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The best fishing kayak gives you access to those otherwise hard-to-reach areas where fish know they can usually hide. While they might think they’re safe from your land-bound fishing brethren, you’ll be slowly gliding into position to drop a line into their “safe zone.” 

Ideally your fishing kayak should be able to hold everything you need for multiple hours out on your favorite lake, river, or protected ocean bay. You’ll also be able to clean and store fish from the comfort of your kayak so that you can take your catch home and enjoy it later. In this article, we’re going to highlight ten of our favorite fishing kayaks so you can take your pick and get out to fish in no time!

For more of our top kayak fishing gear recommendations, check out the Best Kayak Paddles for Fishing.

 

Quick Answer - The Best Fishing Kayaks

  1. Perception Pescador 12.0
  2. Perception Pescador Pro 10.0
  3. Aquaglide Blackfoot Angler 110 HB
  4. Star Rival
  5. Hobie Mirage Passport
  6. Old Town Predator 13
  7. Wilderness Systems A.T.A.K.120
  8. Perception Pescador Pilot 12.0
  9. Hobie Mirage Compass
  10. Riot Escape 12

 

Comparison Table - Best Fishing Kayaks

PictureNameStyleLengthWeightPriceRating
Perception PescadorPerception Pescador 12.0Solid12’64 pounds$$4.6
Perception Pescador Pro 10.0Perception Pescador Pro 10.0Solid10’6”57 pounds$$4.6
Aquaglide Blackfoot Angler 110 HBAquaglide Blackfoot Angler 110 HBInflatable10’6”32 pounds$$4.1
Star RivalStar RivalInflatable12'6"31 pounds$$4.6
Hobie Mirage PassportHobie Mirage PassportSolid10'6"65 pounds$$$4.8
Old Town Predator 13Old Town Predator 13Solid13’2”86 pounds$$$4.7
Wilderness Systems A.T.A.K.120Wilderness Systems A.T.A.K.120Solid12'3"86 pounds$$$4.9
Perception Pescador Pilot 12.0Perception Pescador Pilot 12.0Solid12'5"85 pounds$$$4.5
Hobie Mirage CompassHobie Mirage CompassSolid12’87 pounds$$$4.7
Riot Escape 12Solid12’66 pounds$3.9
PictureNameStyleLengthWeightPriceRating
Want to learn more about a technical term? Check out our Features Explained section below.

Need buying advice? Take a look at these Things to Consider.

Reviews - The Best Kayaks for Fishing

Perception Pescador 12.0

Specs
  • Length: 12’
  • Weight: 64 pounds
  • Style: Solid
Features
  • Multiple Storage Options For Gear And Fish
  • Stable Design For A Drier Ride
  • Molded-In Handles For Easy Transportation
  • Gear Tracks To Attach A Variety Of Fishing Accessories
Perception Pescador

BEST FOR: FLATWATER KAYAKING/FISHING

This twelve-foot long kayak is designed to be extra wide so that you’ll be stable when you’re pulling in that record fish. It gives you multiple storage options, whether you need space for extra gear or want a place to stash a cooler for keeping your catch fresh until you get home. The molded-in front, rear, and side handles make it easy to transport this kayak and gear tracks along the sides of the kayak allow for easy attachment of your preferred fishing accessories.

Perception Pescador Pro 10.0

Specs
  • Length: 10’6”
  • Weight: 57 pounds
  • Style: Solid
Features
  • Removable, Stadium-Style Seat Is Adjustable for Comfort
  • Adjustable Footbrace System To Help Maintain Proper Paddling Position
  • Ample Storage Options For Fishing Tackle And Gear
  • Two Molded-In Rod Holders
Perception Pescador Pro 10.0

BEST FOR: REAL FISHING ENTHUSIASTS

Comfort is king when you’re riding in the Perception Pescador Pro 10.0. This ten-foot, six-inch kayak is easy to maneuver in smaller waterways and the adjustable seating and footbrace systems give you plenty of leniency to get comfortable and stay comfortable on the water. This kayak provides multiple storage compartments and bungee rigging so that you can store fishing tackle and gear safely. Dual molded-in rod holders give you a place to keep multiple fishing setups and utilize them hands-free while you steer your kayak.

Aquaglide Blackfoot Angler 110 HB

Specs
  • Length: 10’6”
  • Weight: 32 pounds
  • Style: Inflatable
Features
  • Hard-Bottom Floor Creates Extra Structure For Improved Performance
  • Open Cockpit Design For Easy Entry And Exit
  • Built-in Scupper Holes For Draining Water
  • Full-Length Hook-And-Loop Strips On Floor For Seat Adjustments
Aquaglide Blackfoot Angler 110 HB

BEST FOR: COMPACT STORAGE

Inflatable kayaks, in general, are much easier to store when you’re not using them. The Aquaglide Blackfoot Angler is a very light kayak that comes with features that help it to perform well in a variety of conditions. The hard-bottom floor creates a firm, sturdy platform that gives you a steady place to fish from, whether sitting or standing. The open cockpit makes it easy to get in and out of this kayak and the adjustable seating system makes it simple to find a comfortable position while also leaving space for your tackle, gear, cooler, and anything else that you want to bring along.

Star Rival

Specs
  • Length: 12'6"
  • Weight: 31 pounds
  • Style: Inflatable
Features
  • Thick Deck For Stable Standing Or Sitting
  • Advanced Construction For Superior Abrasion Resistance
  • Removable Mesh Seat For A Comfortable Ride
  • Multiple attachment points for rods, fish finders, and other accessories
Star Rival

BEST FOR: STABILITY AND CONVENIENCE

The Star Rival boasts a six-inch thick deck that inflates to a maximum of 10 PSI. This provides a very stable platform for sitting or standing, depending on your preferred fishing position. It utilizes an advanced PVC material that’s more resistant to punctures and holes, even if handled roughly. The removable mesh seat has a hard aluminum frame and can be adjusted to a variety of positions for comfort. This kayak also offers five different attachment points for securing your preferred gear.

Hobie Mirage Passport

Specs
  • Length: 10'6"
  • Weight: 65 pounds
  • Style: Solid
Features
  • Pedal System For Hands-Free Propulsion
  • Roomy Cockpit To Accommodate Paddlers Of All Sizes
  • Breathable Seat Frame For Comfort
  • Front And Rear Storage Areas With Bungee Rigging
Hobie Mirage Passport

BEST FOR: HANDS-FREE FISHING

The Hobie Mirage Passport is the ideal kayak for hands-free fishing. The pedal system allows you to keep your kayak in motion while your hands are occupied with casting. It’s designed with a wide cockpit that provides extra stability and also allows this kayak to accommodate paddlers of all sizes. The aluminum seat frame includes a breathable mesh back that keeps you cool and comfortable on hot days. The sizeable storage areas in the front and rear of this kayak gives you accessible spaces to store gear, tackle, or a cooler full of your favorite beverages and snacks.

Old Town Predator 13

Specs
  • Length: 13’2”
  • Weight: 86 pounds
  • Style: Solid
Features
  • Textured Deck For Better Traction Underfoot
  • Two-Position Seating System
  • Large Capacity Tank Well Provides Plenty Of Space For Storing Gear
  • Side-Mounted Rod Retainers
Old Town Predator 13

BEST FOR: FISHING WHILE STANDING

The Old Town Predator 13 boasts an extra-wide design to make it more stable for fishing from the standing position. The textured deck gives you better traction when standing and the two-position seating system allows you to easily adjust from the ‘Travel’ position to the ‘Attack’ position if you do like to fish sitting down. The large tank well gives you an easy space to store a cooler, multiple tackle boxes, or even a battery for a trolling motor. Multiple molded-in and side-mounted rod retainers make it easy to grab and cast at a moment’s notice.

Wilderness Systems A.T.A.K.120

Specs
  • Length: 12'3"
  • Weight: 86 pounds
  • Style: Solid
Features
  • Customizable Cockpit Platform Offers Multiple Attachment Points
  • Removable Console For Electronics, Battery, Or Motor Drive Propulsion
  • Large Rear Storage Space with Bungee Rigging
  • Side Rails For Attaching Preferred Accessories
Wilderness Systems A.T.A.K.120

BEST FOR: A CUSTOMIZED FISHING EXPERIENCE

The Wilderness Systems A.T.A.K. 120 is an exceptionally customizable fishing kayak that allows you to design your experience and keep your most vital accessories in reach. It features a removable console that can be used to store electronics or taken out in favor of storing a battery for a trolling motor or installing a motor drive propulsion system. The large storage well in the rear of the kayak gives you plenty of space for storing tackle and the side rails offer additional attachment points for fish finding technology and other gear.

Perception Pescador Pilot 12.0

Specs
  • Length: 12'5"
  • Weight: 85 pounds
  • Style: Solid
Features
  • Removable, Retractable Pedal Pilot Drive Retracts For Shallow Launching And Landing
  • Ergonomic, Adjustable Captain’s Chair
  • Low-Profile Rudder Steering System For Improved Turning Radius
  • Four Molded-In Rod Holders For Hands-Free Fishing
Perception Pescador Pilot 12.0

BEST FOR: HIGH-PERFORMANCE HANDS-FREE FISHING

The Pilot’s pedal drive system allows for hands-free propulsion so that you can keep a rod ready at all times. If you do prefer to paddle, however, the pedal pilot drive system is removable and also retracts easily when launching or landing in shallow areas. The adjustable captain’s chair fits a wide range of height and body types and the easy-to-grip rudder system helps you steer more aptly in smaller, tighter areas. This kayak also features a total of four molded-in rod holders, which allows you to keep more setups at the ready depending on what exactly you’re fishing for and how conditions are changing.

Hobie Mirage Compass

Specs
  • Length: 12’
  • Weight: 87 pounds
  • Style: Solid
Features
  • Hobie Glide Technology Ensures Smoother, Faster, More Efficient Ride
  • Sharp Turning Radius In Tight Quarters
  • Spring-Loaded Rudder With Easy “Fingertip” Steering
  • Dual Front And Rear Storage Areas For Gear And Accessories
Hobie Mirage Compass

BEST FOR: PEDAL-DRIVEN PERFORMANCE

Hobie is an undisputed name in pedal-driven kayaks that regularly outperform the competition. The Mirage Compass features Hobie’s patented Glide Technology, which features roller bearings that work to ensure a smooth, fast, and efficient ride. This kayak has a spring-loaded rudder that helps you maintain a sharp turning radius in tight quarters and is easily operated without any need for excessive force. The front storage area is covered by mesh netting and the rear area features bungee rigging to keep your gear and accessories safe and secure.

Riot Escape 12

Specs
  • Length: 12’
  • Weight: 66 pounds
  • Style: Solid
Features
  • Two Flushmount Rod Holders
  • Rudder System Helps With Tracking And Navigation
  • Sealed Bow Compartment In Front Of Boat For Gear Storage
  • Molded-in Bottle And Cup Holders

BEST FOR: HAVING FUN ON THE WATER

The Riot Escape 12 is a great starter kayak for fishing, diving, or just having a little fun out on the closest body of water. It has dual rod holders that give you a place to secure two unique fishing setups if you like to fish certain setups in different conditions. The built-in rudder system allows you to use your feet to steer your kayak as you paddle comfortably. The sealed bow compartment allows you to store dry gear or a small cooler for storing your catch. It also features molded-in bottle and cup holders so you can keep your preferred beverage handy while on the water.

 

 

THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN BUYING A FISHING KAYAK 

 

WHERE DO YOU PLAN TO FISH?

There’s a common saying about location, location, location. That saying is applicable to your choice of fishing kayaks because you’ll need different features if you plan on fishing saltwater bays versus freshwater lakes versus streams or rivers with moving water. For the latter, for example, navigability is a huge factor so that you can stay safe while fishing. 

Location will also help you determine how large of kayak you want to handle when moving it around. If you want to fish hard-to-reach lakes or ponds, you might want a smaller, lighter kayak that’s easier to carry over some distance before you put it in the water. These are just a few examples of how location will dictate a number of important features you’ll consider when buying a fishing kayak. 

 

PROPULSION

When considering propulsion, we can largely break fishing kayaks down into two categories: pedal-driven and paddle-driven. Pedal-driven kayaks allow you to keep your hands free to handle a fishing pole and often require occasional use of your hands to adjust the rudder for steering purposes. The major advantage to pedal-driven kayaks is that you’ll be able to constantly fish and adjust your casting technique as you also continue to maneuver your kayak from fishing hole to fishing hole. 

Paddle-driven kayaks require the use of a kayak paddle to get from place to place. Some, but not all, include a rudder system that is controlled with your feet to help you steer your kayak where you want to go. While you won’t be able to operate your fishing rod while paddling, many of these kayaks offer mounted rod holders so that you can troll as you paddle. The major advantage to a paddle-driven kayak is that you, or your family, can utilize it for recreational purposes if fishing isn’t always your top priority.   

 

LENGTH AND WIDTH

The length and width of a fishing kayak are important in determining the performance of the kayak. In general, kayaks that are longer and skinnier are able to go faster and cover greater distance in shorter periods of time. As you might imagine, shorter and wider kayaks provide more stability. When it comes to a fishing kayak, stability is usually prioritized over speed, and for good reason. For this one, we can break it down to a pretty simple rationale: a kayak that’s more stable will give you more ability to pull in larger fish without the risk of going swimming! 

 

WEIGHT

Fishing kayaks, in general, tend to be a bit heavier than many of their touring or sea kayaking counterparts. This isn’t always the case (see the inflatable kayaks above), but fishing kayaks tend to lean towards the heavier side because they include additional features that other kayaks don’t. In addition, fishing kayaks are wider than many other kayaks out there, so the added materials tend to increase their overall weight. But keep in mind that the extra weight can also make the kayak much more stable. 

 

STORAGE

Storage space will play a large role in how much extra tackle, gear, and accessories you’ll be able to securely attach to the deck of your new fishing kayak. Many avid fishermen also like to secure a cooler to their kayak so that they can bring cold beverages along or have a place to keep fish on ice so that they stay fresh until they get home. 

The amount of storage space that you’ll need will depend on whether you’re simply fishing for sport or you intend on bringing fish home with you. It will also depend on the technology and equipment you like to bring along when fishing. In general, bringing more equipment and accessories along will require more storage space. 

 

STANDING COMPATIBILITY

Many folks like to have the option to stand and fish from their kayak in lieu of just sitting all the time. This can’t be done from every type of fishing kayak (unless you have excellent balance!). If you want to get a higher vantage point and have the ability to really drop your casts in with pinpoint accuracy, you’ll want to select a fishing kayak that’s wider and built for standing with ease and comfort. 

 

 

FEATURES EXPLAINED

 

HULL

The hull of a kayak is its bottom. The design of the hull impacts the ability of the kayak to track straight and gain and maintain speed. It also directly impacts how easy (or difficult) it is to maneuver the kayak.   

 

COCKPIT

The term ‘cockpit’ refers to the area where you sit. In a sit-on-top kayak, the cockpit is generally larger. With fishing kayaks, a larger cockpit makes it easier to get in and out. It also gives you additional storage room for fishing gear and accessories. 

 

PEDAL PROPULSION SYSTEM

A pedal propulsion system gives you the ability to power your kayak with your feet. There are many varieties of this system, but the main idea is to help you keep your hands free while still giving you the ability to move your kayak around seamlessly. 

 

FOOT BRACES

Foot braces allow you to secure your feet while paddling. Having a place to secure your feet helps you bend your knees, straighten your back, and maintain a more ergonomic paddling position. 

 

SIDE RAILS

The side rails of a fishing kayak are the most common space for attachment points to be added. These attachment points can be used to secure extra rods, fish finding technology, tackle, and any other gear that you like to bring on your fishing trips.

READ MORE

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