Imagine gliding over serene waters, with just the gentle sound of your paddle dipping into the water and the anticipation of a catch beneath the surface. This isn’t just any fishing experience; this is paddle board fishing, the latest craze that’s sweeping the angling community. Far from being a mere gimmick, SUP paddle board fishing has emerged as a beloved pastime for those seeking a blend of adventure, tranquility, and the thrill of the catch. But what makes it stand out from the more conventional fishing techniques?


For the uninitiated, venturing into paddle board fishing doesn’t necessarily mean you need to rush out and purchase a specialized fishing SUP. Fishing from a standard paddle board is not only doable but also brings its own set of thrills. The ideal paddle board for fishing would boast features like detachable fins for better control, a design that’s both longer and wider to ensure stability, and a flat bottom to glide smoothly over water. Features like D-rings or mounts add a layer of convenience for attaching anchors or accessories, enriching your fishing expedition. While a regular paddle board might not tick all the boxes of the ultimate fishing buddy, with a bit less stability, fewer storage spots, and less room for tweaks. But hey, it still gets you out there, casting your line and soaking up the adventure.
Kneeling man packs deck cooler page for stand up paddleboard fishing

When it comes to fishing, nailing those accurate measurements is crucial, Thurso Surf Max SUP comes equipped with its very own fish ruler.

Great Things About Paddleboard Fishing

When looking to have some time out on the water, stand up paddleboard fishing is a great option. There are lots of benefits that make it the perfect way to enjoy a day out on the water. Here are some of the top benefits for all you fishing enthusiasts:

  • Inflatable paddle boards are simple to transport compared to other fishing vessels. While you have to haul a boat with a trailer and launch it every time you want to move to a new body of water, paddle board are much more convenient. And, inflatable boards are even easier to handle than hard SUPs because they are so compact, lightweight, and durable. Paddleboards can easily be loaded into your car or on roof racks and moved from place to place. Some even come with a roller backpack, making hiking with your SUP possible. That way you get to that special fishing spot that may not be reachable by car.
Man paddles shallow river on Thurso Surf Max multi-purpose SUP

An inflatable SUP board makes it easy to start your fishing expedition whenever and wherever you desire.

  • The flexibility of paddle board means you can fish almost anywhere. Unlike a boat, a SUP can navigate shallow waters and quickly reach spots that are more secluded with ease. SUPs are agile and fit into fishing spots where a regular boat or dingy won’t be able to reach. That means more action for you!
  • Being on a SUP gives you a lot more freedom to move around and offers a good field of vision to see any fish that may be near you. Because of the small size of the board, there is less in the way that can obstruct your movement and obscure your line of sight.
  • Unlike the noise of a running motor, paddleboards are silent since they use muscle power to skim along the top of the water. You won’t scare away the fish with propellers or large churns of water from a motorized boat.
  • If you are used to being out on the water, you know that standing up in a smaller boat can easily throw the whole vessel off balance. A SUP on the other hand is built to stand up on so you cast properly. If you haven’t tried SUP yet, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by their stability. If you’re already accustomed to SUP and know how to balance, casting should not be an issue. Just bend slightly at the knees and use your weight and center of gravity to maintain stability. Some board can even be upgraded with a kayak seat (hello fishing kayak!). So if you’re out for a long day one, of these detachable seats will let you sit back and relax while you fish. Plus your legs aren’t trapped inside a hull like when you’re kayak fishing.
Man paddles shallow river on Thurso Surf Max multi-purpose SUP

With the kayak conversion kit, enjoy enhanced comfort as you mount a center seat on your paddle board.

Types of SUPs for Stand Up Paddleboard Fishing

No one paddleboard is perfect for every person. Each make and model has its pros and cons when compared to another. But it’s all relative and highly dependent on you the user. When choosing a stand up paddleboard for fishing, there are some great options available. And as long as they have a few D-rings and bungees, you’re covered for storage.

For those who prioritize stability and space, fishing-specific standup paddle boards are designed with wider decks and extra mounts for fishing gear. These boards can often accommodate cooler boxes, rod holders, and even a seat, transforming the SUP into a kayak-like vessel for longer fishing expeditions. The key is to consider what type of fishing you plan to do, the conditions you’ll face, and how much gear you like to bring along.

Man paddles shallow river on Thurso Surf Max multi-purpose SUP

The fishing sup board comes equipped with numerous D-rings, tie-downs, and attachment points, ensuring all your fishing gear is securely accommodated. Photo by Spencer Gross

Inflatable stand up paddle boards are very easy to transport and can go almost anywhere. It’s hard to pack a boat to take with you somewhere on a plane. 😉 With inflatable paddle boards, all you have to do is pump them up. They have lots of deck area and a high weight capacity, which of course makes fishing simple and provides lots of space for fishing gear storage. And with dry bags, you can have dry storage as well if that’s a concern. Many boards also have paddle holders (velcro straps) so you can keep your paddle out of the way easily when you’re not using it. No need to worry about it floating off. And these boards usually have Scotty mounts on the deck that can be rigged with any fishing extras you need. They are also extremely durable and won’t dent like an epoxy paddleboard.

RELATED: 7 Travel Tips on How to Fly with a Stand Up Paddle Board

Types of SUPs You Can Use for Fishing (It doesn’t have to be a fishing paddle board)

If you’re looking for detailed information on each type (shape) of stand up paddleboard out there check out this article for a full rundown, How to Choose the Best SUP Shape for You and this one to help you choose a size, What Size Paddle Board Is Right For You. For this article, we will stick to the positives of each in relation to stand up paddleboard fishing.

  • All-Around – These are great for everything and their shape plays into that. If you’re looking for something with versatility these are a great option.
  • Yoga – Yoga SUPs can be a great option for stand up paddleboard fishing because they have a larger-than-normal deck size. Also, since they’re meant for yoga, the good ones will have an extra soft and cushiony deck pad which can make standing for long periods of time more comfortable.
  • Touring – These boards are more narrow, so they can cut through the water faster. This of course means they have less deck space. However, they can be a good choice if you’re choosing to go on a long expedition and want to fish from multiple spots far from each other in a single day.
  • Multi-Purpose – These paddle boards are perfect for fishing because they have a larger deck. That means you have more room to carry extra gear and move around while you’re fishing. If you come across the occasional shark like Spencer here, you might find that extra room comes in handy!
Explore how @itsspelledwithag masterfully equips non-fishing boards for the ultimate SUP fly fishing experience!

Explore how @itsspelledwithag masterfully equips non-fishing boards for the ultimate SUP fly fishing experience!

SUP Paddle Board Fishing Spots

The versatility of stand-up paddle boards opens up a world of fishing opportunities across diverse bodies of water. Whether you’re drawn to the serene embrace of a lake, the intimate confines of a small pond, the dynamic environments of bays, or the adventurous currents of moving rivers, SUP boards are your ticket to unparalleled fishing experiences. These boards excel in reaching spots that are beyond the reach of traditional boats, allowing you to explore shallow flats, narrow creeks, and secluded nooks. This unique access not only increases your chances of landing a great catch but also infuses your fishing with an element of adventure, making each trip memorable.

When selecting the perfect spot for your fish sup journey, it’s crucial to consider the fish species you’re targeting, the prevailing water conditions, and the weather forecast. Beginners may find the stable conditions of lakes and calm bays ideal for getting comfortable with fishing from a paddleboard. Meanwhile, more seasoned adventurers might relish the challenge and rewards of navigating a slow-moving river, where diverse catches and breathtaking scenery await.

The allure of SUP fishing lies in its versatility, offering access to everything from peaceful lakes to hidden coastal coves. Photo by Giancarlo Ramos

The allure of SUP fishing lies in its versatility, offering access to everything from peaceful lakes to hidden coastal coves. Photo by Giancarlo Ramos

To aid in your planning, the following table provides a snapshot of various water bodies, their typical conditions, and what they’re best suited for in the context of SUP fishing. Use this as a quick reference to match your fishing aspirations with the perfect spot:

Comparison of Water Body Conditions and Fishing Suitability

Water Body Conditions Ideal For
Lakes Calm, stable Beginners, calm water fishing
Small Ponds Still waters Quiet, leisurely fishing
Bays Variable conditions Versatile fishing experiences
Moving Rivers Currents, undertows Adventurous, diverse fishing

Accessories to Make Your Stand Up Paddleboard Fishing Great

As with any fishing vessel, having the right gear makes the day more enjoyable. Paddleboards are no different. While you do not need every accessory available, some really make fishing much easier and fun. Items such as a fishing rod holder or a bait tray are indispensable. They save you from trying to juggle too many things in a smaller area, making them must-haves for anyone considering stand-up paddle board fishing accessories.

Comfort on the water is also key. If you’re planning to spend hours in pursuit of the perfect catch, accessories like a deck cooler bag keep your food and drink tasty and refreshing, turning a good day into a great one. A kayak seat is more than just a luxury; it’s a nod to practicality. Sitting down not only adds to your comfort but also provides extra stability. This means that even if the weather or water conditions change, you can continue fishing with ease.

But why stop at the basics? Once you’ve got those covered, it’s time to think about more advanced gear. Fishfinders, for instance, are not just gadgets but essential tools that help locate fish, ensuring that you’re always in the right spot. Downriggers and line pullers are the icing on the cake, elevating your fishing game to new heights. For more inspiration, follow us on Instagram to see how other SUP fishers set up their boards and share their triumphs.

Essential Accessories for Fishing Paddleboard

Accessory Description
Seat Central seat attachment or improvised seating for comfort while fishing.
Stabilizers Additional floatation for stability, suitable for those less confident in balancing.
Paddle Holder Secures paddle, freeing hands for fishing, ensures paddle remains accessible.
Tackle Rack Vertical racks for fishing rods, tackle trays, and gear, providing easy access.
Light Enhances visibility during low-light conditions, attaches to action mounts or suctions to the board.
Dry Bag Waterproof bag safeguards belongings from water exposure, keeps them dry.
Sun Protection Essential sun protection items like sunscreen, hats, sunglasses, and swim shirts.
Fanny Pack Convenient storage for fishing essentials like lures, hooks, and pliers, ensures quick access.

These accessories not only enhance your fishing experience by offering comfort, convenience, and safety but also ensure that your adventure on the water is as fruitful as it is enjoyable. Whether you’re a seasoned angler or just starting out, equipping your paddleboard with these essentials will make every fishing expedition a memorable one.

Good dry bags offer optimal storage solutions for a diverse range of outdoor gear and essential fishing equipment.

Good dry bags offer optimal storage solutions for a diverse range of outdoor gear and essential fishing equipment.

No Need for a Boat, Hit the Water on Your SUP

The final appeal of paddleboard for fishing lies in its simplicity and the freedom it offers. There’s no need for a boat ramp, no waiting in line to launch, and no expensive maintenance. Paddleboard fishing doesn’t just immerse you in a time-honored tradition; it revolutionizes it. The connection to the water, the ease of access to remote spots, and the overall cost-effectiveness make SUP fishing an attractive option for many.

Moreover, the health benefits of SUP fishing shouldn’t be overlooked. It’s a full-body workout that improves your balance, strengthens your core, and enhances your paddling skills, all while you’re enjoying the great outdoors. Whether you’re a seasoned angler looking for a new challenge or a beginner drawn to the tranquility of fishing, hitting the water on your SUP is an experience like no other. It’s about freedom, adventure, and the pure joy of catching fish in a way that’s both environmentally friendly and incredibly rewarding.

No boats required, fishing on the SUP, simply and freely. Photo by Daniel Caldieraro

No boats required, fishing on the SUP, simply and freely. Photo by Daniel Caldieraro

So regardless of your fishing style or the type of fishing you enjoy, you can make it work with inflatable fishing paddle boards. We are looking forward to seeing how you go. Share your deck set up with others on Instagram with #thursosurf.


SUP fishing offers numerous benefits, including ease of transport, the ability to navigate shallow and secluded spots, silent movement that doesn’t scare fish, and the freedom to move and cast more effectively. Inflatable stand up paddle board for fishing enhance these advantages with their compact, lightweight design and durability, making them ideal for reaching remote fishing locations.
Selecting the right SUP depends on your specific needs, such as stability, space for gear, and the type of water you plan to fish in. Fishing-specific paddle board offer wider decks and extra mounts for gear. Consider inflatable boards for easy transport and versatility. Assess your fishing environment, the gear you need, and personal preferences to make the best choice.
Absolutely! All-around, yoga, touring, and multi-purpose SUPs can all be adapted for fishing. Each type offers unique benefits, from larger deck sizes for gear storage to faster movement through water. The key is to find a SUP that matches your fishing style and the conditions you’ll face.
SUP fishing is versatile enough to be enjoyed in various water bodies, including lakes, ponds, bays, and rivers. Look for spots with stable conditions, minimal currents, and access to shallow flats or secluded areas for the best experience. Always consider the type of fish you’re targeting and weather conditions before heading out.
To enhance your SUP fishing experience, consider accessories like a central seat or kayak seat for comfort, stabilizers for added balance, paddle holders, tackle racks, lights for visibility, dry bags for waterproof storage, and sun protection. Advanced gear like fishfinders and downriggers can further elevate your fishing game.

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About the Author: Matt G.

Matt Gelgota is a traveler and all around digital marketing guy. His greatest adventure to date was the Mongol Rally, a 10,000 mile unsupported on and off-road saga from Sweden to Mongolia. He has visited more than 50 countries and has been paddling a Thurso Surf Expedition since 2018. Since then he’s had a chance to paddle board in Nepal, Thailand, Japan, and the US. When he’s not on the road he divides his time between Tokyo and Atlanta, Georgia.

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