Planning a fishing trip on the water, not the shore? Then you need the best fishing canoe to help you hook a winner! The best fishing canoe should be agile, stable, comfortable, and have plenty of space for you and your fishing gear. Oh, and perhaps offer some bonus perks like rod holders, cup holders, dry storage, and more.
With so many options on the market, it can be a challenge to determine which fishing canoes and kayaks are worth the investment. That is exactly why we’ve created this Best Fishing Canoe Overview. We’ve scoured high and low, comparing different brands, models, and customer reviews to make a curated selection. In this selection, you’ll find the top-rated, best buys on the market, with a product at every price-point. So, no matter if you want to splurge on the best fishing canoe or fishing kayak, or want to stick to your budget: you’ll find a match you can afford in this line-up.
Every canoe and kayak in this overview could be the best, depending on which buying factors are most important to you. For example, do you want an inflatable canoe that’s super easy to transport in the back of your car, or would you prefer a hard-shell design with maximum durability? Do you want a 1-person canoe or would you prefer a 2-person kayak? To help you understand the different options and configurations, we’ve ensured to include a range of canoe designs – guaranteeing you’ll find one that floats your boat.
We’ve divided this overview into 2 sections: an ‘Editors’ Picks’, containing our 5 best-value favorites; and a ‘Best of the Rest’ section, where we’re highlighting 15+ other kayaks and canoes worthy of your attention. Let’s dive in and explore the 20+ best-value fishing kayaks and canoes on the market, and discover which is your perfect fit to catch gold:
Our Editors’ Picks, Top 5 Best Fishing Canoes are:
- Lifetime Kodiak Canoe with 2 Paddles
- Pelican Sit-On-Top Fishing Kayak
- Advanced Elements StraitEdge Angler PRO Inflatable Kayak
- Wooden Canoe with Ribs Curved Bow
- Sun Dolphin Aruba 10-Foot Sit-in Canoe
Tip: Looking for a full Buying Guide on fishing canoes and kayaks? Then don’t forget to check out our other review on the 25+ Best Fishing Kayaks. This post includes a detailed Buying Guide section where we’re highlighting the most important buying factors to take into consideration. We recommend you to consult it, and get informed about what to look out for – and how to nab the best deal on fishing kayaks and recreational canoes.
What is the difference between a fishing canoe and a fishing kayak?
First, let’s answer a question we get asked frequently when discussing fishing canoes and kayaks: what is the actual difference between the two? The answer is simple: not a lot. To be honest, most of the time the terms ‘fishing kayak’ and ‘fishing canoe’ are interchangeable, unless you’re talking about professional sports like the Olympics. There are a few minor differences. Firstly, in competitive watersports, the paddling position for canoe and kayak races is different (kneeled versus seated). Secondly, a canoe tends to be a bit wider than a kayak, making it extra-stable, but also a bit slower. That said, canoe and kayak these days are a type of wording chosen by the manufacturer, and don’t neccessarily reflect in the actual design’s dimensions or agility.
So, to put it bluntly: don’t worry about the difference, as both recreational kayaks and fishing canoe have pretty much the same specs.
Editors’ Picks – Best Fishing Canoes & Kayaks
Lifetime Kodiak Canoe with 2 Paddles
The Lifetime Kodiak Canoe is a premium choice for fishing adventures. This extra-spacious canoe measures 13 feet in length and can seat up to 3 people. The total weight capacity of the large canoe is 600 lbs, which should be more than sufficient for you and your fishing gear.
The Lifetime Kodiak Canoe has two molded seats with backrests (front and rear) and a bench in the middle. The front seat comes with 2 cup holders, the middle seat a combination of cup holders/fishing rod holders, and the rear set features two storage trays for small personal items, like your phone or GPS device. Additionally, the Lifetime Kodiak Canoe included a motor mount (motor not included) and a skeg wheel. For regular padding, this quality canoe also comes with 2 canoe paddles.
The Kodiak family canoe by Lifetime is made of top-grade materials. For example, the silhouette of the canoe is constructed of blow-molded high-density polyethylene (HDPE). This makes it extra durable, UV-protected, and impact resistant. Furthermore, the manufacturer provides a 5-year limited warranty on the hull, covering you against any defects. This allows you to purchase with confidence, knowing you’ll receive a canoe that delivers on stability, security, and durability. Do note that this large canoe is a bit on the heavier side, weighing in at 96 lbs. This makes it slightly more tricky to transport, but we reckon with the right trailer or roof rack, you should be able to manage!
Pelican Sit-On-Top Fishing Kayak
The Pelican Sit-on-top Basscreek Fishing Kayak is a roomy choice with a flat-bottom hull, which provides great tracking and is ideal for navigating shallow waters. This lightweight canoe (50 lbs) measures 10 feet in length and has a weight capacity of 325 lbs. As a single person canoe, this weight capacity should be sufficient for most anglers and their fishing gear.
The Pelican Basscreek 100XP Angler Sit-on-top Fishing Kayak is created to answer the needs of the most demanding fisherman. Its multi-chine flat bottom hull gives the kayak the stability needed when casting lines and reeling in. To make the design extra stable, the design includes additional flotation inside the hull – adding to the kayaks buoyance, whilst keeping it lightweight. The Basscreek 100XP is enhanced with an ERGOFIT G2 seating system, which includes a padded seat cushion and adjustable backrest for extra comfort and support.
Lightweight yet impact-resistant
This high-quality fishing kayak by Pelican is made of a proprietary multi-layer material named RAM-X. This material is made of durable ‘high molecular weight’ polyethylene (HMWPE). The heavy-duty material is more resistant to impact and breakage than regular homopolymers, without adding bulk or requiring a thick-walled silhouette.
Other perks of the Pelican Basscreek 100XP Angler Sit-on-top Fishing Kayak include multiple storage options. These include a quick-lock hatch for dry storage, a 4″ storage hatch, a bungee-corded storage platform on the deck, and 6 eyelets to securely attach additional gear. Additionally, the kayak is equipped with a swivel rod holder and 2 flush mount rod holders, a paddle tie-down, and adjustable footrests/braces.
If you’re looking for a lightweight, spacious canoe with heavy-duty performance: this great-value buy by Pelican could be your perfect match. Enhanced with various fishing perks like rod holders, it’s the perfect blend between a regular family canoe and a high-end fishing canoe – ideal for amateur anglers!
Advanced Elements StraitEdge Angler PRO Inflatable Kayak
If you want an inflatable canoe with the durability and tracking of a regular kayak, consider the StraitEdge Angler PRO Inflatable Kayak by Advanced Elements. This high-quality design proves that sometimes inflatable canoes can be just as durable as hardshell recreational kayaks. The StraitEdge Angler PRO by Advanced Elements is made of three-layer high-density material with built-in abrasion pads in high-use areas. The bow and stern of the kayak also come with built-in aluminum ribs, which improve its durability.
To make this canoe even more sturdy, the manufacturer has added a wide beam and drop-stitch floor: which provide enough support to even enable stand-up fishing. The large 10’6″ inflatable canoe is further enhanced with multiple air chambers, to boost buoyancy and stability. According to the manufacturer, you could even take this heavy-duty inflatable canoe whitewater rafting, though we’d probably advise you to stick to leisurely fishing to be on the safe side…
AirFrame Pro cushioned seating
This sleek fishing kayak will also keep you perched in comfy style. The design features an adjustable seat with backrest support. This special AirFrame Pro seat is also enhanced with mesh panels, improving airflow and preventing your back from getting sweaty during some intense paddling.
The Advanced Elements StraitEdge Angler PRO Inflatable Kayak is enhanced with various nifty features to make your fishing easy and enjoyable. The kayak comes with a special Accessory Frame System, which enables you to add rail mounts for your fishing gear, such as rod holders, a fish finder, and more. The silhouette also offers plenty of room for additional gear, thanks to its front and rear bungee-cord lacing deck storage. The design is also equipped with paddle holders to keep your paddle within easy reach. Furthermore, a designated fin box allows you to add an ElectraFin Motor if desired.
If you’re looking for an inflatable canoe that’s easy and lightweight to transport, yet heavy-duty in performance and stability: the Advanced Elements StraitEdge Angler PRO Inflatable Kayak is simply one of the best buys you’ll find.
Wooden Canoe with Ribs Curved Bow
Yes, we know this beautiful hand-crafted Wooden Canoe by Wooden Boat USA may not be the most practical for fishing, or the most affordable, but we couldn’t bypass it for this selection. If you want an authentic product with outstanding durability: this could be the canoe to add to your wishlist. The canoe measures 12 feet in length, weighs 35 lbs and has a weight capacity of approximately 375 lbs. The set also includes a show-graded set of wooden paddles.
The superb Wooden Canoe by Wooden Boat USA is made of 100% Western Red Cedar Wood: which is both lightweight yet superbly durable. The canoe is completely handcrafted and takes about 400 hours to build, which also explains its hefty price-tag. That said, if you want premium craftsmanship, it could be worth the indulgence. According to the manufacturer, the makers still use the traditional method of canoe construction, while simultaneously integrating the highest quality of materials currently available. For example, the strips of cedars are joined together by hand and encapsulated in fiberglass – bonded in place with epoxy resin – before it is coated with marine varnish. The combi of fiberglass and epoxy ensures the wood keeps its beautiful appearance, whilst protecting it against abrasions and degradation.
It’s not for everyone, but if you want classic craftsmanship and sleek aesthetics, this beautiful wooden canoe could be just the vessel to tickle your fancy.
Sun Dolphin Aruba 10-Foot Sit-in Canoe
The Sun Dolphin Aruba 10-Foot Canoe is a basic, budget-friendly design with excellent affordability. This sit-in canoe is 10 feet long and weighs just 40 lbs, making it easier to transport than heavyweight options. The secret to the canoe’s lightweight appeal is its material: high-density polyethylene. Though lightweight, this thermoplastic material is surprisingly durable, keeping your hull protected from punctures and abrasions.
The Sun Dolphin Aruba 10 may be a bit basic in design, but don’t worry: this sleek kayak still comes with all the essentials. These include a spacious cockpit with an adjustable padded seat, adjustable foot supports, and a spray-deflector collar to close off gaps between your torso and the cockpit rim. Furthermore, the design is enhanced with a dry storage compartment, shock-cord storage on deck, a recessed cup holder, and a rod holder. The canoe also features paddle leashes to keep your oars and/or paddle secure and has carrying handles to carry it to and from the water.
Basic yet highly-functional, great quality, and excellent affordability: the Sun Dolphin Aruba 10 Sit-In Kayak is a great value buy for leisurely fishing trips. Granted, it’s not the fanciest or best equipped, but for the competitive price listed, you honestly can’t go wrong.
Editors’ Picks – Best Fishing Canoes
Old Town Topwater 106 PDL Angler Fishing Canoe
Perception Pescador Pro 12 Sit on Top Fishing Kayak
Wilderness Systems Kayak Tsunami 140 Canoe
Lifetime Cruze 100 Sit-in Canoe
Pelican Sit-on-top Fishing Kayak
Lifetime 90806 Tamarack Angler 100 Fishing Canoe
Riot Kayaks Enduro 12 Fishing Kayak
Ocean Kayak Malibu Two Tandem Sit-On-Top Canoe
Ocean Kayak Malibu Two XL Tandem Sit-On-Top Recreational Canoe
Perception Flash 9.5 Sit Inside Kayak with Rod Holders
Intex Explorer K2 Tandem Inflatable Canoe
Intex Challenger K1 Single Person Inflatable Canoe
Deus Aero Inflatable Kayak & Stand Up Paddle Board
Perception Conduit Sit Inside Touring Kayak
Wilderness Systems Pamlico 135 Kayak
Perception Hi Life 11 Sit on Top Kayak SUP/Paddleboard
Boarding Black Bass Vanhunks Fishing Kayak
Advanced Elements PackLite Inflatable Canoe
Malibu Kayaks Stealth-14 Ultimate Fishing Kayak
Old Modern Handicrafts 6 Feet Wooden Canoe with Ribs
Recap: Editors’ Picks
Disclaimer: We chose to only include products in this Best Fishing Canoe overview that, at the time of writing, had direct stock availability via Amazon. We don’t want to redirect you to out-of-stock products or send you on a wild goose chase looking for a canoe model that is no longer produced. This meant that we had to exclude some best-sellers and top-rated products from this overview, due to limited or no stock. However, we think these are still worth a mention, as they do have our seal of approval. These products are the Sun Dolphin Mackinaw – a large 15.6 feet square-stern family canoe; the Old Town Saranac 146 – a classic fishing kayak by Old Town Canoes with bench-style seating; the Old Town Discovery – a heavy-duty fishing canoe with outstanding rugged durability; the Mad River Adventure Canoes – sturdy recreational canoes for exploring slow-moving streams and lakes, and Grumman Canoes – premium aluminum canoes with a superb quality standard and impact-resistant properties.