Choosing A Fishing Kayak

A Gudes Life

Winnipesaukee White Perch

by Tim Moore
Contributing Writer

Kayak angling is the fastest growing aspect of fishing. No other area of the recreational fishing industry is seeing as many new innovations and products. While this growth is great for the industry, the number of choices is dizzying to many consumers considering a start in kayak fishing. These days, buying a new fishing kayak can be as difficult and time consuming as buying a new car. There are so many makes, models, shapes, sizes, and features that deciding which one to buy can be daunting.
DSC_0006 - CopyAs a professional fishing guide and promotional angler, the number one question I receive from kayak fishing clients and people I meet at events is, “How do I choose a fishing kayak?” I use Old Town Predator (sit-on-top) kayaks. I chose to go with the Predator because they are extremely stable and comfortable. Old Town, with the help of their pro staff, put a ton of development into these kayaks and as far as I’m concerned they nailed it. Predator kayaks are extremely stable and comfortable, and who doesn’t love a lifetime warr
Longer kayaks track better and are therefore faster, while shorter kayaks are more maneuverable, and wider kayaks are generally more stable. Sit-on-top (SOT) kayaks are the most stable. Lower-end kayaks often have a single round or v-shaped hull, while higher-end kayaks often have a tri-hull design to make them more stable. Comfort should also be high on your priorities. The more comfortable the kayak is, the longer you can stay out and fish. Kayaks with hammock-style seats, such as the Element Seat System from Old Town, prevent you from sitting on a hard surface because the seat is suspended from side rails.
When it comes to fishing kayaks, you get what you pay for. Top of the line kayaks have better hull designs with more expensive molds, and longer manufacturing times. Most will have more features, are more comfortable, and often have better warranties. The trick is to get the best kayak you can afford. Demo days and guided fishing trips give you the opportunity to try kayaks that are already set up to determine which one is right for you and your style of fishing…and budget. If you are considering buying a fishing kayak, and have more questions, feel free to email me at and I will do my best to help.

Tim Moore is a professional fishing guide in New Hampshire. He owns and operates Tim Moore Outdoors, LLC and guides ice fishing trips on Lake Winnipesaukee. He is a member of the New England Outdoors Writers Association and the producer of Tim Moore Outdoors TV. Visit for more information.