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Fish/Kill Bags

I'm considering getting a fish bag to hold my keepers to replace the hard cooler. The reason for this is to free up the back cargo area for a crate and other tackle so I can keep the deck area in front of me as clear as possible. But I'm finding the search for a suitable bag frustrating. I would like one big enough to fit a slot redfish inside, small enough to fit in the bow of my Hobie Compass, that will hold ice all day, is easy to clean, and will hold up over time, especially the zippers. For whatever reason I'm horrible with zippers, they're always breaking on me! Also - and this is critical - they cannot leak because my catch gets transported inside my Jeep and a leaking bag will create a horrible stench and an angry girlfriend. 

So does a suitable bag exist, or do I just stick with the hard cooler?

Replies

  • Lake-LinkerLake-Linker Posts: 184 Deckhand
    If you keep it upright,the Hobie catch bag would fit the bill. I believe another company builds the bag for Hobie and H. just brands it. The "other company" also sells it under their own name as well.

    I have that bag but it's inaccessible right now.... it can fit 15lbs of ice and a small bag of bait - maybe a few smaller mullet...or 10lbs of ice and a 7lb block of chum. Once some ice melts I can fit a slot red and a couple 18"-ish grovers and a couple mullet for cutbait...
  • Drifting_ByDrifting_By Posts: 174 Deckhand
    If you keep it upright,the Hobie catch bag would fit the bill. I believe another company builds the bag for Hobie and H. just brands it. The "other company" also sells it under their own name as well.

    I have that bag but it's inaccessible right now.... it can fit 15lbs of ice and a small bag of bait - maybe a few smaller mullet...or 10lbs of ice and a 7lb block of chum. Once some ice melts I can fit a slot red and a couple 18"-ish grovers and a couple mullet for cutbait...
    Yes, I was looking at that one. Does yours leak at all? Not so much worried about the zipper leaking, but the bottom seams.
  • lemaymiamilemaymiami Posts: 4,909 Captain
    Here's a tip or two about keeping fish - and keeping your cooler or bag clean at the same time... Each day my anglers decide whether it's catch and release or they'd prefer to take a fish or two home for the table... I long ago learned to keep a few standard tall can garbage bags on board my skiff and every fish we're keeping goes in the bag - then in the cooler... That simple trick keeps my cooler nice and clean - even when I'm guiding day after day... Back at the ramp when it's time to do a bit of fish cutting - that same bag gets lifted out of the cooler and to the cutting tables... 
    If you choose a bag that might leak a bit... simply place it in another clean garbage bag and keep your catch from messing up your vehicle on the way home... Plastic garbage bags are very handy - on more than one trip I've stowed my angler's camera gear and other sensitive stuff in them when it was raining... A backpack fits in one as well when needed... 

    Hope this helps and post up what you choose... I'm sure you're not the only one with this concern... 
    Tight Lines
    Bob LeMay
    (954) 435-5666
  • mplspugmplspug Posts: 16,016 AG
    edited December 2021 #5
    This is the one I am getting for my birthday.  I like that it has a removable liner. Granted I am going with this because my Kayak is a 3 waters/ Feel Free.

    https://www.3waterskayaks.com/products/camo-kayak-fish-cooler-bag
    Just dropping grenades in OT
  • John McKroidJohn McKroid Posts: 4,216 Captain
    Every fish bag I have ever owned, leaks, some just a slow drip, others only at the zippers.  Like Lemaymiami says, use trash bags to insulate the catch and prevent tainting your jeep.  The sun is hot where I fish, so fish bags are ideally of light or a heat reflecting color.  I even put a piece of foam insulation on top of my Hobie fish bag to add to the reflecting properties.  I have used a Hobie bag for 6 years of abuse, and the zipper is holding up well.  I prefer to keep the bag off the back, because a weighted down front makes the kayak directionally unstable, while a weighted down back does the opposite.
  • Lake-LinkerLake-Linker Posts: 184 Deckhand
    Drifting_by - mine holds water well. To be honest though,it stays in my kayak most of the time. It doesn't zip completely closed - it's velcro at the bottom...I leave it in the kayak until I'm taking it out to clean fish or to bleach/dry...I also use it to keep most of my bait. There may be mullet or a bag of pilchards or...and it gets pretty nasty pretty quick. I hit it with a few spritzes of bleach so it doesn't get to stinking.

    If I were to put it inside a vehicle I'd drain the liquid leaving only ice and fish for the drive. I'd still put it on a towel and the towel would be on a piece of plastic or in a little tub.
  • Drifting_ByDrifting_By Posts: 174 Deckhand
    edited December 2021 #8
    Thanks for all the input! I just ordered the 24" Hobie bag, panicked a bit because fish bags are getting scarce online! Amazon didn't even have one, not that I'd ever buy from that horrible place but the review section can be helpful. Did find it elsewhere.

    I like Bob's suggestion to put the fish in a bag inside the cooler, that should help a lot keeping it clean, And yes, then drain it and bag it the cooler a 3 mil construction cleanup bag for the ride back.

    In 1977 when I was a kid, we were on vacation in Florida and I was fishing with cut squid. Anyway the bait was in a styrofoam cup, no lid, in the back of the station wagon when we went to a restaurant for dinner. Someone (I blame one of my sisters) knocked over that cup on the way out of the car. There it sat stewing in the hot Florida sun for the next hour and a half or so, and when we got back to the car the stench was just incredible. Nothing we could find would get it out of the carpet, I think on the drive back home to Chicago we went through several cans of air freshener to try to make it tolerable. My parents traded in that car for a new '78 wagon a few months later, probably just to be gone from that smell for good! So maybe that's why I'm leery of leaks. 
  • John McKroidJohn McKroid Posts: 4,216 Captain

    In 1977 when I was a kid, we were on vacation in Florida and I was fishing with cut squid. Anyway the bait was in a styrofoam cup, no lid, in the back of the station wagon when we went to a restaurant for dinner. Someone (I blame one of my sisters) knocked over that cup on the way out of the car. There it sat stewing in the hot Florida sun for the next hour and a half or so, and when we got back to the car the stench was just incredible. Nothing we could find would get it out of the carpet, I think on the drive back home to Chicago we went through several cans of air freshener to try to make it tolerable. My parents traded in that car for a new '78 wagon a few months later, probably just to be gone from that smell for good! So maybe that's why I'm leery of leaks. 
    Nice story.  On the all-day Sportfisher that I apprenticed on as a young teen, we would catch live squid for bait.  That stuff would shoot ink and make a difficult clean up.  When aged the rotted pink squid reeked.  The playboy head deckhand would swear the smell was very familiar and joke-telling me to eat it for practice on eating something else........

    I sympathize with your story.  Hope the Hobie bag works out.
  • cranker789cranker789 Posts: 531 Officer
    Nothing like the smell of stinking fish. My dad used to love to fish for dolphin on a 22’ chris craft he owned. Then one day rigging ballyhoo the smell just got to him. Never fished again on that boat. Didn’t like any fish in the house either, so me picking up fishing as a hobby didn’t exactly make him happy. He would give me such a hard time anytime I brought fish home. I guess that’s why I don’t bring home many now a days! Lol 
  • The Cat's EyeThe Cat's Eye Posts: 1,741 Captain
    edited December 2021 #11

    For bridge fishing in the keys i bought a large soft cooler from ****'s and then went to Home Depot with a tape measure and bought two very sturdy rectangular planters made out of light weight resin or something similar. (They are not plastic). Then I cut one in half and the other around 2/3 of its length, so when they were glued together they fit snugly inside the soft cooler. I think I used West System Epoxy I had left over to glue them together. This liner protects the soft cooler from fish spines and the liner can be removed for cleaning. The liner does not leak any ice water into the soft cooler. The soft cooler is easier for me to transport far out onto a bridge on an aluminum walker I converted to a fish cart.  I bolted five rod holders to a store bought dairy crate that fits on the walker;s seat. The walker gives me a very comfortable seat with a backrest for rigging and taking a coffee break. There are no benches on the bridges in the keys so most people just sit on their cooler but I prefer to have more comfort at my age.

     The collapsible walker also has storage under the seat and back rest. I can carry a five gallon aerated bucket (full of live shrimp) inside the dairy crate and the soft cooler goes on top of the five gallon bucket. My tackle goes in a backpack. I can hang all sorts of stuff from the walker since it had a 300 lb load capacity and is light weight. I have an expensive alum bridge cart but seldom use it unless I have a second person to pull it. The bridge cart accepts a regular 48 qt. cooler but I prefer to take my walker for the confort of the padded seat. 


    Giimoozaabi
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