From the time I was 6 or 7, until I was about 10 years old, I fished regularly with my Dad and brother in Marion, MA, where my grandparents lived. The fishing wasn’t much, just using worms to hook scup. Sometimes we used fishing rods, but mostly we used crusty old drop lines that my grandfather had in his garage for years. That would have been about 1993 and the last time I remember actively fishing, until about 23 years later.
Last summer my father-in-law took me fishing for smallmouth bass on East Grand Lake in Canada, and needless to say, it had been a long time since I went fishing, so my skills were, let’s say, novice. Well it turns out that on East Grand Lake you don’t need any skill because the smallies will hit anything, even if you’re casting while flailing around on a paddleboard. Regardless of my skill, I caught the fishing bug. For my birthday this year, my wife bought me a fishing license and the gear I would need to effectively fish from my board, and some of my friends bought me a rod.
Lately I’ve been fishing at Turkey Pond in Concord. The primary reason for choosing Turkey Pond is that it’s about 5 minutes from my house, but supposedly it’s a great place to catch bass too. That said I’ve only been able to catch pickerel there so far, but I think that has more to do with my skill and awkwardness on the water than it does with the number of bass in the pond.
I say that I’m awkward on the water because fishing from a paddleboard is not an easy thing to do. There are paddleboards for fishing, but I don’t have one. I use my Bic board, which is a good all-around board and I strap a mesh box to the front.
Casting is easy, but any breeze blows you across the surface of the water, which means you constantly have to put your rod down to paddle out of the weeds, redirect your drift, or push off a log. Then there’s actually catching a fish. If it’s a fish of any considerable size, get ready for a ride. Because paddleboards basically sit on the water and not in it, there’s very little friction, which means if the fish tries to run, you’re going with it. That’s OK with me though! It’s a ton of fun, and it’s like a really small, less scary version of JAWS, and there’s no danger of being eaten.
Like I said, so far this summer I’ve only caught pickerel, but that’s OK. At least I can say I’ve caught some fish. Plus, there’s still a lot of summer left and I intend on getting out at least once a week for as long as the fishing is good. If you fish, or if you paddleboard, I highly recommend combining the two sports at least once. It’s a ton of fun and absolutely worth trying.
If you currently fish off your paddleboard, are looking to get into it, or have some tips, sound off in the comments or reach out to me on social media!
See you out on the water!