5 Most Popular Types of Fishing Kayaks

bass fishing kayak in georga lake

Bass fishing in Georgia

Today, manufacturers offer kayaks that are specially designed for fishing and specific fishery needs, equipped with all the accessories required for this exhilarating adventure sport. These include built-in rod holders and coolers, specially designed hatches, equipment mounts and GPS receivers. Other accessories include running lights, anchor trolleys and live wells.

Specially designed angling kayaks are very similar to other kayaks but they are characterized by wider beams for increased lateral stability. This extra stability makes it possible to stand up on the kayak when fishing.

Most Common Types of Fishing Kayaks

Sit-on-Top Fishing Kayaks

sit on top fishing kayak

That’s a Jackson SOT kayak he is fishing from!

The one feature that distinguishes these sit-on top kayaks is that they feature a seat mounted above the hull, rather than inside it. The top of the hull is normally solid, with small channels or holes designed to drain water from the top of the kayak.

Contrary to what many people think, sit-on top kayaks are better suited for inexperienced paddlers, especially those who are yet to perfect the techniques required to prevent the kayak from rolling. They are also better suited for anglers over trollers thanks to their superior stability when stationary. Sit on top kayaks are also great for kayakers who carry a lot of gear, as the entire deck can be divided into different compartments as needed. Click here for more details regarding Sit on Top Kayak reviews

Tandem Fishing Kayaks

Also known as “double kayaks,” tandem fishing kayaks are versatile sit-in or sit-on top doubles designed with overlapping foot wells to allow two anglers to use the boat at the same time. Tandem fishing kayaks are usually heavier, more stable and longer to accommodate two sitting adults. Like a tandem bike, tandem kayaks have their own pros and cons depending on your perspective and needs.

They are ideal for those who don’t like to fish alone or would like to enjoy the adventure with a spouse friend or child.

Tandem kayaks are also great for those still new to kayak fishing. By sitting up front and following directions from a more experienced person in the back seat, a beginner can quickly learn most of the basic paddles strokes, boat handling and other skills required for kayak fishing. Moreover, a tandem kayak can still be easily used by one person sitting in the rear sit.

bass fishing

Yes that’s the bass, but where is the kayak?!

Bass Fishing Kayaks

Bass fishing kayaks are ordinary sit-in, sit-on-top, or tandem kayaks specifically designed and outfitted t offer the ultimate bass fishing experience. Bass fishing kayaks are designed for fast moving water so they tend to be narrow, but they are also quite speedy due to their length. The ultimate guiding principle for when shopping for a kayak for bass fishing is that it should be small enough to get into tight spaces, but offer enough stability to allow standing. This means that you have to look out for the length: width ratio.

Fishing kayaks are often outfitted for both angling and trolling, and this is an important consideration to make when shopping. With bass fishing, storage space is usually of great value, and this is why most fishing kayaks are sit-on-tops.

Fly Fishing Kayaks

fly fishing

Fly fishing of a kayak. Easy, peasy.

Fly fishing kayaks can either be sit-in, sit-on top or tandem style, but they should be outfitted for fly fishing. Since fly fishing often involves paddling through moving water, most kayak fishermen prefer sit-on top canoes due to the ease with which you can recover in case the kayak topples. Sit-on top fly fishing kayaks are also self draining.

Inflatable Fishing Kayaks

Gone are the days when inflatable kayaks were considered as simple pool toys. Thanks to dramatic advances in technology and materials, today’s inflatables range from highly specialized water craft to family recreational boats. Fishing was obviously not left behind and the inflatable kayaks on the market rival the hard shell kayaks when it comes to performance.

Inflatable kayaks are usually made of high quality material and premium construction. They are scratch resistant and when take care of, can last for 15 years or more. Both the sides and the flow are usually inflated for fluidity and comfort. Inflatable fishing kayaks are usually more affordable, offer superior portability and are easy to maintain. You can read more on inflatable kayaks here.

The kayak you choose depends largely on the type of fishing you will be doing. You can read our kayak fishing tips page for more insight into this popular sport.

The three most common types are:

  • Flat/Open water
  • Moving water
  • Versatile (in between) water

Kayak Fishing Basics Video