Fishing guide, Captain Jeff Schneider, from Venice, Louisiana gives this thoughts on the SUP: Stand Up Paddleboard, for targeting fish. Jeff is a huge fan of the Kahuna from Kaku Kayak for its ability to handle big fish, but also stalking fish on the flats.
It’s an adventure, it’s great exercise, it’s easy and it’s a lot of fun. Just some of the reasons the SUP has become so popular in Florida and beyond. I see people catching waves off the beach, doing yoga, exploring their environment and my favorite reason to paddle, fishing. I honestly only really paddle for one reason, it’s super stealthy way to sneak up on big fish. Although I have found its a great way to clear my head and stresses of the day. It has a way of being more of a one on one battle. Just me vs. the fish and the elements. When it comes to fishing I have my choice of boats, but I still find myself paddling off the beach in search of the unsuspecting Tarpon cruising the crystal clear water of south Florida. I have hooked and landed Tarpon most ways imaginable, but by far my favorite way is off of my SUP, Stand Up Paddleboard. The thrill of the hookup is awesome no matter how you are targeting the fish. The jumps and acrobatics never get old, but to be towed around by a huge fish where you really have no control of its actions is what I find to be the biggest thrill!
You are definitely more spot committed and can’t make the long runs that a boat offers. So you really learn areas and patterns. For instance, I have launched my flats boat at the Anclote boat ramp for years. Usually idle past the no wake zone, jump up on top and run wide open to where I think the fish will be chewing. With the SUP I launch at the same place, but I am committed to about a 2.5 mile radius. Well come to find out, fished properly, I can usually do almost as good and sometimes better than making the long runs. I consistently get the inshore slam with some bonus fish. I have fished this area in the boat, usually on my way back to the ramp at the end of the day. I just never really took the time to fish it properly, learn the nooks and crannies and patterns of the area.
With most Paddleboards and SUP you need almost no water to float so I can get into areas that receive very little fishing pressure, whether it’s stalking tailing reds on a skinny flat or a big school of over-slot fish. With a little practice and patience you can sneak up on even some of the spookiest fish. From the shallow flats of the famous Mosquito Lagoon to the beaches of both the Atlantic and Gulf paddle boarding (SUP) can be and is a very productive way to target all species of fish.
There are many types of SUPs and they are getting better and more advanced daily. What I look for in a SUP is stability, tracking, durability and accessories. Some work great in some areas and lack in others. It’s hard to find the perfect balance, but by far the most versatile board that does the
best in the mentioned categories has been the Kahuna by Kaku Kayaks.
About the Author
Captain Jeff Schneider resides in Louisiana where he works as an offshore and inshore fishing guide. Primarily fishing out of Venice, Louisiana, Capt. Jeff can target billfish to redfish, tarpon to tuna. You can learn more about Capt. Jeff at Louisiana Tuna Charters.