I and my partner Sam had always used pedal boats for leisurely rides around the water. But one day, we decided to take this hobby to the next level by trying our hand at fishing. However, being new at this activity, we were unsure are pedal boat fishing is good or not.
Also, we were reluctant about whether our pedal boat could navigate to the narrow spots that teem with exclusive fishes. But to our delight, we quickly realized that our small-sized watercraft was up for the challenge. In fact, our pedal boat was able to access secluded coves that even motorized boats couldn’t reach due to their giant size.
Moving forward, thanks to the stability of a pedal boat on the water, we could catch our first fish in only 5 minutes. Plus, we faced no issues finding the correct spot to cast the line through the boat.
Besides this, several aspects make pedal boating a go-to vessel for fishing. Let’s explore them in this article in detail. I am sure after going through this guide, you will get the urge to take your pedal boat out on a journey to catch fresh fish and enjoy a delicious meal.
Let’s Bust Common Myths About Pedal Boat Fishing
When it comes to fishing, pedal boats are often overlooked, mainly due to some common myths that surround them. Let’s look at these misconceptions and bust them once and for all.
Not Designed For Fishing
Many people believe that pedal boats are nothing more than just a source to cruise around. But I can’t entirely agree with their notion. In fact, pedal boats are great for fishing due to two major reasons:
We have a 4-seater pedal craft. Of course, no other options in the same price bracket would allow us to bring our fishing gear and the neighboring kids along.
Contains a Drink Cooler
As a boating enthusiast, you would surely know how essential it is to have a frosty beverage while cruising across the lake. That’s why our pedal boat goes the extra mile with its incredible built-in features, including an ice storage box to keep our drinks chilled during fishing.
Pedal Boat Stability
The myth of the stability of pedal boats for fishing has left boaters divided, with conflicting opinions swirling around. Some claim that pedal boats are not stable enough and can be flipped, while others argue that they are nearly impossible to capsize.
In reality, pedal boats have a low center of gravity, making them more stable than regular motorized boats in calm waters. Plus, their design allows better maneuverability even in windy conditions.
Even though I always feel comfortable standing straight in my pedal boat (for pulling the hooked fish up).
Pedal Boats are Too Loud
One of the most common myths surrounding pedal boat fishing is that these boats are too loud, scaring away fish and ruining the calmness of the water. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth.
Pedal boats are designed to move through the water smoothly and quietly. They don’t have engines or motors that make noise, so they won’t disturb fish or other wildlife in the area. Unless you install a trolling motor on them, but based on my personal experience, even trolling motors don’t create that much noise.
In fact, many experienced anglers prefer using pedal boats for fishing due to their salient characteristic. Of course, there may be some noise while pedaling if you’re not careful with your movements. But overall, compared to motorized boats or jet skis on the water, pedal boats are significantly quieter and less disruptive.
Need to Pedal Constantly
Another myth is that you must constantly pedal while fishing in a pedal boat, even if you just want to stay in one place. But fear not, as I am here to set the record straight.
Contrary to popular belief, continuously pedaling while fishing from a pedal boat is not a likely scenario for most anglers. Sure, pedaling can be an option for staying stationary, but it’s not the most practical one.
If you’re looking to stay put over specific fishing spots, such as sunken brush or near a ledge, using an anchor setup is a far superior strategy.
How to Plan a Successful Pedal Fishing Boat Trip?
Choose a Suitable Location for Fishing
First, choose a location that suits your style and skill level. Do you prefer the tranquility of a small pond or the challenge of a fast-flowing river? Are you after trophy-sized bass or tasty panfish? Research the waters where to pedal boating and the fish species in advance to get an idea of what to expect and what gear to bring.
Check Weather and Water Conditions
Once you’ve picked your destination, check the weather and water conditions before you set off. Be mindful of wind, rain, and tide forecasts, as these factors can significantly impact your pedal boat’s maneuverability and safety. After all, you don’t want to get caught in a storm or struggle against a strong current.
Pack Necessary Gear and Safety Equipment
Always take the necessary gear and safety equipment, including life jackets, first aid kits, communication devices, navigation tools, and other items to help you deal with emergencies or unexpected situations.
Bring Enough Food and Water
Of course, no fishing trip is complete without some sustenance, so bring enough food and water to keep you fueled and hydrated throughout the day. Plan for a mix of snacks, sandwiches, fruits, and drinks that are easy to store and consume on the go.
Plan a Realistic Itinerary
When planning your itinerary, be realistic and considerate of everyone’s abilities and preferences. Don’t try to cover too much ground or fish for too long without taking breaks.
Share the Boating Plan With Someone Else
Before you depart, make sure to share your boating plan with someone else who knows your location and expected return time. It can be a friend, a family member, or a local authority who can respond in an emergency.
Stay Up-to-Date on Local Regulations
Familiarize yourself with local fishing and boating regulations, including catch limits, size restrictions, and permitted fishing zones. Abiding by these rules helps preserve the ecosystem and ensures a safe pedal boating experience for everyone.
Research Fishing Techniques and Strategies
Learn about various fishing techniques and strategies to increase your chances of success. It involves researching effective bait and lure choices, understanding fish behavior, and mastering different casting methods of pedal boat for fishing.
Keep Safety as a Top Priority
Always prioritize safety during your pedal fishing boat trip. Wear PFDs, follow boating etiquette, and be prepared for emergencies. Most importantly, avoid consuming alcohol while on the water, as it can impair judgment and reaction times.
Bring a Camera to Capture Moments
Document your fishing trip with a waterproof camera or smartphone. Capture scenic views, wildlife sightings, and, of course, your prized catches. These memories will last a lifetime and can be shared with others.
Check and Prepare the Pedal Boat Before Departure
Inspect your pedal boat thoroughly before setting off, ensuring your pedal boat is maintained properly. Test the pedals, steering, and any onboard equipment. If found, address the issues before leaving to avoid potential problems on the water.
Respect the Environment and Wildlife
Practice responsible fishing and boating by minimizing your impact on the environment. Dispose of trash properly, avoid disturbing wildlife, and release fish that do not meet regulations.
How to Use a Pedal Boat Fishing?
Now you know everything you will need to fish from a pedal boat, it’s time to begin the fishing venture. Here’s how to use a pedal boat for fishing:
1- Cast Your Line Into the Lake
The initial action to fish is to deploy your line into the water. There are two ways to do so. Either you can stand up and utilize a spinning reel or remain seated and operate a baitcasting reel; the choice is yours.
2- Reel in Your Line When You Feel a Fish Hooked Up
Once you feel a fish bite in your rod, reel it in your line. While it seems like a piece of cake, you must be careful not to break the rod or lose your meal.
3- Store Your Fresh Meal in the Cooler or Live Well
If you want to preserve your catch for later use, simply place your fish in a cooler or a live well. It will help to maintain their vitality and freshness until you’re ready to prepare them for a delicious meal.
Best Techniques for Catching Fish While Pedal Boating (Some Exclusive Ones)
Many people, including me, didn’t even know the basics of fishing. But as Sam was there to guide us, we applied some best techniques to catch fish while pedaling, and the results were amusing. Let’s explore the major ones:
Take Benefit of Your Size
For sure, if you want to achieve the best results, you will need to take the best actions. In terms of fishing, you should try your line in places that aren’t easily accessible.
As mentioned, the small size of the pedal craft allows you to fish from places where bass boats, motor boats, and other larger vessels can’t reach. Try your luck in hot yet small fishing spots such as brush or tiny inlets.
Drop an Anchor
Obviously, constant movement can scare fish and cause them to run away. For that reason, you must use an anchor to sit silently in the area without being subject to the whims of waves and currents.
Although pedal boats are quite quiet, you won’t get any favors in shallow water.
Use a Fish Finder
If you are like my partner Sam, you like the technological way to catch fish. Don’t get confused; I am talking about a fish finder.
No doubt, it is wise to inspect whether the area contains fish or not. Otherwise, you could end up patiently holding your fishing rod for hours without any luck. A fish finder will let you guide where to try your line, the availability of fishing, etc.
What Type of Pedal Boat is Best for Fishing?
Of course, you can’t label pedal boats perfect for fishing. But with the right set of features, they can come closer to perfect. Here’s a one-of-a-kind buying guide to help you find the best option.
First and foremost, stability is crucial when it comes to pedal boats for fishing. You’ll want a boat that offers a steady and secure platform, allowing you to cast your line and reel in your catch without any wobbles. Look for features like a wide hull design, anti-tip technology, and a low center of gravity to ensure maximum stability, even in choppy waters.
Next, consider how much weight can pedal boat hold. You’ll need a pedal boat that can comfortably accommodate you, your gear and catch, and perhaps a fishing buddy or two. Be sure to check the weight capacity of the boat you’re considering, and choose one that can handle your needs.
Of course, budget is a significant factor to consider. Pedal boats for fishing come in a range of prices, so determine your budget beforehand and stick to it. Remember to balance affordability with quality, and look for boats that offer good value for your money.
The size of your pedal boat matters, especially when it comes to fishing. Consider the size of the boat in relation to your fishing needs. Do you need a more compact boat for maneuverability in smaller bodies of water, or do you require a larger vessel for open-water fishing? Think about where you plan to fish most frequently and choose a size that suits your needs.
Another crucial factor to look for in a fishing pedal boat is pedal efficiency. After all, you’ll want to conserve your energy for reeling in the big catch, not struggling with a cumbersome pedal system. Look for a pedal boat with smooth and efficient pedaling, allowing you to cover more water with less effort.
Durability and Sturdiness
Moving to the following factors, durability, and sturdiness are key for a fishing pedal boat that can withstand the rigors of fishing trips. Opt for boats made from durable materials like high-density polyethylene or marine-grade aluminum that are resistant to UV rays, corrosion, and impact. A sturdy construction will ensure that your boat lasts for years, even with regular use.
Material for Longevity and Maintenance
Speaking of materials, choosing the right boat for longevity and maintenance is crucial. HDPE is a popular choice as it is durable, lightweight, and requires minimal maintenance. Aluminum boats are also durable and corrosion-resistant, making them ideal for saltwater fishing.
In addition to the essentials, consider any additional features that may enhance your fishing experience. Features like rod holders, storage compartments, fish finders, and comfortable seating can make your fishing trips more convenient and enjoyable.
Ease of Transportability
Last but not least, ease of transportability and storage is an important consideration. Consider how to transport a boat, whether it’s through a car roof rack or a trailer. Look for boats that are lightweight and easy to transport, with features like built-in handles, wheels, or foldable designs.
Safety Precautions to Take During Fishing From a Pedal Boat
No need to instruct; safety should be one’s top priority in every water venture. For that reason, Sam and I always consider some safety features, and thankfully, we are safe till the moment (I wish the same for the future). Let’s explore them:
- Wear a life jacket at all times
- Avoid overloading the boat
- Use sunscreen and protective clothing
- Bring enough water along to stay hydrated
- Do not pedal too close to other boats
- Have a first aid kit on board
- Bring a whistle to signal for help
- Follow local rules and regulations
- Bring a charged mobile phone (waterproof) for emergencies
Are There Any Restrictions or Regulations For Pedal Boat Fishing in Specific Areas?
We have talked too much about pedal boat fishing tips, safety measures, etc. Now, it’s time to discuss practical practices such as restrictions on pedal boat fishing.
In general, there are no restrictions for fishing in common areas like lakes or rivers. However, doing so isn’t allowed in dangerous water bodies. It can be anything from wavy oceans to rivers with too swift currents.
Whatever the place you opt for fishing, I would suggest you ask the relevant authorities to determine whether fishing is allowed in your desired area or not.
Speaking about the law, you may need to register your pedal boat before departing for any water adventure. It will prevent you from legal consequences in the future.
Necessary Gear for Pedal Boat for Fishing
You can’t play any sports without the necessary equipment. For instance, you can’t play football without sports shoes. Of course, you can, but it won’t provide you with a truly rewarding experience.
Similarly, pedal boat fishing is a water sport, and having the right gear means the difference between an enjoyable and terrible experience. Here is some necessary equipment you may need at some point while fishing from a pedal boat:
- Fishing rod and reel
- Fishing line and hooks
- Tackle box for storing fishing gear
- Life jackets for safety
- Sunscreen and a hat for sun protection
- Polarized sunglasses to reduce glare
- Portable fish finder to locate fish
- Bait or lures to attract fish
- Boat anchor to stay in one place
- Waterproof bag to protect electronics
- First aid kit for emergencies
- Personal flotation device (PFD) for each person on board
Best Locations For Pedal Boat Fishing Across the USA
It seems like you have all the planning in hand for catching a delicious meal while pedaling. But beforehand, let’s take a look at some best locations for fishing in the US to ensure you wouldn’t return empty hands.
- Lake Tahoe (California)
- Lady Bird Lake (Austin)
- Willamette River (Oregon)
- Chain of Lakes (Minneapolis)
- Delaware River (Pennsylvania)
Advantages of Pedal Boat Fishing in Comparison to Other Boats
As Sam and I have experienced, I can say with certainty that pedal boats for fishing offer some unique advantages compared to other boats. Here are a few of the reasons why we prefer using a pedal boat for fishing adventures:
- A quiet and peaceful experience
- Eco-friendly and no pollution
- Easy to maneuver and control
- Good exercise for the body
- Allows for exploration of shallow waters
- Cost-effective option for fishing
- Great for solo or small-group fishing
- Can access hard-to-reach areas for fishing
Frequently Asked Questions – (FAQs)
What is the weight limit for a pedal boat when fishing?
There is no general weight limit for fishing activity on pedal boats. However, you must be careful that the total weight of passengers, gear, and equipment, including fishing gear, does not exceed the weight limit specified by the manufacturer.
What types of fish can be caught while pedal boat fishing?
Pedal boat fishing can provide you with opportunities to catch a variety of fish species, including catfish, bass, trout, panfish, etc.
How to maneuver a pedal boat while fishing?
When maneuvering a pedal boat while fishing, pedal smoothly and steadily to move forward and pedal harder on one side to turn. To learn more about how to use a pedal boat.
How to maintain a pedal boat for fishing to ensure longevity?
You can maintain a pedal boat for fishing by cleaning, draining, covering, and storing the boat once you reach the shore.
How to store pedal boat fishing equipment when not in use?
Proper storage of pedal boat fishing equipment is important to protect it from damage and ensure it remains in good condition for future use. You can use a tackle box to store fishing equipment when not in use.
Wrapping Up – pedal boats for fishing Guide
To sum up, if you want the trio package of fun, exercise, and fish, just go for pedal boating. To be honest, you can’t compare this craft with anything else in terms of comfort, space, and budget for fishing.
Jack Bennett, a passionate pedal boating enthusiast, and marine engineer by day, is here to share my knowledge and love for this exciting sport with you all. Happy Boating!