Kayak fishing has become a very popular form of fishing in recent times, thanks in part to its environmentally friendly, low cost and healthy benefits. Evidence of the earliest fishing kayak exists approximately 4000 years ago, so this mode of transport is certainly nothing new.

Using kayaks for sports fishing is now popular in both salt and fresh water. These are excellent choices for fishermen, as they are easy and cheap to maintain and can be stored in relatively small spaces. You can even buy specific wheels and trailers to transport your kayak easily.

They tend to have a good amount of storage space in the hull, so that you can store your rods, paddles, other fishing gear and anchor, etc. You can even use a kayak for fly-fishing, with a specifically designed version having upright braces to allow to stand up safely.

The most popular types of fishing kayaks

These kayaks have a seat mounted above the hull, so you are sat on top of the kayak instead of inside it. You don’t wear a kayak skirt and they are better suited for the less experienced paddler. If you are not proficient in rolling a kayak safely, these will work well for you.

These kayaks have specially designed decks, with different compartments for easy equipment storage. The hull is usually solid in design, with small holes or channels for allowing water to drain from the top.

Be sure to consider the material when choosing a sit-on-top kayak, as they vary from fiberglass to tough, molded plastic. The handling and speed will vary, so be sure to choose one that suits your needs and skills. The weight of the kayak will determine the ease of transportation and you should always consider safety.

As the name suggests, these kayaks are designed to allow two anglers to use it at the same time. You can get both sit-in and sit-on-top versions, depending on your preference, and they are usually heavier and more stable than standard fishing kayaks.

If you want to fish with a friend or a young child, these are absolutely ideal. They can also be used for a more experienced angler to teach those with less experience and skills, allowing the beginner to watch and learn at a close, safe distance. If fishing with a child, make sure the cockpit is not too deep for them.

This type of kayak isn’t without its cons, for their bulk can make them more difficult to transport and you will need to find one to match both of your needs. You should first consider where you will be paddling and how much your combined weight is. If you have vastly different skill levels, it can be tricky to match them up in one vessel. However, it can be done. They can be more difficult to maneuver, as they tend to be longer than a solo kayak, and you will require a rudder to make it easier for you both to control it.

5 of the best fishing kayaks

Best Fishing Kayaks

  Adjustable Foot BracesPadded Seat BackTotal Weight CapacityPassenger SeatsKayak LengthKayak Weight 
Sun DolphinYY250 lbs1120''50 lbs
Lifetime MuskieYY275 lbs1120''52 lbs
Old Town VaporYY325 lbs1122''49 lbs
Lifetime SportYN500 lbs3120''65 lbs
Lifetime TamarackYYUnspecified1120''52 lbs


Sun Dolphin Journey 10ft Sit-on-Top

Pros: This lovely looking sit-on-top kayak is made from lightweight Polyethylene and features a large, comfortable seating area. It has an open cockpit for easy access and will suit even the least experienced kayaker, for you will be able to get out easily if you roll.

There are two flush mount rod holders, along with one swivel rod holder. Therefore, these will allow you to use multiple rods and have a higher chance of catching some fish. It is an incredibly stable kayak with adjustable foot braces.

The back of the seat is padded for extra comfort. As a result it will allow you a pleasant and long fishing session. There is also a very good storage compartment which can hold coolers or other gear and shock cord deck rigging included.

Cons: You may need to remove the foot braces if you are over 6ft and it is advisable to use scupper hole plugs to prevent them from filling up with water.

Lifetime Muskie Angler Sit-on-Top

Pros: Another sit-on-top design, this popular kayak is constructed with UV-protected, high-density Polyethylene. It also features multiple footrest positions for anglers of different heights and has an incredibly stable flat bottom.

The seat back and pad are both padded and adjustable, making this a comfortable option. It features two flush mounted fishing rod holders and a top mount holder also. There are two storage compartments, in the rear and center, and there are two paddle cradles with shock cords.

The front and rear handles provide easy transportation and it really has been designed with safety and stability in mind.

Cons: It is not completely leak proof, so you may want to apply some silicone adhesive to seal the edges of the boat before use.


Old Town Canoes & Kayaks Vapor 10 Angler


Pros: This really is a beautifully designed kayak and it will prove popular with anyone who truly loves the outdoors. It features a stable and efficient Polyethylene hull, with a very spacious, open cockpit for ease of access.

It features an adjustable padded Comfort Flex seat, with thigh pads and adjustable foot braces. There is even a molded-in cockpit tray, cup holder and molded-in paddle park. As a result, you’ll be kayaking in relaxation in this beautiful model. The guys at Old Town really have thought of everything!

There are also the additional features of carry handles, storage and a drain plug.

Cons: This is not the fastest model in the market and the drain plug is not conveniently placed.

Lifetime 10 Foot Sport Fisher Tandem

Pros: This fantastic tandem kayak can actually seat up to three people and has a maximum weight capacity of 500lbs.  Therefore this is a great choice for the more sociable anglers among you. It has been blow-molded from high density Polyethylene and is so strong and durable, it is backed by a 5-year limited manufacturer warranty.

The hull design offers excellent stability and great tracking too. The multiple footrest positions come as standard and you can mount up to 3 fishing rods at once. The anglers sit one behind the other and it is extremely lightweight and easy to transport for a tandem kayak.

Cons: This is wide and relatively short, so it is not the fastest kayak. You may experience trouble with tracking in side currents or high winds.

Lifetime Tamarack Sit-on-Top

Pros: Another great choice from Lifetime, this kayak is constructed from UV-protected high-density Polyethylene and has a very stable flat bottom. It features a deep hull and a large, open cockpit for ease of access.

There are multiple footrest positions, adjustable padded seat back and pad and front and rear shock cord straps. There are two flush mounted fishing rod holders and one top mount holder. The front and rear handles make this lightweight kayak very easy to carry and it comes with a 5-year warranty.

This kayak is designed to be safe, stable and impact resistant, making it ideal for kayakers of all abilities.

Cons: The seat back is a little flimsy and it can take a long time to drain when water gets in.


Whichever style and make of fishing kayak you choose, you will love gliding out across the water with the thrilling anticipation of what you may catch that day. Be sure to look after your fishing kayak well and it will in turn look after you.


featured image from flickr – Eric Atkins