You know you want a kayak but are bewildered by the wide variety available. You see inflatables and kayaks that are designed for more general use, but which can also be used for fishing.
Live near the ocean or lake?
There are reviews for the best fishing kayak that are fishing-safe. Read on and you will be well-informed about all of your kayak options including some of the best shoes for kayaking. You see kayaks that were designed for fishing and those that are designed for white water. Take some time to think about what you want to use the kayak for and it will make the selection process much easier and will help ensure many years of enjoyment.
Let us work together to go through your options. We will examine various fishing kayak reviews, we will look at kayaks across the spectrum, you will find reviews for sit-on-top kayaks, inflatable kayaks and most importantly fishing kayaks.
Steps to Choose the Best Fishing Kayak
There are some simple steps you should take to determine which fishing kayak will be for you. Follow these steps and you will not be disappointed.
- Choose the Number of Seats – Kayaks come in single seats, two seats and as many as five seats. The number of seats you choose will be based upon how many people you expect to take with you. There are some two-seater’s that can be taken out solo, but for the most part, if there is more than one seat, you are looking at a kayak you will need company to handle. If the person you kayak with is not comfortable alone in a kayak, then you are looking at a tandem kayak.
- Choose How You Want to Sit in the Kayak – A Sit on Top (SOT) kayak means you will be straddling the kayak or kneeing on it. A SOT kayak will have an area on which you can stand up, should you choose. This is important if you want to stand up to fish while on the kayak. A Sit in Kayak (SIK) puts you into a cockpit where you will be sitting with your legs forward. SIK kayaks can include leg rests which is helpful for the long trips.
- Choose Whether You Want an Inflatable or Rigid Kayak – Inflatable kayaks have to be inflated, usually with a hand/foot pump they come with a duffel bag and are not as difficult to drag out to the water. Rigid kayaks are less prone to leaks and can be customized by drilling holes in the above water parts of the kayak and attaching accessories. Rigid kayaks have to be transported either on the top of the car or truck or in a truck bed. Inflatable kayaks.
- Choose Your Capacity – Kayaks vary in the total weight that can be loaded into the kayak. If you or your kayaking partner is on the taller or heavier side, then you will need a kayak that can carry more weight. If you plan to go camping or stay out overnight, you need a kayak that can carry all your gear. For example the best family kayak is the Intex Excursion 5 and the recommended fishing kayak for single fisher is the Old Town Predator Kayak.
- Choose Your Color – Color is partially aesthetic but mostly functional. If you are going fishing in the kayak, you want to have a kayak that will not scare the fish. If you are taking the kayak out in water that is frequented by jet skis and motor boats, then consider a kayak that is United States Coast Guard approved. These kayaks have bright, neon colors. Remember, a kayak sits low in the water and you need to be seen to be avoided by other pleasure craft.
Top 6 Best Fishing Kayak Reviews
Perception Sport Pescador 12 Angler Kayak
The Perception Sport Pescador 12 Angler kayak is a single person sit on top kayak. This kayak is ready to take fishing right out of the box. The extra large cockpit keeps you from feeling cramped when you are out on the water for hours. The kayak does not come with a paddle.
This kayak can be used on both lakes and rivers. Its sturdy design can take the abuse that rivers offer. It is easy to get on and off of this kayak without a feeling of tipping. Yet, it manoeuvres around without feeling like you are paddling against the tide. This kayak will get you to where the fish are biting and get you back again dry and safe.
Best Price for Perception Sport Pescador 12 Angler Kayak
The Perception Sport Pescador 12 Angler kayak comes with one flush mount rod holder and one Scotty Baitcaster rod holder. There is an ample tankwell for storing your fishing gear. There is also a water tight storage compartment in the front of the kayak. The kayak has been reported to handle up to 350 pounds. This makes it possible for you to get both fishing and camping gear in this kayak without fear of sinking. You can bring home your limit without fear of overloading this kayak.
Sun Dolphin Excursion sit-in Fishing Kayak
The Sun Dolphin Excursion Sit-In Fishing kayak is a single seat sit in kayak. It is outfitted with two flush mount rod holders and one swivel rod holder. The Sun Dolphin Excursion Sit-In Fishing kayak is the WaterQuest kayak outfitted specifically for fishing.
The hull is designed to be sturdy and tracks exceptionally well. The cockpit is large and open. You can adjust the foot braces to fit your body as well as the seat. There is a high back support that assists you when you are paddling and provides comfort when you are fishing. There is an ample storage hatch with shock cord rigging that will keep your gear safely on the kayak as you glide along the water, this has to be one of the best fishing kayak if not the best.
Best Price for Sun Dolphin Excursion sit-in Fishing Kayak
The Sun Dolphin Excursion is designed for shorter fishing trips as it does not have the cargo space required to carry camping gear. This is a fishing kayak and not a touring kayak, when you are out on the water looking for the “big one,” this kayak will meet all your needs. The kayak does not come with a paddle but this means you can use your existing paddle or get one that meets your special fishing needs. With all the adjustments, plus the ability to have up to three rods in the water at a time, makes this your go-to kayak for those relaxing days of fishing.
Old Town Predator Kayak
Old Town started out building canoes in 1898. In 1940, Old Town used its knowledge of wood and canvas canoes to develop a wood and canvas kayak. Prior to this, kayaks were still made from seal skin. This was major innovation since the new kayak was lighter than any previous kayak and was also sturdier. Today Old Town uses lightweight fiberglass in its full line of kayaks.
Old Town kayaks are quiet and easy to navigate. They continue to innovate in the uses of multi-layered designs. These designs not only make their kayaks sturdier, but they also help insure that the kayak will not easily develop a puncture that will cause the kayak to take on water.
Best price for Old Town Kayaks
Old Town kayaks have roomy cockpits and are nearly impossible to tip over. They feature ample watertight storage space, as well as places to store things around the cockpit. Old Town kayaks have thigh pads that will make it more comfortable to be in your kayak for long periods of time and will help keep you from banging around while paddling or reaching around while in the cockpit.
Old Town offers three families of Kayak: the Heron, the Vapor and the Dirigo families. All are easy to paddle and navigate. The Heron family is designed for the beginner in mind. The Vapor family is designed for the larger cargo needs. The Dirigo family is simple a great all around kayak family.
Riot Kayaks Escape 12 Fishing Kayak
The Riot Kayaks Escape 12 Angler Sit-On-Top Flatwater Fishing kayak is perfect for the serious-minded angler. This Sit on Top kayak has all the features you will want or need for a relaxing day of fishing. There are five rod holders on this kayak. That is even more impressive when you realize that this is a single seater.
The pilot rudder system has a profiled blade with plastic reinforced by glass, this not only adds strength to the system but it cuts down on the windage and weight. It smoothly and effortlessly steers the kayak through the water. The V-block and pulley system operates smoothly. The five rod holders consist of two front and two rear flush mount rod holders and one adjustable rod holder. The adjustable rod holder rotates a complete 360 degrees and can be adjusted vertically for the perfect placement. The swivel locking ring grips your rod firmly and will keep the rod on the kayak and out of the water.
Best Price for Riot Kayaks Escape 12 Fishing Kayak
The sit on top seat can be fitted into any of four attachment points. You can adjust your seat to however you want it and it will stay put, you will not find a kayak that can meet so many of your fishing needs as does the Riot Kayaks Escape 12 Angler Sit-On-Top Flatwater Fishing kayak. Try it and you will never fish on any other kayak again, and so features on our top 6 fishing kayak reviews.
Lifetime Sport Fisher Kayak
The Lifetime Sport Fisher kayak can sit up to three people. This sturdy kayak is stable enough to fish standing up thanks to its revolutionary tunnel hull design. You can even fish sidesaddle on this remarkable kayak. This kayak is almost impossible to tip over and is one of the best fishing kayaks on the market today.
The kayak features a pair of ergonomic seats that will keep you and your passengers high and dry with two soft backrests. The third person can sit in a side facing center seat. The Lifetime Sport Fisher kayak is well balanced, even though you can take two others with you, the kayak does not need weight to balance it out when you go solo and works perfect for solo fishing as well.
Best Price for Lifetime Sport Fisher Kayak
The Lifetime Sport Fisher kayak has four rod holders, easily enough for three anglers out on the water. There a 6-inch rear storage hatch. Ditty trays and shock straps help secure your loose items. Weighing a light 60 pounds, this kayak comes in as one of the lightest available rigid kayaks that can seat up to three people. You would have to go to an inflatable such as the Intex Excursion 5 which this light and roomy, but you would sacrifice the sturdiness that comes with a rigid kayak.
Advanced Elements Straitedge Angler
The Advanced Elements Straitedge Angler kayak is an inflatable single seat Sit In kayak that features an aluminium rib frame. The stability is increased through its wide beam design similar to the Sea Eagle Inflatable Kayak. The sturdy abrasion pads make this kayak ideal for fishing, they will not easily scrape as you paddle into the reeds and near submersed logs.
The seat has a high back and inflatable lumbar support allowing you to fish in comfort and peace with two rod holders you can take your friends with you too. The kayak is extremely stable and can handle the big catches, it also has a removable mounting rail that can be used to add your favourite fish finder, additional rod holders or any other equipment you might choose to carry. One complaint about the removable mounting rail is that it is too far forward for some anglers. Since it is removable, you can simply leave it home if you are not going to use it.
Best Price for Advanced Elements Straitedge Angler
There is stainless steel D-rings for attaching other accessories. These D-rings will not snap off easily. The aluminum rib design makes this kayak easy to track. The kayak weighs a modest 41 pounds and has a capacity of 300 pounds. You can get a lot of fish and equipment in this kayak.
Types of Fishing Kayaks
Fishing kayaks break down into several divisions. Below we will discuss these divisions.
Sit on Top vs Sit-in – Do you like to fish sitting down or standing up? A Sit on Top (SOT) kayak is designed to let you get up and stand on the kayak to cast your line or walk around. A Sit-in kayak (SIK) has the seat inside of a cockpit. A SIK is not intended for the pilot to stand in. We recommend the Hobie Mirage Revolution 13 is has to be one of the best sit on top kayaks.
Inflatable vs Rigid – Inflatable kayaks are easier to store and carry, but you do have to either use a hand/foot pump to get on the water and then deflate the kayak before going home. Rigid kayaks can be dropped into the water much quicker but must be carried on top of your vehicle, a truck bed or on a hauling trailer. Rigid kayaks are heavier but will not as easily spring a leak when out on the water.
Solo vs Tandem – Want to ride in your own kayak or do you want to go with one or more others? Tandem kayaks allow for multiple riders but often require multiple people to carry it. If you want to ever kayak by yourself, or with someone who rides in their own kayak, then you are looking towards a solo kayak.
Pedal vs Paddle – How do you want to move in the water? Do you want to use an oar and paddle the kayak or do you want to use your legs, as you would in a bicycle? Many pedal kayaks do allow you to take out the pedal mechanism and switch to a paddle kayak. But a paddle kayak is always a paddle kayak.
Advantages of Using a Fishing Kayak
There are many advantages to using a kayak to fish.
- Go Where the Fish Are – Fish do not always bite near the edge of the water. They like to feed near weeds and fallen logs. If you like to fish near a lake, you know that the fish often are in the middle of the lake, not on the water’s edge. To get to those fish, you need to get out on the water. To do this you need also get there quietly so you do not scare them away. The best fishing kayak will get you out on the water without the noise of an outboard motor. It will get you out on the water where the fish are.
- Go Where You Want to Go – When you want to maneuver in close, you need a kayak. Kayaks do not have propellers that can snag in the weeds or be grounded. A kayak rides very high in the water and will allow you to get as close to wherever you want to go without you getting stuck in the mud. Hopefully our kayak reviews will help you find the best kayak.
- Go Fishing Standing Up or Sitting Down – Kayaks allow you to fish comfortably. Sit on Top kayaks let you stand up and cast your line as well as sit down and gently troll the waters. Sit In Kayaks do not let you stand up to cast but do allow you to cast sitting down. With a kayak you can fish the way you want in the comfort of a cozy cockpit or standing up with the stability approaching dry land.
- Go Green – While a fishing kayak can have a mounted motor, generally you paddle where you want to go. This means you are not spilling gasoline and oil into the water. You are not increasing your carbon footprint. Not only can you catch fish, you can be confident that you are not poisoning the waters while doing so.