Transform Your Canoe into a Fishing Machine with These Modifications

Canoe fishing is a great way to get out on the water and enjoy the peacefulness of nature. However, if you want to be successful at canoe fishing, there are a few modifications you’ll need to make to your canoe.

Here are the canoe modifications for fishing.

1. Outriggers:

Outriggers are devices that extend from the sides of your canoe and help stabilize it in the water. They’re accommodating when you’re fishing from a canoe, as they’ll prevent the canoe from tipping over if you happen to catch a big fish. You can purchase outriggers or make your own out of PVC pipe.

2. Trolling motor:

If you choose to fish from your canoe with an electric trolling motorFind the Perfect Trolling Motor for Your Canoe: Top Picks for the Best in 2023install a pulley system that runs along the gunwales on both sides of the canoe. You can quickly secure or release your trolling engine from either canoe side.

3. Canoe seats with swivel seats:

It would help if you had comfortable seating when fishing from your canoe, so you’ll need a chair that swivels and allows you to keep your balance quickly, and has long-term comfort. You also want a high-quality seat cushion/backrest for maximum comfort while fishing.

4. Bow and stern ropes:

You’ll need a sturdy, heavy-duty cord to tie your boat down and secure it in the water. The primary rope is made from polypropylene, which is inexpensive and durable. However, if you want to add an extra level of security to your canoe fishing experience, consider investing in a heavy-duty polypropylene rope that can withstand several days of use in the water.

5. Ladder and ladder rings:

Making it easier to climb back aboard after fishing is a good idea because it will help maintain your adrenaline level while you’re on the water. A ladder with rings attached at multiple levels will allow you to do exactly that.

6. Awning:

Awnings come in various shapes, sizes, and materials right now, and they’re usually made of durable fabrics like nylon or polyester. Some are designed to hang from the back of your canoe, some are suspended from the sides of your canoe, and others can be installed into the gunwales for customized protection and additional seating space.

7. Sunscreen:

If you’re planning to spend multiple days fishing from your canoe, you must reapply sunscreen to avoid burning your skin. 

8. Chairs:

Consider purchasing a couple of folding/collapsible chairs for comfort and convenience on the water. They’re easy to store, lightweight, and take up very little room in your canoe. They are convenient when you get on shore and need to set up camp.

9. Anchors:

If you don’t benefit from an electric trolling motor, you’ll need to use anchors to keep yourself in one place while you fish. You can purchase anchors or make your own with makeshift weights and lines. However, using wooden crates filled with water can also be effective if you’re trying to keep track of your fishing area so that another boat doesn’t run over it by accident.

10. Lights:

At night, the water can be pretty dark. Light your way with lanterns, flashlights, and torches, so you don’t get lost while fishing. It’s essential to mark your boat with spray paint or sharpie markers on the gunwales to ensure that you don’t accidentally damage another person’s canoe while fishing

11. A complete Tackle Kit:

Any canoe fishing trip needs a complete kit to be successful. It’s good to bring along more than one rod and reel, especially if you’re going on a long trip. You might also want to bring along a few different lures and other items to help you catch big fish.

12. First aid kit:

A first aid kit is crucial when you’re out on the water for an extended period. You should keep it stocked with bandages, antiseptic wipes, Mosquito repellent, hand sanitizer, sunscreen, mouthwash, and other everyday items that could help you survive if your boat gets stuck or breaks apart.

13. Thermometers:

You must know what the water temperature is during canoe fishing. Check the outside temperature, and measure your water temperature with a thermometer at least once a day to gauge the current water conditions.

14. Sun Glasses / Sunshades (Polarized):

It can get quite hot on the water, especially during the summer months. You want to protect your eyes from getting damaged by harmful UV rays. Sunglasses can be used to shade you from the sun and provide relief from the sun. As a bonus if you have polarized lenses, you can clearly see below the waves, spotting your fish.

15. Flat bottom canoe:

If you’re planning on spending multiple days at sea fishing from your canoe, you’ll need a flat bottom boat with two gunwales for added stability when fishing on choppy waters or when there’s wind at your back.

16. Field guides:

What type of fish is it? Where did it come from? If you need to identify something you’ve caught, keep a field guide on hand. You’ll want to keep in mind certain areas where fishing is illegal, so keep this information close at hand while you’re out on the water.

17. A pair of gloves:

As anglers, we’re forced to get our hands dirty and sometimes have them full of disgusting things like blood, dirt, and grime. You’ll need to protect your hands when fishing, especially if the weather is cold or your hands are wet and grubby. A pair of gloves will help keep your hands from getting infected and protect you from harmful UV rays.

18. A paddle:

Even if you have an electric trolling motor on your canoe, you’ll still need a paddle to help control your movements while fishing. You can use it for maneuvering and shore backing when fishing in shallow water.

19. Rain gear:

As mentioned before, your skin must be protected to avoid sunburn or sunburn damage. You’ll want to bring a rain jacket and rain pants, and a few other items that can protect your skin from the elements at any point.

20. Map of your area:

You’ll want to mark down all the places you know where fish are and where you expect them to be assembled during different periods throughout the summer. It would help if you also had an idea of where local communities will have community cleanups during other times of the year so that you can avoid areas that they may have been previously cleaning up to prevent any accidental harm being inflicted on yourself and others during canoe fishing.

21. A camera/s:

You can go with a primary point-and-shoot camera if you’re just worried about taking pictures of the fish you catch on a canoe fishing trip. Your phone works great too so you can share your catch online.

22. Binoculars:

It’s essential to bring binoculars with you to get a good look at the area where other people may be fishing and know about boats in your area that are moving closer to your fishing spot.

23. A dry bag:

If you’re canoe fishing in an area prone to flooding, you’ll want to bring along a dry bag with extra clothes to change into them when you need to. You don’t want to get stuck in the water without any clothes on while trying to paddle back home.

24. Lots of food:

 If you’re unsuccessful catching anything it’s good to bring along fresh fruit and dehydrated food to keep yourself fueled and energized for long periods on the water. 

25. A cooler:

You don’t want to get into a boozy situation during canoe fishing. Make sure that you have a cooler with plenty of water bottles and ice in it to keep your drinks cool and keep your food safe when you’re on the water.

26. A few pieces of wood:

If you plan on sleeping in your canoe, make sure that you bring some kindling and some small branches to build a small fire to stay warm during the night during your fishing trip.

27. A lantern and flashlight:

If you plan on fishing at night, you must have a lantern and flashlight to see in the dark and protect yourself from harm if another boat approaches your area. It’ll help you see while baiting your hook or maneuvering around camp as well.

28. Personal flotation device / Life jacket:

Your flotation device must be worn when canoe fishing if something happens to your boat or some unexpected waves send you overboard.


Canoe fishing is a fantastic way to get out and be active during the summer months. Still, it’s important to remember to take shields for the sun, a jacket for cool temperatures, plenty of food and drinkable water, extra clothes for changing into (especially if you plan on sleeping on the boat), a first-aid kit if needed, a flotation device in case of emergency and all the other necessities.