Best Beginner’s Fishing Kayak with Reviews & Buying Guide (2020) is reader-supported. As an Amazon affiliate, we earn from qualifying purchases.Learn more

Fishing kayaks open up a whole new world for fisherman for catching easily spooked fish such as cobia.

Not only can fishing kayaks be cheaper than boats, but they are also smaller and more portable.

A fishing kayak allows reaching those small, enclosed fishing areas, the ones that not every angler can reach with a motorized boat.

The best beginner fishing kayak will not only help you reach those prized locations, but it will also easily transport all your gear.

Quick Comparison of Top Beginner’s Fishing Kayaks Today

Here is a quick comparison of the best beginners fishing kayaks today. It should help you to quickly zero down to 1-2 options best suited for you –

Product Dimensions USP Price

Lifetime Tandem Fishing Kayak

Lifetime Sport Fisher Tandem Kayak

Best Overall

10' x 3' Allows for Solo or Tandem Paddling Check Price

Sevylor Coleman Colorado Fishing Kayak

Sevylor Coleman Colorado 2-Person Fishing Kayak

Runners Up

10'9'' x 3'3'' 840D Nylon Cover provide Durable Protection Check Price

Sundolphin Journey 10 SS

SUNDOLPHIN Sun Dolphin Journey Sit-on-top Fishing Kayak (Olive, 10-Feet)

10' x 2'6'' Retractable Carrying Handles Check Price

Brooklyn Kayak Company UH-TK181

BKC UH-TK181 12-foot 5-inch Sit On Top Tandem 2 Person Fishing Kayak with Paddles, Seats, and 7 Fishing Rod Holders included

12' x 3' Top Tandem Kayak features two secure paddle rests Check Price

BKC UH-TK219 Tandem Sit On Top Kayak

Brooklyn Kayak Company UH-TK219 Tandem Sit On Top Kayak, Army Green

12'2" x 3' Perfect 3-person Kayak for the Family Check Price

Perception Kayak Pescador Pro

Perception Pescador Pro Sit On Top Kayak for Fishing - 12.0

10'6'' x 2'10'' Comfortable stadium-style seat Check Price

Ocean Kayak Prowler 13

Ocean Kayak Prowler 13 Angler One-Person Sit-On-Top Fishing Kayak, Brown Camo, 13 Feet 4 Inches

13'4'' x 2'6'' Four-way-Adjustable Comfort Plus seat Check Price

Wilderness Systems Tarpon 100 Angler Kayak

10' x 2'6'' Stability to Help you Fight a Fish on the Line Check Price

Perception Pescador Pilot

Perception Kayak Pescador Pilot Sit On Top for Fishing

12' x 2'8'' One-handed rudder control Check Price

Buying Guide for the Best Beginner Fishing Kayak

Buying Guide for the Best Beginner Fishing Kayak

When purchasing the best beginner fishing kayak you want to look at the kayak’s stability, speed, durability, maneuverability, and storage.

Purchasing the best beginner fishing kayak is similar to purchasing a beginner’s kayak. When purchasing any kind of beginners kayak you want to think about the size and shape of the kayak.

You want to make sure the kayak you are buying is going to be big enough and comfortable enough for you to use. You also need to think about how easy the kayak is to transport.

If you have a truck or a trailer you can easily transport the kayak in the bed or tow it behind. For those with just a car, you need to think about how easy the kayak will be to load on and off the roof.

When it comes to the fishing kayak though, there are a few special things that you really need to pay attention to.


If you are after a fishing kayak you need something that offers excellent primary and secondary stability. Primary stability refers to how stable the kayak is on calm waters while not moving.

Secondary stability is how stable the kayak is when it is moving. Narrow kayaks don’t offer as much primary stability as wider kayaks, but they do offer excellent secondary stability.

How stable you want your kayak to be will depend on what kind of fishing you plan on doing.

Kayaks with a lot of primary stability are always a good choice for anglers because it allows for standing inside the kayak and fishing. Primary stability is often more important than secondary stability for anglers.


This is going to depend on where you like to fish. If your fishing locations are far away or if you are dealing with wavy or even windy conditions on the lake while you fish you want a narrow sit-in fishing kayak.

For calm waters with easy to get to locations the sit-on kayaks with a wider base are the preferred choice. Wide kayaks don’t have a very high rocker, which reduces the amount of speed they are capable of.

Narrow kayaks have a higher rocker, so can move faster through the water.


No matter what kind of kayak you are purchasing durability is an important factor. How durable you need your fishing kayak to be will again depend on where you plan to do your fishing.

Calm and open waters require a less durable kayak than any place where your kayak is subject to any kind of abuse, such as rocky lakes or rapids.

The problem with durability is that the more durable the kayak is, the heavier it is going to be. Weight plays an important role in how easy the kayak is to move and transport.

Heavy kayaks are more difficult for one person to handle.

Most kayaks are made from polyethylene, which a single-layer version is the most durable because it is cast in a single mold.

Multiple layered polyethylene kayaks are lighter due to the foam in between the layers. Fiberglass is lightweight, but will not hold up against debris you might hit while fishing.

Carbon-composite is another lightweight material but is not very durable at all as it snaps easily.

Best Beginner Fishing Kayak


You need to figure out how well the kayak tracks and turns when buying the best beginner fishing kayak. How well kayak maneuvers will depend on length, width, and the rocker.

A lower rocker is harder to turn than a higher rocker, while the higher rock offers easier tracking then the lower rocker.

You need to decide what is more important to you, tracking or turning, and look for a kayak that works best for the areas you plan to fish in.


A fishing kayak is specifically designed for the purpose of fishing. These kayaks will offer special storage compartments for your fishing gear, including rod holders, tackle boxes, and bait.

Not all fishing kayaks will offer all storage options, so you need to figure out what is more important for your new kayak to have.

Storage hatches with lock tight lids offer waterproof storage for highly sensitive and important items, such as wallets and cell phones.

Having a paddle holder located close to the cockpit is something many anglers don’t think about. The closer the paddle holder is to the cockpit the easier it will be to quickly stow away the paddle to toss in a line.

The good news is if you can’t find a paddle holder on a fishing kayak you like, you can add one yourself.

Fishing Kayak For Rough Water

Fishing Kayak For Rough Water

When looking for a fishing kayak for rough water you want something that offers excellent maneuverability without compromising durability.

Rough waters can take their toll on fishing kayaks. With how hard these waters can be on fishing kayaks, it should be no surprise that there are specifically designed fishing kayaks for rough waters.

One of the most important things to consider when choosing a fishing kayak for rough water is maneuverability.

Moving waters, which can be rapids, waves, or just fast moving rivers, have rather strong currents that push your kayak forward at a fast pace.

These waters can also have obstacles in the way, so you need to be able to quickly move around any obstacles that come up.

The best fishing kayak for rough waters is going to be a short and wide kayak, as they are easier to maneuver. This style of kayak is also going to offer better secondary stability.

Most rough water fishermen prefer a sit-in kayak, as it allows you to stay dry in colder climates, plus they offer a higher rocker.

Although sit-ins are the preferred choice, you can often find sit-on-top models that are suitable for rough waters.

A Quick Video on How to Fish on Rough Water-

Should I get a Sit in or Sit on Kayak?

Sit-on-top kayaks are the preferred choice of fisherman as they offer excellent primary stability and an open cockpit.

Before you can decide between a Sit-In and a Sit on Top kayak you need to understand the difference between the two. A sit-in kayak offers an enclosed cockpit, while a sit-on-top doesn’t.

With an enclosed cockpit you have a better chance of staying dry while kayaking. The downfall to a sit-in kayak is they don’t come with drain holes, so any water that enters the cockpit must be manually removed.

Wide open cockpits and amazing primary stability make sit-on-top kayaks the preferred choice of anglers.
Many fishermen opt for a sit-on-top kayak for a variety of reasons.

Should I get a Sit in or Sit on Kayak

One of the biggest reasons they prefer sit-on-top kayaks is because they are less likely to sink as they feature a double hull construction.

Sit-on-top kayaks are constructed from polyethylene plastic making them extremely durable.

This style of kayak has a wide beam and measures anywhere from 10 to 16 feet in length allowing them to offer excellent primary stability.

The downfall to a sit-on-top kayak is their secondary stability is lacking and they have a hard time maintaining curse. They should only be used on calm waters or on calm days.

Do Kayaks Tip Over Easy?

Kayaks do not tip over very easy as they are designed not to tip.

Kayaks are not designed to be easily flipped over, so you really don’t have to worry too much about them tipping over. How easily they tip over will depend on the type of kayaking you are doing.

Recreational kayaks on calm waters, you won’t tip unless you do it purposely. Whitewater kayaking increases the chances of tipping based on how rough the rapids are.



Here are the answers to the five most commonly asked questions about fishing kayaks.

1. What is the Best Fishing Kayak for me?

There is no right or wrong answer to this question. The best fishing kayak for you will depend on your personal preference, as well as where you plan to do most of your kayak fishing.

2. Are Fishing Kayaks Stable?

Yes, fishing kayaks are stable. In fact, most fishing kayaks are designed to be stable enough to fish from while standing up in calm waters. The wide-open cockpit and wide base provide better stability with plenty of room to move around.

3. Is a Longer Kayak better than a Shorter Kayak?

Longer kayaks are faster, but shorter kayaks offer better maneuverability. The length of your kayak will really depend on the waters you are fishing. If you have to cover long distances, you want something with a little speed. If you have to maneuver in tight spaces to reach your location something shorter will be better.

4. What kind of Paddle do I need?

You want to purchase the best paddle you can afford. Carbon fiber paddles are more expensive, but they are one of the best paddles out there. They are lightweight and more efficient than other paddles, plus they offer a stiffer blade.

5. Where do you Store fish you have Caught?

Generally speaking, you store the fish you have caught inside one of the storage compartments. Some fishing kayaks will come with a special compartment, but you always want to store the fish properly on ice. Avoid hanging fish from the side of your kayak as it can attract unwanted guests.

Kayaking isn’t just a recreational activity or an adventure sport in itself: it can also be a great way to go fishing and helps you get to hard-to-reach fishing spots.

For beginners at kayaking and fishing, combining the two activities might seem daunting.

A good fishing kayak for beginners will have a lot of stability to ensure your safety, as well as storage space to keep your hands free, and accessories such as rod holders for you to drop multiple lines from.

Keeping these and other features in mind, this list brings together some of the most highly rated and popular fishing kayaks for beginners for you to choose from.

Reviews for the Best Fishing Kayaks for Beginners

Check out our reviews of the top fishing kayaks ideal for beginners below. This includes a bot about the company, key specs, pros, and cons.

Lifetime 10 Foot, Two Person Tandem Fishing Kayak Review

Lifetime Sport Fisher Tandem Kayak

This versatile fishing kayak by Lifetime can accommodate both single and tandem paddling.

This can be useful for beginners who are just starting with fishing or kayaking since they can take someone more experienced along. You can even bring along a small passenger in the center seat.

You even have adjustable footrests for people of different heights.

The kayak is made of a UV-protected low-density polyethylene and the hull features a tunnel design that is extra-stable which is nearly impossible to tip over.

The design also has a molded front carry handle to transport it as well as paddle cradles at the front and back and paddle clips on both sides. The paddles come included with the kayak.

The seating is ergonomically designed for comfort and is high in the kayak so that you don’t get wet. The self-draining scupper holes in the kayak also help drain any water that does splash in.

For storage, you get a rear storage hatch where you can put your cargo. To top it all off, you get 3 fishing rod holders for hands-free fishing.

This kayak has a maximum weight limit of 500lbs.

  • Extremely stable and safe for beginners
  • Great for families with small children
  • Smaller paddles of growing kids
  • The interior remains quite dry
  • Easy to maneuver and tracks well
  • Backrests aren’t padded and can be uncomfortable
  • Fishing pole holders are not well placed

Check Reviews & Price on Amazon

Sevylor Coleman Colorado Review

Sevylor Coleman Colorado 2-Person Fishing Kayak

The Colorado is the odd kayak out on this list because it is the only inflatable kayak listed here.

It is a tandem kayak made of PVC for rugged use and a tarpaulin-covered bottom which is meant to be resistant to puncturing. It even has Sevylor Coleman’s Airtight System construction to prevent leaks.

In the unlikely event that you do get a puncture, Colorado comes designed for safety with multiple air chambers to keep you afloat in case one gets punctured.

Such safety features are especially important for beginners.

A great feature of this kayak is its multiple storage options: it has D-rings for you to attach any equipment or gear so that your hands can remain free.

It also has mesh storage pockets to stow away snacks in and keep them close at hand. You also get paddle holders to secure your paddles and adjustable rod holders for better control over your fishing experience.

The Colorado is compatible with Sevylor’s trolling motor and has a weight limit up to 470lbs.

  • Rod holders for hands-free fishing
  • Tandem paddling is possible
  • Easy to inflate and fast set-up
  • Very durable and puncture-resistant
  • Spacious and has good storage
  • High price for an inflatable
  • No pump included to inflate it
  • Rod holders not positioned well
  • Tends to drift easily in the wind

Check Reviews & Price on Amazon

Sundolphin Journey 10 SS Review

SUNDOLPHIN Sun Dolphin Journey Sit-on-top Fishing Kayak (Olive, 10-Feet)

The Journey 10SS is a great option for those who are just starting out because of its relatively low cost, as far as hard-shell kayaks go, as well as the ample storage space that’ll keep your hands free in case you’re not used to multi-tasking on a kayak.

Its rugged UV-resistant high-density polyethylene construction ensures that you get a durable and dent-resistant kayak.

The open cockpit gives you ease of access along with large seating as well as adjustable foot braces, which makes this a good choice for people of all sizes.

In addition, you get many features to enhance your fishing experienced. These include 3 types of holders: one swivel rod holder, two flush rod holders, and a recessed tackle holder.

It also comes with unique storage options such as the P.A.C. (Portable Accessory Carrier) for extra storage that can be towed behind the kayak.

You also get a regular storage compartment, ditty trays, and shock-cord deck rigging for quick storage. A handy beverage holder and paddle holders are also built into the Journey 10 SS.

  • Adjustable footrests
  • Plenty of storage space
  • Extremely stable
  • Affordably priced for a fishing kayak
  • Swivels too easily, especially when at rest
  • Cheap construction
  • Multiple complaints about the handles breaking off
  • Fills with water very easily
  • Not the best tracking, requires modifications

Check Reviews & Price on Amazon

Brooklyn Kayak Company UH-TK219 Review

Brooklyn Kayak Company UH-TK219 Tandem Sit On Top Kayak, Army Green

The UH-TK219 by the Brooklyn Kayak Company is a an expansive kayak, coming in at 12 feet in length, and is meant for tandem kayaking along with a child or perhaps even a dog.

This makes it great for family kayaking and fishing.

You also get a large number of rod holders: 4 flush-mount rod holders and 2 adjustable ones. This means you can drop multiple lines at once while still keeping your hands free.

When you’ve found a good fishing spot, you can also use the paddle rests to keep the paddles in place.

The body of the kayak is made of UV-protected high-density polyethylene and it comes with 4 carrying handles for transport on land.

However, it is definitely on the heavier side as it weighs 68lbs and has a weight limit of 440lbs.

You do get a decent amount of storage space with two storage hatches. One is situated at the rear while the other is in front so that both people in the kayak have their own storage space.

A Short Video on Brooklyn Kayak Company UH-TK219 –

  • 6 rod-holders for multiple lines
  • Can be used in flat water, rivers, and salt water
  • Good choice for families
  • The seating is a bit uncomfortable and tends to slide forward
  • High weight (68lbs)

Check Reviews & Price on Amazon

Brooklyn Kayak Company UH-TK181 Review

BKC UH-TK181 12-foot 5-inch Sit On Top Tandem 2 Person Fishing Kayak with Paddles, Seats, and 7 Fishing Rod Holders included

The UH-TK181 is the more popular cousin of the UH-TK219 described above.

It has a similar construction since they’re both made of high-density polyethylene that is treated to be UV-resistant.

The design is, possibly, even more, sprawling than that of the UH-TK219.

It has seating for two people so beginners can go out rowing in tandem with more experienced kayakers.

It also has a broad 34-inch beam that ensures stability even in saltwater locations and adverse weather conditions. There are also 8 scupper holes that keep the kayak dry in case of any water splashes in.

It comes with 7-rod holders: 3 articulated fishing rod holders and 4 flush-mounted rod holders for multiple lines from different points of the kayak.

You also get waterproof storage hatches that keep your cargo dry. These are located between each paddler’s legs so you can stash things you need to reach for quickly such as snacks.

There’s also a rear cargo area that has bungee cords for you to die down any larger equipment or gear when it’s not in use.

It has a weight of 68lbs with multiple carrying handles for land transportation and a weight limit of 440lbs. You get 2 86-inch aluminum paddles and 2 seats free with your purchase.

  • Good tracking
  • A large number of rod holders
  • Very stable
  • Easy to turn and maneuver
  • Can be used in the ocean, lakes, and rivers
  • Bulky and heavy (68lbs)

Check Reviews & Price on Amazon

Perception Kayaks Pescador Pro Review

Perception Pescador Pro Sit On Top Kayak for Fishing - 12.0

Perception Kayak’s Pescador Pro is designed to maximize all the most desirable qualities in a fishing kayak.

It is designed to be fast and maneuverable while also retaining stability so that you can use it in a variety of locations. It is suitable for use in open oceans as well as calmer coastal regions along with lakes and slow-moving rivers.

You get a good amount of open storage in the rear and front that comes with bungee cord rigging to keep cargo and equipment in place.

The Pescador Pro 12.0 has more storage than the 10.0 version because of the difference in size.

For fishing, you get 2 molded-in rod holders for handsfree use while the Pro Seat gives you an adjustable backrest as well as the option to lower or raise it.

You also get adjustable footrests as well as a cup-holder to keep drinks conveniently close to you.

The kayak also has gear tracks in the side so that you can add accessories without having to drill holes into it. There’s also a handy console area to mount a fish-finder.

The kayak weighs 64lbs which is why it comes with front and side carrying handles as well as a skid plate so that it can be dragged without being damaged during land transport.

A Quick Glance on Perception Kayaks Pescador Pro –


  • Skid plate reduces chances of damage during land transport
  • Fish-finder console
  • Can be used in rivers, lakes, coastal areas, and oceans
  • Very comfortable seating
  • Tracks well and is easy to maneuver
  • The rod holders aren’t positioned very well
  • Heavy (64lbs)
  • High price

Check Reviews & Price on Amazon

Ocean Kayak Prowler 13 Review

Ocean Kayak Prowler 13 Angler One-Person Sit-On-Top Fishing Kayak, Brown Camo, 13 Feet 4 Inches

The Prowler 13 is made of single layer polyethylene that is designed to weather all sorts of fishing environments, from calm to rough waters.

The open hull is designed for stability and is easy to get into for beginners. A Comfort Plus seat is also provided with the kayak.

This kayak is definitely angler-friendly: it comes with 2 flush-mount rod holders and a transducer-compatible scupper to mount a fish-finder on.

Paddle holders on both sides also make it easy to switch between paddling and fishing. The pull tabs on the holders are particularly convenient because of how easy they make releasing and attaching the paddles.

For storage, you have a couple of options. There is a large tank with bungee cords to store things such as buckets, crates or coolers.

You also have a 6-inch cam lock hatch with a storage bucket as well as a bow hatch with a Quick Seal to keep items such as keys or wallets safe and secure.

There are also two molded-in cup holders near the seat to keep your drinks in.

Other useful features include a screw-in drain plug to remove any water from your kayak as well as a removable skid plate for land transport. It weighs 56lbs and has a weight limit of 325lbs.

  • Tracks well, even in rough waters
  • Transducer-compatible scupper for fish-finders
  • Lots of storage
  • Very sturdy and stable
  • Only two fishing rod holders
  • Doesn’t come with scupper plugs so a lot of water can tend to get in

Check Reviews & Price on Amazon

Wilderness Systems Tarpon 100 Review

The Tarpon 100 by Wilderness Systems integrates a number of unique design features that make it great for beginner kayakers.

The hull is designed with a flare to provide unsurpassable stability and tracking without having to sacrifice speed and responsive, as is often the case.

The open seating is easy to get into for beginners and the Tarpon 100 features an ergonomically designed Phase 3 AirPro seat for back as well as leg support.

It uses foam to give you a comfortable day of fishing and keeps your back ventilated and cool.

As far as storage is concerned, you get convenient gear storage pockets in front of your seat to keep smaller items within reach.

There’s also a self-bailing tank well in the rear that has bungee cords for you to tie down buckets and coolers to store any catch.

A neat cup-holder between the footrests and a dry storage hatch in the front to keep your gear safe are also available.

Other useful features include 4 self-draining scupper holes near your legs as well as an accessory track system that lets you attach accessories without having to drill holes into your kayak.

The Tarpon 100 is also quite aesthetically pleasing and comes in 7 different color schemes. It weighs 55lbs and has a weight limit of 325lbs.

  • Easy to transport
  • Stable as well as easy to maneuver
  • Very comfortable seating
  • Accessory tracks
  • Good storage space
  • Front hatch keeps cargo dry
  • No rod holders
  • Doesn’t come with paddles

Check Reviews & Price on Amazon

Perception Kayaks Pescador Pilot 12.0 Review

Perception Kayak Pescador Pilot Sit On Top for Fishing

The second kayak on this list from the Pescador line is the Pescador Pilot 12.0. What makes it so unique is its Pilot Drive propeller system that propels the boat while letting you keep your hands free for fishing.

A one-handed rudder control also gives you 360˚ turning ability for maximum directional control.

The kayak itself is designed with stability in mind and you can even stand in it while fishing without worrying about it capsizing.

It is suitable for all sorts of environments and it works best in recreational areas like lakes, in calmer coastal regions, and in open ocean settings.

It comes fitted for fishing as it has 4 molded-in rod holders and areas to mount fish-finders. It also has gear tracks so that you can attach any more accessories that you need.

The seat is designed for best-in-class comfort with easy front/back adjustment and a breathable mesh at the back.
You also get a huge amount of storage.

This includes small storage near the seat such as a drinks holder, recesses for small-item storage such as baits, and a paddle holder to easily attach your paddles.

At the back, you have a large tank well with bungee cords to store large items such as coolers, buckets, and gear while the front has a tank well with a stretch-mesh cover.

The Pescador Pilot 2.0 has a weight of 85lbs and a weight limit of 475lbs.

  • Convenient and large amounts of storage
  • Pilot Drive propeller system
  • Very stable
  • Easy to accessorize
  • Comfortable seating
  • Expensive, especially for beginners
  • Very heavy (85lbs)
  • Rod holders and drinks holders aren’t sized properly
  • Doesn’t come with assembly instructions,
  • The rudder might cause problems for beginners

Check Reviews & Price on Amazon


When it comes to buying the best beginner fishing kayak the most important thing to remember is where you will be fishing. Your fishing environments will greatly influence the kind of kayak you buy.

You can simply head out and purchase the best beginner fishing kayak you can find, but we strongly encourage you to try a few out from rental places before making a final decision.

Whether you want a tandem kayak, or a kayak for a family fishing trip, or even a solo kayak for a few hours out on the ocean, this list has got you covered.

You can choose from a wide range of features and prices as well and weigh their pros and cons so even if you’re a beginner with no idea where to start from, the list gives you all the information you’ll need.

Here is the list of best fishing kayak for beginners once again. You can use the links to check out the specs, customer reviews, pricing and discount on Amazon –

Last update on 2022-10-06 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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