I grew up doing a ton of bass fishing from a canoe with my dad, so paddle fishing is something that I have always cherished.

Once I got more into saltwater fishing, I gravitated towards fishing from kayaks because their long and skinny design and low center of gravity of a kayak allows for covering much longer distances with less effort. I quickly became a huge fan of kayak fishing because they are super quiet and allow me to sneak up on big redfish, trout, and snook while also being able to travel much longer distances to find more and better fishing spots.

However, my new favorite form of paddle fishing is via a Stand Up Paddleboard (SUP), which is essentially a very large surfboard that’s so stable and buoyant that you can stand up on them while paddling and fishing.

The core reason I prefer paddleboards over kayaks and canoes is that a paddleboard provides you with the best vantage point to see fish while paddling from one spot to another.

I always used to see good fish while paddling kayaks and canoes since they are so quite in the water, but that paled in comparison to what I can now see when standing up on my paddleboard because it’s equally as quite yet provides for a much higher vantage point for seeing fish before they see you.

In fact, I used to paddle across my target flats on my board a day or two before inshore tournaments so I could see exactly where the biggest fish were holding in addition to what sort of bait was in the area.

Although paddleboard fishing has its benefits, it also has some setbacks… see below for a quick list of pros and cons to paddleboard fishing so you can decide if this is for you or not.

Pros to Paddleboard Fishing

  • Fantastic ability to see lots of fish
  • Easy to load and unload (paddleboards are typically much lighter than kayaks of equal size)
    • Also, they’re easy to carry to reach even the most protected backcountry lakes
  • Fantastic exercise for both upper and lower body

Cons to Paddleboard Fishing

  • The boards and paddles can be expensive
    • Brand new boards and nice paddles often go for more than $1,000 and $200 respectively.
  • Many boards with clear-coat paint can get damaged by underwater objects – always be very careful when paddling near oyster bars or shallow and rocky bottom.
  • Wave activity can cause balance issues – given the high center of gravity along with the fact that you’re standing on a floating board, wave activity can make it very difficult to maintain balance… especially while trying to fish.

How To Fish From A Paddleboard Video

Here is video tutorial which explains some important tips for most effectively fishing from a stand up paddle boards (SUP):

Paddleboard Fishing Tips

So if you do plan to fish from a paddleboard, here are two tips that can help you more efficiently catch fish:

  1. Make a rope that has a loop at the end as shown in the video above. This rope should be tied around your waist so you can easily reach the paddle to control yourself when fighting a fish and so you don’t have to bend down to pick up or drop off your paddle
  2. If you plan to wade fish (highly recommended for fishing the flats), be sure to tie yourself to the board with a rope that has enough slack to allow you to get on and off the board without re-tying yourself

Conclusion

Stand up paddleboard fishing can be a fantastic way to enjoy the outdoors for those who have good balance and like to explore the inshore flats.

However, paddleboard fishing can be very difficult for those brand new to paddling or for anyone on a rough day. It’s always best to make sure you are first comfortable on the board before taking your fishing gear so it doesn’t end up taking a dip in the saltwater:)

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