Where Do You Put Fish on a Kayak? Things to Know

Where do you put fish on a kayak?

Where do you put fish in a kayak

Nowadays, kayaks for fishing are more and more popular thanks to their benefits compared to other boats or canoes, such as affordable prices, small shadows, less noise, and access to secluded locations.

However, their disadvantage is their smaller space, so you must arrange your gear as neatly as possible.

You also wonder: Where do you put fish on a kayak?

You can put your fish on deck, hatch, tank well, or in the water with the right accessories like coolers, bags, nets, stringers, etc. Choosing how to store them depends on your kayak, the surroundings, and the species of fish you catch.

Continue reading this article to choose the best fish storage method for yourself.

Where do you put fish on a kayak?

When fishing, if you intend to keep fish after catching it, you must find a place to keep them fresh for as long as possible.

Fortunately, there are many places where you can keep fish, each with its advantages and disadvantages.

Here I will list somewhere you can choose.

In the water

Stringers, nets, or float coolers are in this method.

This method is the right choice for your lack of space kayak. It doesn’t take up any space on your kayak.

Disadvantages are:

– You may lose your catches due to branches or submerged obstruction, so it does not recommend to use in the coral reef or marsh.

– Affects tracking straight. The kayak suffers more drag.

– Affects your rowing due to paddle can get caught in catches.


Where do you put fish when kayaking

Here is the simplest and most cost-effective method. 

You can string the fish or put it in a net and hang it on the side or rear of the kayak.

However, it has quite a few disadvantages that can mention:

– May attract dangerous large creatures like sharks to your kayak because the smell of dead fish attracts them. So this method is not used when fishing in salt water.

– The preservation of fish will depend on the environment and ambient temperature. So in hot weather, fish is easy to decompose.


Where do you put your fish when kayak fishing

Using a float-cooler can overcome the disadvantages of stringers/nets.

These coolers got a tow from your kayak.

There are many different types of float coolers on the market for you to choose from, some compact, some with good insulation so you can keep your fish fresh longer.

The disadvantage is that you will have a little trouble putting the fish in storage because it has distance from your seat. 

It is also not recommended to use in rough water. If you are careless, you will lose your catches without knowing it.

If you still haven’t found the answer: Where do you put fish on a kayak? Keep reading.

Use cooler

This method is the best way to keep fish fresh.

Coolers have good insulation. You can put ice in them to keep the air in the bin cold.

Don’t let the ice melt in the cooler you put the fish in because it is like leaving the fish in water outside at 40°F. 

You can use frozen plastic bags or bottles to put in the cooler, so even if the ice melts, the water will not flow out to the cooler.

There are quite a few types of coolers. All of them have different features.

Hard-side cooler

Where do you store fish in a kayak

The hard cooler has the best insulation. You can use it to go fishing for many hours without fear of the fish decaying.

You should pick a hard cooler that fits the kayak’s rear tank well. It also shouldn’t be too tall, or it will hamper your paddling and casting.

Hard coolers usually come with some latches to remain sealed and provide more insulation.

Most hard-sided coolers are watertight, which gives you peace of mind if your kayak tip over.

Soft-side cooler

Where do you store fish on a kayak

The soft cooler can accommodate more space on your kayak. It can easily fit on a tank well or hatch.

Many soft-side coolers come with zippers, but they can leak water. So be careful if the kayak flips over.

Its heat retention is not as good as the hard cooler.

Insulated grocery bag

Where do you store fish when kayaking

Insulated grocery bags have the same heat retention capacity as a soft-cooler but can provide more fish storage space.

The downside is that they are not waterproof, so be careful not to get your bag wet.

Deck bag

Where do you store your fish when kayak fishing

If your kayak does not have room for the listed bags, you should consider a deck bag.

It should be a specific bag to store fish.

However, it has poor insulation, and the space is not too large, so you should only use it on a short fishing trip and make sure you get home before the fish decays.

The trick to keeping fish fresher and making your bag less of an odor is to put the fish in a plastic bag with a frozen water bottle and then put it in the deck bag.

Use the available space on the kayak

Where do you put your fish in a kayak

Tankwells and hatch storage are places you can use to put your catches.

Most fishing kayaks have 1 to 2 hatches: one on the bow and/or the stern.

They design to hold your gear and also the fish you catch.

However, in my opinion, you should not place fish directly in these places but should use the tools listed above to help keep the fish fresher.

If you don’t use the supplement bags, the fish will probably decay faster than when you leave them in the water, because the temperature in the hatches can be a bit higher than on the outside.


I hope that this article can help you find out Where do you put fish on a kayak?

I like to use a hard cooler for my long fishing trips without fear of the fish decomposing when I get home.

Thanks for reading our article. If you have any questions, leave a comment below. You can see more posts on our website here.

Further reading

How Much Weight Can a Fishing Kayak Hold?

How to Pack Your Fishing Kayak

How To Surf Fish from a Kayak

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