What SUP? Stand Up Paddle Boards Becoming a New Tool for Anglers

News & Tips: What SUP? Stand Up Paddle Boards Becoming a New Tool for Anglers...

Maybe you’ve seen the large surfboard-looking things on the floor of a Bass Pro Shops or even watched as an angler stood enviably on a small platform in a lake, casting to fish as easily as if he were standing on the deck of a bass boat.

These simple surfboard-looking vessels provide a practical platform  to fish many types of slow-moving water. Here's what you need to know about the emergence of stand up paddle boards.

SUP fishing

"What IS that?" you wonder. Goofy looking contraption, but, well, seems to work pretty well…

Stand up paddle boards, known by the acronym SUP, were invented in Hawaii as an off-season training device for surfers. They allow paddlers to travel quickly over water and give a great full-body workout.

From those surfer roots, SUP boards have branched out across the world anywhere there's water. People use them to run whitewater in Colorado, practice yoga in Oregon or, lately, catch big fish on lakes and rivers.

StandUpPaddle PelicanRush
Stand up paddle boards offer new ways to take on the water, whether floating or fishing.

A former pro-kayaker, Ken Hoeve is now a pioneer of whitewater Stand Up Paddling and member of Team Redington. When he's not SUP'ing Class IV rapids, Hoeve, a lifelong fisherman, uses his board to access hard-to-reach water with his fly rod.

"Many of today's SUP boards are super stable, durable and affordable," says Hoeve. "I can take my board to places you can't access wading or with a raft."

Several brands now make SUP boards specifically for fishing. These boards are wide and stable and some have features, like rod holders, chairs and even coolers, that make fishing easy.

While similar to kayak fishing for their ease of launch and transport and simplicity of use, SUP offer the distinct advantage of putting the angler in the standing position.

What that really means in the long term is more fish to the "boat." A standing angler can nearly always see better, cast better and land fish more efficiently than one sitting low in the water.

"It's way better to be standing up," said Hoeve. "People see me on it and a light goes off. I'll be at a boat ramp, they're waiting to put their boat in the water and I just slide right in. There's a simplicity with just a board, paddle, life jacket and fishing equipment."