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A Beginner’s Guide To SUP Fishing: Tips and Tricks

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Picture this: you’re standing on a board, gently floating on a quiet lake, surrounded by nature’s beauty, with the entire water surface as your fishing spot. This is SUP (Stand Up Paddleboard) fishing, a fantastic way to combine the tranquility of being on the water with the excitement of fishing. If the idea intrigues you but you’re not sure how to start, you’ve come to the right place. Let’s explore the essentials of SUP fishing with some straightforward tips and tricks.

Table of Contents

2Choosing the Right SUP
3Essential Gear and Equipment
4Safety First: SUP Fishing Safety Tips
5Planning Your Trip: Where and When to Fish
6Techniques for SUP Fishing
7Handling the Catch
8Catch and Release Tips
9Staying Comfortable and Efficient on the Water
10The Community: Learning from Others
11Conserving the Environment
12Troubleshooting Common SUP Fishing Challenges
13Advanced Tips for Seasoned SUPers

Choosing the Right SUP

Selecting the perfect SUP is crucial for a successful fishing trip. For stability and space, look for a wider, longer board with a flat deck. Fishing-specific SUPs often come with built-in mounts for rods and gear, making them a great choice for enthusiasts.

Essential Gear and Equipment

In addition to your board, you’ll need a paddle, personal flotation device (PFD), rod holders, tackle storage, and possibly a cooler for your catch. Waterproof bags can keep your essentials dry.

Safety First: SUP Fishing Safety Tips

Safety can’t be overstressed. Wear your PFD at all times, check the weather forecast before you go, inform someone about your fishing plans, and carry a whistle and a waterproof VHF radio for emergencies.

Planning Your Trip: Where and When to Fish

Do your homework to find the best spots for SUP fishing, considering both the fish species and the water conditions. Early mornings or late afternoons are often the best times to catch fish.

Techniques for SUP Fishing

Fishing from a SUP requires balance and a bit of skill. Practice casting from a standing position, and consider using techniques that don’t require you to move around too much on the board.

Handling the Catch

Catching a fish while maintaining your balance on a SUP is an exhilarating challenge. Use a compact, lightweight net, and have a plan for securely storing your catch on the board.

Catch and Release Tips

For those practicing catch and release, quickly and gently return the fish to the water to minimize stress and injury. A quick photo is fine, but the wellbeing of the fish should come first.

Staying Comfortable and Efficient on the Water

Comfort is key for enjoyable SUP fishing. Wear appropriate clothing for the weather, apply sunscreen, and stay hydrated. Organizing your gear efficiently will save time and hassle.

The Community: Learning from Others

Engage with the SUP fishing community through local clubs or online forums. The tips and experiences shared by others can be incredibly helpful as you navigate the learning curve.

Conserving the Environment

Respect for nature is a must. Follow local fishing regulations, avoid disturbing wildlife, and take out everything you bring in, especially trash and fishing line.

Troubleshooting Common SUP Fishing Challenges

Every beginner will face some hurdles, from managing gear on a smaller board to dealing with wind and currents. Adaptability and practice are your best tools for overcoming these challenges.

Advanced Tips for Seasoned SUPers

As you gain confidence, experiment with new techniques, target specific species, and explore different waterways. Advanced gear like GPS devices and fish finders can also enhance your experience.


SUP fishing offers a unique and immersive way to enjoy both paddleboarding and fishing. It’s about simplicity, connection with nature, and the thrill of the catch. Remember, the journey is as rewarding as the destination. With patience and practice, you’ll not only become a proficient SUP fisher but also discover new joys in the great outdoors.


  1. What’s the best SUP for fishing beginners?
    • Opt for a stable, wide board designed for fishing, with ample deck space for moving and storing gear.
  2. Do I need a special license for SUP fishing?
    • Check local regulations, as requirements vary. Generally, if you need a fishing license for shore or boat fishing, the same applies to SUP fishing.
  3. Can I use my regular fishing gear on a SUP?
    • Yes, but space is limited. Choose compact, versatile gear and secure it properly to the board.
  4. How do I stay safe while SUP fishing?
    • Always wear a PFD, check weather conditions, inform someone of your plans, and carry safety equipment like a whistle and communication device.
  5. What’s the best way to learn SUP fishing techniques?
    • Start with basic SUP and fishing skills, then join a community or take lessons from experienced SUP fishers. Practice is key to mastering this exciting sport.

Embrace the challenge and joy of SUP fishing, and let every outing be an adventure. Happy fishing!

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About the author: Julian Kidd
I have been an avid stand up paddle boarder since 2009. I retired from a decade of professional kiteboarding to focus on SUP. Green Water Sports grew from this love of all things SUP. As well as being a keen paddle boarder, I'm a football fan, closet petrol head, web tinkerer, husband and father.