Also gaining popularity is the Stand Up Paddleboard for Fishing, especially around the Tampa St Petersburg area. There's miles of shallow backcountry waters just waiting to be explored!
Stability is the most important feature of selecting a SUP. SUPs are rider weight dependent and the supmust have enough volume for stability, this will be a component of width, length and thickness and its over allshape. The shape refers to the outline of the board whether it has a full or pointed nose and tail, generally afuller shape is best. This will be obvious because speciality boards for racing and surfing will generally havea narrow pointy look. You will want to avoid these when selecting a Fishing SUP Board.The width of the board is very important. A board wider than 29 inches may be too wide to straddle sit on withyour legs over the side even thought it is more stable when standing. The ability to do straddle sit adds forstability when tying gear and fishing, otherwise sitting will be done in some cross leg position or in a kneelingposition. I personally do not straddle sit with my feet and legs in the water and only do so if the boardrequires it. But, before you get a board 30-35 inches that you think is the best because it is very stable whenstanding make sure that you are comfortable with this trade off.Recommendations:Width: between 29 and 35 inches wide. Length: 9 to 11 ft will be the best lengths for ease of handling in and out of the water. Longer lengths areextremely hard to find a place to store. It is better to get a shorter board with a wider width.Thickness: The thickness will generally not be as critical if a fuller shape is selected. The thickness will bebetween 4 to 4.5 , 5 inches, and will match the shape of the board.
Any good fiber glass, carbon, carbon composition, wood and shape of paddle will work just fine, and anyadjustable length paddles. The only paddles I would not recommend are heavy paddles. These include someof the aluminum shaft paddles that will sink if dropped in the water.
The length is important to allow for easy handling when passing from right to left hand and to avoid hitting therail of the SUP and gear on the deck (Safari Pak) with the blade. Paddles are made to be cut to the size ofthe user. The best length will be 7-8 inches over your head, This length is also, the standard recommendedlength for all around general paddling and surfing. There are exceptions in length for racing and personalpreference, but for a beginner this length will work best.
Stand Up Paddleboarding is a fast growing sport in the St Petersburg area. Make sure to check with local shops or forums to stay up to date on the latest rules. Required gear may include a personal flotation device, whistle or horn, invasive species sticker, use license for the SUP.
Know your local rules!
This will come with time and is not difficult. In general with a fish 8 pounds and up you may want to sit on the
board, but larger fish can be caught and brought aboard standing.
How hard is it to learn how to do this?
Easy, but there are a few steps you will want to master, you will want to learn balance, paddling and how to
handle the SUP, again the learning curve is quick and with a little luck you will be standing and paddling
immediately and with that under your belt you will be ready to go out fishing. Remember you will not always be
standing when fishing you will also be sitting as well as knee paddling. Also, you will get wet, so wear swim
trunks or a wet suit depending on the weather conditions.
Make sure you stay in conditions that are appropriate for your skill as a waterman whether it be on a river,lake or in the ocean. Swift currents, chops, high winds and waves should all be avoided. And always beaware and prepared for changing conditions. Pay Attention!
1. Safari Pak or another system to hold your pole reel, gear and catch.2. Gaff with 24 inch handle, or net.3. Rods under 7 feet in length- sized for your target fish4. Water and power bars that are self sealed so water isn't an issue.5. Sun protection, hat, UV Rash Guard6. Safety whistle, cell phone in DryPak, Safety Flare