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Paddle Board Fishing vs Kayak Fishing

More and more, kayak and paddle board fishing are becoming the go-to choices for serious anglers, regardless of budget. Whether you're a bank fisherman ready to access the full potential of your local waters or a boat fisherman ready to escape the high costs of boat ownership, you'll find an exciting new adventure waiting for you in one of the many human-powered water vessels available.

If you're interested in fishing from a kayak or paddle board, but aren't sure which to choose, this article will help you figure out the best watercraft for you.

What's Your Style?

Both kayak fishing and paddle board fishing require a significant upfront investment, so it's important to do your research and explore your options before you purchase. Depending on your personality, fishing style and conditions you plan to fish in, one of these two paddle crafts might be a better fit than the other.

Let's take a look at both stand up paddle boards and fishing kayaks to give you a better idea of what you're getting into.

Kayak Fishing

paddle board fishing or kayak fishing

Sturdy, reliable and comfortable, modern fishing kayaks have truly become fishing machines. Kayaks are now used by anglers all over the world for both fresh and saltwater fishing.

Manufacturers continue to produce new technologies in fishing-specific kayaks and accessories that are taking this sport to new heights.

If you're on the fence about whether you should go with a paddle board or a kayak for fishing, here are some unique benefits that fishing kayaks offer.

  • Stability. In a kayak, all of your travel and most of your fishing is done while sitting. When sitting, your center of gravity is lower, giving you much more stability, especially on water that is constantly moving. If you fish in water with lots of movement, whether current or waves, a kayak will give you the stability you need to fish safely and comfortably.

  • Storage. Fishermen love their gear. To many, seeking out and buying the right tackle for every fishing situation is half the fun of fishing. A kayak gives you plenty of space to bring all the gear you need for your fishing trip.

  • Long distance paddling. Kayaks are designed to cover lots of water. The sleek hulls cut through water and every stroke of the paddle takes you closer to that perfect fishing hole. If your fishing excursions call for long jaunts out into the marsh, then a kayak may be the best option for you.

Paddle Board Fishing

paddle board fishing 2

Stand up paddle boarding (SUP) as a sport has taken off like an angry tarpon with a 1/0 hook in its lip.

No one's really sure of the origins of stand up paddle boarding, but it's likely that its roots are in ancient Hawaii.

Modern day stand up paddle boards were first embraced by surfers, but have since taken off as alternatives to canoes and kayaks with the added benefit of getting a great core workout. Fisherman in both freshwater and saltwater have adopted paddle boards as effective fishing vessels with a distinctive minimalist style.

Fishing from a stand up paddle board is a very new form of fishing, and still in its early stages of development. Fishing from a paddle board is pretty straightforward: you paddle out on a body of water with your fishing rod and you fish. It's like a stripped down version of kayak fishing, and to some fishermen, that’s very appealing.

If you're curious about paddle board fishing, here are a few unique advantages of fishing from a paddle board.

  • High vantage point. Although most fishing paddle boards have the ability to carry a cooler that you can sit on, most of your fishing is done while standing up. While standing, you have a high vantage point that allows you to spot fish at distance. If you do a lot of sight fishing, a stand up paddle board gives you a huge advantage.

  • Portaging. Carrying a stand up paddle board is much easier than carrying a kayak. If you have to cover a lot of ground to get to the water, paddle boards have a convenient handle in the middle of the board for easy carrying. Paddle boards are also very easy to load on top of your car.

  • Fitness. Paddling a stand up paddle board is a full body workout. In a kayak, you work your arms, chest and back, but on a paddle board, you work your arms, chest, back legs and your entire core. So if you want to get a serious workout while fishing, a paddle board is the way to go.

Paddle Board or Kayak?

While very different in construction and options, both fishing kayaks and stand up paddle boards have comparable upfront costs. The average fishing kayak costs between $1000 and $2,000, and the average fishing stand up paddle board costs between $900 and $1,800.

Of course the more gadgets you add to your vessel, the more it costs. But compared to the costs of a motor boat, kayaks and paddle boards are very affordable ways to get out on the water where the fish are.

No matter what you choose, human-powered fishing vessels will take you to amazing places and help you catch more fish. When trying to decide if kayak fishing or paddle board fishing is right for you, think about what you want to get out of the sport.

If you have a lot of water to cover and want to remain stable while you fish, a kayak may be right for you. If you're looking for a new challenge and want to embrace a more minimalist style of fishing, give a paddle board a shot. Either way, get out on the water, have fun and catch some fish.

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