Are Tandem Kayaks Good For Fishing?

Almost all of the two person kayaks can be paddle solo, but tandems are heavy and hard to manage by yourself. The rule is if 80% of the time you are using with 2 people then its a good fit, but if most of the time you will be using it solo then it would not be a good fit.

Need Help with 2 Person Fishing Kayak (Tandem)?

How can you possibly double the pleasure of a kayak-fishing trip? As with anything enjoyable, a kayak-fishing trip becomes twice as much fun when it’s shared.

This doesn’t mean that each time you go out on a trip, you need to find another fisherman that will haul out his kayak, stack it on the roof of his SUV or haul it in a cart. You could simplify the matter by owning a kayak built for two.

Two person or tandem kayaks are gaining popularity even among the suspicious crowd that feel only single person kayaks are the way to go. There are several reasons for this. One of the most obvious is that it makes it easier to take along a family member.

You no longer have to leave a disappointed significant other or an excited child because you don’t have room in your kayak for two, and your budget just won’t allow the purchase of a second kayak.

More Advantages to Tandem Fishing

Other reasons are not so obvious until you’ve actually had the experience of using a tandem kayak.

Because of the more generous length, tandem kayaks have a great deal more room for carrying gear, your fishing crate, bait bucket, cooler, cast-net, drift net, and anchor.

Because many tandem kayaks have a space in the middle for a third seat, if you are going out by yourself, you can use the mid area to paddle and to situate yourself into more varied positions for your fishing experience. The mid seat location can also be used for a third person.

Because of the extra weight created by two or more persons, it’s not advisable to take a tandem kayak into shallow water when it’s fully loaded down, but its performance in deep water is astonishing. Only the choppiest, most vigorous surf stands a chance of flipping one over.

Families enjoy tandem kayaks as they can then take along the kids, and some have a tandem just for the kids to paddle around and dive off to swim while the parents do some serious fishing.


Tandem kayaks are stable; so stable, kids jumping off the edge does not upset them in the least, which leads to another advantage. In a two-person kayak, one person can stand up in the front of the kayak and scout for fish while the person in the back paddles.

This is an enormous advantage over sitting in a one-person kayak paddling and trying to scout for fish at the same time. Another advantage to tandem kayaks is in the wind factor. If a hard wind springs up while you are in a single person kayak, it feels almost impossible to paddle against it.

The wind can push your kayak sideways and drive it into places you didn’t want to be. You use all your energy and strength just trying to keep your kayak on course, and often end up calling it a day, with very little time for real fishing.

With a two-person kayak, the effort is reduced by half. You can paddle against the wind and still enjoy a good day fishing.

Hobie has a new mirage drive model called the Outfitter. It’s a tandem that uses their patented mirage drive. The mirage drive is a pedal system that’s more efficient then paddling. It uses the largest muscles in the body to propel the kayak.

With the peddling action going for you, your hands are completely free to begin an earnest day of fishing.

More Great Tandem Designs

Another great tandem kayak is the Wilderness Systems Tarpon.

The Tarpon is equipped with the third seat advantage, although its stock seats are admittedly a little uncomfortable. However it takes very little effort to equip it with standard seats or simply buy a four dollar foam seat and be comfortable all day long. Malibu 2’s are wonderful, maneuverable kayaks, but they do have their disadvantages.

One of its shortcomings is its lack of storage space. It’s not a very large kayak and most of its deck space is dedicated to passenger use. It has the ability to accommodate a few 6-inch hatches but other than that, it’s not going to provide much storage space.

For a more versatile all around two-person kayak, the Malibu 2XL is a more comfortable option. With an extra foot to its length, it allows two passengers to spread out more and has provisions for installing larger hatches.

The oval is large enough to fit items like multi-piece rods, dry bags, and soft coolers. Rod holders are one of the most important considerations when rigging your tandem kayak.

The kayak might dictate where the rod holders are, and if you want to use it as both a single and a two-person kayak, you might wish to consider removable rod holders. It might take several to cover all contingencies, so plan carefully for one of the best kayak fishing trips ever.

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