Everything You Need to Know to Get Into Freshwater SUP Fishing

The standup paddleboard craze looks to have been having around the outside room in current several years. It’s difficult to venture to a lake, river, or shoreline with out looking at the the hefty boards out and about, paddlers quickly navigating the h2o with seemingly easy strokes. SUPs existing a reliable exercise routine chance, a pleasurable floating possibility for sunset cocktail hour and a clean way to tour waterways with pals.

But for a subset of SUP users, these floating boards have also modified up a different beloved pastime: fishing.

Picture: Jess McGlothlin Media

Fishing from a SUP is a good plan at times and not at some others just as it is a in good shape for some anglers and possibly not the best possibility for specific users. For the two spin fishers and fly anglers, it provides a clean way to discover waters you could have or else cruised appropriate earlier in the boat. SUPs draft considerably shallower than the average raft, drift boat or bass boat—often as tiny as 5 inches with fins—allowing obtain to h2o that or else is unreachable.

For fairly in good shape paddlers with moderately good stability who are navigating however or slow-going waterways, paddleboards are a extremely-cellular fishing system. It’s amazingly quick to choose up the paddling stroke, and with the possibility to fall to one’s knees in turbulent h2o, there is no motive to be intimidated by hoping out a SUP for the to start with time.

There are quite a few paddleboard iterations on the market place nowadays: from surf hybrids, fishing-particular boards, health-minded SUPs and even gigantic, 8-man or woman mega boards. And all paddleboards fall within a single of two types: possibly inflatable or difficult (sometimes identified as fiberglass or epoxy boards).

Inflatable SUPs have developed in popularity around the earlier a number of several years, and for good motive. Deflated, they normally roll up to in good shape into a huge backpack, featuring quick transportation and storage. The sheer displacement of the boards signifies they are fairly secure (broader or thicker board are even a lot more so), and they are extremely durable, displaying extraordinary tolerance for accidental bumps into rocks on the river. Think about rowing a raft compared to a difficult-sided drift boat the raft will fare much better when you rub that concealed rock in the middle of the river.

SUPs and rafts wait on the edge of a river.
Picture: Jess McGlothlin Media

Tricky boards, naturally not fairly as quick to transport or retailer as their inflatable brethren, are marginally a lot more agile and give much better glide—important for health fans and touring SUP users. Presenting much better velocity and a a lot more economical ride at long distances, quite a few difficult boards can be utilized for SUP surfing as effectively.

For anglers, however, inflatable boards are the mind-boggling craze, mainly due to their steadiness and relieve of transport. For fishing, seem for an inflatable board with a planing hull—the front of the board will show up wide and flat (with no V-shape on the base of the board), which presents steadiness and good maneuvering.

In distinction, displacement hulls have a pointed nose and contoured base, and even though they slice via the h2o a lot more quickly, featuring enhanced electricity and a speedier ride, they are marginally significantly less secure for the back again-and-forth fishing.

Woman on stand-up paddleboard navigates the John Day River in Oregon.
Picture: Jess McGlothlin Media

Lots of new SUP anglers are so involved with the considered of falling in that they disregard gear organization on the boat. The very last thing you want is for a superior-end rod to be tipping off the facet of your board or underfoot as you’re hoping to paddle. Many models give suction-on rod mounts, created to ride on the front of the board and hold your rod in a forward vertical placement, maintaining it out from underfoot and safely secured right until you want it. It’s a worthwhile expenditure for the two relieve of use and peace of mind.

Invest in a good water-resistant bag or circumstance (I favor the YETI Hopper Flip twelve Cooler) and strap it to the front part of your SUP. This presents you a “hub” for tackle/fly containers, h2o bottles, PFD … just about anything that you really do not want to roll off the boat. Use the SUP’s bungee method or strap the bag to your board, and continue to keep it closed snugly when not in use. The purpose with on-board storage is to continue to keep factors effectively-fixed. If the board by some means flipped around (extremely unlikely), would your gear however be attached when you flipped it back again around? Make sure that it would be.

Dry baggage are also a beloved for those people objects you want to continue to keep close, like sunscreen, a mobile cell phone or keys. Find a essential roll-leading model like the Discovery Check out Dry Bag, and continue to keep it sealed and buckled all around a strap. It’s an quick way to continue to keep organized and can go with you if you pick out to cease and depart your board on the beach front for a even though. Some anglers like to deliver along a full-dimension cooler, positioning it mid-board as a seat even though paddling. It can include a great deal of bulk and limit your maneuverability on the boat, so make sure you however can shift and paddle easily if you pick out to deliver a single along.

SUPs are not exempt to the guidelines of the river. Courtesy all around other watercraft is paramount, especially on busy waterways with quite a few other anglers. Really don’t be that paddler that would make the “drift boat” fellas hate on SUPs for the relaxation of their life. Force all around other peoples’ boats with fair room in amongst (SUPs are a lot more maneuverable than most bigger boats). Watch for angler’s casting lanes and respect the room, just as you would in any other watercraft. Smile, wave and perform like a big kid.

Primarily for those people more recent to paddleboarding, try to remember you really do not want to be a rock-star, 60-foot caster when fishing from a board. In simple fact, it is much better if you’re not. Fishing from a SUP gives greater maneuverability and stealthiness, so really do not be fearful to shift effectively within your casting ease and comfort zone and continue to keep your casts close as you get utilized to the feeling of casting from a scaled-down system. Casting from a board is a new feeling and will very likely experience wobbly at to start with, but right after a little bit of practice it is remarkably secure (and alternatively economical).

Floating lines are generally a lot easier to deal with from a SUP, and contemplate bringing along a stripping basket (milk crates make fantastic makeshift baskets) to pool your stripped line into. Eyeball the front of your SUP and limit surfaces that could perhaps snag your line. Flip D-rings down, secure the fasteners on your box or bag and continue to keep almost everything streamlined—this will go a long way to stopping the frustrations that sometimes arrive from running fly line on any form of boat.

Woman fly-fishing from SUP on Oregon's John Day River.
Picture: Jess McGlothlin Media

Engage in all around on the board prior to you ever choose up a rod on the SUP get utilized to dropping to your knees and popping up again, altering your system with minimal paddling, and just going all around on the boat. Decide up your rod and set the paddle down lengthwise on the boat, amongst your ft, and practice switching back again-and-forth.

The wind can have a unpleasant behavior of kicking up just as you hook into a fish, and at some level, you are going to obtain your self juggling the two a rod and a paddle, hoping to right your drift even though running a fish. A tiny practice in progress will make the juggling approach a great deal smoother.

And finally, continue to keep ‘em moist! Drop to your knees when dealing with fish, leaning carefully around the facet of the SUP and removing the hook with minimal dealing with. “Keep ‘em wet” is a movement created to assistance anglers release fish with minimal pressure: minimizing air exposure, reducing make contact with with dry surfaces, and cutting down dealing with. Try out to avoid bringing fish onto the board most fishing SUPs are secure sufficient it is fairly quick to fall to your knees and lean around, or even sit astride the board even though running a fish. Do your component to assistance make sure a nutritious release so someone else can catch that exact fish in the long run.

A woman releases a smallmouth bass caught while fly fishing from a paddleboard on the John Day River in Oregon.
Picture: Jess McGlothlin Media

Fishing from a SUP gives a new working experience for seasoned anglers, and an attractive intro into fishing for watersports fans. For those people searching to get in a exercise routine even though fishing, have pals who paddleboard, or are just searching for a thing various, it is a definitely pleasurable way to take pleasure in the h2o, obstacle one’s fishing abilities, and perhaps fall in appreciate with a new sport.

Anglers who are utilized to fishing from kayaks or canoes will obtain their capacity to location fish a great deal greater even though standing, and shortly will obtain their notice on the fish, not on their stability.

Notes on Equipment

Any SUP that’s fairly wide and thick (quite a few boards run 32- to 34-inches wide some, like BOTE’s Rackham Aero are as wide as 38 inches, featuring greater steadiness) will get the job done fantastic as a fishing system. Some, like Physique Glove’s Mariner, are promoted as fishing-particular boards with functions created for the angler: attachment points for rod holders and an anchor line method. NRS’s Heron functions two facet chambers that inflate for intense steadiness, performing like outriggers—rendering the craft a tiny significantly less economical for long paddles but unbelievably secure for angling.

And of system, it is sensible to pack along the requisite safety gear. Dress in a daily life jacket (PFD)—there are so quite a few minimalist, comfortable alternatives on the market place there is no justification not to. If you’re crossing turbulent h2o, contemplate a leash so, in circumstance you component methods with your board, you keep on being tethered. Find a paddle that suits your personal needs anglers generally look for out ergonomic, lightweight paddles and split down into three items for quick storage and transportation. Include in lightweight, solar-protecting clothes and a tube of sunscreen and you’re good to go.


The post was at first posted on Standup Paddling


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