Best Fishing Canoe: 7 Factors and 7 Models You Have to Consider

Kayak with a yellow paddle - close up
Written by Neal Walker

Getting the best fishing canoe on the market is no easy job, but we’ll try to help you in that respect. After discussing some of the most important factors that influence your decision, we’ll take you through a selection of the most qualitative boats we found.

Since you’re probably interested in swiftness and speed, along with having a successful fishing trip, it’s better not to hurry and ponder your options carefully.

How we choose

When it comes to choosing between different options, especially a canoe that’s best intended for fishing, we take into account the following 7 factors:

  • Quality: you need quality materials that don’t puncture or get damaged easily. Think of resistance and sturdiness, which come most often courtesy of a polymer build.
  • Seating: when you’re fishing for a long time, you need to be seated comfortably in order to avoid pain and concentrate on your fishing, so look for ergonomic seats.
  • Standing: a sturdy floor and maybe a bar or foot braces are definite musts because you want to keep your balance when standing.
  • Compartments: you’ll probably have a lot of fishing gear, so make sure you have plenty of storage space for that. Choose a canoe that provides sufficient storage without making it look bulky, and look for secured compartments too.
  • Accessories: look for boats that allow you to easily install your accessories and electronic equipment without the need of drilling in new holes.
  • Design: we love a hydrodynamic, stable design, that can achieve decent speeds without messing with your fishing. Maneuverability is a top priority, especially for beginner anglers.
  • Weight: a lower weight boat is great for portability, but we like products which allow a big maximum capacity, so you can have room for storing your gear and your catch.

Red kayak and a fisherman

Of course, you may have other criteria for choosing too, which is just as well as long as you make informed purchases.

We also advise you to take into account your budget, sometimes it’s better to save up for a better, more performant model, while other times, a more affordable product that has all the good basic features is better for your needs.

What we love

That being said, let’s see what some of the best canoes for fishing are. We’ve scoured the market and found 7 great models for you to consider, all of which accommodate different fishing styles, locations, and design preferences.

We’ve only selected trustworthy brands because reputation and good reviews are great predictors of your boat’s efficiency and durability.

Pelican Premium Kayak Strike 100X AnglerPelican Premium Kayak Strike 100X Angler

Weight: 47 pounds

Dimensions: 120 x 30.5 x 16 inches

Specifications: inflatable; ergonomic seating; stable; sit-on-top; Fade Muskie/ White pattern; thermoformed twin sheet construction; multiple compartments and features

Best Use: lake fishing

Description: The Pelican 100x Angler is a great canoe for fishing. Firstly, consider its reduced weight that is a plus when it comes to portability. Since it’s an inflatable sort of raft, you can easily carry it along in your luggage without taking too much space. And when you get to your fishing spot, you simply inflate it and start fishing.

Besides, we like that it has an ergonomic seating system. This is particularly valuable when you’re fishing for hours, because when you’re comfortable you can really focus on the task at hand. And its overall comfort can be noticed from its easy use too since this raft can easily be handled, and it offers increased stability. It’s a sit-on-top model, and you’ll find it catches a lot of speed.

The design is another plus, starting with its outside, which comes in a cool-looking pattern: the top view reveals a Fade Muskie pattern, while its sides are white. Its whole construction is sporty and dynamic, and the materials are high-quality. The thermoformed twin sheet is resistant to punctures, damages, weather and of course waterproof, apart from being lightweight.

But a real advantage for anglers lies in its multiple compartments and features. So you’ll get several rod holders, either flush mount or swivel. There’s a storage platform with a bungee, pad eyes, and an included storage bag in the day hatch.

Check the price on Amazon

Feelfree Moken 12.5 Fishing KayakFeelfree Moken 12.5 Fishing Kayak 2018

Weight: 72 pounds

Dimensions: 152 x 32 inches

Specifications: King Fisher Seat; 419 pounds total capacity; Uni-Track rails; front and center hatches; side pockets; rod holders; Winter Camo pattern; standing pad; stand-up leash; 1 paddler

Best Use: fishing in coastal waters

Description: This 5 stars and $899.00 boat is another impressive fishing raft since it has most commodities an angler is looking for, starting with comfort. We love the King Fisher Seat because it’s really comfortable and ergonomic, especially when you’re sitting the whole day. Unfortunately, this seat isn’t adjustable, but we still argue it’s one of the best seating systems on the market.

Plus, Feelfree Moken Kayak is perfect if you’re planning a solo fishing trip since it’s designed to accommodate just one paddler. On the other hand, its total weight capacity reaches 419 pounds, which means you can catch a really huge amount of fishes, and it’ll hold perfectly. Not to mention store a lot of stuff inside it seeing as it has both the capacity and the compartments to hold plenty of your gear.

With that in mind, its Uni-Track rails are great for mounting everything you want, and they’re located on its front and back too. The rear rail has a tie down system, which is great. So apart from the more voluminous equipment, you can also keep your electronic devices handy, like your phone, GPS, and fish finder.  The hatches located in the front and center are capacious enough to prove accommodating for your other gear. And you’ll also find a center console, side pockets, and rod holders.

The designed is great too. The Winter Camo pattern looks nice, but we particularly appreciate the increased stability this kayak offers, so you can safely use it on bigger lakes and coastal waters with a lot of current activity. The standing pad with a leash contributes to your stability when standing up, so you can have an increased scope and fishing options.

Related: Feel Free offers the same model in a different pattern: Orange Camo.

Check the price on Amazon

Ocean Kayak Trident 13 Fishing Kayak 2018Ocean Kayak Trident 13 Fishing Kayak 2018

Weight: 67 pounds

Dimensions: 162 x 29.5 inches

Specifications: Comfort Hybrid seat; big tank well; sealed hatch; battery storage bag; paddle keepers; 2 rod holders; carrying handles; Brown Camo pattern; 13 feet hull; one paddler

Best Use: fishing in rough waters

Description: This 4 stars and $934.99 boat is perfect for fishing in rougher waters, because of its design. First of all, it’s an incredibly stable machinery, and you can see how its length to width ratio that accounts for its narrow design can attest to that. But furthermore, the boat is stable for you. It has a great seating system, and the back of its seat is Comfort Hybrid, so you can enjoy an ergonomic seat while fishing.

Plus, you can take the Trident 13 to pretty high speeds, without ever losing control on it, even in rougher waters like rivers with a lot of obstacles. This speed won’t mess with your ability to fish either since that is its primary purpose, thanks to a design that emphasizes stability and maneuverability. But you can take it out fishing is calmer waters too, seeing as it’s a versatile boat that can adapt easily to the environment.

We like its compartments and extra features too. Although it has a narrow design that we would normally expect to hinder its storing capacity, the Trident 13 is quite capacious. It has a big tank well that comes with a bungee, as well as a sealed hatch with bow click and a battery storage bag that can be found in the bow hatch. There’s also a modular fishing pod, paddle keepers, two rod holders and carrying handles on the side, so the 13 feet hull is fully taken advantage of, space-wise.

The design is great, starting with the professional looking Brown Camo pattern, and ending with the foot pegs that are adjustable and increase the versatility of this boat. Keep in mind its design only allows one paddler, so you can take turns paddling with your partner if you’re not fishing alone. The polyethylene material is another plus since it’s light, yet durable, meaning it will resist when fishing in rougher waters.

Related: Ocean Kayak offers the same model in three other patterns: Lemongrass; Orange Camo; Urban Camo.

Check the price on Amazon

Ocean Kayak Prowler Big Game Angler II Fishing Kayak 2018Ocean Kayak Prowler Big Game Angler II Fishing Kayak 2018

Weight: 70 pounds

Dimensions: 153 x 34 inches

Specifications: Element Seating System; adjustable seat; Glide Track; one-paddler build; Camo pattern; polyethylene; 600 pounds maximum capacity; mounting plates; bow hatch; rear tank

Best Use: river fishing

Description: Ocean Kayak Prowler Big Game has a perfect score because of its performance and stability. The narrow width of just 34 inches along with the 153 inches length may seem a bit difficult to handle, although its arrow-like construction renders the boat perfect for rivers and other rough waters. But the hydrodynamic build, great materials and low overall weight of just 70 pounds increase its maneuverability and, therefore, stability.

The Element Seating System is another great aspect stability-wise because you’ll be seated very comfortable while fishing, without having to go through excruciating efforts of maintaining your balance while driving the boat and fishing. Plus, this adjustable seating will enhance your paddling experience, seeing as it creates a connection between the boat and you. The Glide Track for your feet will provide a sturdy brace system too, and it’s even better since it can be adjusted with ease.

The one-paddler design is great, starting with the classic Camo pattern that looks very professional and appealing. The polyethylene construction is great when it comes to resistance in various, difficult conditions, accounting for increased puncture resistance too. There are carrying handles included in the design, for portability reasons, and the maximum weight capacity is 600 pounds, so you can bring a lot of gear.

Speaking of gear, we love how big and accommodating this boat is for a lot of equipment. You’ll get various mounting plates to add whichever accessories you like, a large bow hatch that comes with a Click Seal Cover, and a rear tank in the back that’s large and can be tied down with a stern bungee. And there’s also an included battery bag.

Check the price on Amazon

Hobie Mirage 180 Revolution 13 KayakHobie Mirage 180 Revolution 13 Kayak

Weight: 32 pounds (hull weight)

Dimensions: 161 x 28.5 inches

Specifications: Rotomolded Polyethylene; Ivory Dune pattern; navigates in both directions; 350 pounds capacity; adjustable cranks

Best Use: versatile fishing

Description: This $2,499.00 boat is on the more expensive side of the spectrum, but that’s because it comes with great technological advancements, such as the Mirage Drive. This is a propulsion system that has been constantly been developed for almost two decades, and it’s awaiting patent approval. Basically, it allows you to navigate in both directions thanks to its forward-reverse propulsion. That means you’ll be able to change your trajectory faster and catch more fish.

But another advantage for Hobie Mirage 180 is that it’s easy to handle too. Think that it only weighs 32 pounds hull weight, and 40 pounds when fully rigged. Although its length and width render it a bit narrow, that doesn’t mean it can’t be maneuvered comfortably. The included shift cables are there precisely for this purpose: pull one and you’ll change directions instantly by 180°.

That means more options and more control, in regards to casting, baiting, getting the fish out of their shelters, as well as casting against the current, maybe even closer to various obstacles. The whole thing is therefore incredibly versatile and well constructed. The rotomolded polyethylene build is sturdy, and the fins are durable since they’re made from a resistant nylon. We also love how the fins look and how smoothly they can rotate.

Plus, thanks to the fins, you can easily navigate in shallow waters too, avoiding all sorts of obstacles and being able to land safely. And since the cranks are easily adjustable according to your height, you’ll find another point that proves this boat’s versatility.

Related: Hobie also offers this model in a different color pattern: Golden Papaya.

Check the price on Amazon

Hobie Mirage Outback Kayak – 2018Hobie Mirage Outback Kayak - 2018

Weight: 81 pounds hull weight

Dimensions: 145 x 33 inches

Specifications: Golden Papaya; 1-person boat; 99 pounds rigged weight; 400 pounds capacity; Rotomolded Polyethylene

Best Use: ocean fishing

Description: This $2,499.00 boat comes in a Golden Papaya design, which is enough to catch the eyes of every angler. But that’s not the best of its design, seeing as it offers speed, stability, and easy handling.

The Glide Technology is especially great in that respect since it has Bluefins that are very well constructed to help you reach the desired speeds and maximize your chances when ocean fishing. The seating system and storage options are amazing design characteristics too, and you have plenty of room for fishing rods and other accessories.

The Mirage Outback 2018 has some changes from the previous models, for instance, the haul has one big hatch. The new drive has the Glide technology, that makes it extremely smooth. The two arms are 25% thicker, so they’re solid since they aren’t hollow in the middle, which renders the boat very solid in return. The Turbo fins are shorter and give you more speed thanks to extra water displacement.

The new battery is great for your fish finders or any other electronic devices. The floor is flatter too, so you can easily stand up when fishing, which is great for stability purposes. There are various compartments to store your gear, and just consider that you have a maximum 400 pounds capacity to carry a lot of equipment.

The 2018 model is better when it comes to your transducer too: the three screws model is better for your Lowrance because it’s more accessible, and that’s a definite improvement. The seat is awesome as it reduces soreness. Its position can be adjusted in various ways, both up and down, and the buckle clip is great for increased security.

Related: Hobie also offers this model in three different color patterns: Caribbean Blue; Ivory Dune; Red Hibiscus.

Check the price on Amazon

FeelFree Lure 11.5 Kayak  w/ Sonar and Electronic PodFeelFree Lure 11.5 Kayak  w Sonar and Electronic Pod

Weight: 70 pounds

Dimensions: 138 x 36 inches

Specifications: Lime Camo; 375 pounds capacity; Sonar and Electronic pod; wide platform; adjustable Gravity Seat; front bow hatch; center hatch; rear tank; 2 rod holders; UniTrack System

Best Use: freshwater fishing

Description: This 4 stars and $1,149.50 Lime Camo boat is perfect for freshwater fishing, and it can even be used in rivers too, not only lakes or estuaries. That’s because its design allows thorough exploring, regardless of the various obstacles that may have limited your fishing options in the past. The Sonar and Electronic pod is a plus for carrying your electronic devices, like a fish finder or GPS and we love that you can charge them easily, without making additional holes for that purpose.

We also love how stable FeelFree Lure 11.5 Kayak  is, thanks to its wide platform you can easily stand on. So the point is that when you stand up, you’ll have a comfortable bar that will allow you to keep your balance while scouting the surroundings, casting your bait or reeling it in. That’s amazing especially when you’ve caught a bigger fish you can generally find in freshwater because this increased stability will allow you to bring it in problem-free.

And for when you’re sitting, the Gravity Seat is great too, because it can easily be adjusted thanks to its lever. So you’ll be able to get four different positions and modify the height of your seat with a 10 inches distance between the down and up positions.

The storage options are pretty good too, starting with the bow hatch that’s capacious enough for a crate or cooler, the center hatch that’s well sealed and flush-mounted, the rear tank that’s also large and ending with two sturdy rod holders. The UniTrack System is innovative and allows you to easily mount and carry all the equipment you need.

Related: Feel Free offers this model in various other patterns too, like Blue Camo; Desert Camo; Orange Camo.

Check the price on Amazon

What you love

After reading all these product reviews, you can better understand our criteria for assessing their performance and what the best canoe for fishing looks like from our perspective.

multicoloured kayaks on a dock

But now it’s time to tell us what you’ve decided: which one of these items do you like best? Where do you plan on fishing with it? What sorts of accessories are you looking for? Let us know in the comment section below.


Neal Walker

Neal Walker started fishing when he was 4. His father took him to the fishing trips all over USA and Canada. Later he took Angling Education Program at Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, but most of his knowledge comes from experience. Now he takes his sons with him to share his passion.