Keys Stand Up Paddle board fishing with Josh Ardis


Last week I took the Dragonfly paddle boards down to the Keys to fish with friend Josh. Josh is a hardcore offshore captain down there and has taken interest in fishing inshore the last couple years. Since I wanted to get a Tarpon using the paddle board what better excuse to take it down to the keys than to demo the board for a friend.

I had all my gear with me but the winds was just not conducive for going after tarpon via stand up paddle board. We went to plan B, which was to fish sheltered area and see if we can come across some fish.

Like most people he was hesitant about fishing from a SUP because the fear of falling. I assured him if he had half way decent balance it would be a breeze. After about 10minute of paddling it was 2nd nature to him. We to fight some winds to get to our spot but once there we were greeted with calm crystal clear water.

Due to looking into the glare, we spooked a few fish heading over there. This was very promising indeed. We decided to work the mangrove and split up until we found fish. It wasn’t too until Josh screamed “fish on!” in a super excited voice. I made my way over and Josh, on his first cast with a DOA shrimp I gave him(casting it on a over size rod) get a really nice red fish.

We saw several more schools for red fish and Josh on his 2nd cast lands another one on the DOA shrimp again. I opted to stay with fly rod only and could not get a good shot so no eats for me. After the tide came up the fish scattered and we called it in for lunch.

We decided to relaunch for baby tarpon later but the water was so high they all underneath the mangroves. We did get a chance to get Josh’s girlfriend on one for a quick demo. Like Josh, she was hesitant at first but picked it up right away. I think after this experience there will be a couple more paddle boards in the keys soon.