Fishing From Your Stand Up Paddle Board – the Basics
I have to confess – I’m HOOKED!! While I’ve been paddling for 6 years now, it was not until recently that I decided to bring a fishing rod along while I paddle. Maybe you are in the same boat – paddle boarding in enjoyable, but you are ready to do more than just look at the wildlife. OR – maybe you are a long time fisherman/woman and you are wondering what it takes to get started with SUP fishing. That’s what I wrote this blog post for!
What you will need to get started in stand up paddle fishing:
- Stable board – We usually recommend something in the neighborhood of 10’6 – 12′ in length, 30″ – 34″ wide, and 5″ – 8″ thick. The flatter the rocker profile, the better, too, since contact with the water equals stability. Smaller paddlers with less gear may be ok with the smaller (10’6) size, but having some extra room to move on the 12′ size boards is nice. Plus, the longer boards track better and can cover more territory in less time if you are really trying to scope things out.
- Lightweight Paddle – make sure that you are paddling with a paddle that won’t wear you out. Since you may be paddling with a lower cadence while cruising slowly on the hunt for fish, a larger blade size is ok, and maybe even preferred for moving a little more water sine you won’t be engaged in full race-stroke mode while SUP fishing. But – make sure your paddle is lightweight and your arms and shoulders will thank you at the end of the session.
- Fishing gear – This can be as much or as little as you think you will actually use during the session. Some paddlers bring multiple rods. If you opt to do this, you may want to get a rod holder accessory. If you have a BOTE board, the tackle rac, or bucket rac will keep your rods stowed. If you have just one rod/reel, you may be ok to just put the rod in between your feet on the deck pad. Make sure to stow your tackle either under a bungee, or attached to the tackle rac with a tackle web or other bag so your tackle doesn’t go swimming!
- Large Center Fin – You will be walking around on the board, and hopefully hooking into some fish that you will have to fight! So, for added stability while SUP fishing, you will want to consider using a large center fin with a fair amount of surface area. Surface area = stability. Consider one that is not too deep in case you find yourself in some shallow water situations.
- Small Cooler – Your cooler is a dual purposed piece of equipment. While yes, it can keep your lunch and drinks cold, it is also a place where you can have a seat, or stand on to have an even better vantage point to scope out where the fish are hiding. BONUS – the KULA cooler has a pad already attached to the lid for a cushioned place for your behind, and also has notches in the cooler to lay your paddle or rod down when you are taking a break.
- Anchor – If you are in a location with either wind or current, you may want to invest in an anchor so that you can stay put while fishing. A Wang anchor works if you have a BOTE Rackham or 12’HD Bugslinger with the “through holes” to place the anchor through the board. Otherwise, you may consider a small bell anchor that can be thrown off the board with some rope.