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New guy wanting info on watercraft


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Hello everyone. Im new to the site and just became a paying supporter.


My name is Jason and i live around the joliet/plainfield area. I been fishing the dupage for many years wading and absolutely love this body of water. I recently been thinking of buying some form of boat to fish this river. Mostly to cover much more water and other bodies while i go out and to add some fun. What would you guys recommend? Kayak or canoe? Any other info would be great this is totally new to me.


I also own a jeep grand cherokee for transport.

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Welcome aboard Jason! I hope to be saying that very often as we just signed up 37 new members at the Chicagoland Outdoors Show. Very glad that you took the time to register on our site. Please keep an eye on our calendar for upcoming events.


Each type of watercraft has its advantages. Sit-on-top kayaks are gaining in popularity. A solo or tandem (handy if you want to bring a friend along) sit-in kayak is another good option. A small canoe would work nicely as well. If you're going solo most would recommend that you paddle upstream against the current first and float back to your vehicle. There are a number of anchoring systems that will work for both canoe and kayak.


Another option is a one person pontoon. These offer a very comfortable platform to fish from but are vertually impossible to paddle back upstream without the aid of a motor.


Consider all your options before purchasing. Perhaps one of our members will let you try their watercraft this spring. I'm certain others will chime in with more advise.



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I have been looking for an answer to your question "what boat?" for years. Truth is, there is no one boat that is best for every use. If your primary use is to fish the Dupage, I would look at sit-on-top kayaks. To me, traditional kayak feels a little claustrophobic and lack room to spread fishing gear around. There is something to be said for a tandem. You can meet a friend at the river to do car shuttle-and there is someone with you to take the picture!

Canoes are a better choice if you are going to portage it from lake-to lake.


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37 new ISA members!!! What an achievement! Go ISA!!!


Now to watercraft. I own a kevlar 17' Wenonah Spirit II shallow arch ultra-lite canoe which adapts very nicely for my two outdoor activities when I'm not playing tennis.


(1) Paddling with members of the Prairie State Canoeists (PSC) along with my wife or friend for the sheer joy of peace and serenity on local waterways.


(2) Floatfishing with ISA members or other friends since my wife does not enjoy the sport of fishing, but does strongly support catch and release! When fishing, I add 4' sponses to create a tri-hull watercraft with added stability; an electric trolling motor mounted on a side motor mount to allow my fishing partner and me to motor upriver a couple miles from our put-in point and float fish back downriver to my car, thereby precluding two cars (partner usually pays for the gas tho); and a portable fish locater with depth and temperature gauges that mounts on the side of my canoe.


Had hoped to be positioned to buying a runabout fishing boat + motor for my retirement years, but stock market losses changed my plans . . . but I'm quite satisfied with my outfit for reasons cited above.


So . . . as Don notes, your purchase really depends on your personal interests, but do be a wise consumer before making a purchase. Suggest your check "Wenonah" on the website and order one my their annual buyer's guide . . . it's free and will provide you with a wealth of criteria to consider when purchasing a canoe or kayak.


All that being said, if you enjoy the sports of paddling and/or motoring a canoe for fun and fishing, you may want to replicate my outfit. If your intent is to exclusively float fish solo, I would suggest you consider a fishing kayak. Yes, Jason . . . such watercraft do exist . . . and they are quite nice.

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