hether you’re fishing open lakes or rivers and creeks, finding the perfect bass fishing kayak means finding a boat that suits your needs as an angler.
When shopping for a kayak for bass fishing, consider how you fish, what kind of rigging you’ll be adding, if you prefer to pedal or paddle, and if you’ll be on open water or tighter rivers and creeks. A comfortable seat doesn’t hurt either.
These bass fishing kayaks from Old Town, Hobie, Wilderness Systems, Native Watercraft, Bonafide Kayaks, Jackson Adventures, Pelican, NuCanoe and 3 Waters Kayaks are packed with features to suit your fishing style, so you can target bass where you want, when you want and how you want.
Here are the best bass fishing kayaks on the market today:
- Old Town Topwater 120
- Hobie Mirage Outback
- Wilderness Systems A.T.A.K.
- Native Watercraft Slayer 12XC
- Bonafide Kayaks SS127
- Jackson Adventures Big Rig
- Pelican The Catch 120
- NuCanoe Pursuit
- 3 Waters Kayaks Big Fish 120
[This article is part of the Kayak Angler Buyer’s Guide for The Best Fishing Kayaks for 2021. Find all the best fishing kayaks from the top brands for all situations.]
The Topwater 120 from Old Town offers large fishing kayak performance in a compact, nimble package. A marriage of stability and performance, the Topwater—with the all-new ultra-stable DoubleU Hull—quietly glides through any water condition while providing a stable, comfortable standup fishing platform. Equipped with thoughtful on-board tackle and rod management and a revolutionary universal transducer mount, even the saltiest of anglers will be impressed by the overall fishability of the new Topwater series. Old Town sacrificed nothing, delivering a series of innovative fishing kayaks that are easy to maneuver and even easier to transport all while boasting an impressive maximum capacity.
The Mirage Outback from Hobie is a fully loaded fishing machine that’s built for every conceivable fishing expedition, whether you’re prowling the ocean for monster gamefish or stalking bass in your favorite freshwater fishing hole. This boat is propelled by the efficient reversing MirageDrive 180 with Kick-Up Fins, which automatically retract upon impact. The extra-wide standing deck offers an improved casting platform and convenient vantage point for sight fishing. Other features include the new Vantage CTW seat, providing extra width for unmatched room and comfort, as well as four molded-in rod holders, multiple deluxe H-Track mounts and more.
View all Hobie bass fishing kayaks.
The A.T.A.K. from Wilderness Systems strikes the elusive balance between speed and stability with its long waterline, highly walkable surface and wind-shedding hull. The open deck design is optimized for accessory customization with storage opportunities intelligently located throughout. The AirPro MAX high/low seat delivers comfort and visibility, while the Flex Pod OS console provides electronics integration and compatibility with the Helix MD Motor Drive (sold separately). It comes in two sizes: the 120 and 140.
The Slayer 12 XC kayak from Native Watercraft offers a solid fishing platform. The hull of the XC is designed toward cross conditions performance. A broad, flatter hull not only allows river anglers to maneuver and control their boats in tighter conditions while sliding through shallow areas with a very shallow draft, but it also gives an incredibly stable standing platform for sight fishing. A flip of a lever drops a directional skeg to allow the Slayer XC to track on a line to the next spot. The XC includes a removable electronics-ready pod.
The SS127 from Bonafide Kayaks is hard to beat when it comes to fishability from a kayak. Every feature was designed from the ground up to create an amazing angling experience. Featuring a hybrid catamaran hull design that provides uncompromised stability in various conditions, this boat is not kind-of-stable, it’s crazy-stable (at only 33.5 inches wide!). This allows for the comfortable HiRise seating system to raise to an ultra-high position for improved sight casting and to relieve pressure on your lower back.
The Big Rig HD/FD from Jackson Adventures is one of their most popular fishing kayaks that now comes with the addition of FlexDrive 3D pedaling power. The FD is compatible with their FlexDrive E motor, giving users a truly hands-free fishing experience, where the rudder controls return to foot control and the battery will take you anywhere you want to go. The Hi-Lo Ergo Seat Frame with MOLLE System includes infinite fore-aft trimming and the unique Big Rig rod troughs are doubled up with two rod tubes on both sides of the bow. Jackson’s use of track systems remain throughout, giving you flexibility in setting up for the day of fishing and their hulls are molded for Raymarine and Power-Pole readiness.
View all Jackson bass fishing kayaks.
The Catch 120 from Pelican is perfect for those looking for a kayak with more space and storage. At 12 feet long and 69 pounds, it is ideal for the bigger angler looking to bring along a lot of gear with a total weight capacity of 400 pounds. It features Pelican’s Ergocast G2 Dual Position Seating System with a convenient pocket in the back allowing you to insert extra lumbar support, straps under the seat that provide adjustable tension, and elastic straps located on the seat that allow you to keep small tools handy. The Catch 120 comes loaded with features anglers will love.
The Pursuit from NuCanoe is a high-performance and high-potential fishing kayak for competitive kayak anglers. It maximizes speed and stability while providing exceptional tracking and maneuverability. The open deck layout gives anglers full control over the configuration and outfitting and the new H2ProDrive pedal system means the Pursuit can be powered by paddle, pedal or motor.
The Big Fish 120 from 3 Waters Kayaks offers all the features, stability and comfort you expect from a high-dollar kayak, but at an affordable price. The kayak is designed from the ground up with a focus on stability, tracking and performance, made possible by the innovative cathedral tri-hull. The deck features a standing platform, storage space along the gunwales and built-in rod holders. This boat meets the demands of all anglers from novice to expert.
View all 3 Waters bass fishing kayaks.
How we chose the best bass fishing kayaks
We consider several factors when choosing the best bass fishing kayaks. From ensuring we judge the kayak according to its intended purpose to making sure you’re actually able to buy it, here are the things we consider when picking the kayak in each category:
- Purpose. Comparing apples to apples.
- Performance. How well does it do its job?
- Features. Sometimes we’re all about bells and whistles, sometimes not.
- Real-world testing. We put them to the test on the water.
- Price. Is it affordable? Does its performance justify its cost?
- Sales. Best-selling models are best-sellers for a reason.
- Availability. It won’t be good if you can’t buy it.
- Designer and brand interviews. We ask the people who made it why.
Let’s find you the perfect kayak for bass fishing
Use the Kayak Angler Buyer’s Guide‘s reviews, specs and expert rankings to help you find the right kayak at the right price. Find all the best fishing kayaks from the top brands for all situations in The Best Fishing Kayaks For 2021.