$1000 is a pretty hefty budget for a fishing kayak, but you still want to make sure you are getting your money worth.
When choosing the best kayak for a fishing trip, whether on the open ocean or still fresh water, there are a few key features to keep in mind when making a decision.
This guide will help walk you through 5 of the best choices for fishing kayaks within an $1000 budget.
We created this through a combination of real-world testing and in depth research. So, you can skip all of the research and settle on a tried and true fishing kayak that won't go over budget.
Before we get too far into this, here's a preview of the products that made our list:
Sun Dolphin Excursion
This budget friendly entry level fishing kayak is great for day trips on lakes or rivers. It is small and light, but still provides enough space and storage for a fishing trip.
Wilderness Systems Tarpon 120 Angler Kayak
Weighing only just over 60 lbs, this kayak is extremely durable and can hold up to 350 lbs. It has a ton of storage space and the option to add in a pedal rudder.
Perception Kayak Pescador Pro
This ocean-ready fishing kayak is the best overall choice in its price range. It is durable, stable, comfortable and offers plenty of storage space for long fishing trips.
Vibe Kayaks Skipjack 90
This small but sturdy little kayak is great for if you want the most stable fishing kayak in this price range. It is slower than the other models, but stable enough to stand up in to fish.
Brooklyn Kayak Company BKC UH-TK181
This tandem fishing kayak is the ultimate partner fishing boat. It can hold an incredible 7 rods at once if you want. It has a ton of storage space.
What To Consider When Shopping For a Fishing Kayak
Now, let's get into the details. The following five kayaks below have been tried and tested to make sure they are the best on the market right now for the outdoors person. Kayaks are listed in no particular preference order.
(If you have a smaller budget and want to see some great fishing kayaks for under $500, click here to read our post about them)
- Small size is great for transporting in smaller vehicles.
- Perfect for lakes and rivers.
- Easy to maneuver, glides smoothly over the water.
- Lightweight and very easy to carry.
- Perfect for a beginners fishing kayak.
- Not good for ocean fishing, doesn't handle waves very well.
- Seat is not elevated, so during rain it is hard to stay dry.
More about the Sun Dolphin Excursion
Made from durable UV resistant polyethylene, the Sun Dolphin Excursion Fishing Kayak is the perfect kayak for those looking for an affordable, beginner, all around kayak with enough storage space for fishing. It is best for casual fishing trips and will do great on half-day trips down a river or on a large lake.
The Sun Dolphin Excursion is ten feet long and weighs only forty pounds. This small stature makes it great for the fisherman with a smaller car or truck and is a perfect match for kids and older outdoor enthusiasts as well.
The Sun Dolphin Excursion works best on calm lakes and slow-moving rivers. It can be a suitable vessel for marine excursions if the ocean is smooth, but its small size is easily tossed around in larger waves.
In lakes and rivers, it glides smoothly and quickly over the water and is extremely easy to maneuver and steer. A paddle does need to be bought separately with this kayak model.
This is one of the cheapest options on our list. It generally comes in at under $400, so if you have a bigger budget and want more features, you may want to see some of the other options.
- Incredibly easy to maneuver size.
- Glides extremely well over the water.
- Lightweight and easy to move. Only weights sixty-three pounds.
- Variety of color options are available.
- Lots of extra storage space.
- Can be moved by pedals like a paddleboat.
- Hard to stand up in, not good for line-casting fishing.
- Not good for Oceanic fishing because of lightweight size.
- Optional rudder system needs to be purchased separately and can be quite expensive.
More about the Wilderness Systems Tarpon 120 Angler Kayak
The Wilderness Systems Tarpon 120 Angler Kayak is perfect for the recreational fisherman. It’s perfect for beginners or the weekend fisherman and can be controlled through the basic kayak paddle or foot pedals. It does come with the ability to hold a rudder for steering, which is great for helping with tracking, but that is sold separately from the kayak itself.
The Tarpon 120 can hold up to three hundred and fifty pounds, and only weighing sixty-three pounds in total, this thirteen-foot kayak is exceptionally durable and reliable.
The balance is decent, but it’s not recommended for those who prefer to fish while standing. Because it is a relatively thin boat, you run the risk of tipping it if you move around too much, and is best on calm bodies of water such as lakes and ponds.
If you like to fish while standing, check out our post about paddle boards, there are some great fishing ones in this same price range. These are a much better option if you prefer to stand.
- Seat is adjustable.
- Has a fantastic amount of storage for a twelve-foot kayak.
- Made out of extremely durable polyethylene.
- Works well in flat water even though it is built for ocean fishing.
- Very comfortable even on longer trips.
- Only a small section of the storage is devoted to dry-storage
More about the Perception Kayak Pescador Pro
The Perception Kayak Pescador Pro was built with the experienced outdoorsman in mind. Designed to be able to handle ocean waves, this small but durable kayak is perfect for ocean and lake adventures.
Putting comfort and storage first, the Perception Kayak Pescador Pro’s adjustable and comfortable seat is arguably the best feature. Designed to alleviate back tension and soreness, the seat will adjust to fit anyone, while still allowing plenty of room for all of the equipment you need.
Boasting ample storage space, complete with built in mesh netting to hold items securely. It has specific areas for rods, tackle boxes, etc, to make organization easier to find what you need fast.
This model also contains a cup holder whether you want to use it to hold your bait, or a morning thermos of coffee.
The one qualm that we did have about this particular kayak is that while there is plenty of storage space, not much of it is watertight storage. You may have to invest in a dry bag for some of your items that aren't waterproof like your phone or a GPS.
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- Comes equipped with two ‘paddle parks’ so no need to worry about losing your paddles.
- Smaller size is great for smaller vehicles.
- Has multiple storage options.
- Lightweight and easy to move.
- Seat is not fully adjustable. Can be hard to figure out.
- Not very fast.
More about the Vibe Kayak Skipjack 90
The Vibe Kayak Skipjack 90 is a smaller kayak, but it is still powerful and durable enough to make for a great fishing kayak. Only weighing in at forty-six pounds itself, this little guy can hold up to three hundred pounds and also has curved edges to allow extra stability for those who prefer to stand.
The Vibe Kayak Skipjack 90 is also only nine feet long, but it moves through the water with ease and still allows plenty of room for storage.
The rear of the Vibe Kayak Skipjack 90 is equipped with bungees to hold onto items and even has a mounting dock for any electronics to make them accessible and to keep them safe from any damage.
The Vibe Kayak Skipjack 90 comes equipped with storage for your paddles, because there’s nothing more annoying than having them fall off the boat and having to pull them back in, and it also contains two sealable hatches for extra water-resistant storage for anything you may need on the water.
- Perfect for couples or friends who enjoy fishing together.
- Multiple color options are available, can get it in your favorite color.
- Is fitted with 7 rod holders.
- Storage hatches are waterproof.
- Kayak purchase also contains two paddles.
- Has two secure paddle rests so you can store the paddles while fishing.
- Not good for ocean water.
- Large size can make it difficult to move out of the water.
More about the Brooklyn Kayak Company BKC UH-TK181
This model is perfect for a pair of adventurers and is a favorite of many. The Brooklyn Kayak Company BKC UH-TK181 Tandem Kayak is incredibly high quality and works great on lakes and rivers of all types.
This kayak measures in at twelve feet, and weighs seventy pounds, making it incredibly stable, even with two people moving about and checking poles on the open lake.
The BKC UH-TK181 is outfitted with many unique and useful features to make every fishing trip stress free and relaxing. This model has two paddle holders to set the paddles on to secure them to the kayak, and has an incredible 7 rod holders. So even with 2 people, you can hold plenty of gear and have a variety of options of where you want your poles.
The kayak also has waterproof storage containers and has two deluxe and comfortable seats included.
The Brooklyn Kayak Company BKC UH-TK181 comes in six different colors; blue, desert sand, green camo, grey camo, red yellow, and yellow-orange.
This is a great option if you have someone who loves kayak fishing as much as you do.