While kayak fishing has been popular for years, many more anglers are turning to the kayak since it allows them easier access to typically heard-to-reach spots. Kayaks also allow for the option of stealth to better sneak up on the types of unsuspecting fish that larger boats would scare away.
Watercraft manufacturers know that when people go all in for a boat, they really go all in. Luckily, many kayak manufacturers know how many people like to go for something affordable at first that they can then customize on their own. With aftermarket mounts like RAM and GoPro, there’s an endless world of custom attachments and equipment any angler can use.
That said, if you’re in the market for a fishing kayak, we’ve gathered a few top notch choices to consider that all sell for under $1,000 (MSRP). We’ll focus on 2 sit-on top kayaks and 1 sit-in kayak.
Perception Kayaks Striker 11. 5
This is a great model for someone looking for an entry level fishing kayak that’s also fairly inexpensive. That Striker 11.5 is a fantastic sit-on top kayak that’s got everything an angler needs at hand. It’s got a tri-hull design that allows it to deal with a large weight capacity without reducing performance. It’s also sporting an enormous tank well capable of fitting plenty of gear along with special molded-in features that allow it to handle plenty of new fishing spots on either slow moving or flat water.
The cockpit also sports a molded, double level seat with a low position for stability and a high position for greater visibility. It’s also got a stand-assist strap, molded rod holders, non-adjustable molded foot braces and a small day hatch for storing things you need to keep dry like cameras, phones, wallets and keys.
Emotion Kayaks Grand Slam Angler
This sit-on model from Emotion Kayaks is all about speed, performance and storage capacity coupled with the stability of a great fishing boat. The kayak’s ST Performance Hull’s sharp entry line is capable of cutting through water efficiently while providing a stable fishing platform when you arrive at your destination to cast.
The kayak also features an optional rudder system for better control on windy days. The Grand Slam Angler also features an adjustable Comfort Rest Seating System with adjustable foot braces and a cockpit that’s almost always dry thanks to self-draining scupper holes.
The cockpit also features a removable console with a cup holder, dry box and rod mount. However, what really sets the Grand Slam apart is the Triple Threat Fishing Configuration which is two flush-mounted rod holders on either side aft of the cockpit along with one deck-mounted rod holder within the cockpit itself.
Heritage Featherlite 9.5 Angler
The Featherlite 9.5 Angler isn’t only one of the few sit-in fishing kayaks on the market, it’s easily one of the lightest as well. The light weight design of this kayak makes it ideal for those who have a hard time lugging around heavier kayaks. It also sports a wide hull that provides incredible stability when trying to land a fish you’ve been fighting. Its short length also allows for extra maneuverability in tight spots. This makes the Featherlight 9.5 Angler perfect for reaching previously inaccessible spots on the water as well as farm ponds and hidden lakes and any other places that might require you to transport the kayak over land to reach the water.
The cockpit also features adjustable foot braces, an ergonomic, padded seat as well as two rod holders on either side aft of the cockpit. It’s even got a paddle tether to keep it close when fishing, stern and bow storage webs and a molded skeg to help it track a straight path.