Kayak vs Canoe vs 2-man vs Jon boat???

sh00ter

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Is it mainly budget or stability, or weight, or 1 vs 2 occupants, or WHAT?

How do folks decide which of these options to get for smaller boat fishing?

It would "seem" to me, a 12-14ft Jon boat could go about anywhere any of these smaller options could go and also have a decent gas motor to fish a little bigger water too?

So other than just "personal preference", what are the specific qualifiers that make people choose one over another?

I have a plastic 2-man and a 17ft bass and between the two, I don't have much gap to fish skinny water...I can go most places in the bass boat that I could go in the 2-man as long as there is a ramp. But equipment is COOL so I been thinking a lot about the other small-boat options and wondered if I really am missing out on anything.
 

swampratt

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How do folks decide which of these options to get for smaller boat fishing?

Price.


That is how most of my boating options added up. get what is cheap at that time..Or Free.

Now that is out of the way.
I have fished in a Jon Boat and it did have an engine on the back.
Eufaula lake and a huge storm came in we dumped the minnow bucket and the 5 gallon shad bucket.. 3 of us in that flat bottom boat.
One at the engine trying to keep it going and not sink it and the other 2 bailing water.
Huge swells that made the boat disappear and then water broke over the nose and sides filling the boat 1/2 full of water.

We barely made it to shore which was the Rip Rap off 9.
Pulled it onto the rocks and rested.
Another time we were out in a Canoe 17 foot Coleman and same deal but only 2 of us in the canoe.
Disappeared in the swells and then ride the canoe back on top.
Only Oars this time barely any water in the boat and it felt much safer than that flat bottom Jon Boat.

I have fished in a plastic 2 man rig also..not my cup of tea there. That was usually in freezing waters to retrieve ducks.

My Canoe eventually deteriorated from the sun and I now have a small 15 foot bayliner which I can walk around the yard on the trailer it is that light. 50HP Merc.
The Bayliner actually measures 14 feet.
And I have a 20' pontoon..
I would like another canoe or a small aluminum V front boat.
Buddy has had 3 of those and they do very well.

I need tall sidewalls to keep water out during those pop up storms.
Canoes can ride a wave or rough water very well if you have experience in one.

During those pop up storms there were bass boats on the water and they took on a BUNCH of water.
Pointy little noses that look like they point down and here comes the swell breaking over the boat!

My Closed bow Bayliner I can go slow and get the nose up high and stay dry.

Here is what a factory Mosquito looks like.
bayliner-mosquito-511466.jpg


bayliner-mosquito-511465.jpg
 

sh00ter

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I'm not seeing the images...but great stories...I probably would not get too far from the ramp in a Jon Boat (especially flat bottom) if I were fishing big water. I once sank a skinny 16ft tri-hull on Thunderbird in a tornado...it was completely calms and then we had to fight to get to Little Axe camp grounds from the dam with a 40 horse. It makes for a great story if told verbally with all the details. But basically, it was level with the water when the storm calmed so we waded out and bailed it, pulled the plugs and pumped the water from the motor, retrieved the beer we could and fired her up LOL.

So what you were saying is the canoe is the best for small boat fishing if considering weather? I'd probably not fish big water in a small boat ever since I have another option (although I tend to not go on weather/windy days since my larger boat is still small when comparing to others).

My 2-man works well for ponds and staying in a cove near the shore. very stable compared to a similar sized Jon boat since mine has plastic pontoons.

BTW - I am also very much a budget fisherman. I fish a river/creek in my bass boat but I am struggling with getting a 1400 dollar break-away jack plate for shallow water & stumps...I want & need this badly, but I might just have to go with the manual to save money!
 

Cowbaby

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Stability if fishing or running lines. I used a canoe for a while and it works good until you use plastic worms where you have to reel down the slack and set the hook fairly hard. Many a Time I hooked the fish this way and had the canoe lying over on its back side about to dump me out. Not to mention trying to boat a 30/40pd flat head off a line with some fight left in him slapping everything.

  • I had a 10 ft Ouachita Jon boat that I could hand carry by latching my arm under the middle seat and take off. I sold it after I got my War Eagle 16' river Jon and have regretted it ever since. The thing was just to handy and stable. I could lean it up against something in the back yard with zero maintenance.
 

Dorkus

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I am a Jon boat fan just because of the stability and this is especially important if you are using it in cold water. I have turned a canoe in December and trust me, that is no fun. They are definitely not as nimble but you can be a little more loose with your movements in the jon.
 

El Pablo

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I like kayaks, because I can carry them easily, transport them, and fun for more things than fishing. Great for ponds, rivers, and a single cove of a lake.

I’ve never tried a fishing kayak. Always wanted too.
 

Chief Sapulpa

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Of the boat choices you've given us you are limited to exploring or fishing small rivers and lakes, creeks or bayous. The bigger lakes will be choppy with the normal OK 10-20 mph winds and you'll get beat-up with any of the choices. The jon boat will be the most stable platform for fishing. Best prices for jon boats are from Academy Sports.
 

sh00ter

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Of the boat choices you've given us you are limited to exploring or fishing small rivers and lakes, creeks or bayous. The bigger lakes will be choppy with the normal OK 10-20 mph winds and you'll get beat-up with any of the choices. The jon boat will be the most stable platform for fishing. Best prices for jon boats are from Academy Sports.

Oh I completely agree...If I was fishing main lake, I use the bass boat and even then, I try not to go when water/weather too rough since it isn't a z21 or something. I am just trying to determine why people like a certain one of the options I mentioned better than the other...for skinny water. I mean it seems to me if you had a 12-14ft Jon, you could go just about anywhere as a Kayak as long as you had a way to get it into the water...but I guess a Kayak is way cheaper if talking new. I have had my aluminum bass boat in rivers that turned into 1-2ft deep creeks and I was thinking, why would I ever need a smaller boat if I can do this with this boat? The two man is now only for ponds until I see a legitimate need to use it vs the larger boat on lakes & rivers.
 

oden_sparks

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For skinny water I prefer my fishing kayak. Sit on top style. You have about a 3-5” draft depending on model. It will definitely get places that you can’t go in a Jon boat and it’s more stable than. Canoe. For sloughs, rivers, or feeder creeks in lakes, I can get back further than the bass boats. But, you better hope that you’re near a good area. The max distance I usually go is around 7 miles round trip in a lake. Weather obviously plays a big part in decision making. Fighting wind is no fun. I’ve been out in 30mph winds on a big lake and it was no fun. Kayaks drain well through the scupper holes, but they are much harder to maneuver in bad weather.

They get a little pricey though if you want to add pedal drive, graph, etc, but these days, they make them really nice for fishing. I take my boy out on small water with me (weather permitting).
 

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