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krick
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11/13/2017 04:06PM
OK, I've been to the BWCA with basically the same guys over a dozen times. We base camp and fish all day. This upcoming year, due to my son's HS baseball team possibly (hopefully) making a deep run in the state tourney, I have to plan on possibly NOT going since we're locked into the 2nd week of June. For this reason, I'm going to go solo since I can't commit to a partner 100%. (my group will have 6 or 7)
Having said all that, I have some specific questions about going solo:
1. Should I bring my kayak paddle or use the outfitters canoe paddle?
2. I'm still camping with my group, so I don't think I'll go stir crazy, but I'm used to fishing with a friend. I'm a little concerned about fishing alone all week - from a boredom perspective, - conversation, catching fish etc. Any thoughts on this??
3. Will the canoe be less stable? (am I at an increased risk of tipping over?)
4. Is getting in and out of the canoe harder? (while keeping my feet dry)
5. I'm assuming even though 1 person is lighter than 2, my canoe will be slower which is OK, but am I correct?

I think from a fishing perspective there will be some advantages. I'm usually in the back of the boat, so I'll finally get first shot and good areas LOL.
Positioning the boat for 1 fisherman will be a easier I'm sure. I get to go where I want when I want and fish how I want etc.
Any thoughts, input, or advice would be appreciated!
 
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11/13/2017 05:45PM
(1) Bring your kayak paddle and take the outfitters paddle. Good to have both for different uses and you'll have a spare - strap it in the canoe to the thwarts. You may do better traveling with the double and better fishing with the single. Try them both.

(2) So you're just paddling a solo canoe, but not taking a solo trip. I do solo trips and being alone for a week or two is not a problem for me. Nobody else can tell you how it will be for you; you'll find out. At any rate, it will only be a short term situation for you, so not a big problem.

(3) It will probably feel that way initially, but they usually have very good secondary stability and can be leaned nearly to the gunwales as long as you keep yourself vertical and between them, even if the initial stability feels less. Solo canoes are narrower, sometimes with a more rounded bottom. The key is to hold both gunwales, step on the center line of the canoe, keep your weight low and centered and get your butt on the seat.

(4) Maybe, but see #3.

(5) Maybe, probably - depends on a lot of factors. Using the kayak paddle may help you there.
11/13/2017 05:57PM
quote krick: ""
I have done this and will offer my 2 cents.

1. Should I bring my kayak paddle or use the outfitters canoe paddle? If you've not soloed before, bring both and determine which suits you best. If renting, I recommend you choose either a Northstar Magic or Northwind Solo. Both are stable platforms for fishing.

2. I'm still camping with my group, so I don't think I'll go stir crazy, but I'm used to fishing with a friend. I'm a little concerned about fishing alone all week - from a boredom perspective, - conversation, catching fish etc. Any thoughts on this?? Fishing alone has its advantages as does following your buddies. I did both and going alone was nice as it gave me solitude and the benefit of exploring the lake. But when a hot spot is discovered, stick with your bros.

3. Will the canoe be less stable? (am I at an increased risk of tipping over?)The canoes I suggested are stable. I own a Northwind solo and am very happy with its stability when unloaded.

4. Is getting in and out of the canoe harder? (while keeping my feet dry) Yes, getting in and out is a bit tricky. You HAVE to get in the water but not too deep. Choose a shallow spot with firm footing, and with hands on both gunnels place one foot mid-hull and sit down and pull yur second foot in.

5. I'm assuming even though 1 person is lighter than 2, my canoe will be slower which is OK, but am I correct? Not really. A good solo is built for speed. You may have to paddle a tad bit faster, but you will keep up.

I think from a fishing perspective there will be some advantages. I'm usually in the back of the boat, so I'll finally get first shot and good areas LOL. Yes.

Positioning the boat for 1 fisherman will be a easier I'm sure. I get to go where I want when I want and fish how I want etc. Yes.

Go for it and have a great trip.
mastertangler
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11/13/2017 07:45PM
I generally prefer fishing alone as I don't have to get aggravated with a noisy partner.

I much prefer a single blade.

The little boats can take some rough water while under power but stop to fish or reel a fish in while trolling and things get uncomfortable very quickly in snotty water.

Generally speaking you will likely have to wet foot it. Make certain your vessel is not hung up on a rock unawares as you attempt to get in. When it releases the lurch can deposit you into the water very quickly. I do not consider myself clumsy and yet I have rolled my boat 3 times, twice at portage landings. Once being hung on a rounded rock and again on the same lake the following year while describing the previous years capsize to a friend with one foot in the boat and the other in the water........the boat slowly drifted away while we chatted and over I went once again (you can't make it up). Now when I get to that lake the agreement is to just dive in and get it over with. The third capsize was the result of being sideways to a big fish and breaking off with 25lb test.

So yes, best be careful and be brave in rougher water while close to shore.
martoonie
member (28)member
 
11/13/2017 11:02PM
Boat control turns into a pain when fishing solo. The wind messes with you more. By time you get positioned and make a cast your get blown off the spot and you do a lot of odd ball retrieves. You get more snags and recovering them is more difficult. Bring some dry bags to fill with water for ballast and your food pack to weigh down the canoe. You can get much more actual fishing done with two in a canoe. All that said it is pretty cool to go one on one with the fishes.
bobbernumber3
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11/14/2017 06:07AM
quote martoonie: "Boat control turns into a pain when fishing solo. The wind messes with you more. By time you get positioned and make a cast your get blown off the spot and you do a lot of odd ball retrieves. You get more snags and recovering them is more difficult. Bring some dry bags to fill with water for ballast and your food pack to weigh down the canoe. You can get much more actual fishing done with two in a canoe. All that said it is pretty cool to go one on one with the fishes."

Yes. You make a lot of good points here. Wind really can be a problem. Sit on the front seat facing back and use rocks to ballast will help a lot.
mastertangler
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11/14/2017 06:42AM
Oh boy, here I go again disagreeing. In the highly acclaimed book "How to win friends and influence people" a big no-no was telling folk they are wrong. However, I prefer my mentors (Dennis Prager) philosophy of "clarity over agreement".

I have found the little boats to be less effected by wind. Which of course makes sense since there is less surface area to be effected. Bear that in mind as you decide what sort of packs to load. Everything above the gunnels will catch wind.

Where I will agree with the previous posters is there is no one else to keep you on a spot. Having said that I seldom have a 10x10 rock pile nailed down and generally fish contour lines or the entire reef. I am not so keen on using drift socks or anchors with my solo either. If it's windy enough to require them it's to windy for me in a solo (tandem is another story).

Have a trolling rod handy, drift your shoreline or reef jigging or casting and then troll your way back, rinse and repeat. Fish caught trolling may reveal valuable clues. Naturally I recommend a rod holder.......a clamp on Tite Lock is what you want for a rental boat. Bring a small (tiny) block of wood to use as a backing of sorts to clamp to. Don't lose the little block of wood.
billconner
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11/14/2017 06:47AM
As I'm quite new to solo canoes, a trip in 2012 and my second one this past spring, my thoughts. First trip I had my paddle and outfitters yak paddle. Hated the yak. Before this springs trip I bought a yak paddle. Never used the straight paddle, in love with my yak paddle. Rented a SR Tranquility fir first trip and then bought a used one. I found it more stable than other popular models, but my balance is not great. I'm also 6-2, 220 pounds. I think solos being narrower must be tippier but I have not flipped or dunked in a solo. I learned to get in without worry but always wet feet. I can't imagine a dry foot solo trip, but maybe it is possible. I don't notice much speed difference but I'm not in a hurry mode when canoeing. (On my second trip I was with someone in a Prism and could easily outpace them.)

I don't fish so can't help with that. First trip alone and second with another solo - I think I prefer with people but I didn't mind being alone. I'll probably do both in the future.
Northwoodsman
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11/14/2017 07:48AM
If you don't want to wet foot I highly recommend a pair of Chota Hippies.
Blatz
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11/14/2017 08:01AM
Regardless of what paddle you bring. You always want 2 paddles in a solo canoe. A Kayak paddle is nice to have going into the wind or crossing a big lake. The down side is you tend to get more water dripping into the canoe and on you from the paddle. Doe to length It's a little awkward placing the kayak paddle into the canoe before you get in. Plan on wet footing. Many campsite and portage landings are not very solo canoe friendly. Keep a bowline handy. Sometimes you need to hold on to it while getting in and out of your canoe. This prevents an unwanted swim to retrieve your canoe while it floats away.
Kraut88
Guest Paddler
 
11/14/2017 04:03PM
I went solo this year in a Min II and used the yak paddle, which worked our very well for me, especially in windy conditions when crossing bigger lakes. as others have noted I would recommend taking a canoe paddle with me and tie it to the boat just in case. water drip in the boat is the one negative I found and you might also want to consider the length of the paddle. my regular 220cm yak paddle would touch the sides of the Min II, so I bought me a 260cm paddle, which worked just fine, but then again you might not have that issue if you go with a solo canoe. just something to think about...
QueticoMike
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11/14/2017 05:43PM
Get an ultra-pod ( Google it if you don't know what it is ). Strap to the front of the canoe with a digital camera that has a timer and auto focus. This way you can takes pics of those big fish you catch. Also comes in handy for pics around camp. Sitting next to the fire, filleting fish, cooking, cutting wood, setting up camp, sitting on a granite front porch looking at the sunset...etc.


11/14/2017 06:10PM
Also, when you find fish drop an anchor and fish the area thoroughly. Do not try to anchor or fish in high wind conditions, whether solo or tandem. Either fish from shore or find a spot in the leeward. However, windward shores sometimes provide great fishing, but when in a canoe, it might be dangerous. When things seem perilous, smart paddlers head for shore.
billconner
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11/14/2017 06:38PM
I was warned about water in canoe from the yak paddle but I experienced very little. Bending Branches Slice Solo. Pleasant surprise.
AmarilloJim
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11/15/2017 07:15AM
+1
Get the 280 for canoe use and make sure to properly place the drip rings.
I almost exclusively use my yak paddle now when soloing(still have a paddle also for back up).
I do a lot of deep vertical jigging and have found the yak paddle superior to sculling with a single blade. I point the stern into the wind and occasionally paddle back wards. I just leave the yak paddle resting in my lap while jigging or landing fish.
I love my Magic for tripping but not so crazy about it for fishing. A little to tippy for my liking when stationary. Have a SRQ 16 for fishing and love it.
mapsguy1955
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11/16/2017 10:03AM
Used the SR Tranquility this year and found it too tippy for fishing when empty, so did little fishing in two weeks. For speed and traveling though, it was good, though tough to turn in a wind. I will try it again next year and will put some rocks in front and back for ballast. Maybe then the fishing will be ok!

I brought a Bending Branches yak paddle for a backup and my ZRE bent shaft paddle. Never used the the yak paddle but will bring it again next time for backup. The ZRE is so light and quick it makes switching sides no sweat at all. Did I say this canoe is fast?
AmarilloJim
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11/16/2017 10:36AM
I think the longer YAK paddles make it easier to turn as well.
martoonie
member (28)member
 
11/16/2017 06:26PM
Do not use rocks for ballast.
If you take on water the rocks will sink the canoe. The air chambers are designed to keep an unloaded canoe afloat. Use dry bags filled with water. If you take on water the dry bags of water will be weightless once submerged, and will float, since you will most likely have some air in them as well.
11/17/2017 12:45AM
My thoughts on the yak paddle are, take one along on your first trip and try it out. I use a 260cm Bending Branches and have very little drips in my canoe. I can get a full mile per hour more speed when useing the yak paddle, but about 2 hours of steady paddeling is all my shoulders will take, useing the yak paddle I can keep up with most tandems for awhile. I did take my yak paddle on my fall solo and found my shoulders simply won't take it on that trip, my shoulders are getting in tough shape. I never have to add ballast to the front of my canoe, it has a sliding seat and that works to simply slide the seat way forward to make the bow behave, but I would never use rocks in the front end use the waterproof bag,no scratches in the canoe. FRED
mapsguy1955
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11/17/2017 09:47AM
quote martoonie: "Do not use rocks for ballast.
If you take on water the rocks will sink the canoe. The air chambers are designed to keep an unloaded canoe afloat. Use dry bags filled with water. If you take on water the dry bags of water will be weightless once submerged, and will float, since you will most likely have some air in them as well."


That makes sense.. Lots of people told me they use rocks but your logic is much better!!
Blatz
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11/18/2017 08:37AM
I never understood the rocks as ballast thing. It's impractical when on the move in the BW.Also I know some canoes behave differently when unloaded, but not so bad that you have to add rocks to your canoe. Have 2 packs to trim your boat if you don't have a sliding seat. And like mentioned it can be dangerous.
 
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