Top 10 Fishing Kayaks For 2021 To Help You Catch Fish
If you enjoy fishing, you’ve probably seen fish soar just beyond your reach. While fishing on the McKenzie River in Oregon, I had this experience. The sun was setting and the fish were rising. So many fish. Despite my harshest casts, it was as if the fish knew where they could feed safely and without interruption. I would have liked to have had a quality kayak or SUP at this time.
Whether you are fishing in lakes, rivers or the ocean, a good fishing kayak will allow you to cover more water. This means catching more fish and reaching hard-to-reach places you can’t always cast from shore. If you’re not already an angler or just starting out, there are a ton of options for fishing from kayaks these days. Every major boat maker produces one, so we’ve put together a list of the best fishing kayaks for 2021 to meet every angler’s needs.
You’ll find sit-on-top kayaks, inflatable kayaks, and pedal kayaks, all varying in length, weight and customization and at varying prices. And if you’re new to paddling, check out our guide on how to paddle like a pro before you hit the water.
Best introductory fishing kayak: Perception Pescador Pro 12
The Pescador Pro 12 strikes a fine balance in the world of kayak fishing. Its 12-foot length offers both maneuverability and stability. Designed for lakes, ponds and flat waters, this sit-on-top kayak has plenty of deck space to store gear, multiple rod holders, and rails to mount all of your accessories.
Best premium fishing kayak: Hobie Mirage Pro Angler 12
Hobie kayaks are like the Harley-Davidsons of the kayaking world. They are fully customizable, equipped with revolutionary and high-end technology. One thing that sets this kayak apart is its MirageDrive 180 pedal. This pedal allows you to propel the boat forward and backward with your feet, freeing your hands to handle the line, tie a new fly or sip your drink. Hobie kayaks come with their H-Rail accessory systems, which allow you to mount all kinds of equipment without drilling into the boat.
Best fishing kayak for small waters: Bonafide SS 107
What makes the Bonafide SS 107 ideal for small waters is its size of 10 feet 7 inches. Shorter kayaks offer better maneuverability and allow you to navigate tight turns on small streams and rivers. Bonafide added some thoughtful touches that really set this fishing kayak apart. Their HiRise seat is comfortable and allows you to sit higher. A 34-inch width provides stability and storage space. YakAttack Gear Traks allow you to store all your gear out of the way and within easy reach.
Best Big Water Fishing Kayak: Riot Mako 14
The Riot Mako 14 is ready for your greatest adventures. Its 14 foot length provides a ton of stability on rough water and is stable enough for standing and walking. That means tons of visibility and to throw further. Its Impulse Pedal Drive allows hands-free operation while seated. And the fully adjustable, quick-dry seat will keep you comfortable all day.
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Best Inflatable Fishing Kayak: Aquaglide Blackfoot Angler 130
Inflatable kayaks are easier to store and transport. If you plan to fish in remote waters that require a hike, consider an inflatable kayak. The Blackfoot 130 can accommodate one or two anglers, has a capacity of 650 pounds and weighs just 41 pounds. With plenty of room to store your cooler, tackle boxes, and fishing rods, this kayak will keep you on the water all day.
Best fishing kayak for fly fishing: Jackson Mayfly
The Mayfly was designed to help fly fishermen and women make the most of their time on the water. Whether you are fishing on the flat or in a river, fly fishermen have more lines to deal with than roller casters. Jackson solved this problem by making everything on this boat as easy as possible. They also added fly fishing specific design cues like built-in fly patches and unique fly box storage.
Most Customizable Fishing Kayak: Nucanoe Frontier 12
It could be a hotly contested category. I’m sure some Hobie anglers would say their Hobie is the most customizable. And honestly, all of these kayaks offer the tracks and deck straps you’ll need to grow your fishing kayak. But the Frontier 12 stands out for several reasons. It can be powered by a paddle, pedal or motor attached to the back (sold separately). This sit-on-top has an open deck to hold your crate and cooler, or to use as a platform. The Frontier 12 is stable enough to stand upright, which means you’ll have 12 feet of space to fight this fish. 172 inches of Freedom Track is enough room to mount all the gear you might need for the day.
Lightest Fishing Kayak: Star Challenger Inflatable Fishing Kayak
The Star Challenger weighs only 27 pounds. Which means it’s perfect for your backpacking fishing destinations. It also packs up small if storage is an issue. That said, the sides of the 10ft 8in and 9in Challengers tube provide plenty of stability for your fishing adventure. The YakAttack SwitchPad supports allow you to customize this kayak as you wish.
Best three-motor fishing kayak: Wilderness Systems Radar 115
The Radar 115 is the ultimate multi-feed fishing machine. In addition to paddling, this kayak offers pedal training and is compatible with several models of Helix pedals. It also has a rear mounting plate for your trolling motor. Rugged enough to stand upright, the Radar 115 has no shortage of dry storage, mounting rails, and bungee storage.
Best indoor sit-down fishing kayak: Pelican Argo 100X Angler
Pelican has built their Argo 100X with all the features a kayak fisherman needs. This fishing kayak has several rod holders, including one on a swivel for trolling. A front storage hatch will keep your gear dry, while the rear elastic reservoir securely keeps the items you often need close at hand. A cockpit table is ideal for holding your bottle or giving you space to work while you rearrange your setup.