A Beginner’s Guide to Paddleboard Fishing

If you love spending time on lakes or ponds, paddleboard fishing is an excellent way to exercise outdoors while catching your favorite freshwater fish. The paddleboard allows you to navigate coves and hidden fishing areas that bigger motorized boats cannot access. This article will outline all you need to know about SUP fishing, including paddleboard gears and safety tips.

What is Paddleboard Fishing?

SUP fishing involves standing on a specially built board while using a paddle to navigate the water. Although similar to kayaking and surfing, SUP fishing is different because it allows you to paddle from a standing position. You can use your arms while kneeling or standing to move you and the board forward.

Why SUP Fishing?

If you are new to SUP fishing, it might take a while to wrap your head around how standing on a board can make fishing easier or even fun. However, the following reasons prove otherwise. 

Below are reasons why SUP fishing has taken the world by storm:

1. SUP Boards are easier to transport

Inflatable paddleboards are easier to transport than other fishing vessels. Most boats require trailers to be launched onto the water each time you want to enjoy your time out on the water; paddleboards are more convenient. 

Also, inflatable paddleboards are easier to handle because they are durable, compact, and lightweight. You can easily load them onto your vehicle and move them from one location to another. Some are even sold with roller backpacks, making it possible for you to hike with your paddleboard. That way, you quickly get to your favorite fishing spot that would have been difficult to reach by car.   

2. SUB Boards are Nimble

The flexibility of paddleboards allows you to fish anywhere regardless of the nature of the waterways. They are strong and conveniently fit into spots that regular dingies or boats cannot reach, which means more fun and action! You can navigate your stand-up paddleboard on shallow waters and easily reach secluded areas with ease.        

3. Gives Anglers More Reach

Standing on your paddleboard allows you the freedom to move around and spot any fish that may be near you. The size of the board is built to provide you with better vision and little obstruction in your movement. Some paddleboards can be upgraded with a kayak seat, allowing you to sit down and relax while you hunt for your favorite fish.

4. Gives Anglers Stealth On The Water       

Paddleboards are also silent on water because they are moved by muscle power exerted by the paddle on the water. This allows you to approach fish without noise from propellers or the churning of water from the sides of a motorized boat.

5. SUP Fishing is Relatively Affordable

While there are many differences between fishing on a boat and fishing on a board, we can oversimplify and say the major difference is one takes place on a boat and the other on a board

However, you will spend much more on a fishing boat than a fishing board. How much more is determined by the size of the boat, which depends on your fishing needs. Regardless, the cheapest fishing boat is still more expensive than most high-end fishing boards. 

The price of fishing SUP boards falls between $300 and $4,000, while fishing boats cost a minimum of $20,000 with no cap on the price, depending on size and facilities. 

SUP Fishing Has Some Drawbacks

SUP fishing is not without its drawbacks. The following are some reasons you might want to steer clear of stand-up paddleboard fishing.

1. Vulnerable in windy conditions

One of the most significant downsides to SUP fishing is that paddleboards tremble in high winds. It is challenging to keep your board steady while paddling without losing direction. 

Expert anglers tie their paddleboards to nearby piling or posts to remain grounded in a particular area. You can also anchor your board using a Wang stick or throw your pole anchor into the seafloor and tie it with a rope.

2. Ideal for Short Distance Voyages     

SUP fishing is not suitable for long-distance navigation on water bodies. Unlike boats that allow you to travel as far as you want without getting tired, paddling requires a lot of strength. Experienced anglers usually paddle a few miles from the shore to their favorite spot and start fishing.        

3. Exposure to harmful UV Rays

Unlike sit-in kayaks, stand-up paddleboards expose anglers to sun rays. Almost all body parts are exposed while fishing, which could adversely affect health. It is recommended you put on protective clothing items, especially in areas where the rays of UV rays are most intense. Add a quality sunblock, and you are set to go.

The Right SUP Fishing Gear

Your SUP fishing experience is only as good as your choice of gear. The following are essentials you need when going on the water.

1. Fishing Paddleboard

It goes without saying that a fishing paddle board is the most important gear you need when going SUP fishing. Choosing a paddleboard becomes less of a hassle when you factor in the considerations below:

Considerations when choosing a paddleboard

  • Stability: Considering that you will be standing, for the most part, moving around while fishing, you want a board that can stay steady. As a result, stability should be chief on your list of considerations when looking for a fishing SUP. 
  • Weight Capacity: The weight capacity is how much load the board can handle and stay afloat. This will be determined by the type of fish you intend to catch, how much gear you have aboard and your weight. 
  • Deck Pad: The deck pad is where you will stand on the board when you set and cast your line. Remember that you will need to struggle with the fish and move around quickly on a wet deck. Consequently, it becomes important that you have a grippy deck pad that would prevent slips and ensure efficiency. 
  • Paddle Quality: Most fishing SUPs are sold as a package, meaning they come with necessary attachments, including the paddle. When choosing a board, you want to ensure you choose one with the right paddle

2. Fishing Rod Holder

It is an inconvenience to hold your fishing rod all the time. This is why you must use a fish rod holder for SUP fishing. Most SUPs come with mounts compatible with rod holders. However, You do not need to panic if yours didn’t come with one, as many options are available.

3. Fishing Rack

SUP fishing racks make it easier to organize your paddleboard. Fishing racks are designed to be easily attached to boards with rack receivers. They are vertical and take up little space on deck. The rack includes gear pegs and rod holders. You can also hang your backpack or tackle bag on it, allowing your bag to stay dry.  

4. SUP Fishing Cooler

Having a SUP fishing cooler solves two problems. It keeps your live bait fresh and helps preserve your catch until you are off the water. Your choice of cooler should be easy to fix on your board and not too heavy that it puts the weight out of balance. 

5. Sunglasses

You need sunglasses when you are on the water. Not just to look cool but to protect your eyes from the sunlight bouncing off the water. You might not consider it too important, but little detail like this separates good anglers from great anglers. 

6. Other Essentials

  • Anchor
  • Tackle
  • Personal floatation device
  • Bucket
  • Net
  • Ankle leash
  • Dry Bag
  • Light source
  • Whistle

General SUP Fishing Tips

Having the right gear is half the hustle. The other half uses the gear, tips, and tricks correctly to catch your chosen prey. The following are some paddleboard fishing tips for your time on the water. 

1. Times to fish

To understand when to catch fish, you must first understand fish. Fish move deeper in the water or migrate when the water gets too warm. So you want to be on the water before the sun comes out or when the sun goes down. Dusk is preferred because many insects would be out, and insects are a core component of the fish diet. 

2. Choosing your spot

You could be out on the water all day doing the right things and not catch any fish because the fish just aren’t there. While it is not surefire, places with logs and weeds are considered good fishing ground because they offer protection from the sun and predators. 

3. Learn basic knots

Common rookie mistakes are losing your hook or not anchoring your board properly. You can avoid such hiccups by learning basic knot tying techniques. It would be a shame to lose your bouncy because you did not tie your knots correctly. 


What makes SUP fishing spectacular is how it seamlessly combines many different things. It is fun, quality exercise, and you leave the water with tasty fish you can sell or make into lunch or dinner. But you need the right gear, tips and tricks, all of which are in the article above.