Guide To Paddle Board Fishing
You may already have some experience with fishing from a boat or even from a kayak but what about fishing with a paddle board? Although it may sound difficult and might take a bit of getting used to, paddle board fishing can be a fun and successful experience.
Whether you’re experienced on a paddle board or not, we’ve put together this guide to help you learn a little more about paddle board fishing and give you a bit of advice before you head out on the water.
Why Go Fishing On A Paddle Board?
Depending on where you live, you may see people out on their paddle boards at all times of the year, especially if you’re in a warm climate. But you can also wear a wetsuit or drysuit and paddle board in colder conditions.
Where Can You Fish?
If you’re able to get out on your paddle board you should then be able to fish, as long as it’s legal to do so. Remember you will also need to check with the wildlife department of the state you plan to fish in, to see if you require a fishing licence, because in most cases you will.
If you plan to fish in a range of different areas, a paddle board can be a fantastic vessel, as they tend to be easier to transport than other vessels and are designed to be carried by hand to the shore.
No matter where you live you’ll probably have seen people on their paddle boards on your local lake, slow moving river or the coast. However, shallow rocky areas can be a bad idea, as this can damage your board, as well as be dangerous if you were to fall in.
Similarly, windy conditions may not be ideal, as it can affect your ability to control the board, with your body becoming like a sail. Choppy conditions are another thing you might want to avoid, as this can affect your balance and you may have to lay or kneel down on the board.
What Are The Benefits?
One of the main benefits of paddle board fishing is that you should have better visibility and a clearer view under the water because you’re standing as opposed to sitting. This might mean that you’re able to catch more fish since you should be able to see them if the water beneath you is clear.
In addition to this, because you’re standing while you’re fishing and paddling you will be getting a more natural workout for your body, which could help to alleviate some of the issues associated with sitting down. However, you can always sit down if you choose.
What Features Should I Look Out For?
Length And Hull Shape
There are various types of SUPs, each designed for a different purpose or activity, with a medium sized board with a planing hull being a good choice for fishing and versatility. These SUPs are flatter and wider than the longer touring SUPs that have a more streamlined displacement hull.
It’s a good thing to remember that the wider the board, the more stable it should be and the narrower it is, the more hydrodynamic it should be, so a wider board could be a good choice for beginners, at least until you find your feet on the water.
You may also have seen that there are specifically designed paddle boards for fishing, that have more of a pontoon style hull, which can offer more stability.
You may be wondering how you store your fishing gear on a paddle board, as having ample storage is pretty vital when you’re on the water fishing.
While some paddle boards are designed for fishing, with mounts for rod holders and other essentials, you might want to look for a board that has tie-down points or bungee rigging so you can easily secure your gear on top.
Some SUPs might also have built-in points that will allow you to attach accessories, such as a cooler, seat or fishing accessories.
Another important thing you will need to consider is the storage of your paddle while you’re fishing. Look for accessories that will allow you to secure it to the board so it won’t float away.
Like surfboards, many SUPs will have attached fins under the hull to allow for better tracking and maneuverability in the water. The way the fins are attached to the board will depend on where the SUP is intended to be paddled.
For example, a small single fin may be provide better tracking on flat water, whereas if you’re on the ocean it might be better to have a 3 fin configuration for better control in the waves.
Inflatable vs. Hard SUP
An inflatable SUP can be a great choice if your storage space at home is limited, as you can simply deflate it and store it in a compact bag in your closet. This also means you can travel more easily with it and inflate it when you get to the water, without the need for roof racks or other accessories.
An inflatable paddle board might also be able to handle rocks and bumps more than a standard hard SUP.
You might prefer a solid paddle board if you plan to use it frequently and want a more customized board. A hard SUP may also feel more stable in the water because of its solid nature, so this might be something to think about if you plan on fishing.
However, with a hard SUP you will need to consider how you will transport it, as well as where you will store it. You may need to consider additional accessories for your vehicle in order to transport the board safely.
Paddleboard vs. Kayak For Fishing
Of course, when it comes to reeling in your favorite catch, there are advantages and disadvantages of using a paddle board as opposed to a kayak.
We thought we'd round off with a comparison list of pros and cons against buying a kayak or a paddle board for your fishing.
- Lightweight and easy to transport. Can be easily carried by hand.
- Standing up gives you a much better view of the water so you can have better visibility for catching fish. Standing up also gives you a better position for casting your line compared to sitting in a kayak.
- Many SUPs tend to float on top of the water rather than cut through it, which also makes them quieter and ideal for sneaking up on fish.
- SUPs have excellent stability that allows you to stand up and move around, which means you’re getting an all-over workout which you wouldn’t necessarily get in a kayak.
- Less storage options for longer trips, with little protection from the elements, and would require dry bags in order to keep your belongings dry and safe. There may also be less options for attaching accessories and gadgets compared to some fishing kayaks.
- You may be more likely to fall in and get wet, due to you requiring a certain element of balance in order to paddle.
What about kayaks though? Are they any better or worse for fishing?
- You can sit down and enjoy a relaxing day on the water while you fish, without worrying too much about balance or falling in the water.
- You have a little more protection from the elements, particularly in a sit-inside, and may have more storage space for your gear.
- Your center of gravity is lower in a kayak and you should be more aerodynamic in windy conditions.
- Your visibility may be limited because you’re lower on the water than if you were standing on a SUP. There are kayaks designed for standing on, however.
- Heavier and more difficult to transport. You may not be able to pick it up quite as easily as you might be able to with a SUP, especially if the yak is rigged for your fishing trip.
Of course, if fishing is your passion, and if you have deep enough pockets (along with the storage space), you could consider owning a paddle board AND a kayak! Because you can never have too many toys....right? Hehe...
Now that you know a little more about paddle board fishing you’ll hopefully be able to choose your ideal SUP and get started. Fishing from a SUP, whether it’s inflatable or not, can be a great way of getting on the water for a more active trip.
So why not share this guide with your fellow anglers and paddleboarders to encourage more people to get out there and enjoy this fun watersport. And if you have any questions or comments, please let us know.