Kayaks were ingeniously invented by the Inuit some 4000 years ago. Their original purpose was to fish and hunt. Today, kayaks can also be used for recreation but their greater purpose remains to fish. They have evolved to meet today’s needs, using more advanced material. This article will give you greater insight into the world of kayaking and help you choose the best sit on top fishing kayak.
2 Kinds Of Kayak Fishing
We can split kayak fishing into two categories: freshwater and saltwater. Let’s first explore what the two mean?
This kind of fishing is done in rivers and lakes. Freshwater can either be moving water or still water. Still water bodies can be found in both, small ponds and great lakes. The size of the water body helps determine the type of kayak one should get. A small kayak maneuvers easily in small water bodies. Longer and slimmer kayaks work well in large bodies of water where they have to travel long distances to reach good fishing spots.
Moving waters are a body of water that is not sedentary like a river. For such waters, it is best to get a sit-on-top kayak that has good stability and maneuverability. A kayak that is short with a wider hull is able to handle currents well.
To fish in the ocean means you’re fishing in saltwater. It could either be inshore or offshore. Inshore fishing would mean that the greatest depth of water is around 70’. While fishing offshore the least depth of water is around 70’. With both types of saltwater bodies, a long and slim sit-on-top kayak is a good choice. Such a kayak is easy to get on to if it tips over because of strong wind and water currents. It paddles with ease in shallow and deep waters. Tracking is usually good when paddling to longer distances.
5 Safety Measures To Take While Kayak Fishing
With all outdoor activities or sports there some necessary safety measures. Here we’ll discuss some for kayak fishing.
Getting splashed is part of kayaking. It is always a good idea to wear a dry suit as the top layer of clothing. Avoid wearing cotton or any other clothing that tends to get soaked. Garments that get soaked become heavy. The best idea is to dress in nylons and polyester.
If you’re a beginner then make sure to take a buddy or a guide along. You may have watched video tutorials and read up material but it isn’t safe to go solo or alone as a beginner.
Wear A PFD And A Helmet
Anglers should always wear a PERSONAL FLOATATION DEVICE while kayak fishing. At any point, if the boat capsizes it will help keep your head above the water. Wearing a helmet is essential for protection from injuries.
Check Weather Conditions
It is important to know the weather conditions ahead of the trip to pack for gear and clothing. Find out the weather forecast whether your trip is for an afternoon or the whole day. An example could be of the day being rainy then a dry suit will do the work. Or if it’s expected to remain sunny then a full-sleeved garment with a hat will be necessary.
Carry an extra set of clothes, a lantern, a whistle, and a first-aid kit. This equipment is useful in the event of an accident, or if help is needed.
5 Reason Why Use A Kayak For Fishing
Getting a motorboat for fishing is costly to buy, maintain, and store. Kayaks cost less even if accessories are added to make them more functional.
Kayaking allows for the mind and body to relax. Fishing from a kayak takes one close to nature which helps calm the nerves. It helps burn calories and improves mental health.
Increases Options For Fishing
Fishing is possible everywhere in a kayak. They can be taken into all kinds of waters with ease and do not need a launching ramp.
Transporting a kayak isn’t a task. It can be strapped on top of a car or inside its trunk. It can be lifted and carried easily. It’s even easier to carry if it’s inflatable.
Better Fishing Experience
Fishing from a sit-on-top kayak has many benefits for anglers. It gives closer access to fish. It’s easier to take into difficult spots to look for fish.
FAQs About Fishing Kayaks
Which fishing kayak is the most stable?
The fishing kayaks have different features that make them stable. A wide kayak would be more stable but slower. In contrast, a narrower kayak can be fast but compromise stability. So, to measure stability, you must look at the length, width, volume, and weight capacity of the kayak.
Are sit on top kayaks better for fishing?
The sit on top kayaks are better for fishing as they are easy to maintain and affordable in price. Moreover, it is silent, stable, and easy to roll on any water. Fishing trips are more fun while you are on a kayak.
Which is more stable sit on top or sit in kayak?
Mostly, sit on top kayak is wider and recreational. That is why it becomes more stable than sit in kayak.
List of 12 Best Site on Top Fishing Kayak
- Sun Dolphin Bali SS 8-Foot
- Sun Dolphin Journey 10
- Sevylor Quikpak K1
- Lifetime Youth Wave Kayak
- Intex Explorer K2 Kayak
- Sea Eagle 330 Deluxe
- Sun Dolphin 10 Bali SS
- Perception Pescador Pro 12
- Lifetime Tamarack Angler Sit-On-Top Fishing Kayak
- Vibe Kayaks Skipjack 90 9 Foot Angler and Recreational Sit On Top Kayak
- Old Town Topwater 106 PDL Angler Fishing Kayak
- Vibe Kayaks Yellowfin 100 10 Foot Angler Sit On Top Fishing Kayak
Review of the 12 Best Sit On Top Kayaks
Here’s a review of some of the best sit-on-top kayaks. It’s a guide for anyone looking to buy one.
This one of the hard-shell sit-on-top fishing kayaks works very well for beginners or young people. 8’ long and 28” wide it allows a weight capacity of 197 lbs. The kayak itself weighs only 30 lbs making it easy to carry. Handles on both ends of the boat make it easier to lift or drag. These dimensions also make it easy to use in the water.
The kayak is for solo fishing and has a spacious cockpit. Getting in and out of the boat is convenient. There could also be space for a dog or a child if you’re not going over the capacity. A padded adjustable backrest and graduated foot wells make the journey comfortable for fishers.
Anglers could keep their smaller belongings like a mobile phone, keys, and a wallet in a small storage space in the front. Another bigger storage space is given at the rear with shock cord rigging for food and gear.
The boat is built with an extremely durable material, UV-stabilized Fortiflex. It arrives neatly packed in a box.
- Comes in two other sizes
- Offers many colors to choose from
- Well-crafted build
- Tracking and stability is good
- Needs to be fitted with extra accessories
- No seat pad
- Moves slowly
- Not meant for moving waters
The Sun Dolphin Journey 10 comes with many great features. Constructed with rugged UV-stabilized Fortiflex, it’s 12’ long and weighs 44lbs. it is easy to carry with retractable carry handles on the front and the rear. It offers a weight capacity of 250 lbs. It comes with scupper holes for self-bailing.
The adjustable padded seat, easy space in the cockpit and protective thigh pads make it super comfortable for anglers. Adjustable foot braces help people of all sizes stretch their legs on long journeys.
Storage space is ample with a Portable Accessory Carrier at the back and shock cord deck rigging. There are pockets on the sides for safekeeping little things like a mobile phone. A convenient bottle holder is within the fisher’s reach.
There are three rod holders in all. Two are flush mounted and the third one is a swivel. The boat is maneuverable into hard to reach spots. A 30” beam assures stability in waters of moderate current.
- Durable build
- Offers features suitable for fishing
- Generally comfortable
- Storage areas are not completely waterproof
- Does not track very well
- Not exactly seaworthy
- The seat isn’t padded
- Doesn’t come with a paddle
This is an inflatable sit-on-top watercraft meant for solo fishing. It’s constructed to mitigate the effects of punctures if any. It comes with a MULTI AIR CHAMBER that helps keep the kayak afloat if one chamber is punctured. The fisher can easily paddle back to safety. It takes little to no time setting it up and winding it up. DOUBLE LOCK VALVES help inflate and deflate the vessel quickly.
21 gauge PVC is used to construct the boat. The bottom is made of heavy-duty tarpaulin making it sturdy and leak-proof. It offers a weight capacity of 400 lbs which is great if you’re planning to take heavy gear along.
The best fishing kayak is easy to carry as the seat folds into becoming a backpack. The straps of the backpack are also soft and padded. It comes with a hand pump and a foldable paddle. It is easy to store. Carrying it is convenient in a car trunk or a suitcase while traveling.
Storage space is generous and safe. There are a cup holder and a bungeed space in the front. Carry handles make it easy to drag the boat in and out of water. The seat is wonderfully padded for comfort during long journeys.
- Has a great weight capacity
- Durable and airtight
- Easy to transport and carry
- Quickly sets up
- Not always great on fast-moving water
- Puncture is always a threat
- Doesn’t track well in spite of skegs
- The paddle isn’t durable
This is one of those kayaks specially designed for children or young people under the weight of 130 lbs. The starter boat weighs only 18 lbs. and is easy to carry. A child may not be able to lift it and would need an adult’s help to hoist it onto a car. But a toggle at the front of the kayak makes it easy to pull it in and out of water.
It’s built with high-density Polyethylene material that protects it from wear and tear. It is sure to remain in good shape for years till the child outgrows it. One feature specially meant for children is the swim-up step. It’s a sloped deck that makes it easy for children to climb back up. The hull design aids stability and the kayak is less likely to flip over. The twin-fin design helps in better tracking.
Multiple footrest positions make it comfortable. Molded-in finger handles are given to help carry the boat easily. A molded-in paddle cradle for the double-sided paddle comes with it. The bright green color makes the boat visible in the water. Scupper holes drain water and keep the boat dry.
- Strong and durable
- Maneuverable with fishing rod holders
- Bright color makes it easy to spot
- Swim-up deck makes it beginner-friendly
- Unsuitable for tall children
- Riders can get wet quickly
- Doesn’t come with a seat attached
- The size of the paddle will not suit children of all sizes
This is an inflatable tandem sit-on-top kayak. The bright color and graphic design of the kayak makes it noticeable, and therefore, safe in the water. It’s a sporty tandem kayak that’s lightweight and compact.
The kayak is built with rugged puncture-resistant vinyl and has a sturdy I-beam floor. It’s equipped with BOSTON valves on the sides for effortless inflation and deflation. You can launch the kayak within few minutes of unpacking. The boat comes in an easy to carry bag.
The seats are removable and adjustable in this sit on top kayak. The space in the kayak is sufficient to accommodate both riders comfortably. The kayak comes with a removable skeg for enhanced tracking. The kayak is 10’ long and allows a weight capacity of 400 lbs. it is best for use in smaller bodies of water like small lakes and slow-moving rivers. It comes with a repair kit, aluminum oars and a Hi-output pump.
- Sturdy design
- Multiple positions for the seats
- Easily inflated and deflated
- Padded backrest with fishing rod holders
- Comes with oars and an air pump
- Easy to transport and store
- Doesn’t allow much space for storage
- The skeg can be misplaced in water
The Sea Eagle 330 Deluxe is a versatile inflatable tandem kayak that can also be used for solo fishing. This sit on top fishing kayak comes with removable seats that can be placed anywhere inside the kayak. You can adjust them in any position you want to be seated in.
The material used for the boat is a tough Polykrylar with I-beam tubes forming the floor. It comes in a canvas storage bag with a comfortable shoulder strap for easy carrying. This sit on top kayak, when packed weighs 38 lbs. The weight of the kayak itself is 28 lbs. that allows a capacity of 500 lbs.
The boat also has scupper holes that keep water from filling inside the boat. There are two skegs on the vessel to support better tracking. The boat does well in calmer waters.
- Easy to set up ocean kayak
- Can be used for solo and tandem kayak.
- Comes with a paddle, repair kit, and a pump.
- The paddle grips are easy on the hands
- Comes in a bag big enough to carry the paddles and a towel
- Easy to clean and pack up
- Good value for its cost
- Inflating the boat is time-consuming because of the many tubes
- Taller riders cannot fit comfortably
- Difficult to handle in fast-moving waters
The 10’ sit on top kayak is 11” deep and 30” wide. Its open cockpit makes for easy sitting and getting out. The storage space is incorporated with a little hatch near the rider’s seat. There’s another space with bungee rigging at the bow. A Portable Accessory Carrier is given at the back for multiple storage options. A cup holder is conveniently placed near the seat too. Little side pockets can be used for other smaller necessities. A paddle holder in the kayak adds to the comfort.
Sitting on a long journey in this sit on top kayak is a comfortable experience. The seating area is spacious, with protective thigh pads and adjustable foot braces. The back rest is padded and adjustable too. There’s enough leg space for anyone.
The lightweight boat has carry handles in the back and the front to easily drag and lift the kayak. The vessel tracks quite well and is stable. It’s built with durable UV-stabilized Fortiflex.
- Great storage space
- Because of its lightweight, it doesn’t do well in strong winds
- Constant paddling keeps the boat on track
One of the best fishing kayaks you can get is Perception Pescador Pro 12. This fishing kayak makes the fishing comfortable and easy. With its removable Pro Seat that features 2-level seat adjustment and breathable mesh, you get the ultimate comfort all day long. Moreover, the lawn style chair mesh makes sure that you do not go through pain. With the adjustment feature of the chair, you can raise the kayak for optimum casting or lower it when you want relaxed paddling.
Further, its construction comprises of built-in buoyancy and leak-proof production for safety and added comfort. The ultimate stability gives you confidence on this sit on top fishing kayak. This sit on top model keep you dried while providing stability even when you are standing on top. Moreover, its fast, smooth, and efficient body trail straight to stay on course and cover lots of water with less effort. The roomy cockpit ensures that the entry, exit, and gear tracks are easy.
Additionally, this one of the best kayaks for fishing has maximum durability. It can endure the highest weight; its weight capacity is 375 pounds. Also, it has exceptional UV and abrasion-resistance due to high-density polyethene and one-piece roto-molded construction. Stainless steel and brass hardware make sure that this ocean kayak is saltwater-optimized; so, it prevents corrosion for long-lasting performance.
Further, it has two integrated fishing rod holders that help in the readily accessible and hands-free storage. It has a large front, rear open, and dry storage for tackle, gear, and cooler. You can drag this fishing kayak t long distances without fearing any damage. The boat length is 12 foot, and the width is 32.5 inches.
- Durable and stable construction
- Two integrated fishing rod holders
- Built-in buoyancy and leak-proof
- Anti-corrosive and saltwater resistance
- Boat length is 12 foot and weight capacity in 375 pounds
- Hands-free storage
- Lawn style mesh chair
- Comfortable and long-lasting performance
- The fishing rod holder does not work well when you are fishing actively
- It is expensive than other fishing kayaks
Tamarack Angler Sit On Top Fishing Kayak by Lifetime is one of the top fishing kayaks. Its construction helps in UV protection, with high-density Polyethylene. Moreover, multiple footrest positions are available for riders of different sizes to provide ultimate comfort. Also, the padded seat back and seat rest make sure you get maximum ease.
Additionally, it has flat bottom and front and rear shock bungee cords straps for stability. It contains three fishing rod holders: two flushes mounted rod holders, and one top-mounted rod holder. Two storage compartments of six inches are available in both rear and center. The storage hatch is enough for plenty of storage. Further, it contains two front and rear T-handles of 52-pound design for easy transportation.
Moreover, it has two paddle cradles with shock bungee cords along with deep body tracking channels. This sit on top fishing kayak has all the comfort you need to fish and long time paddling. Designed to ensure extreme stability and safety, it has stability chine rails.
Finally, it is an adult fishing kayak with a weight capacity of 275 pounds. With a ten-foot height, this fishing kayak can adjust any 6-foot long person. Some of its key features are self-bailing scupper holes, paddle keeper, and two water bottle holders.
- 10-foot height and can adjust a 6-foot long person
- Two front and rear T-handles
- Easy to transport
- Two paddle cradles with bungee cords
- Flat bottom and front and rear shock bungee cords straps
- Two storage compartments
- Multiple footrest positions
- Two flush-mounted rod holders and one top-mounted rod holder
- It expensive than other models
Vibe Kayaks Skipjack Sit On Top Fishing Kayak is a one-person sit on top kayaks to fish. With 9 feet and 42 pounds, this kayak for fishing is recreational and is best for throw and go fishing. Moreover, it includes four flush-mount rod holders. For storage, it has 6-inch sealed V-Wave Center Deck plate with a waterproof cargo bag. It consists of two storage areas with bungee cords.
Additionally, this best fishing kayak by Vibe Kayaks has ergonomic design comfort. It has for backrests and cushioned seats to make this kayak more comfortable. Four grip carrying handles also add to the ease of the anglers. Moreover, it has built-in comfort foot braces and cup holders. The weight capacity of this fishing angler kayak is 300 pounds.
Constructed with ultra-stable rotomolded single piece Polyethylene, it is durable. The built-in buoyancy and leak-proof production add in safety and protection. Further, its key features include a slip resistance deck and six scupper holes. Also, it has paddle parks and easily accessible paddle rests. This fishing kayak is perfect for catching fish in lakes, ponds, rivers, and streams.
- Ergonomic design
- Comfortable and stable
- Backrests and cushioned seats
- Four flush-mount rod holders
- Four grip carrying handles
- Slip resistance deck
- Ultra stable rotomolded single piece Polyethylene construction
- Two storage areas
- Six scupper holes
- The liner inside the storage areas does not sit well
Another one of the best fishing kayaks you can get is Old Town Topwater Angler Kayak t fish. It offers the best fishing experience due to its comfortable, easy to maneuver, stable, and hands-free fishing platform. This PDL angler kayak uses an instant forward or reverses pedal drive with low maintenance. Also, it includes a patent-pending, easy-docking system to fish hands-free.
Additionally, It can carry more than four rods with two rod holders and horizontal rod storage. This ocean kayak also includes an adjustable seat that is an element Air seat. Also, it consists of an oversized rigid tank well to store the gear, three-rod holders, and rod and tackle storage. To offer comfort while you fish standing, it has EVA foam deck pads for traction and comfort.
Out of all the fishing kayaks, Old Town kayaks provides stability and comfortable transportation with its ultra-stable double-hull design. Also, its design help in handling with precision in a compact package. It stocks up on universal transducer mounting system, which makes it easy to mount any of the fish finders. It also features pockets to keep you more organized while you fish.
Further, this 10 foot and 6 inches long fish kayak has a weight capacity of 450 pounds. Among all the fishing kayaks, it has lightweight and durable fiberglass-reinforced paddles to produce smooth yet powerful strokes. But, these paddles sell separately than this kayak. Also, this kayak has an AirComfort system for cooling on hot, summer days.
- Comfortable and stable
- Compact kayak with loads of storage options
- Instant pedal forward or reverse system
- The double hull design is easy to transport
- Universal transducer mounting system
- Adjustable Element Air seat
- AirComfort system for cooling
- 10 foot long with a maximum weight capacity
- Little water can come in the kayak
Another one of the sit on top fishing kayaks by Vibe Kayaks is Yellowfin. Like many other fishing kayaks, it is also one person sit on top fishing kayaks. For the best fishing, stability, and maneuverability, this kayak is an ideal kayak. You can get superior comfort due to comfortable Vibe HERO Framed Seat & a paddle.
Moreover, it includes almost four fishing rod holders and accessories gear tracks. This kayak has loads of storage with waterproof cargo hatches. It also contains four Phantom grip handles for comfort and easy maneuver. If you want to track smoothly across all water types and weather conditions, then this kayak works best.
This ocean kayak has slip-resistant, open deck platform with speed hull design. Due to which, you can track quickly and smoothly with long-term performance. Additionally, it has adjustable foot braces, eight scupper holes, cup holder, and paddle parks. It is a 10-foot long kayak with 375 pounds weight capacity.
- Crafted with ultra-stable rotomolded single piece Polyethylene
- Comfortable, stability, and maneuverability
- Maximum storage area
- Four flushes mounted rods
- Adjustable foot braces
- Durable and robust construction
- Dual-position Hero seat
- It is more expensive than other models of kayaks
If I were to choose any one of the above for myself, it would be the SUN DOLPHIN JOURNEY 10. For a sit-on-top kayak that is great for fishing, it comes at a good cost. It’s easily maneuverable and can be taken into difficult to reach spots.
It works great in rivers and lakes with calm waters. The cockpit of this kayak is roomy and gives one the chance to relax. Scupper plugs are self-bailing and can always be plugged if water collects in the boat through them.
The greatest relief for an angler is the boat’s generous storage. The Portable Accessory Carrier is great for storage. It can also be removed to make space for other belongings.
I’d say the boat is an all-rounder in the water.