Fishing Kayaks can be big ticket purchases, and as their popularity increases so do the options available. It is possible to spend upwards of 4000 Dollars on a high end fishing kayak, although that is approaching eye-watering amounts. It is relatively easy to find a mid range fishing kayak under 1000 dollars that, although they wont have all the bells and whistles, still fulfil the requirements of getting you on the water and back comfortably and safely. We will explore some of our best recommendations below.
Why Fish From A Fishing Kayak
In recent years kayak fishing has become more and more popular. Kayak fishing is one of the more unique ways to fish and it comes with more than a few useful advantages.
- You get closer to the water. From the bank you have the limitation of how far you can cast, and how far you can move.
- It is cheaper to run than a powered craft and quicker to prepare and get on the water.
- It can be transported, relatively, easily to different locations, enabling you to fish a wider range.
- If a designed for fishing model you have specialized equipment to make fishing both easier and more productive.
- Exercise! while fishing is active, paddling or pedaling your way across a lake is a great workout!
- You can target sea species like tuna and pelagic without the need for sports fishing boats
- Storage is much easier than larger boats.
- You can spend as much or as little as you need to depending on your requirements
- You can access spots that both larger boats and shore or bank anglers are unable.
There are some safety issues when boating that also apply to kayaking, especially if you are headed out to sea or are powering your kayak with a trolling motor. We have articles covering these as well just follow the links.
Given the recent advances in technology, the high-end fishing kayaks can cost thousands and thousands of dollars. That is a decision that needs thinking about. So for today, we will be laying out the best fishing kayaks under $1000 All of which offer, although not all, features that are found on much higher priced models.
If you are in a rush then our recommendation is the Perception Pescador 12 it is just an awesome built for purpose fishing kayak and you can pick it up from perception for under 1000 dollars.
Wilderness Systems Tarpon 120
First on our list is the Wilderness Systems Tarpon 120 Angler. This is a shorter version of the 120 model. This is a strong, well-built kayak that will handle all that you put it through. Stable enough for larger paddles, and long enough that legs can stretch out. If also has waterproof containers to store phones and wallets. It will also take a decent sized cooler in the stern. It is top of the budget for a fishing kayak under 1000 dollars and comes in at most retails at 999.
This is a fantastic fishing model because of its storage capacity. One of the faults of using a regular kayak for fishing is the lack of space to put your gear. This is definitely not a problem here.
There is also a tank well which is a perk not found on many kayaks. A rod holder is conveniently placed on the front half so you can easily maneuver with your paddle. Overall, this is a quality kayak that will see you through many seasons. It is also from a reputable brand with other options for tandem kayaking if you wanted to add another angler to the day or use as a recreational kayak.
Vibe Kayaks Yellowfin 120
One of the lightest kayaks on this list is the Vibe Yellowfin 120 Kayak. Weighing in at 67 pounds, this is a great tool for kayaking on the job and getting to areas that require some hiking. However, with this semi portability comes some sacrifices. Well actually not really. It has 2 places to mount rods and plenty of storage hatches ( and we much prefer to have them already fitted.)
It is a great fishing kayak for under 1000 dollars.
When buying a Vibe kayak, you know what you are getting. You are getting quality from one of the industry’s leaders. So, no matter the model that you pick, you can be confident in your purchase. To find one at a price point of 400 Dollars is quite a bargain.
Brooklyn Kayak Company RA220 Fishing Kayak
One of the newer brands to come into the kayaking space is the Brooklyn Kayak Company. One of their best lines is the RA220 sit on top fishing kayak. The build of the seating area is perfect for fishing because you will be above the water and can cast with ease. This is an 11.5-foot long kayak, so picking up speed and kayaking long distances is a little bit easier than some of the others on this list.
Given the long length, this is a hefty kayak, so you will have to keep that in mind. This limits how far you can maneuver on land and kayak trolley may help you with this.
Along with a main storage compartment in the front, there is a built-in foot steering mechanism that makes controlling the kayak a bit easier. To have a rudder system on a sub 1000 dollar fishing kayak is a really good deal. It comes with a waterproof container for valuables, and twin rod holders ( an extra on most kayaks) to troll or store rods from.
Storage is ample and its possible to pack ( small) tents and gear to make it suitable for a weekend not just a day not bad for a fishing kayak under 1000 dollars!
Old Town Topwater 106
Next up, there is the Old Town Topwater 106. This is one of the bulkiest options on this list and it has the capability to hold up to 440 pounds. For bigger people or people who like to carry a lot of gear, the kayak options become fewer and more expensive. This is why the Old Town Topwater 160 is a great option. An Old town fishing kayak for under 1000 is quite a deal and you are buying more than just the brand name, it can also pack a punch.
This is a 10-footer that clocks in at just over 70 pounds. So, keep that in mind when traveling because it will take some strength to control it while on land. Alhthough it has strorage options it is more compact than the above kayak.
3 Waters Big Fish 105
I love these boats for fishing, they are like tanks. Definitely suited to shorter trips, but stable as you like with the trimaran hulls. The cathedral tri-hull features two outer pontoons along with a central pontoon with deep channels in between. The Big Fish seat offers all day paddling comfort with multiple sitting and standing configurations – high, low, recline and flip away, which doubles as a lean bar when standing.
The deck features a sturdy reinforced standing platform, storage space along the gunwales and open bow and stern storage areas for easy gear access. Another key feature is the removable Sonar Pod, designed to help you install electronics such as fish finders with ease.
The one drawback is the weight, it comes in at 89 lbs which is pretty heavy. If you are fishing inland this is the boat to look at, the lack of rudder may make it more of a challenge on longer trips, and it wont track as well as a thinner but then less stable kayak. You can decide which is more important to you and that fishfinder.
Especially for the size, the Ascend 12T sit on top kayak is one of the best at this price point. Sitting at $650 and 12-foot long, it is hard to find this kind of value. The added length adds to its tracking ability and its speed over distance. Although some reviewers have stated it may be a little more rocky than other models we haven’t noticed that as a major issue.
One thing that needs to be considered is the size. At 12-foot long and almost 80 pounds, this is one of the larger and stronger kayaks out there so it may need to be wheeled to the water or at least seek assistance if needed.
The second aspect to keep in mind is the casting area. This is a sit on top kayak, so you will have a better approach to casting. Also, there is non-slip padding on the bottom in case you want to stand up although take not of our point above and trial this if you can. You can get some reviews of it here.
Perception Pescador .
Perception is a household name in canoeing circles and their fishing kayaks are more than good enough to continue that pedigree. The pescador is a very popular sit on top fishing kayak under 1000 dollars. In fact at 879 this is our recommended model. It is a beast of a fishing kayak and its features hugely outweigh its price tag.
You are seated high in this sit on top, and there is a lot of space in the stern for you to adapt the kayak to your requirements, though drilling into kayaks always seems a scary thing to do. It also has three mounts so you can add gear without the drilling and two rod holders as standard.
It is about 57lbs, so some thoughts about transportation may be assuaged . It is also wide and stable, and you sacrifice both some speed and some maneuverability with that. However you can fit a trolling motor. It also has spaces for deck hatches should you want as well.
Perception scored a hit with this boat and we have no problem recommending it. The only draw back we could mention is that it may not be suited for rough / wavy water but you wont find that many fishing kayaks that are suitable for that.
Emotion Stealth Angler Fishing Kayak
Last, but not least, there is the Emotion Stealth Angler Fishing Kayak. This is another kayak that is fairly affordable and not hard to get your hands on, which is a depressingly large factor to consider when in the market for a new kayak. The back log of orders for some of the larger brands is growing daily.
Coming in at 11”, it is a fairly middle of the road fishing kayak under 1000, in fact this one is under 500. It is not from a particularly established brand but if you are on the look out for a bargain then it is certainly worth a look. It has in deck storage for you valuables and 3 rod holders to triple the threat ( their words) There is plenty of storage here, mostly open but there is also a hatch to keep valuables safe from the weather.
Although this is classified as a sit on top kayak, it is not as high as some of the others on this list. Finishing on a 500 dollar Fishing kayak is a conscious choice by us. It is easy to get mesmerized by the pricey options, but time should always be taken to research and choose if you really need to spend so much.
Although there are options from 300 ( less if you go the inflatable route) all the way up to 4000 Dollars plus when looking for fishing kayaks. We found that a sweet spot exists between about 700 and 1500 USD. After that, lovely as they are, you are on a path of diminishing returns.
There are kayaks that have awesome ( properly awesome) pedal drives, mounting options and more. If you are taking this uber seriously then they are worth a look and a consideration. However for the weekend angler something a little less will be absolutely fine.
It is easy enough to spend money if you have fishing as a hobby as it is! If you are looking to get into Kayak fishing then we definitely suggest you go to the local yak shop and trial a few to see which is suited to you. You will know it when you try it.
Here are six of the best fishing kayaks under $1000! Hopefully you now have a better sense of the market and what is out there. Happy kayaking!