Well the light at the end of the tunnel is in sight now. It has been pretty much 7 weeks straight work and other than a few quick detours while driving around for business and one quick Trout trip there hasn’t been anywhere near my normal amount of fishing done. One more week and that ends.
One of the things I had planned on doing before this busy period started was fishing from a stand up paddle board (known as a SUP). The genesis of the idea came from wanting to catch Squid in Jervis Bay for eating purposes. Go out for about an hour when the squid are around catch a feed and be home in time to cook them for dinner.
One of the problems with that is that the best squid grounds near me are much more easily fished from the water but the idea of putting a boat or kayak on the water for just a short session is a little painful. A boat requires a lot of cleaning and with the Murrays boat ramp on the south side of the bay closed at the moment it means a few hundred metres of portage and possibly a launch through some waves on the beach (certainly not impossible but just a bit of a pain). A SUP was a much easier and quicker option for quick trips to those kind of areas.
The idea of fishing from a SUP isn’t new and they even make boards these days specifically for fishing but I like the idea of being able to go surfing on mine as well and went with the largest Hobie ATR board which is a 12’2″.
At first I thought I would buy a small esky to strap down behind me on the board and attach a few rod holders. Esky for the Squid and rod holder for (obviously) my rod but also for the paddle because it’s a bit tricky using both at once. In the end I found using my usual Hobie kayak livewell turned around backwards eliminated the need to buy or do anything. Even though I didn’t need the livewell part for squid there were more than a couple of times I filled the bottom with ice and put a few cool drinks and snacks in there.
Well the squid may have been hiding for a few weeks there but it was probably for the best because when I didn’t have the option of a kayak or a boat over the summer break I gave the boards a try on a few sneaky bream spots both up north on the Clarence and down south at home.
The end result was the immediately apparent need for some sort of anchor. Even the slightest wind pushed you along very quickly. Probably good for covering ground squid fishing but if you were trying to fish something specific like a pontoon, by the time you cast you were almost too far away. The anchor doesn’t need to be particularly high tech. A kilo of lead left to set in the bottom of a melting pot with a loop of coat hanger wire tied to some light string would more than do the job and if the conditions demanded more than that I would suggest fishing off something other than a SUP.
Other than that, a backpack with squid jigs or lures, some extra trace and a pair of scissors is about all you need. For the Squid side of things I would also highly recommend either a legrope to tether the board to you or a PFD 3 just in case you came off the board. Once you feel comfortable on a board that size though you would be surprised how hard that actually is. You could dance a jig on a big board and not come off.