Paddle Board Fishing | Everything You Need to Know

May 12, 2022

 

Courtesy to Drew Farwell

Fisher inflatable paddle boards are all the rage right now. And for good reason! They are cheaper compared to a typical board and make a great way to access fishing spots that are hard to reach.

With the right equipment and knowledge, you will explore a new way of fishing that was previously impossible with boats.

In this article, I will share with you SUP fishing advantages in detail, help you identify your needs and constraints, how to choose your fishing SUP, accessories to get, and tips like how to stay safe on the water.

PADDLE BOARD FLY FISHING BENEFITS

As I said in the intro, paddle board fishing has many advantages including:

CHEAPER INVESTMENT

The high cost to get into fishing is what stops a large number of people from the practice. When you have to invest thousands of dollars to get a fishing kayak or a basic fishing boat, quality fishing SUPs start at just $1000.

CAN ACCESS HARD-TO-REACH FISHING SPOTS

The small size and maneuverability of paddle boards are what make them able to access more places like wooded areas or shallow waters.

EASY TO TRANSPORT AND STORE

Unlike fishing boats or kayaks, inflatable paddle boards, like the Chasing Blue ones, are way easier to store and transport. Being able to fit into a backpack once deflated makes them easy to store in a closet or transport in even a small car.

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LET YOU CATCH MORE FISH

As we all know, scaring away fish is the last thing a fisherman wants.

When fishing boats make noise and create waves that scare fish, fishing SUPs glide quietly above the water and barely create waves. This way, it is easier to sneak up on fish to catch them.

Paddle boards give you also a better view of your surroundings when you are standing, are less obstructive because they occupy less water space, and you let move around and rotate more freely.

MEDITATIVE WORKOUT

As opposed to boats with loud noises, paddle boards give you a more relaxing experience of fishing while getting the benefits of a full-body workout. When you are moving on a SUP board, you are engaging many muscles in your body.

MORE FUN FOR YOUR BUCK

KAL VISUALS sup fishing

 

Curtesy to Kal Visuals

Compared to a fishing boat, a fishing SUP gives your more fun possibilities. On a SUP board, you can do many things like practicing fitness or catch small waves with it.

LET’S IDENTIFY YOUR NEEDS AND CONSTRAINTS?

  • Where you will be fishing most of the time? Calm waters or choppier ocean?
  • Will you need a motor to get places?
  • Will you use your fishing SUP for other activities or it will be used solely for fishing?
  • Are you going to travel with it deflated?
  • What is your budget?



HOW TO CHOOSE YOUR FISHING SUP

sup fishing JLfulks

 

Courtesy to JLFulks

As a general rule, the best fishing paddle board is one that is large, wide, has a high weight capacity in order to feel stable, and has plenty of room to store your gear and your catch. These are the factors that you should consider when you are choosing your fishing SUP:

INFLATABLE OR SOLID

Paddle boards can be inflatable or solid and both can suit fishing. Inflatable paddle boards become popular year after year because they are more affordable, easy to store, and easy to transport.

The other advantage of inflatable paddle boards is their lighter weight which makes them remain easy to maneuver through the water under heavy loads. On the other hand, solid paddle boards perform better on the water. However, with the latest technologies, we started to see inflatables that can offer comparable performances – or can at least come close.

For fishing specifically, solid paddle boards limit your ability to access fishing spots in shallow water because they can be easily dented, scratched, or dinged if you hit a rock. Hit a rock with an inflatable SUP, you will just bounce off.

STABILITY

Since fishing needs a lot of concentration, being able to feel stable on your paddle board becomes mandatory. As a general rule, the longer, wider, thicker, and heavier the board is, the more stable you will feel on it. For width, it should be wide across the nose, and tail and not just on the deck.

Features that make a SUP board stable on the water are what limit its maneuverability, but since fishing does not require making a lot of sharp and sudden turns, this becomes less of a problem.

To speak of measurement, the best fishing paddle boards range from 30” to 39” in terms of width and 10’ to 12’ for length. The heavier or taller you are, the more width and length you will need to feel stable.

MAXIMUM WEIGHT FOR PADDLE BOARDING

How much weight do paddle boards hold? While most paddle boards can support up to 250 pounds, larger boards may be able to accommodate more weight.

When choosing a paddle board, it is important to consider not only the weight of the rider but also any gear that will be carried on board.

For instance, a fishing paddle board may need to accommodate additional weight in the form of tackle and bait.

In general, it is best to err on the side of caution and choose a paddle board that has a higher weight capacity than you think you will need. This

will help to ensure that your board can safely accommodate all riders and gear.

FISHING MOUNTS

fishing iSUP board infinite by Outdoor Master

INFINITE - FISHING iSUP BOARD

$599

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While D-rings and action mounts provide a great way to secure your fishing gear, you’ll be even better off with Scotty mounts.

Scotty mounts are what make your fishing gear snap into a fishing paddle board right out of the box. Yes, they aren’t absolutely necessary, but they make a good and easy way to attach a lot of gear needed in fishing.

Just for your information, our inflatable paddle board INFINITE - FISHING iSUP BOARD has up to 22 D-rings. This way, you can attach a lot of your fishing gear and customize your board as much as you want.

HULL TYPE

Paddle boards are available with different hull types. Displacement and planing are the two most common ones.

isup fishing board hull types
  • Displacement hulls that resemble a V-shape are designed to cut through the water for added speed.
  • Planing hulls are flatter, wider, and more stable on the water. This is what makes them more suitable for anglers.

DECK PAD

The best deck pad is one that is comfortable to stand on for hours and offers great grip. An EVA foam deck pad is what I recommend, especially if it features stamps or diamond grooves.

WARRANTY/GUARANTEE

Almost every fishing paddle board comes with a warranty and a money-back guarantee.

I highly recommend you to check the policy terms for details like what is considered normal wear and tear, if you ask for a refund, will it be in the form of cash or store credit and things like that.

Another thing that you should know is that warranty/guarantee can vary between paddle boards of the same brand.

GEAR AND ACCESSORIES

PADDLE

There are multiple types of paddles that you can get with your paddle board. They can use plastic, carbon, aluminum, fiberglass, etc. The lighter it is the more expensive it becomes; and the heavier it is the more fatigue it causes to your arms.

The right paddle length for fishing is 4 to 7 inches taller than you.

Now let us see the characteristics of each material:

 Aluminum: This material is what entry-level starter paddle boards often use and is known to be heavy and cheap.

 Fiberglass: This material is used in mid-level paddle boards. Compared to aluminum, it is significantly lighter and more comfortable.

 Carbon: These paddles are extremely lightweight and rarely found in the kit because they are expensive.

Another thing to know about paddles is that the ones that are constructed from 3 to 4 pieces are easy to store and can be used by people of different sizes but they tend to flex a little bit, which is not desired.

On the other hand, single-piece paddles offer better performance but are bulkier.

COOLER

A SUP cooler is essential for times when you get thirsty or hungry, it can keep your water cool to refresh yourself once in a while.

While looking for your SUP cooler, make sure it is waterproof and it is a hard shell to double as a seat and save space.

The paddle board cooler tie-down straps are designed to allow you to use your cooler while out on the water without worrying that it will fall overboard.

PADDLE BOARD FISHING CHAIR

For those who enjoy both fishing and paddle boarding, a paddle board fishing chair can be the perfect accessory.

These chairs attach to the paddle board, providing a comfortable and stable seat for fishing. Paddle board fishing chairs are usually outfitted with rod holders, coolers, and other features that make them ideal for a day of fishing on the water.

In addition, many paddle board fishing chairs are also equipped with a sail, which can help to increase your speed and efficiency when paddling.

Whether you’re a seasoned fisherman or just getting started, a paddle board fishing chair can help you make the most of your time on the water.

PADDLE BOARD ROD HOLDER 

One of the challenges of paddle boarding fly fishing is keeping your hands free. That's where a paddle board rod holder comes in.

A paddle board rod holder attaches to your paddle board and provides a secure place to store your fishing rod.

This way, you can have both hands free to paddle and navigate, while still being able to enjoy a day of fishing.

There are many different types of paddle board rod holders on the market, so it's important to choose one that best fits your needs.

Whether you're looking for something simple and lightweight or something more durable and feature-rich, there's sure to be a paddle board rod holder that's perfect for you.

WATERPROOF CASE

Having a waterproof case is essential to store things like keys, money, cell phone, or anything else you want to keep dry.

STABILIZERS

If you are just beginning and you worry about your stability on the water, SUP stabilizers will come in handy.

If you are stable when you paddle alone, do not forget that the weight of your cast and gear can negatively affect the balance you are used to.

DRY BAG

A 10-liter dry bag is a valuable piece of equipment that you will be grateful to have. It let you keep your jacket dry in the front bungee.

PADDLE HOLDER 

Losing your paddle board while you concentrate on other things is a safety fail.

When some well-thought fishing SUPs have a back handle that doubles as a paddle holder, some paddle boards have a dedicated paddle holder option on one of the board sides.

If your SUP board does not come with one, you can opt for a paddle belt to hang your paddle off your waist.

 

Whatever the situation, always have a plan to free your hands without taking the risk of losing your paddle.

 LEASH

Sliding on your wet fishing SUP is easier to happen than you think. This is why you need to use a leash to stay safe and not lose your investment.

A coiled ankle leash is what you need to keep your board connected to you without getting in your way.

 

STRIPPING MAT/BASKET

Stripping mats are what you need near your feet to keep your line from getting tangled up or soaking in the water.

If you are limited on deck space, you can get a wearable stripping basket.

KAYAK CONVERSION KIT

A kayak conversion kit is useful if you want to sit more comfortably or you know you will be paddling through tougher waves.

All you need to look at is if your SUP board has the four central D-rings that the kayak seat attaches to.

CUP HOLDER

 A SUP cup holder is not essential but it can be handy depending on you and how long your fishing trips are.

Usually, SUP cup holders attach to your board using one of the action mounts.

ANCHOR / SAND SPEAR 

Anchors or sand spears are what you need to avoid constantly having to paddle to move back into your preferred position.

While SUP anchors keep you from floating too far, sand spears can lock you in one position.

Your choice between these two should be based on your fishing conditions, how deep is the water you are likely to fish in? Is the ground sandy or rocky? Do you need to sneak up on fish in shallow waters? Are you limited in space or not? Consider all these things before making your choice.

ELECTRIC PUMP

Paddle board electric pumps are the first thing to consider when you want to upgrade your equipment.

If your kit hand pump inflates your board in 10 minutes, an electric one like Outdoor Master’s SHARK II can top it off in just 5 minutes without having to worry about stopping it if it has the auto shut-off feature.

If your car can't reach where you want to inflate your fishing SUP, you can get an electric pump with a built-in battery (Outdoor Master Whale) or one that can get power from a power station.

Some electric pumps can also deflate your board when you need to pack it. Unlike doing it manually, it can easily get the last bit of air without much effort from your end.

 

NET AND BUCKET

A net or a bucket is what you need to put your fish in during your fishing trip. 

PFD

The best personal flotation device is a life jacket with a lot of pockets and loops to hook extra tackle and bait. If you don't need these features, you can opt for a waist belt PFD for its minimal feeling.

LIGHT

A source of light is very useful if you fish very early in the morning or very late in the evening.

Additionally, it makes you also visible to other vessels around you for your own safety.

Compared to flashlights, SUP lights do not require one of your hands because they can adhere to your board.

SUN PROTECTION

Besides appropriate clothing and sunblock, you should get yourself long-sleeved rash guards with UPF50+ to protect yourself against harmful UV rays.

A bucket hat and floatable polarized sunglasses make also good protection against the sun.

PADE BOARD FISHING SETUP

Before you head out, you need to make sure your board is set up properly.

First, attach a fishing rod holder to the front of your board. This will allow you to keep your hands free while you're paddling and casting.

Next, secure a bait bag to the back of the board. This will ensure that your bait stays fresh, and it will also prevent hooks from snagging on your deck pad or gear.

Finally, add a few storage bungees to the sides of the board so that you can bring along some essential supplies. With a little preparation, you'll be ready to enjoy a day of paddle board fishing.

 

KAYAK VS PADDLE BOARD FISHING

Kayaks are typically narrower and easier to maneuver than paddle boards. They also provide more storage space for gear, making them a good choice for longer trips.

However, they can be difficult to transport and require more effort to stand up and fish from.

Paddle boards, on the other hand, are wider and more stable, making them ideal for beginners. They're also easier to transport since you can simply strap them to your car.

However, they don't provide as much storage space as kayaks, so they're not as well suited for extended trips.

Ultimately, the best choice depends on your personal preferences and fishing style.

DO I NEED A PADDLE BOARD WITH AN OUTBOARD MOTOR?

Whether or not a paddle board with an outboard motor is essential for paddle board fly fishing, we'll look at some alternatives if you're not interested in using a motorized paddle board.

So, what is a paddle board with an outboard motor?

Basically, it's a paddle board that has a small motor attached to the back. This can be used to help you move around on the water, and make fishing easier.

However, it's important to note that not all SUP fly fishing motors are created equal. Some are better than others, and some are more expensive.

Is it essential to have a motor for SUP fly fishing?

That really depends on your personal preferences. If you're someone who likes to fish in very remote areas, then a motor can definitely help you get there. However, if you're just starting out, you may not need a motorized paddle board. There are other alternatives that can help you get around on the water, and we'll discuss those next.

Motorized paddle board alternatives

First, you could use a kayak or canoe. These are both great options for paddle board fly fishing, and they don't require a motor. Another alternative is to use a stand up paddleboard without a motor. This option is great if you're just starting out, or if you don't want to deal with the extra cost of a motorized paddle board.

CONCLUSION

For all of you with a good balance, paddle board fishing can be a fantastic way to enjoy the outdoors, just stand up, paddle, and have fun in the waters!

I will post this article in our United States | Stand Up Paddle Boarding group. So, if you have more questions about paddle board fishing, you can ask me anything over there!

Happy SUP fishing!

Hicham Benali

Hicham Benali

Ben is a content writer at Outdoor Master who loves all things outdoor, and nature is his happy place. He joined our team to share with us his experience ranging from SUP equipment, technique tips, and safety info.

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