Best Fishing Kayak Under $1000

Looking for the best fishing kayak under 1000 was not as easy as you may think, but despite the tough choices we have found the perfect one; the Perception Pescador Pro 12 and all its features!

Before we get into the details of this marvellous fishing kayak, let’s talk about the company that makes them. Perception Kayaks have been in the business for over 40 years, with thousands of satisfied clientele. They focus on innovative design and hand-assemble each and every kayak.

They are known for the versatile, comfortable, durable and very safe kayaks they make with great features and abundant storage. Quite promising really, who wouldn’t want a Perception Kayak?

The Perception Pescador Pro 12

The Pescador Pro Series are known to be one of the best sit-on-top kayaks in the market. In this particular article, we are going to focus on the 12 feet model of the Pescador Pro and tell you why it could be the best fishing kayak for you.

The Pescador Pro 12 is built for fishing, the design, speed, and stability of this kayak, in particular, is the complete package any kayaker could hope for. In addition to its tip-top performance on the water, it is also effortless to transport and has abundant storage space, making it absolutely great for an all-day fishing trip.

Kayak Specifications and Features of the Kayak:

Length: 12 ft

Width: 32.5 in

Weight: 64 lbs

Capacity: 375 lbs

Special Features and Accessories

The Pescador Pro is also equipped with tank-wells moulded onto the design on both ends of the kayak. For the 12 feet model, the tank wells are larger in capacity compared to the 10 feet model. The tank-wells come with bungee keepers or a mesh gear cover to secure your fishing gear and belongings.

An extra storage hatch can also be accessed from the stern. This storage hatch, in particular, gives you access to the interior of the hull, you can store your extra rods, tackle boxes, and other knick-knacks.

There is also a central console in the kayak that acts as the storage container of the battery and electronic components of your fish finder should you choose to install one. This is one of the features you can appreciate especially when you want to upgrade your kayak.

In addition, a slot is also ready for you to install the said fishfinder with ease. There is also storage space for your tackle box or fishing gear in the middle of the kayak under the seat. By default, the kayak comes with dual rod holders located at the back of the kayak. This is a storage space your rods while you are paddling.

Though a lot of people have said that these rod holders do not work for their rods in particular, you can store other things there too; like nets, anchors, and other fishing equipment you may bring on your trip. If you need any other rod holders, it’s is quite easy to purchase and install more efficient ones onto your kayak. Remember the best fishing kayak is the one that meets your needs.

The kayak features carry handles that allow ease of transport when you are moving it around. In this particular fishing kayak, you have two carry handles; one located on the stern and one located on the bow. These handles allow you to have a stronger grip when picking up your kayak.

The seat of the kayak is made up of a mesh material that allows cool air to flow through. It can easily be adjusted or removed as you wish. This allows you to clean the seat when you get home or use it separately when needed.

There are four main points the Perception Kayaks cannot stress enough about the Pescador Pro 12; It is the most comfortable, the most stable, the absolute safest, and the most durable fishing kayak available. This is the very reason why we too, think it is the best fishing kayak under 1000 dollars!


When you’re out in the water for a long day of fishing, comfort plays a big role when choosing the best fishing kayak for you. This particular kayak was built for ultimate comfort with its roomy interior and adjustable seat. Speaking of the seat, let’s talk about it for a second.

The seat features a zonal mesh that promotes cool air flow where it is needed. In addition, the backrest of the seat provides the right amount of support for long hours on the water. The seat can be switched in two modes; upright and relaxed. Quite ergonomic if you asked us. You can easily detach the seat if you need to use it outside the kayak or if you want to clean it.

It is also equipped with adjustable foot braces which can be customized according to your height making it easier for you to paddle. This is one of the features, you can definitely enjoy a relaxing day in the water.

With all the space this fishing kayak has, you’d be surprised to know how much extra storage there is in the kayak itself with the storage hatch. Smaller fishing kayaks wouldn’t have this feature.


One issue most fishing kayaks have is the fact that they are not as stable when it comes to angling. If you are a serious angler fisher, finding the best fishing kayak that can support you whilst standing is a must. With this particular kayak, you can rest easy and stand atop it with confidence.

The design of the hull makes it fast and efficient which contributes to its overall stability. It tracks straight and keeps its course, another feature you will definitely appreciate when you’re out in open water. This kayak is more suitable in calm water than rougher ones. Ideally, most sit-on-top kayaks are not suited rapids and the like.


The Pescador Pro has a built-in buoyancy and balance features which means as a paddler you can just relax and enjoy! Each kayak made by Perception Kayaks comes with a US Coast Guard-compliant hull identification number. Due to stability and comfort, the large size of this fishing kayak makes it safer to use even by beginners. This is definitely the best features of good fishing kayaks in the market.


One thing Perception Kayaks can promise their clientele is that all their products are made to last a lifetime. The Pescador Pro in particular is built for durability. The roto-molded construction of the kayak with high-density polyethylene makes it an excellent impact, UV, and abrasion resistance device. The skid plates are also replaceable in instances of unavoidable wear-and-tear.

Pros and Cons

When we were choosing among the best kayaks for fishing, we went through a series of pros and cons before deciding on the Pescador Pro. Here’s what we can share with you:


  1. Quite durable and tough despite it’s light weight.
  2. Easy to transport, load and unload from your vehicle.
  3. Has a very comfortable mesh seat that is easily adjustable.
  4. Lots of leg room with adjustable food braces.
  5. Functional design.
  6. Great stability and manoeuvrability in the water.
  7. Good value for money.
  8. Suitable for beginners and pros alike.
  9. Abundant storage space.


  1. Dry storage area is quite limited as opposed to other models, but storage options are quite abundant.
  2. Has two built-in rod holders that don’t hold the rods in place due to large circumference.

Frequently Asked Questions

If you find yourself at this point of the article, you probably have a lot of questions. After all, choosing from the best fishing kayaks like Perception, Sun Dolphin, and Vibe Kayaks can be quite difficult especially when you start comparing features.

How is the stability standing up? Can you cast and fight fish without feeling like you’re going to tip?

Any kayak fisher knows that no matter how stable a kayak is, standing up and pulling your catch in needs a lot more help than just having good balance. Ideally, when you are fishing in a kayak, you need to be able to do everything seated while you’re in the water. With the very comfortable seat of the Pescador, you shouldn’t have any problem with that.

This particular kayak may be able to support you casting while standing up, but we wouldn’t advise you to fight a catch in that position. Be reminded to keep your balance to avoid tipping over and to equally consider the weight limit as well to make sure you’re stable in the water.

What Car Rack Can You Recommend that Works Well with this Kayak?

best fishing kayak under 1000

There are many car roof racks available in the market but one of the best is the Yakima Jaylow J-Hook Kayak Carrier. It’s easy to install, and even easier to use. It comes with several straps to secure your kayak in place, and is great for any kind of car you have.

One of the best features of this car roof rack is that it is compatible with various kinds of water boards and kayaks, if you do decide to switch hobbies, or even add more hobbies to your list, this is the perfect accessory for you. You can also easily adjust the spacings between the cradles to accommodate any length of kayak you may have purchased. Making this the top contender for the 12 ft Pescador.

The only flaw with this car roof rack is the lack of security locks, you would need to purchase these separately. When you’re done with the rack, you can take them off and put them in storage until your next trip.

Can This Kayak Handle Rough Water in the Bay or Big Rivers?

With its long and wide hull design, you are able to move through rough water but it isn’t ideal. If you are planning to go through rapids, it’s better to use a more appropriate sit-inside kayak instead. Sit-on-top kayaks are designed for more calm waters. After all, it’s a challenge go fishing in rough water in the first place.

Is There A Specific Rudder Kit for this Kayak?

The first thing you should ask yourself is if you need a rudder kit in the first place. Try taking your boat out first and see if you really need one. Novice fishing hobbyists didn’t find the need to install a rudder for the 12 ft model of the Pescador. But if you insist, you can definitely choose the Perception Rudder kit.

These kits are made specifically for perception kayaks and are can easily be mounted on the stern. They come with all the parts and hardware necessary for installation upon purchase.

How Well Will My Rods Stay in the Rod Holders? Is There a Place to Store A Paddle?

The Pescador Pro 12 comes with two built-in rod holders located at the back of the seat, the thing is, these rod holders are quite large in terms of the circumference that it doesn’t really hold your fishing rods still while you’re paddling. We’d recommend getting more stable rod holders that can easily be attached to the side of your kayak with gear tracks.

The kayak also comes with various hooks and bungee cords that can be utilized according to your need. If you’re looking for a space to stow away your paddle while you’re fishing, you can simply secure them on the side of your kayak. You can even opt to install gear tracks on each side of your kayak to attach different fishing accessories too.

Is It a Pedal Kayak?

The Pescador Pro 12 does not come with built-in pedals. You can’t also install a pedal system onto this kayak. If you are looking for a kayak with a pedal system, Perception Kayaks does have models that have pedals installed.

Pedals and paddles each offer a different kind of fishing experience, it is all based on personal preferences. Some choose to peddle to enjoy a hands-free movement allowing them to easily cast and fish. Whereas having a paddle makes it a bit more challenging to switch between rods and paddles.

Customer Reviews

Don’t take our word for it, here are some thoughts from a few happy customers. They think that this is the best fishing kayak under 1000, what do you think?!

This is a very high quality and thoughtfully designed kayak. Plenty of storage, stable, and comfortable. The rod holders aren’t much good for holding rods you’re actively fishing with (live bait, etc), but they are fine for holding them while you paddle around. The seat is outstanding! It’s basically a lawn chair for your kayak. I’ve gone for all-day trips and it was just as comfortable at the end as the beginning. – Devin M, Amazon 5-Star Review

Very comfortable for a big guy like me. Very manoeuvrable, all my friends are jealous. My only frame of reference is a rental kayak. This kayak is awesome, it steers great, it is very comfortable. I love the two position seat. I can’t wait to get a fish finder installed. The wear block on the backend is what sold me. I live next to the Eleven point in Missouri and there is a lot of portaging on shoals and around log jams. – Rapscallion, Amazon 5-Star Review

I absolutely love this kayak. I got this kayak to get me out of the house and on the water more. If I could only buy one kayak in my lifetime, this would be it. The seat is comfy, the unit is stable, and you can do so much with this kayak, plus it’s a very good value at this price. – Keith Ellison, Amazon 5-Star Review

Wow is the operative term, it’s a great kayak. I’m 6′ 3″ 275 lbs and sit pretty nice on this. Haven’t tried standing, someone smaller might have more courage, but I don’t. Storage is nice. It even has a cup holder, I quickly get access to a beer at anytime during my trip. I love this kayak so much that I even got a bunch of Yakattack and Scotty accessories that make this even more comfortable. Also, the seat is amazingly comfortable! – Rafael Vega

This is my first kayak so I’m not really able to do any kind of in-depth, pro or con review. I decided on the Pescador 12 Pro because it has all the features I wanted in a fishing kayak and a great price. I’ve taken it out on the Maumee River, inland lakes, and even Lake Erie on a calm day. The molded rod holders are not ideal holding the rods, but perfect for adding your own custom motor bracket. I made mine out of PVC and a treated 2×4. I attached the PVC to the 2×4 with a U bolt and a straight bolt, then I attached rod holders to the motor bracket. I weigh about 180 and the batteries, bracket and 30 trolling motors weigh about 100 lbs. Even with 10-20 lbs of additional gear, I’m still well below the 375 lb capacity. The second trolling motor is really just for fun, I’ve gotten it up to 15 mph going downstream on a calm day. – Jay Vince

Why Did We Choose the Pescador Pro 12 For best fishing kayak under 1000?

Choosing just one from the list of best fishing kayaks under 1000 was quite a challenge for sure. We had to factor in different features aside from the price, after all there are dozens of fishing kayaks under 1000 in the market. We needed to prove how this Pescador was the best. The competition was pretty close with Sun Dolphin and Vibe Kayaks but with the great features included in the Pescador, it was a no-brainer.

First off, the high-density polyethylene build meant that it was UV resistant and durable against physical. Perception Kayaks in particular even hand-make each kayak to ensure the quality of their products. The large structure of the kayak plays is a big factor in its stability and safety. In spite of its large stature, it is pretty lightweight but it has an ideal weight limit of 375 lbs. This means aside from yourself, you can maximize the storage space with your fishing gear.

Secondly, the additional features installed in this particular kayak like the adjustable foot braces, moveable seat, and abundant storage space makes your fishing experience quite comfortable.

Lastly, the promise of safety and stability is definitely what made us choose it out of all the best fishing kayaks in the market. After all, the added features are just the cherry on top of the perfect sundae that is the Perception Pescador 12


The Pescador 12 is the ideal kayak for beginners and anglers alike. It features an excellent and functional design in every aspect. It is not only easy to manoeuvre, but you will also have better access to all your gear while you are out on the water.

Looking for the best fishing kayak under 1000 doesn’t have to break the bank, the Perception Pescador is the most ideal kayak in the market that can cater to all your kayak fishing needs.

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