Those who enjoy paddle boarding may want to mix in a bit of fishing at the same time, but even in the sheltered water of Chesapeake Bay fishing tributaries, fishing from a paddleboard does present a unique set of challenges. When you shove off and start casting, keep these five tips in mind.
- Even if you’re an expert on SUPs, only bring gear you don’t mind losing, empty your pockets of all valuables, and put on a PFD. Exciting blow-ups and vigorous hook-sets can and do result in spills now and again. As we move into fall and water temperatures drop also be sure you’re properly protected from hypothermia; wet or dry suits may be appropriate depending on conditions.
- Maneuvering requires setting down your rod and picking up a paddle, so do as little as possible; paddle upwind and set yourself up to drift down a shoreline or a good-looking area before you ever take a cast.
- When keeping balance is problematic, get on your knees or sit on the board and dangle a leg off each side to lower your center of gravity.
- If you hook a very large fish and it begins towing you, let the fish run and hold the rod in one hand as you use the paddle to turn the board bow-to-fish with the other.
- If you’re planning to keep fish, rather than trying to haul a clunky cooler do it the old-fashioned way: with a stringer. You can thread it through a handle or leash on the board.