Ocean kayaks are amazing pieces of kit. They allow you to get out in the ocean more easily and more cost-effectively than ever before, as well as the ability to reach islands and locations that you would never have been able to before.
Whilst ocean kayaks are very useful, an ocean fishing kayak is even better – you can use one for both normal cruising and fishing at the same time! Ocean fishing is great. As opposed to fishing on small lakes, you are well and truly out on the open water and are able to access so many different types of catch by a lot of different means.
Before you can consider getting out on the ocean to fish, though, you need to ensure that you have the best ocean fishing kayak for your needs, in terms of where in the ocean and how you are planning on fishing.
There are numerous different sea fishing kayaks available, each offering different features in terms of what they’re good at providing. In this guide, we’re going to take a look at the various styles of ocean fishing kayak that are available. We’ll walk through some important points of information that we recommend you consider before making your first or next ocean kayak purchase, as well as recommending a variety of boats that are best for sea kayak fishing.
What To Think About Before Buying An Ocean Fishing Kayak
Handling of The Kayak
How well an ocean kayak handles is absolutely paramount in determining how good a boat it is overall. Ocean kayaks must be quite long in order to maintain good speed and tracking. If you’re planning o constantly taking your boat out into rough water, ensure that you choose a boat with very well-rated handling. This will most likely be a boat that’s wide and that’s been designed for rough water.
Slim and streamlined kayaks are very good on calmer ocean waters for gliding at high speed across the water’s surface with minimal resistance. In order to make sure you get a boat that has the best possible handling, look for one that’s fitted with a skeg or rudder. These ensure that the tracking of the boat is kept to a high standard and that it won’t veer off-course in high winds.
A rudder is a particularly good feature to have too – they are very good at steering the boat in exactly the direction that you would like to go.
Cost is an obvious point to consider. Ocean kayaks are very well-made and require a lot of time to design and construct. Being made from high-quality materials and being packed full of additional features to make for the best possible ocean fishing experience, they can become quite costly. However, if you do choose to invest you can be sure that your investment will be well-rewarded in the form of an extremely high-quality and high-performing ocean fishing kayak.
In our opinion, it’s best to wait to purchase an ocean fishing kayak until you have a good budget. Buying a cheap one that’s of poor quality will merely mean that you’ll need to buy another one an awful lot sooner, at the same time as its performance and build quality being well below par.
The length and width of the kayak are important points to consider before buying one for fishing on the ocean. Whilst a wide and short kayak will be very stable, it will also be more difficult to paddle and move quickly on.
A thinner more streamlined kayak, on the other hand, will allow you to move very quickly through the water. It will not, however, be nearly as stable as wider model and will have a higher chance of capsizing in comparison.
A lot of the time that you’re out on the ocean fishing you’ll most likely be sitting still. It’s therefore important to have a boat that’s stable and well-balanced.
Weight and Load Capacity
When going out fishing, it can often be essential to take a fair amount of equipment with you. A lot of equipment combined with your own weight can add up to a fair amount on top of the boat. You should make sure that the boat is rated to take how much you are planning on taking out on it.
Stability is especially important in an ocean kayak. Ocean fishing kayaks are designed to be as stable as possible, in order to allow you to stand on them as well as manage the waves that they will be moved about by whilst out on the water.
Ocean kayaks use two stability concepts – primary and secondary stability. To put it into simple terms, primary stability is affected by the width of the boat. Secondary stability, on the other hand, refers to how difficult the boat is to tip over.
The problem comes from the fact that ocean kayaks need to be thin and streamlined enough to travel at speed through the waves, whilst also being stable like a wide kayak. Ensure that any ocean fishing kayak that you’re looking at has both good primary and secondary stability. The stability of a kayak can be determined by examining the front of the boat.
Sit on Top vs Sit Inside
Another big debate in ocean kayaks is sit on top vs sit inside.
Sit on Top – sit on top kayaks are those that the rider is not sitting inside whatsoever. They are better in terms of storage and room to move around but are not as good for rougher waters. They’re also very easy to get yourself as well as any equipment in or out of.
Sit Inside – Whilst great for rougher waters and staying dry, sit-inside kayaks are not as commonly seen in the market of ocean fishing kayaks. They do not have nearly as much storage and aren’t as versatile in that they can’t be stood upon, or moved around on at all.
A good amount of storage space is very important in an ocean fishing kayak. You must make sure that there’s enough space for yourself plus all of your equipment. Looking for a boat that has both wet and dry storage availability is a good idea – this gives you places to store those items that you don’t mind getting wet, as well as somewhere to store those that you want to keep safe and dry.
What It’s Made Of
The majority of ocean fishing kayaks are made from a plastic called polyethylene. It’s very durable, whilst being cost-effective and lightweight. There are other materials available for ocean fishing kayaks such as composites and carbon fiber, but these are far more expensive to both purchase and maintain should they be damaged.
The Best Ocean Fishing Kayaks
Ocean Kayak Prowler 13 Angler – Sit On Top Ocean Fishing Kayak
The Prowler 13 from Ocean Kayak is a well-known and very highly-rated ocean fishing kayak. It’s a one-person, sit on top fishing kayak that has ample storage space, and is very comfortable too. It’s great in that it’s a very open boat that’s not restrictive at all – reeling in a big fish is a pleasure when aboard the Prowler 13.
In terms of storage, the Prowler 13 has got both wet and dry storage available. There’s a large storage area at the stern of the boat where you can secure your equipment with the provided bungee cords, as well as a sealable dry storage area that’s within easy reach of the seat – great for keeping valuables and essentials in.
The seat on the Prowler 13 is adjustable and is very good for finding your most comfortable fishing position in. Once sat down, you’ll notice that the boat has a number of rod holders, as well as additional mounts for transducers.
- Weight: 56 lbs
- Length: 13’4”
- Max Load: 325 lbs
- Very open design – all areas of the Prowler 13 are easily accessible from the seat of the boat
- Comfortable – fully adjustable seat
- A lot of storage space – this kayak has rear storage as well as a sealed storage compartment
- Well-equipped for fishing – this ocean fishing kayak is fitted with everything you could need on a day’s fishing, including well-located rod holders, paddle-holders and transducer mounts
Lifetime Sport Fisher Kayak – Tandem Ocean Fishing Kayak
The Sport Fisher from Lifetime is an extremely durable ocean fishing kayak. It’s made from extremely dense polyethylene which makes it very durable and strong indeed. The Sport Fisher is able to seat 3 people at the same time, and can carry up to 500 pounds in load weight. However, it will most comfortably accommodate 2 people.
The Sport Fisher is extremely well suited to angling. It comes provided with three-rod holders, and a number of different built-in footrest positions to ensure that you can be as comfortable as possible all day.
Storage is ample on boat the Sport Fisher too, with bungee-cord securable storage at the front of the boat, and a safe secure hatch at the stern of the boat.
- Weight: 60 pounds
- Length: 10’
- Exceptionally strong and dense construction
- Comes well equipped and well kitted-out for fishing with rod holders and excellent storage
- Extremely stable and very precise tracking
Brooklyn Kayak Company RA220 – 11.6’ Sit On Top Ocean Fishing Kayak
The RA2200 by the Brooklyn Kayak Company is the ultimate sit on top ocean fishing kayak. It is fitted with everything you could possibly imagine for fishing, plus a little more. With two rod holders that are within easy reach of the comfortable seat, you don’t need to worry about paddling and fishing at the same time. These two holders are great for keeping a line out whilst you’re still making progress along the water.
Unlike a lot of the other ocean fishing kayaks out there, the RA2200 comes with a rudder that’s controlled by your foot. This means that even whilst your paddling along with your arms, you can keep the kayak guided in the correct direction at all times. This kayak truly allows you to fish, paddle and steer all at the same time.
It’s an extremely stable boat too. The RA220 has been designed so that you can stand up or sit down on the top, without the feat of capsizing the boat or sliding around. As well as this, there’s a large amount of handy storage on the boat with a big space at the back of the boat, and a waterproof area at the hull of the boat.
Considering how well-built this boat is, it’s very lightweight at only 68 pounds in weight when it’s not in the water. Once in the water, it’s able to carry up to 450 pounds of weight.
- Weight: 68 pounds
- Length: 11’6”
- Maximum rated capacity of 450 pounds
- Ready to fish – the BKC is fitted with rod holders and a large amount of wet and dry storage space
- Very stable – you can stand up on the RA220 without fear of slipping or tipping the kayak over
- Great Steering – the BKC RA220 is fitted with a rudder that can be controlled by your foot. This allows you to move along and steer in the right direction at the same time
Intex Explorer K2 – Lightweight Inflatable Fishing Kayak
If you’re looking for a lightweight ocean fishing kayak, the Intex Explorer K2 could be a great option. It’s extremely comfortable and combines a lightweight design and a small price into a very compact package that can seat two people.
At just over 10 feet long and being able to accommodate up to 2 passengers, the K2 is a great little boat for fishing. However, it’s not recommended for taking far out to sea as it’s not designed for this – it is better suited to calmer water.
- Weight: 35 pounds
- Length: 10’3”
- Maximum Load: 400 lbs
- Two separate air chambers