Who doesn’t enjoy a day on the water fishing? The early morning, the peace and relaxation on the water away from your normal hectic life – it’s just a shame you have to plan your outing to make sure you can take all the equipment you need and go to the right spot.
Before you leave you have to set up your trailer with your boat, find a good place as a slipway to get your boat in the water, and then when you’ve finished, load it all back up again. Wouldn’t it be more relaxing if there was an easier way to fish anywhere you wanted to?
Well there is if you try stand up paddle board fishing.
Stand Up Paddle Boarding
Stand up paddle boarding is an increasingly popular sport which can be enjoyed by all. The boards are used for fishing, yoga, surfing and as touring boards for holidays.
The boards lie flat in the water. They are propelled using a paddle, and you stand up to use this. Racers and surfers use a lot of energy on a board, but the great thing about a SUP is that anyone can use one and they are more affordable than many other options.
Fishing With Your SUP – The Advantages
Fishing in a boat is a long tradition, but once you’ve started to fish on a SUP, you won’t look back. It has so many advantages to help you catch fish and relax.
- The cost of a boat or kayak can be high, then you need to add on the cost of a trailer to tow it. Boats also need gasoline, a good sized place to store it and even insurance. Once you reach the water, you can only lower a boat in if there is a slipway. An inflatable paddle board is much cheaper and you can carry it in a car or even a rucksack. When you get to your desired fishing location, inflate it and way you go. No looking for a boat ramp – you can fish almost anywhere. It doesn’t take up much storage space either, as it can be kept in a cupboard at home. If you opt for an epoxy paddle board, you will need to transport it, but it is light enough to carry so you are not dependant on slipways to launch it.
- Sitting in a boat can restrict you when you fish, but it can be dangerous to try to stand. Casting can be cramped as you can’t get much height and sitting looking over the side of a boat prevents you from spotting some of the best places to fish, so you could lose out. A stand up paddle board allows you to stand up to fish, so that you have a better field of vision to spot the best areas and move easily towards them. You also get more room to cast out than you would sitting in a boat.
- While fishing is a sport, it’s not considered to provide many of the benefits of regular exercise. Sitting in a boat all day is relaxing but it doesn’t really work the body. Using a SUP you have to paddle it around and balance, and while this is still gentle paddling, you will get some benefit of some exercise. It uses core muscles similar to those used when walking, so while it is not heavy exercise, it can be enjoyed by everyone.
- Boats and kayaks, while they both move through the water, can be awkward to move exactly where you want them to be. A stand up paddle board is lightweight, and if you have bought the right one, it is very agile and easy to maneuver so you can get to the best fishing spot.
- The noise from a motor on a boat can scare the fish away. A SUP has no motor and as it lies flat on the water it is virtually silent.
- Boats and kayaks on the water are relaxing but not as much as a SUP can be. Gliding across the water while standing up gives you a much better view of your surroundings and you’ll spot more wildlife around the water and appreciate much more of the area around you.
- There are restrictions where you can fish if you use a boat or kayak, as neither are suitable for shallow water. There are no restrictions where you can go with a SUP so you can fish in shallow water, rivers, lakes or the ocean.
One huge advantage of a SUP is that it can also be used for other water sports. Surfing, touring, racing, yoga and even travelling with the family.
Fishing With Your SUP – The Disadvantages
There are, of course, certain disadvantages to stand up paddle board fishing, but these are far outweighed by the advantages.
- The big disadvantage is the weather and this is a consideration for any fishing trip. No one wants to take a boat out fishing in a storm, but a SUP is more susceptible to winds. Paddle boards are quite light so they will get blown about more than a boat, and as you are standing up, they are more prone to headwinds. If you find yourself being blown about, you can kneel down to paddle back to shore, but it’s a good idea to check the weather forecast before you go on the water.
- Just like getting in and out of a boat, you do need to learn how to balance on a paddle board. This can take some getting used to and before you head to your fishing expedition, find a quiet stretch of water to practice balancing. If you stand or balance incorrectly, not only can you fall in, but it can affect the direction of the board.
Choosing Your SUP For Fishing
Now you know why you must get in to stand up paddle board fishing, you need to make sure you have the right type of board for it.
Inflatable paddle boards are very popular, but epoxy ones are available too.
- Epoxy boards are slightly more stable than inflatable ones.
- These boards can be quieter across the water and they glide more efficiently.
- Transportation can be a problem, as they need a car rack to transport them.
- Epoxy boards are more expensive than inflatable ones.
- These boards generally have a smaller surface area, so you have less room for you and your fishing equipment.
- Inflatable paddle boards are easier to transport, as they can be rolled up in the trunk of a car, carried on a bike or placed in a ruck sack.
- Inflatable paddle boards have a larger surface area than epoxy ones, so you have more room for you and your equipment without feeling cramped.
- While epoxy boards are well built, inflatable ones do last longer.
- You need a lot of equipment for fishing, and inflatable SUPs usually come with several scotty mount attachments.
- Inflatable SUPs don’t glide quite as smoothly as epoxy boards.
What about your equipment?
Fishing equipment can be expensive to buy, and in a boat, it’s quite safe. On a flat paddle board, however, surely there’s a bigger risk of it falling in to the water?
The wonderful thing about a SUP is that you can buy attachments which will hold everything you need safe and secure. For stand up paddle board fishing, they can come with scotty mounts so you can safely add rod holders, bait trays, fish finders and anything else you use while fishing.
You can also get waterproof bags for your phone, keys, maps and anything else you need to keep dry, and even an attachable cool bag for your cold beers.
Where can you fish?
Just about anywhere. A SUP allows you to travel on inland waterways and lakes, rivers and you can even use them for ocean fishing, though you do need to be aware of the weather conditions and tides. You can place your paddle board on any stretch of water without finding a slip way or boat ramp, giving you total control and freedom over where you fish.
Inflatable SUPs for fishing can be a great addition to a camping expedition. You won’t want to take a boat and trailer in case you fancy a spot of fishing while out camping, but you can take a SUP and your equipment and then find a nice spot locally during your stay.
Once you have experienced the freedom of stand up paddle board fishing, you won’t look back. You don’t have to just go fishing on your own either. If you have a big enough board, others can travel with you, but they must be careful of where they sit and how they move or you could both end up in the water.
After some more information? Check out Hunter Harlow’s 5 best tips for fishing with your SUP.