Best Fishing Kayak Under $300: Our Top Picks

June 19, 2020

Best Fishing Kayak Under $300: Our Top Picks

If you live close to a body of water or have a truck/SUV, getting an affordable fishing kayak can be a game-changer for fishing. A fishing kayak will enable you to get your lure in front of fish you couldn’t reach from shore and effectively increase your range to what you’d get with a boat. We’re huge fans of inshore fishing from kayaks, with some of our most exciting battles with tarpon, bonefish, permit, and lake trout occurring while on a fishing kayak. They’re also a killer combo for pole spearfishing when paired with a good set of freediving fins. But what is the best fishing kayak under $300? Don’t worry, we’ve got you!

We’ve spent several days researching and testing the best fishing kayaks for under $300 and came up with the following winners. We also spoke to our experienced fishing community and got feedback on their favorites as well. The kayaks we picked scored high across all the important fishing factors you should look for in a fishing kayak. Want to know more about how we picked the best fishing kayaks under $300? Skip down to the bottom of the article to see what we looked for while reviewing them. Let’s get started!

Top Pick: Intex Excursion Pro Fishing Kayak

The Intex Excursion Pro Fishing Kayak is our top choice for fishing kayaks under $300 for many reasons. Almost everyone in our community spoke highly of it, and it’s built to last. It made out of super PVC laminate and was designed specifically with fishing in mind. It has adjustable mounting brackets for fish finders, rod holders, and more. 

The Intex Excursion Pro Fishing Kayak also has a convenient storage space in both the bow and stern for easy access to fishing equipment.  The Intex Excursion Pro Fishing Kayak has two bucket seats and comes with two aluminum oars. It has the highest value to price ratio of any of the fishing kayaks we reviewed, which makes it our top choice for both inshore kayak fishing and the open ocean!

High-End Pick: Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100 Fishing Kayak

Ok, so we have to straight with you from the get-go – this kayak is more expensive any other on this list. But we felt we’d be remiss for not including it, as it really is the gold standard of best fishing kayaks. 

The Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100 Fishing Kayak is built out of high-density polyethylene and designed specifically for fishing. It’s the most popular fishing kayak by a long shot but is a bit above the price range we listed in this article. From kayak fishing for redfish to tarpon, it won’t let you down. If you have the extra budget and want to go with the best entry-level fishing kayak, go for the Lifetime Tamarack Angler 100 Fishing Kayak.

Budget Pick: Intex Explorer K2 Fishing Kayak

The Intex Explorer K2 Fishing Kayak is our choice for the best budget fishing kayak under $300. It’s significantly more affordable than the other fishing kayaks we recommend, but will still get the job done and help you fish on the water. It is an inflatable kayak which means you’ll have to blow it up once you buy it, but also gives it added flexibility for storage.

Our friends have bought and used this kayak when first starting to fish for snapper inshore and have loved it. If you’re on a tight budget, we can recommend the Intex Explorer K2 Fishing Kayak enough as the best budget fishing kayak under $300.

Most Portable: Sevylor Quikpak K1 Fishing Kayak

If absolute portability is the most important factor when picking your fishing kayak, then the Sevylor Quikpak K1 fishing kayak is the best choice for you. Deflated, it fits into a backpack (which it also comes with!). The Sevylor Quikpak K1 fishing kayak is a great entry-level kayak that fits one person and has everything you need to start kayak fishing. It’s also a great option if you’re going camping or hiking somewhere and want to bring a fishing kayak with you!

Must-Have: ONYX Kayak Fishing Life Jacket

If you’re planning on buying a fishing kayak, you should also consider buying a kayak fishing life jacket. The best kayak fishing life jacket we reviewed is the ONYX Kayak Fishing Life Jacket. It has tons of pouches and pockets that are designed specifically for fishing tools and lures. It also has 6 adjustable straps that help it fit many body types comfortably and safely. When it comes to fishing kayak safety, the ONYX Kayak Fishing Life Jacket is your best bet.

Bonus: Removable Kayak Fishing Rod Holder

Another accessory you will want to purchase if you’re buying a fishing kayak is an adjustable rod holder. This rod holder from Fishycraft is the perfect solution and works with mots standard-sized kayaks that have mounting brackets. Having a rod holder will enable you to paddle with both hands and keep your rod out of the way. If you plan of fishing from a kayak, a rod is a must.

Bonus: Mpow 097 IPX8 Waterproof Phone Case

We also recommend picking up a waterproof case for your phone and other valuables. You can try and keep your phone dry in a backpack, but having the extra protection of the Mpow 097 IPX8 Waterproof Phone Case is a lifesaver. No more worrying about erroneous splashes or falling out of your fishing kayak! We can’t recommend these enough.

What to Look for in Fishing Kayaks Under $300

Now that we’ve gone over our favorite options for fishing kayaks under $300, we thought it made sense to catalog the different criteria we graded them as well as the features we looked for.

  • Inflatable or solid construction. One of the big decisions you have to make when buying a fishing kayak under $300 is whether you want an inflatable kayak or a solid kayak. Inflatable kayaks have the added bonus of storage flexibility and portability, as well as usually costing less. But solid kayaks are much more durable and are easier to mount accessories to. If we had to choose, we’d spend a bit more and pick the solid fishing kayak.
  • Seating capacity. Some kayaks under $300 only hold one person, while others can hold two. Both options can be great depending on your preference. The single-seaters usually have more storage for the one fisherman to put his or her stuff and are also usually more portable. But having enough space for another person can totally change your fishing experience, and is something some people look for.
  • Stability. The smaller inflatable kayaks on this list often have less stability than the larger solid kayaks. This is another factor you’ll need to consider depending on how advanced of a kayaker you are as well as the water conditions you plan on kayaking in. If the water you plan on fishing on is rough, you might want to get a larger more stable fishing kayak.
  • Loading Capacity. Depending on how many people you want to come with you on your kayak and how large these people are, you may need to buy a larger kayak with a higher capacity rating. Each fishing kayak in our list has a load capacity, so just make sure you fall under its requirements.

Tips for Using Fishing Kayak That’s Under $300

Before we close, we also wanted to go over a few tips when using your newly bought sub-$300 fishing kayak.

  • Be safe. Fishing kayaks can be a great option to expand your range while fishing, but you should be aware of their limits and your own kayaking ability. Always tell someone who’s not going kayaking with you that you’re going, and bring your cellphone or radio with you (in a waterproof bag of course). It’s also a good idea to tie up your kayak using a nylon rope when loading and unloading. Getting a good pair of fishing sunglasses under $100 is also a great idea.
  • Practice makes perfect. Kayaking with extra fishing equipment can be difficult, especially if you go somewhere with wind and waves. Take your fishing kayak somewhere calm and easy the first few times to get the hang of it. Don’t start out by fishing in intense conditions!
  • Ask locals where to fish. Sometimes having the ability to go further out on the water isn’t enough to catch fish. If you can, talk to local fishermen at the local bait shop or docks about where they like to go. You should also consider getting a kayak fish finder. Knowing where the fish are is half the battle. 
  • Be conscious of fish size. Large fish like Tarpon, sharks, and redfish will be able to tow your kayak with you in it! Be aware of this when fishing for large fish.

Parting Thoughts

Getting a fishing kayak under $300 can be a great way to up your fishing game without investing in a much more expensive boat. Fishing kayaks can be a game-changer when fishing for deeper water fish like catfish or grouper, Pink Snapper, or Roosterfish, especially when paired with a kayak fish finder. It’s also a great way to get some exercise in while fishing. We hope that after reading this article you now feel comfortable buying an entry-level fishing kayak. Just don’t forget to be safe and follow our tips for a good kayak fishing experience. Have a different kayak you got for under $300 you want to share with us? Hit us up in the comments below.

Happy Hunting!

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