Can You Fish From A Pedal Boat? (Common Myths & Tips)

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When my wife and I got married she couldn’t fathom why anyone would fish from shore. She grew up on the coast and all she knew was fishing from a boat.

I, on the other hand, grew up super poor and knew nothing but fishing from shore (or off of docks, bridges, etc.)

We seem to have taken after my upbringing (meaning we’re still young and poor) so we decided that a fishing compromise was in order. Fishing from a pedal boat was cheap enough to fulfill my expectations and “boat-like” enough to satisfy my wife.

Little did I know that fishing from a pedal boat would turn out to be an enjoyable way that we would spend the next couple of years!

Fishing from a pedal boat is not only possible, it can actually be a great experience. Pedal boats provide an extremely stable fishing platform and their small size and shallow draft allow you to reach places that are inaccessible to larger fishing crafts.

Now that we have two little girls, our pedal boat is a bit more cramped but we still manage to cast and land fish without any problems.

fishing from a pedal boat

However, when we tell people that we fish from pedal boats they’re always a bit surprised. For as many people in pedal boats as we see out on the water, there are some pervasive myths about fishing from a pedal boat that we routinely encounter.

Well, we’re here to clear them up and give you some tips as well!

Common Myths about Pedal Boat Fishing

Pedal Boats Aren’t Designed For Fishing. I take issue with this one right off the bat. Fishing boats are, in my opinion, one of the best fishing crafts there is. Pedal boats are great for fishing for three main reasons:

  • Capacity. Our pedal boat seats five. There is nothing else within the same price range that will allow us to take our gear and two kids out while everyone has a comfy seat.
  • It has a drink cooler. Everyone knows how important it is to have an icy cold beverage while out on the lake. Our pedal boat has a built-in ice chest that keeps us hooked up. Of course, it also has a spot for tackle, rod holders, and a canopy top.
  • They’re cheap. Used pedal boats can be picked up for $3-400. Although they can be a bit ungainly to transport, they’re light and easy to get in the water and maneuver.

Pedal Boat Stability. This is an unusual myth because I’ve heard people on both sides of the fence. Half the time I’ve been told that pedal boats aren’t stable enough to fish from and the other half of people say that pedal boats are absolutely impossible to flip.

The truth is that pedal boats, while solid, could very well be flipped or swamped if you’re inexperienced or foolish enough. However, they are far more stable than a kayak or canoe and provide and excellent fishing platform.

Our boat is stable enough that, if I have someone with me to balance out the boat, I don’t mind standing in the boat to cast or retrieve fish.

Pedal boats are too loud. Contrary to popular belief, pedal boats are quite quiet unless you’re pedaling like a maniac. If you are moving slowly the sound the make is very similar to a paddle cutting through the water and obviously much less than the sound from an outboard.

Add in the fact that many people who are serious about fishing from a pedal boat add an electric trolling motor to their set-up and the whole operation becomes whisper quiet!

You’ll want to pedal while fishing. Many people feel that when they get a pedal boat or pedal kayak they’ll want to pedal while fishing (even if just to stay stationary). While that is an option, it is not a likely one. If you’re trying to stay over some sunken brush or near a ledge you’re far better off using an anchor setup to avoid drifting.

3 Tips for Fishing From a Pedal Boat

Tip #1: Take Advantage Of Your Size: If you want to have different results than other people then you have to take different actions. When applied to fishing this means that you should drop a line in the places where other people can’t go.

Pedal boats are uniquely set up because of their small size which enables them to get into places where bass boats and other large craft cannot get. Pedal your way under brush or up tiny inlets to check out some hot fishing spots.

Tip #2: Anchor Up: Dropping an anchor in a spot is a major key to winning when you’re fishing from a pedal boat. It allows you to sit silently in an area without being subject to the whims of currents and tides.

While pedaling isn’t overly noisy, it won’t do you any favors in shallow water.

Tip #3: Get a Trolling Motor and Fish Finder: Once you use a fish finder, you’ll never go back. If you’re fishing blind and it’s been a couple of hours since you’ve had a nibble you’ll probably start to wonder if there are even fish in the area.

Having a pedal boat that is properly outfitted for fishing can make the difference between just having a quiet day on the lake and having strike after strike. A fish finder will let you know where to hang out, how deep you should be dropping your line, whether fish are even active, etc.


If you are looking for a great way to head out onto the lake, get some exercise, and catch some fish, a pedal boat is the way to go. There really isn’t anything comparable that will give you that much comfort and space while fishing.

If you’re looking to get into pedal boating, check out our review of the best pedal boats to see the best fishing pedal boats to buy!