Man holds a large fish that he has caught from a kayak in the Mediterranean Sea - Marbella. Andalusia

5 Best Fishing Kayaks Under $1000 For 2023: Expert Reviews

Recreational fishermen in small kayak.

Looking for the perfect fishing kayak that won’t break the bank? Look no further than our expert reviews and comparisons of the 5 best fishing kayaks under $1000 for 2023.

With so many options on the market, it can be overwhelming to choose the right one. But fear not, we’ve done the research for you and compiled a list of top-rated kayaks on the market that offer great value and performance.

Our reviews cover everything from the comfort and stability of the kayaks to their maneuverability and storage capacity. We also provide tips on what to look for when buying a fishing kayak, so you can make an informed decision and choose the kayak that best fits your needs.

Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned pro, our expert reviews and comparisons will help you find the perfect fishing kayak for your next adventure. So, grab your gear and get ready to hit the water!

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5 Best Fishing Kayaks Under 1000 for 2023: Expert Reviews and Comparisons

If you’re in the market for a fishing kayak under $1000, you may want to consider the Perception Outlaw 11.5, Lifetime Yukon Angler 116, Pelican Catch Mode 110, Perception Pescador Pro 10, and Elkton Outdoors Steelhead inflatable fishing kayak.

The Perception Outlaw 11.5 offers a comfortable and stable ride with ample storage, while the Lifetime Yukon Angler 116 is a budget-friendly option with basic features and durability.

The Pelican Catch Mode 110 offers a lightweight and ergonomic design with plenty of storage and accessories, and the Perception Pescador Pro 10 has ample storage and an adjustable seat.

The Elkton Outdoors Steelhead inflatable fishing kayak is a top-tier option designed for durability and rough waters with a maximum weight capacity of 500lbs.


Perception Outlaw 11.5 Fishing Kayak – Our Top Choice

The Perception Outlaw 11.5 is a stable and comfortable sit-on-top fishing kayak that’s perfect for anglers who want to enjoy their fishing trips in comfort. With its elevated seating console and foldable, removable frame seat, the Outlaw 11.5 ensures that you can sit high and comfortably while fishing.

The kayak boasts large bow and stern tank wells that provide ample storage space for your fishing gear, and it also comes with two double-barrel rod holders that can accommodate up to four fishing rods. Additionally, the kayak features integrated tackle trays, making it easy to access your fishing gear when you need it.

Product Specs:

  • Material: Polyethylene (PE)
  • Weight capacity: 425 pounds
  • Length: 11′ 6″
  • Width: 35″
  • Weight: 77 lbs
  • Warranty: 5 years


  • Comes with built-in features for fishing
  • Seat sits high and is comfortable
  • Stable but slow-moving
  • Can support a trolling motor
  • Molded-in trays and cup holders
  • Great weight capacity


  • Hard to paddle on rivers


Lifetime Yukon Angler 116 Fishing Kayak

Looks like Lifetime has come up with a fishing kayak that’s perfect for anglers who want comfort and convenience, without breaking the bank. The Lifetime Yukon Angler 116 Fishing Kayak is a versatile and durable kayak that’s designed with the angler in mind.

Its adjustable frame seating system allows for two settings: high for fishing/paddling and reclining for relaxation. The kayak also features adjustable foot braces, ready-to-fish flush mount rod holders, a skeg wheel for enhanced tracking and easy transportation, and a stability strap to assist with stand-up casting.

The tankwell storage with bungee cord lacing is perfect for securing loose items, while the two 12-inch sections of universal track allow for accessory mounting. The Yukon Angler 116 Fishing Kayak also features a high initial stability hull that allows for stand-up casting, a molded-in 28-inch ruler to easily measure fish, and an integrated 1/4 in.-20 universal mount for waterproof accessories.

The kayak includes two paddle keepers and one front paddle cradle, a water-resistant oval storage hatch, and two convenient horizontal rod storage cradles. It’s transducer ready with front scuppers designed to accommodate most scupper transducers (not included), and has a side drain plug to easily remove water from the hull.

The kayak weighs 78 lbs and has a weight limit of 350 lbs, making it a great option for anglers of all sizes.

Product Specs:

  • Adjustable frame seating system with two settings
  • Adjustable foot braces
  • Ready to fish with 2 flush mount rod holders
  • Skeg wheel for enhanced tracking and easy transportation
  • Stability strap to assist with stand-up casting
  • Tankwell storage with bungee cord lacing to secure loose items
  • Two 12-inch sections of universal track for accessory mounting
  • Molded-in 28-inch ruler to easily measure fish
  • Integrated 1/4 in.-20 universal mount for waterproof accessories
  • Water-resistant oval storage hatch
  • Two convenient horizontal rod storage cradles
  • Side drain plug to easily remove water from the hull
  • Weight: 78 lbs
  • Weight limit: 350 lbs


  • Adjustable frame seating system for added comfort
  • Ready to fish with 2 flush mount rod holders
  • Skeg wheel for enhanced tracking and easy transportation
  • Molded-in 28-inch ruler to easily measure fish
  • Integrated 1/4 in.-20 universal mount for waterproof accessories


  • Rudder system not included
  • May be too heavy for solo transport for some users


Pelican Catch Mode 110 Fishing Kayak

You’ll appreciate the premium features and exceptional stability of the Pelican Catch Mode 110 Fishing Kayak, making it a great choice for any angler looking for a lightweight and comfortable option. The tunnel hull design provides maximum stability for a secure and steady ride, while the wide and flat deck platform allows for safe standing to cast lines and reel in fish without tripping over gear.

The ERGOBOOST seating system is adjustable for a higher seating position and better angle of vision, and comes with a comfortable EVA seat pad and convenient under seat storage. The kayak is equipped with two 4 rigging tracks for accessories, multiple storage features (including front and rear tank wells and two bottle holders), three flush mount rod holders, and anti-slip deck carpet. It also meets or surpasses ABYC standards for safety, with additional flotation inside the hull and a maximum weight capacity of 375 lb.

Made of durable high molecular weight polyethylene, it weighs only 63 lb, making it lighter than competitors and easier to transport.

Product Specs:

  • Material: Polyethylene (PE)
  • Weight: 63 Pounds
  • Weight Limit: 375 Pounds
  • Item Dimensions: 128 x 34.5 x 13 inches
  • Warranty: Lifetime Warranty


  • Lightweight and easy to transport
  • Exceptional stability for a secure and steady ride
  • Premium fishing features, including multiple storage options, rigging tracks, and rod holders
  • Pelican Lifetime Warranty


  • Some customers have reported missing titles or broken skag mounts
  • Not the best paddling efficiency for long stretches


Perception Pescador Pro 10 Fishing Kayak

If you’re searching for a reliable and comfortable fishing kayak that can withstand the rigors of any adventure, the Perception Pescador Pro 10 is a great option to consider. This kayak is designed with recreational anglers in mind and features large front and rear storage areas for all your fishing gear and personal items. The adjustable lawn chair seat provides a high level of comfort during long hours on the water, making it easy to focus on your fishing.

Made from high-quality materials, the Perception Pescador Pro 10 is built to last and can support up to 325 lbs, accommodating a range of paddlers and gear. Weighing only 57 lbs, it balances durability with portability, making it easy to transport to and from your favorite fishing spots. The smart design allows for efficient movement on the water, while also ensuring reliable performance.

If you’re looking for a kayak that is easy to transport, comfortable to use, and built to last, the Perception Pescador Pro 10 is definitely worth considering.

Product Specs:

  • Kayak Dimensions: 126 x 32 x 14 inches
  • Weight: 57 Lbs
  • Weight Capacity: 325 Lbs
  • Warranty: 5 Year Warranty
  • Model: Pescador Pro
  • Material: Polyethylene


  • Large front and rear storage areas for fishing gear and personal items
  • Adjustable lawn chair seat for high level of comfort during long hours on the water
  • Made from high-quality materials
  • Smart design for efficient movement on the water
  • Easy to transport and reliable performance


  • Only has two small enclosed compartments for storage, so waterproof storage bags may be necessary
  • Seat position may affect stability, so beginners should adjust seat to lower position for added security
  • Center of gravity may be a big issue when encountering rocks or moderate water movement


Elkton Outdoors Steelhead Inflatable Fishing Kayak

Take your fishing game to the next level with the Elkton Outdoors Steelhead Inflatable Fishing Kayak. The Steelhead series offers two different sizes (130 and 150) to accommodate your specific needs, both of which include a rigid dropstitch floor for stability and the ability to stand up and cast.

The inflatable kayak also features a front bow spray shield to keep you dry, 7 hard mounting points for accessories, and multiple scotty style mount attachment points for fishing rod holders, fish finders, bait trays, and more. The ample bow/stern storage and side carry handles make transportation and storage easy, and the high volume/high-pressure hand air pump makes inflating the kayak a breeze.

Additionally, the Steelhead series is designed to withstand underwater obstacles without ripping or tearing, ensuring long-lasting durability.

Product Specs:

  • Includes: PVC Kayak Fishing Boat, 2 x Lightweight Breakdown Kayak Paddles, Removable Skeg, Travel Bag with Backpack Straps, 2 x Padded High Back Support Adjustable EVA Seats, 2 x Drop-In Adjustable Foot Rest and a Dual Action High Volume / High Pressure Hand Air Pump
  • Dimensions:
    • Steelhead 130: 130in. (10ft. 10in.) Long x 39.5in. Wide x 13in. Tall
    • Steelhead 150: 150in. (12ft. 6in.) Long x 39in. Wide x 13in. Tall
  • Weight:
    • Steelhead 130 : 40lbs
    • Steelhead 150: 44lbs
  • Weight Capacity:
    • Steelhead 130: 400lbs
    • Steelhead 150: 600lbs
  • Rigid Dropstitch Floor
  • Front Bow Spray Shield
  • 7 x Hard Mounting Points
  • Halkey Roberts Locking Valves
  • Ample Bow/Stern Storage and Side Carry Handles
  • Multiple scotty-style mount attachment points for fishing rod holders, fish finders, bait tray and more
  • Robust bungie stuff compartment and storage
  • Warranty: 1 Year


  • Durable design that can handle underwater obstacles without ripping or tearing
  • Variety of features to enhance your fishing experience, including multiple accessory mount attachment points
  • Ample storage space and side carry handles for easy transportation and storage


  • Paddles may be too short for the size of the kayak
  • Dual action pump included with the product may be frustrating to use and the hose may crack
  • Accessory mount in the floor may be in an uncomfortable position for the legs


Factors to consider when buying a fishing kayak

Man holds a large fish that he has caught from a kayak in the Mediterranean Sea - Marbella. Andalusia

When buying a fishing kayak, there are several factors that you should consider to ensure that you get the right kayak for your needs.

Hull design is an important consideration as it determines the stability and speed of the kayak.

You should also consider the tracking ability of the kayak, as well as its weight and weight capacity, storage capacity, and comfort.

By taking these factors into account, you can make an informed decision and choose a fishing kayak that meets your needs and provides a great fishing experience.

Hull Design

The hull design of a kayak can greatly impact your experience on the water, so it’s important to consider factors like stability, speed, and maneuverability when choosing the right vessel for your needs.

Sit-on-top kayaks tend to have wider hulls, making them more stable and easier to get in and out of, but they sacrifice some speed for that stability. Sit-in kayaks, on the other hand, have narrower hulls that allow for greater speed and control, but can be more difficult to get in and out of and may feel more confining.

Another factor to consider in hull design is the shape of the keel. A flat-bottomed kayak will be more stable, but may sacrifice some speed and maneuverability. A kayak with a V-shaped keel will be faster and more maneuverable, but may be less stable. A rounded hull design is often a compromise between stability and speed, allowing for good maneuverability while still maintaining some stability.

Ultimately, the best hull design for you will depend on your individual needs and preferences, as well as the conditions you plan to paddle in.

Tracking Ability

Now that you understand the importance of hull design in a fishing kayak, let’s move on to tracking ability.

Tracking refers to a kayak’s ability to move in a straight line without veering off course. This is especially important for fishing, as you want to maintain a specific path while trolling or casting. A kayak with poor tracking ability can be frustrating to use and may cause you to expend unnecessary energy trying to stay on course.

There are a few factors that contribute to a kayak’s tracking ability. First, the shape of the hull plays a role. Kayaks with longer, narrower hulls tend to track better than those with short, wide hulls. Additionally, kayaks with a skeg or rudder can help to improve tracking by providing additional control and stability. Finally, the type of paddle you use can also affect tracking. A paddle with a larger blade will provide more power and control, which can help you maintain a straighter course.

To help you find the best fishing kayak with excellent tracking ability, we have compiled a list of key factors to consider:

  1. Look for kayaks with longer, narrower hulls for better tracking ability.
  2. Consider kayaks with a skeg or rudder for additional control and stability.
  3. Choose a paddle with a larger blade for more power and control to maintain a straighter course.

By taking these factors into account, you can find a fishing kayak that will help you stay on course and make the most of your time on the water.

Weight and Weight Capacity

Let’s dive into weight and weight capacity, crucial factors to consider when choosing the perfect fishing kayak for your needs. The weight of a kayak affects its portability and ease of transport, as well as its stability on the water. Generally, heavier kayaks are more stable but harder to maneuver, while lighter kayaks are more agile but less stable in rough waters.

It’s essential to find the right balance between stability and maneuverability, depending on your skill level, fishing style, and water conditions. When shopping for a fishing kayak, make sure to check the weight and compare it to your physical abilities and transportation options. Some kayaks come with wheels or handles to make it easier to carry them around, while others require additional gear or assistance.

The weight capacity is another critical factor to consider when choosing a fishing kayak. It refers to the maximum amount of weight that the kayak can carry without compromising its performance or safety. It includes the weight of the angler, gear, and any other passengers or pets that might join the ride.

Overloading a kayak can cause it to tip over, sink, or become unstable, which can result in accidents or injuries. It’s crucial to choose a kayak with a weight capacity that matches your needs and preferences, taking into account not only the weight but also the size and shape of the kayak. Keep in mind that some kayaks come with adjustable seats or footrests to accommodate different body types and weights, while others have fixed designs that might not fit everyone comfortably.

Storage Capacity

When it comes to choosing the perfect fishing kayak, storage capacity is a key consideration that can make or break your experience on the water – after all, you don’t want to be caught with your pants down!

It’s important to think about how much gear you’ll need to bring with you, and whether the kayak has enough space to accommodate it all. Look for kayaks with ample storage options, such as bungee cords, hatches, and compartments. Consider where you’ll be storing items like fishing rods, tackle boxes, coolers, and personal belongings, and make sure there’s enough space for everything.

Another important factor to consider is the weight capacity of the kayak. Even if a kayak has plenty of storage space, if it can’t support the weight of you and your gear, it’s not going to be a good fit. Make sure to check the weight capacity before making a purchase, and factor in the weight of your gear as well.

Keep in mind that overloading a kayak can affect its stability and performance, so it’s better to err on the side of caution and choose a kayak with a higher weight capacity than you think you’ll need. With the right storage capacity and weight capacity, you can ensure that your fishing kayak will be a reliable and comfortable vessel for all your fishing adventures.


If you want to enjoy your fishing experience to the fullest, it’s important to ensure your kayak provides comfort while you’re out on the water. Here are four features to consider when looking for a comfortable fishing kayak:

  1. Adjustable seat: A comfortable seat is essential for a long day on the water. Look for a kayak that offers an adjustable seat that can be positioned to your liking. A high-backed seat with ample padding can provide excellent support and comfort.
  2. Footrests: Footrests help to keep you in a stable position and can help reduce fatigue in your legs and back. Look for a kayak with adjustable footrests that can be moved to accommodate your height and leg length.
  3. Paddle holder: A paddle holder allows you to take a break from paddling and relax your arms without worrying about losing your paddle. Look for a kayak that has a secure paddle holder that is easy to access.
  4. Space: A kayak with ample space can provide more comfort by allowing you to stretch out your legs or store extra gear. Look for a kayak with plenty of storage options, such as bungee cords, rod holders, and dry storage compartments.

By considering these features, you can find a comfortable fishing kayak that will make your time on the water more enjoyable.

Overall, comfort should be a top priority when selecting a fishing kayak. You want to be able to focus on catching fish, not on a sore back or cramped legs. Take the time to find a kayak that offers the features you need to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable fishing experience.


Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What factors should I consider to pick the best budget fishing kayak?

A: When choosing the best fishing kayak under $1000, consider factors like stability, storage capacity, seating comfort, length of the kayak, primary and secondary stability, and any additional features like rod holders and pedal systems. Your personal preferences and the type of water you plan to fish in also play a role in picking the best kayak for your needs.

Q: How does the length of the kayak influence kayak fishing?

A: Longer kayaks typically offer better tracking, speed, and ability to cover long distances. They are ideal for larger bodies of water and for anglers who want to go fishing to far-off spots. However, shorter kayaks provide more maneuverability, making them a better choice for navigating smaller waterways, rivers or fishing in tighter spots.

Q: Should I go for a tandem fishing kayak if I plan to fish with a partner?

A: Tandem fishing kayaks are a great option if you plan to fish with a partner regularly, as they have seating for two people and often come with features designed to accommodate multiple anglers. However, they can be heavier and harder to transport. If you don’t plan to fish with a partner often, a solo fishing kayak may be a better choice due to its lighter weight and easier transportation.

Q: Is a sit-inside kayak suitable for kayak fishing?

A: Sit-inside kayaks can be used for kayak fishing, but they generally provide less room for gear storage and are less stable when compared to sit-on-top kayaks specifically designed for fishing. Sit-on-top fishing kayaks usually offer more stability, easier access to fishing gear, and the ability to stand up while fishing if desired.

Q: How important is a stable kayak for fishing?

A: A stable kayak is crucial for fishing, as it allows you to comfortably cast, reel in fish, and shift positions without worrying about capsizing. Primary and secondary stability are important factors to consider when choosing a kayak for fishing, with wider and more stable kayaks being ideal for beginners and those looking to engage in stand-up fishing.

Q: Can I use a kayak for both fly fishing and regular fishing?

A: Yes, many of the best kayaks for fishing under $1000 on our list are versatile and can be used for both fly fishing and regular fishing. Ensure that the kayak you choose has enough space and features to accommodate the specific gear and techniques required for fly fishing, as well as any other styles of fishing you enjoy.

Q: What is the advantage of a pedal kayak for fishing?

A: Pedal kayaks offer hands-free propulsion, allowing anglers to maintain their fishing position and cover more water seamlessly. This can be particularly beneficial when fishing in current or windy conditions. Though pedal kayaks tend to be more expensive, some budget fishing kayaks under $1000 feature pedal mechanisms, offering an optimal combination of affordability and angling advantage.

Q: How do I store and transport my fishing kayak?

A: Fishing kayaks can be stored in a garage, shed, or other outdoor storage space with proper protection from the elements. Always follow the manufacturer’s guidelines when storing your kayak, as improper storage can damage the hull or result in deformation. For transportation, a kayak can be secured on a roof rack, in the bed of a pick-up truck, or on a specialized kayak trailer, depending on the size and weight of the kayak, as well as your vehicle’s capabilities.

Q: Can I add more accessories to a budget fishing kayak?

A: Although budget fishing kayaks may not come with all the advanced features of more expensive options, many of them offer attachment points and customization options for adding accessories. Anglers can typically add rod holders, fish finders, paddle holders, anchor systems, and more, depending on their specific needs and preferences.

Q: Will a budget fishing kayak under $1000 limit my options when it comes to calm water or rougher conditions?

A: The best fishing kayaks under $1000 should be able to handle a variety of water conditions, from calm lakes to moderately rough waters. However, it’s essential to consider the specific kayak’s design and stability when deciding whether it’s suitable for the type of conditions you expect to encounter. Always prioritize safety and make sure the kayak you choose is appropriate for the waters you plan to fish in.

Q: Are there any specific safety measures or precautions to take when kayaking for fishing?

A: When kayaking for fishing, it’s important to take specific safety measures and precautions to ensure an enjoyable and safe experience.

Always wear a Personal Flotation Device, pack plenty of water and sunscreen, and let someone know your plans.

Consult local rules and regulations, know your limits, and learn self-rescue routines in case of emergency.

Additionally, it’s important to consider the weight and weight capacity, as well as the length and width of your kayak before purchasing.

Whether you choose a sit-on-top or sit-in kayak, make sure it meets your needs for stability, storage, versatility, comfort, and price.

Finally, take care of your kayak by rinsing after use, storing properly, and inspecting regularly for damage.



Congratulations! You’ve now read our expert reviews and comparisons of the top 5 fishing kayaks under $1000 for 2023. We hope that this guide has helped you narrow down your choices and find the perfect kayak for your needs and budget.

Remember, when buying a fishing kayak, it’s important to consider factors such as stability, maneuverability, storage capacity, and comfort. Think about where you’ll be kayaking and what fish you’ll be targeting.

Do your research and read reviews to get a better understanding of the pros and cons of each kayak. At the end of the day, the best fishing kayak for you is the one that suits your individual needs and preferences.

With so many great options on the market, you’re sure to find the perfect kayak for your next fishing adventure. Happy kayaking!