The first time I took my wife fishing was to a place at the time called Severn Dam, just north of Rosebud, Alberta. This was a very small body of water stocked with Rainbow Trout. We were fishing from shore using pickerel rigs for Rainbow Trout baited with Powerbait. My wife caught a 2 lbs fish that day ( I caught nothing) and she has been hooked ever since. When seeing how excited she was to catch a fish, I was excited as well, for fishing is one of my most favorite hobbies. I told her that I had a canoe in Saskatchewan and that we should go get it and try fishing in larger bodies of water. So us newly met in love couple headed off to get the canoe.
The Canoe – Not A Good Place To Stand
After our journey from Calgary to Yorkton to pick up our canoe, we decided the first place to try our new fishing adventures would be at Eagle Lake just east of Strathmore, Alberta. After much paddling around the lake and learning how to maneuver this canoe together we tried fishing. My wife hooked onto a good size Northern Pike, which in her efforts to get it into the canoe (that’s right) we flipped the canoe over. The canoe is not a good place to stand up while fishing. Nope not so much fun for her anymore. Oh and I did not catch any fish that day either, seems I started a new trend taking her fishing (no fish for me).
Fishing In A Canoe – Not Unless I Can Stand
My wife said she would not go fishing anymore unless I was sure the canoe would not tip over. Unable to afford a boat and motor at the time, the idea came to me, ‘what if I could make the canoe stable’. Yep I came up with a plan to build some pontoons for our canoe. I did all the research I needed to in order to build the pontoons. I bought some aluminum patio door jamb, chicken wire, eight 2 liters of coke (drank the coke while building pontoons, needed the empty bottles), duck tape, fiberglass car repair kit, some quick release pins, big chunks of Styrofoam, paint etc. Voila, I built the ugliest looking pontoons on the planet. That was in the summer of 2004 and we went fishing and fishing, no the canoe did not sink that day.
Paddling A Canoe – With Pontoons
The canoe is a fiberglass 12 footer, so when I built the pontoons I had to make sure I had the right girth or we would have still flipped over. In creating this expanded girth it had a major effect on the paddling of the canoe. The shortened strokes made it hard to get anywhere on the water in a hurry or the ability to achieve great distance very tiresome. In the summer of 2006 while camping at Cow Lake, Albert, I had this idea that I could add an electric trolling motor. I drove up to Rocky Mountain House, Alberta, went into Canadian Tire and bought a 30lbs thrust trolling motor and a 12 volt car battery. Took it back to the lake and clamped that sucker to the side of the canoe. Wow we were creating a wake now. We trolled that lake from sunup to sundown before the battery gave out…oops no battery charger. Talk about learn as you go. All is well though I took the battery out of the truck and installed the dead one to charge it back up. That was indeed a great fishing camping trip.
Seats In A Canoe – Not So Soft As We Aged
The seats in a canoe are not so soft as we aged. My wife and I were fishing so much that we bought some folding fishing boat seats and installed them on swivels of course. Now we were in comfortable seating, did not have to paddle and the canoe was completely portable so there was no place we could not go fishing. Well the big lakes with the big waves were still a place we avoided. My wife she caught a lot of fish in the canoe, me still not so much, I was the captain of the canoe always watching the waves, the wind and the currents ensuring all was safe.
Pontoons – You Did What To A Canoe
It had been 8 years since I built those pontoons before the countless wraps of duck tape and vinyl air mattress started to give out. I decided to upgrade and build us some pontoons out of diamond back aluminum. Flasher, longer and more stylish, right? Well they worked great for a few trips yet they always retained water and would make the canoe ride low in the water. I fixed that problem and all was going well. We live in Manitoba at this time which always seems to bring a big wind up from nowhere at any given time on some of our lakes. The battery on the canoe wears down faster and not once yet twice we had to be towed back to the docks by a boat and motor (thank you very much to Guy) yep same person two seasons running. I got this brainstorm to put a 2 horse power gas motor on this little canoe. Bad idea!
I sunk the canoe that day with my mother-in-law, my dog and catch of the day in the canoe, not being able to beat a big wave and get turned into it. The wave filled up the canoe. Now it was just under the surface and still semi a float, so all good and everyone was safe. That was 2014, that very week we financed a WC 14 foot Lund with a 15 horsepower motor and we have not used our canoe since.
If you ever have any questions, feel free to leave them below and I will be more than happy to help you out.
Life Is Beautiful! When you are fishing!