It’s all a question of balance- stand up or sit down when paddle board fishing.
When it comes to choosing between fishing paddle board or fishing kayak, anglers need to be aware that both standing in a boat and sitting in a boat can produce some great fishing. Many of the kayaks designed for fishing are stable enough to allow anglers to stand and fish, and of course, paddleboards are intended to have the angler standing.
However, some anglers prefer one fishing position over the other, and in fact, some anglers just don’t have the body balance to safely fish while standing in a moving, lightweight, very responsive to wind and wave watercraft.
Almost everyone can manage to fish effectively while seating in a kayak, but not everyone can keep their balance while standing. And it’s not hard to stop being an angler and start being a swimmer if the balance is not present.
Some kayaks are quite effective for standing anglers- I have a couple of them that are a pleasure for me to stand in and fish from when I’m in flat water with minimal wind and wave action. I have other fishing kayaks that are not made for standing, and they will put me in the water in a heartbeat if I try to stand.
Anglers new to the kayak fishing game need to check about specific boats they are considered to purchase and see if standing is recommended. And anglers need to be honest about their abilities, too. If keeping balance is a problem, then perhaps getting a “stand-up” kayak is not such a good idea.
Of course, both stand-up and sit-down fishing paddle boards are very effective fishing boats, and they are lots of fun to use.
Advantages to Sitting Down
Stability– There’s no question about it- the angler will be more stable and secure when the butt is in the seat. The center of balance is lower, and the kayak is just more stable. Some anglers feel quite uneasy when standing, but while seated are just fine. The modern seats in fishing kayaks make sitting much more comfortable, and since the newer seats are somewhat elevated, the angler has a better line of sight when looking for fish.
More Power to the Paddle– When seated, kayak anglers are better able to maximize their power whether paddling or pedaling. Sitting fishing kayaks allow anglers to use more of their body and muscles to put thrust to the paddle and move the kayak. Of course, with pedal kayaks which use flippers or a propeller to move the kayak, sitting is the only way the system works.
Less Wind Effect– Fishing Kayaks are light boats and very responsive to wind. A standing angler makes a very effective sail to move the boat, and that’s bad if the angler wants to stay in one place to fish a good location. A sitting kayak angler presents much less surface for a strong wind to blow against.
Advantages to Standing Up
Better Sight-Probably the biggest advantage for paddle anglers who can stand in their boat and fish is in the much superior sight lines possible. A standing kayak angler can see much farther and at a much better angle to detect fish from a distance. This allows a quiet approach and an accurate cast.
Once, I was fishing in Louisiana, and as my kayak drifted along the bayou, I was able to stand up and look around me. I spotted a school of very actively feeding redfish in a side channel, and I was then able to sneak my way close enough for a cast. I took several very nice reds from that school. If I had been seated, I would never have seen these fish and would have missed a lot of fun.
Anglers who enjoy fishing from paddleboards love the closeness to the water, the very shallow water possibilities of the board, and great visual aspects of paddleboard use. Paddleboards are very effective fishing craft.
There’s really no comparison between standing and sitting when it comes to spotting fish. Standing is by far the better system.
Some kayaks, especially older boats with poor seats, can be torture racks for anglers after a few hours on the water. Bad kayak seats make sitting and fishing not much fun. Anglers who can stand on their boat, whether kayak or paddleboard, can move better, and they are able to use all of their body muscles to maintain balance. This helps prevent backaches both on the water and the day after a long fishing trip.
Fly Fishing-For those paddle anglers who are addicted to the long rod, standing up while fishing is much, much better than fly casting from a seated position. Standing and fly casting is a much better way to go about catching fish. In fact, many fly anglers just can’t fish from their seated-only kayaks at all- the low position of the angler in relation to the water makes back casts difficult, and the angler can’t use her or his legs and lower body to help make fly casts. Fly fishing is much easier from a standing position.
So, Stand or Sit?
Each paddle angler will have preferences when it comes to how to go about chasing the fish, but perhaps the best solution to the “Sit or Stand” question is to use a paddle craft that allows both approaches.
Many modern kayaks designed for fishing are built so that anglers can stand and fish with perfect safety, but if conditions get a little sporty, the angler can just take a seat and have a lot more stability. These multi-function kayaks might be the best call for a wide range of conditions.
For example, a kayak which is quite reasonable in price and which offers stand up stability, as well as a very comfortable seat, is the VIBE Sea Ghost 110. This well-equipped kayak offers hands-free steering, lots of storage, and it comes in at around $800- which is a lot of fishing boat for the money. And since it weighs only 62 pounds, it’s an easy kayak to cartop and transport to the water.
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