TRYING OUT THE LATEST TREND IN FISHING
Fishing trends crop up every once in a while, some last, some don’t, but I always enjoy giving them a go. I am an avid kayak fisho and remember when kayak fishing started out as another trend. I grew to love it instantly and it opened my mind to trying other alternative fishing applications.
This was my logic when I decided to try out the latest trend, stand up paddle board fishing. I had tried to stand up paddle boarding once before on holiday in Spain and had got the hang of it pretty quickly. Of course, I ended up in the drink a fair few times at first, but who doesn’t.
I hired a specially modified stand up paddle board to give it a go. It had inflatable sides and came with a rod holder and a bait tray, and I packed up my tackle into a plastic container and brought that along with me. With that, I dragged my board across the barely lit early morning beach and paddled out into the surf.
The first thing I noticed was that from the standing position, it was much easier to see where fish were. They are also just as stealthy as a kayak. I found I was using visual much more than I would in my kayak. I would spy some fish, sneak within casting distance and try my luck.
Also, as much as I hate to admit it, it did seem to be a little agiler than a kayak. There is plenty of freedom to move, and once you have the hang of balancing and weight distribution you feel pretty stable. I also preferred the casting from a stand-up paddleboard. Your arms aren’t constrained, and you have the ability to move freely and really throw your casts out.
It was also nice to hop off my board in the shallows and try my luck there. I love trying my luck from the shallows once I find a remote spot, and in my kayak, it can be a little cumbersome getting out and organising my gear to fish the shallows. Because the board floats alongside you and it tethered to your leg, you can hop on and off with ease.
One drawback was I felt more open to the elements. Every time the wind picked up or there was heavier wave activity, I quickly lost confidence in my balance and ended up crouching down for stability.
But I was rewarded for my patience. Around an hour after I pushed my board out, I landed a Tailor. It was a little on the small side at around 45cm but I was still proud to have landed my first fish on a paddle board.
I didn’t get any more action for the rest of the day, but it did give me plenty of time to collect my thoughts about the experience. I like the concept of stand-up paddleboard fishing, but there are definitely some situations which are better suited to it than others.
If you enjoy quite a minimal style of fishing, barefoot, with your rod, bait and a small tackle box, then the paddleboard might be for you. You also need to launch close to your fishing spot, as they are not built to cover long distances. It is quite an accessible way of blending surf fishing to kayak fishing. Your casting technique remains the same as you maintain the ability to move your upper and lower body freely.
While I won’t be exchanging my kayak for a paddle board anytime soon, I did enjoy my morning of paddleboard fishing and would certainly do it again. I can see paddleboard fishing standing the test of time and emerging as a popular fishing application in the future, one I am sure I will have the opportunity to do again.
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