The best fishing kayak will have all sorts of little extras which might not be absolutely vital but will make your fishing trip easier and more enjoyable but more importantly, the best fishing kayak will be safe and stable so that you can stand up to fish or check out your fishing ground.
Here are some decisions you need to make and tips for choosing the best fishing kayak for what you want:
Tip #1 - Speed versus stability. Decide which you want before you buy. Kayaks for fishing will not have the speed through the water of a recreational kayak because they are broader in the beam. However, they are more manoeuvrable in narrow waterways. If you want speed, you will forfeit stability and manoeuvrability. You could go for a medium length medium width boat but you probably won't get all the little extras such as rod holders.
Tip #2 - Ruggedness. If you're going to combine fishing with whitewater paddling, you're going to need a very well constructed, rugged boat.
Tip #3 - Sit on top or sit in kayak. You will be able to move around more easily in a sit on top kayak but you can keep warmer and dryer in a sit in kayak. What you choose will depend on the time of year you plan to go fishing and of course the location.
Tip #4 - Number of passengers. Tandem kayaks for fishing with an additional seat are available if you're likely to have company. If your company will be adult males, make sure that the maximum weight the boat will take is sufficient.
Tip #5 - Choose a kayak which comes with comfortable seats and back rests. Without these, a whole day on the water can be tedious. Check that the seats are high enough to keep riders off the floor of the kayak.
Tip #6 - Self bailers. A self bailing kayak is a good idea if you've got your hands full of fishing gear.
Tip #7 - Storage space. Even if you don't want to spend a lot of money on your kayak, do make sure that there is sufficient storage for your extra fishing gear to be kept safe while you paddle or fish.
Tip #8 - Bells and whistles. The best kayaks for fishing will have rod holders (four is a good number for a tandem kayak), paddle holder(s), cup holders, tackle box and bucket and lots of water resistant storage. However, you will pay a little more for a well fitted kayak.
Tip #9 - Colour. Although a brightly coloured kayak is more visible and therefore good for safety, if you're going to be gently paddling around calm rivers and lakes and your primary purpose is fishing, a dull colour such as olive or sand will make you far less intrusive and visible to the fish.
Tip #10 - Reviews. Read all the reviews you can once you've identified a few possible kayaks for fishing. There's nothing quite like getting the opinion of people who have actually bought and used a boat themselves.