Kayak fishing is growing in popularity as fishermen from across the country discover the joys of kayaking. If there is one thing that you need to know about kayaking in the open ocean, it’s that there is no one kayak that will work for everyone. Finding the right one is crucial to getting the most from your fishing trip.
If you asked ten fishermen with the hopes of finding a good ocean fishing kayak, you would get ten different answers. There are many different ocean fishing kayaks for sale on the market today, from lightweight models for beginners to more durable kayaks for veterans.
Sit On Top Kayaks
Sit on top (SOK) kayaks are best for fishing in moving waters, like those in oceans. These kayaks give you a good vantage point to scout out your next move. Anglers love SOKs because they allow you to move around freely, giving you maximum maneuverability. One of the main drawbacks of this type of kayak is that your legs will be exposed and you will get wet while using it.
SOK kayaks are easier to get in and out of, allowing you to jump in and out quickly to grab a fresh catch. They are a favorite of divers, surfers and others who want a smooth ride, even in rough waters.
The sit on top kayak offers most of the same amenities of other types of kayaks such as sit-ins, but are lower in cost. Beginners love the sit on top models because they are easier to use and require less of a learning curve.
Beginners also like that they don’t have to learn how to rescue themselves in the case of a capsize. You will not have to learn wet exits or Eskimo rolls when you go with a sit on top model. Sit on top kayaks offer extra storage space, a wider base, and added stability. They are a favorite of fishermen who are taller or larger because the seat is not restrictive like cockpit style kayaks.
Sit-on-top kayaks are designed for the recreational fisherman who wants to enjoy a leisurely day out on the water. Many even take their dogs along, letting them sit on the back and enjoy the cool ocean breezes.
There are several factors to consider before you make your purchase. First, you will want to know how many seats you will need. Sit on top kayaks come in both single and tandem seating models. You will also want to know how much storage space you need. Sit on top kayaks are known for their additional space for coolers, bait, buckets and dry goods.
Another consideration is your storage and transport capacity. Do you have space in your home, garage or basement to fit a 20-foot kayak? Is your car outfitted with roof racks? Will you transport it in your pickup truck? The color of your kayak matters as well. Brightly colored kayaks allow you to be easily seen from land, a careful safety consideration. A blue or green kayak is almost invisible in the water, helping you to blend in when searching for fish.
Solo or Tandem?
The type of ocean fishing kayak you choose will also depend on whether you are fishing alone or in tandem. One person can use a tandem without a partner, but it can be challenging. You will have to sit in the rear and propel the front of the kayak forward. The kayak will experience drag and not operate as effectively. It is often cheaper to buy a tandem kayak than two separate ones, so this can also be a consideration. Some sit on top kayaks have a small seat between the front and back seat that makes it easier to paddle alone.
Your ability to balance makes all of the difference in how your kayak will operate. New fishermen love the sit on top models because they are easier to balance and control with little effort.
Sit on top kayaks can range in price, but are typically the least expensive of all kayak types. Below we have included some top ocean fishing kayak reviews.
Here are our picks for the best ocean fishing kayak for the money:
Pelican Premium Intrepid
Designed for stability, the Pelican Premium Intrepid is built for tracking. The model offers impressive speed and agility and comes equipped with storage space, smartphone holders and rod holders. At 10′ long and 29″ wide, this model offers a sleek body that cuts through waves for a smooth ride. At only 39 pounds, it is lightweight and easy to transport. This kayak can accommodate up to 300 pounds of weight. This model retails for $499 at most retailers.
Hobie Cat Mirage Outback
When it’s time to land the big one, you will want a kayak that gives you the stability you need to stand, kneel or lean without worrying about tipping over. This kayak has the bonus of being completely powered by foot pedals, letting you propel the kayak hands-free. Kayakers love the comfortable seating and wide body and having and having an ocean fishing kayak with foot pedals is certainly a bonus. This kayak is 12 feet, 1 inch long, 33″ wide and weighs in at 82 pounds. When it is fully rigged, it weighs a whopping 95 lbs. Its weight makes it more stable and able to withstand high winds and water currents. This model retails for $2,299.
The Tetra Angler is a smaller kayak and is a favorite of new enthusiasts. The Tetra Angler offers extended storage and comes equipped with rod holders, a center hatch and innovative new hybrid seating. The Tetra Angler is 10 feet, eight inches long, 29.5 inches wide and weighs 47 pounds. It is lightweight, making it ideal for punching through the surf and changing course with ease. The Tetra Angler can accommodate up to 275 pounds. It retails at $850.
When it comes to choosing the best ocean fishing kayaks, the sit on top models are a hobbyist’s favorite. Made for beginner kayakers who want an easy vessel with an easy learning curve or recreational fisherman who want a low-maintenance craft, these kayaks offer the best choice for ocean fishing.