Is It Worth Buying a Kayak for Fishing? An In-Depth Look

Is it worth buying a kayak for fishing?

A good quality kayak can be expensive, but the rewards of getting out on the water are well worth the investment.

But is it for everyone?

A couple of years ago, I was walking along the bay of our nearby beach city in my area.

I saw a few kayak anglers in the bay, all equipped with their fishing gear and catching calico bass left and right.

It looked fun, and I started considering owning a fishing kayak one day. 

If you’re an outdoors person who loves fishing, then you may have wondered: is it worth buying a kayak for fishing?

I surveyed a hundred anglers, and roughly 64% said buying a kayak for fishing is worth it.

So this got me wondering why did they love it so much and why the other 36% didn’t like it.

I did a ton of research, and both sides had valid points.

What did I learn?

A lot.

A lot of things can go right, and a lot of things can go wrong.

There are a few things to consider to see if a kayak is worth it for you:

  • Mobility
  • Buying price
  • Accessibility
  • Health and body size
  • Buying price
Kayak fisherman in an inflatable kayak

Benefits of Kayak Fishing

Kayak fishing offers a unique, cost-effective experience and provides access to remote areas. It is also more mobile than other types of fishing, allowing anglers to explore new waters with ease.


Kayaks are lightweight and easy to transport, making them ideal for those who want to fish in multiple locations or travel long distances on the water. They can be easily loaded onto a car or truck and taken anywhere there’s water. This makes kayak fishing an excellent option for those who don’t have access to a boat but still want to enjoy the thrill of catching fish from the comfort of their own vessel.


Kayaks are much cheaper than traditional boats, so they make an excellent choice for budget-conscious anglers looking for an affordable way to get out on the water without breaking the bank.

You can start with an entry-level fishing kayak for less than $1000.

However, it can get pricey if you decide to fig it up with all the bells and whistles. So although it can be affordable, just know that things will add up, fast.

Accessibility To Remote Areas

One of the best advantages of kayak fishing is its ability to reach places that larger boats simply cannot go due to shallow depths or tight turns in rivers or streams.

I truly believe this is where a kayak shines over a boat.

Imagine accessing waters that have very little interaction with anglers.

This allows anglers access not only deeper parts of lakes but also secluded coves where bigger boats may not fit – giving you exclusive low-pressure opportunities.

Plus, because kayaks are small enough that they can be carried over land if needed (or even dragged across shallows), you can find yourself exploring uncharted territory in no time at all.

Good Exercise

Without a doubt, kayaking fishing does put a toll on your body and is a great (and fun) way to exercise while fishing. With that said, it’s not the best option for those with pre-existing back, knee, and other health concerns.

man fishing in a kayak

Types of Fishing Kayaks

Sit-on-top kayaks are the most popular type of fishing kayak.

They offer a wide range of features and benefits, such as increased stability, easier access to gear and tackle, and greater maneuverability.

Sit-on-top kayaks also tend to be more comfortable than sit-in models due to their open design.

The downside is that they can be more difficult to control in windy conditions or choppy waters.

Sit-in kayaks are designed for experienced paddlers who need extra speed and agility on the water. These kayaks have an enclosed cockpit which offers better protection from the elements but makes it harder to get in and out of them quickly.

They also require more effort when turning since you must use your body weight instead of just your paddle strokes like with a sit-on-top model.

Inflatable kayaks offer great portability while still providing good performance on the water. They come in both sit-on-top and sit-inside designs, so you can choose whichever one suits your needs best.

These kayaks are lightweight and easy to transport, making them ideal for those who don’t want to carry around a heavy boat all day long.

You don’t even need a roof rack or trailer at times.

Most of these inflatables can transport inside your vehicle when deflated. 

However, they may not perform as well as traditional hardshell models in rougher waters or strong winds since they lack rigidity compared to other types of boats but these days, I’ve seen some pretty impressive inflatables available on the market.

kayak by the shore

What to Look for When Buying a Fishing Kayak

If you’re new to kayaks in general, there are some key features that you should consider before buying.

Size and weight capacity, stability and maneuverability, storage space, and accessories should all be taken into account when making your purchase.

Size and Weight Capacity

The size of the kayak is important because it will determine how much weight you can safely carry on board. It’s also important to make sure that the kayak has enough room for you to comfortably sit in it while fishing. Generally speaking, larger kayaks are more stable than smaller ones, but they may not be as maneuverable or easy to transport.

Look at the maximum weight capacity of the boat before purchasing so that you know if it can handle any extra gear or passengers that might come along with you on your trip.

Stability and Maneuverability

Stability is key when looking for a fishing kayak since anglers often need to stand up in order to cast their lines further out into the water. Look for models with wide hulls which provide better balance than narrower designs do; this will help keep you from tipping over while standing up in your boat.

Consider how well a particular model maneuvers through tight spaces such as narrow channels or shallow waters – some boats have features like rudder systems that allow them to turn quickly without losing speed or momentum.

Storage Space and Accessories

Fishing requires a lot of gear, so make sure your chosen model has plenty of storage space both inside and outside the cockpit area (such as bungee cords).

Depending on the type of fish species you plan on targeting, you’ll also want to accessorize accordingly – rod holders are great for hands-free trolling, while bait buckets can help keep live bait alive until needed.

Finally, check out additional features, such as adjustable footrests, which can improve comfort levels during long days spent on the water.

kayak angler

Kayak Fishing Popularity

I’ve seen more and more kayak anglers over the years. Specialized forums and YouTube channels specifically for this kind of fishing.

The number of anglers who use kayaks is steadily increasing, with the most recent statistics showing that nearly 4 million Americans went kayak fishing in 2022. This figure is up from 2.8 million in 2018, indicating a significant increase in popularity over the past two years.

The average time spent on the water by those who go kayak fishing also shows an upward trend.

According to data collected by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, anglers spend an average of 8 hours per trip when they go out on their kayaks for fishing purposes. This figure is up from 6 hours per trip just three years ago, suggesting that more people are taking longer trips when they go out on their kayaks for fishing purposes than ever before.

In addition to this increased popularity among anglers, there has been a corresponding rise in sales of recreational and commercial-grade kayaks designed specifically for use while fishing or other outdoor activities such as camping or hiking trips near bodies of water like lakes or rivers.

This indicates that more people are investing money into buying specialized equipment for these activities, which can help them get better results while out on the water or enjoying other outdoor pursuits near bodies of water such as lakes or rivers.

Overall, it is clear that kayaking continues to grow in popularity among both recreational and professional anglers. This is due to its affordability and convenience compared to traditional boats used for fishing purposes, such as motorboats or sailboats, which require much larger investments upfront along with ongoing maintenance costs throughout ownership life cycles.

With this growing interest comes greater demand for quality gear designed specifically for use while engaging in these activities, so be sure you do your research before making any major purchases.

Tips for Beginner Kayak Fishermen

Often overlooked is the importance of learning the safety rules and regulations when kayak fishing.

Safety Precautions

When kayak fishing, safety should always be the top priority. Make sure to wear a life jacket and let someone know where you are going and when you plan on returning. It is also important to check the weather before heading out so that you can be prepared for any sudden changes in conditions. Additionally, it is important to have a way of communication, such as a cell phone or VHF radio, in case of an emergency.

Essential Gear and Equipment

Kayak fishermen need essential gear such as rods, reels, tackle boxes, bait buckets, lures, nets, and other items, depending on what type of fish they are targeting. Other items like anchors or trolling motors may also come in handy depending on your style of fishing. Having these items ready will help make your trip more enjoyable and successful!


Is a fishing kayak better than a regular kayak?

It depends on the individual’s needs and preferences. A fishing kayak is designed with features that make it easier to fish, such as rod holders, storage compartments for tackle and bait, and adjustable seating.

Regular kayaks may be more suitable for recreational paddling or touring due to their lighter weight and greater maneuverability. Ultimately, the best choice will depend on what type of activities you plan to do most often while out on the water.

How much should you spend on a fishing kayak?

When it comes to purchasing a fishing kayak, the amount you should spend depends on your budget and what type of kayaking experience you are looking for. Generally speaking, entry-level models can range from $300-$600, while mid-range models can cost between $700-$1,200.

High-end models with more features and better performance may cost upwards of $5,000 or more. It is important to consider the most important features when deciding how much money to invest in a fishing kayak to get the best value for your money.

Are kayaks worth the money?

One advantage of using a kayak for fishing is that it provides an easy and affordable way to access remote areas, such as shallow creeks or rivers. Kayaks are also much more maneuverable than other types of boats, allowing anglers to get into tight spots where larger vessels can’t go.

They require less maintenance than motorized boats and can be easily transported from one location to another. Finally, kayaks provide a unique perspective on the water that allows anglers to spot fish in places they wouldn’t normally see from shore or a boat.

With that said, you have to determine your level of health before getting into a kayak. If you have back issues or other health concerns, it will be difficult to maneuver through the water without discomfort.

What is one advantage of using a kayak for fishing?

One advantage of using a kayak for fishing is that it provides an easy and affordable way to access remote areas, such as shallow creeks or rivers. Kayaks are also much more maneuverable than other types of boats, allowing anglers to get into tight spots where larger vessels can’t go.

They require less maintenance than motorized boats and can be easily transported from one location to another. Finally, kayaks provide a unique perspective on the water that allows anglers to spot fish in places they wouldn’t normally see them from shore or a boat.

Other Resources

If you’re looking for more resources for kayak fishing or kayaks in general, I highly recommend these posts for you:

Similar Posts