To be honest , I never thought much about paddle boarding. It was too risky. Too hard. Too daunting.
Well, my attitude changed dramatically a few weeks ago when I actually got off my duff and tried to paddle board. Surprisingly, I stayed upright. The more I paddled the more I loved it. After borrowing a neighbor’s board, I got hooked. Off to Stuart I went to buy my own board from Flying Fish Outfitters.
It took about 20 minutes before I fell in love with a Bote Flood. This board this a 12-foot flats fishing machine. Before, much of my on-water angling came from a Native Ultimate 14. The Bote Flood is better.
One, you can’t beat the workout. Paddle boarding requires balance. Balance requires core strength — and that starts from the ground up. My feet, ankles, arms and abdominals have gotten a lot stronger after less than two weeks. My raging case of plantar fasciitis has subsided.
From an angling perspective, a paddle board can’t be beat for shallow-water fly fishing. Boards are quiet, fewer wakes than with the Native. Two, the platform is cleaner. There’s nothing for the line to snag on the deck.
And you the visibility is second to none. Height is everything in sight fishing with a fly rod. You’re up higher on a paddle board than a kayak or canoe. It’s not even close.
The only downside to a paddle board is wind. Ideally, you’re standing and if the wind blows, you become a sail. To offset the breeze, I bought a Yeti cooler, which sits behind me and serves as a seat and a place to rest my calves for more security and balance. Needless to say, it’s not bad to have a few drinks stocked to neutralize summer’s swelter.