Kayak fishing is one of my favorite ways to fish; it’s good exercise and you’re able to fish in a way that just isn’t possible from a boat. 

If you haven’t fished from a kayak before, I highly recommend it. For those who are new to kayak fishing, it can feel daunting when it comes to deciding what type of kayak to buy. There are plenty of models out there, so it’s important to do some research and know what the best kind is for you and the type of fishing you want to do. Here are some tips for purchasing your kayak for fishing.

Know what type of fishing you will be doing 

The first step to buying a fishing kayak is figuring out what type of kayak is going to work best for your type of fishing. You may personally prefer a type of kayak, but you need to take some factors into account. There are sit-in-top or sit-inside kayaks; each have their own advantages depending on the type of fishing you’re planning on doing. For anything with rougher water, sit-on-top are better because they’re self-bailing and safer. Sit-inside may be better only if you’re planning to fish in very still water and need a lightweight kayak. 

Once you decide on the type, you need to decide on the size. Longer kayaks can be faster than shorter ones, but more difficult to navigate. Wider kayaks can give you a bit more stability.

You’ll also need to decide how you want to propel the kayak. Some kayaks are navigated using paddles, some can be propelled by pedals if you prefer to have your hands free the entire time. I strongly recommend pedals. It’s very difficult to put the rod down constantly to pick up a paddle.  

The best way to determine the type of kayak you want is demo out a few different kinds to see what works best for your body type and what you’ll want to be using it for.

Check the stability

No matter what type of kayak you choose to go with or what you’ll be using it for, you want to make sure it’s fairly stable. Kayaks often used to be tipsy and it was difficult to reel in fish from them. Now, there are kayaks out there that you can stand up in and fish from if you choose. The wider models provide more stability, though might not paddle as easily as narrower kayaks.

 Consider how you’ll transport it

How you’ll transport your kayak is a big factor in the type you’re purchasing as well. If you’ll be using a truck or hitch to transport your kayak and can immediately put it into the water, a heavier model will work fine. However, if you are transporting it using a car and are planning to carry it for a bit to get into the water, you’ll want a lighter kayak. 

You can now also buy an extended truck bed mount for some models which makes it a bit easier than trailering. 

I personally use a Hobie Pro Angler. It’s very stable, yet also maneuverable and fast. Plus it’s large enough to carry up to 12 rods, cooler, live well, and fish finder.