When looking for a new fishing kayak, there’s a wide variety of options that exist on the market. One of the biggest variances is in the propulsion of the kayak. Once you make it through the long list of paddle-powered kayaks, you’ll find the pedal drives, and soon after a whole new category: kayaks with motors. While some prefer to stick with self-propelled kayaks, there are a few reasons anglers venture into the world of motorized models.
The most common is the ease of covering long distances. A motorized kayak will enable you to set your sights on fishing spots that are farther from the access point, or get to nearby favorites when time is limited. Some anglers use a motor as an ancillary mode of propulsion—they like the comfort of knowing if they get tired of paddling, they can use the motor to get home. Motors are also a great option for anglers with disabilities, or anyone who has difficulties pedaling or paddling.
One possible downside, depending on whether you partake, is that some kayak fishing tournaments do not allow the use of motors. Most tournaments today do, but it may be helpful to check the tournaments you are most likely to fish before deciding to go with a motorized kayak. Weight is another detractor, as having a motor will make your kayak setup heavier. If neither of these are an issue for you, it’s time to dive into the world of powered kayaks.
These fishing kayaks with motors by Pelican, Kaku Kayak, NuCanoe, Wilderness Systems, Old Town, Sea Eagle, Feelfree Kayaks, Jackson Adventures and more offer a wide variety of options to get you on the water.
Here are the best motor-powered fishing kayaks on the market today:
- Pelican Catch PWR 100
- Kaku Kayak Zulu
- NuCanoe F10
- Wilderness Systems A.T.A.K.
- Old Town Sportsman AutoPilot 136
- Sea Eagle FishSUP 126
- Blue Sky Boatworks 360 Angler
- Feelfree Dorado with Overdrive
- Jackson Adventures Big Rig FD
[This article is part of the Kayak Angler Buyer’s Guide for The Best Fishing Kayaks for 2022. Find all the best fishing kayaks from the top brands for all situations.]
The Catch PWR 100 from Pelican is helping the CATCH family grow. Don’t let its compact 9’9” length fool you—the Catch PWR 100 will carry a total weight of up to 450 pounds, and at 78 pounds, this kayak is cartop-able and can be loaded and unloaded by one person. Mounted on sliding rails, the new Ergo360 swivel seat with adjustable back rest supports up to 300 pounds. This seating system allows you to easily face in any direction and ensures you are comfortable all day long. The transom is ready to take your choice of gas or electric motor (up to 2.5 hp). The Catch PWR 100 is pre-wired so you can conveniently stow your battery in the front compartment while easily connecting your motor in the back.
Kaku Kayak claims the Zulu is the last paddle craft you will ever need. It’s versatile, giving you the option to paddle, pedal or motorize it. It’s also stable and fast, with an open and roomy deck that will allow you to stand with confidence. It features the same unique sight casting chair that was introduced on their Voodoo model. There are tons of gear tracks allowing endless rigging options and it is fully integrated with the Micro Power Pole mount.
The F10 from NuCanoe is super maneuverable and remarkably stable, making it ideal for fishing rivers, streams and small lakes. Boasting first-rate versatility with its clean, open and customizable deck, the F10 gives you complete control of your gear and layout. The F10 features the 360 Pinnacle Seat for all-day comfort and 360-degree mobility, so you can always face the action. Its compact size makes getting it to and from the water a breeze.
View all NuCanoe motorized 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 Sportsman AutoPilot 136 motorized kayak from Old Town has a hull designed to handle bigger water while leveraging Minn Kota’s Spot-Lock technology. Motor to your fishing spot faster, then hold your position over the hole. Command the kayak with a touch of your thumb using the Bluetooth-connected i-Pilot remote, or use the foot brace steering to experience true hands-free fishing. Features include four 18-inch accessory tracks, two forward-facing and two rear-facing flush mount rod holders, non-slip EVA foam deck pads for traction and comfort while standing, a high/low adjustable seat and more.
Read Kayak Angler‘s full review of the Old Town Sportsman AutoPilot 120, the shorter version of this boat. Watch our video review of Sportsman Autopilot specs and features. View all Old Town motorized fishing kayaks.
The FishSUP 126 from Sea Eagle might technically be classified as a standup paddleboard, but it’s so versatile we thought it belongs on this list. Sit, stand, fish, motor, troll—this SUP allows you to do it all. It inflates in just seven minutes for quick access to the water and packs down small for portability. The removable transom takes a 55-pound thrust trolling motor so you can troll or motor to your favorite spot.
The 360 Angler from Blue Sky Boatworks is meant for those who want a kayak specifically designed for fishing. The 360 Angler doesn’t compromise space, comfort, accessories, storage, stealth and the ability to get to those skinny/shallow waters the big boats can’t. The 360 Angler features the stability of a bass boat with the convenience of a kayak. The Angler has gear tracks for rod mounts, comes with rod holders, has hull storage for rods and tackle boxes, and much more.
The Dorado with Overdrive by Feelfree comes with features unlike any other fishing kayak. It includes the Overdrive Pedal system with 8-Ball Steering and a fully integrated LED navigation and cockpit light system. This kayak was designed for the serious angler, the one who’s ready to launch well before sunrise and isn’t phased by the sunset. The Dorado also comes Motordrive ready.
Read Kayak Angler’s full review of the Feelfree Dorado. Watch our video walk-through of the Feelfree Overdrive pedal and motor system. View all Feelfree motorized fishing kayaks.
The Big Rig 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.
How we chose the best fishing kayaks with motors
We consider several factors when choosing the best fishing kayaks with motors. 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 motorized fishing kayak
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 2022.