Hey there my fellow fishing enthusiasts. Today, for those looking to do a little fishing with a friend, I have had a good look around and come up with my 3 best 2 person fishing kayaks to buddy up with this year. Granted one of the advantages I find with kayak fishing is the peace and solitude, even if I have a fishing buddy in another vessel. However, one thing I have seen more and more on my fishing grounds is couples fishing in the 2 person option.
And based on what I have seen, there are a number of obvious reasons for this such as couples who like to fish together or parents taking their children out safely. I have also seen it as a good way for those with physical conditions or even the elderly to get out for a fish without having to do all the paddling. So if any of the above fits your needs, or you have other reasons, then let’s check them out below…
My 3 recommended 2 person fishing kayaks
I will review these in more detail below but if you just want to get moving without all the carry on, my 3 are listed here for your convenience:
What is a 2 person kayak?
The name probably speaks for itself but a 2 person kayak is one that has two actual designated seats for two actual people – i.e. not one where someone ‘dinks’ on the back. They are generally a lot longer than the single paddler options and here we are looking for those that are fitted out for fishing as well. There are however some things to keep in mind as you look into getting yourself a good two person fishing kayak so let’s run through these below:
Types of Kayaks
In terms of kayaks, there are three main types that you may be interested in looking at. These are:
1. Sit on Top kayak
As the name suggests, these are the style that you sit on top of as you paddle along. These are great for fishing as they are generally wider and more stable than some of the others as well as giving you the ability to swing a rod 360 degrees around the vessel with ease – something that is especially important when there are two rods moving about.
On the downside, there is no protection from the water (you will get a wet backside) and they are also generally slow moving. Most move about via the traditional paddle method however some also have foot peddles and hand held rudders or even trolling motors to make getting from one place to another a little easier.
2. Sit in Kayaks
These are the ones where you sit inside the kayak (via the little ‘cockpit’ at the top). They can be just as effective for fishing as the sit on top models and work well in areas with stronger current however they are not as prevalent in the 2 person fishing models. They do tend to be narrower and longer making them a little faster across the water however this makes them a little less manoeuvrable as well.
Most move around with paddles and do hold the added advantage of offering more protection from water spray etc. however they do lack the on top storage and access capability of their sit on top cousins.
3. Inflatable Kayaks
Again as the name suggests, these kayaks inflate for use and come in both sit on or sit in options. These are extremely popular for 2 person models and many do come with fishing capabilities as well. They are also very good where storage and transportation space is limited (I.e. you don’t have a roof rack or trailer on which to carry the hard plastic versions).
Check out these: 2 Person Inflatable Fishing Kayaks
In addition to the three main type of kayaks outlined above, there are a number of variations that you can look into as well. So as you start to look into the type of kayak you would be looking to purchase, the first thing to consider is where you will be using them. Think about:
- Water type – Will you be on a lake, in an estuary or on the open sea? Check the recommended usage locations for any model that you are thinking about. Generally, ocean models are longer than those used in smaller or stiller bodies of water so a 2 person may work well in that environment as well.
- Current – Estuaries generally are susceptible to tidal currents – if these are strong then a longer, sit in models might suit better if you have to paddle a distance to get to where you want to fish although again, 2 person sit on top models are longer by design as well. Also, if the fish are where you launch, then the stability of a sit on top model will work better.
- Hazards – Some water locations (especially lakes) contain hazards such as rocks and fallen trees etc. which whilst generally do not bother a kayak as they may a faster moving motor boat, they are still something to be aware of. Longer, narrower 2 person kayak models are not as easy to turn around between rocks and/or trees in the water as the single person models.
- Rapids – Look, if your kayak is built for fishing – especially for two people, it is probably not going to perform too well in any environment where there are rapids to deal with – such as a river, stream and upper reaches of an estuary. In all honesty, I would be looking at converting a more appropriate vessel to allow for fishing if you were looking at spending a bit of time within these areas.
There is more to this but from the point of view of fishing from a kayak, as long as none of the above are too extreme, then you should be ok in any model. At the end of the day, the main question to ask yourself is whether you need to more balance or more speed to be able to maneuver around your chosen waterway.
Kayaks, like most other floating devices, come in a range of lengths starting at around 8 ft up to 13 – 14ft. However, as mentioned above, 2 person kayaks start at the higher range simply based on the fact that they need to fit two people in them. So depending on the environmental factors we have discussed above, you may consider the following:
10 – 12ft – In my research, this appears to be the standard length for a 2 person kayak. They can handle 2 people in most water conditions whilst maintaining stability with a little more speed. They are a little harder to maneuver than the shorter single person craft (8 – 10ft) but a little faster with better water glide (a.k.a. tracking) to keep the craft moving forward with momentum. The perfect length for those looking to fish in a number of areas and/or environmental factors with 2 people.
13ft+ – If speed a must, or are you planning to do a bit on the open ocean, then I would suggest a longer kayak option. Maneuverability and turning is a problem here (think Titanic) however but if you are chasing fast fish – or need to travel larger distances to get to the fishing grounds – then good length is a must. Longer models can also be fitted with foot pedals for faster movement as well however they are also a bit more on the expensive side.
Width also plays a role here but to be honest, I have always looked at length as my main factor (other may disagree so please comment below if you do). In short though, the wider the craft, the more stable it will be on the water. Narrower boats tend to be faster and maybe a little more maneuverable (longer boats however still will not turn as well as shorter ones).
Ok, if you are looking at a kayak and it doesn’t have at least some rod holders, then it is not a fishing kayak. Remember that with a kayak, that even in the longer 2 person models there is only really a certain amount of space and fishing does generally need a little bit of equipment such as a rod (obviously), bait and a knife at a minimum. So regardless of the width or length, look for a kayak with the following:
- Rod holders – in my opinion a must for a fishing kayak – even if these are the only fishing related options on the vessel. I mean, where do you put your rod when you are paddling otherwise?
- Storage – preferably with a dry bag but at the very least somewhere to store your extra tackle, water, cell phone and car keys etc. – even the smaller length craft will normally have two of these – one in front of each seat.
- Bait cavity – These are little sections in the top of the kayak where you can put your bait (some are round for drinks as well). These are not critical (as you can use a bait belt) but very nice to have.
- Netted storage – These are generally located at the very front or back of the kayak where you can put larger stuff such as a life jacket (if not mandatory to wear), tackle boxes, drink coolers and so on…
The number and setup of these will obviously vary from kayak to kayak dependent upon the length(where they can fit more in, and price paid). For a good 2 person fishing kayak however I would be expecting some of the above at the very least.
What should I look for in a 2 person fishing kayak?
As with any kayak setup for fishing, there are a few things that make a 2 person kayak suitable such as rod holders (a must) and space for extras such as coolers and tackle boxes etc. And as there will be two people fishing, it should also be long and wide enough to maintain stability – especially if you can both get one on at the same time.
What do I use?
Ok, so I do all of my kayak fishing in a tidal estuary where I use an 8.5ft sit on top model with all of the options listed in the previous section above. It is perfect for what I use it for which is drifting up and back with the tidal current with two small rods running a lure and locally sourced bait.
I have however spoken to a few of the ‘doublers’ I have come across out on the water and most have backed up my comments above that you when there are two in the vessel, the more storage and rod holding abilities that it has, the easier it is with two on it. Most I have seen are around the 12 – 14ft mark as well.
My three recommendations broken down
So based on the information above, and my own experience, I recommend the following options:
1. BKC TK122U 12′ 6″ 2 Person Fishing Kayak
This first one is a basic model that would work well for those looking to mix fishing with just plain recreational paddling. It has all the features needed in a fishing kayak with a few extra comforts as well. It is perfect for beginners and more experienced fisherman alike with specifications as follows:
- Length: 12.6 ft
- Rod Holders: 2 flush mounted and 2 swivel
- Dry Storage: 2 waterproof hatches in front of each seat
- Bait cavities: none (space in front of front seat for small bucket however)
- Netted Storage: yes x 1 at back
- Adjustable hard seats
- Track mounts installed on sides – this is a great addition
- 2 x paddle straps
- Available in 3 colours
Why have I chosen it?
I like this one purely for its inclusive design and ease of use for those looking to either get started with kayak fishing or for a leisurely recreational paddle. At 12.6 ft it is suited to calm, inland waters and estuaries with stability to handle rougher or ocean settings as well. It’s Rotomolded single piece high density polyethylene hull design also means it will stand up to all those minor ‘dings’ that come with fishing in rocky or corally areas too.
2. Driftsun Teton 120 Kayak Person Fishing Kayak
I have chosen this next one based on the fact that it has all of the basic fishing inclusions with enough space to make it technically a 3 person craft as well. That is not to say it is missing anything fishing related either with specifications as follows:
- Length: 12 ft
- Rod Holders: 4 flush mounted
- Dry Storage: 2
- Bait cavities: 2
- Netted Storage: yes x 1
- Adjustable EVA padded seats
- Moulded child seat in middle
- 2 x elastic paddle holders
Why have I chosen it?
As mentioned above, this is a great kayak for those wanting to take a third with them and still have enough fittings for some decent fishing. It’s single piece Rotomolded UV resistant high density polyethylene build is perfectly suited to many locations such as estuaries and lakes alike. It is easily manoeuvrable and all in all a good, solid kayak for beginners and experienced fishermen alike.
3. Elkton Outdoors Tandem Fishing Kayak
This last one includes all of the functionality of the options above however coming in at a slightly shorter 12.2ft for those looking for a little more manoeuvrability. This opens it up being able to handle a few extra locations where some extra steering might be needed such as around trees and rocks. Its specs include:
- Length: 12.2 ft
- Rod Holders: 4 flush mounted and 2 swivel
- Dry Storage: 2
- Bait cavities: 2
- Netted Storage: yes x 1
- Adjustable padded seat
- 2 x elastic paddle holders
- Moulded ‘seat’ in centre for a child as well
Why have I chosen it?
This is a good kayak for a good price. Its Rotomould Polyethylene flat bottom design makes it a master of stability suited to many locations such as estuaries and lakes alike. It is easily manoeuvrable with a nice tracking run making it not a bad option should the fishing holes be a little further away from the launch point. This is a kayak suitable for beginners and experienced fishermen alike.
And there it is – my 3 best 2 person fishing kayaks to buddy up with this year. I hope it has been helpful and as usual, please let me know of your experiences with them.
Also, please do not hesitate to comment below if you have any questions, concerns, corrections or would like me to check anything else out for you.
Until next time