What Is the Best Type of Kayak for Fishing?

Kayak fishing has been rapidly gaining popularity over the years. It’s an enjoyable activity that offers a unique perspective on fishing and allows anglers to access hard-to-reach areas.

If you’re just starting out, choosing the right kayak can be overwhelming. There are many types of kayaks available in the market, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. In this article, we’ll explore the best type of kayak for fishing.

Factors to consider while choosing a fishing kayak

Before we dive into the best type of kayak for fishing let’s look at some factors you should consider while making your choice.

Stability: Stability is an essential factor to consider when choosing a fishing kayak. You don’t want to be tipping over every time you cast your line. Look for kayaks with a wider base or flat bottom as they tend to be more stable.

Capacity: You’ll need enough space on your kayak to store all your gear and catch. Consider the weight capacity of the kayak and ensure it can carry all your gear without compromising stability.

Maneuverability: A good fishing kayak should be easy to maneuver, especially in tight spaces like mangroves or narrow creeks.

Now that we’ve covered some important factors let’s explore the best type of kayaks for fishing based on their design.

Sit-On-Top Kayaks

Sit-on-top kayaks are an excellent choice for beginners as they’re easy to get in and out of, making them ideal for those who aren’t comfortable with traditional sit-inside kayaks. These kayaks have an open deck design that makes it easier to move around and access gear.

Another advantage of sit-on-top kayaks is their stability. They tend to have a wider base, making them less likely to tip over when you’re reeling in a big catch. They also have scupper holes that let water drain out, making them self-bailing and preventing you from getting wet.


  • Easy to get in and out of
  • Stable
  • Self-bailing
  • Open deck design for easy access to gear


  • Slower than other types of kayaks due to their wider base
  • You’re exposed to the elements, so you’ll need appropriate clothing and accessories
  • The open deck design can make it harder to keep your gear dry in rough water conditions

Sit-Inside Kayaks

Sit-inside kayaks have a cockpit that you sit inside, which offers better protection from the elements. They’re faster than sit-on-top kayaks due to their streamlined design, making them ideal for covering long distances.

Sit-inside kayaks also tend to have more storage options, including bulkhead compartments that offer dry storage for your gear. This feature makes them great for longer trips where you’ll need to carry more gear.

  • Better protection from the elements due to their cockpit design
  • Faster than sit-on-top kayaks due to their streamlined design
  • More storage options, including dry storage compartments for gear
  • You’ll need some experience getting in and out of the kayak through the cockpit area.
  • Their narrower base means they’re less stable than sit-on-top kayaks.
  • They tend to be more expensive than sit-on-top kayaks.

Inflatable Kayaks

Inflatable kayaks are a great option for those who have limited storage space or don’t have a car rack. They’re lightweight and easy to transport as they can be deflated and stored in a compact bag.

Inflatable kayaks also tend to be more affordable than hard-shell kayaks. They offer good stability and maneuverability, making them ideal for fishing in calm water conditions.

  • Lightweight and easy to transport
  • More affordable compared to hard-shell kayaks
  • Good stability and maneuverability
  • Less durable than hard-shell kayaks and prone to punctures if you’re not careful when launching or landing.
  • You’ll need to inflate the kayak before use, which can take some time.
  • Their lightweight design makes them less suitable for windy conditions as they can be blown around easily.

Closing Thoughts

Choosing the right kayak is crucial for an enjoyable fishing experience. When considering which type of kayak is best for you, think about your specific needs, budget, and skill level.

If you’re just starting out, a sit-on-top kayak is an excellent choice due to its ease of use and stability. If you’re looking for speed, storage options, and protection from the elements, consider a sit-inside kayak. Finally, if you’re looking for portability and affordability, an inflatable kayak may be the best option for you.

Whatever your preference may be there’s a perfect fishing kayak out there waiting for you.

Photo of author

Daniel Bennet