Top 7+ Best Fishing Kayaks of 2024 (A Comprehensive Review)

Fishing is a pastime that many people enjoy, and having the right equipment can make the experience even more enjoyable.

One piece of equipment that can enhance your fishing experience is a good quality fishing kayak. These kayaks are specifically designed to provide stability and convenience for the angler.

They come with features like rod holders, storage compartments, and comfortable seats that make your fishing trips more pleasant.

Our Top Picks of The Best Fishing Kayaks in 2024

How We Picked the Best Fishing Kayaks

Our selection process involved a comprehensive review of various fishing kayaks in the market.

We considered factors such as stability, comfort, storage capacity, durability, and additional features like rod holders and anchor systems.

We also took into account customer reviews and ratings to get a sense of the real-world performance of these kayaks.

After careful analysis and comparisons, we were able to identify the top fishing kayaks that offer the best value for money.

The Best Fishing Kayaks: Reviews & Recommendations

Best Sit-On-Top Kayak: Wilderness Systems ATAK 140

Wilderness Systems Atak 120 | Sit on Top Fishing…
  • An advanced tactical angling kayak (a. T. A. K. ) that is compatible with the new Helix md motor drive
  • Enjoy the award-winning design of the ATAK 140 in a compact package for increased manageability
  • Celebrated for its open customizable platform, unmatchable stability and a wind-shedding deck

Product Description

The Wilderness Systems ATAK 140 stands out as the best sit-on-top kayak due to its exceptional design and features tailored for fishing enthusiasts.

This kayak is known for its unmatched stability, which gives anglers the confidence to stand and fish. It measures 14 feet in length, providing ample space for movement and gear storage.

Designed with the angler’s comfort in mind, it has an adjustable and breathable AirPro MAX seat that allows for all-day comfort.

The ATAK 140 is also versatile, with a customizable platform featuring accessory tracks and a multitude of storage options.

Key Features

  • Exceptional stability, allowing anglers to confidently stand and fish.
  • Spacious design measuring 14 feet in length, offering plenty of room for gear and movement.
  • Adjustable and breathable AirPro MAX seat for maximum comfort during long fishing trips.
  • Customizable platform with accessory tracks, allowing for easy addition and removal of accessories.
  • Multiple storage options, including a large stern tank well, bow storage hatch, and under-seat storage.
  • Made from highly durable polyethylene material for longevity and resistance against harsh weather conditions.
  • Comes with a removable electronics pod for easy installation of fish finders or power supplies.

Best Pedal Kayak: Hobie Mirage Passport 12

12′ Pedal Fin Drive Powered Fishing Kayak |…
  • EFFORTLESS PEDAL DRIVE: Propel yourself easily to your favourite lake fishing spot or take on the surf with this incredibly powerful fin pedal drive system, that’s easy on the knees. Use the flaps to get closer to the action with a quieter drive, that doesn’t get stuck in grass or pads, loves the shallows near stumps and docks, and weighs (only 11lbs) a lot less than a prop drive, allowing you to take more gear.

Product Description

The 12-foot Mirage Passport is a game-changer for all kayak enthusiasts. The revolutionary MirageDrive with Glide Technology and Kick-Up Fins makes the ride smooth and efficient, giving you the power to navigate water bodies with ease.

It’s not just about the ride; it’s about comfort too. The breathable mesh seat is a comfort haven during long trips, and the wider cockpit area with EVA floor padding provides a stable platform for standing and stretching.

What impressed me most was the ample storage space. There’s plenty of room to stash equipment on the bow or stern cargo areas, and the center 8” Twist-n-Seal hatch allows even more below-deck access.

The cherry on top is the Power-Pole Micro bracket indent, which allows for easy mounting of your favorite shallow water anchor.

The steering system with stowable rudder, fishing rod holders, accessory tracks, and under-seat and gunnel tackle storage make this kayak a complete package.

Key Features:

  • MirageDrive with Glide Technology and Kick-Up Fins: Offers efficient, easy navigation.
  • Breathable Mesh Seat: Provides comfort for long trips.
  • Wider Cockpit Area with EVA Floor Padding: Ensures stability when standing or stretching.
  • Ample Storage Space: Bow or stern cargo areas and center 8” Twist-n-Seal hatch for equipment storage.
  • Transducer Cavity and Scupper: Simplifies fishfinder installation.
  • Power-Pole Micro Bracket Indent: Allows easy mounting of shallow water anchor.
  • Stowable Rudder Steering System: Enhances control and maneuverability.
  • Fishing Rod Holders, Accessory Tracks, and Under-Seat and Gunnel Tackle Storage: Provides convenience and organization for anglers.

Best Under $1,000: Pelican Sprint XR

Pelican – Sprint XR – Sit-in Kayak – Lightweight…
  • Performance: The deep V-chine hull and 10-foot-long design increases secondary stability and offers better tracking so choppy conditions won’t be a problem. It also provides better responsiveness to shifts in body weight and position. Each stroke will be maximized for a better return on effort.

Product Description

Unveiling the Pelican PRINT 120XR, a sit-in kayak designed for ultimate performance and comfort.

This kayak is built with a deep V-chine hull and a 12-foot-long design that enhances secondary stability and provides superior tracking even in choppy conditions.

Its ergonomic design responds efficiently to body weight shifts and positions, ensuring every stroke is maximized for better return on effort.

The kayak also features an adjustable ERGOFLEX G2 seating system, specifically engineered to provide extra back support and a breathable cushion to keep you comfortable during your water adventures.

Key Features

  • Deep V-chine Hull and 12-foot-long Design: Enhances secondary stability and provides superior tracking even in choppy conditions.
  • Adjustable ERGOFLEX G2 Seating System: Provides extra back support and a breathable cushion for maximum comfort during paddling.
  • Rear Quick-Lock Hatch and Front Storage Platform: For easy storage of gear and essentials, with bungee cords for secure fastening.
  • Adjustable Footrests and Premium Knee Pads: Ensures a comfortable and secure seating position for all types of users.
  • Built-in Bottle Holder and Cockpit Table with 4″ Day Hatch and Second Bottle Holder: Convenient features for hydration and small storage during your water adventures.
  • Keel Extension: Helps maintain a straight path while paddling.

Best Sit Inside Kayak: Native Watercraft Ultimate FX 12

Product Description

The Native Watercraft Ultimate FX 12 stands out as the best sit-inside fishing kayak.

This vessel is designed for the serious angler, offering a unique hybrid design that combines the best features of canoes and kayaks.

The Ultimate FX 12 offers exceptional stability, allowing you to stand and fish. It also boasts a spacious open deck with plenty of room for gear.

The kayak’s seat is adjustable and comfortable, ensuring you can spend long hours on the water without discomfort.

Key Features

  • Unique hybrid design combining the best features of canoes and kayaks.
  • Exceptional stability that allows for standing and fishing.
  • Spacious open deck with plenty of room for gear.
  • Adjustable and comfortable seating system for extended fishing trips.
  • High-quality polyethylene construction for durability and resistance to harsh weather conditions.
  • Multiple storage options including bow hatch, stern hatch, and under-seat storage.

Best Tandem Kayak: Ocean Kayak Malibu Two XL Angler

Product Description

The Ocean Kayak Malibu Two XL Angler is an excellent choice for those who enjoy fishing with a partner.

This tandem kayak is designed to comfortably accommodate two adults, with two Comfort Plus seats that are adjustable and provide excellent back support.

The Malibu Two XL Angler offers ample storage space for all your fishing gear and has a maximum capacity of 500 lbs.

It also features molded-in rod holders and a patented overlapping footwell design for comfortable seating positions.

Key Features

  • Comfortable seating for two with adjustable Comfort Plus seats.
  • Ample storage space for all your fishing gear.
  • Maximum weight capacity of 500 lbs.
  • Molded-in rod holders for convenient fishing rod storage.
  • Patented overlapping footwell design for comfortable seating positions.
  • Durable single-layer polyethylene construction for longevity and resistance to impact.

Best for Freshwater: Old Town Topwater 120 PDL

Sale
Old Town Canoes & Kayaks Topwater 120 PDL Angler…
  • Old Town’s Topwater 120 PDL Angler Fishing Kayak offers big fishing performance in a hands-free, easy to maneuver 12 foot size.
  • This kayak uses the low maintenance forward/reverse pedal drive and a patent-pending easy-docking system for hands-free performance fishing.

Product Description

The Old Town Topwater 120 PDL is a top contender when it comes to the best freshwater fishing kayaks.

This kayak is equipped with the award-winning PDL Drive system, which offers a natural and easy-to-use pedaling experience.

The Topwater 120 PDL provides an ultra-stable platform, enabling you to comfortably stand and fish.

Its compact, lightweight design makes it easy to maneuver and transport. For comfort, it features an adjustable ElementAir seat, and for storage, it offers ample space including an onboard tackle storage.

Key Features

  • Award-winning PDL Drive system for easy and efficient hands-free fishing.
  • Ultra-stable platform that allows you to comfortably stand and fish.
  • Compact, lightweight design for easy maneuverability and transportation.
  • Adjustable ElementAir seat for long-lasting comfort during fishing trips.
  • Ample storage space, including an onboard tackle storage.
  • Constructed from single-layer polyethylene for durability.

Best for Saltwater: Wilderness Systems Radar 135

Wilderness Systems Radar 135 – Sit on Top Fishing…
  • A bestselling tri-powered kayak with paddle, power and pedal capabilities
  • Compatible with the Helix MD Motor Drive and Helix PD Pedal Drive (both sold separately)
  • Offers a flat platform for standing and freedom of movement combined with state-of-the-art outfitting

Product Description

The Wilderness Systems Radar 135 is an excellent choice for saltwater fishing. This kayak is designed to handle the rough and variable conditions of the sea.

It’s equipped with the advanced S.M.A.R.T. Hull Technology, which combines stability, maneuverability, acceleration, responsiveness, and tracking throughout its entire design for ultimate performance in multiple water environments.

The Radar 135 also features a state-of-the-art AirPro MAX seat for optimal comfort on long trips.

Key Features

  • Advanced S.M.A.R.T. Hull Technology for optimal performance in various water conditions.
  • Designed to handle the rough and variable conditions of saltwater environments.
  • State-of-the-art AirPro MAX seat for maximum comfort on long trips.
  • Equipped with a versatile Flex Pod system to allow for the use of either pedal, power or paddle propulsion.
  • Multiple storage spaces including a front hatch, rear tank well, and under-seat storage.
  • Built-in steering control system for easy navigation.

Best Under $500: Perception Kayaks Drift 9.5

Perception Flash 9.5 | Sit Inside Kayak for…
  • Experience Premium Performance: The Perception Flash 9.5 Sit Inside Kayak delivers an exceptional blend of stability and quick, nimble handling. Designed and made in the USA, it ensures durability and quality craftsmanship.
  • Lightweight for Ease of Use: At a weight of just 41 lbs, this kayak is easy to carry and maneuver. Its compact size doesn’t compromise its capacity, handling up to 325 lbs to suit a range of paddlers.
  • Versatile and Ready for Adventure: Built-in rod holders make this kayak an angler’s dream, while the rear storage compartment provides ample space for gear and provisions.

Product Description

The Perception Kayaks Drift 9.5 is a budget-friendly option that doesn’t compromise on quality or performance.

This sit-in kayak is easy to paddle and offers excellent stability, making it ideal for beginners.

It features a spacious cockpit for easy entry and exit and comes equipped with a comfortable seat with adjustable backrest.

The Drift 9.5 is also lightweight and compact, making it easy to transport and store. Despite its affordable price tag, it comes with convenient features like molded-in rod holders and a large rear storage area.

Key Features

  • Affordable price point without sacrificing quality or performance.
  • Easy to paddle and offers excellent stability, making it ideal for beginners.
  • Spacious cockpit for easy entry and exit.
  • Comfortable seat with adjustable backrest for extended fishing trips.
  • Lightweight and compact design for easy transportation and storage.
  • Comes equipped with molded-in rod holders and a large rear storage area.
  • Durable single-layer polyethylene construction for longevity and resistance to impact.

What to Consider When Choosing Fishing Kayaks

Hull Type

The hull is the shape of the bottom of the boat. There are two basic types of hulls: flat and rounded.

Flat hulls offer great stability, making them ideal for fishing, while rounded hulls are designed for speed and maneuverability. Some kayaks have a V-shaped hull, which provides a balance of stability and speed.

Length

The length of the kayak can affect its performance. Longer kayaks tend to be faster and have better tracking (the ability to stay straight), but they can be more difficult to maneuver.

Shorter kayaks are easier to turn, but they may not be as fast or track as well. For fishing, you’d typically want a longer kayak for open water and a shorter one for small ponds or narrow rivers.

Weight

The weight of the kayak is an important consideration, especially if you’ll be transporting it frequently.

Heavier kayaks can be more stable on the water, but they’re harder to move on land.

Lighter kayaks are easier to carry and load onto a vehicle, but they might not feel as steady when you’re fishing.

Price

Fishing kayaks can range in price from a few hundred to several thousand dollars. Higher-priced kayaks usually offer more features like pedal systems, advanced seating, and more storage.

However, there are plenty of affordable options that still offer good stability and comfort. It’s important to choose a kayak that fits your budget but also meets your fishing needs.

Paddle vs. Pedal Kayaks

Paddle kayaks are propelled by a double-bladed paddle, while pedal kayaks use a pedal drive system.

Pedal kayaks allow you to keep your hands free for fishing, but they’re usually more expensive.

Paddle kayaks are generally cheaper and can be more maneuverable, especially in shallow water.

However, paddling can be tiring, especially over long distances. You’ll need to decide which type of propulsion is best for your fishing style and budget.

9.5ft Modular Fishing Kayak | Super Lightweight,…
  • EFFORTLESS PEDAL DRIVE: Reach prime fishing spots or ride the surf with the potent fin pedal drive. Gentle on knees, the system’s flaps ensure silent, obstacle-free movement in shallows, near docks, and stumps. Weighing just 11lbs, it outshines prop drives, letting you carry extra gear. Upgrade your angling adventure today!
popular
Pelican Catch Mode 110 Fishing Kayak – Premium…
  • STABLE: The tunnel hull offers maximum stability for a secure and steady ride. It also makes it incredibly easy to get in and out of the kayak. Its wide and flat deck platform allows you to safely stand up to cast lines and reel in fish without tripping over your gear.
“Lifetime Muskie Angler Sit-On-Top Kayak with…
  • Constructed of uv-protected high-density Polyethylene. Multiple footrest positions for different size riders. Stable flat bottom
Pelican Catch 130 Hydryve II – Sit-on-Top Fishing…
  • HyDryve II pedal system: The HyDryve II pedal system makes maneuvering in shallow water or around aquatic plants, an absolute breeze.
Pelican Catch Classic 120 – Sit-On-Top Fishing…
  • Gear rails: Equipped with 4-inch rigging tracks to set up your favorite accessories.
popular
Perception Kayaks Outlaw 11.5 | Sit on Top Fishing…
  • Ultimate Fishing & Storage Space: Perception Outlaw 11.5 is a fishing-optimized sit on top kayak with superior stability and an impressive weight capacity of 425 lbs. It boasts a large rear tankwell and front storage area for all your fishing and personal gear.
popular
Pedal Kayak Fishing Angler 11’ | sit on top or…
  • EFFORTLESS PEDAL DRIVE: Propel yourself easily to your favourite lake fishing spot or take on the surf with this incredibly powerful fin pedal drive system, that’s easy on the knees. Use the flaps to get closer to the action with a quieter drive, that doesn’t get stuck in grass or pads, and feathers up for when you’re in the shallows near stumps and docks, and weighs (only 11lbs) a lot less than a prop drive, allowing you to take more gear.

FAQs

What sort of paddle should I buy?

The type of paddle you should buy depends on the type of kayaking you plan to do, your height, and the width of your kayak.

Generally, a lightweight, sturdy paddle with a comfortable grip is suitable for most people. For fishing, consider a paddle with a hook retrieval notch, as it can be helpful for retrieving lines and lures.

Do I need to wear a PFD (personal flotation device)?

Yes, it’s essential to wear a PFD whenever you’re out on the water, regardless of your swimming ability. Not only is it a safety precaution, but in many places, it’s also a legal requirement.

Will I flip my kayak, and what happens if I do flip?

While it’s possible to flip a kayak, most fishing kayaks are designed for stability and are not easy to tip over.

If you do flip, stay calm, hold onto your paddle, and try to right the kayak and climb back in. It’s a good idea to practice this in shallow water before heading out to fish.

What is the best kayak brand for fishing?

There are several reputable brands that manufacture high-quality fishing kayaks, including Old Town, Perception Kayaks, Wilderness Systems, and Hobie.

What is the best sit-on fishing kayak?

The best sit-on fishing kayak can vary based on individual needs and preferences. However, the Wilderness Systems A.T.A.K. and the Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100 are often highly rated.

What is the best kayak for bass fishing?

The best kayak for bass fishing will offer stability, maneuverability, and ample storage. The Old Town Topwater 120 PDL and the Hobie Mirage Pro Angler are popular choices.

What size kayak do I need for fishing?

The size of the kayak you need depends on your size, the type of water you’ll be fishing in, and how much gear you plan to bring. Most fishing kayaks are between 10 and 14 feet long.

What is the 120 rule for kayaking?

The 120 rule is a guideline used to determine when it’s safe to go out on the water based on air and water temperatures.

If the combined air and water temperature is less than 120 degrees Fahrenheit, it’s generally considered unsafe to go out without proper cold-water gear.

Is it worth buying a fishing kayak?

If you love fishing and want a versatile, accessible way to access different bodies of water, a fishing kayak can be a great investment. They offer exercise, a connection to nature, and a unique fishing experience.

Are fishing kayaks easy to tip over?

No, most fishing kayaks are designed to be stable and are not easy to tip over. However, it’s always important to maintain balance and avoid sudden movements, especially when standing or reeling in a big fish.

What fishing kayak is rated for 500 lbs?

Kayaks like the Wilderness Systems Radar 135 and the Ocean Kayak Malibu Two XL Angler are rated to hold up to 500 lbs.

Final Thoughts on the Best Fishing Kayaks

When choosing the best fishing kayak for you, consider factors such as hull type, length, weight, price, and whether you prefer a paddle or pedal system.

Remember to always prioritize safety by wearing a PFD and familiarizing yourself with the kayak’s stability and your ability to re-enter the kayak if it tips over. Happy fishing!

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About Me

Speaking Events Best Fit:

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  • At Risk Youth Programs
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