I know what getting off the banks and on the lakes could do for you. With that first paddle stroke you'll know the sweet bliss of kayak fishing. I do however want to make sure you spend your hard-earned money wisely. You may have this kayak for quite a while. You'll want maximum resale if you do need to sell it, and a good fishing platform if you keep it.
So here is the deal: I've made a list of my four favorite kayaks that you can get into for less than $600. I've paddled each one, and owned a couple of them. They are good kayaks. Do they have lots of bells and whistles? No. Will they get you on the water? You bet. People can always find used kayaks but this is for those folks who want a brand new vessel. (Please also keep in mind you'll have to buy a paddle, life jacket, and whistle in most states if you don't already have them.)
The four kayaks you should try under $600.
1. PERCEPTION “PESCADOR 12 ANGLER”- $499
"This stable, easy-to-paddle Sit-On-Top kayak comes fully rigged with fishing features needed to hit the water right away. Anglers love the versatile hull design that’s good for tracking on lakes, but also maneuvers easily on rivers. The extra-large cockpit opening provides plenty of room to work with your tackle and offers easy entry and exit."- from Perception
2. HERITAGE “ANGLER 12” - $499
"The Heritage ‘Angler 12’ Sit-On-Top kayak is designed with a Scotty “Spin-Cast” vertical rod holder in front of the paddler and two recessed, flush-mount rod holders behind the seat to offer a variety of fishing positions. The kayak also features small and large storage compartments and a stern tank to hold your valuables while you fish, while the back band allows you to stand upright."- from Academy.com
3. OLD TOWN “VAPOR 10 ANGLER” - $399
"Anglers looking for a compact kayak that can carry a load will love the ‘Vapor 10 Angler’. This kayak offers a stable, yet efficient ride. The large cockpit opening is designed for a comfortable yet reassuring ride. Equipped with a comfortable seat, flush mounted rod holders, and an anchor trolley system, the Vapor 10 Angler goes beyond the basics. Perfect for anglers and sportsmen, the Vapor 10 Angler is great for those just learning how to paddle."- from Old Town
4. NATIVE WATERCRAFT “REDFISH 12” - $599
"Light, agile and comfortable, the ‘Redfish 12’ can easily get you and all your gear to the best fishing spots. Explore the areas denied to larger watercraft or enjoy the open water. The scuppers even let you quickly drain away water when paddling in the surf. Performance Promise - Stable ride - Sit-On-Top convenience — easy on/off - Comfortable support for rear end and lower back - Seat self-drains and vents - Boat self-bails - Ideal for flat water and rivers" - from Native
Is there something on the list you think I missed? Let me know about it in the comments section or on Facebook.
About the Author: I've been fishing over 30 years and the majority of my time on the water has been spent in Texas with the occasional trips out of state. In 2003 I bought my first kayak and a new era in my fishing life was born. I learned the ropes quickly about gear, paddling, fishing, packing, safety and got a degree from the school of hard knocks with a major in kayak fishing. I learned a lot of ways to not do something. I love kayak fishing. That's the bottom line. See more from me at www.paynespaddlefish.com