The Best Fishing Kayaks to Get You on the Fish

Slip Into a New, Secret Fishing Hole with One of These Fishing Kayaks

   03.06.20

Anglers are always trying to reel in the best possible way to get on the fish. One of the techniques on the rise is fishing from a kayak. Fishing-specific kayaks are stable, silent and highly mobile. You can haul one in with ease and reach fishable waters previously unavailable to you. There is a wide range of fishing kayaks available these days, and there is one for every budget. We use them ourselves and here are some suggestions on the best fishing kayaks available.

1. Vibe Yellowfin 120 Kayak - Editor's Pick

The Vibe Yellowfin 120 Kayak may well be the best fishing kayak on the market. It boasts one of the most stable platforms on the market and matches that with speed and a smooth ride. This combines to give you a kayak that will paddle easily and get you to where you want to go extremely fast. The Yellowfin has a 400lb capacity and what may well be the most comfortable seat available on a fishing kayak. Vibe could have stopped there, but they also added extremely adaptable storage options, including slots of Plano 3600 tackle trays. It is rudder and transducer ready and even includes a matching paddle. If you want to be able to do a lot of stand-up fishing, this is the kayak for you.

Pros/Most stable fishing kayak. Well-thought out design.
Cons/Your buddies will want to borrow it all the time.
Bottom Line/One of the best available. Period.

2. Old Town Topwater 106 PDL Angler - Pedal-Powered Pick

Old Towne has been making kayaks and fishing kayaks for quite some time. They flipped the fishing kayak world upside down when they combined technology from Minn Kota, the trolling motor arm of the company, to develop a pedal-powered, prop-driven fishing kayak. The Topwater 106 PDL Angler is 10.6 feet long with a max load capacity of 450 pounds. It has a pontoon-style, double-U shaped hull for stability and an adjustable, mesh seat that is comfortable and doesn’t hold water. You steer via an easy-to-use rudder system. The kayak holds 3-4 rods easily and has a transducer mounting system unlike any other brand, making installing a Humminbird fishfinder easy.

Pros/With pedal power, you have your hands free to fish
Cons/A little on the pricey side
Bottom Line/Let's you worry about fishing and not paddling

3. Perception Pescador Pro 12

One of our editors has been using this fishing kayak for a couple of seasons now and really likes it. The Pescador Pro is a 12-foot sit-on-top kayak from Perception with a very comfortable lawn-chair style seat that is adjustable for height and tilt. It is extremely stable on the water and has plenty of storage for your fishing gear, coolers and more. Accessory rails allow for adding rod holders and fish finders. The Pescador Pro 12 has a 375lb max capacity. It tracks straight and true in the water, and does well when the chop picks up. The weight is 57lbs, so it can be portaged when needed. Carry handles help with that too.

Pros/Very Stable with a lot of cargo capacity.
Cons/The built-in rear keel can cause you to get pushed around in higher winds.
Bottom Line/A very stable fishing platform.

4. Sun Dolphin Journey 12

It can be a hard pill to swallow to spend big bucks for a fishing kayak. For the angler looking for the best fishing kayak to fit a modest budget, the Sun Dolphin Journey is a great buy. It is a 12-foot sit-on-top kayak with a max capacity of 395 pounds. It is a great, basic fishing kayak that comes with a lot of storage capability and three rod holders, two flush-mount and one swivel mount. It is UV protected for long life. At under $500, it is a great buy for any angler.

Pros/Lower cost and good features make this a great beginner fishing kayak
Cons/Not as stable as some other options
Bottom Line/More affordable 12-foot fishing kayak option

5. Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100 Fishing Kayak - 2 Pack

It’s a lot of fun to go fishing with a buddy, but kayak fishing can be a solitary thing unless you have a buddy with one, or you buy two. That can get pricey, unless you get the Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100 Fishing Kayak Pair. For what you’d expect to pay for one fishing kayak, you get two – with free shipping! These stable kayaks have storage capacity and padded, adjustable seating. They come with a moveable rod holder and additional rod carry capacity. These fishing kayaks also include the paddles, making this an even better deal. This is a great way to take your child, wife or buddy fishing with you. 

Pros/Good deal on a good kayak - GREAT deal on a pair!
Cons/Modest cargo capacity.
Bottom Line/Best option for the angler looking to buy more than one fishing kayak.

6. ONYX Kayak Fishing Life Jacket - A MUST Have!

If you’re going to kayak, you need a life jacket. Seriously – you NEED a lifejacket. No fish is worth the risk. For kayak fishing, we really like the ONYX Kayak Fishing Life Jacket. It has pockets and fold-out platforms making it easier to change lures, re-tie line and more. Plus, it is very comfortable, as it was designed for fishing from a kayak.

Pros/Made specifically for kayak fishing with specific pockets to make it easier
Cons/There are no cons to wearing a lifejacket
Bottom Line/Best fishing kayak life jacket!