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Best Ocean Kayaks: The Vessel That’ll Help You Reach More Fish

Kayaking is a fun way to enjoy the open ocean and go fishing.

Whether you like to kayak alone or grab a tandem and go out with a buddy, any time on the water in one will be a joy.

Top Ocean Kayaks:

Dad and son fishing on an ocean kayak
Nothing beats taking a kid out on the kayak for some fishing and relaxation in Mother Nature.

Almost anyone can feel comfortable in a kayak on a lake or pond…but it takes a bit more effort and skill if you want to venture out into the ocean. It’s not recommended to take out a cheap and flimsy kayak out in the ocean. Tides, conditions, or sea life can prove disastrous if your equipment isn’t suited for the challenge.

Ocean Kayaking Considerations

A good kayaker can maneuver a kayak through the changing tides, currents, and waves. If you are going to get a kayak that can handle that you need a specific kayak designed for the ocean.

There are many who would not consider taking to the ocean in a kayak. However, today’s ocean kayaks are built with ocean conditions in mind.

We also wrote more about freshwater kayaks if you’re interested.

In this article, I am going to cover several of the best ocean kayaks as well as how to choose an ocean kayak, and much more.

So let’s go ocean kayaking!

How to Choose a Kayak?

Before you buy a kayak, you should stop and think of where you will be using your new vessel.

Most kayaks can be used in various activities, but it’s best to know which are better than others for certain situations.

Man at sunset fishing on his ocean kayak
Could this not be more perfect? Sunset, kayaking, and fishing.

When thinking about your next ocean kayak, focus on:

  • Length and width
  • Hull shape

Length and width affect speed and maneuverability in the water.

When speed is a deciding factor, a long line is a way to go. Faster kayaks will tend to be narrower and if the water is smooth they will remain stable.

The length and width of the kayak also determine how much cargo you can carry. As anglers, you’ll need a wide enough kayak that can hold your fishing rods, fishing cooler, and other accessories. Also, if your kayak is too long it’ll be hard to reach items when you need them.

Hull Shape Effects on Performance

Depending on your kayak’s width, a flat or smooth bottom (U-shaped) will have more secondary stability.

Man in an ocean kayaking at sunset
Always be safe on the water since conditions can change quickly. When in doubt, wear a life vest.

Kayak V-Shape vs. U-Shape Hulls

While keeled kayaks (V-shaped) have a much higher primary stability. U-shapes feel unstable at first but are more stable in moving water (rivers, oceans, etc.), while V-shapes are most stable in calm water (lakes, ponds, etc.)

The tri-form hull of many sit-on-top kayaks combines both types of stability with a long center crest to keep you going straight. As well as two ledges that act like outriggers for secondary stability. The tri-form hull is generally a little slower but is the most stable of the hull types, which works perfectly for other sports like fishing or diving.

There are many different hull shapes but essentially V-shapes tend to go in more of a straight line and U-shaped tend to spin when pushed by a current.

A hull with a line for the crest cuts through the water and helps to cover water quickly, but is not great for curvy rivers.

A 17-foot kayak is a lot faster than a 9-foot kayak, but a 9-foot kayak is easier to navigate.

Best Ocean Kayaks Reviews

Best Recreational Ocean Kayak

Malibu Two Tandem Sit On Top By Ocean Kayak

Ocean Kayak Malibu Two Tandem Sit-On-Top Recreational Kayak, Envy, 12 Feet
  • Enjoy sun and surf with a friend or a furry...
  • A pair of Comfort Plus seats provide four-way...
  • Patented overlapping foot wells allow...

This Kayak offers tandem paddling whether you decide you are going to go by yourself or with a friend or pet.

It is only 12-feet long and therefore it has decent speed as well as maneuverability.

The comfortable padded seats provide four-way adjustability, creating a custom fit and slip prevention of molded seats.

Overlapping foot wells allows center seated paddlers to settle in and brace their feet comfortably

The sit on top hull makes it easy to get on and off the kayak and includes a pair of molded-in handles and skid plate.

The maximum capacity is 425 lbs this kayak measures 12 foot long and 34 inches wide.

The hull has a lifetime warranty.

Best Sit On Top Ocean Kayak

Lifetime Weber Sit-On-Top Fishing Kayak, Light Olive, 11′

Lifetime Weber Sit-On Top Fishing Kayak, Light Olive, 11'
  • Built in crs seat with padded backrest. Rear tank...
  • Triple threat fishing configuration. Solace...
  • Molded-in freedom footwells for comfort and secure...

This Webber offers a CRS seat with a padded backrest, a rear tank well with cargo net lacing for storage.

As well as a Solace storage hatch for added storage beneath the deck,

This kayak offers a triple threat fishing system so you can place two rods behind you while you use another.

  • It has molded footwells for comfort and secure foot bracing.
  • This kayak has self-bailing scupper holes to drain water from the cockpit and tank well.
  • With added front and rear handles for easy transport.
  • This kayak’s hull design provides ultra stability and good tracking.
  • This kayak weighs 58 lbs and comes in at 11 feet.

Best One-Person Ocean Fishing Kayak

Vibe Kayaks Skipjack 90 9-Foot Angler Sit On Top Fishing Kayak 

Vibe Kayaks Skipjack 90 9 Foot Angler and Recreational Sit On Top Light Weight Fishing Kayak with Paddle and Seat and 2 Flush Rod Holders and Built in Storage
  • KEY FEATURES | 1-person sit on top fishing kayak -...
  • MOUNT FOR ACCESORIES | 4 capped flush mount rod...
  • NO MORE OVERBOARD PADDLES | Two paddle parks to...

This Kayak comes in at 9-foot and 46 lbs, it is great for a smaller person to use and haul around!

A great light weight kayak!

It comes with a journey paddle and deluxe kayak seat the provides portability and stability in a smaller package.

This kayak comes with 5 capped flush mounted rod holders add a pounding point for accessories.

Two paddle parks to help secure paddles when not in use to stop the issue of overboard paddles when not in use.

This kayak has three sealed hatches with bag inserts and large bungee rear tank well to protect all of your kayaking necessities.

This kayak features five easy-grip handles for transport.

Best Sea Kayak

Brooklyn Kayak Company BKC UH-FK285 9.5 Foot

Brooklyn Kayak Company BKC UH-FK285 9.5 Foot Sit on Top Single Fishing Kayak with Upright Seat and Paddle Included (Grey)
  • Brand: Brooklyn kayak Company
  • 3 Built In Rod Holders: 2 flush-mount rod holders...
  • Storage Capacity: Stow your phone, camera, snacks,...

This kayak features:

  • 3 rod holders
  • 2 flush mounted rod holders
  • A single 360-degree articulation rod holder. It lets you keep more lines deployed at a time, as well as makes transporting rods easier.

It has a pair of waterproof hatches with dry bag inserts and a cargo area with bungee straps for larger gear.

Free your hands with the included pair of paddle parks to keep your paddle from slipping off of your kayak while you fish and being stranded!

It has included adjustable footrests and seat position. The footrests and the seat as necessary for ideal comfort and stability.

This kayak has four integrated handles for ease of transport of this 44 lb kayak which makes it perfect for a smaller individual.

Best Ocean Kayak for Fishing

Vibe Kayaks Sea Ghost 130 Angler Kayak

This kayak comes in at 13 feet and 75 lbs, this kayak is fast and stable.

It comes with two flush mounted rod holders and four integrated gear tracks for customized rigging.

It features a pre-installed toe controlled rubber system. This saves your energy during long paddles, windy days, and strong currents.

It also features a large center console. A 20-inch oval hatch, a rear hatch as well as a bungee rear tank well.

The dual position Vibe hero seat provides comfort and support for long days on the water.

Best Pedal Drive Ocean Kayak

Perception Pescador Pilot – Fishing Kayak with Pedal Drive

Perception Pescador Pilot 12 | Sit on Top Fishing Kayak | Pedal Drive | Multi-Water Angler Kayak | 12' | Sonic Camo
  • Pedal-driven performance at an unbelievable price
  • Lawn chair style mesh seat with 2-level seat...
  • Pilot drive pedal system can be fully recessed...

The kayaks we mentioned above all come with paddles that require your hands. Sometimes when you’re fishing you’d rather drive the kayak with your feet so you can focus on casting into hard to reach areas.

Also if you’re pulling on a large fish or maybe a shark, having your hands free and still being able to navigate is clutch.

With higher-end kayaks like this Perception Pescador Pilot, you’ll be able to do just that. If you’re ready to go hands-free, this is the kayak for you.

Best Ocean Kayaks Round-Up

The winner of this round-up has got to be the Vibe Kayaks Skipjack 90 9-Foot Angler Sit On Top Fishing Kayak Paddle Deluxe Kayak Seat.

This kayak only weighs 46 lbs, it has 5 capped rod holders so you can take whatever necessary to fish for whatever is in the water!

It comes with paddle parks to keep you from losing your paddle in the ocean. I’ve lost a paddle this way and TRUST ME, it’s not fun if you forget your backup.

It has three watertight sealed hatches to store whatever food water or tackle your heart desires. As well as a pretty large bungee rear tank well for your pack and back up the gear in case you have to grab an item too large to store in the well.

The triform hull of this kayak is the best of both worlds when comes to kayaks it is stable but tracks very well. This kayak can handle the current and the waves from the ocean with ease as you paddle out to the reef you will be fishing that day. This kayak is the way to go.

Ocean Kayaks Final Thoughts

Whether you are a recreational fisherman or a die-hard fisherman a kayak is an essential tool.

It allows you to move from point A to point B without much work and without as much money as a larger boat. With a kayak, you can get into the places you normally could not due to a motor powered boat size.

They can skim across the water as deep as a foot without getting beached. You can venture inshore to the nooks and crannies that were not available before. They are most indefinitely a game changer!

Some kayaks can even move through the water without a paddle and these are even better for navigating while fishing.


Q: What is the best types kayak?

A: The best type of kayak is the tri-form hull, it tracks well as well as has very good stability in turbulent waters.

Q: What is a good beginner kayak?

A: When it comes to kayaks it is best to buy a good one instead of buying one that you will have to replace later on.

Q: What is the best ocean fishing kayak?

A: The best ocean fishing kayak is the Vibe Kayaks Skipjack 90. When purchasing a kayak you need to buy something you will learn on and be able to use from now on. Instead of buying a kayak and having to replace it when you outgrow it.

Q: What is the best tandem kayak?

A: The best tandem kayak is the Malibu Two Tandem Sit On Top By Ocean Kayak.

The Anglers Behind This Article:

Johnny Harvill

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