Fish On Ice


After a successful catch, how do you keep your fish fresh on your kayak until you get home? A cooler is one option, but storing your catch on a kayak is more than just putting it in a box with ice. Many other factors play in keeping and storing a fish on a kayak, and the following are basic tips that can help you on your next fishing trip.


If you’re going on a spontaneous afternoon fishing, make sure to check the weather first. In cold weather, you can get away with a little less effort in storing your fish, but in hot weather, you need to chill your catch. This means if you don’t have a cooler or a fish bag to store your fish, you need to find alternatives. Consider the limited space of your kayak when using a cooler or esky.


Bringing a cooler has always been one of the best storage options when kayak fishing. It’s also worth mentioning that coolers today have come a long way from the outdated features and designs. There are many cooler brands now that can keep fish fresh for longer periods of time. This greatly reduces your worries of bringing home spoiled fish.

However, better storage when kayak fishing is a fish bag. These are insulated bags that perfectly fit in your kayak, whether on the floor or in the hull storage. They’re very lightweight and can hold ice for hours. Apart from the convenience of its size, a fish bag costs less than a cooler.


Storing your catch on a kayak is just one of the steps, another is making sure they stay fresh. Aside from keeping them chilled, check your catch, especially if some time has already passed. To spot if your fish has stayed fresh, check whether the eyes are still clear and the flesh firm. If you see that the eyes have already turned milky or red, this means you need to improve on your storage and cooling solution.


Stringers are one way to keep fish fresh, but this has been a big debate among anglers. Some kayak anglers swear by this method, while others are repulsed by it. The bottom line is it’s all about preference.

Just like with any other method there are pros and cons. The advantages of using stringers include keeping your catch alive and fresh and doing away with a chunky cooler. However, the downside is that you’ll move much slower in the water when using strings, and there’s the risk of attracting predators lurking around. Another disadvantage is that the fish can get bruised while being dragged on the water.


Another method that kayak anglers use is killing their catch. Storing your catch on a kayak isn’t always easy because kayaks don’t have the luxury of bigger boats when talking about gear and space. A live fish will slowly die, especially on long trips, and this may cause many issues such as bruised meat as well as natural toxins being released once the fish die. Anglers opt to slowly and humanely kill their catch instead to keep them fresh. This, however, needs practice to avoid any accidents or hazards.

Bringing home a fresh haul is one rewarding feeling that anglers can relate to. However, storing your catch on a kayak can be challenging because of the very limited space a kayak has. There are many factors that come into play when choosing which method to use such as the size of your kayak, the weather, the water and the type of fish you’re catching.

Keeping your fish fresh is very important, but not all methods will work perfectly for all anglers. Most of the time, it all boils down to preference on how you want to catch, store and keep the catch fresh.



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Jackson Williams

Jackson Williams has been fishing around Australia for 20 years and loves his home region of far north Queensland.