How to Fish from a Paddleboard – Saltwater Flats Edition [Video]
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 where 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 (see this video for an example).
- 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 paddleboard (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:
- Make a rope that has a loop at the end as show 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
- 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
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 your first comfortable on the board before taking your fishing gear so it doesn’t end up taking a dip in the saltwater:)
Let me know if you have any questions or other tips that can also be helpful by using the comments section below or emailing us at email@example.com.
Related Article: “3 Reasons Every Kayak Angler Should Consider Paddle Board Fishing” (see it here now)
Related Video: Catching Snook And Redfish In Hidden Lake (below).
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Just bought L2fish. Are you going to carry yak attack products in the tackle store? I thought I heard in one of the videos members get a discount on their products?
Do you think the omega pro rod holder is strong enough to cantilever over the side and drop your push pole through for use as an anchor?
Love the L2FISH board would have never seen it if not for your video.
I’m so glad to see that you’re enjoying your L2Fish board! Those boards sure are great for fishing. We unfortunately do not offer any products from yak attack and our discount program with them is no longer active.
Great post thanks. I am new to fishing and our 7 yr son loves it (pier fishing with him.) I just signed up for the Inshore Slammer and Kayak Mastery. I’ll be fishing the Tampa Bay area and I am seriously considering an SUP to replace my kayak. In your opinion, how would the SUP handle if the water is a little choppy? Thanks! Plus I think with the SUP I could take my son, probably won’t be a productive day, but it gets him on the water with me learning.
Thx for the post. What kid of paddle are you using? I fish out of a yak but stand up a lot and think that a SUP paddle may work well for paddling while standing.
The paddle in this video is an old one I got a long time ago… can’t even remember which brand it is. But it’s a very lightweight and strong paddleboard paddle.
I have never even thought about trying to fish from a paddleboard. I already own a paddleboard, so I think it’ll be worth at least trying to fish from it once. I am excited to be able to have a great view of the fish. I’m expecting to accidentally fall in a few times!
Ok, your pop up subscription really got me. I didn’t wan’t to sign up, but I didn’t want to say I hate fishing either. Had me pretty confused for a couple seconds there!. Geoff.
We’re thrilled that you decided to subscribe!
Now that you’re a member, you’ll no longer see that popup because it won’t activate after you log in to your member account. Fish On!
Thanks for the post. I agree that paddleboard fishing can bring a different look on fishing. I like that you are able to stand. I think that give a different perspective when fishing. I think it allows you to have a better look at the fish.
Thanks for leaving the comment Bob! Yes, the added height from standing vs. sitting makes a very big difference in being able to see the fish before they see you.
I certainly recommend paddleboard fishing to anyone who likes sight fishing.
Thanks, I’ll be sure to look a bit more into paddleboard fishing!
What size board is that 10′ starboard ? What size is that cooler? From the looks u don’t strap it down?
The paddle board shown in the “Hidden Lake” video is 10’3″ long by 28.5″ wide. The base of the cooler is 16″ wide at its longest side.
Note: The paddle board I used in the Hidden Lake video is built for surfing so it is not very stable and I do NOT recommend a board this small for fishing (I personally like using it because it’s easy to transport and is a fun challenge to fish off of now that my balance on it is fine tuned after years of surfing on it)… the L2Fish board shown in the tutorial video is WAY better for fishing.
I do not bother strapping the cooler down, but I do turn it so that it’s widest side is crossing the width of the board to decrease the risk of it tumbling over by wave activity.
Hey guys! I enjoy the information! I’ve got a question. There are times I go out fishing and the water is very murky but the day before it was crystal clear. What causes these changes!?
Hey Wally, thanks for making time to leave a comment. The most common cause of water turning from clear to murky is wave activity from wind and/or boats… the waves will cause sand/silt on the bottom to lift up and drift along in the water column with the current.
The quick shift to murky water typically is on the first day of a strong front when the waves start rolling in and murk up the beaches and large bays… and that murky water spreads from there with the currents.
On these days, I often seek areas that are protected from the wind and current if looking for clear water for sight fishing.
I’m have an issue with keeping my cooler stationary on the board. Do you have any suggestions?
Hey Mark, great question! I don’t like any added clutter on my paddleboard, so I just make sure to put a good amount of drinks/ice in the cooler so it has a low center of gravity. So far, it has never taken a spill. However, my board is completely flat on the top and my cooler’s bottom is as wide as the top which increases its stability. If you’re experiencing problems with your cooler staying on your board (even with its bottom filled with water/ice), you may want to devise a way to tie it down to the board with an adhesive… either find a latch of some sort that can be glued to your board or duct tape the bottom of your cooler to the board. My love of duct tape would drive me towards that 2nd option:)
Note: If the instability is caused by your board not being completely flat on the top, then I’d tape something to the bottom corners of the cooler to ensure that the all four corners are carrying the load for max stability.
I hope this helps. Let me know if you have any other questions. Fish On!