I have had a lot of people ask me what I use. While I have used numerous brands/styles over the years, there are two in particular that I would recommend.
For the first 10 years of my life, our family had two canoes. One of the canoes was a 17' aluminum Osagian. This was a good canoe that got the job done with no frills. The downside was that it was heavy and hard to maneuver, especially in whitewater. When rivers were low, any contact with the bottom of the river would immediately halt the canoe.
The second canoe was a 16' Mohawk. I preferred this canoe over the aluminum since it was easier to maneuver as a child. I could paddle this canoe solo with much less effort and getting to good fishing spots were easier.
When I was 10, my father purchased a 17' Old Town Tripper. It seemed like a nice canoe when I first saw it, but I knew that looks can sometimes be deceiving. We had to get it on the water to really see how it handled. After the first trip, it was clear that this canoe was by far the best of the three. It tracked very well and could still hold a large amount of cargo. It is perfect for day trips, as well as overnight float trips. It is made out of Royalex, a lightweight, durable material that is perfect for whitewater. I now have my own Old Town Tripper and absolutely love it.
One of the first things that I knew I needed to do after moving to Florida in 2007 was to buy a kayak. I had experience with a number of different styles, but had never owned my own kayak. I did extensive research online, attended numerous demos, and talked with locals who had experience kayaking Florida. After two months, I purchased a Necky Rip 10. This kayak is a perfect balance between glide and maneuverability. It also has a larger cockpit, which works out well since I am 6'2". It is perfect for fishing and can get just about anywhere you need it to go.