Recent innovations in paddle sports products have revolutionized the sport of fishing. As brands continually compete against one another, new trends and techniques are emerging that greatly benefit anglers and change the way we fish.
One of the most exciting new developments in the world of paddle sports is the evolution of fishing SUP products. In this article, we’ll explore some of the advantages of fishing from a paddle board and how these products compare to fishing from a kayak, canoe and other paddle sports watercraft.
The Advantages of Fishing from a Paddle Board
Many anglers have been using paddle boards for fishing in recent years, but brands have started doing serious research to develop new SUPs that are specifically designed for fishing. Many hours of testing and research have been poured into the creation of the ideal fishing SUP for a variety of fishing scenarios and these products function in a more targeted fashion than your average fishing kayak.
One of the most obvious advantages you’ll get when fishing from an SUP is stealth. This is crucial if you plan to target trophy fish that are much more easily spooked than smaller varieties of game fish. A fishing SUP allows you to remain virtually undetected from fish as you aren’t utilizing large, heavy motors that create a lot of noise.
Another key advantage you can count on when using an inflatable fishing SUP is the fact that an inflatable SUP will not make a great deal of noise when coming into contact with anything in the water. If you happen to run into a stump or log, a hard board will broadcast the sound made on impact to the fish in the area, which very often scares them away. An inflatable fishing SUP lets you make contact with these types of structure without having to worry about alerting your catch.
The various lightweight fishing SUPs made by ISLE are perfect for anglers looking for an extra-stealthy approach to their fishing ventures. The Switch is a super lightweight, versatile paddle board hybrid kayak that is ideal for silent approaches on shallow-water fish.
A fishing kayak might offer a lot of the same benefits you can expect to have in a quality SUP, yet there is one key difference. Anglers get to enjoy a standing approach when using a fishing SUP rather than having to sit while paddling and stand up to cast or sight-fish.
Fishing SUPs are crafted so that anglers can navigate the waterway while standing. This viewpoint might not be as ideal as your view from a fishing boat, yet considering the stealth and other advantages, there are plenty of reasons to opt for a fishing SUP over another type of watercraft. Paddleboard-kayak hybrids are ideal when fishing as they function much in the same way a sit-on-top kayak does, yet with the room and stability you get from a standard SUP.
Shallow Water Access
It is true that you can gain access to lots more shallow water using sit-on-top kayaks than you might have with fishing boats. However, a fishing SUP is capable of entering water that’s often less than one foot in depth with no problem at all. This is a literal game-changer when it comes to fishing because anglers are now able to venture into secluded pockets, shallow creeks and other areas that were previously off-limits.
An angler is only as good as the tools he or she uses. It can be difficult to accurately cast your lure from an unstable sit-on-top kayak, but casting is usually a breeze when it comes to using inflatable paddle boards. A solid fishing SUP is crafted specifically for stability, which means you’ll be able to make farther casts with greater accuracy thanks to having a more stable platform to stand on.
ISLE’s Explorer Pro is one of the brand’s award-winning boards that delivers exceptional stability while also giving users the same feel as a quality sit-on-top kayak due to its hybrid design. This fishing SUP is used by many fly fishing anglers as it offers the ideal amount of space needed, as well as plenty of rigidity to handle larger catches.
States are becoming ever more aware of the dangers that come with using gas-powered motors in certain freshwater lakes and rivers. Many regions have banned the use of gas-powered motors as the harm that results from dangerous chemicals has resulted in the degradation of wildlife. In addition to this, high-speed boats often cause large amounts of damage to a waterway’s ecosystem due to the extremely large wakes created by their movement.
Inflatable paddle boards are the ideal solution for anglers who are concerned with maintaining a healthy marine environment and wildlife in the lakes and rivers where they fish. Even when used with an electric motor, a fishing SUP will not cause the usual large wakes and consistent damage to certain ecosystems that high-powered boats are known to cause.
One of the main benefits you’ll get with an inflatable paddle board is the ability to take the craft just about anywhere. Unlike many hard board models, an inflatable fishing SUP typically comes in a compact carrying case that makes it easy for anglers to tote to their launch-point and enter the water after a short setup. The ISLE Pioneer Pro is one of the most highly-reviewed inflatable fishing SUP that features the glide and stiffness you might expect in a hard board.
What to Look for in a Fishing SUP
If you’re serious about purchasing a fishing SUP or a paddleboard-kayak hybrid, there are some particular features and characteristics you will want to consider in the process. In the following sections, we will outline the main attributes you should look for when seeking a quality fishing SUP.
The ability to stand or sit is a terrific option when fishing. Hybrid paddleboard-kayaks are ideal for this as they offer all the advantages of fishing from a paddle board plus the convenience and stability of fishing from a sit on top kayak.
The width of a fishing SUP is directly related to the amount of stability you can expect to have. With both hard boards and inflatable, the more width you have in a fishing SUP, the more stability it will offer. A standard fishing SUP typically has at least 32 inches in width. The ISLE Megalodon 2.0 is available in two extra-wide models that are 45 and 56 inches, respectively. An SUP with this much width will offer unyielding stability that allows users to move around much more and position themselves as-needed when fishing. ISLE’s 11’6 Pioneer Pro is 36” wide and is the widest standard sized board in the ISLE range. While not as “standing on dry land” stable as the Megalodons, the 11’6 Pioneer Pro is the most stable “standard” sized model in the ISLE lineup as well as being incredibly rigid thanks to the InfinityFiber composite construction.
Being able to customize your paddle board as you see fit is crucial to getting the maximum amount of usefulness from your craft. Look for various add-on’s you can have that will help you find success in stand up paddle board fishing for a specific type of fish.
Some good add-on’s to look for in a fishing SUP are usually bungee tie-downs on the bow or stern of the craft, as well as rod holders and camera mounts. Consider adding items like the Harbor Fishing Kit to your SUP to have your gear organized in an easy-to-access setup that lets you focus on catching fish instead of fumbling around with items on board.
Any fishing trip that’s more than a few hours long will require anglers to bring along a cooler to store water and other beverages inside. The Gateway Cooler Backpack is a worthy addition to any fishing SUP as it will undoubtedly come in handy on those sweltering-hot days on the water. Be sure to also consider adding much-needed accessories like the ISLE Anchor Kit if you plan to fish in strong current or winds.
Depending on the type of fishing you plan to do with your inflatable paddle board, you’ll need to make sure it has optimal capacity to withstand the gear you want to bring with you. Most anglers who use a fishing SUP are aware of exactly how much extra tackle they will need to bring, but it’s always good to have a bit of extra room in terms of weight capacity. An inflatable SUP like the ISLE Explorer offers up to 300 pounds of total capacity, making it more than capable of handling heavy loads of gear when needed.
Most anglers underestimate the toughness you find in an inflatable fishing SUP. However, many of these products usually surprise users with their ability to handle just about anything you might encounter on the water without tearing or being punctured. If you are more concerned with a board that will feature supreme durability, the Outpost 2.0 is one of ISLE’s premium SUP models that has developed a reputation for its rugged nature.
In most cases, a quality hybrid fishing SUP often costs less than a typical hard board or sit-on-top kayak while still offering much of the same great features and characteristics. Anglers looking to stay within a certain budget range should look to the ISLE Sportsman, which is one of the most highly-rated fishing SUP models below $500 on the market today.
As is usually the case, a higher-quality fishing SUP that offers more features and better overall performance will cost more, however this is a worthy investment for many avid anglers.