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7 New Fishing Kayaks to Grab Your Attention

We take a detailed look at kayaks designed to put you onto fish in a variety of waters and with a number of propulsion systems.

7 New Fishing Kayaks to Grab Your Attention

The Coosa X is designed to be Jackson’s premier river and small-water fishing kayak.

Kayaks built with fishing-specific features make time on the water more productive for anglers seeking small-craft adventures. From ample storage and electronics-rigging options to smart mounting solutions for accessories, kayaks designed for fishing help us find the bite and make the most of it—all while remaining easier to transport and store than larger boats. Our colleagues at Florida Sportsman recently put the latest kayaks to the test on the water, and the following models stood out for a variety of fishing situations.

OLD TOWN SPORTSMAN AUTOPILOT 136

Old Town Sportsman Autopilot 136 kayak
Old Town Sportsman Autopilot 136 kayak.

TOP FEATURES: Among other specialties (including the famed PDL pedal drive), Old Town Sportsman was an early leader in optimizing electric propulsion for fishing kayaks. The Minn Kota units built for certain boats in the Sportsman lineup are fitted amidship, keeping the bow and stern clean and uncluttered for fishing. The AutoPilot series kayaks (which includes a smaller cousin to the 136, the 120) benefit from Minn Kota’s GPS-guided Spot-Lock technology, which holds the vessel in precise position in wind and current—super helpful in moderate rivers, coastal tides and breezy lakes. A smaller kayak, the 106, also has Minn Kota power but in a manual configuration only.

WORTH NOTING: The AutoPilot models are the first and only fully integrated motorized kayaks that feature GPS autopilot (Minn Kota i-Pilot).

FISH IT HERE: Well suited and rigged for the tournament angler, the AutoPilot 136 is built to fight wind, current and waves. The ultra-stable hull is perfect for standing and hands-free fishing, plus it features hands-free (and totally snag-free) GPS anchoring.

Old Town Sportsman Autopilot 136 kayak
Old Town Sportsman Autopilot 136 kayak
  • Length: 13'6" | Width: 37"
  • Weight: 158 lbs. including motor
  • Capacity: 660 lbs.
  • Material: single-layer polyethylene
  • Propulsion: Minn Kota trolling motor (45 lbs. thrust) with i-Pilot; paddle
  • MSRP: $4,849.99
  • oldtownwatercraft.com

NATIVE SLAYER PROPEL MAX 12.5

Native Slayer Propel Max 12.5 kayak
Native Slayer Propel Max 12.5 kayak.

TOP FEATURES: The rotomolded bow hatch reveals a bucket well positioned for installing a battery and access for running transducer wiring. Bow-and-stern mounting provisions accommodate a power anchor or electric motor. Heavy-duty BMX style grips offer comfortable transport. The 2023 model includes a new spring-blade rudder. The Max 12.5 has dual horizontal rod storage with tip covers, three molded vertical rodholders (two behind the seat, one at your right hand beside the seat) and paddle storage. Sidekick wheel transport system is a likely upgrade to consider; the self-contained cart offers a simple route from your vehicle to the water.

WORTH NOTING: Dual electronics panels on either side of the angler are replaceable if you want to change your setup without drilling into your boat.

FISH IT HERE: The Max 12.5 is at home in freshwater and saltwater environments, making it a versatile kayak fishing platform. The Propel Pedal Drive 701 series offers smooth, lively, hands-free propulsion. Stability and capacity are strong suits, and both are departments of particular interest to any angler downsizing from a powerboat.

 Native Slayer Propel Max 12.5 kayak
Native Slayer Propel Max 12.5 kayak.
  • Length: 12’6” | Width: 34”
  • Weight: 125 lbs. fully rigged
  • Capacity: 500 lbs.
  • Material: rotomolded polyethylene
  • Propulsion: pedal; paddle; capable or being motorized
  • MSRP: $2,999
  • nativewatercraft.com

HOBIE MIRAGE PASSPORT 12.0 R SERIES

Hobie Mirage Passport 12.0 R kayak
Hobie Mirage Passport 12.0 R kayak.

TOP FEATURES: A good entry-level kayak in Hobie’s line of MirageDrive boats, this is the new rotomolded edition of the popular Passport 12.0. It’s a durable, lightweight kayak outfitted with all the basic features you’ll need to enjoy a variety of freshwater and saltwater fisheries, with numerous points for customizing and upgrades. Rudder is included, and control is positioned to the left side of the aluminum-frame, breathable-mesh seat. The 12.0 R would be a good choice for your first boat or one to add to your fleet to bring a new fishing buddy. Seagrass green, slate blue and ivory dune colors are available.

WORTH NOTING: A transducer cavity makes for simple installation of a fishfinder. The Passport 12.0 R also has a Power-Pole Micro bracket indent, and a sail kit or Bimini sunshade (sold separately) may be easily added.




FISH IT HERE: Sturdy construction makes the 12.0 R suitable for all waters, and it’s configured for accessorizing to accommodate nearly any fishing tactic. The speed and efficiency of MirageDrive propulsion are benefits during full-day or long-distance fishing trips.

Hobie Mirage Passport 12.0 R kayak
Hobie Mirage Passport 12.0 R kayak.
  • Length: 12’ | Width: 34”
  • Weight: 73 lbs.
  • Capacity: 400 lbs.
  • Material: rotomolded polyethylene
  • Propulsion: Hobie MirageDrive GT pedal system with Kick-Up Fins; paddle
  • MSRP: $1,999
  • hobie.com

BONAFIDE RVR119

Bonafide RVR119 fishing kayak
Bonafide RVR119 kayak.

TOP FEATURES: The RVR119 comes with channels at bow and stern to accommodate and quiet a bow anchor or stern drag chain. The stern tankwell is designed to hold a 13x13, 13x16 or 16x16 BlackPack Pro. Providing a means to pull the kayak, tie down bags or organize rods for transport, the Triple Action Bow Strap is located just behind the forward Boss Strap rod and paddle stager. Fore and aft access plates allow entry into the hull for installing lights, wiring or other accessories. Aluminum foot braces may be converted into steering for a stern-mounted electric motor. Inserts are pre-installed on the gunnel for a YakAttack RotoGrip or LockNLoad Track Base. Groove tracks astern of the seat are provided for installing a Sidekick Wheel System for convenient transport.

WORTH NOTING: The removable DryPod for installing fishfinder, battery and transducer is interchangeable with other Bonafide kayaks. Also included are integrated Anchor Wizard pulley landings.

Recommended


FISH IT HERE: The river-specific hull partnered with a uniquely designed skeg system allows tracking, maneuverability and stability in moving water. Trout, smallmouth bass, stripers, muskies—any moving-water target is on the hit list for this new rig.

Bonafide RVR119 fishing kayak
Bonafide RVR119 fishing kayak.
  • Length: 11’9” | Width: 35”
  • Weight: 85 lbs.
  • Capacity: 425 lbs.
  • Material: rotomolded polyethylene
  • Propulsion: paddle; capable of being motorized (Torqeedo)
  • MSRP: $1,649
  • bonafidefishing.com

CRESCENT ULTRALITE

Crescent Ultralite fishing kayak
Crescent Ultralite fishing kayak.

TOP FEATURES: The UltraLite is one of the lightest rotomolded kayaks with true fishing capability in existence, but it’s no lightweight in performance. This exact boat was used by tournament champion Drew Gregory to win the Bassmaster Kayak Series event on Grand Lake, Oklahoma, last year. A full-length keel delivers incredible tracking for a 10-foot craft, and it paddles and handles effortlessly, without getting blown around on open waters.

WORTH NOTING: Two YakAttack MightyMounts are located behind the adjustable seat for rod holders, visibility flags or lights.

FISH IT HERE: Remote backwaters, brush-lined creeks, winding rivers and far-flung locations away from launch sites are all spots where this rig shines.

Crescent Ultralite fishing kayak
Crescent Ultralite fishing kayak.
  • Length: 10’2” | Width: 30”
  • Weight: 49 lbs.
  • Capacity: 280 lbs.
  • Material: rotomolded polyethylene
  • Propulsion: paddle
  • MSRP: $799
  • crescentkayaks.com

JACKSON KAYAK COOSA X

Jackson Kayaks Coosa X fishing kayak
Jackson Kayaks' Coosa X fishing kayak.

TOP FEATURES: With high-low seating, a bow and stern designed to accommodate electric motors, and adjustable foot braces and paddle clips, the Coosa X takes comfort and convenience into account. There are ample gear tracks in logical points around the hull, including two small tracks at the bow for cameras or anchor accessories, plus Jackson’s unique TriTrack multi-functional top-load track port and starboard in the cockpit.

WORTH NOTING: The Coosa X is equipped with a molded “drift chamber,” a channel for drag chains and anchors to be used smoothly without installing any additional parts.

FISH IT HERE: With added volume in the bow for rivers and other moving waters, the Coosa X is designed to be Jackson’s premier river and small-water fishing kayak.

Jackson Kayaks Coosa X fishing kayak.
Jackson Kayaks' Coosa X fishing kayak.
  • Length: 11’8” | Width: 36”
  • Weight: 98 lbs.
  • Capacity: 425 lbs.
  • Material: rotomolded polyethylene
  • Propulsion: paddle
  • MSRP: $1,899
  • jacksonkayak.com

NRS PIKE IK

NRS Pike IK fishing kayak
NRS Pike IK fishing kayak.

TOP FEATURES: With a bit more side-tube diameter than the NRS Kuda series, adjustable foot braces and a rigid keel insert in the bow, the inflatable Pike fishes very much like a conventional kayak, paddling surely and smoothly alongside any rotomolded model. Options for different skegs (fins), YakAttack accessory mounts, bungee webs and numerous tie-down points make it easy to add what you need for a day of fishing.

WORTH NOTING: The Pike combines a high-pressure, 4-inch drop-stitch deck that inflates to 8 PSI with 10.5-inch side tubes to create a super stable platform for sitting, standing or moving around as you cast.

FISH IT HERE: Unique design elements for enhanced on-the-water performance make the Pike inflatable rigged and ready to catch adventure in remote waters.

NRS Pike IK fishing kayak
NRS Pike IK fishing kayak.
  • Length: 12’8” | Width: 38”
  • Weight: 48 lbs.
  • Capacity: 375 lbs.
  • Material: PVC
  • Propulsion: paddle
  • MSRP: $1,395
  • nrs.com

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