As told by Natalie Starliper
Let’s face it — we are always willing to improve at the hobbies we love. In this instance, we are going to help improve your SUP fishing game. If you didn’t know, SUP fishing has recently captured the attention of anglers across the nation because it’s a great new way to score the catch of the day. So how does one become a SUP fishing pro? It’s all spelled out in the fine details below.
1. Plan ahead
Make sure you are prepared for your SUP fishing adventure. Check the weather—the wind’s direction and speed is important to take note of. The wind will push you around more on a paddle board than a kayak, and you won’t have a motor to help you. If you’re fishing solo, check out these safety tips. Also, make sure you know where you’re going. It’s easy to get lost in the backwater, especially when you’re on the hunt for fish. Try not to explore new areas by yourself and always make sure you have a map. Nobody wants to have to get rescued!
2. Packing your SUP for fishing
You don’t want all your gear to weigh you down. Only pack what you really need.
You’ll need these essentials:
- Fishing rod
- Cast net
- Bait bucket if you’re using live bait
- Paddleboard anchor if it’s windy
- Small tackle box.
I always bring a small cooler to sit on and to hold ice to keep the fish I catch fresh. I also put a milk crate under the bungee on the front of my board to hold my gear.
3. Finding comfort while fishing on your SUP
Since you will be balancing, casting, and reeling on your board, you will want to be comfortable. Be sure that you know the paddle boarding basics before heading out with all your gear. Remember you are going to have to balance while reeling in your fish—you don’t want to go overboard! Also, make sure you’re comfortable getting on and off your board while it’s loaded up with your gear. I find myself getting on and off my board quite often, whether it is to catch live bait or to stop and fish off the bank.
4. Organizing your fishing SUP for success
You will want all your gear at your fingertips and knowing where everything is located on your board is key. You don’t want to be searching for your pliers while your fish is flopping around. If you choose to bring a milk crate to carry your gear, you can make a cheap and functional rod holder by cutting a piece of PVC pipe and zip-tying it to the corner of the milk crate. Some paddle boards are designed for SUP fishing and come with Scotty mounts attached the board’s deck. You’ll need a place to put your rod while you’re paddling and while you’re taking your fish off the line. I also recommend getting a paddle holder. It’s easy to get caught up in the moment of reeling in your fish and accidentally knocking everything off of your board, and trust me—it’s not as fun fishing for your gear!
5. Be prepared for the unexpected
With any SUP adventure, you will want to be prepared for the unexpected. Don’t forget water, snacks, sunscreen, and of course your PFD!