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STEALTH SUP KAYAK FISHING - VIBE PRO'S TIPS & TRICKS

Written by Gary Lacey on April 21, 2021

Standup paddle board angling is getting more and more popular because paddle boards are not only extremely stealthy as they push through less water – so fish feel less movement in the water – but they can also get to the shallowest of fishing waters where a traditional fishing kayak or motor boat simply can't. In addition, SUPs are lighter, fun to paddle and easy to use.

However, most paddle boards are made of easily-cracked fiberglass hulls unsuitable for fishing, and that's where the super-stealthy, all-weather, all-waters Vibe Cubera 120 hybrid SUP fishing kayak comes in – with its unique all weather, all conditions tough, unsinkable rotomolded single piece high density polyethylene hull and unrivaled open deck for true 360-degree casting. Think of it as offering all the advantages of bank fishing, without the need for a bank.

As a new generation of anglers are taking the sport of SUP fishing to the limits right in their own backyards, or simply adding a new "toy" to their arsenal of fishing kayaks, Vibe's Field Staff offer up some beast pro stealth tips and tricks to ensure you not only have a safe awesome time on the water, but your hook ups increase too!

Kevin "The Machine" Hughes | Miami FL
Tarpon, sailfish, peacock bass, snakehead, largemouth, bowfin and more

As an avid kayak angler, guide and dealer based out of South Florida, I fish for just about anything that swims. Around here, that's a lot. Offshore, inshore, freshwater and brackish, the opportunities are endless. Just about any day of the week you will find me on the water, and standup paddleboard fishing with the Cubera is yet another fun, stealthy weapon I use for easy-to-go-anywhere and fish for anything.

When the tides go out, and most kayaks are stuck, the Vibe Cubera 120 is still able to get there in just inches of water.

Tarpon, sailfish, peacock bass, snakehead, largemouth, and bowfin each require different tactics to find them, sneak up on them, and bag them. Look for bottlenecks where current is funneled. Target shallow or deep structure like docks, bridges, fallen trees, boulders, sandbars and oyster bars.

Fish in the now – don’t necessarily use what worked last week. Match the hatch. If you see small menhaden, use a lure that looks like the baitfish. Remember, learning what doesn’t work is just as important as learning what works.

My Cubera 120 standup paddleboard is designed to be super stealthy quiet on the water, slipping along the top of the water, allowing me to get much closer to fish than often one of my other traditional fishing kayaks. There is so much stable deck space and customizable rigging, I can not only cast and sight fish 360-degrees at a very high angle either standing or sitting, but I can also bring everything I own. The Cubera SUP is lighter than a regular fishing kayak, making it easier to maneuver, too.

The Cubera is uniquely versatile, and this is where it really shines. I can rig my fishing board with a Vibe Summit Seat (and adding the Vibe Summit Perch gives me standing platform a full 16-inches off the water!) and a fast Bixpy electric motor for a super-shallow skiff I don’t have to paddle. Or I can easily add a Power Pole Micro anchor so I'm rock-solid positioned in shallower waters. For quick trips, I also leave the Cubera rigged up on the roof rack of my vehicle, so I'm always ready to go.

Vertical jigs allow me to cover the water column from the bottom to the surface. I can work the jig straight up and down or cast it to breaking fish. This lure works year-round.

To maintain stability when fighting a fish, keep the rod tip pointed towards the nose and the fish will pull the board straight. Also, land fish with a net so they don’t jump overboard.

The best thing about the Cubera SUP is it is almost indestructible - which is completely different from any other SUP. I beat the heck out of mine. Drop and drag it, or paddle it across an oyster bed, it gets some scrapes and small dings, but it doesn't crack. I'm not recommending you try and run it fast into a rock, as like any kayak it can be damaged, but it holds up better than any other SUP I've ever seen, and better than any other fishing kayak I've seen. It is literally unsinkable.

Final word: If you are serious about catching as many fish as possible, then you need to get to any place where the fish are hiding. The Cubera gets you there very stealthily and very quick, so you can cover more water and find more fish.

Matt Charrette | Portland ME
Largemouth and smallmouth bass, brook trout, brown trout, more

As a fishing guide passed down from multiple generations, I've been fishing all my life, and kayaking for a large portion of it. As also a photographer and avid outdoorsman, I try to look at the world from a different angle, and have realized that many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after.

I've added SUP board kayak fishing to my mix, because fishing on a Cubera not only makes hard-to-reach spots easily accessible. but it get me to amazingly beautiful spots and "honey holes" that no other fishing kayak can. I like that I can paddle very close to fish without spooking them.

I’m a power fisherman, fast and furious. In Maine, we have aggressive smallmouth bass that will chase down a crankbait like a lion pursues a gazelle. Standing on the SUP makes it easier to accurately cast big diving plugs and ChatterBaits, and I can see across the water for days. The only other kayak I own that offers as much sight fishing is my Vibe Shearwater 125, but it can't get anywhere near as shallow as my Cubera.

I’m a big fan of the Z-Man Elite ChatterBait in natural colors with a Super Fluke trailer. I can use the lure to cover water at different levels of the water column. I can fish a ledge and the drop off without switching lures.

A standup paddleboard such as the Cubera draws almost no water, so I can go anywhere. It tracks as well as any traditional fishing kayak and turns on a dime. I can turn 180 degrees to fish in any direction.

I use a kayak paddle because I sit while paddling - either on my adjustable, 4-way power positions Vibe Summit Seat or on my Vibe 20qt cooler. Bending Branches’ Angler Ace is light weight with a large blade to push the SUP. An adjustable ferrule allows me to make the shaft longer when I switch to standup fishing.

I started kayak fishing more than 20 years ago. Not long ago, I saw a guy fishing for king mackerel from a SUP. I decided to paddle to him, but despite the wind and choppy waves, I had a hard time catching him on my regular kayak. I've now grabbed a Cubera 120 hybrid SUP fishing board and have never looked back.

Jeff Jones | Mobile AL
Tarpon, red fish, bass, and anything and everything with gills

I've fished for as long as I can remember: in-shore, offshore, spin, bait cast, and for the past several years I've picked up the bug of fly fishing, and caught almost every type of regional fish species using a fly, because it's made catching even more challenging and fun.

SUP board fishing is like bank fishing, but without needing the bank. With my Cubera, I can cast at any literally angle, 360-degrees around me, but all year, I patrol different areas offshore and on lakes, rivers and flats, sight fishing all sorts of species, and the Cubera makes advanced pro-level sight fishing much, much easier.

With the Vibe Summit Seat and additional Summit Perch, I can get a much higher 16-inches off the water deck, or even stand on my Vibe Element 20 qt cooler for a higher vantage point making it easier to spot fish below the water.

The technique of sight fishing will allow you to catch the biggest fish and it’s easiest to do in clear, shallow water. It can be hard to master, but can be very productive for bass and other species once the basics are understood.

Sight fishing involves spotting fish in the water – far easier said than done. In my experiences, I simply look for a shiny or bright spot with a shadow over it. The shiny spot is the bedding area. Big bass will find a place to hang out and then proceed to fan the area clear of algae and debris. This produces the shiny spot; the fish produces the shadow lingering over the bed. Spotting the fish any other way is very difficult because bass have evolved in such a way that the tops of their bodies take on the color of their environment enabling them to stalk their prey more effectively.

In early summer, I fish for tarpon and red fish in the Gulf of Mexico. My Cubera SUP fishing kayak is capable of carrying loads of gear and is pre-rigged with attachment points making it easy to add rod holders and other accessories like my Go Pros. This Cubera hybrid fishing paddle board is perfect for sight fishing grass flats and the shallows that redfish prefer.

I’m constantly looking for movement or a change in water color. I find fish by listening for bait breaking. To find tarpon, I paddle along the beach in 10 to 15 feet of water, looking for fish moving along the sandbar. I’ll listen for them to roll or free jump. When I see tarpon, I move ahead of the fish so I have time to set down my paddle and make a cast.

If you want to really up your fishing game, then you need to start using sight fishing techniques and strategies. A good SUP fishing board like the Cubera 120 will make it infinitely easier.

Todd West | North GA
Brown, Brookie and Rainbow Trout, plus bass and other fun fish on the fly

I grew up fishing using everything and anything, but am now primarily a fly fishing guy, and even hold some pretty awesome records doing it here in the southeast. Fly fishing for me just upped the challenge and fun factor when I'm out slinging line, but you have to be extremely quiet and sneaky, otherwise the fish will run.

I've been kayak fishing for about as long as I can remember, but it dawned on me that a sneaky, super stable SUP fishing board like the Cubera would be absolutely perfect for fly fishing. I can’t say I was the first to notice this, but more people are seeing the possibilities with SUP fishing, and the super tough Cubera is far better than any fiberglass board when it comes to taking a beating across rocks, fallen timber, and shallow river beds.

I can launch and recover on sections of the river simply not accessible to any other kayak. There’s one "honey hole" of mine that's too deep to wade for a hundred yards and then gets too shallow for any regular kayak, but with my Cubera I can then hit a section of river that no one else fishes. It's heaven. Adding a Power Pole mount to the back means I can stay in one place no matter what the current is.

I keep rigging to a minimum, such as a 4-weight fly rod with floating line and six feet of 80-pound flourocarbon. Flies include caddis in spring and summer, and green and black streamers in fall and winter or low sections of the river.

Choose flies that match the local hatch and the local "junk" – which are the bugs in late summer time frame that fall off from the trees or banks. Lift up rocks and observe local baitfish, so you can match your streamers, then also use a little luck, and your Cubera's ability to get you high above the water so you can use some "sight fishing" techniques.

When I’m drifting through shallow water, and where I know there's absolutely no danger of my foot getting entangled in underwater structure, I’ll sit sideways on the board and crabwalk while casting, so I can control the speed and angle.

I also have mounted a Power Pole at the back, so I can easily lock-down on a specific spot and keep the Cubera from moving. A Power Pole is definitely a pro tip and no other traditional SUP will allow you to mount one, because most SUPs are fiberglass and the Cubera is rotomolded high density polyethylene, just like the best quality fishing kayaks.

I'm a minimalist, so I bungee a Vibe 20qt cooler to the deck. It’s waterproof and holds my gear, as well as beverages and lunch. If it goes in the water, it floats and my gear stays dry. A long-handled net makes it easier to land the fish without kneeling down.

My PFD life vest is my most important piece of gear. River fishing requires a reliable Type V PFD. While the Cubera hybrid SUP is the most stable SUP you'll ever find, accidents can happen and you always want to be prepared if you end up in the water.

If you want the option of fishing a lot of different waters, and want the stealthiest of fishing kayaks, with a ton of customization options, then grab yourself a Cubera hybrid SUP and you'll find yourself grinning a heck of a lot more, with a lot more catches in a shorter amount of time.

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