10 Best Ocean Kayaks for Fishing

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

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.

10 Best Ocean Kayaks for 2023 Reviewed

1. Perception Pescador Pilot 12

Best Ocean Kayak

perception Pescador Pilot 12 | Sit on Top Fishing Kayak with Pedal Drive | Adjustable Lawn Chair Seat and Tackle Storage Areas | 12' | Sonic Camo
  • Propel your exploration and fishing to a new level
  • Pedal-driven performance at an unbelievable price
  • Ample storage Features to accommodate fishing gear

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.

2. Brooklyn Kayak Company BKC UH-TK181

Best Tandem Ocean Fishing Kayak

BKC TK181 Angler 12-Foot, 8 inch Tandem 2 or 3 Person Sit On Top Fishing Kayak w/Padded Seats and Paddles
  • FULLY LOADED ACCESSORIES: Our kayak comes equipped with 2...
  • CRAFTED FOR STABILITY: Our Roto Molded single Piece High...

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 are 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.

3. Ocean Kayak Prowler 13

Best 13-Foot Ocean Kayak

If you’re looking for a single-person monster long kayak then this is the one for you. This kayak has enough stability to cut through any wave mother nature decides to throw at you. Plus, with all of this room, you’ll be able to store all of your gear.

For those who like to spearfishing or take out scuba gear, this is a solid kayak to carry all of your gear to your favorite destination. It’s 13 feet 4 inches and weighs 56 pounds. You also get a lifetime warranty on the hull, so this will be in your gear lineup for years!

4. Perception Pescador Pro 10

Best 10-Foot Ocean Kayak

Perception Kayaks Pescador Pro 10 | Sit on Top Fishing Kayak with Adjustable Lawn Chair Seat | Large Front and Rear Storage | 10' 6" | Moss Camo
  • Your perfect first fishing kayak - Made in USA
  • Lawn chair style mesh seat with 2-level seat adjustment and...
  • Leak-proof one-piece construction with built-in buoyancy for...

This is touted as the best single-person beginner fishing kayak and for a good reason. This would make for a solid kayak for fishing around the bays and in calmer water. The seat is low, so you’ll be able to maintain your balance as you cast.

This kayak also comes with nice accessory rails on each gunwale to let you attach all your fishing accessories, including fish finders, rod holders, and more!

5. Brooklyn Kayak Company FK285 Sit-On-Top-Kayak

Best 9-Foot Sit-On-Top Ocean Kayak

BKC FK285 Angler 9'2" Solo Sit-On-Top Kayak w/Upright Back Support Aluminum Frame Seat -Paddle and Fishing Rod Holders Included
  • FULLY LOADED ACCESSORIES: Our kayak comes equiped with an...
  • CRAFTED FOR STABILITY: Our Roto Molded single Piece High...

BKC continues to impress with its nine-foot sit-on-top kayak. This kayak is super comfortable with its backrest seat and comes with numerous built-in rod holders.

It has plenty of space for you to store your gear and electronics. It’s not the lightest kayak, so you might need a buddy to help you if you want to transport it anywhere. This kayak is perfect for calm water, including bays for spotted bass fishing.

6. Lifetime Weber Sit-On-Top Fishing Kayak

Best 11-Foot Sit-On-Top Kayak

This Webber offers a CRS seat with a padded backrest, a rear tank well, and a 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.

7. Vibe Kayaks Skipjack 90 Angler Sit On Top Fishing Kayak 

Best Single Person Ocean Kayak

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 that provides portability and stability in a smaller package.

This kayak comes with 5 capped flush-mounted rod holders, adding 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 a large bungee rear tank well to protect all of your kayaking necessities.

This kayak features five easy-grip handles for transport.

8. Malibu Two Tandem Sit On Top By Ocean Kayak

Best Recreational Ocean Kayak

Ocean Kayak Malibu Two Tandem Sit-On-Top Recreational Kayak (Sunrise, 12-Feet)
  • Enjoy sun and surf with a friend or a furry companion with...
  • A pair of comfort Plus seats provide four-way adjustability,...
  • Patented overlapping foot wells allow centre-seated paddlers...

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 footwells allow center seated paddlers to settle in and brace their feet comfortably

They sit on the top hull, makes it easy to get on and off the kayak, and include a pair of molded-in handles and skid plates.

The maximum capacity is 425 lbs. This kayak measures 12 feet long and 34 inches wide.

The hull has a lifetime warranty.

9. Ocean Kayak Frenzy

If you’re looking for a simple sit-on-top recreational kayak that won’t break the bank, then this is the one for you.

There are no fancy bells and whistles. It doesn’t come with any rod holders, so this kayak is more for just cruising around the calmer waters and enjoying the sights and sounds. Make sure you bring a dry bag to keep your electronics and whatever you want to keep dry.

10. Ocean Kayak Caper Classic

Best Budget Ocean Kayak

This 11-foot kayak has a tri-form hull which will keep you stable in the water. We like this design because easier to keep straight while you paddle.

This is easy to carry, and it’ll get you past small breaking waves with ease. There is even storage so you can keep your gear dry, but we’d still recommend that you use a dry bag just in case. Overall this is a decent kayak for the price.

Ocean Kayaking Considerations

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 in the ocean. Tides, conditions, or sea life can prove disastrous if your equipment isn’t suited for the challenge.

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.

Many would not consider taking to the ocean in a kayak. However, today’s ocean kayaks are built with ocean conditions in mind. Just a quick reminder to bring a fishing mask, fishing hat, and sunscreen when ocean kayaking under the heat of the sun.

How to Choose a Kayak?

Before buying a kayak, you should stop and think of where you will use 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 an angler, 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.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best types kayak?

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

What is a good beginner kayak?

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.

What is the best ocean fishing kayak?

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

What is the best tandem kayak?

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

Insider Advice

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 the 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 which is a plus when comparing canoe vs kayak.

Also, check out our offshore kayak fishing tips to help you with your first catch!

Jon Stenstrom
Founder & Angler
Jon Stenstrom is a fishing enthusiast. He has over 25 years of fishing experience, and 6 years of spearfishing experience, and is currently learning how to boat. Jon has his Open Water PADI Certification and FII Freediver Level 1 Certification. Jon has traveled the world to fish and dive, most notably in the Great Barrier Reef, Baja Mexico, Thailand, and Malaysia. More Articles
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