KEEPING IT COOL: SMART TIPS TO MAKE ICE LAST LONGER ON YOUR FISHING TRIP
An icebox, esky or cooler is a staple in any fishing trip, but things can quickly go awry if you don’t know how to make your ice last longer. There are some steps you can take to ensure long-lasting ice, whether you’re using it to store fresh fish or keep your food and drinks cold. Here are my five tips to keep in mind on your next fishing adventure.
KEEP YOUR ICEBOX SHUT
The most important thing to remember is to keep your icebox closed as much as possible. Repeatedly opening and closing it isn’t going to help your cause. You may be tempted to take a peek once in a while, but that’ll only speed up the melting process. Each time you lift up that lid, you’re letting heat in and the cold out at the same time.
DRAIN THE WATER
It’s not rocket science. There’s definitely going to be water in your esky whether or not you put it there in the first place. Ice melts, and the water that builds up is going to make it melt faster. This is why you must drain the water every now and then to make the ice last longer. A number of coolers have drainage plugs at the bottom to move things along much quicker. So, if you’re looking to buy a new icebox, opt for one that has the drainage plug.
ADD SALT OR SEA WATER
Before freezing water to make loose ice, you can add salt to it to lower its overall temperature. This means that your ice is going to be colder than ice from fresh water. If you’re not keen on doing this or you simply forgot, you can do it while you’re already out at sea. All you need to do is make a slurry of sorts by pouring a little sea water to your loose ice. It basically does the same thing as adding salt to your water before freezing. This works best if you plan to store freshly caught fish in your icebox, but it does a good job of keeping your beers cold, as well.
PRE-CHILLING CAN BE VERY HELPFUL
The night before you leave, take your icebox and add an ice block inside. Loose ice also works. The next day, remove the used ice and put in a new batch. This prepares your icebox so that it’ll already be cold when you put in the ice you’re actually going to use for your fishing trip. It may be extra work and added cost, but you won’t regret it once you discover that it actually helps.
Pre-chilling doesn’t only apply to your cooler, though. If you’re going to use it for food and drinks, store them in the freezer the night before. If you don’t want them frozen, then just keep them in the fridge to chill before you put them in your esky. The point is, you mustn’t put room temperature food or drinks in your cold icebox, or else it’ll start to melt the ice.
THE SUN IS YOUR ENEMY
It doesn’t take a genius to know that heat melts ice. So, to make ice last longer, it’s important to keep your icebox away from direct sunlight. When choosing a spot in the boat for your cooler, go for one that’s protected by shade and has good airflow. If you don’t have a covered area for it, putting a wet towel over and around it is a good alternative.
Buying an esky is easy, but keeping the ice from melting is a little bit trickier. Nobody likes warm beer or spoiled fish, so making your ice last longer is imperative to ensure a hassle-free trip. Take these tips into account, and you’ll find yourself with ice that lasts all through the day.
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