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March 22, 2021 16 min read

The Best Fishing Accessories for your SUP

The sun’s shining and your lucky fishing hat is secured on your head. It’s time to load your SUP for a day spent fishing on the water. Choosing only the best paddle board fishing accessories can make your day more enjoyable.

Let’s get started.

How to fish on a paddle board?

How Do You Fish From A Paddle Board?

If you enjoy fishing, you need to try fishing from a paddle board. A SUP is easy to maneuver and allows you to quietly sneak up on fish in hard-to-reach areas. 

The key to successful SUP fishing is to organize your supplies. By limiting your tackle and safely storing your fishing poles and accessories, you will be more prepared and ready to slay some serious fish.

Related: check our guide to the best inflatable paddle boards of the year.

Why Go Fishing on a SUP? (Pros & Cons)

SUP fishing is a unique adventure that may not be ideal for every fisherman. Let’s review the pros and cons of fishing from a stand up paddle board.

The Advantages to Fishing on a SUP

A paddle board is easier than a boat to transport and launch into the water, and it beats fishing from the shoreline. When fishing on a SUP, you have a height advantage to improve your visibility of the fish and to experience fewer snags. A stand up paddle board can quietly slip into a fishing hole without a noisy motor scaring the fish away.

  • Lighter and easier to transport than a boat (particularly inflatable fishing paddle boards)
  • Fishing while standing is not only a great vantage point, it's more efficient to cast this way>/li>
  • SUPs provide amazing mobility and maneuverability
  • Typically more affordable than a boat or fishing kayak
  • A lot more fun than fishing from a dock!
  • Great exercise: fishing from your SUP burns a significant amount of calories

The Disadvantages of PaddleBoard Fishing

There are a few disadvantages to SUP fishing that can be remedied with good planning. Given the limited space and the need to balance on a SUP, organizing your fishing setup is essential. Choosing only the optimal SUP fishing accessories will help load your board for a great day on the water.

  • Depending on a SUP, it may be less stable than a large boat or raft
  • While you can troll with a SUP, your speed won't be as consistent as it would with a proper trolling motor
  • You need to conserve some energy to get back to store without a motor

Essential SUP Gear

Essential SUP fishing accessories

Before loading your board with SUP fishing accessories, it’s best to ensure you have all of the necessary gear for a day on the water. 

Paddle Board Fishing Set Up (Essential)

Now that you’ve planned your fishing adventure and charted your route, let’s load your SUP with the optimal fishing gear.

Fishing Rod Holder 

When fishing on a paddle board, it’s hard to paddle while holding your fishing pole at the same time. Finding a way to secure your fishing rod and reel can prevent your gear from ending up on the bottom of the lake or ocean. 

Here are a few ways to secure your fishing pole with rod holders:

GILI Fishing Rod Holder

The GILI rod holder threads into the action mounts of any 2021 GILI board or newer models. After easily mounting to your board, you can adjust the angle of your fishing rod. Secure into position with the locking mechanism and get ready to haul in the fish. 

GILI Fishing Rod Holder for Paddle Board

Where to buy:

Features & Specs:

  • Threaded fishing rod holder fits all GILI 2021 and newer SUPs
  • Quickly and easily adjust the angle of your fishing rod
  • 1-Year Warranty

What we love:

  • Easily screws into action mount
  • Fits all GILI paddle boards
  • Can angle your fishing pole in any direction
  • 1 year warranty
  • Securely affixes rod and reel

What we don't love:

  • We need to figure out how to mount 4 of them on our GILI SUPs

Scotty Fishing Mounts

Scotty makes rod holders in many sizes and styles. The accessory mounts are of good quality with ease of use and simple attachment to your board. There are many varieties available to find one that’s perfect for you. The GILI 11/12’ Adventure, 12'/15' Manta Ray, and the 11’6 Meno paddle boards come with Scotty mounting plates included. You’ll need a mounting bracket and rod holder!

Scooty Spinning Rod Holder

Where to buy:

  • Amazon (ships worldwide, best price)

Features & Specs:

  • Pistol Grip Rod Holder
  • Holds Spinning Reel
  • Lot's Of Adjustments

What we love:

  • Comes With Bolts & Screws
  • Relax While Fishing (Almost Hands-Free)

What we don't love:

DIY Rod Holder

Diy Rod Holder for SUP board

You can also channel your inner Martha Stewart and make your own setup! A milk crate secured to your SUP allows water to pass through easily and provides extra room for storage. Using zip ties, you can attach PVC pipe along the milk crate’s edges to create a useful rod holder. It can also be used as a seat.

SUP Fishing Cooler

A 20-30 quart cooler on your paddle board can hold ice for food and water as well as keep the fish you’ve caught from spoiling in the sun. A cooler can also double as a seat. It’s important to choose a light-weight cooler that’s wide enough to span your board to maintain balance. A well-insulated cooler is necessary to protect your food and fish from the sweltering sun. A GILI Deck cooler bag can be attached to most SUP with bungee cords and provide the perfect amount of cold storage.

GILI deck cooler bag for sale

Where to buy:

Features & Specs:

  • Water Resistant with a waterproof pocket
  • Suitable for any SUP and attaches easily with bungees
  • 10 can size 4.5” x 16.5” x 12.5”
  • 20 can size 6.75” x 16.5” x 12.5”

What we love:

  • Carrying strap for easy transport
  • 100% guarantee
  • Waterproof mesh pockets
  • Easy to attach
  • Comes in two sizes

What we don't love:

  • Would love to see it offered in different colors

Small Tackle Bag

A small bag is the keyword. We’d love to haul our loaded tackle box filled with our secret weapons, but we might not stay afloat with all the weight. It’s recommended to pare down your fishing gear to include essential items only. You can carry a backpack or fanny pack to optimize your board space, or you can simply secure a waterproof tackle bag to your board with bungees. 

Your tackle bag should include an extra fishing line, needle-nose pliers, a line cutter, sinkers, hooks, and bobbers if desired. Narrowing it down to your favorite lures is the tough part, but choose few and choose wisely. 

Picifun Fishing Tackle Storage Bag

Fishing storage tackle bag

Where to buy:

  • Amazon (ships worldwide, best price)

Features & Specs:

  • Water resistant and durable nylon
  • Multiple areas of storage: 3 center compartments and multiple pockets
  • Attachments points for water bottles or pliers

What we love:

  • Straps make it useful as tackle bag, backpack, sling pack, or chest bag
  • Two waist rod belts
  • Rear breathable mesh
  • Reflective tape for safe fishing at dawn or dusk

What we don't love:

  • Reports that the seams as not as durable as we’d hope

KastKing Fishing Tackle Bags

Kastking Fishing Tackle Storage Bag for Sale

Where to buy:

  • Amazon (ships worldwide, best price)

Features & Specs:

  • 15” X 11” X 10.5”
  • Holds up to seven 3600 size lure boxes
  • Waterproof base and water-resistant exterior

What we love:

  • Comfortable neoprene carrying strap
  • Lot of pockets and storage space
  • Attachment points for pliers
  • Soft-sided so comfortable to carry
  • Quick grab large zippers

What we don't love:

  • Should come with the lure cases for the price

J-Hooks or Circle Hooks

If you use live bait, then don’t forget to pack extra hooks. 

Circle hooks are mandatory when using natural bait and are required by some local laws. Circle hooks don’t require you to set the hook, so they are good for children or if you’re passively fishing while you eat a sandwich. You simply reel in the line.

J-Hooks are used with live or cut bait. A J-hook requires you to set the line after a bite, so they are used by avid fisherman who are actively fishing. J-hooks can gut hook a fish, unlike circle hooks.

Landing Net

A good fishing setup needs a net to land a fish on a paddle board. When balancing your board and reeling in a monster fish, a net will ensure that the fish makes it onboard. A landing-net with an adjustable handle is recommended to avoid leaning over (and then off) your SUP. A net can also be stored in a rod holder with your spare fishing poles. 

Plussino Floating Fishing Net

Floating Fishing Net

Where to buy:

  • Amazon (ships worldwide, best price)

Features & Specs:

  • Retractable handle
  • 11.8” depth and 16.7” handle
  • Lightweight at 12.8 ounces
  • Nylon net with rubber coating to allow easy catch and release

What we love:

  • It floats!
  • Long handle with good grip
  • Lanyard for easy grab
  • Doesn’t take up much space

What we don't love:

  • The holes in net are big enough to tangle your hook

Paddle Holder/Leash

In addition to securing your ankle with a leash and bungee-cording your gear to your board, don’t forget to secure your paddle. Using a paddle holder or paddle leash will prevent the loss of your paddle that could leave you stranded far from the shore.

YYST Orange Paddle Leash Paddle Holder Tool Lanyard

YYST Paddle Leash Paddle Holder

Where to buy:

  • Amazon (ships worldwide, best price)

Features & Specs:

  • Extends from 36” to 72”
  • Wrap on any rod or paddle 2” diameter
  • Aluminum hood and stainless steel wire mean no rust

What we love:

  • Sold in packs of 1-4
  • Bright orange color
  • Lightweight and easily fit in SUP backpack

What we don't love:

  • Reports of needing to replace clips occasionally

SUP Fishing Rack

Specially designed SUP fishing racks can connect to paddle boards and provide another option to store fishing rods and tackle. The vertical lightweight aluminum racks contain rod holders and extra space to store your cooler or tackle bag. 

Bote Tackle Rac

Aluminum SUP fishing rack

Where to buy:

  • Amazon (ships worldwide, best price)

Features & Specs:

  • Two rod holders
  • Side pegs allow attachment of more gear
  • Lightweight – only 4 lbs

What we love:

  • Lightweight with vertical design to take up less space
  • Attachment points for additional gear

What we don't love:

  • Need a SUP with rack receivers

BOTE Bucket Rack

BOTE Bucket Rack for Cooler Fishing Storage

Where to buy:

  • Amazon (ships worldwide, best price)

Features & Specs:

  • Fits 5 gallon bucket with 4 rod holders
  • Corrosion resistant 

What we love:

  • Can organize and store equipment: net, bucket, tackle, rods
  • Buckets placed in the rack can double as a seat
  • Lightweight aluminum construction

What we don't love:

  • Must be bungeed into place

Optional Paddle Board Fishing Accessories

If your SUP still floats with the fishing gear you’ve already loaded, then there might be room for more. There is additional gear that can be added to make your fishing trip more comfortable when paddle boarding.

Action Camera GoPro Adapter

When reeling in one big fish after another, you’ll want to pack your GoPro to verify your fish stories! An action camera or GoPro can easily attach with the GoPro Adapter on an action mount to securely record your fishing adventure.

Action Camera GO Pro Adapter for Sale

Where to buy:

Features & Specs:

  • Easily attaches to action mounts
  • M8 thread
  • Anodized aluminum will not rust

What we love:

  • Inexpensive
  • Can position camera in any direction
  • Sturdy design
  • Works with every GILI paddle board

What we don't love:

SUP Stabilizers

Even if you’re a master at paddle boarding, SUP stabilizers may keep you from fighting for balance with a board full of gear. The added stability from the SUP stabilizers provides extra security to keep you dry so you can concentrate on fishing.

AIRHEAD SUP Training Wheels

SUP board stabilizer

Where to buy:

  • Amazon (ships worldwide, best price)

Features & Specs:

  • PVC construction
  • Easily inflates quickly
  • Easy to attach to SUP with straps

What we love:

  • Increases stability of paddle board
  • Great for beginners or on rough water
  • Converts your SUP to a platform

What we don't love:

  • Single layer PVC prone to puncture/tear

SUP Fishing Crate

A modified milk crate can be mounted on your paddle board with bungees to provide organized storage, extra seating, and an attachment for rod holders. An easy and versatile way to organize your SUP surface.

Wilderness Systems Kayak Crate

SUP Wilderness System Fishing Crate

Where to buy:

  • Amazon (ships worldwide, best price)

Features & Specs:

  • Large compartment
  • Comes with four rod holders
  • Water resistant
  • Universal tie-down points

What we love:

  • Room for additional rod holders
  • Can use on kayak or SUP
  • Lot of storage space
  • Can double as a seat

What we don't love:

  • Weighs 11 lbs and more when full - may reduce stability of SUP
  • Clear plastic lid damages and scuffs easily
  • Does not include dividers/inserts - need to purchase separately

Larry Chair

A Larry Chair is a travel chair that rests directly on your SUP for a comfortable mode of fishing. Many Larry chairs fold up for compact transport and can also be used for picnics, gardening, or other land activities. Some options include a carrying case.

Cascade Mountain Tech Stadium Seat

Cascade Mountain Portable Folding Chair

Where to buy:

  • Amazon (ships worldwide, best price)

Features & Specs:

  • Durable
  • Water-resistant
  • Weighs 5 lbs

What we love:

  • Folds flat for easy transport
  • Comfortable seating option
  • 1 year warranty
  • Attaches easily with bungees
  • Shoulder strap and padded handle to carry

What we don't love:

  • One more thing to carry

Paddle Board Seat

A detachable paddle board seat can easily convert your SUP into kayak-mode. Sitting may be preferred to lower your center of gravity as you maneuver your board into tight spots or simply if your back gets tired. Thick cushioned neoprene material adds padding to the seat, and it is easily attached to your SUP in minutes. This seat adapts to fit all boards made by GILI. 

Detachable Kayak Seat for Paddle Boards

Detachable paddle board and kayak seat

Where to buy:

Features & Specs:

  • Installs on any GILI SUP
  • Fast and easy to install
  • Durable

What we love:

  • Nice option to own a SUP and a kayak
  • Padded, comfortable seat
  • Relaxing way to SUP
  • Decent price
  • Satisfaction guaranteed

What we don't love:

  • Hard not to like everything about this accessory option!

Fish Finder or GPS Tracker

When searching for a school of fish or the monster lurking in the weeds, a fish finder may be helpful. If you’re on uncharted waters, a fish finder can put you over the fish faster. Many fish finders can be directly mounted onto your SUP. Also, consider using a GPS tracker to chart your course or pin your favorite fishing holes. The GPS also ensures that you don’t get lost while tracking the fish. 

Deeper PRO Smart Portable Sonar

GPS Fish Finder Portable Sonar

Where to buy:

  • Amazon (ships worldwide, best price)

Features & Specs:

  • WiFi wireless connection to cell phone or tablet
  • Connection range 330 ft
  • Depth range 2 - 260 ft

What we love:

  • No internet required
  • High resolution topography
  • Small and easily portable - doesn’t take up much space on SUP
  • Finds fish and maps terrain

What we don't love:

  • Two hours of charge
  • Can distort image in rough water

Deck Light

When fishing after dark, you’ll need a light for your paddle board. A deck light can attach easily to most SUPs with a suction cup. Deck lights provide safety on dark waters while also meeting USCG requirements for a stern light. Also, consider a headlamp so you can find your favorite lure in the darkness. 

LED Stern Light with Suction

Innovative LED White Lighting with Suction

Where to buy:

  • Amazon (ships worldwide, best price)

Features & Specs:

  • Molded as one-piece
  • LED - 90% less energy than incandescent light
  • Suctions to stern of craft

What we love:

  • Lightweight yet durable
  • Affixes to SUP or kayak
  • Quick and easy to install

What we don't love:

  • Requires 4 “AA” batteries that are not included
  • Can only adhere to smooth surface - difficult with large deck pad

Anchor

Not all SUP fishing trips require an anchor. The decision to bring an anchor should factor in your location and the weather conditions. If targeting fish in a weed bed, an anchor can prevent your paddle board from repeatedly drifting in the wind. If jigging with a bobber, an anchor can keep your line on the bottom. 

A folding grapnel anchor is the best recommendation, and it easily stores in a bag for transport. A grapnel anchor grips many terrains such as sand, rocks, or weeds.

Kayak and Paddle Board Anchor Kit

Kayak and paddle board anchor

Where to buy:

Features & Specs:

  • Flute anchor - most reliable
  • 30 ft rope
  • 3.5 lbs
  • Perfect for SUP or kayak fishing

What we love:

  • Convenient travel bag - will not harm SUP
  • Foldable flukes for easy storage
  • Yellow rope that’s easy to see
  • Durable

What we don't love:

  • We hope GILI offers the anchor in more colors in the future

Waterproof Fanny Pack

As you load up your SUP, you soon realize your available space is precious. Utilizing a fanny pack for tackle or other quick-grab items is quite useful. Maybe you have your cell phone to capture photos of the fish you’ve caught or you need to use your GPS. You can load your fanny pack with easy-access hooks, lures, or a line cutter. 

A waterproof fanny pack means less moving around on your board and are more convenient than a tackle box on a stand up paddle board.

YETI Sidekick Dry

YETI Fanny Pack

Where to buy:

  • Amazon (ships worldwide, best price)

Features & Specs:

  • Tough and durable
  • Water-proof
  • Hydro Shield closure system

What we love:

  • Reputable YETI brand
  • Keeps things dry
  • The perfect size
  • Tight seals

What we don't love:

  • Doesn't keep things cold

SUP Bungees

Packing extra bungees is always a good idea. You can use them to secure your cooler and tackle or keep them on hand for gear that loosens during your fishing adventures. If your equipment is teetering on the edge of your board — Bungee it. 

Paddle Board Bungees

Paddle board bungees

Where to buy:

Features & Specs:

  • Connect easily to paddle board D-rings
  • 2-point
  • 3-point

What we love:

  • Useful - you can never have too many bungees
  • Multiple color options
  • Affordable

What we don't love:

  • Nothing not to like

Waterproof Phone Case

You’ll need your cell phone to capture and send photos of your awesome catch to friends and family members. When you take your phone out of the dry bag, you run the risk of losing it in the water, so that’s why a waterproof phone case is recommended to be included in your fishing setup. This one includes a lanyard to loop it around your neck. 

A waterproof phone case ensures your phone is close but also protected.

GILI Waterproof Phone Case Universal

GILI universal waterproof phonecase

Where to buy:

Features & Specs:

  • See through window on front and back
  • Water-proof
  • Dust-proof

What we love:

  • Keeps phone close and protected
  • Can still push buttons
  • Can see screen through the window
  • Nifty neck strap

What we don't love:

  • Bulky (but worth it for a dry phone)

Safety Gear

With all these SUP fishing accessories, you'll also need basic sun protection such as a hat and sunscreen. Polarized sunglasses protect your eyes while also allowing you to visualize fish from your height advantage on the paddle board. 

A first aid kit can help treat the accidental hook through the fingertip and provide emergency gear “just in case.”

With a paddle board full of gear, the risk of overturning your board is higher than average. If a monster fish pulls you overboard, you’ll need a PFD to keep you afloat. A PFD is always necessary on your SUP, whether you’re fishing or enjoying a day paddling down the river. Here’s one we recommend:

Nrs Chinook Lifejacket

Nrs Chinook Fishing Lifejacket

Where to buy:

  • Amazon (ships worldwide, best price)

Features & Specs:

  • Soft, PlushFIT foam fits to your body type
  • Comes with multiple adjustment points
  • Equipped with 2 large zippered pockets, 2 accessory pockets, and 1 tool holder pocket

What we love:

  • Inexpensive
  • Lightweight
  • Nice style for a PFD
  • Made in the USA

What we don't love:

  • Need new CO2 cartridges once inflated

Onyx PFD

ONYX Inflatable Life Jacket PFD

Where to buy:

  • Amazon (ships worldwide, best price)

Features & Specs:

  • Suitable for adults aged over 16+ and 80lbs
  • Easily buckles around waist
  • Quick tug to inflate

What we love:

  • Inexpensive
  • Lightweight
  • Nice style for a PFD
  • Made in the USA

What we don't love:

  • Need new CO2 cartridges once inflated

Ankle Leash

An ankle leash attaches you to your board so it won’t sail into the sunset leaving you behind bobbing like a buoy. The GILI ankle leash is a durable product to keep you safe.

Paddle Board Coiled Ankle Leash

Where to buy:

Features & Specs:

  • 8 FT length
  • Durable Velcro

What we love:

  • Can stretch 5x its length
  • Multiple color options
  • Does not tangle
  • Fits any ankle size

What we don't love:

  • Costs more than expected for a small item

Waterproof Dry Bag

A dry bag will secure your wallet, cell phone, keys, and snacks while keeping them from getting wet. And loading your phone with GPS tracking and a weather app might protect you from getting lost or approaching storms.

GILI Waterproof 15L Dry Bag

Where to buy:

Features & Specs:

  • Durable nylon material
  • Money back guarantee
  • Versatile for many uses

What we love:

  • Endless color options
  • Snap-in design
  • Affordable
  • Logo to support ocean conservation

What we don't love:

  • They aren't sold in pairs!

Frequently Asked Questions about SUP Fishing Accessories

🏆 Can you fish on a paddle board?

YES! Fishing on a paddle board requires good planning with a touch of balance. The key is to find a stable SUP with at least a 31” deck width to improve your stability. Look at the paddle boards weight requirement and factor in your tackle and gear.

Efficiently packing for a day of SUP fishing will make you glide more easily with less chance of falling. Use your D-rings and action mounts to attach rod holders, cup holders, or multiple bungees to secure your gear. If you don’t want to fish standing up all day, then throw on a seat with the kayak conversion kit to ride in comfort.


👍 What equipment do you need when paddle boarding?

When paddle boarding there is essential equipment that you need no matter what activity you want to enjoy. You obviously need a paddle and a PFD. Your ankle leash secures you to the board in case of a fall. Bring your cell phone to watch the weather for rain or wind that will put a damper on your day. Secure it in your waterproof phone case.

If fishing, you add the essential gear listed above and secure it to your action mounts, your gear racks, or simply bungee your tackle down in the cargo space. Pack up a cooler with cold drinks, and you’re ready for fishing (or simply hanging with a few friends.)


🏝️ Do you need a PFD on a paddle board?

The US Coast Guard has classified SUPs as a vessel and paddlers must adhere to regulations when paddle boarding away from a beach, surfing, or swimming areas. Adults are required to have a USCG approved lifejacket (PFD - level III). Paddlers aged 12 and under must wear the appropriate PFD, while adults can keep it attached to their paddle board.


❓ How to attach a cooler to SUP?

A cooler is a necessary SUP fishing accessory. It provides adequate storage for your food and water or storage for your catch of the day. A cooler conveniently doubles as a seating option to lower your center of gravity so you can maneuver in the water, or it simply allows you to get off your feet. 

When researching the best cooler, you need to know how they attach to your SUP. You can use velcro straps, suction, clips, or bungees. The GILI deck cooler adapts to any paddle board bungee system with easy-to-use S-hooks that attach to your board’s D-rings.

Wrapping Up (The Bottom Line On Paddle Board Fishing)

If you love to fish but haven’t yet tried fishing from a stand up paddle board, add it to your bucket list — It’s amazing! 

Paddle board fishing offers the advantages of easy maneuverability and better visibility high above the water. It’s also an active, healthy way to explore the water in a relaxing manner. Organizing your gear and tackle is essential for a better fishing experience. Simply choose the best paddle board fishing accessories on this list for a great productive day on the water.

Pat McCaw
Pat McCaw

Author, physician, mom and lover of all things outdoors. If there’s water or a hiking trail nearby, that's her happy place. Throw in family and a couple of dogs and it's paradise!


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