPosted: March 13th, 2014, 7:42 pm 
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Location: Bancroft, Ontario Canada
Here's what works for me...

- cast the lure out behind the canoe out to where it isn't likely to snag
- lean the rod against a gunwale so that the tip is visible to the right or left
- jam the butt end securely between knees (kneeling) or ankles (sitting)
- start paddling and watch the rod tip start vibrating when the lure action starts
- paddle just fast enough to keep the lure action going
- try and keep the canoe the right distance from shore while trolling
- when a fish strikes, pick up the rod and set the hook
- try and paddle into deeper water to keep the fish out of weeds and logs

You might be trolling too fast if you are getting bad line twist... maybe slowing down so that the lure is going just fast enough to keep the action going will help... going too slow, the rod tip stops vibrating. I use mostly large spoons and spinners and they vibrate the rod tip... spinnerbaits, not so much.

To untwist your line, troll for a while without a lure on, the line should untwist as it passes through the water.

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PostPosted: March 13th, 2014, 9:03 pm 
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I would love to troll while making time to get to my destination, but I find that for the lures I like to use (Mepp's Comet #3) ,the speed is too fast ... especially when paddling tandem.

What lures are you guys using when you are moving at cruising speed rather than fishing speed?


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PostPosted: March 14th, 2014, 9:00 am 
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If we're travelling rather than fishing then I'm mostly likely to put a floating Rapala on. Pretty much any fish will hit them, they'll run fairly shallow and if let up for whatever reason then they aren't going to sink to the bottom and snag.

That said, I'm not sure you can actually paddle fast enough under normal circumstances to not use a spoon. A fast paddle speed isn't going to be faster than a slow trolling speed with a motor.

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PostPosted: March 14th, 2014, 9:29 am 
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Hm, regular travelling speed in a canoe seems too fast for most lures but maybe I haven't got the right ones. I usually don't mix fishing with paddling when there's a need to cover distance to get someplace. There can be snags and those will slow down the travel... and fishing usually means following the shoreline to some extent so that slows things down as well.

I'd rather just enjoy paddling to cover distance and enjoy the time on the water... leaving the fishing for when there's plsnty of time available. There have been some great afternoons and evenings spent traveling more slowly and fishing at the same time... no rush to get there.

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PostPosted: March 14th, 2014, 10:07 am 
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I, too, find regular travelling speed too fast for fishing. Even with a spoon, it seems to be right on the surface most of the time or diving and surface hopping. Perhaps I need a modified fishing set-up? Those of you who travel and fish successfully, how do you do it?
Also, I find that the speed that I need to go in order to fish successfully (or at least to have my lure behave properly) is too slow for travelling with a group - especially if I am the only boat in the group trying to fish. Then, as has been mentioned, there are snags. I have to fish before or after travelling or during breaks or I stop to fish for a while when travelling and then try to catch up.


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PostPosted: March 14th, 2014, 10:22 am 
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Well it could be that I'm just slow ... or that I tend to heavier spoons. I would say that for the most part the difference between us 'travelling' and 'fishing' is the path we take rather than the speed. Spoons like EGB's, Little Cleo's or a good old Red Devil seem to work just fine, even with a tail wind. Lighter spoons like a Williams Wabler always seem to need something to pull them down anyway and I have my greatest success with those off a bottom bouncer.

We will pull the lines in if the water is too shallow, too weedy, too many left over logs, etc. There is a point where the snagging isn't worth it because we are trying to get somewhere but if we didn't generally troll while travelling then we would miss out on a lot of our best fish.

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