Crystal River and Florida's Gulf Coast have historically drawn fishermen from all over the country and even the world. Fishing vessels of all shapes and sizes have long ruled the local waters, but there's a newcomer on the scene poised to nose its way into a niche once occupied by canoes and kayaks -- the stand-up paddle board (SUP).
According to the Outdoor Industry Association, 10.5 million Americans paddled SUP boards in 2011. There was a 104 percent increase in paddle board sales in the U.S. between April 2011 and April 2012, with another 90 percent estimated by April 2013.
With that much interest in stand-up paddle boarding, it was inevitable that people would find new and different ways to use their boards. One such use is SUP fishing. The elevated sight line afforded by standing, the ability to cover more water relatively easily compared to other personal watercraft, and an unhindered range of motion when casting make SUP fishing very appealing. Add to that being able to quietly approach a school of fish or easily access a difficult to reach fishing spot and SUP fishing might just be the way to add a new dynamic to a favorite sport.
While some prefer to simply grab their rod, tackle, and paddle, others like to take advantage of the full array of fishing accessories available for paddle boards. Both of these options allow your board to be a multi-tasker without making permanent additions or changes to the board.
Another option is to go with a board designed for fishing, like the Imagine Angler. These boards are more stable than the regular boards and therefore don't require as much athleticism. The Angler is equipped with a seat back, two wells, two rod holders, and netting to hold your other gear. There's also ample room for a cooler, tackle box, and other equipment.
Manatee Paddle has regular stand-up paddle boards as well as Imagine Anglers for rent if you'd like to try out this exciting sport. Whether you are familiar with the local fishing spots or would need an experienced guide to help you navigate, we'd love to introduce you to the world of SUP fishing.