Is Kayak Fishing Worth It? Pros and Cons to Consider

Did you know, Kayaking is the fastest-growing water sport? Kayak fishing is a unique and exciting way to catch fish. Some anglers may be hesitant to try it out due to the difficulties and expenses involved. So, is kayak fishing worth it?

In this guide, I will explore the pros and cons of kayak fishing, the essential gear you need, and the cost analysis to help you if it’s worth it for you.

Key Takeaways

  • The number of active kayakers in the US reached approximately 11.4 million in 2021, with flatwater kayaking accounting for 71% of the total participation.
  • Kayak fishing offers access to remote fishing spots and is eco-friendly.
  • Kayak fishing requires physical fitness and balance and can be expensive.
  • Consider the pros and cons and essential gear before deciding if kayak fishing is worth it for you.

Kayak Fishing Overview

is kayak fishing worth it
A man on a sea kayak fishes and enjoys the warmth of summer on mirror flat sea

Kayak fishing is a unique and exciting way to catch fish. It is a sport that has gained popularity in recent years, and for good reason.

Kayaks are an excellent way to access remote fishing spots, and they offer a level of stealth and maneuverability that is unmatched by other fishing vessels.

Kayak fishing is a relatively inexpensive way to get started in the sport of fishing.

Unlike other fishing boats, kayaks do not require expensive motors or fuel to operate.

Also, kayaks are lightweight and easy to transport, making them an ideal choice for anglers who want to fish in different locations.

Pros of Kayak Fishing

Kayak fishing is an activity that has gained popularity in recent years. It offers a unique and exciting way to catch fish and enjoy the great outdoors.

Here are some of the advantages of kayak fishing.

Accessibility and Mobility

One of the biggest advantages of kayak fishing is its accessibility.

Kayaks are lightweight and easy to transport, which means you can launch them from almost anywhere.

You don’t need a boat ramp or a dock, which makes it easier to access remote fishing spots.

Kayaks are highly maneuverable, which allows you to navigate through tight spaces and shallow waters that are inaccessible to larger boats.


Compared to other types of fishing boats, kayaks are relatively affordable.

You can purchase a high-quality fishing kayak for a fraction of the cost of a motorized boat.

Kayaks require less maintenance and have fewer operating costs than larger boats.

This makes kayak fishing a great option for anglers who want to enjoy the sport without breaking the bank.

Related: Best fishing kayak under $600

Health Benefits

Kayak fishing is not only a fun activity but also a great workout.

Paddling a kayak requires a significant amount of upper body strength, which can help improve your cardiovascular health and build muscle.

Kayak fishing allows you to spend time in nature, which has been shown to reduce stress and improve mental health.

Environmental Impact

Kayak fishing is an environmentally friendly way to enjoy the sport.

Kayaks are powered by human propulsion, which means they don’t produce any harmful emissions or disturb marine life with loud motors.

They have a minimal impact on the environment, which makes them a great option for anglers who want to minimize their ecological footprint.

Cons of Kayak Fishing

Kayak fishing is a popular activity among fishing enthusiasts. While it can be a fun and rewarding experience, there are also some cons that you should consider before you decide to weather kayak fishing worth it or not.

Physical Demands

Kayak fishing requires a certain level of physical fitness.

You need to be able to paddle your kayak to your fishing spot, which can be a challenging task if you are not used to it.

You also need to be able to cast your line, reel in your catch, and handle your fishing gear while balancing on a small kayak.

This can be tiring and may require some practice to get used to.

Safety Concerns

Kayak fishing can also be dangerous if you are not careful.

Since you are sitting on a small kayak, you are more exposed to the elements and the water.

You need to wear a life jacket at all times and be aware of your surroundings.

You also need to be careful when handling your fishing gear, as hooks and sharp objects can be dangerous.

Weather Dependency

Kayak fishing is highly dependent on the weather.

If the weather is bad, it can be difficult or even impossible to go out on the water.

Wind, rain, and waves can make kayaking and fishing more challenging and dangerous.

You also need to be aware of the tides and currents, as they can affect your ability to paddle and fish.

Essential Kayak Fishing Gear

Kayak fishing is an exciting and rewarding experience, but before you hit the water, it’s important to make sure you have the right gear.

Kayak Types

The type of kayak you choose depends on your personal preferences and the type of fishing you plan to do.

Here are the most common types of kayaks used for fishing:

  • Sit-on-top kayaks: These kayaks are the most popular for fishing because they’re stable, easy to maneuver, and can accommodate a lot of gear.
  • Sit-inside kayaks: These kayaks are more traditional and offer better protection from the elements, but they’re not as stable as sit-on-top kayaks.
  • Inflatable kayaks: These kayaks are great for anglers who don’t have a lot of storage space. They’re lightweight, easy to transport, and can be inflated quickly.

Related: Are Inflatable Kayaks Good For Fishing?

Fishing Equipment

Once you have your kayak, you need to outfit it with the right fishing equipment.

Here are some common items you’ll need:

  • Fishing rod and reel: Choose a rod and reel that’s appropriate for the type of fish you plan to catch.
  • Tackle box: Organize your lures, hooks, and other fishing accessories in a tackle box.
  • Fish finder: A fish finder can help you locate schools of fish and identify underwater structures.
  • Paddle: Choose a paddle that’s comfortable and easy to use.

Related: 8 Best Tackle Box For Kayak Fishing

Extra/Safety Gear

Safety should always be your top priority when kayak fishing.

Here are some essential safety gear items to consider:

  • Personal flotation device (PFD): Always wear a PFD when you’re on the water.
  • Whistle: A whistle can help you signal for help if you’re in distress.
  • First aid kit: In case of an emergency, keep a first aid kit on board.
  • Sun protection: Wear a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen to protect yourself from the sun.

Reasons to Consider Kayak Fishing Now

Kayak fishing is a popular form of fishing that has been gaining popularity in recent years.

I’m going to give some reasons why you should consider giving it a try:

1. Affordability

Kayak fishing is a relatively affordable way to get into the sport of fishing.

Unlike buying a powerboat or a fishing vessel, a kayak is much more affordable.

You can find a good quality fishing kayak for a few hundred dollars, making it a great option for those who want to get into fishing without breaking the bank.

2. Portability

Kayaks are incredibly portable.

They are lightweight and easy to transport, making them an excellent option for those who want to fish in different locations.

You can easily load your kayak onto your car and take it to your favorite fishing spot.

They can be launched from almost anywhere, making it easy to get to those hard-to-reach fishing spots.

3. Versatility

Kayaks are incredibly versatile and can be used in a wide range of fishing environments, including lakes, rivers, and even the ocean.

They are also great for different types of fishing, including fly fishing and baitcasting.

Kayaks can be outfitted with a range of accessories, including fish finders, rod holders, and more.

4. Health Benefits

Kayak fishing is also great for your health.

It is a low-impact activity that can help you stay active and get some exercise.

Being out on the water can be a great stress reliever and can help you feel more relaxed and refreshed.

Cost Analysis

When considering whether kayak fishing is worth it, one of the factors to consider is the cost.

Here’s a breakdown of some of the costs associated with kayak fishing:


The biggest cost associated with kayak fishing is, of course, the kayak itself.

Kayaks can range in price from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars, depending on the brand, size, and features.

It’s important to do your research and find a kayak that fits your budget and your needs.

Keep in mind that you’ll also need to purchase a paddle and a life jacket.


In addition to the kayak, there are several accessories you’ll need to purchase in order to go kayak fishing. Here are a few examples:

  • Fishing gear (rod, reel, tackle, etc.)
  • Anchor
  • Paddle leash
  • Dry bag
  • Fish finder
  • Navigation lights

These accessories can add up quickly, so it’s important to budget accordingly.


Like any piece of equipment, your kayak will require maintenance from time to time.

This may include cleaning, repairs, and replacement of parts.

It’s important to factor in these costs when considering whether kayak fishing is worth it.

So, Is kayak fishing worth it?

Kayak fishing is absolutely worth it for those who enjoy being out on the water and value the stealth and accessibility that kayaks provide. Kayaks allow anglers to reach fishing spots that other boats can’t.

is kayak fishing worth it
A happy fisherman with a nice smallmouth bass caught kayak fishing on a lake

You may also like to know: What to Wear When Going Fishing on a Boat?

Frequently Asked Questions:

What are the benefits of kayak fishing?

Kayak fishing has several benefits, including the ability to access hard-to-reach fishing spots, the opportunity to catch more fish, and the chance to enjoy nature while fishing. Kayaks are also more affordable and easier to maintain than traditional boats.

What should I consider when choosing a fishing kayak?

When choosing a fishing kayak, you should consider the type of water you will be fishing in, the size of the kayak, the weight capacity, the storage options, the comfort level, and the price. You should also consider the type of fishing you will be doing and the features you will need, such as rod holders and fish finders.

Can kayak fishing be profitable?

Kayak fishing can be profitable for those who are skilled and dedicated, but it is generally not as lucrative as other forms of fishing. Kayak fishing is best suited for recreational fishing and small-scale commercial fishing, such as selling fish to local restaurants or farmers’ markets.

What are some popular fishing kayak brands?

Some popular fishing kayak brands include Hobie, Old Town, Perception, Wilderness Systems, and Jackson Kayak. These brands offer a range of kayaks with different features and price points to suit a variety of needs and budgets.

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