Perception Pescador Pilot 12 Review

The Perception Pescador Pilot 12 is a pedal kayak designed for anglers, but it’s also a fantastic kayak for simple recreation, exploration, and exercise. The hands-free pedal drive works in forward and reverse, the sit-on-top captain’s chair is roomy and comfortable for long days on the water, and it’s so stable that anglers can even comfortably cast from a standing position. 

The superior safety and stability, along with the sheer fun of this paddle kayak, make it a great choice for anglers, seniors, kids, and anyone who wants a safe and fun way to explore lakes, ponds, and slow-moving rivers.

Overview of the Perception Pescador Pilot 12


  • Type: 1-person sit-on-top pedal kayak
  • Size: 12′ x 33.75”
  • Weight: 85 pounds
  • Weight capacity: 475 pounds
  • Deck height: 16”
  • Materials: Proprietary high-density polyethylene
  • Seat: Removable ergonomic captain’s chair
  • Certifications: Permanent US Coast Guard compliant hull identification number

Construction and build

The Perception Pescador Pilot has a hull made of proprietary high-density polyethylene, using an industry-leading rotational molding process. The one-piece construction resists leaks, with incredible UV, impact, and abrasion resistance. Colors and graphics are long-lasting and wear-proof. 

It’s designed with built-in buoyancy for excellent safety and security, and the Pescador Pilot has a permanent US Coast Guard compliant hull identification number. It’s steady on the water, making it easy to enter and exit, and secure and comfortable when paddling. It has sealed, self-bailing scupper holes to drain away excess water, and bow and stern soft touch carrying handles for easy transport. 

The innovative Pilot Drive propeller system effortlessly drives the boat, leaving your hands free. The Pilot Drive system reverses on a dime, simply by pedaling backwards. The Pilot Drive quickly lifts up and stows inside the hull for zero draft in shallow water, and the low-profile rudder control has 360-degree radius and can be easily operated with one hand. 

Anglers will love the generous storage of the Pescador Pilot. It has front and rear open storage areas for everything you need. The rear storage is secured by bungee cords for flexible security, and the front storage is covered by a removable stretch mesh that keeps your gear in place and can also act as a paddle park. Shallow recesses near the seat serve as a convenient resting spot for small items like pliers, baits, and weights, while the cupholder keeps your drinks secure and close at hand. It also has a convenient attachment point for your paddle.

The Perception Pescador Pilot offers a relaxing, comfortable experience, with an open cockpit design and back-friendly seating that is ergonomically designed to be easy on your legs and reduce fatigue over hours on the water. 

The Captain’s Chair has on-the-fly front to back adjustability and has a frame with suspension design that is supportive and lightweight. Breathable mesh provides excellent air flow and keeps you cool, and the seat can be removed and used as a camp chair when you reach your destination.

The hull has four molded-in rod holders, and the Perception Pescador Pilot is made for fishing accessories; it’s easy to add fish-finder electronics or transducer mounts without any drilling. It has a mounting point and hull access for the optional Power-Pole anchoring system, as well as gear tracks for additional accessories.  

About the brand

Perception kayaks are designed, molded, and hand-assembled in Greenville, South Carolina, and have been for over 40 years. Perception’s founder, William Masters, has been a pioneer and innovator for decades, filing the first ever patent for a technology we would come to call “3D printing”. 

Masters completely revolutionized kayaking in the 1970s. His use of engineered plastics instead of fiberglass, and innovations with rotational molding in kayak design, made a new generation of kayaks that were incredibly stable, safe, and affordable. Masters holds 29 patents in kayak design and materials, and Perception was the largest kayak manufacturer in the US until the late 90s.

Today, Perception kayaks are still proudly made in the USA, and are still famous for their comfort, durability, and safety. They continue to pursue new ways to design kayaks that are more versatile and innovative, without sacrificing the quality and reliability that the world expects from a Perception Kayak.


  • Safe, stable, durable fishing kayak
  • Pedal drive is comfortable, efficient, and lifts into the hull for zero draft
  • Comfortable ergonomic seat and cockpit to reduce fatigue
  • Breathable mesh seat is cool and lightweight, and removable for camp seating
  • Generous storage options for items large and small
  • Built-in rod holders
  • Accessory-ready with no drilling required
  • US Coast Guard compliant hull identification number
  • Made in the USA


  • No dry box storage or seat pocket for small items
  • This is a big, heavy kayak that can be difficult to move and maneuver in and out of the water


Perception Pescador Pilot 12 | Sit on Top Fishing Kayak with Pedal Drive |...
  • Pedal-driven performance at an unbelievable price - Made in USA
  • Lawn chair style mesh seat with 2-level seat adjustment and breathable mesh for ultimate all-day comfort and no pain
  • Pilot drive pedal system can be fully recessed into hull for zero draft

The Perception Pescador Pilot is a fantastic choice in pedal-powered fishing kayaks. The safe, rugged, stable design will last for decades, with an efficient drive and 360-degree rudder that lets you reverse on a dime. 

The built-in rod holders, ample storage, and versatile comfortable seat are ready for all your fishing needs right out of the box or use the available track and mounting systems to add all kinds of accessories without drilling. It’s designed for anglers of all skill levels, and any flat water, and has the durability and versatility to grow as your skills do. It’s a great choice in an all-around fishing kayak.