All set with the fishing gear? Is the kayak ready? What about the fish bag – one of the most essential elements in fishing gear? An incredible kayak fishing day out demands all the must-haves to be present and that too in the proper condition. For this, we need a fishing bag that will hold our catches all the way back home.
Kayak fishing is, no doubt, an adventure that uplifts one’s mood. And the feeling you get while eating these fishes is even more revitalizing. In order to make it happen exactly like this, your catches should be stored safely.
In this article, you will get to know the methods you can adapt for storing fish on kayaks. You will also read an in-depth review of the best kayak fish bags.
How Do I Store Fish when Kayaking?
There are many options to store the caught fishes while kayaking. Before adopting any method, don’t forget to consider the space offered by kayaks. We must adopt a way in which our catches remain fresh, and no mess is created.
You can pick coolers for this task. Coolers are famous for maintaining an unparalleled insulation level. They minimize the chances of heat transfer, and ultimately, the ice stays solid throughout the day. A cooler is slightly a heavier option. It would be easy to take it to the shore, but on the way home, it will be fully loaded. Therefore, lay hands on a fish cooler if you don’t mind it being heavy.
Next is the most convenient option, fish bags or soft coolers. Fish bags are designed in such a way that they store ice bags and fishes smartly. Some fish bags come with extra pockets for keeping little fishing accessories, including ladder lines, thimbles, baits, lure boxes, lunch, and water bottles.
Fish bags also impress us when it comes to maintaining insulation. They also ensure hassle-free clean-up.
Some anglers show interest in techniques like frozen bottles and insulated grocery bags. In these techniques, the ice doesn’t last for a day. Thus, one should go for these options if he plans to return before sunset.
What Makes a Good Fishing Cooler?
A fish bag is easy to find. You only have to be aware of some fundamentals that play a critical role in storing your catches safely. You must be asking yourself how these basics prove to be crucial for your fish bag during kayak sessions.
Suppose, you are heading out to a fishing site with an ordinary bag that neither has plenty of rooms nor exhibits optimum insulation. Therefore, your fish catches will be at risk until you return home. This bag will not be able to retain the cold, and resultantly, it will be unsuccessful in keeping the catches fresh.
Nobody would afford to have such a ruined trip. Therefore, make sure to look out for the following in your chosen bag:
Insulation is quite important since your fishes can’t bear the scorching heat of the sun. Owing to this fact, you should keep insulation as the foremost priority.
A less or unthoughtfully insulated bag will make the cold escape from the bag or gradually melt the ice before you finish your trip. Either way, it will not resist temperature change.
We advise you to go for bags that have inner linings, closed-cell foam, or insulating layers. Coolers are also preferred. By choosing such bags, you will enjoy eating the fishes as fresh as they would be when you had caught them.
The fabric used for the bag also matters. The material should be robust or resilient enough to withstand uneven or rough ground surfaces, sharp scales, fins of fishes, and gushes of water during kayaking. If the material is weak or thin, it will fail to survive prolonged use.
Hence, fish bags manufactured from ripstop nylon, which is not only dense but also does not exhibit wear and tear despite heavy use, is considered the best. This fabric also offers resistance to water, which makes it ideal for keeping your lunch or other delicate items dry.
The zippers should also be of superior quality as these will store your valuable accessories.
Dimensions and Weight
Select a bag that offers ample space for the size and number of fishes that you are planning to catch. The size of the bag should be more than your fishing needs. It should be generous enough to keep things like water bottles, lunch, tackle boxes, lures, and swivels. Bags that provide separate compartments are highly recommended.
A fish bag should be lightweight so that when you fill it with the gear, it does not put stress on your back or shoulders. It will be tiring to move around with a heavier bag.
This feature will be advantageous when you will be carrying the bag from parking to the seashore. You will also be in need of fastening the bag with some support in the kayak or boat through tie-down loops and straps. In this way, the bag stays in place while you enjoy the thrills of fishing to the fullest.
In order to make this happen, pick a bag that accompanies tie-down loops and sturdy handles.
Best Insulated Fish Bags
1. Seattle Sports Kayak Catch Cooler
This fish bag will have you swooning over its features. It has two layers, the exterior, and the inner liner. The exterior deals with heat issues. The silver exterior boasts the tendency to reflect heat and does not allow the intrusion of scorching sun rays due to the presence of closed-cell foam insulation. In this way, neither the ice melts nor the fishes undergo bacterial poisoning.
In addition to the remarkable insulation, the capacity of this bag is also noteworthy. You can employ the bag for storing large crappies, yellowtail, and redfish. Apart from fishes, you will also find sufficient space for keeping up to 18 water bottles and a wide container of lunch.
The inner liner is removable. You can slide it out and adjust the setting of your catch. Removing the liner also helps in an effortless cleanup. Anglers can wash it. Furthermore, they will get access to the outer layer of the bag and clean it on the go.
The cooler is also equipped with many tie-down loops located at user-oriented positions. These loops allow anglers to tie the cooler using a bungee cord while they surf and catch fish after fish. You can also use these loops for tying the bag itself for additional safety in case it is overloaded.
The zippers and straps are also well-built and fight corrosion. The design is easy to hold and easy to clean. So, if you are an offshore fishing enthusiast, you can opt for this cooler as it is highly appropriate for saltwater as well as freshwater fishing.
- This cooler is a versatile choice for kayaking, camping, and hiking
- Capable of carrying many large fishes
- The exterior of the cooler proposes excellent insulation
- Remains intact while exposure to hard water
- Includes a separate and removable liner
- The cooler is a little cumbersome
2. Wilderness Systems Catch Cooler
The material of this bag makes it stand out. The cooler is manufactured from ripstop nylon 420. This dense fabric resists rip and tear and serves for a long duration. The causes of wear and tear include poky fins, brittleness of scales, the roughness of the ground, and dragging on the kayak.
This nylon bag also features a TPU coating. The thermoplastic polyurethane layer acts like a jacket against chemical and hard water exposure and severe weather conditions, thereby increasing the lifespan of the bag. Moreover, TPU enhances the tensile strength of the fabric due to which the bag sustains a little more weight than it claims.
The storage capability is also worth praising. The whole capacity is divided into separate rooms, so you don’t have to take everything out in search of a particular item. Separate compartments also facilitate in sorting things category-wise. In other words, you will be able to instantly reach the object you need. The first compartment is intended to store fishes and is thus bigger. In the second portion, feel free to store lunch, bottles, energy drinks, and small fishing gear like swivels, a box of lures, or ladder line.
Apart from this, the bag also provides easy-to-reach space in the form of a mesh net. Here, you can put glasses, swivels, ladder lines, water bottles, and other small accessories.
The bag has something unique to offer. The backside is equipped with molded plastic rails that aid the anglers in carrying the bag. Moreover, these rails elevate the bag at some inches so that water keeps draining beneath it.
From the insulation point of view, the bag is superb. TPU coating keeps the sun radiation off the bag. Thus, your fishes taste fresh when even at the end of the day. Furthermore, the bag features many lash-down points that help it not to spill out the gear when kayaking is in full swing. Two removable shoulder straps are also included in the package.
- Made of dense nylon 420 fabric
- TPU coating prevents heat transfer
- Elevated beams promote water drainage from the bag
- Best product for kayak fishing
- Separate compartments provided for storage
- The smaller compartment is too small
3. Hobie Insulated Medium Fish Bags/Soft Cooler
Recreational fishers look for long-running durability of the fabric and zippers in a fish bag. Those anglers can reap benefits from this bag. 0.5 inches thick, densely celled foam and an insulated lining are used to boost the insulation of this bag. The color of the bag, being white, also plays its part in repelling heat.
The fabric used in its making is vinyl-coated polyester. The combination of both vinyl-coated polyester and cell foam protects the bag from water and heat. As a result, the ice does not melt for hours. Avid anglers who spend more time fishing will be glad to have this product as it will enable them to store fishes for a long time.
The quality of this bag does not disappoint us in any respect. YKK nylon zippers are used in the bag. These zippers run freely and ensure lifetime service. Thus, if somebody wants to buy a bag that provides him all the necessary features and exceptional sturdiness, then he should go for this bag.
The length of this bag is 24 inches, and the depth is 7 inches. With these dimensions, the bag provides a 24-quart volume. Hence, the main compartment is spacious enough to house many crappies and other small fish. A zipper is available on the side facing upwards. It allows the user to reach the stored items through it rather than opening the whole side zipper.
Carrying the bag is not troublesome as long as you have Hobie Insulated fish bag. You can do this job by using two convenient handles. Two D-shaped rings are also there on every corner of the bag and help the fishers to fasten it to the kayak.
• Doesn’t accumulate water, thanks to the drain plug.
• Insulation strategy is unbeatable.
• Vinyl coated polyester fabric is water and chemical-resistant.
• It comes with a 24-quart capacity.
• Quite comfortable to use and clean.
· White color catches stains quickly.
4. Boone Monster Fish Bags
Boone Monster fish bags are crafted with pro-level intelligence. The bag is made with a strong material that not only behaves as a UV shield but also preserves the internal temperature. To top it off, the seams also make sure that water does not make its way into the bag. Besides thermal insulation, the bag also dissipates fish odor and keeps the surroundings smell-free. The design includes two zippers made of nylon.
The bag offers a lot of space and will never stop you from fishing. It comes in size 30”x 65” and endures weight between 23 and 56 pounds. This indicates that anglers can utilize it for many items other than ice bags, like trophy bass, chinook, crappies, swivels, tackle boxes, thimble, and ladder lines.
Anglers will be delighted to know that the company offers four sizes of these bags. The jumbo, XL, medium, and small fish bags provide different shapes and storage capacities. The small one is 18*58 inches big, and the medium bag is 20*65 inches large. Meanwhile, the jumbo fish bag is the largest of this range and exhibits a size of 48*96 inches.
Fish bags, often, don’t have a proper facility to drain the blood or water due to the melted ice. The water gets collected in the bag and causes more ice to melt. But these bags include a 7/8-inch plastic screw at the bottom that’s responsible for draining the water. Consequently, the ice remains intact for a whole day long.
- Made from saltwater-friendly material
- Drainage of water can be carried out without emptying the bag. Simply open the drain cap
- Comes in different sizes
- Prevents odor build-up
- Can be washed with water and soap
- The bag folds flat when not in use
- According to some customers, zippers could be more leak-proof