Kayaking is a favorite pastime of water lovers all around the world. From paddling along oceanic shores to battle white rapids in a wild-river rafting experience, kayaks are an incredibly enjoyable piece of equipment. Fishing kayaks, in particular, bring the angling experience to a whole new level. Feel closer to the fishing-action than ever before with the best fishing kayak. Also, for those interested in the best kayak trailers and waterproof backpacks, make sure to check out our latest articles.
We’ve reviewed over twenty fishing kayaks in order to find, research, and recommend only the best fishing kayaks for you. We considered such factors as the intended environment for using the kayak in, how hard it is to transport, how comfortable and efficient it is to use for fishing, as well as how it works in the water.
When it comes to spending time on the water, be it rivers, ponds, or lakes, the Tamarack Angler 100 is our pick for the best fishing kayak for several reasons. Firstly, the kayak is constructed with high-quality and rugged materials, includes storage and rod mounts, cushioned seats with backrests and more. Secondly, the kayak is built to function as safely and smoothly as possible. With its built-in safety rails and shock cords for strapping down any loose gear, the chances of accidents are greatly reduced. Lastly, the Tamarack Angler 100 comes with a five-year warranty (the warranty says it all). That is one fine fishing kayak!
In This Article
The 5 Top-Rated Fishing Kayaks
|Best Overall||Tamarack Angler 100 Fishing Kayak||4.2|
|Runner Up||Sevylor Quikpak K1 1-Person Kayak||3.8|
|Best Budget Buy||Intex Explorer K2 Kayak||4.3|
|Best Sit-on-Top Fishing Kayak||Vibe Kayaks Sea ghost 110 Sit-on-top Fishing Kayak||4.6|
|Best 2-Person Fishing Kayak||Outdoor Face Mask Skiing Neck Gaiter||3.6|
*Ratings are from Amazon at the time of publication and can change
Our Top Pick: Tamarack Angler 100 Fishing Kayak
The top pick on our list of the best fishing kayaks is an excellent selection for anglers of all skill levels, the Tamarack Angler 100. Consisting of durable high-density polyethylene (HDPE), the kayak has a deep hull for comfort and storage, a flat bottom, safety rails, and long-lasting durability. It also comes with a whopping five-year warranty which says a lot about its quality.
The Tamarack Angler has multiple built-in footrests so that anglers of all ages can enjoy. Furthermore, the kayak is extremely comfortable with adjustable padded seats and backrests. The from and rear are equipped with shock cord straps as well, so carrying it couldn’t be any easier.
As far as fishing goes, its never been easier by kayak. The craft comes with two perfectly flush mounted rod holders. In addition, the kayak is equipped with a single top mount rod holder as well. Even more, the craft comes with two six-inch compartments for storage. One in the rear and one in the center.
Tamarack Angler 100 Fishing Kayak Key Features:
- HDPE construction
- A total of three rod holders
- Comfortable cushioned seats and backrests
- Two storage compartments
- Shock cord straps for easy transporting
- Safety rails
- Five-year warranty
Our Runner Up Pick: Sevylor Quikpak K1 1-Person Kayak
The Sevylor Quikpak K1 is our runner up pick for many reasons. The craft takes less than five minutes to set up or break down, you can backpack it in and out of remote areas, and it has a high-end 21-gauge PVC construction. In other words, the kayak is perfect for those who love to explore waterways in the rugged backcountry as much as it is for those who enjoy fishing the still waters of calmer lakes and streams.
The bottom of the kayak consists of Tarpaulin, that way it’s highly durable and practically puncture proof. You never have to worry about a hard hit on the rocks sending you under when your fishing from the Sevylor Quikpak K1. Furthermore, the kayak is constructed with the Airtight System which guarantees that the craft won’t leak. Also, you’ll stay afloat due to multiple air chambers even if one chamber is somehow damaged and punctured.
Last but not least, the Quikpak is equipped with comfy built-in seating and multiple footrests. The craft also comes with a secure storage location for all of your favorite fishing gear. You can also attach additional equipment to the kayak via bungees. All in all, the Sevylor Quikpak K1 is an excellent fishing kayak for a lone angler.
Sevylor Quikpak K1 1-Person Kayak Key Features:
- Constructed from durable 21-gauge PVC
- Made for use in lakes and ponds
- Highly durable Tarpaulin bottom
- No-leak-guarantee thanks to the Airtight System
- Backrests support better comfort
- Multiple footrests
- Double lock valves
Best Budget Pick: Intex Explorer K2 Kayak
The Intex Explorer K2 Kayak is another great pick for a fishing kayak, especially where budget is concerned. This inflatable kayak is highly comfortable with its cockpit design including removable seats and backrests. It’s genuinely as durable and spacious as a two-person fishing kayak can be. It also comes with a removable skeg for superior directional stability in the water.
The kayak itself weighs 400 pounds, much more than you suspect from an inflatable craft. The truth is, the Intex Explorer is not your typical inflatable. This thing is built tough, for anglers, with lakes, rivers, and smaller bodies of water in mind. Anywhere you would go in a solid body kayak, the Intex Explorer is more than suitable for paddling to as well.
The Intex Explorer also takes safety to another level. Not only is the boat equipped for superior directional stability, helping you avoid collisions, but it’s also painted bright yellow for high visibility so that others can easily spot you. The combination of safety features makes you safer than ever while fishing along busy rivers, channels, lake banks, and other waterways.
Intex Explorer K2 Kayak Key Features:
- Made from high-quality materials
- Fits two people comfortably
- Safety features such as built-in rails and bright yellow color
- Works well in lakes, ponds, rivers and more
- Superior directional stability
- Budget-friendly fishing kayak
Best Sit-on-Top Fishing Kayak: Vibe Kayaks Sea Ghost 110 Sit-on-top Fishing Kayak
Vibe Kayaks’ Sea Ghost 110 is by far the best sit-on-top fishing kayak that we came across in all of our researching. Lightweight, easy to transport to, from, and into the water, this 11 feet long fishing kayak is an excellent selection. Speed, stability, and maneuverability are just the tip of the iceberg as to what the Sea Ghost offers anglers. Enjoy optimal control of your kayak with the toe controlled rubber system built into the Sea Ghost and save yourself effort on paddling long distances.
The Sea Ghost sits one person. The craft itself weighing only 62 pounds has fantastic handling for a single fisherman. The kayak is equipped with 2 flush mount rod holders and an additional set of 4 integrated gear tracks. The Sea Ghost is a great choice for those who enjoy customizing their fishing rig as it leaves you plenty of room to do so.
Even more impressive, the kayak comes with multiple storage options including front, rear, and center storage compartments as well as a large storage area for strapping more gear on in the rear. The seats in the Sea Ghost as another of the best features. They’re not only comfortable but have a dual position function and back support as well.
Vibe Kayaks Sea ghost 110 Sit-on-top Fishing Kayak Key Features:
- 11 feet long and lightweight
- Toe controlled rubber system for energy-saving during long journeys
- Large middle console and extra storage in the front and rear
- Dual position seats with superior support
- Two flush mount rod holders and 4 gear tracks for customizing
- Excellent speed and stability in the water
Best 2-Person Fishing Kayak: Sevylor Coleman Colorado 2-Person Fishing Kayak
Another excellent craft from Sevylor, this time our pick for the best 2-person fishing kayak, is the Sevylor Coleman Colorado 2-Person Fishing Kayak. Constructed from rugged and durable NMMA certified 18-gauge PVC material, with a 1000D Tarpaulin bottom and high-quality nylon cover, this 2-person fishing kayak is as puncture resistant and long-lasting as they come.
The Sevylor Coleman Colorado 2-Person Fishing Kayak is also constructed with multiple air chambers that will keep you from going under if for whatever reason your craft gets punctured. Furthermore, the Airtight System promises that your kayak will not leak. It doesn’t get much better than that ladies and gentlemen, let me tell ya!
In regards to the angling angle of the kayak (pun intended!), the craft is equipped with adjustable Berkley quick set rod holders. Paddle holders are also built in, that way you can enjoy the most hands-free fishing as possible. In addition, the kayak is fitted with trolling motor mount in case you decide you’d like to add some gitty-yup to your fishing kayak in the future.
Sevylor Coleman Colorado 2-Person Fishing Kayak Key Features:
- High-grade NMMA certified 18-gauge PVC material for use in just about any water
- Tarpaulin and nylon bottom for puncture resistance
- Rold holders for better hands-free angling
- Paddle holders
- Double threaded valve for easier inflation
- Mesh pockets and plenty of storage room
- Airtight System and multiple air chambers keep you afloat in nearly any situation
Who Should Buy a Fishing Kayak
Fishing Kayaks offer benefits to more than mere anglers. While fishing kayaks are no doubt an excellent aid to those interested in fishing from the water, they are also great for regular kayakers who’re looking for something with a bit more comfort and storage room than a standard kayak or sea kayak.
The bottom line is fishing Kayaks are amazingly beneficial for anglers, especially who’re fishing along rivers and lakes. They are loaded with storage for bait and fishing gear as well as come with comfortable seats. Fishing kayaks are far more versatile than slow and bulky johnboats and other paddle powered boats for fishing.
That said, fishing kayaks are diverse enough to offer a great experience to those wanting to explore the waterways via a kayak with a bit more versatility than standard models. Not only are fishing kayaks comfortable compared to typical kayaks, but they also tend to be easier to maneuver as well.
Important Features to Consider
A fishing kayak should do several things well. Here’s what to consider when selecting a fishing kayak for your fishing trips:
- Size. The size of the fishing kayak is one of the most essential features to consider pre-purchase. The correct size for you varies depending on whether you plan on going alone or need space for another angler or two.
- Seating. The seating is another serious factor to think about before buying up the first cool kayak you see. Make sure the seating is comfortable if you plan on spending much time sitting while fishing. Also, make sure the kayak has room for the full amount of anglers you plan to have along for fishing expeditions.
- Storage. As an angler, there never seems to be enough room for gear, bait, and poles, let alone for the snacks! The best fishing kayaks eliminate that issue, providing ample room for your tackle boxes, poles, and more.
Paddles. Kayaks are powered by paddles (which are powered by you!). That said, they should be high-quality, durable, and most of all, comfortable to use. The paddles may seem like a tiny factor, but that’s not the case. Excellent paddles are just as important for optimizing your fishing trips on the water as the rest of the kayak. However, in worst-case scenarios, such as losing your paddle(s) while fishing, or finding the perfect kayak but the paddles suck, you can easily buy replacement paddles that better fit your needs.
- Construction. One of the most crucial aspects to consider before selecting the best fishing kayaks is its construction. The materials used in the construction, the craftsmanship used in the construction process, and the durability are critical components of a high-quality kayak.
Warranty. The best products are always backed by their manufacturers. This is partly due to the producers knowing their product is genuinely high-
- Quality. When purchasing one of the best fishing kayaks on the market, be sure to take a look at what sort of warranty or guarantees it offers before making a final selection.
- Price. Last but not least, the cost of the best fishing kayaks is an unavoidable factor to consider. We all have our budgets and price-ranges (even for splurge purchases). That said, no matter what your budget allows, there is sure to be a suitable fishing kayak for you. Inexpensive kayaks start at approximately $100 and run well up into the hundreds of dollars for more expensive models.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a fishing kayak and how is it different from a regular kayak?
There are a few slight differences between fishing kayaks and regular kayaks. The first being that they are built with storage in mind as fishers need ample space for their gear and bait (as well as their catch!). Secondly, comfort is also a major consideration that goes into fishing kayaks as fishers require a level of comfort to fully enjoy angling on the water. Aside from those two most significant differences, other additional minor differences exist but vary from model to model.
What color kayak is best for fishing?
The best color kayak for fishing is best left up to your own preference. That said, expert anglers claim a couple of different theories. One, that camo colored kayaks are the best way to blend in. Another, that bright solid colors like orange and yellow are superior. The later colors standing out starkly on the water at low light times such as dusk and dawn. There is no real science proving either theory as correct. Use your better judgment when choosing a color.
Are sit-on-top kayaks better for fishing?
As with what is the best color kayak for fishing, whether or not sit-on-top kayaks are better for fishing or not is completely up to your own opinion. Many fishers feel that they have more arm and legroom as well as superior casting range when sitting on top. Others prefer feeling snug and secure sitting lower on the inside of the kayak, especially in case of a roll. So, again, there is no genuine right or wrong answer to this question. Try both and decide for yourself.
What size kayak paddle should I buy?
Depending on your height, weight, and arm length, the right paddle size varies widely. That said, a wide variety of kayak paddles exist. Furthermore, they are rather affordable. So, try a few different types of paddles and find which one best suits your needs. Be sure to check if you’re purchasing paddles for sea or standard kayaks as well.
Other Fishing Kayaks We Reviewed
We looked at 20 other fishing kayaks. Even though they didn’t make our top 5 best fishing kayaks, they’re the best of the rest and each is still a great option for your fishing needs. The information you’ll need to compare each one is included with the listing below.
- Sit-in Fishing Kayaks
- Inflatable Fishing Kayaks
- Affordable Fishing Kayaks
- Alternatives for Fishing Kayaks
Sit-in Fishing Kayaks
Elkton Outdoors Tandem Fishing Kayak is durable, safe and comfortable to use. This kayak has extra-large cargo space, so everything you need for your trip will fit with ease.
- Ultra roto-mold body for more durability, 650-pound max weight, for use in the lakes, rivers, even oceans
- Two carry handles (fits in the bed of a truck or trailer)
- Lots of storage space: airtight compartment, two storage areas (one on each side of a boat)
- Package includes: two paddles, two seats, rod holders and bungee cords
The Driftsun Teton 120 Hard Shell Recreational Tandem Kayak is built for fishing or just cruising around with a friend or a family member. In this kayak you can fit in all fishing accessories (and other), the taste of your favorite coffee or soda is going right with you!
- Made out of single piece UV resistant polyethylene, rough, strong and durable, up to 500 pounds max weight, designed for two paddlers and center seat for a child or smaller adult (solo paddling)
- Four fixed carry handles, two secure paddle park holders, molded center cockpit seat
- Four rod holders, two mounting points for Scotty accessories, rear tank-well storage with bungee, dual watertight storage hatches with cup holder (built-in) and inserts
- Set: two adjustable padded seats, two aluminum paddles with ergonomic grips, eight scupper plugs
Brooklyn Kayak Company Tandem Fishing Kayak is made for beginners as much professionals. Without any doubt, this safe and comfortable kayak will provide you awesome fishing and boating experience.
- For 3-person, up to 440 pounds max weight, 12-foot length, one person can control it without any issues
- 34-inch beam for safe boating even in the not so calm waters stays stable
- Lots of storage space, kayak fishing gear for three paddlers, multiple fishing rod mounts, package includes two 86-inch aluminum paddles and pair of two comfortable seats
- 5-Year Warranty
SUNDOLPHIN Fishing 10 Feet Kayak is easy to maneuver around the river while fishing or boating. Don’t forget to take your favorite kayak when going on trips or vacations.
- Constructed with rugged UV resistant materials, has a 280-pound weight limit
- Lightweight, easy to carry, mainly for lakes and rivers
- Two individual rod holders, open cockpit, adjustable seat with large seating area, adjustable foot braces, Portable Accessory Carrier, tracks and pedals designed for max stability
Inflatable Fishing Kayaks
The Ztotop 2-Person Inflatable Kayak Set is made to fit in your car with the practical size of a suitcase. Easy to paddle, safe and amazing for cruising around your favorite lake or a nearby river.
- Made out of heavy duty vinyl material resistant to punctures in most weather conditions, with a maximum weight of 400 pounds
- Boston valves help to inflate/deflate quickly, three separate air-chambers secure that if one is punctured the other stays inflatable
- Two comfortable adjustable seats with backrest and one of them has a large storage bag behind the seat
- Includes two paddles, high-output foot pump, repair kit along with instructions
Sevylor Big Basin 3- Person Inflatable Kayak might be the best choice for a couple of friends or a small family to cruise around a lake or a slow river. This kayak doesn’t require a large storage area or a big car, put it in your trunk and you are ready to go!
- PVC construction rugged for lake use, tarpaulin bottom (protects the boat from punctures), multiple air-chambers, and Airtight system
- Adjustable seats, spray covers
- Fits up to three people and nearly 500 pounds of weight
- Durable, easy to transport, lightweight
- Constructed of rugged and durable vinyl and a sporty design
- 220-pound weight limit and built for a single fisher and equipment
- Comes with a single 86-inch aluminum oar, an air pump, and repair kit with carrying bag
- Comfortable and adjustable seats and roomy cargo space
Intex Challenger 2 – Person Inflatable Kayak is easy portable and inflatable, great for vacations and trips. Surprise your family member for a Birthday or some other occasion!
- Made out of tough materials resistant to punctures and harmful UV rays, bright design is easy to spot, and two separate air-chambers
- 400-pound weight limit, fit for two adult anglers
- Comes with two 86-inch aluminum oars, air pump, repair kit and carry bag
- Adjustable and comfortable seats make it easy to control on the water
Sevylor Tahiti Hunting and Fishing Inflatable Kayak will take you on an adventure with your kid or a friend. Paddle around your favorite lake and enjoy the sun, fish or hunt, doesn’t matter we guarantee you a great time!
- PVC rugged for lake use, multiple air chambers (if one is damaged others stay inflated), Airtight system, double lock valves for easy inflation/deflation, made for two people, and a weight limit of 360 pounds
- Spray covers help you keep dry, carry handles for carrying it in and out of the water without a problem, adjustable seat, backrest for comfort
- Includes a carry bag, air pump, and two paddles
- 90-Day Limited Warranty
Affordable Fishing Kayaks
Intex Excursion ProInflatable Fishing Kayak is made for fishing and boating and it will give you amazing, relaxing free time. Fish with a friend or a kid or even significant other.
- Lightweight and resistant from sunlight and abrasion, made out of laminate PVC with polyester core, and max weight of 400 pounds
- Very stable because of high-pressure inflation, easy to inflate/deflate
- A mounting bracket is removable and adjustable, all accessories can fit in, such as GPS or fishing equipment, stainless steel D-rings
- Comes with two removable skews for shallow and deep water, two floor-mounted footrests, two adjustable bucket seats, two integrated fishing rod holders
Intex Challenger Single Inflatable Aluminum Kayak is just waiting for you to go on vacation! Boating on the river or a lake has never been so excited and comfortable.
- 220-pound weight limit
- Made out of durable material with eye-catching graphics for extra safety, inflatable I-beam floor, stable and comfortable, rugged vinyl construction
- Grab line on both ends, inflatable back seat, cargo nets
- Set includes 84-inch aluminum oar, manual hand pump, and repair patch
Sea Eagle Inflatable Sport Kayak Package will completely change your vision of holidays on the beach or a lake. Chill, while boating and getting a suntan with your loved one, friend or a kid.
- Up to three people, perfect for two, max weight 650 pounds
- Includes sport kayak, two paddles, two inflatable and removable seats, foot air pump and carry bag with a shoulder strap
- Easy to inflate and carry, sun and saltwater resistant material made, grab line, and NMMA Certificate
- For more speed and better tracking, it consists of two skegs on the bottom
Sevylor Tahiti Classic 2-Person Kayak is quality made, safe from leaking and made to help you spend some nice time fishing on your favorite lake. Comfortable seats on this kayak will make your experience even better.
- Built for two anglers up to 360 pounds combined
- 21-gauge PVC construction, rugged for lake use, multiple air chambers system helps in case one chamber is punctured
- Comfortable backrest, spray covers, carry handles for easier transport in and out of the water, carry bag
- 90-Days Limited Warranty
Sevylor Fiji Tandem Kayak will make your time on the favorite lake more relaxing and enjoyable that you could ever imagine. For fishing during your free time or vacation, alone or with someone.
- Rugged PVC construction for lake use, multiple air chambers (helps if one is punctured), and easy to inflate
- Spray covers block for keeping safe from getting wet, one or two people (removable middle seat)
- Up to 400 pounds max weight, comes with carrying bag and paddle
- 90-Days Limited Warranty
Alternatives for Fishing Kayaks
Elkton Outdoors Cormorant Tandem Inflatable Fishing Kayak is easily transportable, fishing kayak, especially as an alternative to regular ones. So, put it in your car, inflate it and relax on the water with a friend or fishing buddy.
- Inflates quickly and fits two anglers comfortably
- Made out of high-quality, durable 18-Gauge rip resistant 1000D PVC, three adjustable and removable air chambers for easy repair
- Compact, lightweight and reliable fishing kayak is a great alternative to a regular kayak
- Set of two adjustable seats, two vertical and four trolling rod holders, double-sided oars, air pump, and a carry bag
Intex Explorer 300, 3-Person Inflatable Boat Set might be your perfect choice if you are planning to start with boating. Have fun with friends and family, cruising around the lake.
- Fits up to three persons, and weighs slightly over 400 pounds
- Comes with two four-foot French oars
- Oarlocks, grab rope, and manual pump
- For beginners in boating
Intex 4-Person Inflatable Boat Set is big enough for a couple of people to relax and cruise around. If fishing, boating, and exploring backcountry are still not your thing, after trying this boat, you will change your mind permanently.
- Fits four people, up to 1100 pound max weight
- Rugged vinyl construction, inflatable I-Beam floor, and seat cushions, fishing pouch, all-around grab line, handle on bow, gear pouch, two fishing rod holders
- Motor mount fittings attached, three separate air chambers plus a safety auxiliary chamber, easy inflation
- Comes with a carry bag
Classic Accessories Inflatable Pontoon Boat With Motor Mount will provide you safe and comfortable river drive. If you are planning a vacation in the backcountry and want to have a real adventure this boat might be a great deal.
- 400-pound weight limit, dual-position motor, three bronze oar-locks, cleats, and pulley controls
- Seat and footrest are adjustable, padded fold-down plastic seat, and safety labeling
- 10 mesh pockets, 12 zippered pockets, and two bottle holders
- One-Year Warranty
Seahawk 4, 4-Person Inflatable Boat Set will make your summer vacation absolutely unforgettable. Go fishing or just floating with your family in this comfortable, safe boat.
- Quality made, heavy-duty, puncture-resistant PVC, durable, Max weight is 1050 pounds
- Extremely safe (three air Chambers with inner auxiliary chamber), inflatable cushions for comfortable sitting
- Grab handle and line all around the bow, welded oar holds and lockers, motor mount fittings, gear pouch
- Great for four adults to comfortably enjoy and relax
Classic Accessories Fishing Float tube is a comfortable and practical solution if you are planning to go fishing or hunting in nature. Easy to carry and doesn’t take much space.
- Quality and comfortable design with adjustable backrest, two cargo pockets, carry bag for easier transportation (adjustable straps)
- Can hold up to 350 pounds
- For tracking and seeing while fishing and hunting
- One-Year Warranty