Types of Kayaks for Fishing – A Complete Guide

Types of Kayaks for Fishing

It was my brother’s birthday. I decided to plan a birthday surprise for him. I just got tired of indoor celebrations and simple birthday parties. So I started thinking about some unique things. Suddenly an idea popped into my brain. Fishing, yes he loves to do fishing so I decided to go out fishing with family and to have some seafood for dinner.

There were lots of things to be done in a short time. On the same day, I spoke with a friend and she told me about kayak fishing. I started researching it.

Are you still thinking to select the best suitable kayaks for fishing? It’s not a big problem. Just stay on the page and go through this informative guide.

Why Do You Need Kayaks for Fishing?

The first question that came to mind is why you need kayaks for fishing. Yes! You read right. Fishing kayaks are nowadays in trend especially if you want to spend some of your good time solo with all surrounded by nature. Fishing on kayaks is full of enjoyment with no maintenance issues.

Another valid reason for using kayaks for fishing tours is that they can take you to all those narrow waters where there no other boats can adjust. Kayaks can manage to float over all kinds of water bodies. You can go fishing at places where you know that nobody else can. It can let you drag over tree stumps too.

In short, when fishing on kayaking you can experience all those amazing things that you would never enjoy if you are using a boat for fishing.

Different Types of Kayaks for Fishing

Different types of kayaks can be used for fishing. These types are categorized based on their features advantages and disadvantages.

  1. Sit-on-top Fishing Kayaks
  2. Tandem Fishing Kayaks
  3. Fly Fishing Kayaks
  4. Bass Fishing Kayaks
  5. Inflatable Fishing Kayaks
  6. Sit-Inside Fishing Kayaks
  7. Standup Fishing Kayaks
  8. Freshwater Fishing Kayaks
  9. Pedal-Driven Fishing Kayaks
  10. Outrigger Fishing Kayaks

Let’s explore some of these types in detail.

1. Sit-on-top Fishing Kayaks

Sit-on-top is available in numerous variations and well-known types of fishing kayaks among kayakers. These kayaks are designed in highly stable design which makes it easy for learners to jump, swim and get back inside.  


  • They provide higher vantage points for fishers.
  • Their seats are composed of heavy-duty Aluminum frames.


  • Because of its open style, water can get in easily.
  • You cannot take it to sleek sites.

2. Tandem Fishing Kayaks

Here is another kind of fishing kayak mostly suitable for folks who want to go out fishing with their mate. They came in both styles; single and double paddlers. The single large paddler tandem is more stable than the double one.


  • A tandem fishing kayak can be a single or two-person canoe.
  • It includes extra storage space.
  • You can take load roof racks or rollable carts along for transporting this kind of kayak.


  • When using it for two, it is harder to maneuver.
  • When using it for two people, it moves slower.
  • It offers less freedom.

3. Fly Fishing Kayaks

Fly fishing kayak is a mix of both a sit-on-top fishing kayak and the best white water kayak. It is more stable on flat waters and beginners can smoothly handle it over running water too.


  • It provides smooth maneuverability and stability at the same time.
  • Smaller size allows it to easily float over narrow and shallow waters.
  • Equipped with a skill set that is helpful for anglers.


  • It provides no live bait.
  • Fly fishing kayak retrieves are done by hand.

4. Bass Fishing Kayaks

These fishing kayaks are designed in a specific way that helps you while fishing largemouth and smallmouth bass. They are adjustable according to all kinds of water conditions as bass exists in different waters. You will experience too many things like this allows you to know what they are biting.


  • You don’t need to sit for a longer duration, just re-string the rod you are handling.
  • These are stable during various conditions.
  • You can set its holders according to your angles.


  • It requires more maintenance.
  • It also requires more fuel.

5. Inflatable Fishing Kayaks

The best inflatable fishing kayaks are composed of drop stitching and it is the best option for those having lack of space. One can easily deflate it and store it in the trunk for further use.

These boats are mostly featuring facilities like rigid kayaks. They have accessories like mesh pockets for storing goods, fishing rod holders, and storage partitions.


  • Because of its strong stitching, you can inflate it at higher air pressures.
  • Inflatable kayaks are stable and good in performance.


  • Wind can ruin its stability.
  • Lightweight.

Read More About: Types of Kayaks for Beginners – An Ultimate Guide

6. Sit-Inside Fishing Kayaks

This is a good choice for fishing expeditions in rough and tough weather conditions. You can easily rescue yourself in case of danger. It offers you a good storage space for your fishing equipment.


  • Very efficient and allows good maneuverability.
  • Weather friendly.


  • It is challenging for you to get in and out of the water easily.

7. Standup Fishing Kayaks

Standup fishing kayaks are featuring a hull with a pontoon structure. It is a good choice because of its stability with flat and wide cockpits so you can stand up comfortably.


  • Maintains your balance for big fishing goals.
  • Removable seats can help you to fish from the best-elevated vantage point.


  • You can get wet easily and needs more maintenance.

8. Freshwater Fishing Kayaks

These fishing kayaks are made for shallow and slow-moving waters. Freshwater kayaks are available in various colors, shapes, and sizes. In comparison to saltwater fishing kayaks, freshwater fishing kayaks are considered to be more affordable.


  • Easy to manage in any kind of freshwater fishing environment.
  • There are many different shapes and sizes available. It is up to you to choose the one that meets your needs.


  • It can be uncomfortable if not customized properly.
  • High maintenance.

9. Pedal-Driven Fishing Kayaks

You must be thinking that it will be some kind of pedaling kayak as its name shows. Its seats are designed a bit back lifted so the kayaker can do pedaling efficiently. You can fish with your free hands. It also gives an option for the rudder.


  • You can convert its pedaling system to a trolling motor.
  • Reliable and comfortable seat for peddlers.
  • It is featured bells and whistles too.


  • They might be expensive.

10. Outrigger Fishing Kayaks

Outrigger fishing kayaks are the most commonly used kayaks by fishing cultures especially kayakers from coastal areas vibe these fishing kayaks. They are well known because of their heavy-duty performance over longer distances to find out the schools of fish.


  • It is good for fishing as well as exercising sport.
  • Perfect match to catch large ocean species.
  • This kayak provides a higher center of gravity.


  • It can be expensive and may require high maintenance costs.

The thing everyone looking for is actually which is the best of all. So, keep reading to find out more.

What is the Best Type of Kayak for Fishing?

The Intex Excursion Pro Fishing Kayak is the one of best fishing kayaks. It is best not only because of its features but also because its outlook is very attractive. If you look at its composition, this Pro fishing kayak is featuring spring-loaded valves that provide ease of inflation and deflation. It is made up of a tough polyester core that ensures high abrasion resistance.

It has another pro feature of an adjustable mounting bracket as a storage compartment and GPS.


  • Highly durable and efficient
  • Advanced features
  • Air Chambers
  • Extra Accessories and fish-finding system


  • It comes with a short warranty time
  • You may find it expensive

Pro Tips for Fishing in Kayaks

Here I am sharing a few helpful tips for fishing in kayaks. Those who are beginners should review this section.

It is important to use ultraviolet protectants while fishing on sunny days. If will not use UV protection, it will brittle the plastic of your kayak, and also the color will fade off. You must have high-quality optics to outline the fish from an accurate distance and not get bitten.

Never stop right in the mid of the place where the fish was just overcast the lure at a distance of some feet and then trick the fish from there to get a reaction.

Best Spots for Kayak Fishing

When looking for an ideal environment for fishing go for the calm and quiet bays and lakes. A populated location is also good if you are going alone so that you can take help from someone out there.

The most important thing to keep in your mind is that always get some know-how about the spot you’re going. 

Some famous kayak fishing spots in the USA include:

  1. Lake Tahoe is located in California; you can catch salmon brown, trout rainbow, and lake trout from this spot.
  2. Another lake named Lake of Woods is situated in east Medford. Many kayak fishers enjoy fishing wall rye there. It is a famous spot because of ice fishing.
  3. There are numerous tributaries to the Yellowstone River, including the Bighorn River is the largest one. The fisherman catches plenty of rainbow trout and brown trout from this spot. 
  4. The Lagoon, at the east end of Galveston Texas, is another famous fishing point in the USA for kayakers.


All of the above-explained types of fishing kayaks offer exciting fishing. You can easily find out a budget-friendly and advanced fishing kayak for your fishing adventure by reading out this complete guide. This guide will help you in all ways whether you are a beginner or a pro.

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