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Canoe vs Kayak Fishing Gear Guide

Fishing canoes are a great way to explore areas you may not ordinarily be able to access with a larger boat. These areas are most likely prime fishing grounds due to it being difficult to get there.

Lightweight and easy to transport, fishing canoes can allow you to easily get into areas that may not have been fished in a long time. This could mean some large fish.

Our Top Picks

Old Town Discovery Solo Canoe
  • Three-Layer Molded
  • Agile and Stable
  • UV-Resistant

Vibe Kayaks Sea Ghost Fishing
  • 1-Person
  • Plenty of Mounts
  • Solid Control

There are several different styles and sizes of fishing canoes on the market. If you are looking for a boat and do not want to spend big bucks on a larger boat, a fishing canoe is the best option.

Man Kayak Fishing in the Ocean
Fishing Kayaks have come a long way. They are more sturdy than fishing canoes.

However, these fishing canoes have their drawbacks. They can be very unstable.

This is especially true when casting or setting a hook.

There is an alternative. The fishing kayak is a great choice as a step down from a flat bottom fishing boat.

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They are very affordable and durable. There is very little maintenance involved it keeping a fishing kayak in great shape.

In this article, I am going to cover several brands and styles of fishing kayaks. and the difference between fishing canoes and fishing kayaks.

Best Fishing Kayaks and Canoes for 2020 Reviewed

1. Old Town Canoes

Old Town Discovery 119 Solo Canoe, Green, 11 Feet 9 Inches
  • Old Town's tough, three-layer molded polyethylene hull is...
  • Agile, stable, and easy-to-handle, the Discovery 119's sleek...
  • Sit comfortably on a durable, breathable, UV-resistant,...

This canoe is more sturdy than you’d think as long as you sit and use it for paddling. As soon as you start to adjust your center of gravity higher, they become less stable due to their hull design. It’s 11 feet long and weighs 50 pounds. This makes it transportable enough for most individuals.

Even if you’re on the heavier side, this canoe will hold you well. You can also load it up with more people to have others enjoy fishing with.

Don’t stand in it because they are less stable than kayaks for fishing. Canoes aren’t meant for standing so just be sure to keep a low center of gravity.

2. BKC 12-Foot 5-inch Sit On Top Tandem

BKC TK181 12' 8" Tandem 2 or 3 Person SIt On Top Kayak w/Soft Padded Seats, 2 Paddles and 7 Fishing Rod Holders Included - 2-3 Person Fishing Kayak
  • FULLY LOADED ACCESSORIES: Our kayak comes equipped with 2...
  • CRAFTED FOR STABILITY: Our Roto Molded single Piece High...

The Brooklyn Kayak Company BKC UH-TK181 sit on the top tandem kayak is adventure-ready.

Grab a buddy and take a two-person kayak ocean fishing excursion. Paddle solo across the bay. Take it for a trip down a lazy river with a trolling motor attached.

Head out on the lake when the chop is up. The Brooklyn Kayak Company. BKC UH-TK181 12-foot 5-inch, 68-pound sit on top tandem kayak has the capacity to support plenty of weight and the space to hold plenty of gear.

With its 34-inch beam, it has the stability and tracking to keep you balanced and on course. Even when the wind and water act up, and even when you are standing up for the perfect cast.

Its intuitive features help make any outing a success. That goes for an afternoon fishing trip, a multi-day camping adventure, and everything in between.


  • Comes with pre-installed threaded bolt holes in the transom for a motor mount or other accessories.
  • Tracks and turns well.
  • Lightweight and easy to carry.
  • Easy to get in and out of.
  • Rod holders included.

3. Vibe Kayaks Skipjack 90

Vibe Kayaks Skipjack 90 9 Foot Angler and Recreational Sit On Top Light Weight Fishing Kayak (Wildfire) with Paddle and Seat
  • KEY FEATURES | 1-person sit on top fishing kayak - 9ft,...
  • MOUNT FOR ACCESSORIES | Includes 4 flush-mount rod holders.
  • STORAGE OPTIONS | V-Wave Center Hatch & storage wells in the...

Key Features:

1-person sit on the top fishing kayak – 9ft 46 lbs fishing kayak with a deluxe kayak seat that provides portability and stability in a smaller package.

Mount for accessories – 4 capped flush mount rod holders and mounting point for Scotty, RAM, and Vibe mount accessories.

No more overboard paddles – Two paddle parks to help secure paddles when not in use, preventing loss overboard paddles.

Multiple storage options – 2 sealed hatches with bag inserts and large bungee rear tank well to protect all your kayaking necessities.

Extra features – 4 easy-grip carry handles for transport and portability.

Pros and Cons:

  • Maneuvers easy, great for a first-timer.
  • Comes with everything you need i.e. paddles, plugs, and storage is already lined.
  • We wish it had a little more storage.
  • Has to room for add-on accessories.

4. Vibe Kayaks Yellowfin 130T

Vibe Kayaks Yellowfin 130T 13 Foot Tandem Angler and Recreational Two Person Sit On Top Fishing Kayak (Caribbean Blue) with 2 Paddles and 2 Hero Comfort Seats
  • KEY FEATURES | 13' two person tandem kayak + center seat for...
  • SUPERIOR COMFORT | framed hero seats and foot braces means...
  • CONSTRUCTION | Rotomolded single piece high density...

Key Features:

3-person sit on the top fishing kayak – 13ft 80lbs multi-person kayak – perfect for fishing, travel, or family recreation – 500 lbs weight capacity.

Mount for accessories – 2 flush mount rod holders with caps and 4 Mounting points for Scotty, RAM, or Railblaza mount rod holders.

Option to ride solo – Optional center paddle position for solo paddling.

Multiple storage options – 2 sealed hatches with bag inserts, large bungee rear tank well and bow cargo bungee system.

Multiple storage options – Adjustable footrests for customized comfort.


  • Tracks well and has a stable feel.
  • Lots of storage, and room for coolers.
  • Seats are comfortable.
  • Can be used single or tandem

5. Vibe Kayaks Sea Ghost 130 Angler Kayak

Vibe Kayaks Sea Ghost 130 13 Foot Angler Sit On Top Fishing Kayak (Blue Camo) with Adjustable Hero Comfort Seat
  • KEY FEATURES | 1-person sit on top fishing kayak - 13ft 75...
  • MOUNT FOR ACCESSORIES | Includes 2 flush-mount rod holders...
  • OPTIMUM CONTROL | Pre-installed toe controlled rudder system...

Key features – 1-person sit on the top fishing kayak – 13ft 75 lbs fishing kayak that offers the best of speed and stability.

Mount for accessories – Includes 2 flush-mount rod holders and 4 integrated gear tracks for customized rigging.

Optimum control = Pre-installed toe controlled rudder system saves your energy during long paddles, windy days, and strong currents.

Multiple storage options – Large center console, 20″ front oval hatch, rear hatch and large bungee rear tank well.

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


  • Very stable for casting.
  • The seat is very comfortable
  • It has plenty of storage.
  • Has room for many add-on accessories.
  • The rudder works very well.
  • Easy to paddle for a larger kayak.

Best Beginner Fishing Kayak

Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100 Fishing Kayak

Lifetime Muskie Angler Sit-On-Top Kayak with Paddle, Tan, 120"
  • Constructed of uv-protected high-density Polyethylene....
  • Adjustable padded seat back and seat pad for comfort. Two...
  • Front and rear shock cord straps. Two 6" storage...

One of our favorite sit-on-top kayaks. Constructed of UV-Protected High-Density Polyethylene. Stable Flat Bottom. Deep Hull Tracking Channels. Stability Chine Rails.

Multiple Footrest Positions for Different Size Riders. Adjustable Padded Seat Back and Seat Pad for Comfort.

Notable Features:

  • Front and Rear Shock Cord Straps.
  • Two Flush Mounted Fishing Rod Holders.
  • One Top Mount Fishing Rod Holder.
    Two 6″ Storage Compartments in Rear and Center.
  • One Paddle Keeper with Shock Cords.
  • Front and Rear T-Handles for Easy Transport.
  • Durable High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE) Construction. 5-Year Limited Warranty.


  • Makes a great beginner kayak.
  • Tracks straight and stable.
  • Handles waves very well.
  • Lightweight and easy to handle.

Fishing in a Canoe?

Canoes can be dated back to ancient times. They were the first types of boats ever used.

Today they are used by fishermen because of their ability to get into areas normal size boats cannot go.

This opens up a whole field of opportunity for fishermen to access larger fish. Fish that have escaped other anglers because of their inaccessibility.

Fishing canoe on shore

Canoes of the past were carved from wood, logs that were just hollowed out to be more exact. These fishing canoes served the anglers well but today they have advanced significantly.

Some canoes today are still made of wood. but, today’s fishing canoes are also comprised of carbon fiber, fiberglass, and high impact plastic.

These fishing canoes are very durable. Along with rugged construction, canoe manufacturers have also taken comfort and safety into consideration.

Fishing canoes can be V bottom or flat bottom. They can also be paddle propelled or foot-propelled with built-in foot operated paddles.

What is a Fishing Kayak?

Fishing kayaks, like fishing canoes, have been used for many years as a means of transportation. Also as a means of getting into hard to reach locations.

Fishing kayaks afford the fisherman the ability to float quietly. And into areas without disturbing easily spooked fish.

The first kayaks were constructed from stitched animal skins. Such as seal stretched over a wooden frame made from collected driftwood.

Fishing Kayak on the water

Fishing kayaks have certainly come a long way since then. Like canoes, kayaks can be made of many different materials. One of the most popular being high impact plastic.

Many kayaks can be made to order with special design features. Some of these features are built-in coolers, rod holders, GPS receivers and much more.

Another advantage that fishing kayaks offer is, they are easy to store when not in use. They are also easy to transport.

Fishing kayaks come in several different sizes. While they do not offer the same stability a wider boat would, after a few uses, you quickly learn how to equally distribute weight.

There are also kayaks propelled by flippers or propellers and a foot mechanism. These kayaks offer hands-free fishing and all the benefits associated.

What is the Difference Between a Canoe and a Kayak?

Most fishing kayaks are usually a sit-on-top style. You sit with your legs bent or straight-out flat. You can only face forward and twisting around to look behind is difficult.

In a canoe, you sit higher, your legs are bent and you can move around easier even stand up if you need to.

A kayak uses only a two-bladed paddle, and when not in use it is usually balanced across the cockpit or has to be fastened along the deck. To move, you have to put down your fishing pole and pick up the paddle.

Fishing Canoe on shore

A canoe is propelled with a single-blade paddle that, when not in use, can be quickly dropped to the deck. A canoe also has the advantage of adding an electric trolling motor.

Weight is a consideration from a hauling standpoint. For example, a 12-foot canoe weighs 23 pounds, a two-person 15-foot one is 50 pounds. A 12-foot fishing kayak weighs 50 pounds or even up to 100 pounds. The pedal-powered kayaks start at 85 pounds and can go over 100.

When you’re standing and casting from a boat you use your whole body, even more so when you are reeling a fish in.

From a canoe or kayak, you only have your arms and shoulders for these actions. A kayak also requires a slightly different cast technique than when in a canoe. This is because you are much closer to the surface of the water and have less of your body to use for the cast.

Insider Advice

Fishing canoes and kayaks a great way to explore areas that may not have been fished in a long time.

While canoes offer many of the same features kayaks do, fishing kayaks options far outweigh the options offered with canoes.

Stability is a big factor along with the ability to add many more options. One of these being a trolling motor

Neither the fishing canoe or the fishing kayak can take the place of a boat. But they do allow you more opportunity than you would have with a larger boat.

Storage is another factor. Fishing canoes and fishing kayaks can be stored just about anywhere.

For a relatively inexpensive price, you can purchase a pulley system that allows you to store them in a garage loft.

Being durable and affordable, fishing kayaks and fishing canoes are a small investment. But they can make your next fishing trip more enjoyable and more productive. At the same time with the very little it takes to maintain them, they can last many years.

The Anglers Behind This Article:

Johnny Harvill

Jon Stenstrom

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