7 Best Fishing Kayaks for Every Angler in 2024

by | Last updated Jun 16, 2024

Best Overall Hobie Mirage Pro 14
Hobie Mirage Pro Angler 14

The ultimate fishing machine with hands-free MirageDrive 360, 600-pound capacity, and endless customization options.

Best Value NuCanoe Frontier 12
Wilderness Systems ATAK 120

Versatile and spacious, this 650-pound capacity kayak offers paddle, pedal, or motor options and ample storage for gear.

Most Featured Pelican Catch 120
NuCanoe Frontier 12

This stable 350-pound capacity kayak is budget-friendly and beginner-friendly. It offers awesome features at a great value.

Fishing Kayak

Are you tired of being stuck on shore, watching the big ones swim by?

Ever wish you could reach those secret fishing spots that only a kayak can access?

Let’s face it: lugging around a heavy, cumbersome kayak is a hassle. And who wants to spend a fortune on a boat you’ll only use a few times a year?

We’ve got you covered!

In this guide, we’ll break down the seven best fishing kayaks of 2024, tailored to every angler’s needs and budget.

Whether you’re a beginner looking for a stable, affordable option or an experienced angler craving top-of-the-line features, we’ll help you find the perfect kayak to take your fishing adventures to the next level.

What’s the Best Fishing Kayak in 2024?

Well, that depends on you! Every angler has different needs, so there’s no one-size-fits-all answer.

But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. We’ve researched and tested a variety of kayaks to create this ultimate guide.

We’ll help you find the perfect kayak that fits your budget, fishing style, and skill level.

1. Hobie Mirage Pro Angler 14 360

Alright, let’s kick things off with the big kahuna – the Hobie Mirage Pro Angler 14 360. This is the Cadillac of fishing kayaks.

It’s got all the bells and whistles and then some. If you’re serious about fishing and want the ultimate on-water experience, this is the kayak for you.

Hobie Mirage Pro Angler 14

Our Take

0out of 10

This is the best fishing kayak on the market. It's pricey, but the performance, comfort, and features are unmatched. If you're a serious angler, this is the one to get.

Key Benefits

  • Stability: This thing is a rock. You can stand up, cast, and reel in a trophy fish without tipping over. It's 38 inches wide, providing unmatched stability.
  • Storage: It's like a floating tackle shop. It has multiple hatches, compartments, and even a live well to keep your catch fresh. It has a 600-pound weight capacity.
  • Comfort: The Vantage ST seat is like a recliner on the water. You'll be comfy all day long.
  • Propulsion: The MirageDrive 360 pedal system is amazing. You can go forward, backward, sideways, and even turn on a dime—hands-free fishing at its finest.
  • Additional Features: Fish finder mounts, rod holders, and an H-Rail system for accessories—it's got everything you need and more.

Pricing

  • Starting at $5,299: This is a premium kayak, but you get what you pay for.
  • Upgrades: H-Crate storage system, Power-Pole Micro anchor, Lowrance fish finder – customize it to your heart's content.
Hobie Mirage Pro Angler 14

Pros

  • Extremely stable
  • Tons of storage
  • Super comfortable seat
  • Hands-free MirageDrive
  • Fully customizable

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Heavy
  • It might be overkill for beginners.

2. NuCanoe Frontier 12

Alright, next up is the NuCanoe Frontier 12. This kayak is a beast – built tough for serious anglers and hunters.

It's incredibly stable, has tons of storage, and can even handle a small motor. If you're looking for a versatile fishing kayak that can handle anything you throw at it, this is a great option.

NuCanoe Frontier 12

Our Take

0out of 10

The NuCanoe Frontier 12 is a fantastic fishing kayak that offers a great combination of stability, storage, comfort, and versatility. It's a solid choice for anglers of all levels who want a reliable and customizable fishing platform.

Key Benefits

  • Stability: It's a tank on the water. At 41 inches wide, it's incredibly stable. You can stand up and cast without a wobble.
  • Storage: There is so much space! It has a huge open deck for gear, plus plenty of compartments and bungee cords to keep everything organized. It has a 650-pound weight capacity.
  • Comfort: The 360 Pinnacle seat is super comfortable, and you can even add more seats if you're fishing with friends.
  • Propulsion: You can paddle it, pedal it, or even add a small motor. It's up to you!
  • Additional Features: Tons of accessory mounts, built-in rod holders, and even a spot for a fish finder.

Pricing

  • Starting at $1,710: This is a more affordable option than the Hobie, but still a great value.
  • Upgrades: You can add a variety of accessories, like rod holders, tackle boxes, and even a motor mount.
NuCanoe Frontier 12

Pros

  • Extremely stable
  • Tons of storage
  • Versatile propulsion options
  • Comfortable seat
  • Affordable

Cons

3. Wilderness Systems ATAK 120

Now, let's talk about the Wilderness Systems ATAK 120. This kayak is a stealthy predator designed for anglers who want to blend in with their surroundings.

It's low profile, stable, and packed with features that make it a top choice for serious fishermen.

Wilderness Systems ATAK 120

Our Take

0out of 10

The Wilderness Systems ATAK 120 is a fantastic choice for anglers who prioritize stability, stealth, and functionality. It's a well-rounded kayak that's perfect for fishing in a variety of environments.

Key Benefits

  • Stability: Its tri-hull design keeps it stable in choppy waters, so you can stand up and cast with confidence. It is 35 inches wide.
  • Storage: The ATAK 120 has ample storage space. It's got a large open deck for gear, plus a sealed center hatch and a removable Flex Pod OS tackle box. It has a 400-pound weight capacity.
  • Comfort: The AirPro MAX seat is comfortable all day. You won't get tired of fishing in this kayak.
  • Propulsion: It's a paddle kayak, but it's incredibly efficient and easy to maneuver.
  • Additional Features: It's got SlideTrax accessory mounts, multiple rod holders, and even a built-in transducer scupper for your fish finder.

Pricing

  • Starting at $1,729: This is a mid-priced kayak that offers great value for serious anglers.
Wilderness Systems ATAK 120

Pros

  • Stable tri-hull design
  • Plenty of storage
  • Comfortable AirPro MAX seat
  • Easy to maneuver
  • Packed with angler-friendly features

Cons

  • Not as fast as some pedal kayaks
  • Limited legroom for taller anglers

4. Old Town Sportsman Autopilot 120

Hold on to your hats, folks, because the Old Town Sportsman Autopilot 120 is a game-changer! This kayak is like having a personal fishing guide.

It's got a GPS-enabled trolling motor that can follow a set path, keep you in spot-lock mode, or even take you back to your starting point.

If you want to focus on fishing and let technology handle the navigation, this is the kayak for you.

Old Town Sportsman Autopilot 120

Our Take

0out of 10

The Old Town Sportsman Autopilot 120 is a revolutionary fishing kayak that combines technology, comfort, and functionality. It's a dream come true for anglers who want to spend less time paddling and more time fishing.

Key Benefits

  • Stability: It's a 36-inch-wide, wide, and stable kayak that's easy to stand in and cast from.
  • Storage: It's got plenty of storage space for your gear, including a large tank well and a removable sonar pod. It has a 500-pound weight capacity.
  • Comfort: The ElementAir seat is comfortable and breathable, so you'll stay dry and cool even on hot days.
  • Propulsion: The Minn Kota i-Pilot trolling motor is the star of the show. It's quiet, efficient, and incredibly easy to use.
  • Additional Features: It's got a universal transducer mount, rod holders, and even a paddle holder so you can use your hands for fishing.

Pricing

  • Starting at $4,499.99: This is a more expensive kayak, but the technology and features are worth it for many anglers.
Old Town Sportsman Autopilot 120

Pros

  • GPS-enabled trolling motor with spot-lock and follow-the-path modes
  • Stable and comfortable
  • Plenty of storage
  • Easy to use and maneuver

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Motorized kayaks are heavier and bulkier than paddle kayaks.

5. Pelican Catch 120

If you're looking for a budget-friendly fishing kayak that doesn't skimp on features, the Pelican Catch 120 is a fantastic option.

This kayak is comfortable and stable and comes with everything you need to start reeling in fish.

Pelican Catch 120

Our Take

0out of 10

The Pelican Catch 120 is a great entry-level fishing kayak that offers a lot of bang for your buck. It's a solid performer that's perfect for beginners and casual anglers. It might not have all the bells and whistles of more expensive models.

Key Benefits

  • Stability: Its twin-arched multi-chine hull provides excellent stability. You can stand up and cast without worry. It is 34 inches wide.
  • Storage: It's got plenty of storage space, including a large tank well, a center hatch, and a quick-lock hatch for easy access to your gear. It has a 350-pound weight capacity.
  • Comfort: The Ergocast G2 seating system is comfortable and supportive, and the adjustable footrests help you find the perfect paddling position.
  • Propulsion: It's a paddle kayak, but it's lightweight and easy to maneuver.
  • Additional Features: It's got flush-mounted rod holders, accessory eyelets, and even a bottle holder to keep you hydrated.

Pricing

  • Starting at $749.99: This is one of the most affordable fishing kayaks on the market.
Pelican Catch 120

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Stable and comfortable
  • Plenty of storage
  • Lightweight and easy to transport

Cons

  • Not as many features as some higher-priced kayaks
  • Not as fast as some pedal kayaks

6. Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100

If you're looking for a budget-friendly kayak perfect for beginners, the Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100 is a great choice. It's stable, easy to maneuver, and has a few basic fishing features.

Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100

Our Take

0out of 10

The Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100 is a great option for beginners who are looking for an affordable and stable fishing kayak. It's not the most feature-rich kayak out there.

Key Benefits

  • Stability: Its wide, flat bottom makes it incredibly stable. It is 36 inches wide, perfect for beginners who are still getting their sea legs.
  • Storage: It's got a rear tank well with bungee cords and multiple footrest positions for different-sized paddlers. It has a 275-pound weight capacity.
  • Comfort: The seat is comfortable enough for shorter fishing trips, and the adjustable footrests help you find a comfortable paddling position.
  • Propulsion: It's a paddle kayak, but it's lightweight and easy to maneuver.
  • Additional Features: It's got two flush-mounted rod holders and shock cord straps for extra gear storage.

Pricing

  • Starting at $639.99: This is one of the most affordable fishing kayaks on the market.
Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100

Pros

  • Extremely affordable
  • Stable and easy to maneuver
  • Perfect for beginners

Cons

  • Not as many features as some higher-priced kayaks
  • Not as comfortable for longer fishing trips

7. Intex Explorer K2 Kayak

The Intex Explorer K2 Kayak is not specifically designed for fishing, but it's a popular choice among budget-minded anglers who are looking for a basic, inflatable kayak.

Intex Explorer K2 Kayak

Our Take

0out of 10

The Intex Explorer K2 Kayak is a great option for budget-minded paddlers who are looking for a basic, portable kayak. It's not the best choice for serious anglers, but it's a fun and affordable way to get on the water.

Key Benefits

  • Affordable: It's one of the most affordable kayaks on the market.
  • Portable: It's inflatable, so it's easy to transport and store.
  • Stable: It's relatively stable for an inflatable kayak, but it's not as stable as a hard-shell kayak.

Pricing

  • Starting at $150.96: This is the most affordable kayak on our list.
Intex Explorer K2 Kayak

Pros

  • Extremely affordable
  • Portable and easy to store

Cons

  • Not as stable as hard-shell kayaks
  • Not specifically designed for fishing
  • Limited weight capacity

What to Look for in a Fishing Kayak?

  • Stability: Fishing kayaks should be stable enough to stand in and cast from, especially if you plan on fishing in rougher waters.
  • Storage: Ample storage space is essential for your tackle, rods, and any other gear you might need on the water. Look for kayaks with built-in compartments, bungee cords, and rod holders.
  • Comfort: You'll be spending hours in your kayak, so a comfortable seat and adjustable footrests are crucial for a pleasant fishing experience.
  • Propulsion: Depending on your fishing style and the distances you plan to cover, choose between paddle, pedal, or motorized kayaks. Pedal kayaks are great for hands-free fishing, while motorized kayaks offer speed and convenience.
  • Weight Capacity: Ensure the kayak can safely carry your weight, gear, and any potential catch.
  • Price range: Fishing kayaks are available at a range of prices. Set a budget and stick to it, but don't compromise on essential features like stability and comfort.
  • Additional Features: Some kayaks offer extra features like fish finders, GPS systems, live wells, and even coolers. Consider what features would enhance your fishing experience and choose a kayak that offers them.

How Can a Fishing Kayak Benefit You?

A fishing kayak opens up a whole new world of angling opportunities.

You'll gain access to secluded fishing spots unreachable by larger boats, giving you an edge over other kayak anglers.

Kayak fishing is also a great way to get exercise and enjoy the outdoors while doing what you love. Whether you're exploring quiet lakes or navigating winding rivers, you can immerse yourself in nature and discover hidden gems.

If storage or transportation is a concern, an inflatable fishing kayak offers a convenient solution.

These kayaks are lightweight, easy to pack, and can be inflated in minutes, making them perfect for anglers on the go.

And if you're looking for a kayak specifically designed for urban fishing, town fishing kayaks are compact, maneuverable, and ideal for navigating tight spaces and accessing urban waterways.

Saturn 13' Pro-Angler Fishing Inflatable Kayak

Buyer's Guide

When researching the best fishing kayaks, we dove deep to ensure we covered all the bases. Here's how we approached our review process:

  1. Pricing: We considered a wide range of budgets, from affordable inflatable fishing kayaks to high-end fishing kayaks like the Hobie Mirage Pro Angler.
  2. We also factored in potential upgrades, such as adding fishing gear storage or a motor to a pedal kayak.
  3. Features: We looked at essential features like stability (especially for those who prefer to stand and cast), storage capacity for all your fishing gear, and comfort for long days on the water.
  4. We also explored additional features like pedal drives (pedal drive fishing kayaks) and advanced electronics for high-tech anglers.
  5. Negatives: No kayak is perfect. We looked at common complaints and potential drawbacks for each model, such as limited legroom in some stable fishing kayaks or the weight of tandem kayaks.
  6. Support or Refund: We investigated each manufacturer's warranty and return policies, as well as the availability of customer support and online communities like the Ascend Kayaks forum.

Wrapping Up

Choosing the best fishing kayak is a personal journey.

Whether you're a seasoned angler seeking top-tier performance or a newcomer eager to cast your first line from a kayak, we hope this guide has helped you navigate the options.

Remember, the "best" kayak is the one that best suits your individual needs and preferences. Consider factors like your budget, fishing style, and the type of water you'll be exploring.

If you're fishing with a partner, a tandem kayak might be the perfect choice, offering shared stability and a fun, collaborative experience.

We've done the legwork, researching and reviewing the top models on the market, so you can confidently choose the kayak that will take your fishing adventures to new depths.

Now, grab your gear, hit the water, and reel in those memories!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best type of kayak for fishing?

The "best" fishing kayak depends on your needs and preferences. Consider stability, storage space for gear, propulsion type (paddle, pedal, or motor), and your budget. Sit-on-top kayaks are popular for their strength and ease of access, while inflatable kayaks offer portability.

What features should I look for in a fishing kayak?

Look for features like rod holders, tackle storage compartments, a comfortable seat, and ample space for your gear. Suppose you made a plan to fish in rougher waters, prioritize stability. Other features like fish finders, GPS systems, and live wells can enhance your fishing experience.

How much does a fishing kayak cost?

Fishing kayaks vary widely in price, ranging from a few hundred for basic ones to several thousand dollars for high-end, feature-packed options. Determine your budget beforehand and prioritize features that are essential for your fishing style.

Can I stand up in a fishing kayak?

Yes, so many fishing kayaks are designed for stand up fishing. Look for wide, stable models with a flat deck. Practice standing up and casting in calm waters before venturing out into rougher conditions.

How do I transport a fishing kayak?

Most fishing kayaks can be transported on a roof rack or in a truck bed. If you have limited storage space, consider an inflatable kayak that can be deflated and easily stored in a bag. Some kayak trailers are also available for easier transportation.