Fishing is a wonderful outdoor activity to connect with nature, bond with friends and family, and maybe even catch some dinner while you are at it. If you are a fellow angler, you will understand the appeal of this relaxing, fulfilling sport. The peace and quiet you find on the water early in the mornings is beautiful, and there is nothing quite like the excitement as you reel in your catch. Whether you are the type to catch and release, or prefer to reel ‘em in and eat ‘em, fishing has plenty of fun and fulfilment to offer.
One way to make your fishing experience even better is to combine it with another amazing water sport: kayaking. For those of you who want to take your fishing game to the level, try stepping off dry land and get out on the water on a fishing kayak. Not only does getting out on the water diversify your options as far as where to fish, and what fish you can catch, but it gives you a chance to connect with and enjoy the water. Or maybe you have spent some time on motor and fishing boats and want to simplify your fishing experience; consider spending some time in a fishing kayak. There are many benefits a fishing kayak offers over a larger motor boat. Firstly, it is less expensive. With a fishing kayak you do not need to worry about the cost of boat insurance, storage fees, and maintenance costs. Also, kayaks require less upkeep and care than large motor boats. With the time and money you can save, it may be worth the switch.
If the combined sport of fishing and kayaking appeals to you, then you may want to invest in your own fishing kayak. There are many things to consider picking out any kayak, let alone a fishing kayak. In addition to the features that aid in your kayaking experience, you must also consider what features you desire to make your fishing experience just as enjoyable. From kayak design, to comfort, to storage for fishing gear, there are many decisions to be made. This may seem like a daunting task and you may have no clue as to where to start. Do not worry, just keep on reading as we talk you through the different aspects you should consider while picking out a fishing kayak. Read through the end and we will provide you with our top picks of fishing kayaks.
When it comes to fishing kayaks, there are two main aspects that define the type of kayak it is: whether you sit on top or inside as you fish, and the material it is made of.
There are two types of fishing kayaks when it comes to how you sit; you can chose either a sit in or sit on top kayak for fishing.
Sit-inside fishing kayaks have you sitting inside a cockpit, where your legs are often covered.
Sit-on-top fishing kayaks have an open design, and as the name says, allow you to comfortably sit on top. There are benefits and drawbacks to both sit-on-top and sit-inside kayaks. Sit-on-top kayaks are easy to get in and out of, which is a beneficial feature if you want to get out of your kayak and wade in the water as you fish. However, you are most likely going to get wet in a sit-on-top kayak because of its open design. On a hot summer day, getting wet can be nice and refreshing. However, if you are fishing during the cooler seasons or on a chilly early morning, getting wet will make you cold and uncomfortable.
If you opt for a sit-inside kayak, you will get less wet, and have more protection from the wind, making it ideal for colder weather fishing trips. Though sit-inside kayaks are harder to get out of, they are generally more stable than sit-on-top kayaks. This is because your center of gravity is lower and closer to the water, making the kayak less wobbly. Hence, sit-inside kayaks are better for moving water. Keep these benefits and downsides in mind, considering which design is best for your fishing style.
There are two main types of fishing kayaks when it comes to material: hard shell kayak (which is made of either hard plastic or fiberglass) and inflatable kayak (which is made of malleable plastic).
Hard shell kayaks come in a range of materials: from fiberglass, to hard plastic, to inflatable plastic. Fiberglass and hard plastic materials are more durable, and therefore will likely last longer than kayaks that are inflatable.
However, inflatable kayaks are less of a financial commitment, and come with a lot of the same fishing features. All these materials make for good fishing kayaks; it all depends on your preference.
Decide if you want your fishing kayak to double as a recreational kayak. If so, then make sure you look for a kayak that not only gives you the features needed to have an enjoyable fishing trip, but also one that will give you a fun day on the water. For example, make sure that no rod holders get in the way of paddling, for believe it or not, this issue does present itself in some fishing kayaks. Make sure the kayak has a design that aids in maneuverability and stability, both of which are important on recreational kayaking journeys.
The shape, size, and design of the kayak are all aspects that dictate the performance of the kayak. Differently shaped and sized kayaks perform differently in different waters. For example, a longer, thinner kayak have better speed and therefore will do better over longer distances, but they will be harder to maneuver. Smaller, wider kayaks will have better tracking and maneuverability, as well as better stability. Such features of a smaller kayak are beneficial while fishing, for they allow you to get in the tighter, more secluded fishing spots. They are also more stable as you move around the boat, and in some cases even allow you to stand up. So the choice comes down to whether speed or stability are more important.
Another aspect to keep in mind is the curve of the kayak. Some kayaks have a rocker shape, meaning they have a bow and/or stern that is upturned. Such kayaks are easier to turn and perform well in choppy waters, such as rivers and ocean, because their shape takes to waves better.
If you want your kayak experience to be as efficient and hassle-free as possible, then you will want to find a fishing kayak with features that focus on convenience, such as carrying handles. Inflatable fishing kayaks are a great option when it comes to convenience; because they collapse into a compact package, transporting and storing them is easy and efficient. They are also easier to carry in and out of the water.
Comfortability is key for any relaxing day on the water, especially when fishing. You will probably be out on the water fishing for hours at a time. Spending so much time in one kayak, you better make sure it is comfortable so that you can have the most enjoyable experience possible. Look for comfortable seats with backrests and foam cushioning. Some seats even adjust to give you the best posture for your body. Comfort for your legs is important, too, so make sure there is enough legroom. Many kayaks also have adjustable or multi-level foot braces and supports, to ensure maximum comfort for any leg length.
Transportation can often be the most challenging, and bothersome, part of kayaking. Unless you have an inflatable fishing kayak that deflates and folds into a nice, compact package that is easy to store and transport, you will need to put some thought into how you choose to transport and store your fishing kayak.
First of all you must have enough space at home to store your fishing kayak. Secondly, you must have a car that is sturdy enough to carry and support a hard plastic or fiberglass fishing kayak. If you have a large truck, you may be able to carefully carry your kayak in the truck bed. If not, you will need to invest in roof racks that not only fit your car properly, but that are strong enough to hold the kayaks. Neither way is particularly bad, roof racks are require a bit more money and planning.
If you are planning to kayak on flat waters, or even oceans, and want additional maneuverability and advanced tracking, then you may want to invest in a kayak with a skeg. If you plan to fish in rivers, keep in mind that any hidden rocks can hurt and break the skeg when hit.
Even if you are an experienced fisherman, you need to make sure that the fishing kayak suits your kayak experience level. If you are new to kayak, you will want to invest in a kayak that is stable, easy to balance, and has good maneuverability. Such aspects will make it easy to paddle, allowing to you to focus your energy and concentration on fishing. If you already have some kayaking experience, then you may be able to get away with a kayak that requires more skill to balance and maneuver.
Of course price is an important aspect to consider when purchasing any product. Kayaks come in vast array of prices. Often price comes down to three main characteristics: quality, material, and features. If you want a fishing kayak that will last you for years to come, you may need to invest more money and get a better quality kayak. Material also determines price; inflatable kayaks are, in general, less expensive than hard plastic or fiberglass kayaks. However, hard plastic and fiberglass kayaks are more durable. Finally, the more added features you want, the more you will have to spend. There are many additional, but necessary, features, such as rod holders and extra gear storage, that will cost you more money.
Now let us zero in on the aspects of fishing kayaks that focus on your fishing experience.
If you want to fish in solitude and enjoy the serenity of the water, you will want to look for a single person fishing kayak. If you want to have fun with a fishing partner, then find a fishing kayak that fits multiple people, such as a tandem kayak.
Storage for fishing equipment is one of, if not the most important aspects to consider when pick a fishing kayak. There are a variety of potential storage features for fishing gear.
Rod holders are a must in a fishing kayak; you want to make sure your rod is secure and safe as you paddle. Some rod holders are molded into the kayak, while others are mounted on. Some rotate or are adjustable.
Another handy storage feature is a paddle holder. A paddle holder ensures that when you stop paddling and start fishing, your paddle is secure. There is nothing worse than losing your paddle in the water and having to swim it back to shore.
Other storage options include open, molded-in wells, waterproof storage containers, mesh bags, D-rings, and bungee cords or straps. The amount of gear you have may be dictated by your experience with fishing, as well as how long you wish your fishing trips to be: you will likely have more supplies for longer trips. Make sure that the fishing kayak you get has enough storage options to fit all your fishing gear.
Is the color of your kayak important while fishing? It is debatable how much color fish can see, and in turn debatable the effect the color of your fishing kayak on attracting or scaring off fish. Regardless, fishing kayaks come in an array of colors, from bright to camouflage. If you are concerned that a brightly colored kayak will scare away fish, opt for a fishing kayak that blends into the water. If not, why not go bright and bold with your kayak color?
The type of fish you want to catch will dictate the types of water you fish in, and therefore the type of kayak you will want to buy. If you plan to fish in rivers, make sure the fishing kayak you choose has the maneuverability and stability to battle the river currents. If you want to catch saltwater fish, then opt for a fishing kayak that is designed to tackle the waves of the sea, such as a kayak with a rocker bow. If lakes and ponds appeal to you, look into a kayak that performs well on flat waters, such as an sit-on-top kayak, or a kayak with a skeg.
Decide how you want to propel your kayak forward. More often than not, it will likely be with a paddle. In such case, make sure to invest in a paddle that is not only good quality, but one that also fits your arm span well. If you want do some trolling in your kayak, invest in a kayak that has a trolling motor fitting.
Your level of fishing experience will dictate how many added fishing, specific features you will need on your fishing kayak. If you are a casual fisherman, maybe all you need is a rod and paddle holder. If you are passionate about the sport of fishing, you may want more advanced features, such as a trolling motor or additional storage for a tackle box and other gear.
Now that you have a better idea of what to consider when buying a fishing kayak, and what features are important to you, it is time to pick a specific kayak. As you have narrowed your search, it will be much easier; but if you are still stuck and in need of a place to start, keep reading to find out our favorite fishing kayak brands and kayaks.
The Sevylor Coleman Colorado 2-Person Fishing Kayak is the best inflatable kayak for fishing. This kayak has many features fishing-specific features that add convenience and efficiency to your fishing trips. It has multiple mounted rod holders that can be adjusted to get your desired rod angle as you fish. In addition to these rod holders, the Sevylor Coleman Colorado 2-Person Fishing Kayak also has D-rings and mesh pockets to store other fishing gear in.
It also has a paddle holder, to ensure that your paddle is secure as you focus of fishing. For those of you who want a motor, it has a trolling motor fishing. Though a motor is not included, Sevylor sells a separate trolling motor that fits perfectly; you can find it here. In addition to its hand fishing features, this lightweight fishing kayak can be deflated and collapsed into a compact bundle that is easy to carry, transport, and store. This takes away the need to invest in expensive car racks. Because of its inflatable nature, the Sevylor Coleman Colorado 2-Person Fishing Kayak is not as expensive as hard shell kayaks, making it one of the more affordable fishing kayaks on the market. To read a more in depth review of this fishing kayak, click here.
The Sun Dolphin Journey 10-Foot Sit-on-top Fishing Kayak is a great choice for those of you who are looking for a quality, single person, sit-on-top fishing kayak. Because of its open, sit-on-top design, it is very easy to move in and out of while on the water, allowing you to get out and wade as easily as you fish. Being only 44 pounds, it is a very lightweight fishing kayak, at least as far as hard shell kayaks go. This kayak has many features designed specifically for fishing, including three rod holders: two molded-in rod holders and one swivel, mounted rod holder. It also has a paddle holder to prevent you from losing your paddle in the water as your fish. As far as storage for extra fishing gear, this kayak has plenty of room to store all the equipment you will need for a day on the water. In addition to space for a tackle box and waterproof storage for smaller items, such as keys and small electronics, it also has shock cord deck rigging for additional equipment. The Sun Dolphin Journey 10-Foot Sit-on-top Fishing Kayak is a well constructed, quality fishing kayak that has the bells and whistles to satisfy any level of fisherman. For a more detailed review of this fishing kayak, click here.
The Old Town Canoes & Kayaks Vapor 10 Angler Fishing Kayak is the best sit in fishing kayak on the market. Made of a hard, durable polyethylene plastic, this single person kayak was designed with quality and durability in mind. It has a spacious cock pit and a paddle holder, ensuring your paddle remains stable as you fish. There are many fishing-specific features added to this kayak that gives that will give you a handy and efficient fishing experience. It has a storage well, two flush-mounted rod holders, a deck bungee cord, and an anchor on a convenient trolley system. Not only does it have all the needed features to make it fit for any level of fisherman, but it is comfortable, too. It has an adjustable seat, thigh pads, and adjustable foot braces. The Old Town Canoes & Kayaks Vapor 10 Angler Fishing Kayak gives you quality, storage, and comfort, making it a great investment for any fishermen to enjoy.
The Malibu Two Ocean Kayak is the best two person fishing kayak that doubles as a recreational kayak. This is the perfect kayak for those of you who want a kayak with the storage space for fishing equipment, but also the maneuverability and stability for recreational use on lakes and ponds. Because of its self-balancing cockpit, it is very sturdy on the water. As with most hard shell plastic kayaks, it is made of polyethylene, a durable, hard plastic. It is a sit-on-top kayak, allowing you to either stand up as you fish, or get out easily and wade in the water. This kayak performs best on flat waters, so it is perfect for those of you who want to fish on lakes and ponds. If you are looking for a tandem fishing kayak that can also be used for recreational paddling, this kayak is a great option to consider. If you want to learn more about the Malibu Two Ocean Kayak, then click here to read a more in depth review.
The Feelfree Moken 14 Fishing Kayak is the best kayak for fishing in ocean waters, both on inshore and offshore waters. This single person fishing kayak has the length to allow speed on the ocean waters, yet has the width to provide stability what paddling and fishing. Its sleek design is perfect for cutting through wavy, ocean waters. It is a comfortable fishing kayak with adjustable footrests and a comfortable seat and backrest. It also has plenty of storage for all your fishing gear, including two rod holders, a gear track system, and a waterproof storage compartment. The best feature is a standing platform, located in front of the seat, allowing you to stand up and fish while remaining stable. If you are a passionate angler ready to hit the ocean waters and catch some fish, then the Feelfree Moken 14 Fishing Kayak is the boat for you.
For those of you who are new to fishing, or kayaking, and are looking for an affordable kayak with some beginner-level fishing features, then the Lifetime Hydros Angler Kayak is for you. This single person, sit-on-top, hard shell kayak is one of the best beginner fishing kayaks on the market. Made of a durable, hard, polyethylene material, it is sure to last you for many fishing trips. It has all the necessary fishing features to satisfy a fishing newcomer, including two flush mounted fishing rod holder, and an adjustable mounted rod holder. It also has shock cord rigging for storage. Better yet, it is also a comfortable kayak with multiple footrest positions. It also has a multi-tunnel hull that provides great stability on flat waters. Along with its stability, this kayak is easy to maneuver and tracks well, making it a good option for beginner kayakers, too. If you want to explore new ways to get out on the water and fish, but do so on a budget, the Lifetime Hydros Angler Kayak is the boat for you.