Nothing beats a day out on the water on a stand-up paddle board (SUP). The sun is out, the wind is calm, and there’s nothing but you, floating on top of a gently rolling surface. How could things possibly get better than this?!
Well, if you add in a fishing rod it certainly can! But can you really fish from a SUP? In short, you absolutely can! SUPs are great for fishing as they allow you to get to spots that are difficult to maneuver to in a fishing boat or a kayak. The trick is to set your SUP up correctly so that you can enjoy fishing on it without worrying about losing all your stuff in the water!
By the end of this post, you’ll feel confident in your decision to try SUP fishing this year. Let’s get started!
What do I Need to Fish on a SUP?
If you’re in the market for a SUP and you’re considering using it for touring and fishing only, you should definitely look out for a SUP that is specifically designed for fishing. They are built to have a wider deck, tie down points, rod holders, and points to harness a fish finder to, making them ideal for SUP anglers.
If you’ve already got a SUP and you want to convert it to a fishing SUP, these are the things you’re going to want to get to create the perfect DIY fishing machine!
- Dry bags
You’ll want these to make sure all of the gear you need with you but can’t afford to get wet (extra clothing, phones, cameras, keys, wallet, fishing license) is nice and dry throughout your time on the water.
- Milk crate
Milk crates are great for storing all sorts of stuff while you’re out fishing on your SUP. It keeps your tackle box, bait, lunch, and anything else you can fit in there in one convenient place. Plus they’re super inexpensive, so you can buy a few of them and create different tackle combinations for different fishing conditions!
- Cam straps
These inexpensive little wonders is how you’re going to secure all of your gear to the deck of your SUP! Professional white water rafting tour companies use them for a variety of things, so they’ll be more than enough for securing fishing gear to your SUP.
- Bungy cargo netting
A great way to add another level of security to your gear, especially in the milk crate, is a bungy cargo net. You can make sure that if your SUP flips over, your stuff won’t all fall out of the milk crate and into the water!
- Detachable fishing rod holders and glue
Something you’re going to want to do to modify your SUP is to glue the bases of detachable rod holders to the deck of your board. That way, you’ll be able to set your fishing rods up to constantly be in the water, giving you the maximum opportunity to catch some fish! Then, when you’re all done fishing for the day, you can take the rod holders off to reduce the risk of breaking them off the SUP while transporting and storing your board.
How do I Rig my SUP so my Stuff Doesn’t Fall into the Water?
Now that you’ve sourced and purchased all of your essential gear items, it’s time to rig up your SUP.
Start by weighing out your gear in your milk crate to get an idea of how much weight you’re going to be placing in the crate. Then, fill a dry bag with some rocks to match the weight of your fully tackled milk crate and bring it with you to go test out the balance of the board in the water. By filling a dry bag with rocks, you can simulate the effect of having the additional gear on board with you, while not risking getting any of your fishing stuff wet!
Bring some cam straps to secure the dry bag to your board. Play around with the placement of the bag to find your ideal balance point. Take a few strokes in the water and make sure that you feel comfortable maneuvering as well as moving around on top of the board to access your gear.
Once you’ve found that golden balance zone, mark your SUP so that you can correctly place your tackle each time you rig up your board to fish. Use a couple of cam straps to snuggly strap your milk crate to the SUP when you’re ready to go fishing. Try to end with the buckle on top of the milk crate so that you can easily adjust your straps while standing on the board.
For your rod holders, try to glue the bases slightly forward of where you’ll stand on your board. That way, you can easily access your fishing rods while you’re out on the water. All you’ll have to do is bend down to pick them up, making it easy to manage!
Now that you’ve got all the right gear and the knowledge of how to rig your SUP to flip, get out there and start using your new fish catching machine!
The best spots to use your SUP are in small bodies of calm, flat water. That way, you’ll have less risk of flipping over and going for a swim while you’re fishing! But since your gear will properly strapped down, you have nothing to fear. One thing about SurfStar boards we offer is that our 10’6’’ and 11’6’’ boards both are 33’’ wide and offer extra storage space compared to other brands, so you can definitely use them for fish.
Where will you go first? Let us know in the comments below! We can’t wait to hear about the next big one you catch from your SUP!