Can You Fish On A SUP?

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The standup paddle board, also known as the ‘SUP’, has seen an increase in popularity in recent years, and it’s no surprise.

Can You Fish On A SUP?

While it can take a little practice to get used to the balance required, paddle boards are a great, affordable way to take to the water. 

Some paddle board users are doing more than just standing, though; they’re fishing. It’s a way to cast your line in areas of water that would have been otherwise hard to access because they’re too shallow for boats.

But is standing paddle board fishing an effective practice, or is it just a gimmick? The following will break down everything you need to know about fishing on a SUP

Table of Contents

What Gear Do You Need To Fish On A Paddleboard?

When it comes to fishing on a paddleboard, you’ll need the same sort of equipment as you’d need when fishing from any other vessel.

You’ll have far less space than you’d have on a boat, though, so it’s important to bear this in mind when preparing to fish on a SUP. Try to strike a balance between having all the gear that you need, but avoiding clutter. 

All you’ll really need to fish on a paddle board (and these are just recommendations) are a couple of fishing rods, a milk crate (ideally with rod holders attached), a small tackle box, and a small cooler.

You should also be wearing a life jacket with a leash- a tackle belt isn’t required, but can be a handy addition. Oh, and… best not forget your paddle.

Attach your milk crate with the tie-downs that should be at the front of your paddle board. You can use bungee cords to attach your rod holders to your crate.

Benefits To Standing Paddle Board Fishing Over Kayak Fishing

There are a number of advantages to SUP fishing when compared to fishing on other vessels, like kayaks.

Easy To Maneuver 

Fishing on a paddle board allows you to navigate to areas of water that you wouldn’t be able to get to in a boat, because the water’s so shallow.

It’s also better in this sense than kayaks, because you won’t need to contort your body to cast your line into tight spots that might be hiding fish. 

Once you’ve mastered standing on the paddle board, you’ll be able to move around fairly freely without the risk of falling in the water.

So, you can not only maneuver your fishing vessel more easily (especially when it comes to turning), but you can maneuver yourself more easily too. 


Most standing paddle boards are far more transportable than boats- even kayaks. Some paddle boards are even inflatable, meaning you can deflate them and roll them up when they’re not in use.

This is ideal for both transportation and storage, even if your vehicle or home doesn’t have a lot of space. 

Paddle boards also have a handle in their center, meaning they’re far easier to carry than kayaks. Even the sturdier epoxy standing paddle boards are easy to move. 

Better Vantage Point

Unlike when you’re fishing from other vessels, you’ll be able to get a thorough view of the surrounding waters- the closest you can get to seeing directly under your vessel.

It’s also just better for scouting out where you want to go next, compared to when you’re sitting down. This is ideal if you’re someone who’s into sight fishing. 

Can You Fish On A SUP?

Maximum Stealth 

Boats can be loud. The advantage of standing paddle boards is that it’ll be a lot easier to move through the water without scaring away all the fish.

The level of sound a paddle board makes as it glides over the water is not all that different from the sound level of the water’s natural current. 

Gear Included

A lot of standing paddle boards will come with most of the gear included, meaning you won’t have to worry about buying it all separately.

This is especially ideal for those who are new to paddleboarding and are unsure how much to spend on gear. All you’ll need to buy is the fishing gear itself. 

Workout On The Water

While kayaking allows you to work out your arms, back, and chest, using a standing paddle board for fishing will mean you’re working out your entire body.

Your legs and core are required for balance and stability while, like with kayaking, your arms, your chest, and your back are required for the paddling.

Potential Downsides To Standing Paddle Board Fishing 

While it’s undoubtedly a great fishing vessel, it’s worth mentioning some potential disadvantages- although depending on the kind of angler you are, these might not even matter. 

Less Space

Standing paddle boards tend to offer enough space and weight for all of your fishing gear, but if you’re used to fishing in boats or even kayaks then you might not want to downsize. You’ll only really be able to take the bare essentials when you’re fishing on a standing paddle board.

Experience Required

There’s a lot to think about when you’re fishing on a paddle board. Not only do you have to keep your balance and stability, but you also have to focus on casting, reeling, and handling the fish you catch. 

If you don’t have much experience on paddle boards, and if you don’t have great balance to begin with, then you can expect to be falling in the water a fair amount.

Before you attempt fishing on a standing paddle board, make sure you’ve got to grips with standing on a standing paddle board.

Conclusion: Can You Fish On A SUP?

You can indeed fish from a standing paddle board. It’s actually a very effective vessel for anglers, due to its maneuverability, stealth, and versatility.

It’s recommended that you invest in one of the bigger paddle boards, though, as the smallest on the market might not be able to fit all of the gear required.

Compared to kayak fishing, standing paddle board fishing is far superior. It’s not just an effective way to fish- it’s also a fun workout for your whole body.

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