Everything You Need to Know to Get Into Freshwater SUP Fishing

James J. Latham

The standup paddleboard pattern appears to have been taking around the outdoor place in recent several years. It is challenging to undertaking to a lake, river, or shoreline devoid of observing the the significant boards out and about, paddlers quickly navigating the h2o with seemingly effortless strokes. SUPs current a strong exercise routine possibility, a fun floating selection for sunset cocktail hour and a fresh new way to tour waterways with good friends.

But for a subset of SUP buyers, these floating boards have also transformed up another beloved pastime: fishing.

Two women fish from stand-up paddleboards on Oregon's John Day River.
Image: Jess McGlothlin Media

Fishing from a SUP is a great plan at periods and not at other folks just as it is a suit for some anglers and perhaps not the greatest selection for specific buyers. For equally spin fishers and fly anglers, it presents a fresh new way to investigate waters you may possibly have otherwise cruised ideal past in the boat. SUPs draft considerably shallower than the common raft, drift boat or bass boat—often as very little as five inches with fins—allowing entry to h2o that otherwise is unreachable.

For moderately suit paddlers with reasonably great stability who are navigating nonetheless or sluggish-going waterways, paddleboards are a very-cellular fishing platform. It is astonishingly straightforward to decide on up the paddling stroke, and with the selection to drop to one’s knees in turbulent h2o, there is no purpose to be intimidated by seeking out a SUP for the 1st time.

There are lots of paddleboard iterations on the industry right now: from surf hybrids, fishing-specific boards, fitness-minded SUPs and even gigantic, eight-person mega boards. And all paddleboards slide in just one of two groups: both inflatable or challenging (sometimes called fiberglass or epoxy boards).

Inflatable SUPs have developed in level of popularity around the past several several years, and for great purpose. Deflated, they ordinarily roll up to suit into a massive backpack, providing straightforward transportation and storage. The sheer displacement of the boards indicates they are fairly secure (broader or thicker board are even extra so), and they are very resilient, demonstrating outstanding tolerance for accidental bumps into rocks on the river. Consider about rowing a raft vs . a challenging-sided drift boat the raft will fare far better when you rub that concealed rock in the center of the river.

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

Tough boards, obviously not fairly as straightforward to transportation or retail store as their inflatable brethren, are a bit extra agile and offer you far better glide—important for fitness enthusiasts and touring SUP buyers. Providing far better velocity and a extra effective ride at very long distances, lots of challenging boards can be employed for SUP surfing as well.

For anglers, however, inflatable boards are the overpowering pattern, largely thanks to their steadiness and simplicity of transportation. For fishing, glimpse for an inflatable board with a planing hull—the entrance of the board will show up wide and flat (with no V-condition on the base of the board), which provides steadiness and great maneuvering.

In contrast, displacement hulls have a pointed nose and contoured base, and when they slice by means of the h2o extra quickly, providing improved strength and a speedier ride, they are a bit significantly less secure for the back again-and-forth fishing.

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

Many new SUP anglers are so anxious with the imagined of falling in that they disregard gear firm on the boat. The very last detail you want is for a superior-finish rod to be tipping off the facet of your board or underfoot as you are seeking to paddle. Several brand names offer you suction-on rod mounts, intended to ride on the entrance of the board and maintain your rod in a ahead vertical position, maintaining it out from underfoot and safely and securely secured until you will need it. It is a worthwhile financial investment for equally simplicity of use and peace of intellect.

Spend in a great water resistant bag or circumstance (I favor the YETI Hopper Flip twelve Cooler) and strap it to the entrance portion of your SUP. This provides you a “hub” for deal with/fly boxes, h2o bottles, PFD … everything that you never want to roll off the boat. Use the SUP’s bungee method or strap the bag to your board, and hold it shut snugly when not in use. The objective with on-board storage is to hold factors well-fixed. If the board somehow flipped around (very not likely), would your gear nonetheless be connected when you flipped it back again around? Make absolutely sure that it would be.

Dry baggage are also a most loved for those things you want to hold near, like sunscreen, a mobile mobile phone or keys. Discover a standard roll-top rated product like the Discovery Check out Dry Bag, and hold it sealed and buckled close to a strap. It is an straightforward way to hold organized and can go with you if you choose to end and go away your board on the beach front for a when. Some anglers like to bring along a full-sizing cooler, positioning it mid-board as a seat when paddling. It can increase a good deal of bulk and restrict your maneuverability on the boat, so assure you nonetheless can go and paddle comfortably if you choose to bring just one along.

SUPs are not exempt to the guidelines of the river. Courtesy close to other watercraft is paramount, in particular on chaotic waterways with lots of other anglers. Don’t be that paddler that can make the “drift boat” fellas loathe on SUPs for the rest of their life. Push close to other peoples’ boats with sensible place in involving (SUPs are extra maneuverable than most bigger boats). Enjoy for angler’s casting lanes and regard the place, just as you would in any other watercraft. Smile, wave and engage in like a massive kid.

Particularly for those newer to paddleboarding, remember you never will need to be a rock-star, sixty-foot caster when fishing from a board. In fact, it is far better if you are not. Fishing from a SUP delivers improved maneuverability and stealthiness, so never be frightened to go well in your casting comfort and ease zone and hold your casts near as you get employed to the sensation of casting from a scaled-down platform. Casting from a board is a new sensation and will probable feel wobbly at 1st, but just after a little bit of exercise it is remarkably secure (and somewhat effective).

Floating lines are typically much easier to manage from a SUP, and consider bringing along a stripping basket (milk crates make excellent makeshift baskets) to pool your stripped line into. Eyeball the entrance of your SUP and lessen surfaces that could potentially snag your line. Flip D-rings down, protected the fasteners on your box or bag and hold everything streamlined—this will go a very long way to blocking the frustrations that sometimes appear from managing fly line on any sort of boat.

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

Participate in close to on the board before you ever decide on up a rod on the SUP get employed to dropping to your knees and popping up again, altering your class with nominal paddling, and just going close to on the boat. Select up your rod and place the paddle down lengthwise on the boat, involving your toes, and exercise switching back again-and-forth.

The wind can have a nasty practice of kicking up just as you hook into a fish, and at some issue, you are going to discover oneself juggling equally a rod and a paddle, seeking to right your drift when managing a fish. A very little exercise in advance will make the juggling course of action much smoother.

And and lastly, hold ‘em soaked! Drop to your knees when managing fish, leaning carefully around the facet of the SUP and eliminating the hook with nominal managing. “Keep ‘em wet” is a motion intended to assist anglers release fish with nominal anxiety: reducing air exposure, eradicating get hold of with dry surfaces, and reducing managing. Test to keep away from bringing fish onto the board most fishing SUPs are secure more than enough it is fairly straightforward to drop to your knees and lean around, or even sit astride the board when managing a fish. Do your component to assist assure a healthier release so a person else can catch that identical fish in the long term.

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

Fishing from a SUP delivers a new experience for seasoned anglers, and an engaging intro into fishing for watersports fans. For those seeking to get in a exercise routine when fishing, have good friends who paddleboard, or are just seeking for one thing various, it is a genuinely fun way to enjoy the h2o, problem one’s fishing abilities, and perhaps slide in enjoy with a new activity.

Anglers who are employed to fishing from kayaks or canoes will discover their ability to spot fish much improved when standing, and quickly will discover their interest on the fish, not on their stability.

Notes on Gear

Any SUP that is moderately wide and thick (lots of boards run 32- to 34-inches wide some, like BOTE’s Rackham Aero are as wide as 38 inches, providing improved steadiness) will get the job done excellent as a fishing platform. Some, like Entire body Glove’s Mariner, are promoted as fishing-specific boards with options intended for the angler: attachment points for rod holders and an anchor line method. NRS’s Heron options two facet chambers that inflate for serious steadiness, acting like outriggers—rendering the craft a very little significantly less effective for very long paddles but amazingly secure for angling.

And of class, it is wise to pack along the requisite security gear. Have on a everyday living jacket (PFD)—there are so lots of minimalist, comfortable selections on the industry there is no excuse not to. If you are crossing turbulent h2o, consider a leash so, in circumstance you component means with your board, you keep on being tethered. Discover a paddle that fits your particular person demands anglers typically seek out out ergonomic, lightweight paddles and crack down into a few items for straightforward storage and transportation. Increase in lightweight, solar-protecting garments and a tube of sunscreen and you are great to go.

The short article was initially revealed on Standup Paddling

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