I discovered SUP fishing organically on my own as I was paddling around a lake. When I didn’t feel like fishing off the dock, or a boat, it was faster and easier to simply hop on a Stand Up Paddleboard with minimal gear and fish within sight of shore. Now, the Badfisher SUP is my go-to fishing SUP.
Photo by Kimberly Kenyon
Ghost Lake, AB
I have paddled a few different boards designed with fishing in mind.
Prior, I fished off of whatever I was paddling. It wasn’t as efficient but it worked for the locations I was in.
This year I had the opportunity, as an AQ Ambassador, to purchase a Badfisher. I was excited to try out this fishing specific inflatable SUP.
Badfish Badfisher Fishing SUP Review
Badfisher SUP First Impressions
I anxiously awaited my paddle board’s arrival--May Long Weekend was approaching. It was going to be my first open water fishing excursion of the year as fishing season had just started in many areas of Alberta.
Both my husband and I drew walleye tags for Fawcett Lake. We decided to target this lake for the weekend. The Badfisher inflatable SUP arrived just in time.
As I opened it in the garage I noticed many things:
- How wide it was compared to other boards I’ve used
- The vast number of D-ring attachments for gear
- The water bottle holder was an innovative design and well placed
- Paddle Board package came with a bag, leash, pump and 3 piece paddle—these aren’t always standard
With one day to pack and transition my gear over to this set-up I got to work fine tuning what I wanted to use for the weekend.
How I Set Up My Badfisher SUP
Ready to roll!!
A portage cart is a great asset to set up your board or kayak on land. Just roll it down to the shoreline and launch.
Lash your cart onto your board and it’s always with you in case you end up on a lake with connected trails.
As I secured my gear to the board I could see how much thought was put into this SUP by people who fish.
- Scotty mount on the nose is a great place to attach a camera or anchor mount
- 6 D-Ring Attachments at the front allows sufficient gear stowing
- A Scotty mount near the deck pack to have a rod holder close by to change hooks
- Water bottle holder comes off and can be cleaned or taken off if in the way
- 8 D-Ring Attachments behind the carry handle with one set to lash your cooler close enough to you that it suffices as a seat. This was a game changer and made for very easy transitions while fishing. It helped to not fatigue your legs so much getting up and down from your knees.
- Scotty mount behind me on the right-hand side. Being right-handed, this was handy to reach my rod. I adjust the mount to have my rod at the angle I want to troll with.
- Tons of space behind the cooler with D-Rings to attach any gear that you need for extended fishing expeditions if you are crossing lakes and camping overnight.
- It paddled well and felt stable with all of this gear on it.
Badfisher SUP Pros and Cons
- It is VERY stable, 36” wide feels like standing on the floor.
- It handles well in rough water even when fully loaded.
- The carry handles on the nose and tail are indispensable for carrying it fully loaded with a partner.
- Pre-attached low-profile fins were great, no fussing with the dreaded plate and screw (insider tip--paint those with bright coloured nail polish to find them in the grass!).
- It is big enough and comfortable enough to sleep on with a bivy on shore.
- I carried A LOT of gear on this board on rivers and lakes and expeditions without any problems handling it.
- The paddle was the only downside of this system. As packages go it is a great paddle, but I’ve become accustomed to certain paddles now so I used my own paddle.
- Additional Scotty Mounts would be useful for carrying two rods on the back, again just personal preference.
// Dimensions: 11' 6" x 36" x 6"
// Board Weight: 30lbs
// Rider Capacity: 100lbs-300lbs
// Construction: PVC Inflatable Drop Stitch
// Warranty: 3-Year Warranty
Badfish Badfisher Angler SUP Board
For a complete review by AQ SUP Ambassador Lisa Stocking, check out: Badfish Badfisher Fishing SUP Review Badfish revolutionized the SUP fishing game with the Badfisher in 2013. Now, the classic gets a reboot. The new Badfish Badfisher Angler SUP… Read More
Comparison to Other Fishing SUPS
I also own an NSP O2 Touring SUP with Scotty Mount attachments and I love it. However, when it comes to stowing gear there’s not as many D-ring attachments, and none to attach a cooler behind the carry handle as on the Badfish Badfisher.
I do like that there are two Scotty Mounts behind me so I can store two rods. It travels faster because it’s a little longer and narrower with a single fin. However, it isn’t as stable as the Badfisher, so landing bigger fish would be tougher.
I also own the 2016 Starboard Sportsman Fishing SUP. It’s a hard board, glides well and has a low centre of gravity. Numerous internal Scotty Mounts (meaning they’re mounted into the board, not as a plate on the top). Great fishing board--it’s stable in the water.
I dislike the way the D-Rings are counter sunk into the board, making attaching gear difficult. There are no handles on the nose or tail which makes pre-loading the board and carrying it impossible. And it isn’t durable.
For SUP Fishing the Badfish Badfisher is the BEST board I have been on to date. The design was done by people who fished on these boards, creating an amazing system.
It is the best board for MY lifestyle: I fish, I camp, I take my dog on it, I carry a lot of gear, I strap coolers to it, there’s nothing I haven’t done on it, I’ve rode rapids on it, paddled expeditions on it.
Overall, this board can do it all . If you’re looking for a big board for a few kids to play on, you to fish off of and a board that is large enough to help any beginner paddler feel stable, this is it.
If you’re near Athabasca, send me a line (pun intended). Maybe we can meet up to fish. Questions? I’m happy to help out!
Sending You Love n SUP,
Advanced Flatwater SUP Instructor
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