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A fishing kayak and a trip to the water makes every season better for an angler.
Kayak fishing can be quite the experience. If you've crossed off destinations for awesome ice fishing trips, bass fishing trips, or bowfishing trips, it's time for a kayak fishing experience. There are many pros and cons to kayak fishing, but we'd say the good outweighs the bad. There's less maintenance with a kayak fishing boat, they're easier to transport, and they tend to be far less expensive than most fishing boats. We wanted to break down a list of great angling 'yaks for a variety of folks, depending on what they are looking to spend. Like with almost all outdoor gear, you get what you pay for, but we did our best to choose a list based on online purchase popularity, customer reviews, and fishing-specific features that are incorporated into the design.
These fishing kayaks are great for the angler looking for something inexpensive and easy to inflate, something for fishing buddies, and even some great hard shell kayaks. Hard shell kayaks will be much more expensive, so consider your budget as you shop. However, these inflatable kayaks are made from PVC that's hard to puncture, so you'll be safe. Just be sure to always wear a life vest when on the water.
1. Best Budget Kayak for One
I love that this fits into a backpack and has everything it needs to inflate. It's great that it is truly meant for one person to assemble on their own in just five minutes with the included hand pump. The bottom is rugged for lake use. With a tarpaulin bottom, it'll be protected from punctures, and there are multiple air chambers in case one is deflated. The kayak is comfy to sit in, too! There's a backrest and multi-position footrest, so you'll be able to sit back, relax, and enjoy paddling. And yes, a collapsible kayak paddle is included! Another perk is that there's a secure storage area to store fishing essentials. It doesn't have a rod holder, which can be an inconvenience. However, it's a great option for when you're on a budget.
It'll take about half the time to deflate the kayak. Pack it up and use it as a backpack for the rest of the day.
2. Best Inflatable 2-Person Kayak
Elkton Outdoors has an inflatable fishing kayak perfect for two. The kayak inflates in a few minutes to a 10 foot kayak! Elkton Outdoors calls it a great alternative to a conventional kayak since it's compact and lightweight. Don't let the weight and material fool you though. It's durable and made from rip-resistant and hook-resistant plastic. A leak is the last thing you need when on the lake, but this brand puts safety first. A few things that make this kayak more convenient for fishing are the adjustable seats, rod holders, and double-sided oars. Get to a comfy sitting position that makes it easy to fish, have access to your rods, and use the oars to get you where all the fish are hiding.
It's so easy to set up and transport. A pump and carry bag are included.
3. Best Pedal Kayak
Old Town is a leading brand in canoes and kayaks. Their pedal sit-on top kayak is worth every penny if you want a hands-free kayak. It's super easy to maneuver (with instant forward and reverse). Seriously, if you're tired of paddling through the lake, you'll need to give this kayak a try. It's fast, reliable, and has so many qualities that makes this the perfect fishing kayak. It has a seat that offers lumbar support. You can adjust the leg length and foot braces for extra stability. So, what's all included? We know the grand total is a bit much, but you're getting plenty of rod storage (1 front-facing and 2 rear-facing flush-mount rod holders), ample under seat storage, a cup holder, a custom Old Town tackle box, and more. The universal transducer mounting system makes fish finder installation easy and the kayak has a durable body that's meant to last.
Obviously this isn't an inflatable kayak, so it's more heavy-duty and can handle a lot more. If you get tired of sitting, feel free to stand up and fish. The foam deck pads provides superior traction and comfort so you can stretch your legs out and walk without fear of slipping.
4. The Best Splurge for the Serious Angler
The Hobie Mirage Pro Angler 12 kayak is on lots of anglers' wishlists. The pricey kayak offers much more than your average fishing kayak. The versatile kayak offers top-quality seating and safe standing room like the Old Town Sportsman, but this kayak features a a built-in transducer mount and the Guardian Retractable Transducer Shield to protect your transducer while you fish. You'll be happy that there's a quick fish finder installation — no drill or glue required. With comfy seating, dual steering, and lots of storage space for tackle and rods, you'll be a happy kayak angler going forward. You won't have to get up a lot, as everything will be in reach, including a cold water (or beer) thanks to the cup holder.
There are tons of Hobie Mirage accessories you can buy to take your kayak up a notch. You can even get a compatible sail kit for a soothing day on the water. You don't always have to use it to fish, however, it's definitely a kayak you'll want if you're a competitive angler. A customer wrote: "Hands Down the Cadillac of the industry. But has the space, mobility, and stability anyone could need. Tracks true, and it is a tournament anglers must have. I have been many brands, and models and this is one i will always been in from here on out."