As my personal obsession of fishing as evolved I have found so many ways to fill my need for the adrenaline rush that comes from hunting down and catching a fish. Within this broad sport I have found the thrill comes in many different ways, weather it be getting on an overnight trip and catching tuna, or hopping into a kayak on the bay to catch a couple spotted bay bass.
When we get back to the basics it's as simple a rod, a reel, and a fish. As a kid I have many memories of a very basic style of fishing from a surfboard with my dad. We would take a box of plastics in a backpack with a rod clinched between our teeth and paddle to the Point Loma kelp to catch Calico Bass.
Around this time the sport of kayaking began to gain popularity. This caught our attention. My dad started selling kayaks at our sailboat shop (Fastlane Sailing and Kayaking) and my world was shaken. Now I had a way to take all the gear necessary to catch big game fish but still avoid the costs associated with fishing on a boat. From then on kayak fishing had me hooked. Fishing at La Jolla on a kayak and catching all kinds of big game fish drove me mad.
Recently I was asked if I had done any fishing on a Stand Up Paddle Board. This new sport has stepped between kayaking and surfing by increasing the size of the board you surf on and put a paddle in hand, incidentally making another awesome way to fish. This reminded me of the thrills I had fishing from my surfboard and made me wonder if it was possible to catch some of the same fish that I catch on my kayak on a Stand Up Paddle board. I then came up with a feat for myself to catch a big fish on a SUP and fight it standing up. I thought to make it interesting a Thresher Shark would be pretty exciting.
After talking it over with the guys at the shop we put a mission together. The goal was to catch a Thresher Shark from a Stand Up Board. The plan was to go two miles out off La Jolla Shores with kayaks, camera gear, and a stand up paddle board and catch a shark. This time of year we run into rough wind and some rain so it took a while to line up the right day but on March 5th we were able to sneak out there and give it a shot.
We took three Hobie Mirage Kayaks and a Hobie Stand Up Paddle board all fully equipped with all the proper fishing gear to make this possible. We filled our Hobie bait tanks with bait and worked our way to the zone. Everything went exactly as planned and we hooked the shark. Now I had a big shark on the end of the line and I was on a stand up paddle board. I was going for a sleigh ride on a stand up board getting pulled by a shark. The fight was awesome, with a wake coming off the back of the board, I was almost literally surfing a shark. As things got down to the wire and I got my first visual on the shark an eerie feeling dawned on me. I started thinking to myself, "Now what are you going to do." It was quite comical that now that everything had happened as planned I realized that I had forgot one minor detail. What was I going to do when I had a shark swimming just feet below me. After some serious manipulation I weaseled this shark into my lap dodging the ferocious tail. I had caught plenty of Thresher sharks from boats and kayaks but there was something significantly scarier about being on a board.
This was an experience of a lifetime to be practically in the water with this shark. The laughter from all of the boys seeing this shark on my lap made it clear to me that maybe it was a little crazy to pull this fish onto the board with me but it was that shot of adrenaline that made it so fun to overcome this crazy fish. The release was perfect and we watched this beautiful shark swim away. I have to admit I was glad to see it go.
Fishing from a Stand Up Paddle board is just another awesome way to enjoy those amazing moments we as fisherman are so lucky experience, becoming intament with the ocean and these amazing God given creatures. I am completely sold on the fact, that to come along side the stealthy kayak, a stand up paddle board has its place in my quiver of fishing vessels. I'm not to sure I want to catch anymore sharks from a board… haha… but there is definitely a time and a place that fishing from a stand up board can give you a great adrenaline rush.
Thresher Shark Fishing from a Stand Up Paddle Board.
Best Day of Fishing, Kayak fishing for White Seabass at La Jolla California