The 10 Best Fishing Kayak in 2021

Kayaking is among the best ways of exploring and enjoying the outdoors. It gets even better when you combine it with fishing. It turns into good physical exercise and lots of thrill of catching your own meal.

Kayaking is among the best ways of exploring and enjoying the outdoors. It gets even better when you combine it with fishing. It turns into good physical exercise and lots of thrill of catching your own meal.

However, you can only enjoy and explore if you have a good fishing kayak. It should be easy to operate, safe, and simple regardless of the type of water and fish you’re trying to catch.

Kayak fishing is nothing new as it’s been around for centuries, although it’s only now becoming more popular again. It’s a great combination of fishing and kayaking for adventurers who love spending time on the water.

Still, finding a fishing kayak can be a bit overwhelming due to as many options on the market. Take some time to discover some of the best ones as we review their specifications and features.

We also included a small buyer’s guide with some valuable information.

Best Overall

Intex Excursion Pro

5/5
Editor’s Choice

Intex Explorer K2

5/5
Best Budget

Intex Challenger

3.9/5

The Best Fishing Kayak

  1. Intex Excursion Pro
  2. Classic Accessories Colorado Inflatable Kayak
  3. Perception Pescador 12
  4. Intex Explorer K2
  5. Lifetime Tamarack Angler
  6. Lifetime Hydros Angler
  7. Intex Challenger
  8. Lifetime Triton Angler
  9. Classic Accessories Colorado XT
  10. Lifetime Tamarack Angler – Sit on Top

Intex Excursion Pro

This Intex is among the most popular options when it comes to inflatable kayaks. It has a laminate PVC polyester core and is highly resistant to sunlight, impact, and abrasion.

High-pressure inflation allows stability and extra rigidity. Its spring-loaded valves allow easy inflation and deflation that take only a few minutes.  

This one includes two removable skews for different types of deep and shallow water. It also has two footrests, two adjustable bucket seats, and two integrated recessed rod holders.

The mounting bracket is adjustable and removable, allowing additional accessories such as fish finders, GPS systems, and swivel rod holders. It also comes with a carrying bag along with a repair patch.

Its total weight capacity is 400 pounds. It features 3-ply tough construction with high molecular PVC that’s resistant to oils, salt, and gasoline.

Pros:

86in aluminum oars pump included

Quick and easy inflation/deflation

Stainless steel D rings

Cons:

Difficult to fold for storing

Classic Accessories Colorado Inflatable

This is a pontoon boat meant for fishing or casual kayaking through waters. It measures 108x56x26 inches and weighs 71 pounds. Still, it has a capacity of 400 pounds.

Its oars are 7 inches long, while the pontoon tubes are 9 inches long. The frame is made of steel, while it also has adjustable, non-slippery footrests.

This one features twelve zippered and ten mesh pockets. It has two insulated drink holders along with two oars and a fish ruler.

It’s versatile, allowing you to mount the rod holder in different positions. Also, the seat mount and footrests are adjustable to accommodate people of different heights.

The bottom is made from abrasion-resistant PVC, while the top is made from tough nylon. The steel frame is powder-coated for added strength and resistance.

Pros:

Adjustable seat and footrests

Rod holders included

20 pockets

Cons:

Difficult to move without help

Perception Pescador 12

This sit-on-top kayak is easy to work with in nearly all waters. It features an easy-to-open front hatch with a lid and a large rear tank for storage.

This one is quite comfortable to use for hours at a time. It has thick padding that’s well-ventilated and supportive. Plus, it also has a drink holder to prevent your favorite drink from spilling.

It weighs 64 pounds, which might be a bit too heavy for some people to carry on their own. Its optimized design and quality construction make it somewhat easier to carry around.

Its one-piece construction is leak-proof and has buoyancy for some added safety. We should mention that it’s made entirely in the USA if that’s something you care about.

This one works in slow-moving rivers, lakes, ponds, and streams. It can also work in calm coastal waters.

Pros:

Max capacity of 375 pounds

Comfortable

Two molded rod holders included

Cons:

Somewhat heavy to lift

Intex Explorer K2

Intex Explorer K2 is an inflatable kayak that’s suitable for fishing or just cruising around the waters. It comes with an inflatable seat and backrest for maximum comfort.

It measures 123x36x20 inches and weighs 35 pounds, which isn’t that heavy for a fishing kayak. Its maximum weight capacity is 400 pounds, meaning that there’s enough space for cargo.

One of the best things about it is the removable skeg. It allows versatility and directional stability when you need it.

The bright yellow color is meant to help in case of an emergency. It’s highly visible, so you’re unlikely to go unnoticed. However, make sure to stick to smaller bodies of water like mild rivers and lakes.

It comes with two 86’’ paddles and a hi-output pump. It’s made of heavy-duty vinyl that’s difficult to puncture and damage.

Pros:

Three separate air chambers

Boston valves

Repair patch included

Cons:

The oar is slightly short

Lifetime Tamarack Angler

Lifetime Tamarack Angler is made from high-density polyethylene called HDPE. It’s UV-resistant and has a stable flat bottom. It also has stability chine rails along with deep hull tracking channels.

This one has adjustable footrests so that you can find the best and most comfortable position for you. It also has an adjustable and padded seat for maximum comfort.

It comes with two flush-mounted rod holders and a top-mount rod holder. On top of that, it features two 6’’ storage compartments in the back and center.

Tamarack Angler has front and rear T-handles and a paddle keeper with shock cords. Although it weighs a bit over 50 pounds, it’s relatively easy to carry due to its convenient construction.

It measures 120x31x14 inches and has a maximum capacity of 275 pounds.

Pros:

Adjustable footrest and seat

Front and rear bungee

Tracking skeg included

Cons:

The oar is short and flimsy

Lifetime Hydros Angler

Hydros Angler is another great fishing kayak from Lifetime. It features the well-known combination of tunnel hull design for stability and tracking, which is especially important for beginners.

Keep in mind that this one is designed for calm waters only. It measures 101×29.5×10.5 inches and weighs 38 pounds. Its maximum weight capacity is 225 pounds.

Its weight and design make it pretty easy to carry around. Plus, the front T-handle makes the entire process even simpler.

It has a molded-in swim-up deck along with bungee lacing, allowing you to store a few items you like carrying with you. Its quick-release set back is comfortable and easy to adjust to different positions.

It’s made of high-density polyethylene and is impact and UV resistant, so it’s unlikely to show any signs of wear and tear as quickly.

Pros:

Convenient design

Blow-molded polyethylene

Adjustable and comfortable

Cons:

Some people received a used kayak

Intex Challenger

This Intex kayak is a durable piece made of welded material for strength, resistance, and longevity. The blue and green graphics are eye-catching, making you visible at all times.

It’s made for lakes and slow-moving rivers, so stay away from fast waters. It comes with a repair patch, along with an 84’’ aluminum oar and a hi-output manual hand pump.

The rugged vinyl construction is durable and resistant. It’s not as easy to puncture or damage, but you should still be careful since it’s an inflatable kayak.

It features a grab line on both ends as well as an inflatable seat with a backrest. It also has a cargo net, allowing you to store items and gear.  

This one measures 30x15x108 inches and weighs 27 pounds. Its weight capacity is 220 pounds.

Pros:

Stable and easy to use

Maximized storage space

Repair patch and pump included

Cons:

The skeg tends to come off

Lifetime Triton Angler

Lifetime Triton Angler is among the most stable and comfortable sit-on-top kayaks. Its hull design and integrated skeg offer stability and great tracking performance.

It has multiple footrest positions to accommodate different size paddlers. However, keep in mind that its maximum weight capacity is 275 pounds.

It also comes with a quick-release seat back and pads for maximum comfort, especially if you’re looking to spend hours in the kayak.

Triton Angler has self-bailing scupper holes to help with draining water from the tankwell and cockpit. It also includes tankwell storage with bungee lacing so that you can carry a few loose items aboard.

This one has two flush mount rod holders and a single adjustable holder. It also has a built-in water bottle holder for water or another favorite beverage.

Pros:

Toggle handles included

Integrated skeg

Stable and easy to work with

Cons:

For flat water only

Classic Accessories Colorado XT

This inflatable pontoon boat is sturdy, stable, and easy to work with in steady waters. It features a powder-coated steel tube frame along with two-piece 7’ aluminum oars.

The first thing we should mention is that the manufacturer recommends using a manual pump to inflate it. Still, the pontoon doesn’t come with a pump, which means you’ll have to buy one separately.

It has removable gear bags, 20 pockets, and two insulated drink holders. This makes it easy to carry different items and beverages on your fishing trip.

It has an adjustable seat mount and footrests, making it rather simple to find the best position that works for you. This is especially useful if you’re going to share the kayak.

Another thing worth noting is that you can mount the rod holder in six different positions.

Pros:

400 lbs maximum capacity

Two oars included

Heat-resistant bladders

Cons:

It weighs nearly 70 pounds

Lifetime Tamarack Angler, Sit on Top

This Sit-on-Top Tamarack is made from UV-protected high-density polyethylene. It’s durable, resistant, and able to withstand frequent fishing trips.

It’s a rather comfortable piece, featuring multiple footrest positions and an adjustable padded seat pad and back. Its bottom is flat and stable, while it also has front and back shock cord straps.

The kayak includes two flush-mounted rod holders and one top-mount rod holder for versatility and ease of use. It’s similar to other Tamarack models.

Another thing worth noting is the storage space it offers. It has two 6’’ storage compartments in the center and back, allowing you to carry different items.

It also has two paddle cradles, T-handles, and deep hull tracking channels. It comes with stability chine rails and has a maximum capacity of 275 pounds.

Pros:

T-handles for easy carrying

Lots of storage space

Stable and secure

Cons:

Flimsy seat clamp

Buyer’s Guide

Stability

You should always consider stability as one of the most critical factors. Your safety depends on the stability of the kayak you choose.

Look for a sturdy kayak that can handle the type of water you want to fish in. Stability allows you to work with your rod freely and without tipping over.

Storage

Different fishing kayaks have various storage options. You should consider each type so that you can decide on what suits you the best.

Some kayaks have enclosed waterproof storage areas. These are ideal for your phone, ID, and other items you want to keep dry.

Others have bungee cords and mesh pockets that aren’t waterproof but will keep your stuff from ending up at the bottom of the lake.

You’ll probably want to store lots of things like your bait, rods, your drinking water, and possibly a snack.

Also, make sure that the kayak of your choice has at least one rod holder.

Weight

There are two types of weight you should check before buying a kayak. First and foremost, consider its weight capacity. Your weight and that of your gear should not exceed the recommended maximum weight.

You should check the weight of the kayak as well. Those that are too heavy are almost always challenging to carry.

Upgrades

Most kayaks can be upgraded with a few accessories, depending on your skills and the tools you have at hand.

Some kayaks have rail storage where you can attach GPS, extra rods, your fish finder, and pretty much anything else. You can even attach a GoPro to document your trip.

You can add a trolling motor to the stern, which will help you get from one side to another without pedaling as much. If not, consider adding a sail to help you with moving around.

A sail is a useful addition that’s easy to use, allowing you to take advantage of the wind.

Types of Kayaks

Kayak fishing is a fun experience, but it’s only enjoyable with the right type of kayak. As you’ve probably noticed, the market offers plenty of different types to use for fishing.

Some are more suitable for fishing than others, but it’s usually just a matter of your preference. Take some time to read the guide below as we discuss each type, explaining what makes it a good choice for your fishing adventures.

Sit On Top

A sit-on-top kayak is typically stable, user-friendly, and easy to work with. It’s easy to get in and out of one, so it’s suitable for beginners.

These are suitable for different bodies of water, including lakes, rivers, canals, and saltwater. You’re supposed to sit on top of it, as the name suggests.

These are usually wide and stable, which is always important to consider even more so if you’re a beginner. However, the wider hull means that they’re slower than most.

One thing to keep in mind is that these are a lot of fun but will not keep you dry. There is no spray skirt, which means you’re not protected against splashing water or wind.

The market offers plenty of different sit-on-top kayaks from various brands. Some models are quite basic, while others are more advanced. Also, most of them come with rod holders, strap storage, handles, and other features.

Sit-In

Sit-in kayaks come with a few features you can also find in sit-on-top models. However, there’s one major difference, and that is the design.

A sit-in kayak is partially enclosed, featuring what is called the cockpit and cockpit rim. These usually have a spray skirt that prevents splashing regardless of the water you’re in.

Another advantage is the protection against the wind. This type gives you a warmer ride since you’re sitting lower and are protected against the breeze.

Still, it’s rather tricky to work with if you flip it. Recovering it is much more difficult because the kayak fills with water. This is something you’ll learn how to avoid and work around in time.

Much like in the case of sit-on-top kayaks, sit-in models are similar to one another, although a few of them stand out. They come with rod and drink holders, paddles, different storage options, and adjustable seats.

Inflatable

Inflatable kayaks are probably the most popular. They’re ideal if you don’t have as much storage space to put your kayak away when not in use.

It usually takes only a few minutes to inflate one and equally as long to deflate. It’s a good choice for calm waters because they’re not as sturdy as other types.

Still, these are pretty stable, given that they’re inflatable. They’re made of different materials, some of which are more durable than others. For this reason, make sure that you choose only the best quality inflatable kayak.

These are inexpensive and a good choice for beginners who are only now getting interested in fishing kayaks. However, consider both the price and other features and specifications to find the best one.

Many people consider these to be inflatable boats. And while there’s an obvious similarity, kayaks are still something else. An inflatable kayak should have accessories like rod holders and paddles.

Final Thoughts

As you see, finding the best fishing kayak isn’t that complicated when you have all the right information. Hopefully, our buyer’s guide helped you find one out of as many we reviewed.

If you can’t make up your mind, we suggest you check Intex Excursion Pro as it’s one of the most durable kayaks. It’s inflatable, featuring a laminate PVC polyester core and spring-loaded valves.

This one is highly durable and resistant to impact and abrasion. It’s resistant to UV rays as well, which means it can last a long time, even with prolonged sun exposure.

On top of that, it has everything you need on your fishing trip. As we mentioned in the review above, this one has removable skews, adjustable bucket seats, and footrests, as well as rod holders.

There’s also a lot of space for upgrading if you want to carry around GPS or fishfinder.

Although this is one of the most popular fishing kayaks, you should still consider your needs and preferences before making a decision.

Think about the buying factors we discussed, and we’re sure you won’t have any problems picking one. These are the best and most reliable, so it’s just a matter of finding what suits your needs.