Best Fishing Kayak For 2023 & Buyer’s Guide
Are you ready to make a name for yourself in the kayaking world? Hold tight to your paddles because I’ll show you the day’s best catch.
Do you hate being stuck on a boat that doesn’t fit your needs or wants? Are you tired of missing out on the adventure and fun of a great kayaking trip?
Choosing a kayak can be stressful and hard to understand, making it hard to know which one to buy.
This 2023 buyer’s guide is meant to help you find the best-rated fishing kayaks on the market. In this guide, there’s a kayak that will meet all of your needs and preferences, no matter if you have been kayaking before or if this is your first time.
Don’t let your dreams of kayaking go up in smoke. Instead, join us on this trip, and we’ll paddle our way to the top of kayaking adventures together.
What Are the Best Fishing Kayaks?
There are many great fishing kayaks on the market, and the best one for you will depend on your needs and preferences. Some popular and well-reviewed brand choices are the Old Town, Wilderness Systems, Hobie Pro, Perception, and Vibe Kayaks.
These are just a few of the best fishing kayaks on the market. However, there are many other high-quality options as well. When choosing the best fishing kayak for you, it’s essential to do research and think about what you need and like.
1. Wilderness Systems ATAK 120
The award-winning A.T.A.K. 140 has spawned a new kid on the block: meet the 120! All of its good features have been squeezed into this small package, which also has a rocker that makes it easier to move through moving water. It also has a secondary transducer scupper, so you can now configure electronics (including side scanning technology).
- Perfect kayak for those looking for a compact option without sacrificing performance;
- Increased rocker makes this kayak easier to maneuver in moving water;
- The secondary transducer scupper allows for electronics use;
- A quick-release cam lever lets you adjust the seat position on the fly.
The ATAK 120 is a good investment because it combines reliability, performance, and small size in a perfect way. The ATAK 120 is a good choice if you want to fish far from land, in coastal waters, or just want something that fits well in small spaces.
Wilderness Systems’ ATAK 120 is best for anglers and paddlers looking for a reliable, easy-to-maneuver kayak with plenty of features. The rocker on the 120 makes it easier to move in moving water, and the secondary transducer scupper and quick-release cam lever seat let you quickly change the kayak. It’s perfect for those traverse far distances and fish in wide spaces.
2. Old Town Sportsman PDL 120
Come aboard the Old Town Sportsman PDL 120 pedal kayak and experience hands-free fishing with its award-winning Pedal Drive system. This fast, stable performance vessel will take your fishing trips to new heights.
- Glide through the water in silence for a more peaceful fishing experience;
- Dock your boat quickly and pain-free with our patented system;
- Stay calm and dry with our mesh cover and ventilation system;
- Take advantage of our flush-mounted rod holders for easy storage;
- Keep your gear organized with our oversized tank.
The Old Town Sportsman PDL 120 is a good investment because it is designed to maximize performance, stability, and efficiency. With its forward/backward system, you can pedal easily at any speed. And best of all, the PDL 120 is incredibly easy to maneuver and transport, so you can take it anywhere!
The Old Town Sportsman PDL 120 is best for those who want a fishing kayak that is reliable, efficient, and easy to use. It has all the features you need for a successful fishing experience, plus a few extras. Whether fishing with friends or exploring solo, the Old Town Sportsman PDL 120 is the best choice.
3. Hobie Mirage Lynx
Feel the power of pedal propulsion as you fly like a mythical creature across any body of water. The Mirage Lynx is a delight to fish from because it is made as light as possible for the best performance. Because of its 47-pound weight, your epic adventure will not weigh you down.
- Experience the power and performance of a Hobie MirageDrive 180 with Kick-Up Fins.
- Enjoy a lightweight design that is easy to transport and quick to assemble.
- Take advantage of the flat bottom design for stability and maneuverability
- With ACE-TEC Technology, you will get optimal performance on any weekend adventure
Buying a Hobie Mirage Lynx is a good idea because it has features that make it safe to travel on any body of water. This best fishing kayak boasts top-notch materials and accessible propulsion technology, allowing optimal enjoyment!
Hobie Mirage Lynx is perfect for anglers of all skill levels. Whether you’re just getting started or have been fishing for years, this best fishing kayak will deliver the best possible experience in a lightweight package. Equipped with ACE-TEC technology that will make even Poseidon jealous, you can get going quickly without waiting forever.
4. Perception Showdown 11.5
Take your fishing game to the next level with Perception’s newest offering, the Showdown 11.5 Pedal Kayak! Now you can explore lakes, rivers, and coastlines without making a peep (or breaking a sweat). The raised mesh seat will keep you in place while giving you better visibility and making breathing easier on hot days.
- Pedal-powered for an easy, efficient ride;
- A versatile design perfect for lakes and coasts;
- Mesh seat with an elevated frame for improved comfort and visibility;
- Silent traction pads provide stability and dampen sound.
Ideal for both beginners and pros, the Perception Showdown 11.5 is a must-have for any kayaking or fishing trip! It has features that are designed to meet the needs of anglers. This makes it an excellent investment that will improve your time outdoors.
The Perception Showdown 11.5 is the perfect boat for anyone who wants to enjoy a day fishing without worry. Silent traction pads give grip without excess noise that will scare fish. Generous storage keeps all of your gear safe, secure, and organized. As a result, there’s no excuse not to get out there and have some seriously awesome hands-free fishing adventures!
5. Vibe Shearwater 125
Stop fighting the wind and start fishing! Don’t miss a thing with the Vibe Shearwater 125, your customizable kayaking companion. This fantastic vessel offers 4x storage space so that you can bring all your tackle trays and rod holders on board, plus four additional vertical ones, just in case.
- Freeboard is kept low for maximum efficiency on the water;
- Horizontal and vertical rod holders;
- Versatile console with weather-tight storage locker and magnetic tackle tray;
- Three propulsion systems with paddle, Vibe X Drive pedal drive, or Bixpy Jet Motor.
Investing in the Vibe Shearwater 125 is a sound choice for anyone looking to go fishing with all the bells and whistles. It has an adjustable seat for comfort during long days on the water and plenty of storage options, so you’ll never be short on gear!
If you like fishing and want a kayak with everything you need, superior technology, and that is very comfortable, then the Vibe Shearwater 125 is your best option. It can be driven by a paddle, pedal, or an add-on Bixpy Jet Motor for more maneuverability. What more could an angler possibly need?
6. Jackson Yupik
Unleash your inner explorer! The Jackson Yupik kayak is the ultimate way to add a personal touch and explore. Named after its Alaskan inventors, this “qayaq” will have you changing what versatility means. With ample storage areas and an open deck for standing on or customizing outfitting options, it’s perfect for adventurers who want their ride to stand apart from everyone else’s.
- Modular design lets you rig your boat for any adventure;
- 360° storage security keeps your gear safe and secure;
- Comfortable seating system with one-hand operation;
- Tackle box storage for easy access to your supplies;
- Scooped bow for storage allows for easy storage of bags and soft goods.
If you want to learn how to fish or go kayaking, the Jackson Yupik is an excellent first boat. Its highly durable design and comfortable use make it perfect for starting out. With the Yupik, you can quickly and safely gain confidence in your skills and explore a new adventure!
The Jackson Yupik is perfect for those who want a fishing kayak that is stable, comfortable, and easy to use. The best part is the price, which is an unbelievable steal for what you get. With its modular design, 360° storage security, and comfortable seating system with one-handed operation, you can’t go wrong with the Yupik.
7. Pelican Catch Mode 110
The Pelican Catch Mode 110 fishing kayak is the perfect way to explore your favorite fishing spots! Built on a tunnel hull, it’s incredibly stable and agile, so you can quickly navigate those tricky waters.
- Safe and stable platform to fish from;
- ERGOBOOST™ seating system – Comfortable seat and multiple storage features;
- Rigging tracks for accessories;
- Paddle/rod tie-downs.
The Pelican Catch Mode 110 is an excellent boat because it is well-made and will last a long time. Plus, a limited warranty for life is included, so you can be sure that you are getting top-notch quality. This kayak is perfect for years of fishing fun.
The Pelican Catch Mode 110 is the ideal fishing kayak for amateur and veteran anglers, so no matter if you’ve just started or been around forever, this magnificent vessel has everything needed to make it a fantastic day out on the water. It also offers plenty of room for all your gear—an anti-slip deck carpet ensures sure footing, while ERGOBOOST™ seating system keeps things comfy during long trips. Also, their patented RAM-X material is made to last for many years and through many memorable fishing trips. Now that sounds like fun!
8. Native Ultimate FX 15 Tandem
This durable hybrid of a canoe and a kayak makes it fun to fish, hunt, camp, or hang out on the lake with family and friends. The Ultimate FX Tandem fishing kayak has two high/low seats that make it easier to fish and more comfortable to use all day. It can be easily converted for days when you want to paddle by yourself.
- Two hand-sewn, high/low, first-class seats can be turned into single seats;
- Two Seat Bases with Cup Holders and Storage;
- Open Stern Storage Area with a bulkhead at the bow and stern;
- One Trolley with a Tight Line Anchor;
- Two sets of foot braces with padded carrying handles that can be adjusted.
The Ultimate FX 15 is an excellent investment because it is stable and has a smooth ride. If you’re after the best fishing kayaks out there, your search has ended—the Ultimate FX Tandem Kayak delivers unparalleled performance!
With its superior quality and design, you can bet on having countless successful days out on the water. The two high-low seats give you the most comfort on long days on the water, and it’s easy to turn the kayak into a solo kayaker’s dream when you want some peace and quiet. Not only that, but it also offers plenty of storage room so you can bring all your essentials along too!
9. Seastream Angler 120PD
The Seastream Angler 120PD kayak is the ultimate vessel for any dedicated angler ready to take a break from paddle power. Smooth steering, an oversized rudder, and plenty of comfort and convenience will take your breath away! Get your hands-free experience with the Angler 120 PD, perfect for those days when paddling isn’t an option.
- Unique pontoon-style design for unmatched stability;
- Integrated Rapid Pedal Drive for a smooth, easy ride;
- The Beaver Tail Rudder system ensures responsive steering and tracking;
- 2X Flush Mounted Rod Holders with Rod Leashes keep your rods within reach;
- UNI-Track Accessory Rails let you mount accessories like your fish finder.
The Seastream Angler 120PD is an excellent kayak, thanks to its unrivaled features. It is made of high-density polyethylene, which is 5 mm thick. This makes the boat last a long time and keeps its weight down. With this vessel, you can rest assured that your money is well spent!
The Seastream Angler 120PD is perfect for anglers who need a boat that can handle rough waters. The double chine on the hull makes it more stable, and the unique rocker profile keeps the craft stable and balanced in any water condition. With its price tag and quality, the Seastream Angler 120PD is sure to be a valued asset in any angler’s arsenal.
10. FeelFree Moken 12.5 V2
Get ready to take your fishing experience up a notch with the new and improved Feelfree Moken 12.5 Fishing Kayak! This kayak has everything you need, including an adjustable, very comfortable EZ Rider seat; a removable Sonar Pod; Uni-Track accessory rails that let you set it up in any way you want; flush-mounted rod holders; and a large tank well.
- NEW Height-Adjustable EZ Rider Seat, Sonar Pod + Rod Tip Protectors;
- Reinforced Standing Platform with Uni-Track Accessory Rails;
- Molded Carry Handles and have Rear Quarter Turn Hatch;
- Two flush-mounted rod holders with leashes and dual paddle keepers;
- Tankwell Storage with Bungee & Crate Tie Down.
The Moken 12.5 is worth the price because it has all the best features that you could want in a fishing kayak. With its lightweight design, adjustable seating, and many other features, this kayak is perfect for every fishing trip!
The FeelFree Moken 12.5 is ideal for fishermen of any size, age, or experience level. Whether a novice or an experienced fisherman, the Moken 12.5 will surely give you a great experience. Not only that, but its 85-pound weight, thanks to its patented wheel-in-keel feature, means no heavy lifting AND no need for an aftermarket cart—now THAT’S convenient and awesome!
What is a fishing kayak?
A fishing kayak is designed specifically for fishing. These kayaks usually have features like rod holders, built-in fish finders, and a lot of room to store fishing gear and fish.
Anglers can use fishing kayaks for fishing in various places, including freshwater, saltwater, lakes, rivers, and even the open ocean. They come in different sizes, shapes, and designs, with features like sit-on-top, sit-in, and pedal-drive to match the different preferences of anglers.
Both casual anglers and serious fishermen can use them. Most of the time, they are smaller and easier to move than traditional motorized boats, which lets anglers get to remote or hard-to-reach fishing spots.
What to consider when buying a fishing kayak?
There are a few essential things to consider when buying a fishing kayak:
- Type of fishing. Think about what kind of fishing you’ll be doing and choose a kayak that works well in that environment, whether it’s freshwater, saltwater, lakes, rivers, or even the ocean.
- Stability. You need a stable kayak to move around and cast without tipping over while fishing.
- Durability. Look for a kayak that is made of high-quality materials and is made to last in all kinds of weather.
- Comfort. For longer fishing trips, it’s essential to have comfortable seats and footrests.
- Storage. Look for a kayak with a lot of room to store your fishing gear, tackle, and catches.
- Maneuvrability. If your kayak is easy to move around in, it will be easy to get through tight spaces and currents.
- Weight. A kayak that doesn’t weigh much is easy to move, launch, and control.
- Accessories. Look for kayaks with rod holders, fish finders, and other fishing accessories.
- Price. Kayaks for fishing range from cheap to very expensive, so you’ll need to consider how much you’re willing to spend.
- Size and weight limits Think about the kayak’s size and weight limit to ensure it can hold you and your gear.
Remember that different anglers may have other priorities based on how and where they fish. Before buying something, consider what features are most important to you.
What other items will you need with your kayak?
When you buy a fishing kayak, you might need a few extra things to make your fishing more fun and safe. A few of these things are:
- Paddle. To move through the water, you will need a paddle.
- Personal Flotation Device (PFD). A PFD is a life jacket. When kayak fishing, it’s essential to wear a PFD because it will keep you afloat if you capsize.
- Rod holder. A rod holder lets you keep your fishing rod in a safe place while you paddle or reel in a fish.
- Fishfinder. A fish finder is a tool that helps you analyze the structure and identify fish. It can be used in both freshwater and saltwater.
- Tacklebox. A tackle box will keep your lures, baits, and other fishing gear organized and easy to find.
- Anchor. An anchor lets you keep your kayak in one place, which is helpful when fishing in areas with strong currents.
- Dry Bags. Dry bags will keep your personal belongings and electronics safe and dry if water splashes on them or if your boat capsizes.
- First aid kit. In an emergency, it’s always a good idea to have a first aid kit on hand.
- Sun protection. Sunscreen, sunglasses and a hat or visor can help keep you safe from the sun’s harmful rays.
- Communication Device. A phone or VHF radio can help you stay in touch with others and call for help if needed.
This list isn’t complete, and you might find other things useful depending on where you live, the weather, and your own tastes.
Which fishing kayak is right for you?
Your choice of fishing kayak will depend on your needs and preferences. Choose a kayak based on where you want to fish, such as lakes, rivers, or the ocean.
For fishing, you need a stable kayak from which you can move and cast. Choose a kayak that will last and is made well. Also, kayaks for fishing range from cheap to high-end, so think about your budget (and make sure you don’t cheap yourself!). Check the kayak’s weight and size to ensure it can hold you and your stuff, and choose an easy-to-store kayak.
Before buying a kayak, it’s also a good idea to try out a few different ones to see which ones feel the most comfortable and stable. You can also get advice from experienced anglers or read reviews online to find out the pros and cons of each model.
Let’s wrap it up.
Choosing the right fishing kayak might be challenging, but this list of the best fishing kayaks and buyer’s guide for 2023 makes it easy to find one. This list includes the best fishing kayaks for both novice and experienced paddlers. I’ve also included a list of things to consider when choosing a kayak. Your fishing trip will be more fun if you have the right kayak.
Don’t let your kayaking dreams fade away—get the right kayak! With the right kayak, you can fish on the open water and make memories that will last your whole life. I hope this guide will help you decide which kayak is best for you.
And don’t forget! Once you pick the right kayak for you, if you’re on a budget, you can safely store them in your garage.
Good luck fishing!
Which type of kayak is best for fishing?
Personal choice and fishing type determine the ideal kayak for fishing. Sit-on-top kayaks are the best choice if you want a substantial casting area with plenty of storage and the ability to add more. Sit-on-top kayaks are perfect for freshwater and saltwater fishing since they are stable enough to stand and cast.
What is the best, most stable fishing kayak?
Sit-on-top fishing kayaks are the most trustworthy. It gives you the most stability when casting and enough room to add extras and store gear. They may also be used in saltwater and freshwater, making it more straightforward for beginners to stand up and cast like a pro!
What is the best kayak for saltwater?
Your budget, abilities, and intended use usually determine the best saltwater kayak. Shorter, thinner kayaks are faster but less stable. Hence, touring kayaks, which can manage rough waves, are perfect for saltwater. Look for a model made of fiberglass or rotomolded plastic, which will hold up better in bad weather than inflated ones.
What type of kayak is best for rivers?
Whitewater kayaks, which are shorter and broader than touring kayaks, are more maneuverable. Consider the kayak’s weight capacity, material, seating, and extras. And don’t forget to factor in your kayaking experience before buying. Choosing one that fits your skill level and keeps you stable on the water is essential.
How much should you spend on a fishing kayak?
Fishing kayak prices depend on your budget and type. Usually, fishing kayaks cost $300–$2,000. Higher-cost versions have more storage, a sturdy casting platform, or faster performance. Casual fishermen may use cheaper versions without these features.