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      Best Fishing Kayaks of 2022

      Updated on June 1, 2022

      The best fishing kayak gives you access to those otherwise hard-to-reach areas where fish know they can usually hide. While they might think they’re safe from your land-bound fishing brethren, you’ll be slowly gliding into position to drop a line into their “safe zone.” 

      Ideally your fishing kayak should be able to hold everything you need for multiple hours out on your favorite lake, river, or protected ocean bay. You’ll also be able to clean and store fish from the comfort of your kayak so that you can take your catch home and enjoy it later. In this article, we’re going to highlight ten of our favorite fishing kayaks so you can take your pick and get out to fish in no time!

      For more of our top kayak fishing gear recommendations, check out the Best Kayak Paddles for Fishing.


      Quick Answer The Best Fishing Kayaks

      Jackson Bite AnglerView at BackcountryAdvanced Elements StraitEdge Angler PROView at AmazonOld Town Topwater 106View at BackcountryPerception Pescador Pro 10.0View at AmazonAquaglide Blackfoot Angler 110 HBView at REIStar RivalView at AmazonHobie Mirage PassportView at REIRiot Escape 12View at Amazon


      Comparison Table Best Fishing Kayaks

      For the best experience turn your device horizontally

      Name Style Length Weight Price Rating Review
      Jackson Bite Angler Solid 11’6″ 74 pounds $$ 5.0 Read Review
      Advanced Elements StraitEdge Angler PRO Inflatable 10’6″ 45 pounds $$$$ 4.7 Read Review
      Old Town Topwater 106 Solid 10’6″ 73 pounds $$ 4.5 Read Review
      Perception Pescador Pro 10.0 Solid 10’6” 57 pounds $$ 4.6 Read Review
      Aquaglide Blackfoot Angler 110 HB Inflatable 10’6” 32 pounds $$ 4.1 Read Review
      Star Rival Inflatable 12’6″ 31 pounds $$ 4.6 Read Review
      Hobie Mirage Passport Solid 10’6″ 65 pounds $$$ 4.8 Read Review
      Riot Escape 12 Solid 12’ 66 pounds $ 3.9 Read Review
      Name Style Length Weight Price Rating Review

      Want to learn more about a technical term? Check out our Features Explained section below.

      Need buying advice? Take a look at these Things to Consider.

      Reviews The Best Kayaks for Fishing

      Jackson Bite Angler


      Length: 11’6″Weight: 74 poundsStyle: Solid


      Tackle storage along gunnels keeps your tackle boxes accessibleBite seat is padded and ergonomic for long days on the waterBow and Stern storage areas keep important items securely nearbyDual flush mounted rod holders keep your rods within reachLarge forward standing area offers stability for easy casting


      This is an open-concept low-profile vessel designed to keep you fishing comfortably out on the water from sun-up to sun-down.

      The Jackson Bite Angler features a large, stable forward standing space that makes casting a breeze. There are dual, flush-mounted rod holders to keep your rods within reach and storage areas in the bow and stern, as well as tackle storage located along gunnels. The seat is padded and comfortable enough for the longest days out on the water.

      What I like most about the Bite Angler is the open deck design that lacks consoles and hatches, keeping your area clear while your rod is in the water.

      View at Backcountry

      Advanced Elements StraitEdge Angler PRO


      Length: 10’6″Weight: 45 poundsStyle: Inflatable


      Drop-stitch floor2 accessory framesAirframe Pro seatDuffel bag with shoulder strapsRepair kit included


      When you need a fishing-specific kayak that’s easy to transport and is easily customizable with a variety of accessories, look no further than the inflatable StraitEdge Angler PRO.

      This kayak features a multi-layer drop-stitch floor that creates a hull with chine, making for improved tracking and adding superior rigidity to its space. Built-in aluminum ribs give definition to the bow and stern while the accessory frame system allows you to mount rods and other equipment as needed. The AirFrame PRO Seat is aluminum framed, high-backed, and features mesh paneling. A repair kit and duffel bag with shoulder straps are also included.

      What I like most about this kayak is the removable deep fin that provides for great tracking, especially for an inflatable boat.

      View at Amazon

      Old Town Topwater 106


      Length: 10’6″Weight: 73 poundsStyle: Solid


      DoubleU Hull Design for maximum stabilityElementAir seat has high and low position optionsEVA deck pad for standing comfortUniversal transducer makes mounting fish finder easyThree rod holders secure rods for paddling


      If you’re a serious angler who enjoys the benefits of paddling a small boat AND the features and stability of a larger boat, you may have met your perfect match.

      The Topwater 106 is a sit-on-top fishing-specific kayak designed for recreational days out on the water. The DoubleU hull design provides for superior stability while EVA foam deck pads make for a comfortable standing space. You can adjust the seat into high or low positions as needed to stay comfortably whether you’re padding or casting and three rod holders allow for plenty of versatility options. An added customization bonus is that the universal transducer mounting system makes it easy to mount fish finders of many varieties.

      What I like most about this kayak is how well it handles out on the water.

      View at Backcountry

      Perception Pescador Pro 10.0


      Length: 10’6”Weight: 57 poundsStyle: Solid


      Removable, Stadium-Style Seat Is Adjustable for ComfortAdjustable Footbrace System To Help Maintain Proper Paddling PositionAmple Storage Options For Fishing Tackle And GearTwo Molded-In Rod Holders


      Comfort is king when you’re riding in the Perception Pescador Pro 10.0. This ten-foot, six-inch kayak is easy to maneuver in smaller waterways and the adjustable seating and footbrace systems give you plenty of leniency to get comfortable and stay comfortable on the water. This kayak provides multiple storage compartments and bungee rigging so that you can store fishing tackle and gear safely. Dual molded-in rod holders give you a place to keep multiple fishing setups and utilize them hands-free while you steer your kayak.

      View at Amazon

      Aquaglide Blackfoot Angler 110 HB


      Length: 10’6”Weight: 32 poundsStyle: Inflatable


      Hard-Bottom Floor Creates Extra Structure For Improved PerformanceOpen Cockpit Design For Easy Entry And ExitBuilt-in Scupper Holes For Draining WaterFull-Length Hook-And-Loop Strips On Floor For Seat Adjustments


      Inflatable kayaks, in general, are much easier to store when you’re not using them. The Aquaglide Blackfoot Angler is a very light kayak that comes with features that help it to perform well in a variety of conditions. The hard-bottom floor creates a firm, sturdy platform that gives you a steady place to fish from, whether sitting or standing. The open cockpit makes it easy to get in and out of this kayak and the adjustable seating system makes it simple to find a comfortable position while also leaving space for your tackle, gear, cooler, and anything else that you want to bring along.

      View at REI

      Star Rival


      Length: 12’6″Weight: 31 poundsStyle: Inflatable


      Thick Deck For Stable Standing Or SittingAdvanced Construction For Superior Abrasion ResistanceRemovable Mesh Seat For A Comfortable RideMultiple attachment points for rods, fish finders, and other accessories


      The Star Rival boasts a six-inch thick deck that inflates to a maximum of 10 PSI. This provides a very stable platform for sitting or standing, depending on your preferred fishing position. It utilizes an advanced PVC material that’s more resistant to punctures and holes, even if handled roughly. The removable mesh seat has a hard aluminum frame and can be adjusted to a variety of positions for comfort. This kayak also offers five different attachment points for securing your preferred gear.

      View at Amazon

      Hobie Mirage Passport


      Length: 10’6″Weight: 65 poundsStyle: Solid


      Pedal System For Hands-Free PropulsionRoomy Cockpit To Accommodate Paddlers Of All SizesBreathable Seat Frame For ComfortFront And Rear Storage Areas With Bungee Rigging


      The Hobie Mirage Passport is the ideal kayak for hands-free fishing. The pedal system allows you to keep your kayak in motion while your hands are occupied with casting. It’s designed with a wide cockpit that provides extra stability and also allows this kayak to accommodate paddlers of all sizes. The aluminum seat frame includes a breathable mesh back that keeps you cool and comfortable on hot days. The sizeable storage areas in the front and rear of this kayak gives you accessible spaces to store gear, tackle, or a cooler full of your favorite beverages and snacks.

      View at REI

      Riot Escape 12


      Length: 12’Weight: 66 poundsStyle: Solid


      Two Flushmount Rod HoldersRudder System Helps With Tracking And NavigationSealed Bow Compartment In Front Of Boat For Gear StorageMolded-in Bottle And Cup Holders


      The Riot Escape 12 is a great starter kayak for fishing, diving, or just having a little fun out on the closest body of water. It has dual rod holders that give you a place to secure two unique fishing setups if you like to fish certain setups in different conditions. The built-in rudder system allows you to use your feet to steer your kayak as you paddle comfortably. The sealed bow compartment allows you to store dry gear or a small cooler for storing your catch. It also features molded-in bottle and cup holders so you can keep your preferred beverage handy while on the water.

      View at Amazon






      There’s a common saying about location, location, location. That saying is applicable to your choice of fishing kayaks because you’ll need different features if you plan on fishing saltwater bays versus freshwater lakes versus streams or rivers with moving water. For the latter, for example, navigability is a huge factor so that you can stay safe while fishing. 

      Location will also help you determine how large of kayak you want to handle when moving it around. If you want to fish hard-to-reach lakes or ponds, you might want a smaller, lighter kayak that’s easier to carry over some distance before you put it in the water. These are just a few examples of how location will dictate a number of important features you’ll consider when buying a fishing kayak. 



      When considering propulsion, we can largely break fishing kayaks down into two categories: pedal-driven and paddle-driven. Pedal-driven kayaks allow you to keep your hands free to handle a fishing pole and often require occasional use of your hands to adjust the rudder for steering purposes. The major advantage to pedal-driven kayaks is that you’ll be able to constantly fish and adjust your casting technique as you also continue to maneuver your kayak from fishing hole to fishing hole. 

      Paddle-driven kayaks require the use of a kayak paddle to get from place to place. Some, but not all, include a rudder system that is controlled with your feet to help you steer your kayak where you want to go. While you won’t be able to operate your fishing rod while paddling, many of these kayaks offer mounted rod holders so that you can troll as you paddle. The major advantage to a paddle-driven kayak is that you, or your family, can utilize it for recreational purposes if fishing isn’t always your top priority.   



      The length and width of a fishing kayak are important in determining the performance of the kayak. In general, kayaks that are longer and skinnier are able to go faster and cover greater distance in shorter periods of time. As you might imagine, shorter and wider kayaks provide more stability. When it comes to a fishing kayak, stability is usually prioritized over speed, and for good reason. For this one, we can break it down to a pretty simple rationale: a kayak that’s more stable will give you more ability to pull in larger fish without the risk of going swimming! 



      Fishing kayaks, in general, tend to be a bit heavier than many of their touring or sea kayaking counterparts. This isn’t always the case (see the inflatable kayaks above), but fishing kayaks tend to lean towards the heavier side because they include additional features that other kayaks don’t. In addition, fishing kayaks are wider than many other kayaks out there, so the added materials tend to increase their overall weight. But keep in mind that the extra weight can also make the kayak much more stable. 



      Storage space will play a large role in how much extra tackle, gear, and accessories you’ll be able to securely attach to the deck of your new fishing kayak. Many avid fishermen also like to secure a cooler to their kayak so that they can bring cold beverages along or have a place to keep fish on ice so that they stay fresh until they get home. 

      The amount of storage space that you’ll need will depend on whether you’re simply fishing for sport or you intend on bringing fish home with you. It will also depend on the technology and equipment you like to bring along when fishing. In general, bringing more equipment and accessories along will require more storage space. 



      Many folks like to have the option to stand and fish from their kayak in lieu of just sitting all the time. This can’t be done from every type of fishing kayak (unless you have excellent balance!). If you want to get a higher vantage point and have the ability to really drop your casts in with pinpoint accuracy, you’ll want to select a fishing kayak that’s wider and built for standing with ease and comfort. 






      The hull of a kayak is its bottom. The design of the hull impacts the ability of the kayak to track straight and gain and maintain speed. It also directly impacts how easy (or difficult) it is to maneuver the kayak.   



      The term ‘cockpit’ refers to the area where you sit. In a sit-on-top kayak, the cockpit is generally larger. With fishing kayaks, a larger cockpit makes it easier to get in and out. It also gives you additional storage room for fishing gear and accessories. 



      A pedal propulsion system gives you the ability to power your kayak with your feet. There are many varieties of this system, but the main idea is to help you keep your hands free while still giving you the ability to move your kayak around seamlessly. 



      Foot braces allow you to secure your feet while paddling. Having a place to secure your feet helps you bend your knees, straighten your back, and maintain a more ergonomic paddling position. 



      The side rails of a fishing kayak are the most common space for attachment points to be added. These attachment points can be used to secure extra rods, fish finding technology, tackle, and any other gear that you like to bring on your fishing trips.



      For more of our top kayak fishing gear recommendations, check out these popular buyer’s guides:

      Fishing Kayaks

      Kayak Paddles for Fishing

      Kayak Fishing Rods

      Spincast Reels

      Kayak Fishing PFDs

      Kayak Fish Finders

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