Top 5 Best Freshwater Fishing Kayaks | Plus Kayak Fishing Tips!

best freshwater fishing kayaks

Top 5 Best Freshwater Fishing Kayaks | Plus Kayak Fishing Tips!

We just spent the last three days freshwater fishing and testing out twelve of the best freshwater fishing kayaks! We had a lot of fun with this review and luckily all three days were sunny and calm on the water.

Whether you’re a hobbyist who loves to fish in his/her spare time or a professional angler, we have five of the best freshwater fishing kayaks here for you. We reviewed these kayaks based on a multitude of factors as well. Some of which include: stability, on-board storage, weight, and speed & control on the water.

What’s great about fishing from a kayak is the ability to get yourself in all the little holes on the edges of the water. We went to a decent sized lake and I was able to maneuver myself into a 20 by 20 foot hole that would have been impossible to get to by boat. If it wasn’t for the kayak, I would have never been able to catch the bass that I was able to catch in that hole!

You can literally go anywhere with these kayaks. Some have rudder systems that make it super easy to control at higher speeds when you’re paddling with the current. Others have pedal systems which make is super easy to glide across the water without having to wreck your arms and shoulders from paddling.

Before we move on to showing you the best freshwater fishing kayaks, we want to share some basic kayak fishing tips. If you’re a beginner kayak angler, these tips will help your overall experience and help with navigating the water in a stealthy fashion!

Kayak Fishing Tips

Are you experienced in kayaking and fishing, but inexperienced in kayak fishing? Or maybe you get frustrated because you have a hard time being stealthy through the waterways?

Don’t worry, we’ll help you out. You will learn the various dangers to watch out for, best items to take on your adventure, and how to move in a stealthy fashion in areas where the fish are hiding.

Before Your Trip

  • Check The Fishing Reports – Check the fishing reports before you go out because you want to know what’s biting and where at. You’ll also build on your skills as an angler by doing this.
  • Check The Weather – The last thing you want is to be out on the water while it’s foggy and you lose your position on the water. Or worse, a big storms rolls in and here you are, stuck in a kayak. Be aware of the wind as well. You don’t want to deal with choppy water all day long.

What To Bring

  • Safety Gear – Safety should be your biggest concern while you’re on the water. You’ll want to bring a personal flotation device if for whatever reason you end up capsizing. Also bring a whistle, flares, gloves, headlamp, first aid kit, paddle leash, rod leash, and an emergency kayak repair kit (better to be safe than sorry).
  • Skin Protection – Nobody likes bees, ticks, or mosquitoes. Bring bug spray at the very least and apply it often enough. Also bring sunscreen if you’re expecting the sun to be out all day. A hat and sunglasses would be essential as well.
  • Food & Water – I can’t stress this enough, you need to bring plenty of water with you. As far as food goes, bring some healthy snack-type foods. Packages of peanuts or granola bars work great as a source of protein that’ll keep you energized.
  • Bring An Anchor – You’re going to want a 1.5 – 4lb anchor. They even have folding anchors that don’t take up much space which are perfect for kayaking. We recommend this 3.5lb folding anchor.

Kayak Fishing Skills To Practice

  • Learn To Move Quietly – Did you know every time you shift your body in the kayak, you create vibrations in the water? Fish that are swimming nearby can sense these vibrations. If possible, do what you can so you don’t accidentally hit your kayak with the paddle or anything. Also, try to decrease your movements inside the kayak.
  • Learn To Drift – No, we’re not talking about the type of drifting you do in a car. Drifting is when you paddle in a direction you want to go and just let the current take you. You’ll be able to cast your pole while drifting for 10-15 minutes or more. Frequently you’ll want to use your paddle to steer yourself in the direction you want to be going in though.

Now that you’ve got a better idea of what to expect and what to bring on the water, let’s take a look at the top 5 best freshwater fishing kayaks! Keep in mind that these kayaks are the real deal. We were given the opportunity to test some fancy fishing kayaks. These aren’t your typical Sun Dolphin’s either, so they aren’t cheap kayaks either.

Perception Pescador Pilot

1. Pescador Pilot Fishing Kayak With Pedal Drive

best freshwater fishing kayaks

The Pescador Pilot’s superior stability and performance make it the ultimate boat for paddlers of all abilities. Superior stability even allows anglers to cast from a standing position. Boasting more performance, comfort, features, and storage than any kayak at this price, the Pescador Pilot sets the new standard for value and innovation.

A spacious, sit-on-top design with generous storage and accessory mounts makes the kayak easy to customize. The Pilot Drive propeller system effortlessly propels the boat, even in reverse, while leaving both hands free for fishing or taking photos. The best feature? A price that propels the Pescador Pilot into a class all its own.

Product Details:

  • Propel your exploration and fishing to a new level.
  • Pedal-driven performance at an unbelievable price.
  • Ample storage features to accommodate fishing gear.
  • Best-in-class seating – removable mesh captain’s chair.
  • Gear tracks, fish finder consoles & 4 rod holders for anglers.
  • Features self-bailing scupper holes.
  • Water Types: Flat, Slow-Moving, Calm Coastal.
  • Boat length: 12’ 5”.
  • Deck Height: 16 inch.

Overall Consumer Rating (based on 10 reviews) = 4 out of 5 stars

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Also Read:

Vibe Sea Ghost 130

2. Vibe Kayaks Sea Ghost 130 Fishing Kayak

best freshwater fishing kayaks

Venture farther in the Vibe Sea Ghost 130 angler kayak. From unmatched hull stability, and superior tracking, the Sea Ghost 130 angler kayak can handle waters from rivers to surf.

Along with rigging and storage options that anglers demand, the Sea Ghost 130 includes a rudder, that saves energy on long paddles, windy days or in strong currents.

Product Details:

  • KEY FEATURES | 1-person sit on top fishing kayak – 13ft 75lbs fishing kayak that offers best of speed and stability.
  • MOUNT FOR ACCESSORIES | Includes 2 flush-mount rod holders and 4 integrated gear tracks for customized rigging.
  • OPTIMUM CONTROL | Pre-installed toe controlled rubber system saves your energy during long paddles, windy days, and strong currents.
  • MULTIPLE STORAGE OPTIONS | Large center console, 20″ front oval hatch, rear hatch and large bungeed rear tank well.
  • SUPERIOR COMFORT | The dual position Vibe Hero seat provides comfort and support for long days on the water.

Overall Consumer Rating (based on 60 reviews) = 5 out of 5 stars

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Vibe Sea Ghost 110

3. Vibe Kayaks Sea Ghost 110 Fishing Kayak

best freshwater fishing kayaks

Adventure awaits with the Vibe Sea Ghost 110 angler kayak. This kayak provides the best of speed and stability and maneuvers flat water, rivers and tight quarters with ease.

The well-balanced hull provides unparalleled performance while the included rudder system saves your energy during long paddles, windy days, and strong currents. The dual position Vibe Hero seat provides comfort and support for long days on the water.

Product Details:

  • KEY FEATURES | 1-person sit on top fishing kayak – 11ft 62lbs fishing kayak that offers best of speed and stability.
  • MOUNT FOR ACCESSORIES | Includes 2 flush-mount rod holders and 4 integrated gear tracks for customized rigging.
  • OPTIMUM CONTROL | Pre-installed toe controlled rubber system saves your energy during long paddles, windy days, and strong currents.
  • MULTIPLE STORAGE OPTIONS | Large center console, 20″ front oval hatch, rear hatch and large bungeed rear tank well.
  • SUPERIOR COMFORT | The dual position Vibe Hero seat provides comfort and support for long days on the water.

Overall Consumer Rating (based on 59 reviews) = 4.5 out of 5 stars

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Vibe Maverick 120

4. Vibe Kayaks Maverick 120 Fishing Kayak

best freshwater fishing kayaks

Conquer more water with the Vibe Maverick 120 Hybrid Kayak. Do not be fooled, this is no ordinary board! The stable, no-flex open deck provides superior stability, comfort and maneuverability. For those chasing down their next catch, the Maverick provides optimal customization for rigging.

The Vibe Maverick 120 Hybrid Kayak is ready to answer when adventure calls!

Product Details:

  • KEY FEATURES | Flat deck design, 12 feet in length, 72lbs in weight.
  • HULL DESIGN | Flat hull with molded in grooves designed to increase speed & tracking performance.
  • CONSTRUCTION | Sink proof pressure-injected foam. Rotomolded single piece high density polyethylene.
  • COMFORT | Includes seat tie-down straps and choice of Vibe Hero Seat or Larry Chair.
  • STORAGE OPTIONS | 5 gear tracks & 6 tie downs allow the Maverick 120 to be custom rigged.

Overall Consumer Rating (based on 5 reviews) = 5 out of 5 stars

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Vibe Yellowfin 100

5. Vibe Kayaks Yellowfin 100 Fishing Kayak

best freshwater fishing kayaks

We included the Yellowfin for people on a budget. The Yellowfin is by far one of the best freshwater fishing kayaks for people who don’t have much money to spend on a top-of-the-line fishing kayak.

Simply escape with the Vibe Yellowfin 100 kayak. Comfort and portability come together in this fully equipped, lightweight kayak. The Yellowfin 100 is the perfect throw-and-go vessel and features the Vibe Hero seat, providing comfort and support for long days on the water.

The Yellowfin 100 is a great stable kayak for fishing or recreational use.

Product Details:

  • KEY FEATURES | 1-person sit on top fishing kayak – 10ft 57lbs fishing kayak that offers best of stability and maneuverability.
  • OPTIMUM CONTROL | The Yellowfin 100 is the perfect throw-and-go fishing kayak because it’s easy to move by hand and transport.
  • MOUNT FOR ACCESSORIES | 4 Flush mount fishing rod holders.
  • SUPERIOR COMFORT | Includes the comfortable Vibe HERO Framed Seat & a paddle.

Overall Consumer Rating (based on 41 reviews) = 5 out of 5 stars

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2 Responses

  1. Foysal Ahmed says:

    An awesome step-by-step guide and tips, especially for new starters. This is very helpful, thank you for this guide!

    • Garrett says:

      Hey no problem! Yeah we had a blast testing these kayaks in the lakes around our testing facility. It turned out that Vibe had the most sturdy and durable frames out there. These kayaks had no issues with rocking while reeling the fish in either.

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