Stand Up Paddle Boards seem to taking over the scene on rivers, lakes and inshore ocean areas around the country, and it is for good reason. From paddling on mountain lakes to surfing coastal breaks Stand Up Paddle Boards (SUPs) are an excellent way to explore many different types of water as well as get a little core exercise. While most of us are thinking about fishing and not doing yoga on a paddle board it is time to think outside the box and start using these vessels as a versatile fishing tool. I wouldn’t recommend navigating a fast moving river and trying to fly fish from a SUP but in areas where there is calm water with picky trout, tailing bone fish or spooky permit a Stand Up Paddle Board can shine.
I have been paddling various types of Stand Up Paddle Boards for the past few years and have found it not only to be fun but also very effective for getting into areas where a drift boat or skiff cannot not. On a recent trip to the Islands the team at SOL Paddle Boards were kind enough to loan me one of their inflatable SUPs. Based out of Telluride, SOL Paddle Boards inflate to a rock hard 15psi and can carry a heavy payload. They also come with a travel bag and are extremely easy to transport. With several different models to choose from be sure to explore their line of Stand Up Paddle Boards if you are considering purchasing a SUP. I was able to use the SOLtrain 10’7″ Paddle Board to stalk large spooky bonefish on the flats in TCI. The advantage you have while fishing from a SUP is far superior to wading, especially in salt water. You are able to see and spot fish from a higher vantage point and can also cover much more fishable water. As some of you know, wading soft bottom flats is nearly impossible because you sink in the soft muddy bottom. Paddle boards take that out of the equation.
Balance plays a huge role when paddling any type of paddle board. While they are extremely stable falling off is a reality that you will have to come to terms with. Be sure to be comfortable with your balance before you load the board up with all your fishing gear. Even in the calmest water you can loose your balance and fall in. This is generally not a big deal since most of the time you will be fishing slower shallower water. But, I would plan on getting a little bit wet regardless of your ability level.
Having an anchor is a must if you plan on fishing from your SUP. Surface wind, waves and body movement will alway keep the board moving no matter how calm the water. You do not have to get to fancy with an anchor. A plunge piece of cord/ rope with a rock will get the job done. Once you have found your position gently deploy your anchor system and prepare your assault. There are numerous places I plan on using a SUP paddle board this summer. Slow moving parts of the river with rising trout are high on my list and they should be on yours as well. Be sure to give SOL Paddle Boards a look and see what they have to offer. I know they are working on a fishing model that will be the Bees Knees.