Where Do You Keep Fish On A Kayak?

Fishing while kayaking can prove especially relaxing while also allowing you to forge your own paths through lakes, streams and rivers. The shadow bottom of the ‘yak makes it the perfect vessel for navigating into tight areas that offer zero access to larger boats. The main problem here is where do you put the fish once you have caught it? With room at a premium even on the best fishing kayaks, you need to take advantage of the boat’s design and amount of space you do have to ensure you can return to land with all your caught fish in tow.

The Problems

There are a few problems right off the bat you’ll identify. First, as soon as fish die, the muscle tissue starts to deteriorate. You also need to keep the fish out of direct sunlight or warm water. Otherwise, the fresh meat of the fish will turn mushy quickly.

Off The Side Of The ‘Yak

You may know some people who string their fish up along the edge of the boat. This keeps the dead fish fresh as it remains in cool water for your return trip to the dock. Game clips and stringers are available at your local outdoors shop, and while both inexpensive and convenient, it is not always the best way to go. Depending on where you are fishing, there are other animals in the water looking for an easy meal. You might end up back at the dock, only to realize part, if not all of the fish has disappeared, likely in the mouth of another predator. This is especially the case in salt water destinations.

Physical Storage Options

Kayak fishing has become increasingly popular. Due to this, there are now new options for storing your fish you probably would not have found five or 10 years ago. Insulated fish bags are items you should have with you at all times. It helps protect the fish and prevent the tissue from breaking down. It helps keep the temp of the fish down and, most importantly, it doesn’t take up much space on the kayak either. You do need some form of ice with a fish bag. Keeping several frozen water bottles in a small cooler when you set out provides you with the necessary ice.

Other options beyond an insulated fish bag include burlap sacks, which work in a similar manner, you just need to make sure the sack remains wet, otherwise the fish will dry out along with the sack. Securing the sack or bags to your kayak with bungies can work on a pinch, especially if you don’t want to spend much money. However, it can pull on the muscle tissue if stored for an extended period of time. Instead, it is better to store the fish in a fish bag (or burlap sack), then place the fish into a cooler. It is possible to tow the cooler behind you, as it is protected from external elements, so it doesn’t need to take up additional space on the kayak.

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