Board fishing, also known as extreme fishing and “Man on fish”, has been around almost as long as surfing has. It was originally done on long boards that were paddled out to the fishing hole in the prone position. While a big enough long board would do the job, they weren’t exactly designed for standing on when not on a wave. Still, adventurous surfers with a penchant for fishing made due. With the advent of fishing stand up paddle boards, the game has changed. The larger fishing paddle boards are much wider, more stable, and specifically design for standing up on or kneeling on the entire trip. With fishing SUPs popping up everywhere, board fishing is poised to take off.
The great thing about fishing paddleboards is that you can get just about anywhere, especially shallow places where you wouldn’t dare go in a boat. You can also launch a stand up paddle board pretty much anywhere you can get to on foot. Unlike surfboard fishing, you can get around a lot faster on a fishing paddle board so it makes the sport all the more accessible.
While most of the fish the average SUP fisherman is going after is on the smaller side, there is an extreme element to SUP fishing in going after larger fish. See our stand up paddle videos page for some extreme SUP fishing videos. One guy lands a sizable thresher shark on a fishing paddleboard, while another guy plays catch and release with a marlin. Even with the small fish, stand up paddle board fishing introduces a balancing element into fishing – it truly becomes a sport when you’re battling a fish as well as battling to not fall off your paddleboard.
Like decked out fishing kayaks, some purposed design fishing paddle boards on the market have unique design features to specifically accommodate fishing. You can mount specialty made “fishing boxes” onto tie down points (4 extra leash plugs in a square formation) on the front of an fishing SUP. These fishing boxes hold your gear, hold a paddle, have pole holders off the sides, and then store your catch. It’s a fascinating sport that’s sure to blossom as fishing stand up paddle boards catch on around the world.
Here are some great links to get you started on your path to being an avid fishing stand up paddle boarder:
Dedicated fishing stand up paddle boards not required
While a purpose designed fishing paddle board is ideal, it's certainly not necessary. Any stable paddle board can be used for fishing. Just throw an ice chest on for a seat (and some ice chests like Yeti's offer integrated rod holders onto their ice chests), strap a tackle box upfront and you're good to go.
You don't need a hard board either, as fishing iSUPs work just fine and they're tough enough to use hooks around if you don't get too crazy.
Over the years, we've had hundreds of customers send in photos of them using Tower paddle boards as fishing sups. Our 14' Xplorer iSUP with its wide stable design and massive volume makes an ideal fishing paddle board for serious fishermen. I've personally used our Adventurer boards as a fishing SUP and for pulling up crab pots at my friends island property in Washington State. Launching the boat is a huge hassle, when we can just toss in a fishing paddle board, load up 2-3 crab pots on the front, paddle out and set them. Checking them, re-baiting and taking the crabs back to the beach is even easier on a fishing paddle board.