SUP Fishing With A Push Pole & Casting Platform [Sight Fishing Machine]
Paddle fishing has been near and dear to me since learning how to fish with my dad in the ol’ green canoe.
And if anything, I’m enjoying paddle fishing now more than ever with the advent of the stand-up paddle board (SUP).
Because my favorite style of fishing is via sight since it’s essentially a combination of hunting and fishing, and the advantages of sight fishing from a SUP are tough to ignore:
- Stealthy movement similar to a kayak
- Higher point of vision similar to a boat
- Lightweight allowing for easy launching and loading
Now that great paddle boards like the L2Fish are available allowing for maximum stability while still cutting through the water for efficiently covering a lot of distance, my sight fishing opportunities have skyrocketed.
SUP Fishing With A Push Pole
I just recently began taking the casting platform from my boat along with my push pole on SUP fishing trips and I was shocked at how effective and enjoyable it was.
Because when a cast platform and push pole are added to SUP fishing, the ability to see into the water increases significantly due to the added height and the stealth is better since the noise from the push pole is place further back.
And a surprise bonus that I found when using the push pole while SUP fishing is that it enabled me to more easily control my drifts because the push pole essentially acts as a big rudder which you can move from side to side to control speed and direction of your drifts.
Cool Sight Fishing Footage On The SUP
I fortunately brought my GoPro along with me on my first trip fishing from the L2Fish SUP with a push pole because I ended up seeing a lot of redfish, snook, and trout while quietly exploring an area I’ve been to only once before.
Best of all, many of the fish were on sand/mud bottom which made them very visible on film.
Click on the video below to see some heartbreaker moments as well as some success:
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Click here to see the detailed Insider Report from this trip.
The advent of stand-up paddle boards (SUPs) has enabled inshore anglers who enjoy paddle fishing to see fish much easier than in a sitting position of a kayak while still being able to quietly move across the water.
And the addition of the casting platform and the push pole as shown in the video below takes it to an entirely different level.
I had a feeling that I’d enjoy it, but the difference in simply adding that additional 14+ inches of height was a huge benefit and that was compounded by using the push pole to quietly move across the flat.
On the trip shown above, I was only on the water for 2.5 to 3 hours fishing a spot I’ve only been to 1 time before. And I saw 30 to 40 fish (redfish, snook, and seatrout) given how clearly I could see in the water for such a large distance away.
So if you see a push pole sticking out from the top of a truck with a paddle board, you’ll know what’s going on… sight fishing!
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I am looking at the Bote Rathman and the L2. With either, I would probably stand on a cooler and use a push pole. At 6’1”, what would you recommend the minimum height of the pole be? I really like the anchor Stick/push pole that Bote has, because it fits in the through hole to secure anchor stick, but its only 8ft and I’m sure that’s not enough. Also, looking at both boards, I love the accessories available with Bote, so am leaning that way. However, in SC we have big tides which comes with big current. Would you recommend the fin setup of the Bote or the L2 for tracking and to reduce sliding across the water?
I’ve only tried using this one push pole which is 23 ft long, so I can’t say for certain how long it needs to be. But I’d prefer using no less than 17 ft. But given how much of a pain it is to travel around with the long push poles, the smarter play is likely to just get a longer paddle that’s long enough to comfortably paddle while at the elevated position.
I don’t know anything about the Rathman board, but I wouldn’t put much value on the anchor pin hole because I recommend against using those because they create noise when any sort of waves are present and they typically create a weak point in SUPs/Kayaks over time from the friction… it’s best to tie off to the stick anchor with a short rope.
And as for accessories, the L2Fish has kayak accessory mounts along the sides which brings a ton of potential add-ons if needed… my personal preference is that less is more.
I’m not sure about how the fin setups compare. Hopefully there’s a local dealer who allows for test trials so you can see them in action.
Hopefully that helps. Sorry I couldn’t give a direct answer to which one is best… I just don’t know enough about the Bote board to give any first-hand comparison answers.
I also have an l2fish and love it. I stand on a cooler and use my paddle as a “pole” and I noticed the extra few inches the platform gave you. I was wondering what length push pole you were using and what platform you were using. Also, awesome video and it was nice seeing the fish follow the lure in.
Thanks for the kind words about this sup fishing video.
I was using a 23′ push pole in this video. The platform was one that came with my boat… bought it used so not sure where it actually came from.
Swell review Luke. Love my new Expandable 16’ pontoon 24’ x 8 ‘ deck. Super stable, breaks down and fits into my little Civic. Take 5 minutes to get it together, no trailer needed 45 pound thrust bow Minn Kota, kayak rudder which is retractable,have a boat chair that Swiveling 360 degree. One can stand who have normal bounce. Have paddle cooler and my dog on board. 2” of water needed. Check it out . I am amazed how cheap I am on the water. Just love USA made stuff.
Luke, I found if you use the stick-it pole, its nice to attach a clip on suction cup with L2Fish so you can just clamp it down on the board where ever you want quickly. It held pretty nicely in some fast moving water. you can see it in my video.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kk_xFCk3b5g&t=160s
Luke can you please do a review of the power poll micro and mount for the L2fish? It seems like it would be amazing!!
I’ll add that to my list of items to check out. First, I want to spend some time with a manual stick it pin to figure out the ideal way to use it while SUP fishing so that I can compare that to the micro power pole knowing that I’d surely never use the manual method once I got the electronic one:)
My guess is that you could get away with a shorter, lighter push pole with a SUP board than a skiff.
Absolutely! I actually believe it would be easier with a heavier push pole because the one I have is very light (carbon fiber) which makes it very buoyant. And the biggest problem I had was getting enough vertical force to overcome how much it wanted to float before it dug into the ground.
I’m willing to bet that even a 14′ wooden pole that could be bought at Home Depot would work great.
Great video! Better to see fish and miss them (like the snook at the end) than to not see fish at all :-). I did a lot of standing in kayaks in mid-Atlantic smallmouth rivers before moving to FL, and this takes it up a notch with the platform and push pole. It’s nice that the push pole fits right into a rod holder.
Thanks Mark. Yes, I completely agree that seeing them is a thrill in itself.
As for the push pole, it is too heavy to get supported by the rod holder on that cooler because I don’t tie the cooler down on the board. Instead, I simply tied a loop at the end of a small rope that I wore as a belt and used that to secure the push pole when fishing (keep it right at my side so that I could easy use it as a rudder to control my drift).
The rope I’m referring to is the same one that I showed in this SUP fishing tips post: https://www.saltstrong.com/articles/paddleboard-fishing-tips/. Instead of using it to secure the paddle as shown in that video, I used it for the push pole).
Got it. Thanks for that follow-up and info, Luke. BTW, an option for someone who wants to do this a lot might be one of the aluminum poles designed for poling a canoe (they are available in two-piece models for transport). Also, the Superstick push pole might work, which is telescoping and has an interchangeable foot. I’m sure there are others on the market as well. I keep a Superstick on my 18-foot aluminum G3 power boat.
Great ideas Mark! Thanks for sharing the tips.
Hey Luke I love this vid can you go fishing in Charlestown South Carolina because they have some big monster redfish up in the marsh.
I’m guessing you’re aware of a commercially available belt clip device, kind of like the old cell phone nerdy, but functional holder which standard Stiffy brand push pole snaps in and out of easily. I’ve yet to use it on my Beavertail skiff as I’m usually demoted to poler with one of my sons enjoying the boats front end. I am a bit afraid of the commotion the dragging end of the pole will make as the boat continues to move especially since most days are not as calm as the one in your fantastic video. If you’re not aware of this product I can get you more info.
Keep the good stuff coming!
Hey Julian, thanks for leaving the helpful comment. I’ve seen the belt clips you described, but I haven’t tried one yet… probably because I’m stubborn and always try the DIY ideas first:)
So far, I have been incredibly impressed with how the basic rope loop works so haven’t had much need to experiment further. But yes, if the current setup does start making commotion in rougher water that’ll certainly make me look for other solutions to controlling the push pole while fishing.
The one change I’ll make before the next trip is to make a new rope belt with a slightly bigger loop that fits the forked end of the push pole better.
Great video. I love SUP fishing too, will be getting a platform for sure. Game changer.
What a great video! This seems like a revolutionary technique that could change skinny water spin and fly fishing forever. Thanks for sharing this. It has me second guessing my brand new Tony Acevedo inspired kayak purchase.;)
Given how similar kayak fishing is to SUP fishing, you’ll be able to use most of the tactics Tony reveals in his course to SUP fishing… the core difference is that you’ll be able to see into the water more easily on the SUP.
And if you’ll be going long distances (especially in windy conditions), I highly recommend using the SUP as a kayak by simply sitting down to paddle into the wind to decrease wind drag.
Great video Luke! I’m amazed that you were standing on a casting platform, fishing, on the SUP. Pretty good stability.
Thanks for making time to leave the nice comment Alan. I’d have zero chance of standing on a platform on my first SUP, but this L2Fish is extremely stable so it was much easier than I thought it would be.