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Pedal powered propulsion—in pescadorial pursuit—practically peddles itself.

Who doesn’t want to move with swiftness against stronger currents and catch more fish with greater endurance? 

With the smorgasbord of options at our disposal, the hardest part is often just choosing the right model to fit your needs.

Are you enjoying the peaceful solitude of fishing alone, or mixing efficiency with camaraderie?

A big salty bay or tight, narrow, freshwater inlets?

Grab your bait and tackle, we’ll slog through the sea of options, and leave you with your best pedal-powered fishing kayak.

Our Best Choice

Perception Pescador Pilot 12

  • Designed with your all-day comfort in mind—the roomy seat (which is removable) is cushioned and lined with mesh to promote cool airflow.
  • Best rated for lakes and ponds, rivers and streams, calm coastal waters, and open ocean, but it can even handle ocean surf.
  • Lots of storage space and a drink holder

Get this: The 12.5 foot pedal powered Perception Pescador Pilot 12. Nearly 500 pound capacity, on a reliable, inexpensive pedal kayak. Drive unit works and reverse and can be retracted flush to the hull with ease

The Top Pedal Kayaks on the Market Today

The Final Five - Best Fishing Pedal Kayaks

1. Perception Pescador Pilot 12 - Best Pedal Fishing Kayak

At the top of this list exists that sweet confluence of performance and value. The Perception Pescador Pilot 12 is a stable and modular powerhouse of a pedal boat, at an unsinkable market point. I’d dare say it’s the best pedal kayak under 2000 on the market today.

Versatility is this veritable gunboat’s forte. With a capacity of 475 pounds, you can gear up for long hauls and bring back big catches.

All along this twelve and a half foot rotomolded hull are integrated accessory rails and four dedicated rod holders. 

Combined with large front and rear open stowage compartments, nearly any angler can organize this kayak to their specifications.

That is, to be easily accessible from the lawn chair style adjustable breathable mesh seat. And the longer you plan on staying out, the more that comfort becomes a priority

The Pescador Pilot pedal drive system can be fully retracted into the hull, providing a nearly flush draft. Meaning you can beat this beauty upstream, and still slip into the shallows.

Single-handed rudder control in conjunction with forward and reverse pedal propulsion offers 360 degree zero-point turning capability; a must for shallow narrows. 

All of this—combined with an industry smashing 5-year warranty—makes this beaut the best 12-foot pedal kayak your dollar can buy.

Pros

  • Designed with your all-day comfort in mind—the roomy seat (which is removable) is cushioned and lined with mesh to promote cool airflow.
  • Best rated for lakes and ponds, rivers and streams, calm coastal waters, and open ocean, but it can even handle ocean surf.
  • Lots of storage space and a drink holder.
  • Leak-proof UV-resistant construction
  • Made in the good ol’ USA and available in several cool colors/designs (including sunset and camo!)

Cons

  • Some say it’s hard to steer in rough conditions
  • Not available in pink camo (seriously, I was a little bummed out)

Picture this: You easily load your Perception Pescador Pilot 12 into the bed of your truck, drive to your favorite fishing spot and pop the kayak in the water.

You pedal around the slow-moving waters, getting in quality exercise while breathing in the fresh air and soaking up that sunshine. Your favorite beverage is secured in the cupholder and your hands are free to take pictures and, of course, FISH. You can even stand up to get your perfect cast.

At the end of the day, you load up the kayak and your giant bounty of fresh fish and drive home. You’re not sore thanks to the ergonomic design and spacious legroom. It was a good day.


2. Native Watercraft 2019 Slayer 10 Propel Kayak - Best 10ft Pedal Kayak

Looking for the best pedal fishing kayak for every imaginable tight corner? The

Native Watercraft Slayer 10 Propel Kayak seems like it can go anywhere that’s even remotely damp.

Its wide beam and 10-foot length make it the perfect size for any reedy shallow freshwater. Its fast flat stable hull, large rudder, and Propel system, mean you can traverse any lake, river, stream, or coast to get there.

But don’t let me paint the Slayer 10 into a corner. Because one can’t. That Propel system works forward and in reverse, so no channel cat is safe, no matter the wallow they’ve backed themselves into.

That ability to pedal in reverse comes in awfully handy when engaged in a battle of attrition with a hard fighting Musky or the like. Even just by distributing the workload to more muscle groups.

Stable enough to stand and cast, maneuverable and adaptable enough for any kind of fishing. Stowage and accessory space to match.

Whether you are just out for a morning on still waters, or taking a week or two to run as far upstream and wild as your heart’s content, The Slayer 10 will feel purpose-built for your task.

Pros

  • One of the lightest 10-foot pedal-drive kayaks on the market. At only 62 pounds and with padded carry handles, you can toss it in your truck bed or on top of your car.
  • Room to stand up comfortably.
  • Extra-large rudder makes for expert maneuverability.
  • Adjustable seat can slide up to 11-inches without losing space behind for your tackle boxes (and has a cupholder).
  • Customizable - Plenty of room in the bow to store PFDs and other accessories. With a max cap of 500 pounds, you can really push limits.

Cons

  • Winds, currents, and heavy loads will all affect propel speed (no surprise there).

Pro Tip: Check and tighten your pedals before your first outing.  


3. Wilderness Systems Radar 115 Kayak - Best pedal kayak for ocean fishing

Open skies and big waters. If you’re angling for a mighty saltwater catch, your boats prerequisite capabilities are a bit more demanding. 

You’ll never be left adrift with the Wilderness Systems Radar 115 Kayak. Designed with a bestselling tri-powered compatible hull, so you decide how you ride; by paddle, by pedal, or by an electric motor. Each additional piece is separate, but that works for anyone trying to build the best pedal drive fishing kayak possible from the waterline up.

The comfortably accessible Flex Pod OS is a fully removable pod for your fish finder, battery, cables, and transducer (or it can accommodate the pedal or motor drive), giving you the option to easily swap out kits, depending on your projected catch and conditions.

Purpose-built S. M. A. R. T. Hull technology combines stability, maneuverability, acceleration, and responsiveness in tracking with a flat platform for standing and casting. 

That’s freedom of movement combined with state-of-the-art outfitting.

Not that you’ll want to get much out of the ultra-comfortable Phase 3 AirPro seating. With three adjustable positions, that can be ran the majority of this boats nearly 12-foot length, you can position yourself for optimum fish-murdering comfort. 

Fast Fact: Wilderness makes and sells several quality accessories for your kayak. All available on Amazon. They recommend their carbon fiber paddle, a fisher PFD jacket, a storage crate, and most importantly—a cover to protect your precious kayak from the elements while you’re not using it.

Pros

  • Extremely stable. Can haul up to 450 pounds .
  • Only weighs 85 pounds itself, easy to transport.
  • Lots of space, both for storage and for standing.
  • The fully adjustable seat boasts mesh fabric over honeycomb-vented foam padding for ultra comfort. Keeping your back supported without sacrificing airflow.
  • Large, padded footrests are adjustable for kayakers of every size.

Cons

  • The front hatch is a little small, particularly for storing your rods.

4. Hobie Mirage Pro Angler 17T Tandem Kayak 2019 Ivory Dune - Best tandem pedal kayak

For those who prefer to share their solitude with a loved one—friend, partner, student, or offspring, if you let them join you fishing, they’re a loved one—the Hobie Mirage Pro Angler 17T Tandem Kayak is the best pedal drive kayak for two, bar none.

Hobbies dual Mirage Drive 180 pedal system generates ample propulsion for this 17-foot marvel of nautical engineering. Granting the Mirage 17T excellent helm authority. Just what you and your partner need to beat up a harsh current, or past the breakers.

And you’ll do as such comfortably in the fully adjustable Vantage Extra Tall (XT) in-line seats. Each with four-way adjustability, lumbar support, and 180 degrees of swivel. Ideal when teaching the next generation the ropes.  

From standing and casting to fatiguing a hard fighting yellowfin.

Or remove one seat for the roomiest long-haul kayak you’ve ever seen. With over 20 feet of modular H-Rail system, rod stowage for an astonishing dozen rods, hatches and pivoting tackle management systems throughout, this unit is ready to rig for any angler’s purposes.

With an unbelievable 900 pound capacity, the only real limit is your skill and imagination.

Pros

  • Includes a guard shield to protect your transducer. Shield retracts for easy transport.
  • So. Much. Space. Even more so if you take this tandem out as a single kayaker! (Aft battery platform can even hold another cooler, or an additional crate in lieu of a battery).
  • Both fishers can stand up at the same time
  • Has mounts for a sail and bimini
  • Kick-Up fins mean the power to charge through water hazards like logs, kelp, rocks, and shallows with no problems.

Cons

  • Not what one would call lightweight. It’s heavy, like 244 pounds heavy.

Fast Fact: Have more than one kiddo that loves fishing with you? You don’t have to leave them out of the quality bonding time out on the water. The tandem kayak can easily carry you with room for two smaller children. Throw a six-pack of sodas in the cooler, it’s turning into a family affair!


5. Riot Mako 10 Sit-on-Top Kayak with Impulse Pedal Drive - Best Budget Pedal Kayak

There is no denying that a pedal propelled kayak costs more than a standard sit-on-top kayak.

Really, when you look at what pedal power does for a sport fisher, it only makes sense, but that doesn’t render the tool inaccessible to all but the wealthy.

The Riot Mako 10 Sit-on-Top Kayak is the best pedal kayak under 1,000 dollars. Even if it's only by a few cents.

But rest easy, just because its introductory price is well below the rest of the market, doesn’t mean you’ll get shortchanged in the utility department. 

Quite the opposite actually, as the Riot Mako 10 has a feature unique on this list.

An ergonomic handle formed of rotomolded polyethylene at the bowsprit. Incredibly handy for all sorts of reasons. From putting in and out of the water—obviously—but also for maneuvering through or over shallows.

Otherwise its ample stowage, modular mounting tracks, and flush-mounted rod-holders aplenty. Standard Kayak operating procedure even at the bottom dollar.

Pros

  • At an unbelievable 50 pounds, with a 7.5-pound removable drive, this is the lightest 10-foot kayak I know of—making it easy breezy to transport and store. Great for all skill levels.
  • Both sides of the boat have high-vis reflective lifelines to keep you safe during low daylight.
  • See-through splash guard means you can check out the action below you.
  • The comfy seat has perforated foam, allowing any water on deck to flow through instead of becoming trapped.
  • Front and rear deck hatches plus stern bungee storage.

Cons

  • Doesn’t come with a paddle.
  • No cupholder.

Recumbent Bikes that Float Better

Relying on muscle-groups evolved for consistent power generation, pedal kayaks really equate to more time spent fishing, with less restriction.

And isn’t more productive time on the water what it’s all about?

Perception Pescador Pilot 12

Be it the first boat of a newly minted and passionate angler, or an old salt looking to take it a little further out or upstream, the Perception Pescador Pilot 12, or one of the other specialty pedal kayaks on this list will get you there and bring you back safe, with dinner in tow.

All while doling out the low impact, low stress, maximum benefit exercise that otherwise can’t be found outside a recumbent bicycle. 

And I’ve never brought home enough fish to feed anyone when I put one of those in the water.

With your own pedal-powered kayak you’ll improve your protein and omega 3 fatty acids and fish oil intake, boost your cardiovascular strength and performance, and spend more time doing what you love.

So now is the best time to get yours, and elevate both your health and your fishing game to a whole new level.