SUP Fishing Setup

The first time I saw a SUP was at the park 4 or 5 years ago when some girls were taking a yoga class on them and I thought to myself what were they doing on a Surf Board in the lake then my 2nd thought was what would I need to fish on one? Other people were thinking the same. What Gear do you need to set up a SUP for Fishing?

  • SUP Suction or Attached Mounts System
  • Paddle Clip Mounts-SUP Rod Holders
  • SUP Track Mount System-Air Pump Compressor
  • SUP Stabilizers-SUP Anchor-LED Light Systems
  • SUP Deck Bags-Life Jacket
  • Electric Trolling Motor(optional) with Remote
  • Fishing Cooler Box(Seat)
  • Stand Up Paddle Board Storage Rack-SUP Board Dolly

In recent years a world of SUPs has opened up for a lot of different activities one of them being my favorite pastime, not Yoga my other favorite pastime, Fishing.


Explanation of Stand-Up Paddleboard Fishing (SUP Fishing) Stand Up Paddleboard Fishing, commonly referred to as SUP Fishing, is a rapidly growing water sport that combines the tranquility of stand-up paddleboarding with the excitement of fishing. It involves navigating calm waters while standing atop a paddleboard, using specialized fishing equipment to catch various species of fish. This unique activity allows anglers to access remote fishing spots that are often inaccessible by traditional boats or kayaks, providing a new perspective and thrilling experience on the water.

Stand-Up Paddleboard Fishing

Growing Popularity and Benefits of SUP Fishing In recent years, SUP Fishing has surged in popularity among outdoor enthusiasts and fishing enthusiasts alike. This surge can be attributed to several key factors:

  • Accessibility: Stand-up paddleboards are relatively affordable and easy to transport, making them accessible to a wide range of individuals.
  • Versatility: SUPs can navigate shallow waters and tight spaces where larger boats cannot go, opening up new fishing opportunities in otherwise unreachable areas.
  • Exercise: SUP Fishing offers a full-body workout, combining the benefits of paddling with the physical demands of fishing, promoting overall fitness and well-being.
  • Connection with Nature: Fishing from a paddleboard provides a unique connection with nature, allowing anglers to experience the serenity of the water and the thrill of catching fish up close.
  • Minimal Impact: Unlike motorized boats, SUPs have minimal impact on the environment, making them an eco-friendly choice for anglers who prioritize conservation.

Overview of What This Guide Will Cover This comprehensive guide aims to provide aspiring SUP anglers with everything they need to know to craft the ultimate stand-up paddleboard fishing setup. It will cover:

  • Selecting the right stand-up paddleboard for fishing, including key features to consider and recommended models.
  • Essential gear and equipment for SUP fishing, such as rod holders, fish finders, coolers, and safety gear.
  • Rigging techniques for setting up your paddleboard for fishing, including the placement of accessories and installation of electronic devices.
  • Tips for success on the water, include mastering balance, paddling techniques, selecting fishing spots, and ensuring safety.
  • Maintenance and care of your SUP fishing setup to prolong its lifespan and maximize performance.
  • Advanced techniques and customizations for experienced anglers looking to take their SUP fishing game to the next level.

Whether you’re a seasoned angler looking for a new challenge or a beginner eager to explore the world of SUP fishing, this guide will equip you with the knowledge and skills to embark on your next adventure with confidence.

SUP Fishing Setup

Setting up a stand-up paddleboard (SUP) for fishing involves several key steps to ensure functionality and convenience on the water. Start by selecting a stable SUP model with ample weight capacity and storage options to accommodate your fishing gear. Install rod holders, fish finders, and other accessories strategically to optimize accessibility and minimize interference with paddling. Secure coolers or livewells to store caught fish and keep them fresh during fishing outings.

Organize tackle and gear using storage compartments, bungee cords, or gear racks to maintain a clutter-free deck space. Consider additional accessories like paddle holders, anchor systems, or safety equipment to enhance your SUP fishing experience.

Test your setup in calm waters and make adjustments as needed to achieve optimal balance and functionality. Prioritize safety by wearing a personal flotation device (PFD) and familiarizing yourself with local boating regulations and safety guidelines.

Regularly maintain and inspect your SUP fishing setup to ensure proper functionality and address any damages or wear and tear. With the right equipment and preparation, SUP fishing offers an exciting and rewarding way to explore new fishing grounds and reel in your next big catch. Enjoy the adventure and embrace the tranquility of fishing from a stand-up paddleboard.

Selecting the Right Stand Up Paddleboard (SUP) for Fishing

When selecting a stand-up paddleboard (SUP) for fishing, prioritize stability, weight capacity, and storage options to accommodate your fishing needs. Look for SUP models with a wide and stable design, ample weight capacity to support you and your fishing gear, and convenient storage features such as bungee cords or cargo nets. Consider inflatable SUPs for portability and versatility, especially if you plan to fish in remote or hard-to-reach locations.

A. Key Features to Consider


  • Stability is crucial for SUP fishing to ensure you can stand comfortably and confidently while casting lines or reeling in fish.
  • Look for SUPs with a wide and stable design, often with a flat bottom and ample volume to provide stability even in choppy waters.
  • Consider inflatable SUPs with thicker and wider boards for enhanced stability, especially if you’re a beginner or plan to fish in varying water conditions.
Reel in the Fun: Glide's Beginner Guide to SUP Fishing
Selecting the Right Stand Up Paddleboard (SUP) for Fishing

Weight Capacity:

  • Assess your weight along with the weight of your fishing gear and accessories to determine the appropriate weight capacity for your SUP.
  • Choose a SUP with a weight capacity that comfortably accommodates your needs, allowing for additional gear and potential catches without compromising stability or performance.

Storage Options:

  • Adequate storage options are essential for keeping your fishing gear, tackle boxes, coolers, and other accessories organized and easily accessible while on the water.
  • Look for SUPs with built-in bungee cords, D-ring attachment points, cargo nets, or dedicated storage compartments for securing your equipment without cluttering the deck.
  1. Maneuverability:
  • Maneuverability is important for navigating tight spaces, maneuvering around obstacles, and controlling your SUP effectively, especially in narrow waterways or dense vegetation.
  • Choose SUPs with a manageable length and width that strike a balance between stability and maneuverability, allowing you to paddle efficiently and change directions with ease.

Recommendations for SUP Models Suitable for Fishing

Bote Rackham Aero Inflatable SUP:

  • Designed specifically for fishing, the Bote Rackham Aero features a stable platform with ample width and thickness for enhanced stability.
  • Equipped with multiple attachment points, including cooler tie-downs, paddle sheaths, and gear racks, for securing fishing gear and accessories.
  • Offers a generous weight capacity suitable for anglers of all sizes and skill levels.

NRS Heron Inflatable Fishing SUP:

  • The NRS Heron is a versatile inflatable SUP optimized for fishing, featuring a wide and stable platform with a reinforced construction for durability.
  • Includes a removable skeg for improved tracking and maneuverability, allowing for precise navigation in various water conditions.
  • Offers ample storage options, including D-ring attachment points, bungee deck rigging, and a removable cooler deck for storing gear and accessories.

Old Town Sportsman BigWater 132 PDL Angler Kayak:

  • While technically a kayak, the Old Town Sportsman BigWater 132 PDL offers stand-up fishing capabilities with exceptional stability and maneuverability.
  • Features a pedal-driven propulsion system for hands-free fishing, allowing you to navigate waters efficiently while keeping your hands free for casting and reeling.
  • Equipped with multiple rod holders, storage compartments, and accessory mounts for customizing your fishing setup according to your preferences.

These SUP models are specifically designed and optimized for fishing, offering the stability, weight capacity, storage options, and maneuverability necessary for a successful and enjoyable SUP fishing experience. Consider your personal preferences, budget, and fishing needs when selecting the right SUP for your adventures on the water

Essential Gear and Equipment for SUP Fishing

Essential gear for SUP fishing includes rod holders to secure fishing rods, a fish finder for locating fish and navigating waters, and a cooler or livewell to store caught fish. Additionally, a paddle holder is essential for safely stowing your paddle while fishing, and safety equipment like a personal flotation device (PFD) ensures your safety on the water. Tackle storage solutions and an anchor system further enhance the functionality of your SUP fishing setup, allowing for organized gear management and stable positioning while fishing.

A Beginners Guide to SUP Fishing | GILI Sports
A Beginner Guide to SUP Fishing

Fishing Rod Holders:

  • Fishing rod holders are essential for securely storing fishing rods while paddling or casting lines.
  • They come in various designs, including flush-mounted, adjustable, or clamp-on rod holders, allowing anglers to customize their setup based on their preferences and fishing style.
  • Consider the number and placement of rod holders to accommodate multiple rods and optimize accessibility during fishing sessions.

Fish Finder and GPS:

  • A fish finder and GPS unit help anglers locate fish and navigate unfamiliar waters with ease.
  • Modern fish finders utilize sonar technology to detect underwater structures, fish, and depth contours, providing valuable insights for targeting productive fishing spots.
  • Integrated GPS functionality allows anglers to mark waypoints, track routes, and return to their favorite fishing locations with precision.

Cooler or Livewell:

  • A cooler or livewell is essential for keeping caught fish fresh and healthy until they can be cleaned or released.
  • Choose a cooler or livewell with sufficient capacity to accommodate the size and quantity of fish you typically catch.
  • Consider insulated coolers with secure lids or livewells with aeration systems to maintain optimal temperature and oxygen levels for the fish.

Paddle Holder:

  • A paddle holder allows anglers to secure their paddle when not in use, keeping it within reach and preventing it from drifting away.
  • Paddle holders come in various styles, including bungee cord systems, clips, or dedicated mounts integrated into the SUP design.
  • Ensure the paddle holder is easily accessible and securely holds the paddle in place while fishing or moving around on the board.

Safety Equipment:

  • Safety equipment is essential for ensuring a safe and enjoyable SUP fishing experience.
  • A personal flotation device (PFD) or life jacket should be worn at all times, especially in rough or open water conditions.
  • Other safety essentials may include a whistle, signaling mirror, and a leash to tether yourself to the board in case of falls or emergencies.

Other Accessories and Optional Gear:

  • Additional accessories and optional gear can enhance comfort, convenience, and functionality during SUP fishing outings.

Examples include:

  • Tackle storage solutions such as waterproof bags, crates, or tackle boxes.
  • Anchor systems or stakeout poles for anchoring the SUP in position while fishing.
  • Camera mounts or action cameras to capture memorable moments on the water.
  • Rod leashes or holders to prevent rods from falling overboard or getting tangled.
  • Sun protection gear such as hats, sunglasses, and sunscreen to shield against harmful UV rays.

By equipping your SUP with the essential gear and equipment listed above, you can maximize your success and enjoyment while exploring new fishing grounds and reeling in your next big catch.

Rigging Your Stand-Up Paddleboard for Fishing

When rigging your stand-up paddleboard for fishing, carefully consider the placement of rod holders and accessories to optimize functionality and convenience while minimizing interference with paddling. Install a fish finder and GPS unit in a strategic location on the board, ensuring proper mounting and wiring for accurate navigation and fish locating capabilities. Set up coolers or livewells securely to store caught fish and ensure their freshness, and optimize storage options for tackle and gear to keep everything organized and easily accessible during fishing outings.

Placement of Rod Holders and Accessories: Bote HD Aero 11′6″ Classic Teak Inflatable Paddle Board - Florida Watersports

  • Begin by determining the optimal placement of rod holders and other accessories based on your fishing style and preferences.
  • Consider mounting flush-mounted rod holders along the sides or in front of the SUP to keep rods secure and within easy reach while fishing.
  • Install additional accessories such as paddle holders, camera mounts, or gear tracks using adhesive mounts, deck mounts, or hardware provided with the accessories.
  • Experiment with different configurations to find the most ergonomic and functional setup for your SUP fishing needs.

Installing a Fish Finder and GPS Unit:

  • Start by selecting a suitable location for mounting the fish finder display unit and transducer.
  • Mount the display unit on a flat, stable surface near the center of the SUP deck for easy visibility and accessibility while fishing.
  • Install the transducer according to the manufacturer’s instructions, ensuring it is positioned correctly below the waterline for optimal sonar performance.
  • Secure wiring and cables neatly along the SUP deck using adhesive clips or cable ties to prevent tangles and interference with paddling or fishing activities.
  • Test the fish finder and GPS unit to ensure proper functionality before heading out on the water.

Setting Up the Cooler or Livewell:

  • Choose a suitable location on the SUP deck for placing the cooler or livewell, ensuring it does not obstruct paddling or fishing activities.
  • Secure the cooler or livewell using bungee cords, straps, or dedicated mounts to prevent shifting or movement while on the water.
  • If using a cooler, consider adding insulation or ice packs to maintain the desired temperature for storing caught fish or refreshments.
  • For livewells, ensure proper aeration and water circulation to keep fish alive and healthy during fishing sessions.
  • Test the cooler or livewell setup to ensure it effectively preserves fish and maintains desired temperature levels.

Optimizing Storage Options for Tackle and Gear:

  • Utilize available storage compartments, bungee cords, D-ring attachment points, and gear tracks to optimize storage options for tackle and gear.
  • Organize tackle boxes, fishing gear, and accessories in waterproof bags or containers to protect them from water damage and ensure easy access.
  • Consider installing additional storage solutions such as gear racks, crates, or mesh pockets for storing larger items or keeping frequently used gear within reach.
  • Experiment with different storage configurations to maximize deck space while maintaining balance and stability on the SUP.

By carefully rigging your stand-up paddleboard for fishing and optimizing the placement of rod holders, accessories, electronics, and storage options, you can create a functional and efficient setup that enhances your SUP fishing experience and maximizes your chances of success on the water.

Tips for SUP Fishing Success

For successful SUP fishing, focus on mastering balance and stability to stand confidently while casting lines or reeling in fish. Use efficient paddling techniques to navigate quietly to fishing spots and minimize disturbance to nearby fish. Select the right fishing spots by considering factors like underwater structure, water depth, and fish behavior, and prioritize safety precautions to ensure enjoyable and safe fishing experiences on the water.

Mastering Balance and Stability:

  1. Start by practicing basic SUP paddling and standing techniques in calm, shallow waters.
  2. Focus on maintaining a low center of gravity and distributing your weight evenly across the board.
  3. Use your paddle as a stabilizer by planting it firmly in the water when you feel unsteady.
  4. Engage your core muscles to help maintain balance, and relax your body to reduce tension and wobbling.
  5. Consider taking a SUP yoga or fitness class to improve your balance and stability on the water.

Paddling Techniques for Fishing:

  1. Use a relaxed grip on your paddle and take smooth, controlled strokes to minimize disturbance.
  2. Practice the “silent paddle” technique by dipping your paddle into the water quietly to avoid spooking fish.
  3. Utilize shorter strokes and paddle on one side of the board to make subtle adjustments to your position.
  4. Learn to paddle efficiently with one hand while holding your fishing rod with the other hand.
  5. Practice turning maneuvers such as pivot turns or sweep strokes to navigate around obstacles or adjust your position without scaring fish.

Selecting the Right Fishing Spots:

  1. Research local waterways and consult with experienced anglers to identify productive fishing spots.
  2. Look for areas with structure such as reefs, rocks, submerged vegetation, or drop-offs where fish congregate.
  3. Pay attention to water depth, temperature, and current flow, as well as wind direction and weather conditions, which can affect fish behavior.
  4. Explore less crowded or remote fishing locations accessible by SUP to increase your chances of finding undisturbed fish.
  5. Consider fishing during low-light conditions such as dawn or dusk when fish are more active and less wary of predators.

Safety Precautions and Considerations:

  1. Always wear a properly fitted personal flotation device (PFD) and leash while SUP fishing, especially in offshore or rough water conditions.
  2. Familiarize yourself with local regulations, including boating and fishing laws, and obtain any required permits or licenses.
  3. Inform someone of your intended paddling route and estimated return time, especially if paddling alone.
  4. Stay aware of your surroundings, including other watercraft, swimmers, and potential hazards such as rocks or submerged objects.
  5. Carry essential safety equipment such as a whistle, signaling mirror, first aid kit, and communication device (e.g., cell phone or marine radio) in case of emergencies.

By mastering balance and stability, honing your paddling techniques, selecting prime fishing spots, and prioritizing safety precautions, you can enjoy successful and rewarding SUP fishing adventures while staying safe on the water.

Maintenance and Care of Your SUP Fishing Setup

To maintain your SUP fishing setup, regularly clean and rinse your equipment after each use to remove salt, sand, and debris. Proper storage in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight and humidity can prevent damage and prolong the lifespan of your gear. Additionally, inspect and maintain gear and accessories, addressing any damages or wear and tear promptly to ensure optimal performance on future fishing outings.

Cleaning and Rinsing After Use:

  1. Rinse your SUP thoroughly with fresh water after each use to remove saltwater, sand, and debris that can cause damage over time.
  2. Use a mild soap or SUP cleaner and a soft brush or sponge to remove stubborn dirt or stains from the deck and hull.
  3. Pay special attention to areas with accessories or attachments, ensuring they are cleaned properly to prevent corrosion or buildup.
  4. Allow your SUP to dry completely before storing it to prevent mold, mildew, or water damage.

Storage Recommendations:

  1. Store your SUP in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight, extreme temperatures, and humidity.
  2. Avoid storing your SUP in areas where it may be exposed to sharp objects, heavy weights, or potential damage.
  3. Consider storing your SUP indoors or using a protective cover or storage bag to shield it from dust, UV rays, and environmental elements.
  4. Store your SUP horizontally or vertically with adequate support to prevent warping or distortion of the hull over time.
  5. If storing your SUP for an extended period, periodically check for signs of damage, wear, or pests, and address any issues promptly.
21 Fishing Paddle Board Adventure Photos – Tower Paddle Boards
Inspecting and Maintaining Gear and Accessories

Inspecting and Maintaining Gear and Accessories:

  1. Regularly inspect your fishing gear, accessories, and attachments for signs of wear, damage, or corrosion.
  2. Clean and lubricate moving parts, such as rod holders, fish finders, and paddle holders, to ensure smooth operation and longevity.
  3. Replace worn or damaged components, such as mounting hardware, bungee cords, or straps, as needed to maintain functionality and safety.
  4. Check electronic devices, such as fish finders or GPS units, for proper operation and battery life, and recharge or replace batteries as necessary.
  5. Store gear and accessories properly when not in use to prevent damage and prolong their lifespan.

Repairing Any Damages or Wear and Tear:

  1. Promptly address any damages or wear and tear to your SUP, gear, or accessories to prevent further deterioration.
  2. Repair minor dings, scratches, or cracks in the SUP hull using epoxy resin, fiberglass cloth, or specialized repair kits.
  3. Replace damaged or worn components, such as fin boxes, handles, or deck pads, using manufacturer-approved replacement parts.
  4. Seek professional assistance for complex repairs or structural damage that requires specialized expertise or equipment.
  5. Keep a repair kit and basic tools on hand for minor repairs and maintenance tasks while on the go.

By following these maintenance and care guidelines, you can prolong the lifespan of your SUP fishing setup and ensure it remains in optimal condition for many enjoyable fishing adventures to come.

Advanced Techniques and Customizations for SUP Fishing

Advanced techniques and customizations for SUP fishing include DIY modifications such as additional attachment points or gear tracks, which allow anglers to tailor their setup to specific preferences. Advanced rigging options like outriggers or specialized electronics can further enhance the functionality and versatility of a SUP fishing setup, providing anglers with the tools they need for success in various fishing conditions. Additionally, night fishing on a SUP is possible with proper lighting and safety precautions, offering anglers the opportunity to explore new fishing opportunities and extend their time on the water.

DIY Modifications and Customizations:

  1. Experiment with DIY modifications to customize your SUP fishing setup according to your specific preferences and needs.
  2. Consider adding additional attachment points, gear tracks, or mounts using adhesive mounts, hardware, or DIY solutions.
  3. Explore creative storage solutions such as PVC rod holders, milk crate storage systems, or custom-built gear racks.
  4. Customize your cooler or livewell with insulation, aerators, or dividers to optimize fish storage and preservation.
  5. Utilize waterproof bags, containers, or compartments for organizing and protecting gear and tackle.

Advanced Rigging Options for Specific Fishing Needs:

  1. Customize your SUP fishing rig with specialized accessories and attachments tailored to your preferred fishing techniques.
  2. Install outriggers or stabilizers to enhance stability and balance, especially for stand-up casting or fly fishing.
  3. Experiment with trolling setups using rod holders and drift socks or drogues to control drift speed and direction.
  4. Explore advanced electronics such as side-scan sonar or down imaging to gain a detailed view of underwater structures and fish activity.
  5. Incorporate specialized gear such as anchor trolleys, stakeout poles, or power pole anchors for precise positioning and anchoring in various water conditions.

Tips for Night Fishing on a SUP:

  1. Ensure your SUP is equipped with navigation lights and reflective gear to enhance visibility and safety during night fishing outings.
  2. Use headlamps, clip-on lights, or LED strips to illuminate your fishing area and provide adequate lighting for rigging, baiting, and casting.
  3. Fish in familiar areas with minimal hazards or obstacles to reduce the risk of accidents or collisions in low-light conditions.
  4. Stay alert while night fishing, paying attention to changes in water conditions, weather, and wildlife activity.
  5. Communicate with fellow anglers or boaters using handheld radios or marine VHF radios to coordinate movements and ensure safety on the water.

By exploring DIY modifications, advanced rigging options, and specialized techniques such as night fishing, you can further customize and enhance your SUP fishing setup to suit your preferences and tackle new challenges on the water.


Stand-up paddleboard (SUP) fishing is a captivating blend of adventure and serenity, offering anglers an unparalleled experience on the water. With access to remote fishing spots and the versatility to explore various environments, SUP fishing opens doors to thrilling new opportunities for anglers of all levels. It not only provides a physical workout but also nurtures a deep connection with nature and promotes a healthy lifestyle. Whether you’re a seasoned angler seeking a fresh challenge or a beginner eager to embark on a new adventure, SUP fishing invites you to embrace the unexpected, savor the moments, and create lasting memories in the great outdoors. So, take the plunge, paddle out, and discover the exhilarating world of SUP fishing for yourself.

JimGalloway Author/Editor


Gili- How to create The Best Paddle Board for Fishing


Do I need a fishing license to fish from a SUP?   Yes, in most jurisdictions, you’ll need a valid fishing license to fish from a SUP, just like any other watercraft. Make sure to research and obtain the necessary permits and licenses required for fishing in your area before heading out on the water.

What safety precautions should I take when SUP fishing? Safety is paramount when SUP fishing. Always wear a properly fitted personal flotation device (PFD), carry essential safety equipment like a whistle and signaling mirror, and stay aware of weather conditions and water traffic. It’s also wise to paddle with a buddy or let someone know your paddling plans.

Can I use a fish finder on a stand-up paddleboard? Yes, many anglers use fish finders on their SUPs to locate fish and navigate unfamiliar waters. Look for compact and portable fish finder models with mounting options compatible with SUPs, and make sure to secure the unit properly to prevent damage while paddling.

Can I fly fish from a stand-up paddleboard?   Yes, stand-up paddleboards are well-suited for fly fishing, providing a stable platform for casting in both freshwater and saltwater environments. With proper balance and technique, anglers can effectively target fish with fly rods while standing on a SUP.

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