May 23, 2023

Fishing Jet Skis: Ultimate Guide to Choosing and Enjoying Your Water Adventure

Fishing enthusiasts have found an innovative and thrilling way to combine their passion for fishing and the excitement of water sports: fishing jet skis. Jet skis provide a unique experience for fishing, offering a more personal interaction with the water and allowing anglers to access locations that may be difficult or impossible for larger boats. Fishing jet skis have been growing in popularity, with several models available from well-known manufacturers like Sea-Doo, Yamaha, and Kawasaki. This ultimate guide will introduce the key features of these innovative watercraft and help you select the best fishing jet ski for your needs.

One of the greatest benefits of using jet skis for fishing is their maneuverability. Thanks to their smaller size and agile handling, jet skis can easily navigate tight spaces, shallow waters, and rapidly changing fishing conditions. This makes them particularly suited for jig, drift, or even troll fishing. Additionally, jet skis are more fuel-efficient than larger boats, allowing for extended fishing trips without breaking the bank.

When selecting a fishing jet ski, some crucial factors to consider include performance, fuel efficiency, and available accessories. Models like the Sea-Doo Fish Pro, Yamaha FX Cruiser, and Kawasaki Ultra 310 LX come highly recommended, offering the perfect balance between power and fuel economy. Moreover, these jet skis can be easily customized with accessories such as coolers, rod holders, and trolling motors, ensuring a comfortable and convenient fishing experience on the water.

What Is a Fishing Jet Ski

Personal Watercraft (PWC)

A fishing jet ski is a type of personal watercraft (PWC) specifically designed and equipped for fishing purposes. PWCs are small, motorized watercraft commonly used for recreational purposes, with jet skis being among the most popular forms of PWCs. These vehicles are typically built to accommodate one to three passengers and are powered by an inboard engine driving a jet pump.

When compared to traditional boats, jet skis offer several advantages for anglers. They are more fuel-efficient, easier to maneuver, and require less maintenance. Additionally, their compact size allows anglers to access shallow waters and hard-to-reach fishing spots with ease.

Fishing Jet Ski Vs Regular Jet Ski

There are some key differences between a fishing jet ski and a regular jet ski:

  1. Modified Design: Fishing jet skis often have a modified design to accommodate fishing gear and additional storage space for tackle, coolers, and other equipment. Some models even come with built-in fishing accessories, such as rod holders, GPS fish finders, and live wells.
  2. Stability: Fishing jet skis are designed to provide better stability and buoyancy when compared to regular jet skis, making them more suitable for casting, trolling, and reeling in fish.
  3. Engine Performance: Fishing jet skis typically have engines with more horsepower and torque, as well as better fuel efficiency, which allows anglers to cover longer distances and spend more time on the water.
  4. Accessory Compatibility: Many fishing jet skis are compatible with a wide range of accessories specific to fishing, such as additional rod holders, tackle storage solutions, and trolling motor mounts.

Some popular fishing jet ski models include the Sea-Doo Fish Pro, Yamaha FX Cruiser, and Kawasaki Ultra LX. Each of these models offers unique features, capabilities, and add-ons to cater to the specific needs of individual anglers.

Top Brands and Models

When it comes to fishing jet skis, three major brands stand out for their innovation and reliability - Yamaha, Kawasaki, and Sea-Doo. In this section, we'll explore some of the top models from each brand, perfect for your fishing adventures on the water.


Yamaha's lineup of jet skis for fishing enthusiasts starts with the Yamaha FX Cruiser HO. This model is well-regarded for its combination of power and comfort. It comes equipped with a comfortable cruiser seat and a reboarding step, making it a popular choice for weekend fishing trips.

Another notable model in Yamaha's lineup is the Yamaha FX Cruiser SVHO. This high-performance jet ski boasts a supercharged engine, offering impressive speed and stability for an exhilarating fishing experience. Both the FX Cruiser HO and FX Cruiser SVHO have spacious storage compartments, allowing you to carry all your fishing gear with ease.


Kawasaki's fishing jet ski lineup includes the Kawasaki Ultra 310 LX and Ultra 310 LX-S. These models are known for their incredible power, with top-of-the-line engines that deliver speeds that rival most boats. The Ultra 310 LX and Ultra 310 LX-S both provide substantial storage capacity, with the Ultra 310 LX boasting 56 gallons of storage space - the largest in the segment.


Sea-Doo offers a dedicated lineup of fishing jet skis, including the Sea-Doo Fish Pro Scout, Sea-Doo Fish Pro Sport, and Sea-Doo Fish Pro Trophy. These models have been specifically designed with fishing in mind and come equipped with features such as integrated fishfinders, multiple rod holders, and extensive storage compartments. In addition, the Sea-Doo Fish Pro models offer excellent stability and maneuverability, making them ideal for fishing in both calm and choppy waters.

The 2023 lineups for Yamaha WaveRunner, Kawasaki Jet Ski, and Sea-Doo promise to deliver even more advanced technological features and improved performance capabilities. With an increasing focus on fuel efficiency, storage capacity, and enhanced fishing capabilities, the 2023 models are expected to impress even the most seasoned fishing enthusiasts.

Essential Features

When choosing a fishing jet ski, there are some essential features to consider. In this section, we will discuss and assess these crucial aspects that make a quality fishing jet ski.

Engine and Horsepower

A fishing jet ski requires a powerful engine, preferable with at least 150-180 HP. It is advisable to go for non-supercharged engines as they provide both reliability and performance. A more potent engine allows for faster travel to fishing spots, increasing the actual time spent fishing.

Hull Design and Dimensions

The hull design and dimensions are critical factors in maintaining stability and offering a smooth ride in various water conditions. A well-designed hull makes it safer and easier to navigate through shallow water and helps minimize the impact of rough water. Additionally, a larger hull offers more deck space and storage for fishing gear and accessories.

Fuel Tank and Consumption

Fuel efficiency is crucial for a fishing jet ski, as it allows for extended trips without the need for frequent refueling stops. Opt for jet skis with larger fuel tanks and lower fuel consumption, ensuring that you can reach your desired fishing spots without any hassle.

GPS and Navigation

A GPS is a must-have feature on a fishing jet ski, as it helps you to easily locate your fishing spots, monitor your speed, and track your route. Some advanced GPS systems offer additional features, such as fish finders and depth sounders, which can significantly improve your fishing experience.

Rod Holders and Storage

Adequate storage space and rod holders are essential in keeping your fishing gear organized and accessible. Different jet ski models offer varying amounts of storage capacity. For instance, the Kawasaki's Ultra LX has 56 gallons of storage, while the Sea-Doo Fish Pro has 40 gallons, and the Yamaha FX has 33 gallons. Ensure that the jet ski you choose has enough storage for your fishing gear and rod holders to accommodate a hands-free fishing experience.

In conclusion, when selecting a fishing jet ski, make sure to thoroughly evaluate the engine, horsepower, hull design, dimensions, fuel tank size, fuel consumption, GPS capabilities, and storage features. These factors will significantly determine the overall quality and suitability of the jet ski for your fishing endeavors.

Safety and Comfort

Life Vests and Jackets

When embarking on a jet ski fishing adventure, it's crucial to prioritize safety by wearing a life vest. Life vests or jackets provide buoyancy, ensuring the wearer remains afloat if they fall into the water. They come in various sizes and designs, catering to different body shapes and personal preferences. Keep the following features in mind while selecting the appropriate life vest:

  • Proper fit: Ensure the life vest fits snugly, allowing mobility without compromising safety.
  • Visibility: Opt for bright colors to increase visibility in the water.
  • Pockets: To secure personal belongings, choose a life vest with sufficient pockets.

Reboarding Steps and Ladders

Reboarding a jet ski after fishing can sometimes be challenging, but reboarding steps and ladders make the task easier. Many jet skis come with built-in reboarding steps, such as the 2022 Yamaha EX Deluxe, making it a popular choice among anglers. Installing additional ladders to assist with reboarding can greatly enhance the overall experience.

Cruise Control

Cruise control contributes to a more comfortable fishing experience by maintaining a consistent speed during long trips. While this feature is typically found on premium jet ski models, such as the Yamaha FX Cruiser HO, it can often be added to other models as an aftermarket upgrade. Cruise control is particularly useful when fishing in choppy waters or at idle speeds, as it offers better fuel efficiency.

Anchor Systems

A reliable anchor system is essential when jet ski fishing to maintain stability and positioning. There are various anchoring options to choose from, including sand, grapnel, and mushroom anchors. To ensure the best experience, consider factors such as water depth, bottom conditions, and weight of your jet ski when selecting an anchor.

To summarize, prioritizing safety and comfort during jet ski fishing is crucial for a successful trip. Wear a properly fitted life vest, make use of reboarding steps and ladders, and consider upgrading to cruise control for a smoother ride. Finally, always use a reliable anchor system to maintain stability and positioning throughout your adventure.

Accessories and Gear

Fishing Rod Holders and Racks

Fishing rod holders and racks are essential for a comfortable and organized jet ski fishing experience. They help you keep your hands free while operating the jet ski, and provide easy access to your fishing rods. Rod holders can be mounted on the jet ski's gunwales or storage compartments. Some popular options include clamp-on holders, tube-style holders, and rail mount holders. Make sure to find a holder that fits your jet ski model and is made of corrosion-resistant materials.

Coolers and Dry Bags

When fishing on a jet ski, it's important to have a cooler to keep your catch fresh and drinks chilled. There are specialized jet ski coolers available that come with mounting straps to secure them onto the jet ski. Dry bags, on the other hand, help keep your belongings safe from water damage, featuring roll-top closures and waterproof materials. They come in various sizes and can be used for storing clothing, electronics, and other sensitive items.

Trolling Motors

Trolling motors can enhance your jet ski fishing experience by allowing for slower speeds and precision control while fishing. These electric motors can be mounted on the jet ski's stern, enabling you to move quietly through the water when approaching fish. Trolling motors often come with variable speed settings, making it easier to adjust speeds for different fishing situations.

Clothes and Protectors

When fishing on a jet ski, it's crucial to wear weather-appropriate clothing that provides protection from the sun, wind, and water. Choose UV-resistant and quick-drying garments, including rash guards, board shorts, and sun hats. Wearing protective shoes can also help ensure a secure grip on the jet ski and protect your feet from sharp objects while wading.

Safety Accessories

Safety should always be a priority when enjoying jet ski fishing. Some essential safety accessories include life jackets, whistles, and navigation lights for low-visibility situations. Additionally, a waterproof knife can be useful in emergencies, such as cutting tangled lines or debris.

Storage Accessories

To make the most of your jet ski fishing trip, you'll need additional storage space for your gear. Some storage solutions include saddlebags, which attach to the sides of the jet ski, and rear cargo nets for securing extra items. Make sure you choose storage accessories that are compatible with your jet ski model and can safely hold your gear.

Fun Accessories

For an even more enjoyable jet ski fishing adventure, consider integrating fun accessories like waterproof speakers, cup holders, or even a floating table to rest your snacks and beverages. These additions can make your outing more relaxing and entertaining during breaks between fishing action.

Watersport Accessories

While out on the water, you might want to take advantage of watersport activities, such as wakeboarding or tubing. Watersport accessories like tow ropes, wakeboard racks, or towable tubes can be useful additions to your jet ski fishing setup, providing extra fun and excitement for you and your companions.

PWC Fishing Gear

To fully equip your jet ski for fishing, consider investing in specialized PWC fishing gear. This can include items like a built-in fish finder and GPS system, optimized fishing seats, or even dedicated PWC fishing platforms designed to provide stability and storage.

Buying and Ownership

New Vs Used PWCs

When considering a fishing jet ski, one of the first decisions you'll need to make is whether to purchase a new or used PWC. New PWCs come with the latest technology, features, and warranty coverage, but used PWCs can offer significant savings. It's essential to weigh the pros and cons of each option before making a decision.

Price and Affordability

The cost of fishing jet skis varies depending on the brand, model, and features. Some affordable options include the 2022 Yamaha EX Deluxe, while more advanced models, like the 2023 Sea-Doo Explorer Pro, come with a higher price tag but offer greater stability and cargo capacity. Determine your budget and desired features to help narrow down your options.

Best Time to Buy

The best time to buy a PWC is during the off-season when dealerships may offer discounts and promotions to clear out their inventory. This typically occurs in the fall and winter months, so plan your purchase accordingly to secure the best deal.

Buying Mistakes to Avoid

  • Not researching different brands and models: Compare the features and specs of various PWCs for fishing before making a decision.
  • Skipping a test drive: Test rides can help you determine if the PWC meets your comfort and performance expectations.
  • Neglecting maintenance history (for used PWCs): Obtain maintenance records for a used jet ski to ensure proper care and avoid potential issues.

Owning Costs

In addition to the initial purchase price, consider the following owning costs:

  • Fuel efficiency: Look for a fishing jet ski with good fuel efficiency for longer fishing trips.
  • Maintenance and repairs: Regular upkeep is essential for prolonging the life of your PWC.
  • Insurance: PWC insurance is necessary and can vary depending on factors like coverage level, location, and PWC model.
  • Storage: You'll need a place to store your jet ski during the off-season.


A warranty is an essential aspect of your PWC purchase. New PWCs typically come with a manufacturer's warranty, which may cover various components and last for a specified period. On the other hand, used PWCs may have limited or no warranty remaining. Research the warranty coverage and duration for the jet ski you're considering to avoid potential surprises down the road.

Maintenance and Storage

Fuel Efficiency and Gas Tank Sizes

Jet ski fishing can be an economical way to enjoy angling, particularly if you follow some basic tips to maximize fuel efficiency. One important factor is the gas tank size of your personal watercraft (PWC). Most jet skis have a fuel capacity between 12 and 20 gallons, but exact sizes vary across different models. Familiarize yourself with your PWC's gas tank size, and plan your fishing trips accordingly to maximize fuel efficiency.

It’s essential to keep your PWC well-maintained to achieve optimal fuel efficiency. Regular oil changes, spark plug replacements, and other routine maintenance tasks can help keep your jet ski running at peak performance. You should also check for any water in the bilge before heading out, as this can cause performance issues and affect fuel efficiency1.

Cleaning and Care

Proper cleaning and care are crucial components of jet ski maintenance. To keep your jet ski running efficiently and ensure its longevity, consider the following steps:

  1. Flush the engine with fresh water after each use, especially if you've been fishing in saltwater2.
  2. Clean the hull and body regularly to remove any dirt, algae, or salt deposits.
  3. Lubricate moving parts on a consistent basis to prevent corrosion and wear.
  4. Inspect your jet ski for any signs of damage, such as cracks or loose fittings, and address these issues immediately.

Storage Solutions

When it comes to storage, there are several options to consider. Many jet ski owners opt for dry storage solutions like Jet Dock3 systems, which help protect the PWC from the elements and make maintenance tasks more manageable. Alternatively, you can consider renting a storage space at a marina, or even store your jet ski on your boat, depending on its size and your specific needs.

When storing your jet ski, it's important to:

  • Fill the fuel tank and add a fuel stabilizer to prevent fuel degradation4.
  • Remove, charge, and store the battery in a safe, dry location.
  • Place a cover over the jet ski to protect it from dirt, dust, and UV rays.

By following these maintenance and storage tips, you can ensure your jet ski remains in prime condition and is ready for your next fishing adventure.



Choosing Your Fishing Location

When it comes to jet ski fishing, selecting the right location is crucial for a successful and enjoyable experience. In this section, we will explore two popular types of fishing environments: rivers and lakes, and oceans and coastal areas.

Rivers and Lakes

Fishing in rivers and lakes can offer a variety of different opportunities for jet ski anglers. These environments tend to be more accessible and less demanding in terms of navigation and weather conditions. Some advantages of fishing in rivers and lakes include:

  • Calmer waters, which are generally easier to navigate and fish in than ocean waters.
  • A diverse range of freshwater fish species to target, such as bass, trout, and catfish.
  • Typically, less boat traffic compared to coastal areas, allowing for a more peaceful fishing experience.

When fishing in rivers and lakes, it's important to consider factors such as water depth, the presence of structures (like rocks, trees, and weeds), and current flow, all of which can impact the behavior of fish and the overall fishing conditions.

Oceans and Coastal Areas

For those looking for a more challenging and adventurous jet ski fishing experience, oceans and coastal areas offer exciting opportunities. These environments provide access to a wide variety of saltwater fish species, including tuna, marlin, and kingfish. Some advantages of fishing in oceans and coastal areas include:

  • Access to larger and more diverse fish species, often resulting in bigger catches.
  • The chance to explore various types of fishing techniques, such as trolling, jigging, and bottom fishing.
  • Increased opportunities for sightseeing, as coastal areas often feature stunning scenery and marine life.

When targeting oceans and coastal areas, it's crucial to consider factors such as weather conditions, tide patterns, and water depth, all of which can significantly impact the success and safety of your jet ski fishing adventure.

Choosing the right fishing location ultimately depends on factors like personal preferences, experience levels, and access to the necessary equipment. By considering the benefits and challenges of both rivers and lakes and oceans and coastal areas, jet ski anglers can make informed decisions about where to pursue their next fishing adventure.

PWC Fishing Adventures and Experiences

Jet Ski Fishing Tournaments

Jet ski fishing has not only become an exciting pastime for fishing enthusiasts, but it has also spawned competitive events in the form of jet ski fishing tournaments. These events bring together anglers of all experience levels to participate in a unique style of fishing that combines speed, agility, and adventure. Competitors race on their jet skis to catch different fish species, adhering to specific rules and regulations. Participation in these tournaments is an excellent way to test one's skills, network with other anglers, and even win prizes.

Fishing Adventure Stories

Fishing from a personal watercraft (PWC) offers a different and adrenaline-filled experience compared to fishing from a typical boat. The thrill of riding a jet ski while simultaneously trying to reel in a catch undoubtedly creates memorable stories. Anglers have shared anecdotes of chasing after fast-moving fish, navigating through various water conditions, and exploring new fishing spots using their PWCs. These stories often inspire other fishermen to embark on their jet ski fishing adventures, proving how contagious the excitement of this activity can be.

News and Reviews

As the popularity of jet ski fishing continues to grow, so does the demand for news, updates, and product reviews related to this niche. New PWC models, designed explicitly for fishing, are frequently hitting the market, sparking interest and curiosity. Websites and forums dedicated to PWC fishing offer valuable insights on the latest equipment, fishing techniques, and tips tailored for those using jet skis. Furthermore, product reviews have become a vital resource for anglers, allowing them to make informed decisions when choosing PWCs, fishing gear, and related accessories before embarking on their fishing adventures.

By participating in jet ski fishing tournaments, sharing captivating stories, and staying up-to-date with current news and reviews, anglers worldwide continue to indulge in the thrilling world of PWC fishing adventures and experiences.


Fishing jet skis have become a popular choice for anglers due to their versatility, affordability, and ease of use. When choosing the best fishing jet ski, key factors to consider include performance, fuel efficiency, and available accessories.

The Sea-Doo Fish Pro series, Yamaha FX Cruiser models, and Kawasaki Ultra 310 LX are some of the top fishing jet skis in the market. These models offer powerful engines, impressive stability, and ample space for fishing gear.

To enhance the fishing experience, consider investing in specialized accessories such as rod holders, cooler racks, fish finders, and other necessary equipment for a successful day on the water. Additionally, it's crucial to prioritize safety by wearing appropriate life vests and always following water safety guidelines.

In conclusion, fishing jet skis provide a unique and thrilling way to fish while exploring the water. With various models and accessories available, anglers can customize their jet ski to suit their needs and preferences. By focusing on performance, fuel efficiency, and comfort, you can select the optimal fishing jet ski for your outdoor adventures.

Charlie Hardcastle
Charlie is Editor-in-Chief of Sea Magazine
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