Spearfishing from a SUP – Is it Possible?


If you enjoy kayak angling, then you may be eager to try spearfishing from a SUP, but is it even possible? It is, but it’s also much harder than it looks. You’ll need to use a good inflatable paddle board, one with a high weight capacity and a model that scores high in stability. If you don’t have a stable paddle board, then you can forget about spearfishing. You’ll also need to practice, have patience, and bring along some extra gear that will make the entire process much easier. So, if you’re interested in learning how to spearfish from your SUP, read on to learn about some helpful tips and tricks that can increase your chances of landing a fish your first time out on the water, spear in hand.

Practice and Patience

If you’re a fan of kayak angling, then spearfishing will be right up your alley. Spearfishing is an exciting and exhilarating way to catch fish, but it’s anything but easy. Your first step will be practicing with a spear in the form of water target practice. Of course, you’ll need to purchase a three-pronged pole, at least five feet in length, and focus on holding the spear, aiming with it, and letting it fly. Choose a spot onshore as you stand on your board in the middle of the water and launch your spear. In most cases, you’ll find that you need to be close to the fish to hit the mark, usually three to four feet away. Some people are naturals, while others will need to practice with a spear for a few weeks before they learn how to handle it. Of course, hitting a spot on the shore is much easier than hitting a fish in the water, but with practice, you’ll increase your chances of hitting your mark in the water.

The day after your first water target practice you may notice that your back, arms, and shoulders are pretty sore. This is totally normal. You can expect this type of soreness to occur for the first couple of weeks of practice, but it should abate as your body becomes used to this exercise and you build more muscle. If possible, try practicing for an hour, a few times a week.


Aside from your paddle board, you’ll also need a good SUP paddle, a spear, a cooler to strap on your board so you can store your freshly caught fish, and a good SUP anchor, one that’s tough enough to keep your board still in the water as you patiently wait for fish to swim by.

To improve your stability on the board you can also wear water shoes for paddle boarding, which will prevent you from slipping on the board’s surface and can also protect your feet as dive in the water to retrieve your catch or walk along the shore back to your vehicle.

Aside from some basic SUP supplies, you’ll also need a diving knife, a belt to hold your knife, and a spear. The length of your spear should be based on your height.

Your First Spearfishing Trip

Your first time spearfishing may be a little frustrating and a little nerve-wracking until you become more comfortable throwing the spear and get better at aiming at moving objects in the water. It can also be exhausting, since each time you miss, or even if you hit a fish, you’ll need to dive in the water to retrieve your kill. Many experienced anglers who have spearfished for years will tell you that patience is key. If you want to avoid wasting energy, only throw your spear when you’re more than seventy percent sure you can actually hit the fish. If you end up throwing your spear at every fish you spot, regardless of distance, then you’ll quickly exhaust yourself with the number of times you have to dive in and climb back on your board. If you’re serious about mastering this type of fishing skill and you practice regularly, you’ll really put your body through the test, but you’ll end up losing weight, increasing your stamina, and building muscle.

Avoid Spooking the Fish

When you’re on your board with your spear in hand, you must also be patient and quiet. If you’re loud and constantly diving in the water to retrieve your spear, then you’re also scaring off any fish in the immediate area by stirring up the water. Spearfishing is a waiting game. Always be ready to throw your spear, but make sure you’re quiet and calm while doing so.


The end of a spear is very sharp, which is why you should purchase a cover for it since simply attaching the spear to your board can be a recipe for disaster, should the spear slide free and puncture it. You can also purchase a sling for the spear and wear it strapped to your body. This is a safe way to transport the spear, while also keeping it accessible.

Don’t Go Spearfishing Alone

If you’re new to spearfishing, go with an angler that has experience. They can give you great pointers on how to correctly throw a spear, how to find the best location to fish, and what to do in order to avoid startling fish in the immediate area.

Final Thoughts

With the right gear, a good board, a spear, and some guidance from an angler with plenty of experience, spearfishing can offer a whole new fishing experience that’s a lot of fun.

Spearfishing from a SUP is possible, but it will take practice and patience. SUP angling is a more beginner-friendly and safer option, but if you’re looking for a new challenge, than spearfishing is definitely it. With the right gear, and some water target practice before you take on this sport, you’ll find that spearfishing is fun, exciting, and a real challenge.