fish on ice


You can only ever benefit from looking after your catch before you are ready to gut and fillet the fish. I’ve read plenty of articles about how to get the most out of your ice when camping and I thought it was time to share some of those ideas for keeping your fish in better shape.

So, whether it is just keeping your drinks icy cold or keeping your fish fresh, or both, take a look at these simple steps to getting more out of your esky so you can keep your catch in better shape.


A dodgy esky or cooler won’t look after your cold ice and water nearly half as good as a quality brand name esky or cooler. There’s a pretty easy test to telling how decent a cooler is by putting pressure on the walls or the lid of the cooler. If your esky has a lot of flex, you’ve got one that doesn’t offer much insulation. It’s hard to tell if an esky delivers when you are shopping online and that’s why I always buy brand names that are well established.

I like an esky that isn’t too big. Remember to think about how much it is going to weigh when it is full. It can be a pain if you always need 2 people to carry it around.


The first rule to planning a fishing trip with an esky that is doing a great job is to pre-chill your icebox. I like to pre-pack mine with ice blocks I prepared in the freezer the night before. That means I start 2 nights before I’m leaving. The first night I start freezing my ice and the second night, the night before I leave, that’s when I put the ice blocks in my esky for the night until the morning of departure.

If you are lucky enough to have a big freezer, you can go the whole hog and put your esky in the freezer for the night.


You are probably going to take something to drink with you when you go fishing. The earlier you get that sorted out and frozen the better. Water frozen for a couple of days will last longer than ice that is simply frozen overnight.

Load up your ice and drinks with your drinks on the top as you get ready for departure.


Obviously, you shouldn’t be opening and closing your esky all the time. Opening and closing your esky on a regular basis or leaving the lid open for any extended time is just asking to melt whatever you have. That should go without saying.

A slurry is a great way to keep your ice longer. Normally we want to remove any water from an esky. Eskies with a valve or tap make this much easier. However, when it comes to looking after fish, some amount of water is a good thing if you have one special ingredient. By adding salt to the water and ice in your esky you can make a slurry, which is perfect for preserving fish. If you are concerned about the mix, you can always use a bit of seawater. The salt in seawater will lower the temperature in the water and keep your esky cooler for longer.

That’s how you look after your ice so you can take great care of your catch.


Is there anything you can add to this article? Share your thoughts through the comments section below.

Robert M Davies

Robert passed the "Obsessed With Fishing Test" with flying colours. Instead of talking, Robert has turned his hand to writing about his experience in fishing all around Australia.