3 Reasons All Kayak Anglers Should Consider Paddle Board Fishing.

Published by Joseph Simonds under , ,
Last updated on: March 2, 2017

saltwater paddle board fishing

In the drink!!!

There goes another human body…

right in the water… SPLASH!

SPLASH!

Pa-POW!

I can only imagine the neighbors on that canal in Boca Grande, Florida were laughing their tails off at us that day…

Let me explain.

I still remember the day (at least five years ago if not more) when my brother Luke first brought his paddle board (it looked more like a surf board than a paddle board) to Boca Grande and told us he was going to learn to start catching big inshore fish from it…

Long story short, we literally laughed at him.

Why?

Because at the time, paddle boarding was a pretty new sport, and hardly anyone was even thinking about paddle board fishing!

Most people (like all of us trying paddle boarding for the first time that day) were having enough trouble just trying to stay up on the board without falling in, let alone casting and fighting a fish from the board (keep in mind the original boards were more like surfboards and didn’t have the buoyancy and stability they do today).

And after each one of us took a spill into the water at one point or another that day, not a single one of believed my that my brother would be out catching big snook, redfish, and tarpon from his paddleboard…

Fast forward to today…

As much as I hate to admit it, my brother Luke was right… he is now catching tons of fish from his paddle board (click here to see a recent trip of his).

Saltwater Paddle Board Fishing

saltwater paddle board fishing

Unless you have been living under a rock (or a kayak), it’s pretty tough to ignore the rise of paddle boarding.

In fact, here in Tampa, you can look out in almost any public (or private) body of water and the see the following during the weekend:

  • Paddle board yoga classes
  • People out paddle boarding with their dogs
  • People out paddle boarding with everything from coolers, kids, and speakers…
  • To people out paddle board fishing

The sport of paddle boarding has literally blown up in just the past 5 years!

But What About Paddle Board Fishing?

So why it is that kayak fishing is so much more popular than paddle board fishing?

And why are there at least 10 times more kayaks sold in America than paddle boards?

Well, for one, kayak fishing has been around for quite a few years longer than paddle board fishing.

Number two, fishing out of a kayak is definitely easier for the majority of people when you compare it to fishing out of a paddle board (especially if your balance is bad or if you have a few extra pounds that you would like to get rid of)

But that trend seems to be changing…

Meaning, some of these new paddle boards today are built to be just as stable (if not more) than a kayak!

In fact, Luke and I are trying out a paddle board made by Live Watersports called the “L2Fish Paddleboard” (it means Live 2 Fish) which is the first “catamaran paddle board” that is almost impossible to flip (see picture below)

saltwater kayak paddle board l2fish

The L2Fish Catamaran Paddle Board – Picture Courtesy of Sam Root

But in all honestly, paddle boards are still a long way from catching up to kayaks in terms of total sales.

And I don’t think you will see as many people paddle board fishing as you do kayak fishing this year… or even next year…

However, we do believe the gap between kayak sales and paddle board sales will be closing in over the next 5 years.

Why?

Well here are the 3 main reasons we believe that all saltwater kayak anglers should consider saltwater paddle board fishing (this goes for freshwater as well).

You can be the judge if you think the advantages are great enough of kayak fishing to try it out.

Click the play button below to hear the podcast interview going over the 3 main advantages of paddle board fishing.

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3 Advantages Of Saltwater Paddle Board Fishing

(YAK Fishing vs. SUP Fishing)

saltwater paddle board fishing

Before we get into this comparison of kayaks vs paddle boards, please understand that we are not bashing kayak fishing by any means. And we aren’t trying to discourage anyone from kayak fishing, as it is one of the accessible and amazing ways to catch fish for people of all ages, incomes, etc.

We personally own 4 saltwater fishing kayaks… we fish from them, we get exercise from them, and they play an important role in giving our family a fun and easy way to all get out on the water to have fun and catch fish.

However, the past two years have really opened our eyes to the glaring advantages that paddle board fishing has over kayak fishing.

And with the new technology in these paddle boards (like some of the new ones being made almost “spill-proof”), it’s tough to ignore the rise of anglers that are starting to fish from a paddle board.

Note: If you want to see Luke’s post on Paddle Board Fishing Tips, click here now

Here are the top 3 advantages of fishing from a paddle board (in no particular order):

1. Height Advantage: See More Fish. Catch More Fish.

kayak fishing vs saltwater paddle board fishing

The first advantage paddle board anglers have over kayak anglers is the height advantage.

It’s a fact: the higher you are, the better you can spot fish, bait, boils, potholes, grass beds, etc.

I vividly recall the day I went out saltwater fishing off of Little Gasparilla Island in my kayak while my brother Luke went out in his paddle board.

We were side by side heading out to the grass flat we were going to fish (within just a few feet of each other), and Luke kept spotting fish on the way to our spot.

He would say, “Check out that redfish, Joe” or “Did you see that boil!”.

All I could do was stick my neck up as far as possible and pretend I could see what he saw…

In reality, I couldn’t see anything!

He had a HUGE advantage over me while standing up on his paddle board. It is probably no surprise that he outfished me 3 to 1 that day.

It’s the same reason seasoned anglers invest so much money in platforms and towers for their boats. He or she that has the highest vantage point, has the advantage to see and catch more fish.

Paddle board – 1

Kayak – 0

Important Note: I realize it is entirely possible to stand up in many of today’s kayaks, but the truth is most anglers only do it when they get to their spot. So they miss many opportunities to see fish while moving about, because unless you take two paddles with you on the yak (a kayak paddle is very different than a paddle board paddle), it is very tough to spend a full day standing up in a kayak from start to finish. And if you do, then you are probably the very best candidate for a paddle board anyways…

2. Easy To Load, Easy To Transport, And Weigh Less Than Yaks

paddle boarding and fishing

Fact: My wife can lift and transport my brother’s paddle board without any help

Fact: My wife cannot lift or transport my saltwater fishing kayak without some serious help…

Now I know for certain that there are kayaks (that you can fish out of) that are extremely light, just as there are paddle boards that are extremely light and small.

However, in general, a saltwater fishing kayak is going to be heavier than a saltwater fishing paddle board.

And in some cases, a kayak made for fishing will require two people (or at least some sort of dolly or cart) to transport it. Especially if you have fins or extra equipment like the Hobie Mirage fins (which are pretty darn awesome by the way).

Loading:

Just go hang out at the Weedon Island kayak launch in Tampa and watch the difference between someone loading a kayak vs a paddle board. It’s a night and day difference.

There is no arguing that it’s easier to load, launch, and unload a paddle board compared to a kayak (due to the fact the paddle board is lighter and easier to drop right where you want it)

Transportation:

My brother Luke’s current paddle board fits right in the back of his Ford Explorer with the back window opened up. Tough to do that with our fishing kayaks. We will note that this new catamaran style paddle board did not go in the back of Luke’s Ford Explorer. One, because it is brand spanking new and we didn’t want to mess up their demo board, and two, because we weren’t sure it would fit anyways because it is much thicker than Luke’s current board.

Paddle board – 2

Kayak – 0

3. A More Natural Exercise

saltwater paddle board fishing

Even though this post is all about fishing, I am sure we can all agree that kayaking and paddle boarding provide some excellent exercise.

And although there is no debating that kayak will give you one heck of a workout, it can be debated that it isn’t a “natural workout” as our bodies were not designed to be sitting down all day (or exercising sitting down for extended periods of time).

Whereas a paddle board, you are standing upright, using both your upper body (for paddling), and your lower body (for balance and leverage).

My dad’s side of the family have always had back issues (that got passed down to us boys), and we can all tell a HUGE difference in less back pain from paddle boarding compared to kayaking (from the sleep we get that night and the following day soreness).

I will say however, that there is more leg stiffness while paddle boarding just due to the fact your calves and leg muscles are working hard to keep you balanced.

But don’t just take my word for it, try it yourself and see the difference in you how you feel.

Note: That if you do ever get tired of standing, you can always sit down on a cooler and continue to paddle from a lower vantage point (which we highly recommend having on your paddleboard).

Paddle board – 3

Kayak – 0

Cons Of Paddle Boards For Fishing

Now before you start thinking I am selling you hard on getting a paddle board for fishing (which I have no financial incentive on doing so, as I am not selling anything here), it is only fair to list the cons of paddle boards.

Here are a few of the main cons:

  • The paddle board paddles cost more than a kayak paddle (many of the decent paddle board paddles will be in the $300 range or more)
  • A top of the line paddle-board built for fishing is going to be more expensive than a decent saltwater fishing kayak. That catamaran paddle board that we really like for fishing can be upwards of $2,500 for the 14-ft board
  • Kayaks are certainly better for older folks that simply want to sit and relax
  • Not all paddle boards are going to be easy to fish from (many of the paddle boards today are easy to flip over), whereas most decent kayaks are pretty easy to wet a line from and not worry about falling in with all of your rods and tackle
  • If you are used to peddling (like with the Hobie Mirage Drive), most all paddle boards will require you to use your arms more and paddle
  • While paddling into the wind, a paddle board is at a distinct disadvantage over a kayak due to the fact your body is almost like a sail working against you when you are standing up and paddling into the wind
  • Finally, know that many paddle boards will have more of a “hull slap” when the water hits up under it (which scares nearby fish)

Conclusion

saltwater paddle board fishing

An epic pic of Nick Halloran fighting a tarpon from his paddle board. Image Source: https://www.instagram.com/nickhalloran31/

Are kayaks bad for fishing compared to paddle boards?

Not at all.

Kayaks are awesome for fishing.

But as you can see from this blog, paddle boards do have some distinct advantages for anglers like you and I.

And paddle boards have come a long way in just the last five years, and they still have much room to improve in terms of making it easy for all types (and sizes) of anglers to get out there and enjoy a day of fishing from a paddle board like you could a kayak.

Let’s face it, if some of these newer models of paddle boards that are almost impossible to flip over hadn’t come out, we probably wouldn’t even be doing this blog right now.

But the newer paddle-boards (like the L2Fish catamaran paddleboard) are making it easy for even anglers with horrible balance (and with weights over 350 pounds) to safely get out and fish from a board without falling in.

And as you can see from the three advantages listed above, it is tough to ignore a paddle board if you plan to fish (and/or get your exercise) from it.

So what do you think?

Have you tried both?

We’d love to hear your feedback in the comments.

P.S. – If you think your angler friends or fishing networks would enjoy seeing this, please Tag them or Share this with them. You Rock! Pa-POW!

P.P.S. – If you would like to listen to the in-depth podcast interview with had on the subject of kayak fishing vs paddle board fishing, click either of the links below or feel free to read the full transcript below.

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Paddle Board Podcast (Transcription)


Joe:

Hello, we’re back, another episode of Fish Strong. I am Joe Simonds, brother number one of the Salt Strong Brothers. At least, that’s the way I see it… We’ve got a very special guest today regarding the topic of paddle board fishing.And the title of this podcast is the three reasons that you as a fisherman or fisherwoman or angler, whatever you want to call yourself, should be looking and considering salt water paddle board fishing.

Our “special guest” is my brother Luke Simonds, and the reason I’ve got my brother Luke on as a special guest is that I don’t know of anyone else who has caught more inshore fish off of a paddle board.

Luke Simonds, welcome my friend.

Luke:
I guess I’m brother number two, given the intro there. You’re slick.
Joe:
Well, we do have a third brother, so it’s debatable. We can talk about that offline.
Luke:
Top three, I’ll take it.
Joe:
You’re in the top three for sure… haha. Welcome, this is obviously not your first time here on the show, but dog-gone-it it’s good to have you back.
Luke:
Yeah, it’s good to be back on the podcast. And pumped to talk about saltwater paddle board fishing. The paddle board has offered so many advantages and most people just don’t know about them. I though this would be a good topic to cover and so I’d be happy to dive into, at least what I’ve seen as the pros-cons. I’ve been doing it now for probably five years, so I’ll at least talk about what I’ve seen.
Joe:
Yeah, and we’ll also talk about a couple of the cons as well.
Luke:
Of course.
Joe:

Just like we always do with any of our reviews. We try to be fair and balanced. I believe, just like Luke with probably sell you pretty hard here, on why a paddle board is so much more effective.I personally have been out-fished by Luke, not just because the fact he’s a better angler, but the fact he had some really, really big advantages on the paddle board over my kayak … And one important advantage we’ll get into right now. Let’s talk about that. I would say the biggest advantage of having a paddle board, the fact that you can be standing up more often than a kayak, which gives you a huge height advantage, right Luke?

Luke:

Yes, height is certainly the #1 advantage a paddle board has over a traditional kayak when it comes to saltwater fishing.You just have a better vantage point for actually seeing fish, and also a huge advantage when casting. Obviously it’s important to see the fish, cast to it. Sight casting is my personal favorite way to fish, where you’re basically hunting/fishing combined. Being able to actually see the fish and cast to it and watch it eat is obviously a complete thrill.

But, more importantly is that with a paddle board, just the fact that you’re always standing is a tremendous advantage because as you’re paddling you might be going from one spot to the other.

How I find most of my spots is in that travel. I have a vantage point the entire time, where I can see when the fish were spooking. Obviously, in kayaks you can see a lot of mud boils so you know there’s something there. But, when you’re on a paddle board, nine times out of ten you can actually see what just spooked. You can see exactly what was there, what size it was, and just know … You can better see the most probable areas to catch fish.

Joe:

I saw how powerful that was when you and I went out one time off of Little Gasparilla Island. You were on the paddle board, I was in a kayak and we were really close to each other. I mean, within ten feet.We were paddling out together to a spot and Luke would say, “Look at that red fish right there. Look at that little school there. Look at that boil.” I couldn’t see any of it. I didn’t want to admit that I couldn’t, but I was kind of peaking up and obviously I was sitting down in the kayak. I kept kind of getting up and trying to stand up.

My kayak in particular is not meant for standing. I just realized that I had a huge, huge disadvantage of seeing all that stuff that Luke just mentioned. Which is critical, right? Because it is hunting when you’re out there in a kayak or paddle board. I guess it’s similar to having a tower on your boat, right? It’s just a huge, huge advantage to see what’s going on underneath the surface around you.

Luke:

Yeah, of course. That’s why people spend a lot of money on those towers. Just to have the control on the top of those towers is a significant amount of money, and they know if they are able to be that much higher they are going to see a lot more fish (and more often than not they are going to catch more fish). It’s obviously something that is known; the higher you are, the better you can see, the better you can see, the more fish you’re going to catch.Before this sounds like a paddle board selling discussion, I want to point out that you can do the same thing with a kayak when fishing.

As long as you’re use to it to standing up in your kayak, you can get a pretty identical height as a paddleboard (minus standing on a cooler on you your paddle board). You have to take some time to, I guess, to be comfortable balancing on your kayak, but it certainly can be done.
When I go kayak fishing, I always take my paddle board paddle, so that as soon as I’m in the area that I think is going to be decent for fishing, I’ll just put the normal kayak paddle down. I’ll stand up and then I’ll get the paddle board paddle and just paddle along, just as if it’s a kayak.

You can do this same type of thing with a kayak. However, most of them are a little more unstable. You really need to get out and practice some before you take all your expensive gear with you because it can get dicey.

Especially, if you’re near boat traffic or a boat wave comes by. If you’re not use to standing up on a board of any kind that is wobbly, you could end up in the drink real quick. Definitely recommend either way, especially if you’re going to be standing up in your kayak, get use to it. But definitely do a couple spins around without your gear before you put your gear on.

Joe:

Yep, that’s good stuff. We are going to talk about some different saltwater paddle board fishing tips that Luke has learned because he has been in the drink a few times. I know, because I’ve seen it happen. Just some tips on making you experience as pleasant as possible and to catch more fish, which is ultimately what we want to do.All right, let’s go right into reason number two that you every angler should consider a paddle board for saltwater fishing.

Number two, I think you’ll agree with me Luke, is just it’s the more natural workout to be on a paddle board versus a kayak.

I know everyone that goes kayak fishing wants a workout, and I know I’ve personally had some kayak trips where my arms feel like they’re going to fall apart.

But there is also a downside to kayak fishing all day… My back feels like it is on fire as well. I don’t sleep well at night, it aches the next day, etc.

On the other hand, with paddle boarding, it’s not just your back and arms that get a workout, you’re whole body feels like you got a legit workout.

Luke:

Yep, because really the human body isn’t meant to sit down all day. Obviously, if you’re going to go fishing from a kayak and you’re just sitting down the whole time it’s not natural.And every time I’ve done that my back would always hurt. Anyhow, as far as standing up while fishing and especially paddling while standing up, it literally is a full body workout. Obviously, arms and back just like a normal kayak, but even legs.

In fact, on my paddle board (which is really built for surfing), my calves are basically balancing me the entire time. So every little adjustment, wave, and maneuverer on the board I feel it.

And because of that, my calves are constantly balancing. Ironically, my calves probably burn the most after a long paddle board trip, which was a surprise.

It’s a full body workout, and compared to sitting down while paddling, it’s just a more natural motion. I literally sleep better, and I’ve never have back issues after paddle board fishing compared to kayaks.

Again, that’s just the importance of paddling while standing up. That can be done on a kayak as well, so standing up is not just related to a paddle board. It’s really the paddle board paddle of all things that is the most important thing to have.

Joe:
Are there a lot of kayakers that are standing up and using paddle board paddles instead of kayak paddle? I haven’t even taken notice, honestly.
Luke:

Not many. In fact, I don’t know that I’ve ever seen any kayaker using a stand up paddle board paddle. Whenever I go kayak fishing, I actually bring two paddles, although I haven’t seen anybody else doing that yet.I did fish with Tony a couple of weeks ago, and he stands up as well when he gets to a good spot. He just uses his kayak paddle, which I use to do. It’s just not quite as efficient. You can hold onto the one fin and use the other one in the water. Again, it works, you just can’t go very long distances that way.

Also, a lot of kayakers are using a push pole, very similar to a flats fishing push pole. It’s not nearly as long, where they can stand up and just push down the flat versus paddle down the flat. Obviously, that’s very effective when you’re in the zone, when you’re in the area that you’re fishing. Clearly, that can’t be used to go long distances from spot to spot.

Joe:
Interesting, so just kind of poling in a flats boat?
Luke:
Exactly. I was actually at a little boat shop earlier today and they had a whole display of these mini push poles. I have to assume they were really designed for kayak anglers.
Joe:
Why not just get a trolling motor? I mean, come on.
Luke:

That’s cheating. Haha.Again, there’s no exercise in that.

But back to the exercise part of it, I would say the back issue was a very near and dear one to me because it really hurt me for a while … Even waking up in the middle of the night with my back killing me.

The reason why I got the paddle board in the first place was for surfing back when I lived in Melbourne. I realized that after surfing, my back never felt better. It was just a good core exercise, a really awesome workout. I got it for surfing and I was living around the beach at the time.

What I realized during the summer, when the waves weren’t big I would still go out there and just paddle up and down the beach. This was before anyone was doing saltwater paddle board fishing.

During the summer in Melbourne there are some just huge snook right in the surf. Right next to shore. I never really seen it before. While I was doing those paddles, I would just start seeing all these snook. That’s when I realized the height advantage for fishing. That was how I ended up really doing more paddle board fishing then anything else, just after seeing that while I was really just trying to exercise.

Joe:

Cool. Let’s go into the third reason that kayak anglers should consider trying saltwater paddle board fishing, and then we’re going to talk about some of the negatives and different sizes and what you look for, what you should make sure you stay away from, etc.So the third reason kayak anglers should try saltwater paddle board fishing is because it is so much easier to carry, launch, and load a paddle board versus most of today’s kayaks.

I experienced this first hand the very first time I went out kayak fishing.

I lived in Atlanta, Georgia for many years, and there’s a lake called Lake Allatoona up there in north Atlanta. I lived really close to it, I had just bought a new saltwater fishing kayak, and I wanted to test it out before I took it down to Boca Grande.

I went out kayak fishing all day long out on the lake that day. I mean, I took food, took tons of water, and I was out there all freaking day.

And as you know, the first time you do anything for the first time you are going to be more sore then normal. Well let me tell you, I was so sore after that all-day trip that I literally could not pick up the kayak to get it on top of my Tahoe. I had to go ask someone at the little marina where I launched for help. It was so embarrassing.

I learned pretty quickly that kayaks can be very heavy and tough to load, especially if there is any extra water that didn’t drain out.

On the other hand, I’ve picked up Luke’s paddle board after a paddling session and no problems. Even though you have a pretty thin one or a light one, it is night and day versus trying to pick up a kayak with just my one arm or on the side of my arm.

I feel like a kayak is heavy/bulky, whereas most paddle boards are just like picking up a surf board, but obviously a little bit heavier.

Luke:

In general, and just like anything, you get what you pay for. Obviously, there are some paddle boards that are less expensive, but those are typically much more heavy on the.Today, they’re making some of the paddle boards out of the same materials that kayaks are made from. There’s really no weight advantage there, but when you go up to the upper end ones, when it’s just the hard paddle boards that are made out of just a lighter material, it’s going to be more expensive but they are going to be way lighter.

Like paddleboard is made by Starboard and it’s made out of good material. It’s ten foot, three inches long and twenty-eight and a half inches wide. If you’re going to be fishing off a paddle board, don’t get one that size. Get one much bigger, longer, and wider for stability.

Joe:
Good point.
Luke:

And as far a kayaks go, they do make some expensive kayaks out of that same material that are light. There’s not a direct weight comparison. It’s all about what you pay for.If you’re going to be doing it a lot, I would highly recommend getting a nicer board, the kind that is lighter and is going to last you a long time. The first paddleboard I bought, I didn’t really know anything about paddle board fishing at the time.

I saw on craigslist, it was for sale. It was used and all beat up. I mean, it had a ton of use before I got it. Today, I’ve had it for five plus years and I’ve been using it a lot. It’s still in great shape. It still floats. It might not look the best and there are a lot of little dings in it, but it gets the job done and I love it.

Joe:

Besides a paddle board being lighter than a kayak, it’s also just easier to get in and out of. Going back to that dock that we were putting our kayaks in and out of on Little Gasparilla Island, you were able to basically plop it in the water and take off.Whereas I was struggling a little bit more to get down in the kayak, especially on low tide. I noticed it’s definitely easier too get in and have the paddle ready on the paddle board.

Luke:

Oh yeah, no doubt. Again, the reason I fish from my paddle board more than my boat or my kayak is because it’s so much easier.I actually have a Ford Explorer and I don’t even have to tie it to the top of the roof. I literally just open up the back hatch and slide the board in. I put the middle seats down, slide it in there and that’s it. In one trip to the water I’m done. I love going to spots like Weedon Island here in Tampa where there’s a lot of kayakers.

It takes them forever to load and unload and I literally just pull the board out and just walk straight down. It is a huge time saving advantage. Other than the height advantage, that’s one of the best advantages of a paddle board. The quickness and ease that the paddle boat provides is the reason why I highly prefer that over my kayak.

Joe:

Cool, so let’s talk about some of the negatives of paddle board fishing. We’ll talk about the sizes, what to look for, and all the different options and things that are out there as well.Tell us about some negatives of a paddle board real quick Luke.

Luke:

In my mind there’s only one negative… the cost.To get a good paddle board, which I recommend doing, it’s just more expensive than the average kayak.

For the good boards, I would say you should be paying in fifteen-hundred dollar range and more for the board, and I highly recommend getting a top of the line paddle board paddle as well.

The paddle I have is made out of carbon Kevlar material, but it’s super light, very stiff and you can just do everything. Best of all, I can be out there all day long and my arms are never tired from handling the paddle. A nice one costs around three-hundred dollars, plus or minus. It is expensive but, again in my mind, I personally think it’s worth it because I do it a lot.

Joe:

Yep, and I think you will see the cost of both paddles and paddle boards going down over the next 5 years.I obviously can’t predict the future, but I saw what happened with kayaks, and the same should happen with paddleboards. Kayaks have come a long way just in the last fifteen years since you and I have been buying them for fishing purposes. There weren’t that many kayak manufacturers back then, but now there’s tons of kayak manufacturers.

So today you can get a really good kayak for a fraction of the price you use to get one for fifteen years ago.

The same thing is going to happen with paddle boarding. It’s an incredibly fast-growing sport. Right now there aren’t as many big makers of paddle boards, but there’s a whole lot more coming into it

I’m pretty excited about that and I’m excited about the future of these paddle boards getting more affordable for everyone. And I didn’t realize that the paddles were that expensive. Three-hundred dollar paddle, is that what you said?

Luke:

Yep. My paddle was over three hundred, and that was five years ago. Now, just as you said before, there is a lot more companies now into it, so there’s more price competitiveness. I’m sure there’s some that are still selling a bit high, but I’m sure there’s a lot more options then when I saw.There were only just a couple brands at the point when I was looking into it. Either way, I’m thrilled that I bought it because I use it on every single paddle trip I ever go on. It was money well spent in my mind. I’m more than happy that I paid for it.

Joe:
That’s cool. Let’s talk about the size of the board and what to look for. I assume you would never recommend buying a paddle board like your first one, correct? It’s basically a surf board, right? It’s a glorified long board essentially, that you’ve gotten really, really good at. Pretty tough for paddle board fishing.
Luke:

Yeah, there’s a few different types of boards out there today. As far as sizes, just like anything, there’s never a one-size-fits-all.As far as the three types of paddle boards, I’ll go into those, as that’s really the more important thing to focus on.

Here are the three types of paddleboards:

Mine is the traditional surf style, where the front end is basically a rounded front. These types are really meant for surfing and surf paddling.

Another kind is a one that has a V-hull with a V up in the front.

Then the third type of paddle board is a bit newer. In fact, I think there’s only one manufacturer that’s doing it now. It’s a catamaran style paddle board.

I’ll just go through the pros and cons of each one.

First, the surf style paddle board like I have… If you’re going to be fishing from your paddle board, don’t get that kind.

It’s a little more stable with the rounded off front, but as far as paddling efficiency, it’s not efficient at all. Worst of all, it’s just super loud if you fish from it. If I’m ever going into the chop, the fish will hear every single wave that beats up on the board. Mine is incredibly loud. The only way I can fish it effectively is to get up wind and then go with the wind. It really limits my ability to fish, just the fact of how loud it is. I personally enjoy the challenge of catching a fish from it, but I would not recommend it as an ideal paddle board for fishing.

As far as sizes go, I definitely recommend not getting a 10/3 and 28 inches wide. I would say at a minimum, get at least thirty inches wide and then depending on how much distance you’ll be traveling, you might want to get a fourteen-footer or a twelve-footer board.

Obviously, the longer the board is, the further you can paddle, and the thinner the board is, the further you can paddle. As the board gets thinner, obviously the stability decreases. It’s all about what you plan to do with it and also how good your balance is.

Joe:
And how long your car or truck is too, right?
Luke:
Yeah.
Joe:
The longer you go, the more it takes for storage and transportation, etc.
Luke:

Agree. So the other type of board, the V-Hull, is very similar to mine. I’ve been on a few of those, and although they are very similar to the type that I have, it paddles much better, especially when there’s chop.You can cut straight through the chop, and best of all, it’s much more quiet. In other words, much less hull slap compared to mine. If you are going to be fishing, I recommend getting the traditional V-front, of which there are a ton of manufacturers.

Or, this new style that I will be testing out in the very near future that is like a catamaran board. A guy makes it up in Clear Water at a company Live Watersports. His paddle boards are called L2Fish (Live 2 Fish), and I believe it’s the only catamaran paddle board on the market.

It has the advantage of having the V-hull, while also having the added stability of just the fact that the floating areas are really over on the outsides, going up all the way up and down the entire board.

Joe:
It’s actually tough to flip it over.
Luke:

Yeah, I met the owner last year and he let me borrow a board. I went out on a quick fishing trip for maybe two or three hours, and at one point I literally stood on one side and it didn’t flip over.It’s pretty cool.

And it also has great stability for brining other things on the board like a cooler.

Regarding that, as far as what to bring on the board, I just have a cooler with a bunch of rod holders, my rods, and my lures.

The bad news on my board is that I cannot turn around to get the cooler. It’s just too wobbly. But on the bigger board, I could literally just turn around, no problem. In fact, I could turn around, lean over, get a drink, and probably even jump up and down.

Anyhow, you have this twin hull with the catamaran style paddle board, so it’s a petty cool thing. Again, I just used it once, and I’m looking forward to testing out some more.

Joe:
That’s very cool. I guess with a more stable paddle board, you’ll be able to get your new dog on the board, right?
Luke:
Yeah, that’s the plan, to get a dog very soon, and I definitely can’t take a dog out with the current board I have. This catamaran board should be perfect for it.
Joe:
So let’s talk about everything you need while paddle board fishing. You mentioned the cooler, what else?
Luke:

The cooler I use for paddleboard fishing is the Engle cooler with the rod holders. I can’t remember what size it is. If you just Google paddle board fishing, you can see an article that I did. It shows the board, and it shows everything to bring. I highly recommend getting a cooler with rod holders. That way you can just have everything just really condensed in one area.Another thing as far as fishing from a board is that I usually always get out and wade. You can just cover an area so much more effectively. Also, when you’re on the board and you hook a fish, it’s going to take you to wherever it wants to go because you really can’t stop yourself.

And if there’s a school of red fish and you hook one, you’ll almost always spook the entire school. It’ll take you right on top of them.

But if you are wading, I highly recommend just taking a rope; a rope that is at least seven or eight feet long. I always just tie it to my waist and then tie the other side to the board. That way I can wade down an entire flat and the board just follows me. That way, while I’m wading if I want to change lures or if I need to get pliers, or whatever the case is, all I do is tug on that rope and that board is right there. It’s super convenient.

Then after fishing the flat and I’m ready to go somewhere else, I literally just turn around, pull the rope again, then paddle away. So I highly recommend taking a rope for wading. Of course, wading boots are a must if you’re going to be wading. If you’re not going to be wading, if you’re going to be fishing from the board, really recommended getting some sort of way to hold the paddle at your hip.

Joe:
One thing I haven’t heard you say is, where do you keep your tackle when you go paddle board fishing? You don’t obviously take just one hook and lure. What are you storing your tackle?
Luke:

I actually don’t take much tackle besides just a few hooks and lures. Part of that is because I really can’t fit a tackle box on my current paddle board. I just grab a couple extra hooks, a couple of extra jig heads, a boga grip, and pliers. That’s it. I don’t take a lot of stuff.I always have a simple game plan while out paddle board fishing. I’m going to use a certain lure if it’s shallow, a certain lure if it’s deeper, and that’s it. I’ll take two colors for each style; one light, one dark. That’s all I mess with. I don’t take much gear. It’s more the cooler. I put some waters in there and then I have just my hooks, line, pliers and stuff all in a small soft tackle box.

Joe:
Cool. Do you take push pin when paddle boarding?
Luke:

No, but I probably need to. I’ve always just kept my push pin on my boat, but I’m going to start bringing it paddle board fishing because just last week, I hooked into a snook and the wind was taking me toward the mangroves.The snook got way back up in there. I fortunately ended up getting out, but it would’ve been so much easier if I just had a push pin and just stuck it in the ground. It would’ve saved a lot of trouble. I’m going to start taking it, especially with the bigger catamaran board. The deck of the catamaran style paddle board is completely flat, so that will be so much easier just to take more stuff.

Joe:
Cool, so how about some tips on someone like me deciding to buy my first ever paddle board. How much I should be willing to spend? I’m guessing you are going to tell me that I don’t need the highest top of the line. That I should probably start with something okay and maybe even used like Luke did. Then, move my way up as you decide you really like it. What do you think?
Luke:

Yeah, I agree. Get a used paddle board if you can. Just save your money until you can … That way you’ll know, “Okay, I really enjoy this. I’m going to go all out for the one I’m going to have for a really long time.”Also, if you start out with a used board and then you do get a nicer one, you’ll have a spare ride for a friend. Really, right now not many people have them for fishing. As I said before, they’re a huge advantage.

As far as the size, the length, width, it really depends on how much you weigh and then what you plan on doing with it.

What I always recommend people do, just find a store near you that has a lot of different brands that also allows you to test them out. You really won’t know unless you’re on the water. It’s just really important to get comfortable with the board and test it out before you buy. The only way to do that is to test it on the water. What I’d recommend doing is not focusing on one brand or another, just find a place that allows demos. Go there and test out as many as you can, and then go with that paddle board that you feel the most comfortable on.

As far as comfort, just remember that over time your balances will get much better. If you’re planning on going long distances, I would get one as thin as possible, that you feel at least somewhat comfortable.

And it’s okay if you’re not completely comfortable day 1 because you’ll get much better over time. When I tested mine out, I was really not that comfortable with it. The guy said, “Hey, if you’re going to be surfing, this is the one you need.” I just trusted his advice.

The first time I went out I couldn’t do it. It was a choppy day. I didn’t realize how much of a difference choppy water was. I just remember being so bummed like, “Oh my gosh, I just wasted this money on this board. I can’t even use it.” Now, I love it. Now, I’m so glad I got it because it’s good for surfing. When the weather’s good and some decent waist to chest high waves out there that are clean, it’s a complete blast. When it’s not, I can just go fishing on it.

So my best tip is to go to a dealer that allows demos and test them out.

Joe:

Yeah, there’s tons of them. Just Google kayak paddle board shops near you and you will find some.What about the paddle? To me, I hear three-hundred bucks and that’s a lot. You got a certain paddle recommendation or something to look for?

Luke:

Obviously, the lighter the better in regards to your paddle. And those carbon fiber paddle are the new range if you will. They’re really good. They’re super light. They don’t bend at all. That’s the type to get. It’s all about how much you can afford.I always say, if you know you’re going to be going a lot then get a nice one. Otherwise, just like we said earlier about the board, just start out with something a little bit less and just make sure that you really love paddle fishing and that you’re going to do it often. Then, on your second one you can get a nice one and have the older one for a friend or, you can obviously sell it as well.

If you’re going to get a really nice padde, you can have it custom designed for you like I did mine. It’s not one of those where you can adjust the height of it, it is built perfectly for my height and arm length.

If you are getting a temporary one, it’s much less expensive. They are heavier but, a lot of them you can adjust the height. That way if you’re six foot tall, you can put it for your height. If you’re going to let a friend borrow it who’s five-foot-six, they can just make it a little bit smaller and have it the right size for them.

Just like the board, go out there and test them out and feel them in your hands. Ask the person at the store what they recommend for you on type of usage that you’re going to be doing.

Joe:

Cool, awesome man. That raps it up.Those are the three reasons you should try saltwater paddle board fishing.

To recap, number one is the huge height advantage, number two is the natural, full-body workout, and number three is lighter then a kayak and easier to load, unload and get in.

Luke, I really appreciate it. That was awesome stuff. This is good for the whole family too. We want to stress that this is something really everyone could do. A lot of these young kids, they have better balance then we’ll ever have because they have a really low center of gravity and they seem to love getting on a paddle board.

But just get out there and try it. We’d love to hear any feedback as well, if you are currently doing or you try one that you really love. We are looking into this big time for ourselves and our families, as we mentioned.

Luke:
Also, of exact details on seeing exactly what I described as far as the rope for holding the paddle … That is a huge advantage. Got to SaltStrong.com, use the search feature and just type in paddle board fishing. We’re good at Google. I believe we’re number one on Google paddle board fishing there.
Joe:
Or just go to the show notes, where we will have every single bit of this including pictures, etc. We’ll have all that in there. Here is the link: https://www.saltstrong.com/articles/paddleboard-fishing-tips/
Luke:
Of everything, that’s the most important because you can stand up on a kayak. I would highly recommend getting the paddle board style paddle, if you are a kayaker and you want to stand up in it. If you are going to fish while standing up, definitely get something that allows you to keep the paddle right on your waist.
Joe:
Yep, perfect. Please do subscribe. Leave us a review here on iTunes or Stitcher. We really appreciate all of you that have listened and have been following us so far, and we’ll see you on the next episode. Pa-Pow!
Fish On!

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9 Comments on "3 Reasons All Kayak Anglers Should Consider Paddle Board Fishing."

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Chris Bloodworth
Member

I recently did this myself where I took my mothers paddle board out in St Joseph Sound with a small backpack and a single rod, could really see the fish where I couldn’t from my native kayak and when the day was over it was easy to load where as when I take the kayak I always had to ask someone for help. Only downside was that I flipped the 10′ 6″ board twice, but thanks for the great article Joe.

Jonathan Gesinger
Member

What is the speed and tracking comparison of a SUP vs kayak? Just wondering how much water you cover on one vs the other on a typical day of fishing. And how does the live2fish compare to the standard SUP on that too?

Brad Kemker
Member

Great article. You wrote a kayak has the advantage that older folks might just want to sit and relax. I am 50 and for me the truth is the opposite. I sit in a kayak for an extended period of time and get stiff, my back hurts and its just not comfortable anymore. I would love to have the ability to either stand or sit. I know I could get out and wade, but that is not always possible. I think I will get a stand up paddle board! Just my 2 cents. Fish-on, my brothers!

Pierson Monetti
Member

Another addition to this great article, especially for fly fisherman: Buy yourself a drift sock! Tie it to the leash strap on the back of the board and stow it in your cooler when not in use. Because paddle boards are so light and draft no water, you will find wind will move you off a spot in no time or blow you into the spot too fast. Throw the sock out when drifting down a mangrove shoreline, flat, or sea wall. You will get 10X more casts in the strike zone (again, big deal for fly fisherman). I find the sock keeps me in position long enough to get those perfect cats in without having to put down the rod and maneuver with the paddle every 30 seconds. Another great use of the sock is to put on the breaks when fighting a fish, this can be the difference between that snook making the mangroves or not. Didn’t think it would be so useful until I got one. Now i keep it in my cooler at all times.

Jeremy Rosenhagen
Member

I must say that Luke is right about balance on your board. If u are looking for board and it feels little tippy don’t worry u will get used to it I remember when I frist started paddle boarding I had a big 12′ x 35″ board and now I have surf paddle boards almost half that size… and I fish off of a 10′ naish about same size as Luke’s I use a lumbar Side pack to keep my drink and hooks in. I like fishing from stand up you really can’t see more things, only time I really think about a kayak is when I would like to sit down but if u have a big stand up made more for fishing that would not be a problem with a cooler and with a little time and practice you might even be able to stand on the cooler too.. I would say the only down sides to stand up is when the paddling in to the wind ( that’s just the price u pay to stand up) but u learn ways around that like geting down lower to reduce the amount sail u make with ur body. And the other would be the watching out for oyster bars they are hard on the most paddle boards they’re not made to take the abuse like kayaks do. Sense I have started fishing from paddle boards I notice when I’m out surfing I am now even more aware of what’s in the water lol Sometimes good sometimes bad!

FYI for anyone that is on the east side around daytona area there is a big paddleboard/ kayak demo open to the public on Saturday morning 4/23/16 at the Dunlawton Bridge for more info contact Sandy Point Progressive Sports ( and no I don’t work for them) this would b good time to try out many different boards and kayaks. Hope this helps for anyone looking to make the move to kayak or sup (paddleboard) this is a free event just make sure you bring some type footwear to use in the water.

Jeremy Rosenhagen
Member

Thank you for doing the Podcast (Transcription) sure does help for ppl like me that can’t hear well..
FYI there is a way to do that with the you tube videos too. If u do that be awesome!!

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