Best Sit On Top Fishing Kayak For 2023

Canoes and Kayaks

As you may or may not know, fishing kayaks are becoming an increasingly popular choice for fishing. They provide a stable, comfortable platform that puts you in the perfect position to reel in your catch. But with so many options on the market, it can be tough to decide which one is right for you.

In this post, we’ll look at some of the best sit-on-top fishing kayaks and help you decide which one is right for you. So whether you’re a beginner or an experienced angler, keep reading to find out more!

Table of Contents

stand up kayak for fishing

What makes a fishing kayak different?

Fishing kayaks generally tend to be slightly larger and heavier than regular kayaks. They also have more features than a recreational kayak, like rod holders, storage capacity, elevated seats, and watertight compartments.

Is fishing from a kayak hard?

While kayaks do have some unique challenges, they are far from impossible to fish from. Casting and reeling from a kayak may be tricky for beginners. Still, with enough practice, it can become super easy in no time.

Can you use any kayak for fishing?

You will find that most kayaks can be used for fishing if you really want. However, fishing kayaks are designed specifically for this. They might not be as fast as other kayaks, but they are generally wider and provide more stability. Many anglers opt for attaching a kayak trolling motor to speed up reaching distant fishing spots. 

Does fishing kayak color matter?

You have probably thought to yourself at one point, “will a bright-colored kayak scare away fish?” And the answer is no. This is because the fish do not pay attention to the color of your kayak.

Having brighter colored kayaks are the safest when out on the water as you are much more visible and easy to spot. This could be important so other boats and jet skies out on the water don’t run you over.

Some people prefer camouflage kayaks, which can help you stay hidden on the water if needed. It is also much easier on the eyes when the sun hits it. Overall, the color of your boat comes down to preference.

What do you do with fish when kayaking?

Many people prefer to use coolers to store their fish, as it keeps them fresh. However, when choosing a cooler, you should consider the size of your kayak to ensure it will fit securely. Other options include nets, stringers, deck bags, and hatches if your kayak has one.

Do I need and anchor when kayak fishing?

If you don’t want to drift away while fishing in a kayak, you should use a kayak anchor system. This means that your fishing line would be much more stable and help increase your chance of catching fish.

What features are in a good fishing kayak?

A good fishing kayak must deliver stability, impressive weight capacity, and a large storage compartment. It should also have multiple fishing rod holders, comfortable seating, and accessories rails.

A sit-on-top kayak is the answer if you want to experience fishing from on top of the water rather than ashore.

So, if you are on the lookout for kayaks for fishing this summer, here is a list for you to choose the best sit-on-top kayak from:

Top 9 Sit On Top Fishing Kayaks

1. Perception Pescador

Length: 12’
Width: 32.5”
Weight: 57 pounds
Weight Capacity: 375 pounds
Built-in Rod Holders: No, Accessory Rails

As fun as it sounds, fishing can become highly tiresome if not equipped with the right kayak. The Perception Pescador is a sit-on-top fishing kayak that offers a seat adjustment and breathable mesh material, giving a comfortable experience all day long. In addition, its 12 feet length and 32.5-inch width is one-piece construction, adding to the kayak’s buoyancy and safety.

Sit-on-top kayaks are known to be heavy; however, this one weighs a mere 57 lbs. and can handle weights up to 375 lbs. In addition, integrated accessory rails can hold the fishing rods while relaxing in the calming water.

What we like:
✅ The seat adjustment feature and the mesh seat material make the kayak comfortable for fishing all day long
✅ One-piece construction adds to the safety and buoyancy
✅ Equipped with accessory rails

We don’t like:
⛔️ It is pricey

2. Lifetime Tamarack

Length: 10’
Width: 31”
Weight: 54 pounds
Weight Capacity: 275 pounds
Built-in Rod Holders: Yes

What equipment do you carry on a fishing trip? Obviously more than just a fishing rod! And where to keep your all-too-important equipment? If you’re on the Lifetime Tamarack, its two 6” storage compartments are perfect for keeping equipment like gloves, towels, phones, and first aid kits.

T-handles on the front and rear make it easy to transport, combined with its lightweight but durable high-density polyethylene. A 5-year limited warranty covers any bumps and rocks you hit that may cause harm to the sit-on-top fishing kayak.

What we like:
✅ Lightweight but durable material
✅ Limited 5-year warranty coverage
✅ Two 6″ storage compartments

We don’t like:
⛔️ Doesn’t track too great, quickly goes off track once you stop paddling

3. Bkc Tk219

Length: 12’6”
Width: 34”
Weight: 68 pounds
Weight Capacity: 595 pounds
Built-in Rod Holders: Yes, 6

What’s better than fishing in a kayak? Fishing in a kayak with the family or a friend! The BKC TK219 is a family kayak with a seating capacity of 3 persons.
Its high-quality material and weight capacity might cause it to be weightier than other kayaks. Still, its 34” width and height are designed keeping the physics in mind. Therefore, it offers excellent stability for fishing trips during swift currents or pulling up that huge catch!

Its water-resistant storage is perfect for keeping the group’s valuables safe. In addition, 6 rod holders are more than enough for three persons to relax or keep the rods out of the way when paddling.

What we like:
✅ 3-seater capacity is great for going in groups or planning fishing trips with some family
✅ Proportioned length and width that maintains kayak’s stability
✅ Watertight storage helps keep valuables safe while you have a fun summer experience

We don’t like:
⛔️ The seats require manual assembling

4. Pelican Sentinel

Length: 9’5”
Width: 30”
Weight: 44 pounds
Weight Capacity: 275 pounds
Built-in Rod Holders: Yes, 2

The Pelican Sentinel’s hydrodynamics set it apart from other one-person sit-on-top fishing kayaks. While Pelican is known for producing kayaks that are lightweight but durable and impact-resistant but safe, this fishing kayak is no different.

The lightweight material allows the kayaker to maneuver the kayak through the waters quickly, swiftly, skillfully, and safely, getting a better catch than fellow fishers. In addition, the impact-resistant material pops back to its original form even if it hits bumps and rocks along the way, therefore not impacting the kayak’s performance.

What we like:
✅ Lightweight material allows for excellent maneuvrability and speed
✅ Impact resistant material keeps the kayak free from damage in the rough waters
✅ Value for money

We don’t like:
⛔️ The seat is secured in place manually, which may cause back pain

5. Vibe Yellowfin

Length: 12’
Width: 33”
Weight: 65 pounds
Weight Capacity: 400 pounds
Built-in Rod Holders: Yes, 4

No other sit-on-top fishing kayak is better if you are aiming for some serious fishing. With 4 built-in rod holders in a one-person kayak and a weight capacity of up to 400 pounds, you have ample room for the big catch in lakes, ponds, streams, rivers, and even the ocean.

A rod-framed seat allows a comfortable fishing experience throughout the day. If you don’t want to waste your fishing time by relaxing in the kayak, the speed hull design allows for quicker maneuverability, getting you better catch as you’re on the go.

What we like:
✅ A beach-chair like seat makes the fishing experience comfortable
✅ Excellent storage capacity for the big catches
✅ Lightweight for a person to carry to and from the car

We don’t like:
⛔️ It does not track well for long trips

6. Wilderness Systems Tarpon

Length: 10’6”
Width: 32”
Weight: 55 pounds
Weight Capacity: 325 pounds
Built-in Rod Holders: No

What’s better than a cool-touch seat on a hot summer day? The Wilderness Systems Tarpon is a one-person kayak that offers precisely that. The seat is also most comfortable because of its material and adjustment feature.

It is also compact compared to other kayaks as it is shorter than 11 ft making it easy to carry around. However, this sit-on-top fishing kayak has a relatively large rear storage despite its short length, making it perfect for storing the catch of the day.

What we like:
✅ Short but roomy enough to hold and adult and a child
✅ Comfortable seating that makes the fishing experience smooth
✅ A magnetic drink holder

We don’t like:
⛔️ Small dry well capacity, but enough for essentials like phones

7. Oldtown Topwater

Length: 12’
Width: 33.5”
Weight: 82 pounds
Weight Capacity: 500 pounds
Built-in Rod Holders: Yes, 3

When taking this beauty out fishing, one might need to use the T-handles because of a whopping 82 pounds weight, double the weight of most mid-range kayaks.

However, it also means it can handle an astounding 500 pounds weight capacity. And the three built-in rod holders do just the job of catching fish to complement all this impressive storage.

The ultra-stability and comfortable seat mean you can fish standing up or sitting in, just as you prefer. So, catching the big fish won’t be a problem because you can stand up to get that baited fish out of the water and into your sit-on-top kayak’s storage!

What we like:
✅ Can withstand heavier individuals standing to fish
✅ Comfortable seating that keeps paddlers comfortable and relaxed for the entire fishing day
✅ Easy to transport T-handles that easily allow maneuvering the kayak despite the weight

We don’t like:
⛔️ The paddles are sold separately, so you will need to invest in a paddle if you do not already own one.

8. Reel Yaks

Length: 11’
Width: 35”
Weight: 62 pounds
Weight Capacity: 500 pounds
Built-in Rod Holders: Yes, 6

Made from lightweight and durable material, the Reel Yaks is a sit-on-top with the capacity and stability of a heavy-duty fishing kayak.

The seat is also super comfortable, and the design is stable enough to fish while sitting, allowing a stable platform to stand when pulling the catch out of the water. Apart from 6 built-in rod holders, it also has multiple accessory rails to keep all your accessories secure in the kayak.

What we like:
✅ The stability holds up well even in choppy water conditions
✅ Great value for money
✅ Prompt customer service

We don’t like:
⛔️ It does not include spare nuts, bolts, and straps

9. Sun Dolphin Journey

Length: 10’
Width: 30”
Weight: 44 pounds
Weight Capacity: 250 pounds
Built-in Rod Holders: Yes, 3

The Sun Dolphin is a great sit-on-top fishing kayak for the novice kayaker. A lightweight kayak that is low-priced and perfect for calm water means it is a great first purchase to learn fishing while kayaking.

Since its weight capacity is low, it won’t be able to secure a lot of catches. However, the kayak is roomy enough for you to keep all your fishing equipment, gear, and snacks.

What we like:
✅ Lightweight with T-handles makes it easy to carry to and from the car
✅ Low priced, perfect for beginners
✅ 3-rod holders can get more catch in lesser time

We don’t like:
⛔️ Low weight capacity makes it wobbly


While the list contains the top sit-on-top fishing kayaks, the best one is the Oldtown Topwater because of its excellent stability, comfortable seating and impressive weight capacity and storage. Even though it is weightier than the rest and pricier, it delivers value for money as it gives one of the best fishing experiences of them all.

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