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The Best Kayak for Bass Fishing in 2023: Our Top 5 Picks

Kayak bass fishing gives an angler freedom and the ability to catch more fish. The days of fishing limited areas from the bank are over with the addition of a kayak. It’s no secret that kayak bass fishing has exploded over the past few years, and competition has made these vessels better than ever.

That is why we compiled a list of our best kayaks for bass fishing. No two kayaks or anglers are the same, and matching your situation to the right kayak is important for long-term success. The following article covers our top picks for bass fishing and what you should look for when selecting a new kayak.

best kayak for bass fishing

Our Top Picks

Best Overall
Old Town Sportsman PDL 106 Kayak

Best Value
Ascend 12T Sit-On-Top Kayak

Budget Option
Pelican Sentinel 100X Angler Fishing Kayak

Best Overall

Old Town Sportsman PDL 106 Kayak

Old Town Sportsman PDL 106 Pedal Fishing Kayak (Photic Camo)

When comparing all the features you would want in the best kayak for bass fishing, the Old Town Sportsman PDL 106 has it all. This easy-to-transport bass fishing kayak is loaded with features to make your time on the water more enjoyable.

Equipped with a pedal drive system, the hands-free operation allows you to focus all your attention on getting the next bite. It also comes equipped with a front dry storage hatch to ensure all your personal items stay safe.

Product Features: A low-maintenance PDL Drive with a patented easy-docking system, ultra-stable DoubleU hull, and under-seat storage including custom tackle box


  • Lightweight makes it easy to transport
  • Adjustable seating system for added comfort
  • EVA deck pads for comfort while standing


  • Shorter length makes it harder for long distances
  • Comes at a higher price tag

Best Value

Ascend 12T Sit-On-Top Kayak

The most common form of propulsion in a kayak is with a paddle. The Ascend 12T Sit-On-Top Kayak is the best kayak for bass fishing that fits that style. It comes loaded with features, like a side mount paddle holder to keep your hands free when fishing.

It also is a great option for beginner kayak anglers. The 31” width and updated hull design provide an extremely stable platform. You will be able to focus on catching fish instead of thinking about your balance.

Product Features: A rotomolded, custom-crafted tunnel hull, a wide transom and flared bow sections, and a recessed bow storage area with flush-mounted bungees


  • Well-built bass fishing kayak for the price tag
  • Flat padded casting area for standing
  • Ample storage area


  • Less efficient with a paddle system
  • Harder to maneuver at the 12-foot length

Budget Option

Pelican Sentinel 100X Angler Fishing Kayak

Pelican Sentinel 100X Angler Fishing KayakSit-on-Top KayakLightweight one Person Kayak9.6 ft

If you are looking for the first kayak that you want to fish out of, the Pelican Sentinel 100X is a great option. It takes the standard kayak and completely adapts it for fishing. The Pelican shines with its sit-on-top design where your traditional sit-in kayaks fall short.

Features like the added storage compartment, bungee tie-downs, and rod holders make this the best kayak for bass fishing when you are on a tight budget.

Product Features: Proprietary Ram-X material is extremely durable, twin arched multi-twine hull for added stability, and molded carrying handles for easy transportation


  • Budget-friendly
  • Easy to transport at 9’6” and only weighs 44 lbs
  • Added floatation in the hull


  • Less stable because of its short length and lightweight
  • Compact space creates limited storage

Hobie Mirage Pro Angler 12 with 360 Drive Tech Kayak

best kayak for bass fishing

The Hobie Mirage Pro Angler 12 with 360 Drive Tech is among the best bass fishing kayaks. From the built-in tackle management system to the middle of the hull carrying handle, every little detail was designed with the serious bass angler in mind.

If you are looking to be as efficient as possible on the water, look no further than this kayak. The seat position and storage functionality will make you fish all day in comfort.

Product Features: Rudder control for easy steering, livewell-ready cargo area, and vantage seating for comfort and adjustability


  • Designed with the serious angler in mind
  • H-Rail design for added accessories
  • Miragedrive 360 for added mobility


  • Hefty price tag
  • Hard to transport and will likely need a truck or trailer

Old Town Sportsman Autopilot 120 Kayak

best kayak for bass fishing

Technology hasn’t stopped in the kayak world, and the Old Town Sportsman Autopilot 120 is a perfect example of that. Features like spot-lock give you so many advantages when you find fish and want to stay on them.

The technology didn’t stop at the addition of the motor, though. The added track system and custom tackle box give you tons of storage. Just like the Hobie, this Old Town kayak is towards the top of the best kayaks for bass fishing list with the attention to detail included in the design.

Product Features: Four 18″ tracks enable easy on/off mounting of accessories, Spot-Lock technology that holds your kayak in position, and removable motor console for easy transport


  • All the benefits of a kayak with the feel of a boat
  • Ultimate control and maneuverability
  • Get to your fishing spots faster and less fatigued


  • Hard to maneuver if not using the motor
  • Premium price tag

Features to Consider When Looking to Buy the Best Kayak for Bass Fishing

It can be difficult to pick between several kayaks because of the unlimited options and features that come with a fishing kayak. These are the key features you should think about when selecting a bass fishing kayak.

It’s important to evaluate your fishing scenarios to accurately match the features with what works best for you. It can look daunting at first, but when you break it down, the choices become much clearer when selecting the best kayak for bass fishing.


The best kayaks for bass fishing have maximum stability. Bass fishing requires many casts to different targets, and standing gives you the greatest mobility.

The stability of a kayak is determined by the hull design. It’s the part of the kayak that sits beneath the water. Look for designs that have outside ridges with a flatter middle. That will give you the greatest stability and allow you to move around without worrying about tipping.


There are three main ways to move a bass fishing kayak from spot to spot. With a dual-sided paddle, foot pedals, or an electric motor. Hand paddles are the most common method for all types of kayaks. The two other options are best when you get into kayak bass fishing.

The best kayaks for bass fishing allow you to position yourself hands-free with either foot pedals or a motor. This is important because you want to be able to make a cast exactly when you want to. Fumbling a hand paddle could make you less efficient with your casts.

Foot pedals are designed to be worked back and forth, similar to how you would ride a bike. Depending on the brand, the foot pedals move a small propeller or fins to drive the kayak forward or backward.

Motors come in many shapes and sizes but are designed to do all the work for you. They can be controlled with a push of a button and steered with hand control.

Storage / Layout

The best kayaks for bass fishing have well-designed layouts. A successful bass angler is constantly making adjustments, and having ample storage is key.

Having enough storage and being able to easily get to it is a must. That’s why kayak layout is also important when talking about storage. Easy-to-reach compartments or perfectly placed rod holders should be on your mind when looking for a kayak for bass fishing.

best kayak for bass fishing


Kayak control is huge in bass fishing. Positioning your kayak correctly will give you the best chance of making the perfect cast. That is why maneuverability is a top priority for the best kayaks for bass fishing.

A majority of the bass fishing kayaks range anywhere from 10 to 12 ft. The trade-off regarding length is that longer is better for efficiency on long paddles, and shorter kayaks are better for quick turns.

If you fish in tight spaces, go for a shorter kayak. If you like going farther distances from spot to spot, look towards the longer models.


Whether you are going out for an hour or the entire day, discomfort can ruin a fishing trip. The seat positioning makes it hard to enjoy bass fishing if your body aches. Find a kayak that will allow you to be out there for hours.

Seat material, design, and positioning all play a role in comfort. You will want to find a kayak with a seat that has plenty of padding or mesh-like material.

Positioning is also key. Do you prefer to sit higher up on top of the kayak or lower with your legs within the kayak? Sit on and sit in kayaks have a completely different feel. Try the different variations to see which you prefer.

The best kayaks for bass fishing are the most comfortable.


How do you plan on getting the kayak to the lake or river? If you have a smaller vehicle and plan on putting it on the roof, get a kayak that is easier to get on and off. A shorter option may be the best fit for you.

If you have a larger vehicle, like a truck, or plan on getting a trailer for it, you can choose to get a longer kayak. There are many ways to transport a kayak, and thinking about all the options before purchasing is a must.


Some of the best kayaks for bass fishing are the most durable. You would want a durable kayak for bass fishing for several different reasons.

The first is where you plan on taking it. Bass hang out near rocks, under trees, and around stumps. There is a good chance you will bump into things when bass fishing. Select a kayak that will stand up to the areas you are going to take it.

Another reason to look for the most durable kayak is because of the amount of gear you will be bringing with you. Between the multiple packs of gear and tackle boxes, there will be a lot of additional weight added. Having a durable frame will allow you to bring everything you need without pushing the limits.

The final reason the best kayaks for bass fishing are extremely durable is because of the accessories that can be added. Drilling add-on parts are common. Some of the items that can be added are fish finders, underwater cameras, trolling motors, and anchors. All of these add a lot of weight and require holes to be drilled.

Kayak Bass Fishing Frequently Asked Questions

best kayak for bass fishing

What type of kayak is best for a bass fisherman?

The best kayaks for bass fishing have great stability and storage and are easy to maneuver. Effective bass fishing requires you to make adjustments as the conditions change, keeping you on your toes.

Having a kayak that helps with that is ideal. Stability is important because it allows you to position yourself to make the right cast in many ways. Ample storage space is also needed to carry extra tackles. A well-designed hull allows for quick adjustments to get to the fish.

What is the best rod length for kayak bass fishing?

The best rod length for kayak bass fishing is 7’ to 7.5’ with a short handle section. The short handle makes it easier to cast when sitting down. There is less rod to get in the way of your life vest and sitting position.

St. Croix Rods have designed the perfect bass fishing kayak rod in their Mojo Yak Casting and Mojo Yak Spinning line of rods. They have the same great action as a regular rod but have a shorter handle specifically designed for kayak fishing.

Pairing the perfect rod with the best kayak for bass fishing will give you an edge on the water.

Is a pedal or paddle kayak better for bass fishing?

The best kayaks for bass fishing offer a hands-free method of propulsion, so a pedal is a better option than a paddle. There is a time and place for both, but the pedal option gives you more control over your fishing.

How do I choose a kayak for bass fishing?

You can choose the best kayak for bass fishing if you understand how you are going to use it. Match your specific scenario to the features mentioned above.

Length is a huge factor depending on your storage and transportation accommodations. Set a budget also. Features can add up fast, and knowing your all-in cost will help you decide between the features you need vs. want.

Can you bass fish from a kayak?

Yes, bass fishing from a kayak has grown in popularity over the years. It is sometimes even better to bass fish from a kayak because you can get to areas other anglers in boats can’t get to.

With the advancements in technology, today’s bass fishing kayaks come standard with many great features to make it easier to catch bass. From rod holders to motor mounts, there is no shortage of what you can do with a kayak.

Finalizing your Fishing Kayak Purchase

best kayak for bass fishing

No matter what route you decide to go, all of these options provide a good fishing platform for someone looking to start or expand their bass fishing capabilities. The best kayak for bass fishing is the one that fits your specific needs. That way, when you do make a decision, you are confident that you made the right choice!

While you are waiting for your brand-new bass fishing kayak to arrive, check out some of the best places to go fishing in Minnesota.