Paddle Board Fishing: 3 “Must Know” SUP Fishing Tips [VIDEO]
Have you tried paddle board fishing yet?
Although it’s kind of new (when compared with kayak fishing), it certainly has to be the fastest growing type of fishing out there right now.
And in this blog (and video) post, we’re going to cover the three most important paddle board fishing tips that will help you catch more fish (and have a more enjoyable time fishing from a stand-up paddle board)
But we before we get int that, here are just a few reasons that so many anglers (especially inshore saltwater anglers) are flocking to paddle board fishing (aka SUP fishing):
- The height advantage of being able to stand 100% of the time while paddling is critical in sight-casting and searching for fish
- Paddle boarding is a more “natural” form of exercise as our bodies were meant to be erect while working out for long periods of time
- In general, paddle boards are lighter than kayaks, easier to launch, and easier to load.
Note: You can read more about the advantages of paddleboard fishing over kayak fishing here.
3 Must Know Paddle Board Fishing Tips
Let me tell you a true story real quick so you can kayak anglers (like me) can understand both the similarities and differences between paddleboard fishing and kayak fishing…
I grew up on a lake in Central Florida where my family spent a lot of time water skiing and wakeboarding (especially during the middle of the day when it was too hot for to be bass fishing).
Over time, I became a pretty darn good wakeboarder.
I could do a bunch of tricks, and even thought about entering some of the local competitions.
So when my family went out to Colorado for a week of snowboarding, I thought snowboard would be a breeze!
Boy, was I wrong.
Now, I will be the first to admit that I had an advantage over someone that had never been snowboarding or wakeboading before in terms of balance and knowing how to maneuver a board, but everything else was like retraining my brain.
Instead of having all of my weight behind me while wakeboarding, I found out really quick that you don’t move anywhere in snowboarding if you lean back like you do on the water.
I also learned really quickly that a snowboard cuts a whole lot different on snow than a wakeboard does on water…
I think you get my point.
I mention it only to set the right expectations for you kayak anglers that try paddle board fishing for your first time.
It will feel different.
It might feel weird at first.
But don’t get disgruntled… I bet if you think back to your very first kayak experience ever, it probably didn’t feel completely natural in the first 15 minutes.
Anything new will take a little bit of time to get used to.
In regards to fishing on a paddle board, here are the top 3 things I wish someone had taught me right off the bat. It sure would have saved me a lot of time and energy.
Note: These 3 paddle board fishing tips are covered more in-depth in the video below.
Paddle Board Fishing Tip #1
Bring a cooler along and have some sort of vertical rod holders on the cooler.
Trust me, this will save you so much time from not having to turn around and/or bend down to get your fishing rod.
Plus, it will most likely save you from losing your balance because twisting around one a board on the water is not an easy feat.
Best of all, the vertical rod holders will enable you keep your rods out of the way while you paddle while still being able to easy access them without twisting or bending down when ready to fish.
And once you get used to their placement, you’ll be able to effortlessly transition from paddle to fishing without even looking at the paddle or fishing rod (aka. – you can keep an eye on a fish while preparing to deliver a lure to it).
Paddle Board Fishing Tip #2
Tip #2 is don’t be afraid to wade while out paddle board fishing.
That means bring the following:
- A pair of wading boots
- A 7-10 foot rope to tie the board to your waist
By keeping the board close to you, you can have your extra rods, tackle, boga grips, pliers, etc ready when you need them (without having to wade back to find your board)
Paddle Board Fishing Tip #3
The final tip is to control your paddle!
This tip saved me so much time and energy when I finally figured it out.
What “control your paddle” means is to have a way to keep your paddle with arms reach at all times.
The method discussed in the video below involves making a simple belt out of a piece of thin rope that results in a small loop at your waste that will hold the paddle.
When you need to cast, simply put the butt of the paddle through the loop, set the paddle down on the board at a 30-degree angle, reach back for your rod (in our vertical rod holder behind you), and cast away.
No more having to bend over a single time while paddle boarding fishing.
No more ever having your paddle go overboard while fighting a fish.
Keep it right there at your side at all times while fishing. You’ll thank me later for that tip!
SUP Fishing VIDEO
The height advantage alone is enough reason to get serious inshore anglers curious about SUP fishing.
And don’t worry if you have bad balance or if you are a bit on the “heavy side”…
Many of these paddle board companies are now making boards that are almost impossible to flip over, and some even make them sturdy enough to hold over 500 lbs!
Best of all, your balance will get better and better from paddle board fishing… my balance is at an all time high after many trips on my board in choppy water.
Related Post: “How To Catch Redfish, Snook, And Trout Without Live Bait” (read it here now)
P.S. – If you think your angler friends or fishing networks would like to see this, please Tag them or Share this with them. You Rock! Pa-POW!
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Is that the Engel 19 quart cooler? (they also make a 30 quart version)
What paddle would You recommend !! I’m thinking of getting the L4 expedition
I haven’t been sup paddle shopping in many years, so I unfortunately can’t give you very helpful insight into that.
Check out the KIALOA Uhane 2-Piece Adjustable Stand Up Paddle, $200
Is there a way to anchor this paddle board?
Sorry it took me so long to respond Tim… I somehow missing your question when it came in. My favorite way to anchor this board is to us a stick anchor (stick-it pin, wang anchor, etc).
These anchors are very quiet and can easily be dropped down and picked back up without causing a commotion.
If they had the L4 when you bought your L2 would you opp for the heavier and wide 14’ L4.
I personally would have still purchased the L2Fish over the L4 because the L2 is plenty stable for everything I need it for (even standing on an elevated platform for max ability to see fish – https://www.saltstrong.com/fishing-tip/sup-fishing-push-pole/).
And it is certainly easier to transport given that it’s lighter and takes up less space. If anything, I’d prefer an L10 if the ever make one because it would still be plenty stable while being even lighter than the L2.
OK – there’s one thing you haven’t covered; how about carrying a small anchor? If you hit a hot spot, say a school of reds or trout, how can you stay in the firs place you get a strike. Have you considered carrying a small mushroom or grapple anchor already tied off to the bow, but led back to you through perhaps deck fairleads that you can both deploy and retrieve without walking forward, tying off to a small, maybe even a hand-carved wooden cleat (easier on bare toes) to secure it.
Just a thought. Allan Horton, Sarasota
Great tips as always! I just bought a L2F board and am getting things set for my first outing. Question: I haven’t seen this in my research and it’s not clear in the videos, but do you use the fins when using the board for fishing? I understand they help the board track, but it seems like they will add another 6-8″ of draft.
I got a special set of fins that only go down about 3 inches from the bottom of the board. They are long so they actually make the turning difficult when going into creeks, so I ended up taking one of them off and like that amount of traction vs. turning ability best.
Another option that I’ve seen people do is sawing off the tips of the fins that come with the board to be just 3.5 to 4 inches. I’m planning to do that once I get some time and I’ll show the final size once it’s tested out.
I ended up cutting mine down with a jigsaw and then finishing them off with a grinder then a palm sander. The fins the L2 came with track almost to good just like you said when we went fishing. I tried with none, and it turned great but didn’t track well if the wind picked up. I tried with 1, and that was pretty good but still a pain in shallow water. The ticket was a good 3-4 inch fin after it was cut down. Now I can’t complain at all. Love my L2.
What are your thoughts on inflatable sup’s? There seem to be quite a few nice options available specifically for fishing and I was also looking at the tower Xplorer 14. I like the storage and transportation benefits. Have you tried any of the inflatables and if so what are your thoughts?
I have not yet tried an inflatable sup yet. My initial thought is that I’d be worried about sharp objects (oysters, hooks, etc.) ruining the day while out fishing, but I’m sure that there are some with very thick/strong walls.
Hey Luke, Im so glad you posted this SUP video. because I just had a 1st time SUP lesson and Im hooked, Im getting a SUP , although I havent testdrove the the catamaran SUP in your video but Im leaning my purchase towards the cat for stability. Im fishing in n.e.FL Im planning on fishing the flooded marshgrass and on mud flats up and down the intercoastal, also low wind beach tarpon fishing in mullet/pogy pods. I know the L2fish cat is 60 lbs. I was hoping you would pick all three sups up and carry them to show weight. I know you have fished a surfboard style SUP for years. So do you think the L2 fish cat is a winner ?
Hey Jacob, thanks for making time to leave the comment. I’m glad to see that you’re interested in paddle board fishing… you’re going to absolutely love it!
Yes, I have used my light/small surf style paddle board for about 5 years and now that I have the catamaran (L2Fish – http://www.livewatersports.com/products/l2fish) I have completely stopped using my old one… although the catamaran is heavier, its increased stability and unique design with VERY low hull slap gives me a huge advantage when sight fishing up on the flats.
Yes, I am absolutely satisfied with my L2Fish and recommend it to anyone who is serious about paddle board fishing.
Note: It’s so stable that I’m now taking my front casting platform from my boat out with me and fishing from it for an even better ability to see fish before they see me.
I understand the advantages you explain regarding SUP fishing and really like the idea. I very seldom fish alone however and generally my fishing partner is my 9 YO son. I am looking at different, yet similar options and just wanted to hear your thoughts regarding positives/negatives of each…
I could always get myself a SUP and get a kayak for him, or (and I was highly considering this before reading your articles on SUP fishing) I could get a gheenoe with a removable motor/trolling motor for us to share. I know the stability allows for standing which gives the line of sight and by removing the motor I would assume we could launch at any canoe/kayak launch as it would then basically be a really nice canoe. I understand it would be more difficult to get to some of the super remote areas (such as your hidden lake which I still have not located :-)) but not necessarily impossible and we can hit parts of the bay or in weather we may not attempt on the SUPs.
Of course the last option is just getting two SUPs and learning it together which could be very fun as well as potentially very frustrating lol…obviously you can’t really speak to how well we would take to the SUP challenge, but again I would love to hear you’re opinions on each scenario.
Thank you in advance!
Hey Charles, thank for leaving the comment. There is no perfect answer to your question… all 3 choices can be great options.
It all depends on the type of fishing you plan to do. Here’s my quick thoughts to pros/cons for the three options:
1) Gheenoe: Pro is that it will be the easiest for you both to fish from (especially easier for your son to catch fish because you can help ensure that he’s in the right area by paddling while he fishes). Con is that it’s tougher to load, unload, and store given that it’s heavier/bulkier.
2) Paddle Board and kayak: Pro is that they are easier to load and unload compared to a gheenoe since they are lighter/smaller. Con is that your son would probably want to be on the same type of vessel as you.
3) 2 Paddle Boards: Pro is that these will be the easiest of all to load/unload/shore since they are smaller and the same shape, and you both can learn this type of fishing at the same time. Con is that they can be expensive depending on the ones you get of course (not sure how their costs compares to a gheenoe).
Note: I grew up bass fishing from a canoe as a kid with my dad. And I still have that green canoe and it’s one of my most prized possessions because so many great memories were created while fishing from it… and I’m sure you’re son will think the same of whichever option you choose when he grows up.
Thank you for your thoughtful input, it is greatly appreciated!