Offshore kayak fishing presents unique challenges and risks. Of course, it also offers unique rewards, like the chance to catch tuna and grouper. So how do you reap those rewards and mitigate those risks? In addition to learning skills like how to surf launch and taking appropriate precautions like monitoring weather conditions, having the right gear is essential to staying safe (and having a good time) fishing beyond the breakers.
A fishing kayak that’s designed for open-water fishing will be stable in windy and wavy conditions (and when you’re reeling in a big fish). However, a good open-water kayak is not as stable as an inshore kayak. To absorb the power of the waves and turn on a dime, as well as ride waves into the beach, the boat should lean to the right and left. Most ocean boats have a long waterline to track well, allowing you to travel long distances with ease. To improve handling, big-water kayaks have a slight bend in the keel, called rocker. The paddler can lean back and lift the bow out of the water to make a fast turn or surf down the face of a wave. To ensure gear and fishing rods survive a surf launch and rough seas, an ocean kayak has ample storage space below deck.
These open-water fishing kayaks are capable of managing surf, currents, swells and the constant stream of big fish you’re sure to be reeling in.
Top picks: Best ocean fishing kayaks for 2023
Best Ocean Fishing Kayaks
Vibe Shearwater 125 Signature Series
Sportsman Salty PDL 120
BKC RA220 Sit On Top Angler Kayak
Vibe Yellowfin 100 Angler Kayak
Vibe Sea Ghost 130 Angler Kayak
Slayer Propel 12.5 MAX
BKC FK285 Sit-On-Top Angler Solo Kayak
Shop for ocean fishing kayaks
Follow the links below into the Kayak Angler Buyer’s Guide where you’ll find every ocean fishing kayak available along with specs, prices, reviews and places to buy.
Shop by type
Ocean fishing kayaks with pedals
Solo ocean fishing kayaks
2 person ocean fishing kayaks
Rigid kayaks for ocean fishing
Inflatable kayaks for ocean fishing
Sit-in kayaks ocean fishing
Sit-on-top ocean fishing kayaks
Ocean fishing kayaks for beginners
Most stable ocean fishing kayaks
Shop by brand
Bonafide ocean fishing kayaks
Brooklyn Kayak Company ocean fishing kayaks
Hobie ocean fishing kayaks
Jackson ocean fishing kayaks
Kaku ocean fishing kayaks
NuCanoe ocean fishing kayaks
Old Town ocean fishing kayaks
Perception ocean fishing kayaks
Sea Eagle ocean fishing kayaks
Vibe ocean fishing kayaks
Ocean fishing kayak reviews
There’s no better way to choose an open-water kayak than by kicking the tires and taking a test drive. The staff at Kayak Angler have run the best ocean fishing kayaks through the gauntlet. We’ve rigged the boats for fishing, loaded them with gear and hit the water, allowing us to evaluate how the boat handles and how it performs for the intended angler and conditions.
If you can’t get to the paddle shop or a demo day, take a test drive with our reviews of the best ocean fishing kayaks.
- Fishing Kayak Reviews
- Old Town Predator PDL Fishing Kayak Review
- Native Watercraft Slayer XC Fishing Kayak Review
- Boat Review: Native Watercraft’s Manta Ray 12XT Fishing Kayak
- Ocean Kayak’s Trident 15 Fishing Kayak Review
- Ocean Kayak Trident 13 Fishing Kayak Review
- Boat Review: The Viking Profish 440
- NuCanoe Pursuit Fishing Kayak Review
- Fishing Kayak Review: Jackson Kayak Kraken 13.5
- Fishing Kayak Review: Jackson Kayak Kraken