Using a stand up paddle board is a great way to cover some water on an unguided bonefish expedition.
I love chasing bonefish. Stalking spooky fish in warm, gin-clear water, then watching rooster tails come off the line as it rips through the water after a streaking, hooked silver ghost is quite the rush. A good guide almost always puts you on fish, but I especially love DIY bonefishing. So much so that I wrote an article several years ago on do-it-yourself bonefishing in the Florida Keys.
There’s just something satisfying about finding a place on your own to stalk fish, then getting one to take your fly.
The guy in this video incorporated an SUP into his DIY bonefishing. I like his idea, but have some reservations, too. I believe most anglers move far too fast when working a bonefish flat. If I’m on a good flat it may take me an hour to move 100 yards. I scan 360 degrees at least twice, then take no more than two steps and repeat the process.
An SUP could make travel between good flats easy and quick. The elevated perspective of standing on a floating board would improve your chances of spotting fish, too. He does have the right idea about the SUP once he hooked the bonefish – he abandoned it. It would be much easier to follow the fish on foot, as long as the bottom allows wading.
I am pretty impressed with his ability to keep the fish from breaking off even when it wraps around mangrove shoots.
I’d sure give SUP bonefishing a try.