Capt. Ethan Hamrick
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Saltwater Paddleboard Fishing Guide (My Full Setup Inside)

Fishing from a paddleboard may look difficult, especially to the beginner. The technique does take some time to get used to.

However, once anglers build their confidence on a paddleboard and get the feel for casting and fighting fish from it, it can be one of the most fun ways to catch fish.

What is paddleboard fishing?

Paddle boarding originated in Hawaii during the 1940s. It started as a form of stand-up paddle surfing and over the past several years, has become a popular water sport.

Many avid anglers have started using a paddleboard as a way to fish water that may not be navigable by boat. Anglers can reach very shallow water when on a paddleboard and be much quieter when approaching wary fish.

What type of paddleboard is good for fishing?

There are primarily three different types of paddleboards to choose from:

The paddleboards that are best for fishing are made with Styrofoam and hard plastic. I prefer these two types when fishing because I am often fishing around sharp rocks or barnacles that could puncture an inflatable paddleboard.

How are fishing paddleboards different than kayaks?

A paddleboard is different from a kayak in that it does not have a seat built into it.

However, anglers can add a cooler to their paddleboard and sit on it throughout the day.

What do you need to outfit a paddle board for fishing?

paddle board fishing setup

When it comes to my paddleboard fishing set, I try to keep it fairly simple.

I’ll usually take:

  • couple of rods
  • small tackle box filled with assorted lures and tackle
  • handheld net
  • drink to stay hydrated
  • life jacket

Some anglers might also bring:

  • a small cooler to keep food and drinks in or to sit on throughout the day

However, I stand most of the time when paddleboard fishing because it gives me a better vantage point and I can see fish from further away, oftentimes before they see me. Therefore, it’s not often that I bring a cooler with me.

How (and where) do you fish from a paddleboard?

As far as my technique goes, I usually stick with using artificial lures when paddleboard fishing.

Although using live bait is possible, it’s altogether easier to tie on a couple of artificial baits and cover water.

I typically always stand when I’m paddleboard fishing. In the case that it is very windy, I will occasionally kneel on the board to avoid falling off. I don’t tend to have any trouble casting, setting the hook, or battling fish while standing on my paddleboard. However, if anglers are new to fishing from a paddleboard, they can always start by kneeling until they get the hang of it. 

When releasing fish, especially large fish, I will usually kneel on my board to gently let the fish go. Angler’s shouldn’t worry about sharks are other large fish tipping their paddleboard. Although anything can happen, it is very unlikely.

How do you take care of a paddleboard and store it?

When cleaning up after an outing on my paddleboard, I always rinse down the board and all my gear with fresh water.

You don’t need any soap or boat wash. Just a quick rinse and you’re good to go. I then store the paddleboard in a place where it can dry, like a storage shed or garage.

Who is paddle board fishing best for?

Paddleboard fishing is best for individuals who don’t have the time or money for a boat and for those who fish a lot of shallow water where it may be difficult to navigate a boat.

Paddleboard fishing pictures

Below are just a few of the fish I’ve caught paddleboard fishing. Let me know what your biggest catch is in the comments, or if you’ve got any questions.


4 Responses

  1. Hi Ethan,great read. Just fished a tournament on July 9th. We managed an inshore slam,but didn’t win. Always good to be on the water,we have next year to look forward to. Keep up the good work and tight lines. Uncle Bruce

  2. Hey Ethan, nice work, professional, and informative. You make paddle board fishing look easy. Great tips, a great future awaits you. Thanks, Dan

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