Balancing Act

Capt. Steve Dougherty July 31, 2013

Stand Up Paddleboard (SUP) fishing is the fastest growing sector within the marine industry and its rise to the top can be attributed to the growing trend of minimalistic, yet highly effective approaches. It’s important you are outfitted with the necessary safety items in addition to ample tackle, but you must pick and choose wisely. In this endeavor less is certainly more and you’ll greatly benefit from ditching what you don’t absolutely need.

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Ballistic Baitfish

I hardly ever head offshore without live bait, and a 5-gallon bucket with aerator can keep about a dozen prime offerings alive for the majority of the day. The unique rope handle of the Battlewagon Bucket fits perfectly over the rod holders on the leaning post and keeps the bucket locked in place without additional tie downs.

Storage Wars

Although YETI Coolers are built with pressure-injected insulation, providing incredible thermal resistance and ice-keeping abilities, when mounted to my SUP the 35 quart YETI Tundra keeps beverages chilled and provides ample dry storage for tackle and gear.

Super Spread

The vertical rod holders on the leaning post are a huge bonus, but to add separation to my slow-trolling spread I mounted a Scotty Power Lock rod holder to the cooler lid. The universal cradle holds a variety of rods and can be mounted to any flat surface.

Stay In Touch

While you can safely and effectively fish offshore on a SUP, it will be in your best interest to bring a VHF radio in case you need to call for help. Icom’s floating, handheld M24 is one of the smallest VHF radios on the market and the perfect choice when space is at a premium.

Mounting Solution

To keep smaller items or a cold drink within arms reach I mounted a clamp-on cup holder to the pipework of the leaning post. Simplicity is the name of the game and from the moment I push off the beach I need to have everything accessible and close at hand.

Get Connected

Kayakers benefit from the installation of depth sounders and transducers to get a clear picture of what’s below, but I prefer a simpler approach. If I wanted the help of modern electronics I would fish from a boat. Here’s to stealth and health! With that being said, the Navionics Mobile App transforms my iPhone into a fully functional GPS chartplotter.

Safety First

Paddleboards are defined as vessels, so you need the appropriate sound signaling device and USCG approved life vest. Mustang Survival manufactures top of the line inflatable PFDs that offer maximum comfort and mobility.

Walk On Water

SUP fishing requires a stable platform and you’ll want to select a board that’s at least 11 feet in length and a minimum of 32 inches wide, but the larger and wider the better. My BOTE Board is 12′ x 32″ x 5″ and has the perfect balance of speed, stability and fishability. Not only does the integrated leaning post feature two vertical rod holders, but it is a key focal point to my setup and serves as a base of operations.

Paddle Battle

Because you will be relying on paddle power, it’s critical your primary means of propulsion is comfortable in your hands and suitable for a long day on the water. While carbon fiber paddles are an excellent option, I prefer a wooden paddle that has more flex. The Ocho from Whiskeyjack Paddles features a five strip aspen and walnut laminated shaft with an 8″ fiberglass reinforced blade that’s ideal for long distance paddles.

Did You See That?

In today’s day and age, if you don’t have photo or video evidence there’s no proof it really happened. The Hero 3 from GoPro is the ultimate solution for user-friendly HD footage.

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