The 15 BEST Motorized Kayaks for Fishing With Ease [2024]

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Video best kayak for trolling motor

Short on time? Our pick for the best motorized kayak is the Old Town Sportsman AutoPilot 120.

We’ve tracked down the best motorized kayaks for the easiest, breeziest fishing experience ever.

Kayak fishing is becoming increasingly popular, and with it, there has been a rise in popularity for paddling kayaks with small motors attached.

The benefits of having a small trolling motor on your boat are endless. You expend less energy paddling, saving more energy for enjoying your secret spot.

With a motorized kayak, you can get farther out in a single day, and, if the weather turns bad, return to shore swiftly.

I’ve put together this guide to help guide you through the new waters of motor-powered fishing kayaks. Not only have I rounded up the top 15 kayaks with motor attachment compatibility, but I’ve created a comprehensive guide to kayak motors, so you know precisely what to look for to find the best motorized kayak.

Note: this post contains affiliate links, which help run this site at no extra cost to you so I can keep providing free travel advice and tips.

#1 BKC PK14 Angler 14’ Sit-On-Top Tandem Fishing Kayak

Best Tandem Motorized Kayak

Our Rating: 5/5Length: 14′Width: 34″Weight: 103 lbsWeight limit: 670 lbsMotor Included: Yes

One of the best trolling motor kayaks for two is the BKC PK14 Angler.

This motorized 2-person kayak has impressive features, including an incredibly stable, 34″ wide platform, perfect for casting, and sealed cargo hatches for storage.

This tandem motorized kayak offers multiple rod holders and, best of all, a built-in motor with hand-operated rudders. Each passenger also has access to a tiller, so one person doesn’t control the entire boat.

This popular motorized fishing kayak has an enormous weight capacity of over 650 lbs. However, it is pretty heavy to transport at 103 lbs. The only other downside to the BKC PK14 is that it sells out quickly!

#2 BRIS 14 Ft Inflatable Boat

Best Motorized Inflatable Kayak

Our Rating: 4.6/5Length: 14.1′Width:51’’Weight: 120 lbsWeight limit: 770 lbsMotor Included: No

If you don’t have the space to store a traditional kayak, the BRIS 14 Ft Inflatable Boat might be right for you.

The BRIS is a small inflatable tandem kayakfor three with a perfect motor mount platform at the back.

This inflatable kayak has a three-year warranty, uses durable 1,000 Denier PVC, and is suitable for fresh and salt water. The rigid drop-stitch floor is so solid that you could jump or stand on it, so don’t worry about stability.

Most inflatable kayaks don’t have fishing gear tracks, and the BRIS is no exception. Plus, this kayak can double for recreational boating in a pinch.

Finally, the BRIS comes with a foot pump, which is excellent, but you may want to purchase an electric kayak pump to save time and energy.

#3 Jonny Boats Bass 100

Best Budget Motorized Kayak

Our Rating: 4.8/5Length: 10′Width:35.5’’Weight: 77 lbsWeight limit: 400 lbsMotor Included: No

Motorized fishing kayaks are not cheap, no matter how you slice it, so believe me when I say the Jonny Boats Bass 100 Kayak is the best motorized fishing kayak on a budget. This sit-on-top fishing kayak has a lot to love about it.

The Jonny Boats Bass 100 has a super customizable open deck that can accommodate either a gas motor or an electric one.

This motorized fishing kayak features an extra large tank well storage area with a bungee top, as well as rod storage, two-rod holders, a rod tip protector on the deck, a removable radar and electronics pod, adjustable footrests, and a cup holder.

While this is the cheapest jet-powered kayak on this list, the price is low partly because the motor doesn’t come included with Bass boats, so you’ll need to buy the Jonny Boats motor mount kit separately.

#4 Hobie Mirage Pro Angler 14 360 Fishing Kayak with Motor

Best Luxury Motorized Kayak

Our Rating: 5/5Length: 13′ 8″Width: 38″Weight: 124-148 (depending on accessories)Weight limit: 600 lbsMotor Included: No

If you’re looking for a serious angler kayak, look no further than the Hobie Mirage Pro Angler 13 360 Fishing Kayak. The Hobie Mirage Fishing Kayak drips from bow to stern with luxury features.

Want stealth mode while fishing? The Mirage features noise-reducing EVA traction pads on the deck to muffle foot shuffling.

The sit-on-top design is wide and stable enough to stand on, but when you’re ready to have a seat, you’ll be happy to find Hobie’s high-sitting “Vantage Seats” with Boa system lumbar support.

You can paddle the Mirage like a traditional kayak or use the foot pedals with retractable fins that automatically lay flat against the hull in shallow water.

Of course, as with all motorized fishing kayaks, there are multiple rod holders, an accessory mount, and a large carrying handle.

The main downside to the Hobie Mirage is the premium price tag.

#5 NuCanoe Frontier 12 Kayak with Fusion 360 Seat

Best Motor-Powered Kayak with Pedals

Our Rating:4.8/5Length: 12′Width: 41″Weight: 80 lbsWeight limit: 650 lbsMotor Included: No

The NuCanoe Frontier 12 with Fusion 360 Seat is one of the best motorized fishing kayaks. The pivot drive pedal system doesn’t come with this boat, but you can customize your pedal setup (or swap it for a power setup).

This versatile powered kayak can seat one or two people. At 41 inches, it’s insanely wide and stable. You can fly fish, bass fish, or hunt from this sit-on-top kayak using the “Cast and Blast” gear tracks (wow, ‘Murica, right?).

The Fusion 360 seat is a swivel seat, so you can easily turn to face the action.

#6 Sevylor Coleman Colorado 2-Person Fishing Kayak

Best Lightweight Motorized Kayak

Our Rating: 4.5/5Length: 10′Width: 39″Weight: 37 lbsWeight limit: 470 lbsMotor Included: No

Even with the best electric motors, kayak weight influences motorized kayak speed. For this reason, I love the idea of super lightweight tandem kayaks for fishing.

The Sevylor Coleman Colorado offers an excellent balance of weight, durability, and customizability.

This lightweight motor kayak with trolling motor weighs just 37 pounds (the next lightest on my list is 77 pounds!) and is inflatable, so it packs away easily.

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The Colorado uses durable 18-gauge PVC material with 1000D tarpaulin bottoms. This tandem kayak has adjustable seats; however, it may be tight for two adults.

Finally, although fishing rod holders are on the boat, an experienced kayak angler may dislike their positioning.

#7 Wilderness Systems ATAK 120 (Advanced Tactical Angling Kayak)

Most Comfortable Motorized Kayak

Our Rating: 4.9/5Length: 12’3″Width: 35″Weight: 86 lbsWeight limit: 400 lbsMotor Included: No

Nothing will end a paddle day faster than a sore back. That’s why the best paddle kayaks for fishing have incredibly comfortable seats. The Wilderness Systems ATAK (Advanced Tactical Angling Kayak) 120 is an angler kayak designed with comfort in mind.

The highly adjustable Phase 3 AirPro seat has mesh covers over vented, ergonomic 3D foam and a little lumbar support pillow. Not only is the seat well padded, but you can adjust the reclined angle, and the footrests have padding.

Another critical aspect of maintaining comfort while kayak fishing is having your gear where you can easily reach it. The ATAK 120 has an extensive accessory mounting base at the stern, plus a center console with a cup/small gear holder.

One knock I have about this top fishing kayak is that the company has a patchy track record when it comes to packing for shipping, so receiving a damaged item is possible.

#8 Feelfree Lure 11.5 Overdrive V2 Fishing Kayak

Most Versatile Motorized Kayak

Our Rating: 4.8/5Length: 11’6″Width: 34″Weight: 87 lbs (not including the seat and pedal unit)Weight limit: 425 lbsMotor Included: No

The Feelfree Lure 11.5 Overdrive V2 Fishing Kayak is my pick for the most versatile motorized kayak angler because you can propel it with paddles, pedals, or a motor.

Also, their Overdrive system (sold separately) allows you to move forward and backward with both the pedals and motor! Few paddle kayaks can do that.

Another unique feature of the Feelfree sit-on-top is its specialized standing pad with an ankle leash to ensure you’re never separated from your boat (I especially like that feature for older anglers).

Finally, I like that this motor kayak has rod holders and rod tip protectors (gotta protect the tip!)

My minor cons for the Feelfree are that it’s hard to move the kayak on land without dragging the rudder, and it requires a small amount of assembly.

#9 Skanu Angler

Best Motorized Canoe

Our Rating: 4.4/5Length: 12’4″Width: 39″Weight: 160 lbsWeight limit: 480 lbsMotor Included: No

Are you looking for a boat with the stability of a canoe but the option for a small motor? Check out the Skanu Angler.

The Angler is a unique hybrid between a canoe and a traditional small boat with either gas or electric motor options.

This boat has a very wide, stable, flat “planing” hull which makes this an excellent craft for standing while casting. I also like the huge, protected storage spaces in both the bow and stern.

Be aware, however, that there are a few downsides to the Skanu Angler. First- and this is just a personal irritation- they don’t have pictures of the actual boat on their website-instead, they have digital mockups.

Additionally, this boat does sell out quickly, and it is darn heavy.

#10 Lifetime 10-Foot, Two-Person Fishing Kayak

Best Kayak With a Motor for Beginners

Our Rating: 4.9/5Length: 10′Width: 36″Weight: 60 lbsWeight limit: 500 lbsMotor Included: No

If you want to try a fishing kayak with motor mount compatibility but don’t want to break the bank check out the Lifetime 10′ Two-Person Fishing Kayak.

The Lifetime 10′ is perfect for beginners because it’s reasonably priced (for a motorized tandem kayak) and is not so specialized that you couldn’t easily resell it if it doesn’t work out.

It’s only 60 pounds, which is on the lighter end for motorized fishing kayaks, and its wide 36″ beam makes it an excellent kayak to learn in. The Lifetime 10′ is short enough for one person to maneuver but big enough to fit two.

This top fishing kayak for beginners has three-rod holders. Still, the gear hatch is relatively small, and the simple, roto-molded plastic body lacks the gear mounts and seat adjustability of higher-end models.

#11 Colorado XT Pontoon Boat

Best Storage Space on a Motorized Kayak

Our Rating: 4.5/5Length: 9′Width: 56″Weight: 77 lbsWeight limit: 400 lbsMotor Included: No

If you’re looking for a vessel with lots of storage space, I recommend the Colorado XT Pontoon Boat. While it may seem like a strange choice for a motorized kayak article since, well- it’s not a kayak, it still has many redeeming qualities and ample storage space.

The Colorado XT inflatable pontoon boat has removable side pockets with 20 individual pockets. See, I told you it had lots of storage space!

It also has two cup holders (mind you, this is a solo vessel) and a large storage platform right behind the seat.

Unlike other motorized fishing kayaks on my list, the Colorado XT Inflatable Pontoon boat has a built-in wheel for easy transport, plus tow rings should you need a lift in the water.

The downside to such a short, high-profile boat is that it will catch the wind easily and be hard to maneuver in a straight line without a trolling motor. Finally, the seat is inconvenient to adjust.

#12 Wilderness Systems Radar 115

Best Standing Motorized Kayak

Our Rating:4.7/5Length: 11’8″Width: 34.5″Weight: 82 lbsWeight limit: 450 lbsMotor Included: No

The Wilderness Systems Radar has many features of the Wilderness Systems ATAK 120, which is good because these boats have excellent designs!

I chose the Wilderness Systems Radar as one of the best motorized kayaks for standing because of the broad “S.M.A.R.T” (Stability, Maneuverability, Acceleration, Responsiveness, and Tracking) hull, which helps it perform well in multiple water types.

In addition to the stable deck, the Radar has multiple power options; paddles, pedals, or power. The seat is a comfortable AirPro Max with gear mounting brackets galore.

One knock on the Radar is that multiple people have complained that their kayak was missing a part out of the box.

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#13 Perception Pescador Pilot 12

Best Motorized Fishing Kayak for Lakes

Our Rating: 4.7/5Length: 12’6″Width: 33.75″Weight: 85 lbsWeight limit: 525 lbsMotor Included: No

I chose the Perception Pescador Pilot 12 as one of the best motorized fishing kayaks for lakes because Perception rates this boat as best for lakes, ponds, and calm coastal water.

Unlike some of the other motorized kayaks on my list, the Perception Pescador has a built-in ultra-quiet pedal drive system. No need to buy expensive add-ons!

This stealthy pedal system is perfect for fishing in calm water and can even go in reverse.

There are four-rod holders on this angler kayak and gear mounts galore. Even serious anglers would be hard-pressed to use up all the gear brackets and storage space on the Pescador.

One aspect I don’t love about the Pescador is that the rudder is on the stern, which may be hard to grab, and it may get in the way of a motor mount system.

#14 Old Town Sportsman AutoPilot 120

Best Salt Water Motorized Kayak

Our Rating:Length: 12′Width:Weight: 152 lbsWeight limit: 558 lbsMotor Included: Yes

I chose the Old Town Sportsman Autopilot 120 as my top pick amongst the best fishing kayaks for saltwater because it has the saltwater-ready 12V Minn Kota motor.

As far as electric motors go, Minn Kota is a reliable name with many swanky features.

The Old Town Sportsman motorized kayak has a Bluetooth-enabled i-Pilot remote, and Minn Kota’s “spot lock” technology keeps you in the same position in the water to have a truly hands-free fishing experience.

The Old Town Sportsman Autopilot 120 also has tons of fisherman-friendly features; accessory tracks, a tackle box, and cushioned no-slip floor pads.

On the downside, this kayak is darn heavy, the paddle doesn’t come included, and it may sustain damage in transport (a common theme with large items in the mail).

#15 Jackson Coosa FD Fishing Kayak

Best Motorized Fishing Kayak with Gear Attachment

Our Rating: 4.9/5Length: 12’7″Width: 35″Weight:107 lbsWeight limit: 450 lbsMotor Included: No

Lastly, I pick the Jackson Coosa FD Fishing Kayak as the best motorized kayak for easy gear attachment. When it comes to fishing gear, it seems like they’re always coming up with new gadgets and the Coosa makes it easy and safe to have ’em all.

Serious anglers will love the pass-through for electronics, meaning you can wire fish finders through the hull without aftermarket through-hull wiring kits.

The stern of the boat has a four-hole bolt pattern that supports a Torqeedo trolling motor mount adaptor (sold separately). There are several gear brackets and molded-in rod tip protectors.

Finally, the hatches are extra large with a new, heavy-duty seal to keep everything dry.

The main downside to the Coosa is that it’s pretty expensive, even without including the motor and battery.

Buying Guide: How to Choose the Best Kayak With a Motor (Or That’s Compatible With a Motor)

What to Look for in Motorized Kayaks

Fishing Kayaks

You are most likely to find a motor-powered boat in Amazon’s “fishing kayaks” section, and it’s uncommon to see motor-compatible kayaks among other types of recreational or sports kayaks.

Motor Mount Compatability

Make sure your kayak is compatible with a trolling motor! Not all kayaks automatically have this accessory hitch installed.

Stability

Most kayak anglers know that the best motorized fishing kayaks are wide (over 34 inches) with flat (or flat-ish) bottoms.

This type of design is also known as a planing hull. A planing hull may be slightly V-shaped at the front to allow the boat to cut through the water versus slapping the top as you hit each wave.

Seat Position

Choose a motorized fishing kayak with an adjustable seat if you plan to add an aftermarket electric motor. This way, you can balance your weight with the weight of the engine and battery.

Weight

Kayak angling requires a fair bit of gear, so the lighter your kayak, the better your motor battery life will be.

Weight Capacity

I like to see a motorized fishing kayak with a weight capacity of over 350 pounds. Between your body weight and all your fishing gear, 350 pounds is about the minimum required capacity for a fishing kayak with a motor installed.

What to Look for in a Kayak with Motor

Trolling vs. Outboard Motors

You shouldn’t be looking for a kayak with an outboard motor. When it comes to motor options for a kayak, you need a trolling motor, not an outboard motor (or gas motor).

Trolling motors are electric and lighter in weight than gas-powered motors.

Thrust

Trolling motor power is measured in thrust, but there’s some debate about how much thrust you need.

Some say two pounds of thrust per 100 pounds will suffice, and others say you need 10 pounds of thrust per 100 pounds. I err on the side of caution and say 10 pounds of thrust per 100 pounds of boat/gear weight.

That means that if your kayak has a 400 lb capacity, you need an electric motor with at least 40 lbs of thrust.

Speed Options

The best motorized kayaks have several speed options rather than a single setting. You want multiple speed settings in order to control how you move through the water more precisely (i.e., not scare the fish).

Weight

Opt for the lightest electric motor that still meets your thrust requirements. A more lightweight engine means less weight overall to propel, and thus, the motor will be more efficient.

Noise

Minimize fish disturbance with a quiet motorized kayak. Not all trolling-type motors have rated noise levels, but some higher-end models advertise ultra-quiet modes.

Length of Shaft

Look for a trolling motor shaft around 18-24 inches long. The motor must sit 12 inches below the water’s surface for maximum efficiency, typically 6-12 inches between the water’s surface and the kayak.

Saltwater Compatability

Look for a motorized fishing kayak specifically outfitted for salt water if you plan to fish in the ocean.

Saltwater motors have special finishes to protect them from corrosive salt. While saltwater models are more expensive than freshwater models, they’re worth the extended motor life.

Controls

There are three main ways to control motorized kayaks.

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You can use a tiller, a handle on top of the motor. A tiller is a popular option, but you must be able to reach the tiller from your seat on the kayak, which can be challenging for stern-mounted motors.

You can use pedal power. Motors for pedal kayaks are often bow-mounted, and you control the motor and direction with your feet. Pedal power is an excellent option for kayak anglers.

Last but not least, some fancy-schmancy motors now have a remote control, which means you’re not reaching back awkwardly for a tiller.

You can connect some of these high-end models to a GPS, keeping you in one spot on the water (fancy!).

FAQs About Motorized Kayaks

What’s the best kayak for a trolling motor?

The best kayak for a trolling-type motor already has the motor installed. Motorized kayaks are almost universally fishing kayaks, which means they are broad, (usually) sit-on-top, stable boats with high weight capacity for gear storage.

What size electric motor is best for a kayak?

The size of your kayak’s motor depends on how heavy your boat is, fully loaded. Electric motors need 10 pounds of thrust per 100 pounds of weight. Thus, if your kayak and fishing equipment weights 400 pounds total, you need a 40-pound thrust electric motor.

Mosttrolling-type motors have more than enough thrust for an average fishing kayak. Remember, too, that the mount position and the charge level of the battery influence motor performance.

How fast can a motorized kayak go?

A mid-sized electric motor will propel a kayak up to five miles per hour. The biggest, best electric kayak motors may get up to 10 miles per hour but remember that even motorized kayaks have a speed limit regarding how fast they can move safely.

Should I put a motor on my kayak? Is it worth putting a trolling motor on a kayak?

You can put an electric trolling motor on a kayak, but I wouldn’t bother.

While trollers are relatively lightweight (under 30 pounds) and use batteries rather than gas, you will likely need to drill into your boat’s hull and mess with wiring. You’re better off buying kayaks with built-in trolling-type motors.

If you still want to put a motor on your kayak, you must ensure your kayak model will fit an electric motor.

You can try using a universal trolling motor mount, but you might have to rig up something homemade depending on where you want the motor to sit.

How long do trolling motors last on kayaks?

The best motorized kayaks can run for a decade or more if you care for them properly. You must choose an electric motor specially outfitted for salt water if you plan to boat in the ocean.

How long will trolling motors run?

The battery life on electric trolling motors depends on a variety of factors. Your kayak motor may give an estimated run time, calculated on ideal conditions hauling a certain amount of weight.

The kayak’s weight plays a considerable role in battery life, and a lighter kayak will run longer than a heavy, traditional fishing kayak.

Some electric motors have multiple speeds, and going faster will drain the battery more than the slowest speed. Likewise, choppy water will drain a battery more quickly than calm water.

Finally, many motorized kayaks can support other electronics, but plugging more gadgets into your motor kayak will drain the battery faster.

Where is the best place for a kayak motor?

Overall, the best kayak motor mount placement is the stern. That said, the best site for a kayak motor depends on the size of your boat, whether you are right or left-handed, and whether you want hands-free fishing.

The problem with mounting a motor onto a kayak is that you need to be able to reach the steering system (and your fishing gear) and don’t want the boat to be unbalanced.

Placing the motor on the side gives you easy access to the controls but will unbalance the kayak.

Installing the motor at the stern balances the kayak weight, but you may need an extra system to reach the controls.

Pedal drive kayaks with motors, which offer a hands-free steering system, use the pedals to control the motor, and in this scenario, you’d be best off with a stern-mounted motor.

What is the cheapest way to motorize a kayak?

The cheapest way to motorize a kayak is to buy a good motorized kayak with a built-in motor. You may save some money buying your electric motor and jury-rigging it to your kayak.

Still, it’s not worth the hassle, the janky holes in your kayak, and the sketchy homemade wiring system.

Can I put a motor on any kayak?

No, you cannot put a motor on any kayak. The kayak must have a specifically-designed motor mount, or you’ll need to jury-rig a mounting platform. If you’re interested in the latter, check out this video.

How big of a battery do I need for kayak trolling motors?

Motorized kayaks usually use a 12V marine battery. On some motorized fishing kayaks, you can fit two batteries for extended motor life.

How deep should a trolling motor be in the water for a kayak?

A trolling motor should be at least one foot or 12 inches below the water. Having the motor too shallow or too deep in the water will negatively affect your propulsion through the water.

Conclusion: Our Pick for the Best Motorized Kayak

Sometimes I struggle to pick a single stand-out kayak, but there was no contest this time. The best fishing kayak with a motor is the Old Town Sportsman Autopilot 120. It’s one of the few kayaks with a built-in motor, which isn’t a chintzy little motor.

The 12V, saltwater-ready Minn Kota is a reliable motor name with Bluetooth-enabled i-Pilot and “spot lock” technology to keep you in one place while you fish.

Although this is a heavy boat with no paddle included, the abundance of other fisherman-friendly accessories- like the custom tackle box and no-slip floor pads- makes up for these shortcomings.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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The 15 BEST Motorized Kayaks for Fishing With Ease [2024]

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Ethan Smith is a seasoned marine veteran, professional blogger, witty and edgy writer, and an avid hunter. He spent a great deal of his childhood years around the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest in Arizona. Watching active hunters practise their craft initiated him into the world of hunting and rubrics of outdoor life. He also honed his writing skills by sharing his outdoor experiences with fellow schoolmates through their high school’s magazine. Further along the way, the US Marine Corps got wind of his excellent combination of skills and sought to put them into good use by employing him as a combat correspondent. He now shares his income from this prestigious job with his wife and one kid. Read more >>