Best Sit On Top Fishing Kayak – Buying Guide For 2022

Fishing from a kayak is an incredibly fun and relaxing experience. Kayaks let you maneuver to places where larger boats can’t go, and they move very stealthily, so they don’t scare away the fish!

But did you know that there are two different types of fishing kayaks.  There are sit on top kayaks and sit inside kayaks.  It is our goal that this post will help guide you on your journey to find the best sit on top fishing kayak.  If you have the money to spend then you will definitely want to take a look at the Old Town Topwater 106 PDL Angler Fishing Kayak, this thing is everything you could hope for in a kayak.

Old Town Topwater 106 PDL Angler Fishing Kayak
  • Old Town's Topwater PDL Angler...
  • The Topwater PDL Angler uses the...
  • Packed with features, the Topwater...

If you are on a budget and still want a quality craft that you can rely on, and feel really happy about getting then you want to try out this model by Lifetime, the Tamarak Angler 100 sit on top fishing kayak.

Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100 Sit On Top Fishing Kayak
  • Constructed of uv-protected...
  • Adjustable padded seat back and...
  • Paddle Included. One Paddle Keeper...

If you are looking to learn more about why maybe you should get this type of  fishing kayak then read on below!  In this next section you will find our top picks .

Keep on reading as we showcase some of the best sit on top fishing kayaks available on the market today.

While sit-on-top fishing kayaks are much more stable, they are also a little heavier, so you may find it difficult to paddle them over very long distances. If you are interested in going long distances but still want the stability that comes with a sit on top fishing kayak then you should check out our trolling motors post.

Best Sit On Top Fishing Kayaks

BKC RA220 11.5-Foot Sit on Top Angler Fishing Kayak

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This sit on top paddle kayak is another home run craft from the Brooklyn Kayak Company.  They are putting out some quality fishing kayaks across the board, from entry level designs all the way up to the high end peddle drive systems.  Like with all of their products you can be confident that its money well spent for the quality that you get in return.

This craft is a kayak fisherman’s dream, with the comfortable ergonomic aluminum seat, foot controlled rudder, multiple fishing rod holders, three separate waterproof storage boxes, and more!

The hull is made of high density polyethylene so there will be no worries of sinking as you slam into rocks on your way down the river.

The stability of this kayak is top notch and can easily handle weights up to 550 pounds so no worries about overloading issues, feel free to bring all the gear you might need for a day, or more, out on the water.

All in all, you cant go wrong with this model from BKC, feel confident in your decision.

Lifetime 10 Foot Sport Fisher Kayak

Lifetime 10 Foot Sport Fisher Tandem Kayak
  • Blow molded from High Density...
  • Designed to seat up to 3 people;...
  • Hull design provides ultra...

The Lifetime 10 foot fishing kayak is a great all-round sit on top kayak. The kayak is made from high-density polyethylene and the shape of the hull gives it a lot of stability, so you can comfortably use this kayak even if you are not that experienced with kayaking.

It is designed to seat up to three people(two adults and a child), and the maximum weight it can take is 500 pounds. The neat thing about this kayak’s design is that it has multiple footrest positions, so boaters of different heights will still find it comfortable. Additionally, it has 3 slots to put your fishing poles in, cup holders, a storage area with bungee straps in the front, and also a 6 inch storage hatch for keeping knick-knacks.

The way this kayak is designed lets you fish standing up or turned to the side in your seat without fear of the kayak tipping over. This kayak comes with two seat backs, two paddles, and 5 scupper plugs(in case you lose one or two). There are only two scupper holes, though.

Finally, this kayak was built for stability and slow cruising – NOT speed. So if you are looking for a stable platform to fish from, this is the one to get.

Best Sit On Top Fishing Kayak Under $500

Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100 Sit On Top Fishing Kayak

Choosing the best sit on top fishing kayak under $500 was an easy choice! Finding quality kayaks for low prices is getting harder and harder these days but this model really stands out for such a bargain, and again that’s the Tamarak Angler 100 sit on top fishing kayak.  Good luck finding a decent fishing kayak for a cheaper price!

Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100 Sit On Top Fishing Kayak
  • Constructed of uv-protected...
  • Adjustable padded seat back and...
  • Paddle Included. One Paddle Keeper...

Best Sit On Top Fishing Kayak Under $1000

Pelican Sit-on-top Fishing Kayak 

Pelican Sit-on-top Fishing Kayak Kayak 10 Feet Lightweight one Person Kayak Perfect for Fishing
  • Stable: The multi-chine flat bottom...
  • Comfortable: The adjustable ERGOFIT...
  • Fishing Features: Includes a front...

There’s a lot of competition in this price range but our top choice is this solid 10 foot Sit-on-top Fishing Kayak model from Pelican.  This pelican is a great choice but just remember this is still paddle operated.  If you are looking at kayaks under $1000 they are pretty much all paddle kayaks.

Cheapest Pedal Drive Fishing Kayak

PK11 Angler Sit On Top Pedal Drive Kayak by BKC

As you start to get into the $1000 dollar range you will begin to see foot pedal operated kayaks which are worth every penny. Steer with your feet; fish with your hands, pedal drives are really nice.

PK11 Angler by Brooklyn Kayak Company
  • PEDAL DRIVE SYSTEM: Get your kayak...

If you ever get the opportunity to use one then you will want nothing less.  They are great for fishing as they allow you to move much more slowly as you approach places that you are going to cast as not to disturb the fish.  Having the ability to instantly reverse is crucial for fishing as well.

If you can afford a pedal drive operated kayak then you are in for a real comfortable and enjoyable kayaking experience.

The cheapest pedal drive fishing kayak that we know about that we can confidently say is a winner is the PK11 Angler by Brooklyn Kayak Company.

If your kayak fishing experience is anything like mine

The longer you fish out of a sit inside kayak the more you will want a stand up fishing kayak, and the longer you use your stand up model the more you will wish it had a pedal drive.

What To Know Before Buying A Sit On Top Fishing Kayak

When buying a kayak, you need to consider a few things:

How much are you willing to spend on a sit on top kayak?

For most people, this will be the deciding factor. Kayaks are not cheap, and can easily cost from a few hundred dollars to over a thousand dollars, depending on how many bells and whistles it has.

How big of a kayak can the average person handle?

The size of the fishing kayak is an important thing to consider.  If you can’t move it by yourself you might as well buy two kayaks! But seriously, once you have your kayak, you’ll need to be able to transport it from your home to the lake/river and back! So before you buy, you’ll have to make sure that the kayak is something you can move around comfortably.

How to easily transport a fishing kayak without a truck?

If you have a truck, great, problem solved, just pick up some good straps and you’re good to go.  But what if you don’t have a truck with a bed big enough to carry your brand new beautiful sit on top fishing kayak?

Well there are a few solutions depending on your vehicle type.  These two products below are the most helpful that we have found for transporting a kayak.  This first one works great if you have roof bars already on your vehicle.

BougeRV Kayak Roof Rack
  • 【Tool-Free Installation】BougeRV...
  • 【High Versatility】This kayak...
  • 【Folding Mechanism】The middle...

This other unit is inflatable and works really nicely if you have a vehicle without roof bars.  This can even work on small 4 door sedans.

HandiRack Universal Inflatable Roof Rack Bars
  • YOUR HAUL MADE EASIER: A smart roof...
  • FITS CARS AND SUVS: Practical...

How much storage space do you need in your fishing kayak?

When you go fishing, you’ll have quite a lot of stuff with you – fishing rods, your tackle box, an ice box for caught fish, some snacks and drinks, and of course, a fish finder! So your kayak must have enough space for you to comfortably sit with all this stuff in it.


Contrary to how easy it looks, maneuvering a kayak is challenging at first. Most modern kayak designs are very streamlined, so you should not find it too difficult to maneuver. Still, it should be something you can handle!

What is the most stable type of fishing kayak?

Overall, sit on top kayaks are more stable than sit in kayaks.  If you plan on fishing while vertical, definitely grab a sit on top. 

Depending on what you are trying to catch, you may have quite a fight in store for you before you can finally reel the fish in! Because of this, you’ll need a stable kayak that can withstand the occasional jerk here and there as you are fighting the fish and tiring it out.

One of the main benefits of having a sit on top fishing kayak is that they are usually much more easy to stand up in.  Being able to stand up in a sit on top fishing kayak is critical to get that extra visibility down into the water.  From my experience when I stand in my fishing kayak I can get about 10 to 15 feet more of visibility, which is great for spotting fish before they get scared of your kayak.

What is the best way to store a fishing kayak?

Another thing that you will need to think about when buying a sit on top fishing kayak is where and how you are going to store it.  One of the most convenient and cheapest ways to to store your kayak is with this great Kayak Storage Strap System from Pelican. Easily store up to two kayaks on the wall of the garage or on the side of the shed.

Pelican Kayak Storage Strap System
  • 2 fully adjustable straps can also...
  • 2 loops for oars/paddles - SAVE...
  • Easy to use Stainless steel...

What is the best type of kayak for fishing?

Fishing kayaks are of two types – sit-inside and sit-on-top.  Although all personal preference I feel from my fishing experience a sit on top fishing kayak is the best option. Also for less experienced kayakers, sit-on-top is the best option, because you are not confined by the kayak in any way, so in case your kayak tips over, you can safely get away from the kayak. With sit-inside, your legs will be inside the kayak, and you may even have a spray skirt not letting water inside the hull, so that’s more stuff to get out of in case your kayak tips.

Best Sit On Top Fishing Kayak Image
Best Sit On Top Fishing Kayak Image

Below are some other great sit on top kayak options:

Vibe Kayaks Sea Ghost 130 Angler Kayak

The Vibe Kayaks Sea Ghost 130 angler kayak is designed with the fisherman in mind. Its hull is specially designed to give the most stability for a comfortable and safe fishing experience.

There are 4 fishing rod holders, 2 hatches that can be sealed for extra gear, four carrying handles to help move it around, a rear storage area that can secure your stuff with bungee cables, a drink holder, 8 scupper holes, and a foot controlled rudder system – making steering the kayak a breeze. You just have to paddle normally and you can steer with your feet.

The Vibe Ocean Ghost is a little more expensive, but it is designed to provide a comfortable kayaking trip. It can hold up to 550 pounds, and is 13 feet long.

From Amazon

Ocean Kayak Frenzy Sit-On-Top Recreational Kayak


The Ocean Kayak Frenzy is a stable and maneuverable kayak – perhaps one of the best beginner kayaks available right now. The hull is a unique tri-form hull which gives it the stability it has. Weighing just 43 pounds and at 9 feet long, the Frenzy is small and easy to transport, too.

Because it is a smaller kayak, it’s maximum capacity is 275-325 pounds. The smaller size also means certain conveniences like fishing rod holders are not there. There is a storage section towards the front of the kayak which has bungee cords you can secure your stuff to.

If you are looking for something that you can both fish from and casually use – even without much kayaking experience, this is a great choice. Plus, the sub-$500 price point can’t be beaten.

From Amazon

Ocean Kayak 12-Feet Malibu Two Tandem Sit On Top Kayak


The Ocean Kayak Malibu is a tandem sit-on-top kayak that comfortably seats a couple with one child. The comfortable seats can be adjust to many rowing positions – one person, two people, or two plus one child. The max weight capacity is 375-425 pounds, which is quite a lot.

This kayak is also a great way to take your pet out onto the water. It is very stable and can also handle mild ocean swells, so you can use it regardless of whether you are a freshwater or saltwater angler!

There aren’t any fishing conveniences built into the kayak other than the storage area with bungee cords, but since it is a larger kayak, there’s a lot of space for a single person to take a few fishing rods and some tackle boxes, too.

Paddles are not included so you’ll need your own.

From Amazon

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