Successful fishing on an SUP requires organization and planning. With an unstable platform and limited space it is a challenge to rig a paddleboard.
Boards are built differently. A good fishing board is wider (34-36″) than a standard board. Good buoyancy and a square tail will aid the angler as well. When planning your fishing setup think about the rods first. With the exception of one rod that I keep in front of me I will place the other rods behind me. I have gotten too many lines caught or cut by the paddle when the rods are placed in front.
I like to place the gear I need to access regularly on front of me. It is easier to kneel down than to sit and turn around. Fishing crates are great for this. They fit the board well and hold lots of stuff. You can buy a fishing crate already set up with pockets and rod holders or make one yourself from materials available at Home Depot. Use 2″ PVC pipe and wire ties to secure the rod holders. Secure the crate with bungee cords. If your board does not have tied downs factory installed it is easy to epoxy some on.
My crate will hold all my tackle, lures, water bottle, leaders and misc stuff. I also keep pliers and / or scissors handy. There is an easy setup for a depth finder that I made using a clamp from Home Depot and a “Humminbird Fishin Buddy”. I only use this when it is calm as it will bang around in waves.
A cooler behind you is great if your board will hold it. It not only acts as a seat, but will hold gear and act as a fish box. I keep my anchor and PFD in it as well as extra gear. Mounted on the back is a vertical rod holder I use for rods and my gaff or net. In front are 2 clamps that act as a paddle holder.
Lake access is usually easy from a beach area or a ramp. Unless the wind is really blowing I will take as much as I need. The only thought here is that a cooler acts like a sail in the wind making it hard to paddle. Ocean conditions are a little tougher. Depending on the surf I will take as much as I can carry or as little as a single rod, a gaff, and a dry bag clipped to the boat. Surf is easier to get out in than to come back in.
A great resource for all kinds of fishing tips, products and reviews is The Fishing Geek [http://www.thefishinggeek.com].
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