What is necessary for fishing includes a fishing rod, tackle box, and bait and tackle. I recommend additional gear for removing fish from hooks safely, electronics to find fish underwater, and water navigational tools. A first aid box is not included on this list, but you also want one in case of a personal health emergency on your stand up paddle board aka SUP.
As you can see, this list is getting lengthy. In order to safely hold and use all of this equipment, equip your SUP with the most efficient gear on the market. Don’t go overboard or so will you!
1. Fishing Rod Holder for Holding a Rod and Reel in Transit or When Fishing
Attach a fishing rod holder to a stand up paddle board first before you do anything else. This will transform any SUP into a fishing vessel. A simple, small angled fishing rod holder can be attached to a paddle board securely using epoxy resin.
This holds up better than glue and more securely in the heat and sun, and in wet conditions. You can also screw and bolt the rod holder onto the paddle board, or use a D-ring affixed with a patch and special adhesive.
2. Fish Finding Technology and Electronics for Locating Fish More Successfully
Sonar reading and Wifi technology are combined in fish finding devices. Fish finder equipment can easily be attached to a stand up paddle board. See what is happening–and hiding–under the water’s surface, and how far deep the fish are lurking. These fish finders are made by brands including:
- HawkEye Electronics
Choose a fish finder with an attachment arm that can be attached to your existing D-rings, if these are available on your SUP to minimize labor and expense. Keep in mind you can also attach D-rings. These are metal rings in the shape of a D that come on circular pads that are safely adhered to a paddle board surface.
The use of D-rings is universal for watercraft including stand up paddle boards as well as kayaks and canoes. Therefore, you can be assured that attaching D-rings to your SUP will not jeopardize the safety and integrity of the paddle board material. Make sure to follow the instructions on D-ring pad attachments and you will be good to go.
These rings are metal and shaped in a D so they are flat on one side and round on the other. D-rings are used to hold and secure a variety of accessories and items to a stand up paddle board. In fact, most of the accessories that you will find on this list can be attached to your SUP securely with the use of D-rings. So prepare to spend a ton of time dealing with D-rings!
3. Lure Boxes for Bait and Tackle and Miscellaneous Fish Catching Gear
A fishing lure box for someone on a SUP needs to be lightweight, flexible, and full of pockets. Unlike a traditional box-style bait and tackle kit, go with a lure roll. This is a wrap around canvas or cloth material that fits on your body across your chest or around your waist.
However you wear it, the use of a lure roll is ideal for a stand up paddle board fisher person. A lure roll works super effectively in holding all the tiny things you want to get to super fast when you are fishing. Wearing it right there on your chest helps to keep the tackle box out from under your feet, too.
The fewer items you have to stumble on when SUP fishing, the safer you will be, so keep that in mind.
If you are interested in a more conventional box style setup for storing lures, bait, and tackle, there are soft body and hard body waterproof utility boxes. Find these at tackle shops or online and fill them with every hook, bobber, sinker, float, and line that you have on hand.
These fishing tackle boxes can be stuffed under the cable cording criss crossing at the end of most SUPs. You might also be able to use a fish bait and tackle box for a seat.
4. Tackle Rack for Holding Fishing Rods and Gear
Next up, is a newer and more interesting piece of equipment used in fishing for those in personal watercraft. The tackle rack or Tackle Rac is a waist-high u-shaped upside-down rod that works to hold multiple fishing rods and other gear. At least two fishing rods are held in position for storage in a tackle rack.
This rack, which is a metal tube and very durable, can also be used to attach lure bags or tackle boxes.
There are gear pegs, one on either side, also made from the same heavy duty metal. Here is where you can hang bags, backpacks, and camera gear to keep it safe on a stand up paddle board. You can also lean against or sit back on the tackle rack once it is securely installed.
The system will allow you to have a type of sail, too. This rounded metal rack with an open area in the center can be rigged up with a piece of cloth to work as a sail in an emergency on the water.
This new invention is easy to attach to a SUP. Weighing about four pounds, a tackle rack slides right onto a SUP that is set up with tackle rack receivers. A tackle rack receiver is a pair of feet cuffs that are screwed right into a SUP. These are mounted with four screws each for stability.
From there, sliding the tackle rack onto and onto a stand up paddle board for a fishing session is super simple. All you do is set the tackle rack legs into each of the receivers outfitted onto the SUP.
5. Training Wheels or Stabilizers for Rough Water and Support
Here is another interesting invention to add to a stand up paddle board used for people going fishing. If you are taking your SUP to the ocean or otherwise anticipate rough waters, use training wheels. These are made by a brand called Airhead and work to stabilize a SUP.
The SUP training wheels resemble torpedoes, and they come in a pair that are attached in the center with two pieces of flat nylon. This allows you to slide your stand up paddle board right onto the nylon strips.
From here, you have additional support by way of these floating stabilizers securely outfitted to the sides of your SUP. Perfect for beginners, these training wheels are also good if you are not feeling very confident about the size of the stand up paddle board. Since you are fishing, there is a great likelihood that you could come out with the Big One.
Consider these stabilizers for increased balance while reeling in a fish and wrangling with the animal on board.
6. Containers for Stand Up Paddle Boards
Speaking of fish that you catch, and other fishing related finds, you want somewhere to store these items. There are a variety of containers for stand up paddle boards. These come in two different categories–dry bags and coolers. A dry bag or waterproof container is designed to keep an item from getting wet.
Coolers made for SUPs are at the opposite end of the spectrum, and are focused on keeping items cold, including frozen goods or wet fish. You may want to invest in both systems for storing items on a stand up paddle board to save you time and money in the long run, and to avoid getting contaminated with foodborne illnesses, such as salmonella.
7. Cooler for Refrigerating and Storing Fish
A cooler for keeping your freshly caught fish alive or at least fresh smelling when dead is a great investment as a fisher person. You can find plenty of options for coolers for SUPs that are ideal in this situation. Look for a lightweight cooler, and consider a throwaway version made from styrofoam to use for a single season.
After all, these are being used for a single purpose and over a year or two, the coolers start to really stink–literally. To avoid cross contamination, mark this cooler well to identify it as a fishing cooler for FISH ONLY.
8. Food and Beverage Coolers
The next type of cooler you want to invest in is for your food that you bring along on your SUP fishing excursions. This tends to be drinks, and may include beer in cans. If so, grab a cooler that can be worn as a cross body belt. You can wear a six pack along your back when fishing and keep it off of the paddle board to save on balancing yourself.
If you do choose a cooler that can be put on a stand up paddle board, consider whether you are using a fishing seat. For a SUP that is outfitted with a seat, you can purchase a kayaking cooler. These are small in size, rectangular, and look and function more like a backpack. You fit them over the backside of a seat and they stay secured there while you fish.
9. Hard Body Versus Soft Body Coolers
There is also the more traditional style of cooler with a hard body. I personally like soft body bag style coolers and have a couple of those. So, what do you prefer–a hard body or a soft cooler body? For a stand up paddle board, I recommend soft body bag style coolers for 95 percent of the time I am out there on the water.
But, if you need a seat to sit on and want more insulation and need to keep food super cold over a longer period, you most likely will have to take a hard body cooler. These are those coolers that open with a flip top lid and have a handle. The size ranges from 10 liters to 40 liters.
If you do not have access to ice or frozen gel packs, invest in a thermoelectric hard body cooler. Using this system, you can have a frozen or refrigerated food supply in a cooler on your SUP without needing to add any coolant. To make this operational on a SUP, you also need a portable battery station, such as those made by Jackery in California.
With a portable battery station, such as the Jackery 300, you can buy a thermoelectric cooler that holds 40 liters and runs off of the dynamic temperature of the food inside. Put food in when the food is cold in the freezer or fridge and it will stay cold at 40 degrees below the ambient temperature around the cooler.
If it is 70 degrees outside when you are fishing on your SUP, your food will remain 30 degrees–without ice!
You can use frozen gel packs, but consider if these are going to leak as you do not want to have moisture inside a thermoelectric cooler. I recently purchased one of these by Coleman and drove four hours in 106 degree weather home from the lake. When we arrived back home, my two sticks of butter were still rock-hard, as they were in the refrigerator before we started the trip.
10. How to Attach a Hard Cooler to a Stand Up Paddle Board
Whether you need a hard cooler for a seat or, for the long term, more stable cooling of your food and beverages on a SUP, you have to attach the cooler to the paddle board securely. Otherwise, your entire rig will go toppling over into the water just as sure as you start to take off. The cooler will most likely be the heaviest and biggest item you attempt to attach to your SUP.
Therefore, the focus needs to be on getting the cooler to stay on the paddle board most securely.
Here is how to do that. Start with D-rings, cam straps, and tie-down kits. These are stand up paddle board specific and will ensure your watercraft is safe in the sea. Ideally, you can purchase a cooler tie-down kit that comes with everything you need. There are several companies on the market that are making these kits to provide stand up paddle boarders with a safe cooler attachment.
Shop for cooler tie-down kits made by:
- K2 Coolers
- Universal Cooler
These tie-down kits feature the marine grade stainless steel you want to see in deck plates, deck loops, and cam buckles. That is the best material you can buy in these systems and it will ensure your safety out there in the water on your SUP. You also get the right size of nylon straps made from an ultraviolet (UV) resistant material that is designed to hold up in the sun.
Buying a kit that comes with illustrated instructions will also increase the chances that you can put your cooler on your stand up paddle board the right way.
11. Dry Bags and Waterproof Containers for Keeping Items Dry
Next up, we have dry bags and waterproof containers that are going to be necessary when stashing your cameras, batteries, and paperwork. Anything you have that needs to stay dry, such as dollar bills or receipts, or a change of clothes, needs to go in a dry bag or waterproof container. How do you know which ones to buy and what is really needed for a SUP when fishing?
Start with a variety of sizes of dry bags. These are cylindrical bags with a round body and flat base. The top flattens together to close the bag. To secure the bag, you take a long piece located horizontally across the end of the dry bag.
This will roll naturally down the bag and help to secure the opening so it is waterproof inside. Then, each side of the rolled end of the bag will come together to clip end-to-end. This is usually done with a plastic clip that latches like on a belt or purse.
Here you have an instant handle to help you carry or attach the dry bag to your stand up paddle board. Sizes of dry bags vary and range from 5 liters to 25 liters or more. For a SUP, and for fishing, you really just need one or two smaller dry bags to hold your personal belongings, such as your fishing license, wallet, money, camera, dry clothes, and maybe a pair of shoes.
This will fit onto the end of the paddle board underneath bungee cords attached securely to the SUP. You might also keep a dry bag attached to the back of a seat on a SUP.
Waterproof containers tend to be smaller and flatter. For example, you use a waterproof pouch for a smartphone in order to use the phone for taking photos without getting it wet or dropping it in the water. There are also tiny capsule or pill bottle shaped waterproof containers you might benefit from using.
These work to hold money, medication, or small amounts of items that would otherwise get lost or damaged when wet, such as matches or a lighter. In combination, waterproof containers and dry bags make up a coordinated system that will suffice your storage needs when fishing on a stand up paddle board.
These items for storage are approved by coast guards and hold up to safety standards when in both the ocean and fresh water.
12. Board Lights for Night Fishing and Safety
Whether you are night fishing exclusively or planning to spend most evenings on the water, or you want to catch the early worm, board lights are a must-have item. Safety is paramount and lights on a paddle board increase visibility. Ensure others see you floating, especially if you are using the next recommended fishing accessory for a SUP.
13. Stand Up Paddle Board Seat for Resting
I personally appreciate having a seat on a paddle board. Even though these are stand up paddle boards, a seat helps when fishing. After all, fishing is often a long and stationary sport. Standing up the entire day is not safe or healthy, especially in the hot sun.
Take a break by having a seat on a stand up paddle board when you are going fishing. These seats are attached using D-rings and can be removed when you are done with using the SUP for fishing.
14. Anchoring a Stand Up Paddle Board in Water
Anchors are essential when you are fishing. Otherwise, you will quickly float downstream from any good fishing hole you find. Here are two types of anchors that will slow down any SUP from freely floating when you are fishing.
15. Anchor for Fishing in One Area
A traditional style of marine anchor is sold for kayaks, canoes, jet skis, and stand up paddle boards. This resembles the four-arm fan design of an anchor you would spot on a giant sail boat or cruise ship.
However, it weighs about three and a half pounds and comes with about 30 feet of twine suitable for anchoring a SUP. Toss one of these into the water when you are fishing from your stand up paddle board.
16. Shallow Water Anchors Including a Sand Spear for Staking Your SUP
If I am fishing in shallow waters, I always bring a stakeout pole, also called a sand spear. These are shallow water anchors that are six to eight feet in length. One end has a sharp point that goes smoothly into the sandy bottom.
The other end, called a foot, is shaped in a triangle and has an easy to grab handle. This is used to retrieve the stake, which also has a hole for a hook attachment. Here is where you attach a rope from your SUP to the anchor.