This is a review of the best kayak for lake fishing.
My name is Wesley, and I am a kayak fishing enthusiast. For the last 15 years, I’ve logged many hours on the water in different locations, from sea, rivers, to lakes. I primarily fish out of my kayak. You may take a look at my article about kayak bass fishing tips.
I would consider the Reel Yaks 110 kayak as the best overall kayak for lake fishing. It’s specially designed for fishing, very stable, comfortable, and comes with a lot of storage.
Of course, there are many great options out there, and I will talk about my most recommended kayaks to match your needs one by one.
Let’s get ready!
Top Picks of Lake Fishing Kayaks – Quick Summary
- Reel Yaks 110 kayak
- Perception Pescador Pro 10
- Nucanoe Unlimited
- Brooklyn Kayak Company’s RA220
- Perception Pescador Pilot 12
Top 5 Kayaks for Lake Fishing
Here are the detailed reviews of my choice of best kayaks for lake fishing.
- Key Features: W shaped hull, pedal drive system, lots of storage, 6-rod holders
- Key Benefits: Stable, easy transport, versatile, comfortable, customizable
- Pros: Designed specifically for fishing, pedal drive included, checks the top five factors.
- Cons: Expensive, the pedal drive can get in the way, or you have a hole in the floor.
- Best for: Overall
Reel Yaks 110 kayak is the best overall lake fishing kayak. It best checks the most critical factors.
It is stable enough to stand up and fish. You have plenty of legroom and a comfortable seat. The Reel Yaks 110 comes standard with gear tracks and a pedal drive system so you can customize it to your specific style.
Six flush mount rod holders and storage compartments at the front, middle, and back of the kayak keep your gear secured but accessible. While the 110 is an expensive kayak, it is not even close to the most costly fishing kayak on the market.
If you’re a serious kayak angler, don’t overlook the Reel Yaks 110 fishing kayak.
- Key Features: 2 level seat adjustment, gear tracks, 32” wide
- Key Benefits: Comfortable, customizable, stable, affordable price
- Pros: excellent for beginners, tough, great for lakes, rivers, and calm coastal waters
- Cons: lack of dry/secure storage, not as spacious as other kayaks on the list
- Best for: Budget
The Perception Pescador Pro 10 is the best budget lake fishing kayak. This kayak is ideal for someone testing out kayak fishing.
It is stable enough to stand and fish from if you have decent balance. The seat is adjustable so that you can find the most comfortable position for you. Gear tracks allow for a fish finder, rod holder, or cup holder.
Front and rear open storage, so your gear is accessible but not always secure and dry. You cannot beat this budget-friendly fishing kayak.
- Key Features: Gear tracks, comfortable seat, rod holders, wide-open deck
- Key Benefits: Stable, customizable, comfortable, lots of storage options
- Pros: Safe, unlimited options, you make the boat fit your needs
- Cons: Expensive
- Best for Premium Quality (Author’s Choice)
My personal choice would be the Nucanoe Unlimited. I consider the Unlimited a top-of-the-line kayak ideal for many different fishing scenarios, including fishing lakes.
You can stand and fish from the Nucanoe Unlimited with ease. This kayak offers an incredible amount of customizability. It has gear tracks running the length of the boat.
It has the option for a small outboard mounted on the back, a trolling motor can be mounted on the front or back, and you can use a pedal drive system. The seat sits high and is adjustable.
It is an open deck, so no dry storage, but you can purchase dry storage compartments as accessories. Two flush mount rod holders and two horizontal rod holders come standard.
The price is the most significant factor with this kayak, but you can customize it to your exact specifications.
- Key Features: Gear tracks, pedal-controlled rudder, three-rod holders, dry storage
- Key Benefits: Customizable, stable, lots of storage.
- Pros: Mid-range price, dry/secure storage
- Cons: Not as customizable as high-end fishing kayaks
- Honorable Mentions
The Brooklyn Kayak Company’s RA220 is a fishing kayak worth checking out. It barely missed out on being an ideal budget kayak because it is slightly more expensive than the Perception Pescador Pro 10. However, it does offer features that the Pescador Pro 10 doesn’t.
The RA220 is stable enough to stand up and fish. It has multiple dry storage compartments and an open storage area in the back: three-rod holders, gear tracks, and pedal rudder control.
This kayak is great for someone looking to upgrade from a beginner fishing kayak.
- Key Features: two-level seat adjustment, pedal-driven, gear tracks, rod holders, two open storage areas
- Key Benefits: stable, lots of storage, comfortable, customizable
- Pros: designed for fishing, pedal or paddle, stand up and fish, great for lake fishing
- Cons: Expensive, pedals might get in the way, lack of dry storage
- Best for: Gears loading
Another lake-worthy fishing kayak is the Perception Pescador Pilot 12. It barely missed out on being the best overall on amazon due to its lack of dry storage.
The boat’s hull design and width allow for standing while fishing. The seat is adjustable, and there is plenty of room to stretch your legs.
The gear tracks mean you can place your fish finder and other track-mounted gear where you want. The open storage in the front, under the seat, and back means you can haul lots of equipment.
Priced similarly to the Reel Yaks 110 means you are paying a large sum of money for a fishing kayak.
Best Kayak For Lake Fishing – What to Consider
Five factors matter most when purchasing a kayak for lake fishing: stability, comfortability, customizability, storage, and price. These five factors determined the best overall fishing kayak, the best budget kayak, my personal choice, and the honorable mentions.
The more stable the kayak is, the safer you will be on the lake. You do not want to purchase a kayak that will flip when you lean over to net your fish or encounter rough water. You not only risk losing all of your fishing gear at the bottom of the lake, but you also risk losing your life in certain situations.
Fishing kayaks are often designed so that you can stand up and fish. Having the option to stand in your kayak allows you to sight fish more effectively, stretch your legs, and cast more accurately.
You will be paddling and fishing from your kayak for hours at a time. Buy a comfortable kayak. If you’re not comfortable, you will not enjoy your time on the water, and you won’t want to use it regularly.
A quality seat is the most crucial factor of comfortability. A close second is legroom. The availability to stretch your legs during a fishing trip is a must.
Everyone has a unique way of fishing. Your kayak should have the ability to reflect your style. Every lake has its features that cause an angler to adjust to every situation. A kayak that gives you options means you have a bigger chance of catching fish.
The option of having a trolling motor or not, the location of your fish finder, and the opportunity to have a pedal drive or not are considerations to keep in mind when purchasing a kayak.
As anglers, we love gear! We need space to store our equipment while fishing. You should be looking for the kayak that keeps your gear secure and out of the way when you’re not using it.
You should only buy what you can afford. Many people are shocked when they see the price tag of a fishing kayak. While they are expensive, the adage, you get what you pay for holds true. The more you can spend on your fishing kayak, the better features you will receive.
Here are some commonly asked questions when it comes to choosing the best kayaks for lake fishing.
Is it safe to kayak on a lake?
It is pretty safe to kayak on a lake if you are doing it right. Most of the time, kayaking means you would be paddling on flat water, and it comes with lower risk. However, it is also important that you do everything to control your safety.
Wearing a life jacket, paddling with a group of friends who has experience, check the weather before heading out, and planning for your route are great ways to keep you safe while kayaking on a lake.
Is kayaking safe if you can’t swim?
Kayaking is safe if you can’t swim, but it subjects to many restrictions too, such as go with a group of people who is capable to save you, always wear your life jacket, and you don’t panic once you dropped in the water.
You can go kayaking even you can’t swim, however I would strongly advise you to equip yourself with this very useful skill.
Do kayaks flip over easily?
It depends on what type of kayaks and the water conditions. For sit-on-top kayak it’s very table and difficult to flip, for sit-in kayaks it’s easier to flip but you can also roll back if you have the essential skill.
Whether a kayak is easy to flip over or not, always wear a life jacket! It will save your life even it flips!
Here are some useful tips when it comes to lake fishing with a kayak.
- Avoid fishing with an inflatable kayak, sit on top with storage is always a better choice because you don’t want anything sharp appears on your inflabables.
- I highly recommend making use of some foldable accessories such as an insulated dry bag and insulated water bottle so you can have more space on the kayak.
- Make sure you bring a lot of sunscreen, if possible, set up a sun shade will save your skin.
Of all the kayaks suitable for lake fishing, the Reel Yaks 110 kayak is my choice for the best option. It is a quality built kayak loaded with many features great for fishing.
Any of the options you’ll find on this list are solid and will turn your lake fishing trip into a much enjoyable journey.