Best Sit-on-Top Fishing Kayak

Best Sit On Top Fishing Kayak Comparison Chart

Seat Capacity
Max Capacity
Fishing features
Best for
Bottom line
Best Overall
Wilderness Systems ATAK 120
86 lbs
12 ft 3 inches
35 inches
Single (1)
400 lbs
FlexPod OS, 6 SlideTrax accessory systems, side scan transducer scupper, removable utility pod cover, bow mount plate, stern mount plate, and stand-up assistant strap
Large and small lakes, bays, and slow-moving rivers up to class II
Highly customizable, comfortable, rugged, excellent stability, and performs well on the water
With excellent stability, durability, and versatility, plus great performance on the water and lots of extras, this kayak has everything you need for the best fishing experience.
Best Pedal Driven
Old Town Sportsman PDL 106
76 lbs
10 ft 6 inches
36 inches
Single (1)
450 lbs
Pedal and paddle
2 accessory tracks, cushioned floor pads, custom tackle box, 3 rod holders, dry storage, cup holder, universal transducer mounting system
Lakes, rivers, and saltwater
Lots of storage, very stable, comfortable seat, forward and backward pedal drive, easy to maneuver, and easy to transport
Experience the convenience of hands-free fishing with this easy-to-maneuver pedal kayak that’s still light enough for easy transport
Best Motor Driven
BKC PK12 Angler Fishing Kayak
78 lbs
12 ft
32.75 inches
Single (1)
460 lbs
2 sealed hatches, large cargo area, cupholder, tackle tray, 2 built-in rod holders, a storage bin, easy foam, and 2 track rails
Lakes, bays, and rivers
Tracks well, is stable enough for stand-up fishing, very comfortable, and affordable
Battery not included
You can get to your favorite fishing spots in the fastest way possible with this motor-drive kayak without breaking the bank
Best Tandem
BKC TK122U Tandem
74 lbs
12 ft 8 inches
34 inches
Tandem (2)
770 lbs
2 flush-mount rod holders, 2 articulating rod holders, 2 paddle parks, and dry storage
Ocean, lake, or rivers
Comes with 2 paddles, has 2 waterproof hatches, has a high max capacity, and is very stable
Waterproof hatches are not very watertight
This is a highly stable tandem fishing kayak (sit on top) with plenty of room for a friend, family, or dog plus all your gear.
Best Bang for the Buck
Best Inflatable
Elkton Outdoors Steelhead
40 lbs
10 ft 10 inches
39.5 inches
Single (1)
400 lbs
5 hard mounting points, drop-stitch floor, and front bow spray shield
Calm water and up to class III rapids
Allows standing position, complete set, designed for fishing, easy setup, easy to transport, and more convenient to store
Slow on the water
Easy to carry, set up, pack away, and store, this is the most convenient yet highly reliable sit-on-top fishing kayak you can choose

Sit-on-tops are a great choice for a fishing kayak. They are more comfortable, easy to get in and out of, self-bailing, offer more storage, and are remarkably unsinkable. Plus, their open deck design allows more options for modifications and upgrades. However, they are also available in a wide variety of models and styles with each having its own features and benefits. 

Now, with so many options, it can be difficult to choose which one to go with. So to help make your search easier, we have put together a list of the 5 best sit on top fishing kayaks you can buy today. And to make sure you’ll only end up with the right kayak that best matches your needs, we also included a list of all the things you need to consider before buying one.

How We Chose the Best Fishing Sit On Top Kayak?

It took us hours and hours of research to find the best sit on top fishing kayaks on Amazon. Once we saw what was available on the market, we were able to shortlist all those that we liked and those highly recommended by anglers. 

From there, we arranged the kayaks into groups, putting together those with the same prices, function, and design. We then determined the best in each group by comparing their value for money, durability, features, and overall quality. After a long discussion with our team, we were able to narrow down our list to only the 5 products you see below. 

That said, all the kayaks on this list are carefully selected and are guaranteed to improve your game and give you the best fishing experience possible. 

The Best Sit-On-Top Fishing Kayak

Why we love it: 

  • Lots of features for fishing
  • Plenty of options for modifications
  • Nimble kayak

What it is best for:

  • Large and small lakes, bays, and slow-moving rivers up to class II

If you prefer a simple and silent sit-on-top fishing kayak, then the Wilderness Systems ATAK 120 is a great choice. It is solid and well-constructed. So it is sure to last for a very, very long time. In fact, when taken care of properly, this is a type of kayak that may even last a lifetime. 

While this kayak is paddle-driven, it is also compatible with a motor. So you still have the option to upgrade later on. Not only that, but it also has 6 SlideTrax systems where you can put in your favorite fishing accessories, and mount plates on the bow and stern for your other add-ons. There’s a removable utility pod cover as well for the items you need quick access to like tackles, tools, and drinks. 

Overall, the Wilderness Systems ATAK is a class above other paddle-drive fishing kayaks. It’s extremely stable, and you can stand on it while casting and reeling in a fish. It also has a comfortable seat and a roomy cockpit. Plus, it’s fast and tracks well on the water.


  • ZQuick and track well on water
  • ZVery versatile and customizable
  • ZRugged
  • ZExcellent stability


  • QHeavy

Why we love it: 

  • Lots of features for fishing
  • Allows stand-up fishing
  • Comfortable
  • Front and reverse pedaling

What it is best for:

  • Lakes, rivers, and saltwater

Our next best fishing sit on top kayak is the Old Town Sportsman PDL 106. This is a pedal-driven kayak that can go forward and reverse with ease. Thus, you can get to your favorite fishing spots faster. It’s also comfortable with its roomy deck and premium mesh seat, which provides great lumbar support. 

What’s great about this kayak is that it’s surprisingly light and compact compared to most pedal drives. It weighs only 76 lbs and measures 10’6” long. So it’s easier to transport and handle on your own. It’s even light enough to car top. 

As a fishing vessel, the Old Town Sportsman PDL 106 offers 2 accessory tracks, cushioned floor pads for more grip when standing, a custom tackle box, and 3 rod holders. There’s also a universal transducer mounting system to quickly install your fish finder and a cupholder to hold your drinks. On top of that, it offers plenty of storage for your gear. So there’s nothing really more to look for. So while it’s a little pricey, it sure is worth it. 


  • ZAllows stand-up fishing
  • ZErgonomic and adjustable seat
  • ZFishing-friendly


  • QLakes, bays, and rivers

Why we love it: 

  • Great stability
  • Tracks very well
  • Comfortable seats
  • Very easy to get in and out of

What it is best for:

  • Small to large dogs
  • Solo, tandem, or tandem with a child or pet

Here’s a fishing kayak with a built-in trolling motor that can get you to where you want in the fastest way possible without breaking a sweat. The best part is? It’s surprisingly affordable for a motor-drive kayak. It’s even lightweight at 78 lbs, making it easier to transport than similar types of sit-on-top kayaks. 

Aside from that, this kayak offers a lot of handy features that can improve your fishing game. It has 2 built-in rod holders, 2 track rails for your accessories, a storage bin at the back to quickly access your tackles and other valuables, and an easy foam for when you need to stand. There’s also a large cargo area at the rear for all your gear and multiple closed hatches for dry storage. 

Overall, the BKC PK12 Angler Fishing Kayak offers great stability, speed, durability, and convenience in a lighter package. With it, you also get to cruise the water with ease and experience a motor-driven kayak without spending a fortune. 


  • ZStable
  • ZTracks well
  • ZVery comfortable
  • ZAffordable


  • QBattery not included

Why we love it: 

  • Easy to transport
  • Comes with paddles
  • Can fit 2 to 3 people

What it is best for:

  • Ocean, lake, or rivers

Are you planning to go fishing with someone else? Then this is your best choice for a sit-on-top. With an impressive max weight capacity of 770lbs, this tandem kayak can fit 2 adults and still have extra space for a child or furry friend. Thus, making it ideal for family adventures. 

Now, even with its huge max capacity, this kayak is a lot lighter than most tandem kayaks. It weighs only 74 lbs. So it’s easier to transport and handle. Aside from that, it’s also very stable. You’ll have no problem standing on it when you need to stretch or catch a fish. 

The BKC TK122U is among the few tandem kayaks that are designed especially for fishing. It has 2 flush-mount rod holders, 2 articulating rod holders, and 2 hatches where you can put your keys, wallet, and other valuables. Take note, however, that these hatches aren’t very watertight. So you might want to put your things in a dry bag before putting them in. 


  • ZHigh max capacity
  • ZVery stable
  • ZLightweight


  • QWaterproof hatches are not very watertight

Why we love it: 

  • Easy to set up
  • Easy to transport
  • More convenient to store
  • Allows standing position

What it is best for:

  • Calm water and up to class III rapids

If you are looking for a fishing kayak that you can quickly take from your home to the water and vice versa, then you may want to consider the Elkton Outdoors Steelhead Inflatable Kayak. It is easy to inflate and set up, and it comes with everything you need to start fishing. Then once you’re done, you can quickly deflate it, pack it up, and throw it at the back of your car. Fast and convenient. 

What’s different about this kayak compared to other inflatable kayaks is that it’s extremely durable and stable. Its floor uses drop-stitch technology, making it solid and suitable for a bait-casting position. So you can actually stand on it. 

Moreover, the Elkton Outdoors Steelhead is designed for fishing. It has multiple universal hard mounting points throughout the deck, allowing you to attach your rods, fish finder, camera, and other fishing gear. There is also ample storage in the bow and stern for your other essentials.


  • ZResistant to UV, impact, and abrasion
  • ZLarge front and rear open spaces
  • ZComfortable and well-balanced
  • ZCan accommodate taller riders


  • QSlow on the water

What to Look For When Choosing the Best Sit On Top Fishing Kayaks

Most fishers prefer sit-on-top kayaks for fishing – and for good reason. They are more stable, comfortable, and durable. They also have more fishing-specific features and are easier to get in and out of. On top of that, they’re highly customizable. So they’re a better choice if you want to add accessories and modify your ride in the future. 

However, with so many sit-on-top models on the market, it can be difficult to find the right one for you. So to help you out and make sure you only end up with a fishing kayak that matches your needs, here’s a list of everything you need to look out for when choosing what kayak to buy.


When it comes to fishing kayaks, you have three choices in propulsion or how you want it to move on water. There are paddles, pedals, and motors, each having its own advantages and disadvantages. So what should you choose? Well, it depends on what you need and how you want to use your kayak.

For instance, if you usually fish on rivers and shallows, then a paddle kayak is better for you. This is because many of those weed-choked spots are only accessible with a paddle kayak. That said, paddle kayaks are better for hard-to-reach fishing spots. 

Furthermore, paddle kayaks are lighter and easier to transport. You can even lift most models on top of your car by yourself. Thus, making them the best choice for quick trips. On the other hand, if you’re going on open water and covering a lot of distance, then you might want to go with a motor or pedal drive. Such options will allow you to go to your destination faster without breaking a sweat. 

Weight Capacity

Before buying a fishing kayak, you should first determine the combined weight of your gear, your companion (if any), and yourself. Once you’ve got that down, check for a kayak’s max weight capacity and make sure it can accommodate all those weights. 

Now, if you are paddling, you should not exceed 70% of the max weight limit to ensure a safe and efficient ride. So if the max is 350 lbs, try to stay within 245 lbs. 


Stability is one of the most important features you should look for in a fishing kayak. A stable kayak will not only provide you with a comfortable ride, but it can also ensure your safety. You wouldn’t want something that easily flips over, right? Furthermore, you’ll need a kayak with excellent stability if you’re planning to stand on it while casting or reeling in a big fish. 

So when choosing a kayak, make sure to check the width. If it’s at least 30 inches wide, then it’s good. The wider it is, the more stable it will be on the water. Keep in mind, however, that as you go wider, the slower you’ll get. 


A kayak’s length will give you an idea of its speed and maneuverability. For example, shorter kayaks (less than 11ft) turn quicker and are easier to maneuver. Meanwhile, longer kayaks (12ft and longer) are faster, cruise better, and are more efficient in cutting through the water. So if you’re planning to go on calm and small bodies of water, you’re better off with a shorter kayak. On the other hand, for large and open bodies of water, choose a longer one. 

Aside from where you are planning to fish, you should also consider your body type when choosing what length to go with. If you’re taller with bigger body size, then you may want to go for longer kayaks. This will give you more legroom and space to move around. 


You should also check a kayak’s weight and consider how you’re planning to move it from your home to the water and back. For instance, if you’re going to put it on top of your car, you need a kayak that you can carry. Thus, it’s better to go with lighter models. On the other hand, if you have a truck or trailer, then you’ll have no problems dealing with a heavy one. 

Now, heavier kayaks are stronger and more durable while lighter ones are easier to transport and store. So when choosing which one to buy, try to think about what’s more important for you. 


Since you’ll be staying in your kayak for a very long time while fishing, it’s important to look for a model that you’re absolutely comfortable in. To do that, check the seat and make sure it can support your back. It should also be adjustable and cozy to sit in for hours. Additionally, you’ll want a kayak with adjustable footrests as they’ll keep you upright while paddling. 

You should check the cockpit as well and make sure it offers you enough space for moving, standing, stretching, and reaching your gear. 


You should also consider a kayak’s storage and make sure it can accommodate all the gear you’re planning to take with you. Some models offer sealed and waterproof storage where you can keep your valuables dry. Some have large tank wells that can fit a cooler or milk crate. Others have molded-in areas where you can put tackles and other items you need quick access to. Try to imagine all the things you want to take with you while fishing, and visualize where you’re likely to put everything before deciding to buy. 

Fishing Features

You want a fishing kayak that can meet your needs as an angler. If you want to be able to set up or carry multiple fishing rods, then you may want a kayak with plenty of rod holders or mounting points. If you want to take a fish finder, GPS, or camera while fishing, then look for models with track rails or transducer mounts. 

If you fish on lakes, oceans, and large bodies of water a lot, then you may want to put in some electronics on your ride. If so, then try to look for models that are designed to take in modern electronics. Similarly, you should also choose a kayak that’s compatible with a trolling motor if you’re planning to modify it later on. 

Other features that may come in handy or make your fishing trips more comfortable are cupholders and paddle holders. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q: Are sit-on-top kayaks more stable?

A: Generally, sit-on-top kayaks are considered more stable, particularly when it comes to fishing kayaks. Since they usually have higher seats than their sit-inside counterparts, their center of gravity is also higher. Thus, making them less stable. So to compensate for such a design, manufacturers make their kayaks wider with fuller ends. And the wider they get, the more stable they are in the water. 

Q: What are the advantages of sit-on-top kayak?

A: The advantages of a sit-on-top kayak include 1) an open deck design for more freedom of movement; 2) better suited for larger paddlers; 3) an unsinkable design; and 4) more storage. Furthermore, a sit-on-top is easier to get in and out of, and it has drain holes where water on the deck can escape. This means that you can quickly save yourself even with little practice and paddle right away in case you capsize. No need to go back to the shore and get the water out. 

Q:  Can sit-on-top kayaks sink?

A: Sit-on-top kayaks do not sink. Just like boats, they have molded and sealed hulls that trap air. Thus, providing buoyancy. They also have self-bailing scupper holes that drain the water out of the vessel. Plus, its open deck design means there’s no cockpit where water can get trapped into.