If you're new to canoeing, you'll have to master the techniques of paddling and balance. While you're still learning, expect to tip it over a few times. And even those with advanced canoe skills have to be careful in dangerous weather and powerful wind. Make sure you wear a personal flotation device whenever you go out in your canoe.
The very real danger of capsizing is also why you must outfit your fishing canoe with an eye towards waterproofing. Invest in waterproof bags and cases. These are important if you plan to take any valuables with you. You can also keep a knife, live bait and fishing line in these. An extra set of clothes in a waterproof bag will also be welcome after capsizing on a cold day.
You can purchase waterproof cases from fishing equipment stores. There are cases and bags for every conceivable use, including first-aid kits, cameras, cell phones and iPods. But in a pinch or on a budget, you could even use heavy-duty zipper top plastic bags.