Best Fishing Kayak Under $1000: Our Top 5 Picks & More

by Jason | Last Updated:   April 11th, 2022
Best Fishing Kayak Under $1000: Our Top 5 Picks & More


If you love fishing and kayaking, you might be dreaming about owning your own fishing kayak. 

The problem is:

The best fishing kayaks don’t come cheap, which can put a nail in the coffin regarding how much you can afford to pay. Luckily for you, fishing kayaks don’t have to cost a couple of thousand dollars.

In fact…

You can get some pretty decent fishing kayaks for under a thousand, which is why you’re here today.

In this article, I’m going to be talking about the best fishing kayak under $1000 and how to choose one.

If this sounds like something you’re interested in, don’t go anywhere because I’m about to break it down.

So, let’s take a look at the best fishing kayaks under $1,000:

IN A HURRY? HERE ARE OUR TOP PICKS…

Reviewing The 5 Best Fishing Kayak Under $1000

Perception Pescador 12

One of the great things about the Perception Pescador is how stable the kayak is while still being able to slice through the water with ease. This makes it perfect for the fisherman that’s new to kayak fishing.

It was also designed to be highly adjustable to help accommodate people of all heights. You can adjust the seatback position for maximum comfort. And you can also adjust the footrests to give the paddler extra legroom.

There’s also quite a lot of storage space within the kayak. At the front, you have a dry storage area for all your essential equipment. And at the rear of the kayak, there’s an open hold for your tackle box.

Overall the fishing kayak performed exceptionally well on the water and made your life fishing a lot easier. But one problem people might find with the kayak is that it doesn’t come with a paddle, which means you’ll have to buy your own.

Pros
  • The kayak is extremely stable while being fast on the water, which is the perfect combination for a fishing kayak.
  • You’ll find quite a lot of storage space within the kayak, which means you can take all your favorite fishing gear.
  • The rod holders make it extremely easy to fish with no hands, which is precisely what you need from a fishing kayak.
Cons
  • A few people have complained about the kayak turning up damaged, but this is probably more the delivery service than the manufacturer.

Pelican Sentinel 100X

For me, the best thing about the Pelican fishing kayak is how many features it comes with for such a low price. It comes with two rod-holders for no-hands fishing and a place to tie down your rod to the kayak.

On top of that, there are also two paddle holders, so you have somewhere to place your paddles while you are fishing. This is a great fishing kayak feature; there’s nothing worse than watching your paddle float away while you’re catching a fish.

They also made the kayak reasonably adjustable. You can move the footrests to provide more or less legroom depending on what you need. This helps provide a better paddling position and make your trip more comfortable.

Overall The kayak performs well on the water; it’s fast and highly stable while you’re fishing. But, the downside is it’s pretty tiny and doesn’t come with much storage space. To make it worse, there are no dry storage areas.

Pros
  • Very stable when you’re sitting down while fishing and easy to control when you need to.
  • The kayak comes with plenty of fishing accessories that really enhance your fishing experience.
  • It’s pretty small and lightweight, which makes it easy to load into the back of your car.
Cons
  • There’s not a lot of storage space within the kayak, so you can’t take too much gear with you on your trip.  

Perception Pescador Pro 12

The best thing about this kayak is how comfortable it is. It features a removable Pro Seat that features a 2-level seat adjustment with breathable mesh, making it extremely comfortable all day long.

I also really like the number of features that come with the fishing kayak. You have gear rails on either side of the kayak to add accessories like fish finders. You also have two rod-holders at the rear of the kayak.

One of the great things about this kayak is how much storage space it comes with. You have space at the rear and front of the kayak, which has more than enough room for your cooler and fishing tackle.

Overall, it’s an outstanding fishing kayak that is extremely comfortable during a long day of fishing. The downside is there weren’t any dry storage spaces which could be a downside for some people.

Pros
  • The seat is exceptionally high quality; honestly, you won’t find a more comfortable seat on a fishing kayak for this price.
  • The paddling is effortless, and it tracks excellently, which makes it great for a beginner paddler.
  • You can add plenty of accessories to your kayak thanks to the gear rails, and you don’t have to drill any holes.
Cons
  • There are no dry storage options, which can make it hard to keep things dry when you’re out paddling.

Perception Pescador Pro 10

If you’re looking for a smaller fishing kayak than the 12-foot option above, this is the perfect option for you. It’s only 10.6 feet long and a lot lighter, making it easier to transport by yourself.

And considering the kayak is relatively small, you have a surprising amount of storage options, so you shouldn’t have any problems bringing your gear. You also have space for accessories, thanks to the gear rails on the side of the kayak.

But what makes this fishing kayak one of the best on the market is the seat that comes with it. The lawn chair seat is fully adjustable and extremely comfortable, so it’s excellent for long journeys on the water.

Overall, I really like this kayak, mainly due to the seat and the accessory/gear ports that come with it. The one downside is it’s not built for tall people. If you’re over 6ft, you should probably look for a different kayak.

Pros
  • The lawn chair seat is exceptional; it’s just so comfy; it’s honestly the standout feature of the kayak.
  • There’s a good amount of storage space considering how small the kayak is; you should be able to fit all your gear.
  • The small size makes it easier to maneuver, and the wide size increases the stability.
Cons
  • It’s not built for tall people; if you’re tall, go for the option above, it will serve you a lot better.

Perception Sound 10.5

What makes this fishing kayak so unique is the sit-inside design. It gives you slightly more control of the kayak and keeps you a little drier while you’re paddling.

They also maximized your storage options by giving you space inside the kayak and a place at the back. They also added a molded dashboard so you can get your essential gear quickly and efficiently.

They featured two molded-in rod holders at the rear of the kayak, which is perfect for no hands fishing along the lake.

Overall it’s a pretty nice fishing kayak with the features you’d expect from a fishing kayak. It’s also very nice to see a sit-inside design for a fishing kayak. But for me, there’s not enough storage space unless you take up important legroom.

Pros
  • The fishing kayak is very comfortable which is thanks to the ergonomic seat provided by the manufacturer.
  • I like the dashboard, which makes it easy to get to your essential pieces of gear. 
  • The kayak is extremely stable, so it’s excellent for beginners new to kayak fishing.
Cons
  • Some people found the tracking challenging to handle, which could put people off. 

Our Top Choice

There are many great kayaks on this list that you can choose from, but for me, there’s one that stands out above the rest. And that has to be…

The Perception Pescador Pro 12, and this is mainly due to the seat they provide. When you’re kayak fishing, there’s a good chance that you’re going to be sitting down for extended periods, so it’s essential to be comfortable.

The larger the size was also more beneficial to me. There’s more room for longer legs, and it felt like it had more storage space.

That being said, if you’re a short person, you might want to go for the Pescador Pro 10. It’s the same boat but a bit smaller, making it more manageable for people under 5’6″.

And if I had to pick one bad thing about these boats, it doesn’t come with any dry storage options, so you need to be careful with electricals like your phone.

If none of the fishing kayaks above interest you or you haven’t got the storage space, then why not check out this list to find the best inflatable fishing kayak.

And seems like none of the kayaks above come with a paddle, take a look at the list of the best fishing kayak paddles.

Things To Consider Before Buying Fishing Kayaks

There are so many fishing kayaks out there that it’s hard to choose one. Each fishing kayak has slightly different features, so you need to find the ones that suit your needs the best.

So, in this section, I’m going to introduce you to some of the features you should be looking out for when you’re searching for the best fishing kayaks:

Type Of Fishing Kayak

When it comes to types of fishing kayaks, you have two options. And which one you choose will more than likely come down to personal preference. If you haven’t heard of them before, let me explain in this section:

Sit-Inside

Out of the two options, this is usually the less preferred when it comes to fishing. And the main reason for this is the amount of storage space that comes with the kayak. There’s just not enough space for all your kayak gear.

And there’s another reason:

Some people find it tricky to get in and out of the kayaks with all their gear. To make it worse, it’s challenging to move around when you catch a fish.

Sit-On-Top

For many people, this is the best option when it comes to fishing kayaks for quite a few reasons. The main reason being is a sit-on-top kayak provides you with so much extra space for your equipment.

Thanks to the extra space, you’re able to carry more fishing gear with you.

Another benefit is that some models allow you to stand up and fish, giving you a bit more control while fishing. Stand-up fishing isn’t an easy task, but here’s my guide on how to stand up and fish from a kayak.

Another great thing is they have scuppers in the cockpit, which allows any excess water to drain out of the kayak and prevent you from toppling over.

Size

Another thing you need to think about is the size of the kayak. And there are a few things to think about. The first one is, do you want a solo kayak or a tandem kayak, which will come down to whether you’re going to be taking people with you.

The length of the kayak is also something you need to think about. And there are two reasons for this. The first one will depend on how big you are; you need to fit inside the kayak comfortably.

The second reason is down to the speed you need to go. The longer kayaks tend to be faster, which means you can cover more ground in a shorter amount of time.

Transport & Storage

If you go kayak fishing by yourself, you need to have a kayak that’s easy to transport. And this will come down to the length and weight of the kayak. Try to find a kayak that’s easy enough to move by yourself if you need to.

Another thing you need to think about is, do you actually have enough room to store the kayak?

Have a look at where you can store a kayak and measure the area; there’s nothing worse than not having enough room to store your kayak.

If you’re planning to store your kayak in the garage, then check out my article on storing kayaks in a garage. Or you can check out my list of the best kayak wall mounts to give you some inspiration.

Rod Holders

One of the most essential features of a fishing kayak is the rod holders. Without them, it’s going to make your fishing experience extremely tricky.

Most fishing kayaks come with at least two rod-holders, but it’s something you should check out before you make a purchase.

Weight Capacity

If you’re the kind of person who likes to take many things with you, you need to make sure your kayak has a big enough weight capacity to hold you and all of your gear.

Weigh yourself and the majority of your fishing gear to ensure your fishing kayak can handle it. As a rule of thumb, I like to add at least 50lbs; it gives me a little bit of leeway just in case I go over.

Storage Space

One of the key elements of a fishing kayak is having storage space for all your gear. Most fishing kayaks come with a place on the front and the rear to store your tackle boxes, coolers, and so much more.

Another great feature to look out for is gear rails that allow you to attach fishing accessories such as fish finders.

You can also find dry storage spots on some kayaks, which is excellent for storing the items you don’t want to get wet.

If you want more information about how to choose a fishing kayak, click on the link.

Comfort 

When you go kayak fishing, then chances are you’re going to be there for a while, so you need to make sure you’re going to be comfortable. 

For this, you need to check out a few features, like multiple footrest positions, so that you can find the prime position. You should also look for padded seats with an adjustable backrest so you can ensure maximum comfort.

Stability 

The more stable the kayak is, the easier it’s going to be to fish. For example, if your kayak isn’t stable, it’s unlikely you’re going to be able to stand up and fish.

If you’re looking for a stable kayak, you need to find a wide kayak. The wider the kayak is, the best it’s going to be for you.

Budget

The final thing you need to think about is your budget. The cost of a fishing kayak can vary greatly depending on the material used, its features, and of course, the brand and model

Your best bet is to go into the purchase with a price in mind and try not to go too much over your original pricing.

What Type Of Kayak Is Best For Fishing?

The best type of kayak for fishing, hands down, is a sit-on-top. One of the main reasons is that they automatically drain water from the kayak from any waves or flopping fish, thanks to the scupper holes at the bottom. 

Another great thing about sit-on-top kayaks is you have access to all your equipment thanks to the easy access.

How Dangerous Is Kayak Fishing?

Any sport on the water has an element of danger, but kayak fishing is not dangerous when it comes down to it. With a little bit of common sense, you’ll have no problems avoiding risk and staying safe.

Here are a few safety tips you should follow when you go kayak fishing:

  • Double-check the water conditions before you go out fishing. Just because the water looked perfect the night before doesn’t mean it will be when you wake up. 
  • Try to go with a buddy; if something goes wrong, your friend has a chance of bailing you out. At the bare minimum, make sure someone knows where you’re going and when you’re coming back.
  • Bring enough water for the day. Being out in the sun all day can definitely dehydrate you, so you need to make sure you have enough water. It’s also beneficial to bring some snacks for the journey.
  • Wear a PFD (Personal Floatation Device) while you’re fishing; it can make fishing a bit tricky, but at least you are safe if you fall in the water.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do You Keep Fish In A Kayak?

If you’re looking to keep your fish and take them home for cooking, you can keep a cooler on the back of your kayak. This way, you can keep them fresh until you get home.

But, if you are doing it for sport and you need to weigh them before releasing them, you can use a net. Hand the net from the side of your kayak so it’s hanging from the water; you can then use it as a fish keep until you weigh them. 

Is It Hard To Fish Out Of A Kayak?

One of the great things about kayak fishing is how quiet the kayak is so that you can sneak up on fish pretty easily. Thanks to their stealthy nature, it does make it relatively easy to fish from a kayak.

That being said, the balance factor can be pretty tricky for people new to kayaking, and it can take some getting used to.

Is It Worth Buying A Fishing Kayak?

It should be a no-brainer if you love kayaking and fishing. It will combine both of your hobbies into one, so of course, it’s worth it.

But the thing you really need to consider is how often you’re going to go. They are pretty expensive, so if you’re only going once or twice a year, it’s not going to be with the money.

Hey, my name's Jason, and before I was a writer, I worked as an outdoor activity instructor where I took groups kayaking and camping. Now I use my personal experiences to share tips and tricks I've learned over the years. For as long as I can remember, I've been passionate about the outdoors, and now I want to share that passion with my readers.