Nothing beats a day spent kayaking. Whether you prefer to go it alone or you prefer to group up with your friends, fishing in your kayak is the perfect time to escape everyday life for a few hours.
However, with so many types out there on the market, it can be hard to choose the right one. From inflatable to pedal kayaks, sit-in to sit-on-top kayaks, the list goes on and if you purchase the wrong one, you not only run the risk of wasting money but potentially putting yourself in danger, too.
If that sounds a little bit like you, just know that you’re not alone in your struggle. In fact, many budding kayaking enthusiasts struggle to choose the right kayak for their needs, especially when it comes to choosing one for fishing. This is where we come in!
In order to help you cut through the vast sea of options out there and find your perfect match, below, you’ll find a review of the top 5 kayaks currently on the market, as well as a helpful buying guide to ensure you make the right choice. Let’s jump right in!
OUR TOP PICK
OUR TOP PICK
Kicking things off, we have selected the Pelican Sit-On-Top Sentinel Angler Kayak, which is perfect for those wanting the best ‘all-around’ fishing kayak.
Specifically designed to cater to the needs of fishing enthusiasts, this kayak from Pelican features a multi-chine flat bottom hull, that will be able to ensure maximum stability in all situations, including reeling in fish, casting lines, and even choppy waters.
Plus, unlike other fishing kayaks on the market, the Pelican Sit-On-Top Kayak has been developed using Pelican’s own unique manufacturing process, which ensures that this Pelican kayak will be able to offer maximum flotation inside the hull.
Thanks to that, this kayak surpasses ABYC standards, so you can have confidence in the safety of this kayak.
Another great feature of this kayak is that it comes with an Exo pack storage compartment that will slot itself into the tank of the kayak.
This removable storage compartment is the perfect place to store things that you’d like to keep safe and in one place, such as your mobile phone, food, and other kinds of valuables.
As for the design, the Pelican Sit-On-Top Kayak has been made using Pelican’s patented Ram-X materials.
Due to this, you can bet that this kayak will be able to offer you years of service, and will only require mild soap and warm water to be cleaned, so it requires very little upkeep.
Additionally, weighing just 44lb in total, the Sentinel Angler is very lightweight and nimble.
This means that you’ll not only be able to paddle to more obscure fishing locations but that you’ll also be able to enjoy easy transportation and even easier storage.
Take it from us, if you’re on the search for a reliable fishing kayak, you won’t be disappointed with this one.
- Lightweight design - weighing just 44lb, this fishing kayak will allow for non-strenuous transportation and the ability to travel to obscure fishing locations.
- Multi-chine flat bottom - ideal for fishing, as this hull design ensures stability while reeling in fish and casting lines.
- Expensive - high price point may not be suitable for all.
If inflatable fishing kayaks are more your thing, then we recommend giving the Intex Excursion Pro Kayak a consideration.
Made with a very tough laminate PVC and a polyester core, this lightweight yet durable Intex Excursion Pro Kayak is very resistant to damage from abrasion, as well as being resistant to the effects of sunlight.
Its 3-ply high molecular PVC is also resistant to gasoline, oil, and saltwater, so you know it’s built to last.
Not only that, but the Intex Excursion Pro Kayak allows for very high-pressure inflation, which will deliver the maximum level of rigidity and stability.
This is ideal for fishing, as it means that this kayak will be able to stay level and balanced while pulling in fish, or navigating choppy waters.
There’s also plenty of storage space for you to take advantage of.
There is storage space in both the bow and stern to keep valuables, while the stainless steel d rings will allow you to tie down any gear you’d like to keep up on top with you.
On top of all this, the Intex Excursion Pro Kayak also features spring-loaded valves that will allow for both fast inflation and easy deflation, making it ideal for those that want low maintenance transportation and storage. If you want an inflatable, consider this one.
- Tough PVC - thanks to the tough PVC, this kayak is highly durable and very resistant to damage.
- Mounting bracket - the mounting bracket will allow you to securely fasten down your fishing rod, carry bag, and GPS system so that they’ll be safe from going overboard, but always within arms reach.
- May not be suitable for rough waters - due to the inflatable construction, this kayak is not recommended for use in the open sea.
If you’ve been searching high and low for the best two-person fishing kayak, then it’s your lucky day! The Elkton Outdoors Cormorant Tandem Fishing Kayak might very well be just what you’re looking for.
Offering quick inflation, the Elkton Outdoors Inflatable 2 Person Kayak will be able to inflate to full size in a matter of minutes from its compact form.
When fully blown up, this inflatable kayak will be 118in x 35in x 16in, ensuring that you’ll both have plenty of space, while still being able to glide through the water with speed.
Perfect for lake fishing, this Elkton Outdoors Tandem Fishing Kayak has been carefully constructed with an 18-gauge rip-resistant 1000D PVC, meaning that it is both hook and tear-resistant.
Thanks to that, you won’t have to worry about accidentally causing a leak if you catch it with your rod while you’re out on the water.
If that wasn’t enough, this fishing kayak even comes with additional accessories straight out of the delivery box, including 2 adjustable seats for your comfort, rod holders for your convenience, and even a carry bag so you’ll have a place to store all of your valuables.
In addition to that, this kayak also comes equipped with a mesh storage compartment, which straps itself into the kayak and will allow you to keep on-board gear safe from going overboard.
Another feature that we really like about this kayak is that Elkton has truly made this with comfort and enjoyment in mind.
Both of the adjustable seats come complete with a comfort gel interior which will help to reduce the chances of strain, while the roomy interior means that both passengers will be able to stretch their legs out.
- Comfort and convenience features - boasting a multitude of comfort/convenience features, this kayak is a great choice for those who want to enjoy a day out on the water fishing free from any discomfort.
- Plenty of storage space - thanks to this, you’ll be able to keep all of your gear, valuables, and food/drink stored away safely without the risk of falling overboard.
- No cup holders - this kayak does not feature cup holders, so you’ll have to keep your drinks on the floor.
Need for speed? If you’re on the search for a pedaling kayak, look no further than the BKC PK13 Pedal Drive Fishing Kayak.
Perfect for propelling through the water with ease, the BKC PK13 Pedal Drive Fishing Kayak features bicycle-style pedals which will allow you to navigate the kayak, while the hand-operated rudder controls will help to enhance your steering capabilities to ensure you can make sharp turns with precision.
Plus, ensuring that you can reach high speeds out on the water, the pedal drive system ensures that you’ll be able to get this kayak traveling faster than standard models.
BKC has even created this kayak to be compatible with optional trolling motors, allowing you to enjoy a more effortless cruising experience, though this will come at an additional cost.
Moving on, this kayak also features impressive stability.
Unlike inflatable kayaks, this kayak features a roto-molded single-piece high-density polyethylene material that will be able to withstand all types of water, including saltwater without corrosion.
It will be able to withstand current, choppy waters and waves with ease, and can take a maximum of 550lbs.
Plus, offering excellent value for money, the PK13 kayak comes ready to go with a multitude of additional accessories.
Included within the purchase you will receive an ergonomic aluminum frame seat, an adjustable paddle, two water-resistant hatches, rod holders, a paddle park, as well as one bungee cargo tie-down.
This is ideal for all of your fishing needs, as the 2 flush-mount rod holders will be able to keep your multiple baited lines in the water without toppling over, as well as ensuring that the rods are kept out of the way while paddling.
In addition to that, the front cover storage that includes the bungee tie-down can double up as an ice chest, where you can keep bait, fish, and food.
- Stability - suitable for all types of water and situations, this rugged kayak will be able to handle choppy waters, waves, and the reeling in of fish with ease.
- Rod holders - the three-rod holders will be able to keep your rods in the water without toppling over, all at the same time, while also preventing them from getting caught up in the pedals.
- High price point - this kayak is an investment, so it may not be suitable for those looking to save their money at this time.
Last but certainly not least, we have selected the Intex Challenger Kayak, which is a great choice for fishing enthusiasts on a budget.
Ideal for fishers looking to sail away from the shoreline without breaking the bank, the Intex Challenger Kayak Inflatable set blends affordability with reliable performance.
It features a durable, welded material that is resistant to damage, while its bright blue and green color design will help to keep you safe and visible out on the water.
Ensuring that you can kick back and relax while you wait for a fish to take the bait, this kayak features a roomy cockpit that has been specifically designed to deliver comfort and legroom.
But that’s not all - this inflatable beam floor has also been optimized for stability, so this kayak will stay put while you reel fish in or encounter choppy waters.
Plus, to ensure that you’ll never have to be without any of your fishing gear, this kayak features a cargo mesh net across the top of the kayak where you can store some of your fishing gear, as well as space to store all of your valuables next to your feet.
This kayak also weighs just 27lbs, meaning that you’ll be able to glide through the water quickly and discreetly without disturbing any of the fish underneath, as well as being able to enjoy non-strenuous transportation to and from your vehicle. For the price, it’s a winner!
- Affordable price point - ideal for those on a budget, this kayak offers excellent value for money!
- Mesh storage pouch - thanks to the mesh storage pouch across the top of the kayak, you’ll be able to store your fishing gear without fear of any of it falling overboard.
- Basic design - may not be suitable for advanced fishers.
Best Fishing Kayak Buying Guide
Whether you’re a fisherman with years of fishing experience, or you’ve recently decided to start taking it up as a hobby, then we’re sure that you’ll be well aware of how important it is to find the right kayak.
So, to help you make the most well-informed choice for you, let’s take a look at some of the most important considerations to keep in mind before going through with a purchase:
By far, one of the most important things that you’re going to need to take into consideration before making a purchase is what type of kayak you would like.
This shouldn’t be too difficult, because the hull design of fishing kayaks all tend to be the same and optimized for stability. Therefore, the choice will come down to your own personal preference, and where you plan on fishing.
Now, though this is a factor that often tends to go overlooked, the weight of the kayak will greatly affect your overall kayaking experience.
Though most kayaks tend to be on the heavier side, for fishing you want to go for a kayak that is lightweight so that you can glide more quickly in the water.
You’ll also appreciate the fact that you won’t have to worry about figuring out how you’re going to transport the kayak from your vehicle to the water, as lightweight kayaks can be carried with ease.
For recreational kayakers, storage space isn’t so much of an important factor. All they need is enough space to keep their valuables and snacks, and they’ll be good to go.
However, when it comes to fishing, storage is much more of a priority. When selecting a kayak, make sure that you’ll have enough storage space to keep your valuables safe, as well as all of your fishing gear.
All of the kayaks we have included above have been created with fishing in mind, and come with additional storage accessories such as tie-downs, in order to keep all of your fishing equipment within arms reach.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is kayak fishing worth it?
Though kayak fishing might seem like a nonconventional way to fish, it’s actually widely considered to be one of the best ways to do it.
Due to the smaller sizes of a kayak, it allows the fisher to get into more narrow spaces that a boat wouldn’t be able to, while the elegant way a kayak glides through the water ensures that fewer fish will be disturbed or scared away.
Is it worth buying a kayak for fishing?
In our opinion? Absolutely. If you plan on taking your fishing skills to the next level, then a kayak is the way to go.
This is because a kayak will allow you to travel away from the shore and farther into the body of water, meaning that you’ll have more opportunities to catch unassuming fish!