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Kayak fishing is a hobby that is ever-increasing in popularity, with more and more on-shore anglers looking to switch things up and add some more excitement. With all types of kayaks out there, we have compiled a list of the best fishing kayaks for your needs.
It’s important to remember that no matter what fishing kayak you end up committing to, there will always be an adjustment period. We’ve compiled a list of what we consider the best fishing kayaks on the market. Keep in mind, they might need minor adjustments and add-ons to fully suit your needs so you can always check out our reviews of the best kayak fishing supplies, but the most important part is finding a kayak with longevity that will accommodate your adventures!
The Best Recreational Fishing Kayaks
Whether you are a novice learner looking for your first kayak, or an experienced one looking to commit to a nicer ride or get a friend interested in the sport, our fishing kayaks list is the best place to come for the top selection of river kayaks, ocean kayaks, tandem fishing kayaks, and more!
With its unique design, the Lifetime Sport Fisher Kayak allows single users to sit, stand, or sit side saddle while fishing without the craft tipping over. There are four fishing pole holders to optimize the fishing experience for the kayak fisherman (or woman!). Weighing only sixty pounds, this kayak suits the individual fisherman or a duo quite comfortably. With soft adjustable back seats, this is by far one of the best fishing kayaks available to the multitasking fisher, or at least for those who have a harder time sitting still for hours at a time. This kayak is extremely suitable for taller individual users who want the ability to stretch out.
- 10 Foot Length
- Could be used tandem
- Dry storage area (material: blow-molded polyethylene)
- 500 Pound Maximum Load
- Warranty 1 year limited
This particular fishing kayak easily takes the cake for the most awesome name for a kayak, but also slides in easily on our fishing kayak reviews list. Just over 14 feet long, this ride offers plenty of bonus features for kayak fishers, including a bait cutting board, tackle box, and four-rod holders. Besides these bonus features, the silent body allows for smooth maneuverability and provides an excellent means for accomplishing the ultimate task: catching the fish!
- 14 Foot Length
- Built-in fishing tool holder
- Lifetime Warranty
This lightweight ergonomic fishing kayak is by far one of the best types of the kayak there is for single riders looking for an easy day on the water. Being only 44 pounds makes it easy for users to lift, launch, and get started on their day. With the included anchor, kayak fishing becomes a breeze. An adjustable comfort seat and thigh pads just add to the experience of this great sit-in kayak fit for any angler looking for a medium priced yet fully functional yak. As an added bonus, this particular model comes with its own anchor kit and deck bungee, which cuts out additional costs for accessorizing.
- 10 Foot Length
- 28.5-inch width, 44-pound weight 325-pound maximum load
- Adjustable foot braces, thigh pads, adjustable comfort flex seat
- Anchor included
Serious anglers will be able to reach the more difficult spots out in the waters with this stable, medium-sized kayak. Thigh pads, adjustable foot braces, and flush-mounted rod holders are only a few great features of this best fishing kayak. With its roomier cockpit, the Old Town Loon Angler recreational fishing kayak will create a comfortable adventure even for the taller fisherman.
- 12 Foot 6-inch length
- Lightweight OT cushioned seat
- 64 Pound Weight
- 450 Pound Maximum Load
The Sun Dolphin Journey SS Kayak comes with an extra waterproof backpack/tow-behind storage that is sure to keep any electronics or your fishing license 100% dry. For its length, the 51 pounds is on the lighter side of the scale, and the narrower width provides great maneuverability in the water. Two flush rod holders and an adjustable one in the front makes for three great opportunities to cast a line from this kayak. The padded seatback and adjustable foot braces provide extra comfort and lumbar support. When it comes to kayaks for beginners, this could possibly be one of the best ones to start your fishing adventures with.
- 10 or 12 Foot Length Options
- 51 Pound Weight
- 250 Pound Maximum Load
For the already experienced kayak fisherman, the Hobie Mirage Angler Kayak is an investment worth making. A commitment to this sensational ride is going to improve your overall experience and make you wish you could spend all day in the water. With its ergonomic shape and speed, you can spend more time on fishing, and less time on paddling to reach your prime fishing spot. With extra storage areas, you won’t need to limit your tackle and will be able to bring along whatever you’d like to enhance your fishing experience.
- 12 Foot Length
- 120 Pound Weight
- 500 Pound Maximum Load
The Best Tandem Fishing Kayaks
Sometimes the peace and tranquility is best shared with a good friend.
This model of Old Town Kayak is one of the best tandem kayaks available to beginner and intermediate kayak fishers. The front seat can be easily removed for the comfort of your furry-four legged fishing companions, as well. The Angler model is extremely stable, making it a perfect way to take your young kayak fishing apprentices along on the adventure. It’s speed and excellent maneuverability in both rivers and lakes makes it easier to relax and enjoy the fundamentals of kayak fishing. For all that you’re getting, the price seals the deal on making this one of our best fishing kayaks.
- Tandem Kayak
- Removable Front Seat for Solo Configuration
- 64 Pound Weight
- 500 Pound Maximum Load
One of the most affordable tandem fishing kayaks out of the best kayak for fishing list is this incredible Ocean Kayak from Malibu. This Sit-On-Top Style offers plenty of room for any angler-duo ready to hit the surf and catch some fish. The is the perfect fishing kayak for a couple with a child as it has two comfort seats and a third seat well built in. It is compact, and a great starter for anyone looking to get a friend or family member into kayak fishing without making them go solo! Considering it is on the compact side for size when it comes to tandem kayaks, it still has great potential as one of the best kayaks for fishing for two!
- 12 Foot Length
- Room for up to 2 adults and 1 child
- 425 Pound Maximum Load
For those looking to invest in a serious tandem fishing kayak than look no further: it’s a tie for the best one between two of Hobie’s best fishing kayaks yet. You can paddle the traditional way, or peddle with this kayaks built-in fins (and if you are into sailing, it has sail mounts, too!). With inflatable lumbar and two adjustable seats, you and your fishing partner are looking at some very comfortable kayak fishing adventures in this top of the line fishing kayak.
Similar to its year younger cousin, the Outfitter Tandem Kayak is by far one of the best Hobie produced with Mirage Drive capabilities. Like the Oasis 2016 Kayak, the Outfitter offers the peddling option of propulsion, as well as two-piece paddles with built-in storage, four molded-in rod holders, and a wide and stable hull that offers a comforting ride with extra stability. If you’re going to be investing a lot of time and weekends into kayak fishing, it is more than worth investing the extra dollar into getting one of these awesome yaks!
If you are looking for the best Sit In fishing kayak for the money, look no further. At a length of about 11 feet, the Sevylor Coleman Colarado Kayak has been designed for two. It can hold up to 470 pounds, while weighing 40 pounds itself. Coleman’s designers have deliberately created a ‘wide stance’ kayak that facilitates a stable paddling and fishing platform. A couple of other features such as Berkley Quick Set Rod Holders, mesh storage pockets for snacks/fishing gear (or maybe a beer or two), paddle holders to keep the paddles out of the way when not in use, and d rings to easily attach other equipment make it the ideal fishing kayak.
They’ve also taken into consideration the different heights of users, and have included a number of footrest positions. The 1000D tarpaulin bottom, tough nylon cover (840D nylon), and 18 gauge PVC construction prevents punctures. Reinforced with Coleman’s Airtight System to prevent leaks, these traits combined makes this kayak durable enough to get around your favorite lake.
Another big bonus is that this kayak has motor fittings so a 12V Electric Sevylor trolling motor can be added if you so choose. All in all, this is the best rated fishing kayak for two available anywhere on the market.
- A number of comfort and safety features
- Multiple footrest position for its antsy riders
Touted to be the most popular, sit-on-top kayak in the world. It’s no surprise that this was voted the Best Fishing Kayak in 2018. One can either paddle solo from the center seat, or by taking turns with another person. In all, two adults, a child and even your pet can fit in this boat, thanks to the length of the boat being about 12 feet. As a result, three well-moulded seats and patented overlapping foot wells are also a part of the design on this kayak. While its shipping weight is about 62 pounds, it can, not surprisingly, accommodate between 375 to 425 pounds. Given these features, it’s no wonder this kayak is considered to be a stable and versatile boat. It really is probably the best fishing kayak under 1000 dollars.
Much like the Sea Eagle Kayak, this one is designed to hold a couple with a child, and has a weight limit of 375 to 425 pounds. Given this ability, a lot of thought has gone into the design of the boat being as stable as possible for its occupants. Great care has been taken so as to allow for space for all its occupants’ extremities which translates to a design that has given importance to comfort. This will be particularly important if you have a child on board too. If you are looking for one of the best angler kayaks money can buy, look no further.
Finally, with skid plates being a feature of this boat, it’s clear that safety is a major factor that was considered when designing this boat. Given the number of people it can hold, and its simplicity of use, it’s no wonder this kayak is one of the most popular options on offer for those interested. The added stability also makes this one of the best fly fishing kayaks around, as it can cope with the constant movement needed when using this technique.
- Can be paddled both in tandem and solo (in the center seat)
- Perfect for a couple and their child
- Enough space given that the length of the kayak is 12 feet
Hobie Fishing Kayaks is another brand worth checking out if you are looking for a top tier kayak.
The Best Fishing Kayaks for Beginners
Get your feet wet (or keep them dry rather) with these budget fishing kayaks.
At first glance, the 10.25 feet Intex Explorer K2 Kayak comes across as a standard yellow inflatable kayak. While to some it may appear like a large inflatable banana, take a closer look, and you realize is absolutely perfect for two adults who might want to take a fishing trip. What is also clear is that it focuses on safety and stability, but don’t expect to be taking this boat down the white water rapids! For those who enjoy easy paddling across lakes and gentler rivers it is perfect. It’s made of vinyl and the oars are constructed with aluminum. It is a strong kayak that is designed for people to have a good time but keep them dry while they fish as well.
What is nifty about this kayak is that it is inflatable, thanks to Boston valves present on either sides of the kayak. Along with this, you get some great accessories such as two 86” aluminium oars, a repair patch kit, U.S Coast Guard I.D. slot as well as an Intex high-output pump that you can use for inflation or deflation purposes. It can also support 350 pounds of weight at a maximum.
Since it is a boat for two, it’s perfect for lakes and gentle rivers. It can definitely be used for fishing as well as taking slow rides, despite its sporty demeanor. Directional stability is also something that the designers considered when creating this kayak too, which makes it one of the best river fishing kayaks around. One can’t also help but surmise that the bright yellow will help ensure other boaters will see you and not come tearing through your fishing area. All in all a really good option, and probably the best fishing kayak under 500 dollars.
- Easy paddling experience for two adults
- Quick to assemble but durable given its vinyl construction
- A number of quality added accessories
Designed to transport two people as well as gear, the Sea Eagle Sport Kayak is perfect for a race down river, or of course on the sea as the name suggests. The types of activities that you can use this boat for are skin diving, yacht tending, fishing and the usual paddling.
Given its rugged tough exterior, it can even withstand white water Class III rafting. This tough exterior makes this the best ocean fishing kayak on our list. Some of the other prominent features include a self-bailing drain valve, an I-beam construction floor and 38-inch PolyKrylar hull. Finally, two molded kegs have been added for tracking and speed while there are a couple of high-frequency welded seams that keeps the boat in one piece.
This is another sporty offering among the many choices that you have for a kayak and that is designed for all types of kayaking – from fishing to extreme water sports. There’s a lot of space for gear while being able to accommodate two people at a time. This makes it the best tandem fishing kayak around today. With a setup time of 8 minutes, the design is both simple wand extremely versatile. With an ability to carry about 650 pounds, this kayak is the toughest of the lot too. Expect to see this at the top of a lot of Best Fishing Kayak 2017 lists.
- Multipurpose boat for serious kayaking enthusiasts
- A number of activities possible with this kayak
- A self-bailing drain valve which comes handy at whitewater rivers and the ocean
If you are looking for the best sit on top kayak for a single person, you can’t do much better than the Coleman Quikpak. As soon as you look at this kayak, you’ll know that it has been designed for a one person experience. What will also be obvious is how close the Coleman Quikpak Kayak is to the traditional shape and style. With a construction of PVC, this kayak is ideally used for the still waters of a lake where you can take in the sights. With a tarpaulin bottom that prevents punctures, this kayak also has a multiple air chambers system where another gets inflated as soon as one suffers a puncture.
Double lock valves have two locking points that help with easy inflation and deflation. While setting up this kayak takes only about 5 minutes, the design still offers comfort as you will be able to stretch your back, legs and arms and thus prolong your stay on the water without much discomfort. Also, while its shipping weight is about 19.8 pounds, it can hold up to 400 pounds of weight when inflated. Finally, the paddle can also be used as a high-pressure pump and storage space. These features make this kayak incredible value, and definitely the best fishing kayak under 400 dollars.
As a kayak designed for one person, there’s a lot that this boat has to offer people who enjoy striking out on their own, just as our Arctic ancestors did. Safety is the focus with this kayak given that if something does go wrong, there will not be another person to rescue the rider.
The designers are also clear in saying that this kayak is suitable only for the still waters of a lake where you can spend time for long periods if you wish. If that’s not enough, they have also considered comfort since there are ways by which you can stretch your arms and legs too. It’s definitely a fishing kayak that people can use if they need a little alone time, and one of the best cheap fishing kayaks you can buy.
- Easy 5-minute setup
- Airtight system to ensure no leaks occur
- The seat can also be used as a backpack
The best fishing kayak for beginners goes to another Malibu great; the Stealth 9 Pro Series Fish and Dive Package is the perfect sit inside kayak with two rear flush rod holders, leg and arm rests, you can kick back and relax your fishing day away. Given its size, Malibu has packed quite a punch when it comes to storage in this little guy. Never fear about having to cut back on your kayak fishing supplies, because for this particular type of kayak, it offers more than enough room for coolers, tackle, bait, and more in the rear and in the front of the cockpit. As always, the lifetime warranty that is attached to this kayak is another great reason to pursue it as your starter vessel to a lifetime of kayak fishing.
This is one of the best fishing kayaks for beginners, though I recommend renting a few varieties so you can see what you are most comfortable with, the Muskie Angler Kayak is a low-cost kayak that will enable your fishing habit in the best way possible. This sit on top kayak is the perfect size for one, with plenty of room for gear.
The Best Ocean Fishing Kayaks
Kayak fishing in the ocean is a whole other ball game.
The ocean kayak is also one of the best fishing kayaks around! The Malibu X-Factor Fish and Dive kayak is equipped with four rod holders, two in the front and two in the back, and is ready for you to bring your child out on an adventure as well with multiple child seating possibilities. With a maximum load of 625 pounds, don’t worry about having to leave any of your kayak accessories on shore. With its incredible stability and tracking, you’ll be able to have your ultimate kayak fishing adventure and stay dry! To top it all off, Malibu is so sure that they’ve created the best fishing kayak, that they are backing it with a limited lifetime warranty.
- 14 Foot 4 Inch Length
- Comfortable, Dry Seating
- Front and rear child & pet seating areas
- 6 Mounted Fishing Rod Holders
- Trolling Motor Compatible
- 62 Pound Weight
- 625 Pound Maximum Capacity
One of the most common ocean kayaks is the Prowler 13 Angler Sit-On-Top Fishing Kayak. It was designed with the angler’s needs in mind, with plenty of storage, two-rod holders, and a sleek and classic yellow look. This kayak is equipped to handle the rough and choppy waters, as well as the stillness of the bay. The oversize tank in the back will handle enough of your kayak fishing gear to last you a whole day, making sure that your kayak fishing adventure is adequately comfortable.
A close second in the race for best surf kayak, comes the Trident Ultra 4.7 Angler! With a name that epic, it’s no surprise that Trident has turned out an excellent sea craft worth of any great kayak fishing adventure. This sit-on-top fishing kayak is equipped with four flush mounted rod holders, an extra-long rear well for storage of tackle and other kayak fishing accessories, and is designed to ensure a drier adventure! While this particular yak may not be the best of kayaks for beginners, it is definitely one of the best ways to get into large bays and choppy water for a great kayak fishing experience.
- Our Top Pick for Intermediate to Advanced Kayak Fishers
- 13 Foot 6 Inch Length
- 56 Pound Weight
- 475 Pound Maximum Capacity
Being able to handle everything from shallow and rocky stretches to rapids is what makes the Malibu Stealth 12 Fish and Dive Kayak one of our best river kayaks for anglers looking to explore whatever river their heart desires! The wide cockpit is designed to fit you, and your gear comfortably, and with four rod mounts the fishing options will not be limited. It is not surprising that Malibu turned out another amazing sit-on-top kayak that made our list of fishing kayak reviews that are worth the buy!
- 12 Foot 4 Inch Length
- Highly Rated for Stability 2 front and 2 rear rod holders
- 60 Pound Weight
- 450 Pound Maximum Capacity
General Thoughts on Kayak Fishing
Kayaks have been around for centuries, and were invented by the indigenous people of the Arctic. Kayak fishing is a practice that has continued until today, but there have been a number of improvements to both this type of boat, and the fishing techniques used. This begs the question: What are the best fishing kayaks available on the market today? Are there different types of kayaks that better suit certain fishing environments? Lucky for you, this article is packed with everything you need to know to guide you in your search for the best kayak for fishing.
If you don’t know very much about kayaks, that’s perfectly fine. Fishing kayaks are a variation of the recreational kayak, but designed with a fisherman’s needs in mind. As you go through this list of kayaks, you’ll notice that these kayaks are designed to focus on specific factors such as speed, stability and maneuverability.
There is a wonderful trend that’s taking form these days. People are more conscious about the environment, and it shows, in a number of ways. The preservation of our lakes and rivers, the prevention of the killing of whales and orcas, and sustainable forest harvesting practices are just a few examples.
Overfishing is one area that has hurt the environment, in recent times. Regulations are poor and aren’t paid attention to by governments. But as a hobby, fishing can pleasurable – as the tribes and aborigines of yore hunted for a living.
Water pollution has become a reality, thanks to combined effects of industrialization and globalization. The use of motorboats when fishing is hardly eco-friendly. That’s why it’s advisable to opt for any one of the best fishing kayaks available in the market today.
The benefits are endless for people who enjoy fishing: it’s healthier since you have to paddle and it’s quieter too since there are no engines around to scare the fish away.
Yes, there are custom-made kayaks built today for serious fishing aficionados, taking their exact needs into account. Of course, there are the one-size-fits-all but well-designed variants that you can easily purchase too – a small sum for an activity that will give you pleasure for the rest of your life.
Benefits of Purchasing a Fishing Kayak
- Designed with storage areas for fishing gear such as tackle box
- Sturdy enough to stand up in
- Cost much less than a fishing boat
- No maintenance or fuel costs
- Stay healthy and get exercise in while fishing
We appreciate you letting us help you in your journey to find the best fishing kayak for you. But in order to make a choice, you should be able to understand what activity you’d like to pursue, how many people you will fish with, and whether you value speed, maneuverability or tracking as a kayaker. And given how modestly they all are priced, the enjoyment that you derive, whether on your own or with your family and friends will soon be priceless.