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My Canoe


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As I promised sometime ago here are the details of my current fishing platform with a number of DIY items that maybe of interest to other paddlers.

My dad it bought new more than 20 years ago from an old bloke who was making them in his backyard, i think it cost $300.

Has spent the first part of its life in Port Hacking as my dad lived in Bundeena for over 15 years. When not fishing the Hacking we took it on annual camping trips down the far South Coast exploring the various lake and river systems. She is tough as nails having taken a few hard knocks over years and being fibreglass it’s easy enough to patch it up.

We have a caught a heap of bread butter fish from it including some big flatties, bream and whiting (some real elbow slappers) as well as tailor, trevally, blackfish, bass/EPs and a school jew. With the exception of snapper I reckon we have caught more quality fish from it than our any of boats combined.

Up until recently it kept it at my mum’s place on the river at Moruya. This was great when I was down there but completely useless the other 50 or so weeks of the year.

So I brought it up to Sydney last October with aspirations of catching Kings. Before bringing it to Sydney modifications were limited to a couple of rod holders. Once up here I didn’t take long before I started making modifications to make it a real Kingie slayer. Have since spent over a grand but I reckon that’s pretty good value given the use I get out of it.

Results so far are promising with over 20 Kings in 20 trips. 6 of them legal.



Started with DIY downrigging systems (V1.0 was a roll of 2 mm cord with an off the shelf bomb attached) before I ended up getting a proper off the shelf job which works perfectly. Note that it is forward enough so as not to get in the way of paddling but still within easy reach.



I liked the idea of this set up when I first saw it as it is detachable and AA battery operated. The bracket might look over engineered but in practice it still doesn’t really do the job. Thickness of poll and transducer causes drag and tends to make it wobble in the mount even at moderate speeds. In hindsight I should have just bought a regular sounder and installed a puck or thru hull transducer which I may still do. But it works well enough for now.


Bait tank


This is where the fun begun. Took a couple of weekends of trial and error before I got all fitted neatly and working properly but I’m very happy with it now. The 500 GPH pump runs off a small 12 v sealed battery enclosed in a small container with a switch/fuse board attached which I keep at my feet so I can turn it off and on. Pump works when underway and at stand still. Interestingly the water level doesn’t rise up through the skin fitting more than an inch or so. As such the pump requires priming but it doesn’t take much to get going. I did have a pickup I shoved into the outlet but it required some serious paddling to get the pump going so I don’t bother with it anymore. Fully charged battery lasts up to 6 hours and the tank will keep up to a dozen squid alive and well. It can all come out when not required leaving only the skin fittings.


I have two holders, one for me King outfit and another one for light outfits. I recently installed a 3 rod rack which has proved a god send. Keeps 3 rods out of the way and also holds knives and pliers. Cost me $15. I love a bargain.

Recently bought a canoe trolley so I can broaden my horizons being less restricted in where I park the car and launch etc. It works a treat proving to be much better than lifting or dragging it from the car to the water.

I try to keep my cargo to a minimum but as I can spend 6 hours fishing at a time I still need to bring a fair bit of gear with me. I now managed to keep most of my gear in a fish box to keep it all dry and tidy stored in the middle ahead of the bait tank . Also reduces the chance of leaving things behind at home as I just pack it all in the box. Gaff, paddle, rods and a small eski for back up bait are the only things left out on deck.

V2.0 will have a 30lb electric on the back. At the same time I’ll rewire and tidy up the electrics so that I can run the bait tank pump, fixed stern light and sounder off the motors 12 v deep cycle.


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Great work, with a lot of thought put into it.

what size battery are you using at the moment? I have a 7Ah battery which I am hoping to run pump, sounder and lights off - not sure if its sufficient.

let us know next time you are out and hopefully I can join you.

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