The Best Fishing Paddle Board
Ten years ago, BOTE was the first paddle board company to engineer it’s boards to address the fishing market. It started with two boards, the HD and the BOTE board (now called the Flood). Today the line is comprised of a variety of fishing platforms. We even developed an inflatable kayak, the LONO, because we knew we could do it better. From the beginning, that’s been our mantra – design and build the most elegant products that perform like no other product in the market.
Rob McAbee staked out on the Verge Camo Rackham Aero in Cayo Frances, Belize.
“You don’t go out to the golf course with one club. There’s no perfect board for every set of circumstances. I tend to tell people to prioritize and figure out what type of fishing you’ll be doing most often and choose the best board for that.”
Bottom line, if you’re wanting to get into paddle board fishing you’ve come to the right place. The journey of a thousand paddles begins with the first step. There’s a sea of options based on what type of fishing you normally do and how you’ll transport the paddle board to the water.
Our premium fishing platforms include the BOTE HD, Rackham and Rover. Selecting your ideal board depends on the body of water and species you’re fishing for. But it also comes down to personal preference, transportation and storage.
INFLATABLE VS. RIGID BOARD
The first choice you’ll need to make is between a solid or inflatable paddle board. If you live near the water and have the means to transport a solid board, the Gatorshell boards have unique paddle boarding traits for a bit smoother performance in speed while providing the option for a displacement hull. While those are fantastic, most people these days opt for an inflatable paddle board when it comes to the paddle board trifecta of convenience, transportation, and storage. If you don’t have a way to store a solid board or want to access remote fishing spots by plane, then the inflatable paddle board Aero line is the only way to go. Whichever board you choose, both formats are durable, enjoyable and best-in-class for paddle board fishing.
If you want to compare features, check out our comparison charts.
The Harry Madison hitting the calm waters with the HD Aero Bug Slinger™ Diamond Camo.
It’s all about where you like to fish. Let’s break down the types of waterways for paddle board fishing.
BEST FOR OPEN, LARGE BODIES OF WATER
OCEANS, LARGE LAKES Almost every paddle board we make will perform in open water fishing thanks to customized accessories like the Tackle Rac and Kula cooler, which functions as a seat or for standing to improve your sightline. However the Rackham stands apart for several reasons. First, it’s displacement hull and thicker rails better absorb chop and cut through waves, making it easier to paddle to your fishing spot. Both the Rackham and Rackham Aero feature a sunken cockpit, which provides maximum stability in waves. The Rover and Rover Aero are even larger platforms, with the addition of a motor for covering long distances.
“The ultimate sight fishing platform! I love the mobility and stability of the Rover it’s the perfect adventure/fishing vessel.”
BEST FOR INSHORE ENCLOSED
LAKES AND PONDS There aren’t many considerations for navigating lakes and ponds, so the best board is based on personal preference. Larger paddlers or those who paddle together prefer the Rackham for its stability, while the HD provides more agility. If you think you might want to carry your paddle board on a boat, an inflatable with a Tackle Rac or Bucket Rac is the way to go.
The hull of the HD cuts through the water with ease and offers unmatched stealth.
BEST FOR INSHORE
MARSHES AND FLATS If you prefer fishing in tidal marshes or flats, BOTE Gatorshell boards offer more stealth since they mitigate hull slap. That said, inflatable paddle boards provide an advantage in buoyancy and durability when navigating shallow waters. The BOTE HD Bug Slinger is a good choice as it provides an efficient paddling experience, plenty of room for gear and casting, and through-holes to anchor out using the BOTE Sandspear. The BOTE HD is the most versatile board if you want to do things other than fish. Either way, you’ll want to select a board that offers the benefits of shallow-water anchor systems, such as the Sandspear or Power-Pole Micro.
MOVING BODIES OF WATER
RIVERS AND STREAMS An inflatable paddle board is the ideal choice for shallow streams, especially if you’re likely to scrape against rocks or portage parts of the river. If you’re on a multi-day trip you can even let out a little air from your inflatable paddle board at night and use it as an air mattress. Just be sure to inflate again before using. Every inflatable paddle board has the same entry rocker hull, meaning they perform largely the same in the water. Your best choice will come down to what types of accessories you want and weight capacity.
The Rackham can be loaded down with a handy amount of fishing gear.