Kent I

Stowing the catch

15 posts in this topic

I'm an experienced kayaker but have only recently began fishing for one. So far I've kept my setup pretty minimal; basically I've taken an Ocean Kayak Scupper Pro and added a rod holder and paddle holder and I carry my plugs and gear in a fly fishing vest. So far it's working well for me...it's reasonably light and fast for an SOT, stable, and completely unscary in rough water. My only problem is that I don't have any satisfactory way to stow my catch. I'm not interested in carrying a cooler or other bulky gear, but haven't found a stringer that works for a fish of any size. So far I've been stowing them in the foot well, which works, but they make so much racket flopping around that I might as well just pack it in and come home because it scares off everything within hearing distance. Is there a good solution that doesn't involve adding a lot of infrastructure to the boat?

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You could use a divers bag or stringer. I have both and like the bag because it's more simple to open with one hand and keeps fish more organized. 

 

Edit: The bag won't work for "fish of any size" so the the clip might be better for ya. Google the one hand open kind. 

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Edited by Jon I
typed more

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Insulated tote bags work. Slide in a frozen blue back and your good to go. Wally World carries the 19 1/2" x 16". Good for me to slide in some sea bass or bonito.

 

 

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I've done the clip and the tote bag.  I much prefer the tote bag.  Cheap, light and fish on ice.  Doesn't take up much room either.  The clip is a pain and then I'm towing a sea anchor.  Really not a good option either if you fish in "sharky" waters.

 

Also, if the fish on the clip dies and the water is warm, you've got a dead fish floating around all day while you fish.

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Another vote for Insulated tote bag. Dragging around fish is tiring. Several times I've noticed I can't troll at a speed to get a bite once I've got a fish on the clip.  This one from Costco is $8, I had 2 30" blues in it the other day. I keep it in front of my feet. Congrats on having a Scupper Pro, on my wish list. I also was a longtime kayaker (WW) before I started fishing from one.

 

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Edited by gellfex

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My wife lived in the Carribean for a while and had 3 Scupper Pros when we got hitched.  Except for piddling around during the summer and swimming I never paid much attention to them until I started fishing because we have boats that are a lot more efficient for doing distance. Now I'm seeing them in a completely different light.

thanks for the lead on the tote bag, I'll give one a try.

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The hardcore paddlers among us have has discussions on the dearth of narrow, stable, low seat, SOT boats like the Scupper Pro. The trend has been to high seat, therefore wide, therefore SLOW.

 

This is a subject not much discussed: how much ice to bring? I've been caught short a couple of times with just one bag, like this week when I took home 2 big blues rather than the tog I was expecting. Even the difference between a 5 and 7# bag makes a difference. B&T charged me $3 for a 5# bag!!!! Does a lb of ice per lb of expected catch sound right?

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Yeah, the fishing kayaks have put on a lot of weight and girth to accommodate unskilled paddlers and large amounts of gear. Watching my bro-in-law capsize and lose two poles and a bunch of other gear on a windy day has hardened my "minimal infrastructure" position. If I'd been carrying a cooler, two rods, various waterproof this and that and a bait bucket, I might have been in there with him. 

I hadn't given much thought to the ice problem, but my wife got tired of trying to figure out what was good and what was bait in the freezer, so I now have a dedicated bait freezer, and imagine I should be able to find some kind of mold to freeze big blocks of ice.

Question...is it best to kill the fish before you put them in the bag?

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1 hour ago, gellfex said:

The hardcore paddlers among us have has discussions on the dearth of narrow, stable, low seat, SOT boats like the Scupper Pro. The trend has been to high seat, therefore wide, therefore SLOW.

 

This is a subject not much discussed: how much ice to bring? I've been caught short a couple of times with just one bag, like this week when I took home 2 big blues rather than the tog I was expecting. Even the difference between a 5 and 7# bag makes a difference. B&T charged me $3 for a 5# bag!!!! Does a lb of ice per lb of expected catch sound right?

All ice is not equal (that just sounds wrong ... grammatically), some of the ice on offer has a large air content which means it melts really quickly, rather make your own ice in milk/water containers ... and add salt. A solid block will last heaps longer than cubes due to smaller surface area exposed to air.

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42 minutes ago, Kent I said:

Question...is it best to kill the fish before you put them in the bag?

Yeah, the consensus is both for taste and humane death it's best to bleed them out on a stringer then cooler them. Even makes filleting less bloody.

 

Brad, do the blocks keep the whole cooler cold? How many liters of ice block do you typically bring? I've found even a fish one fish away from an unopened bag is not cooled very well, contact is important. Lasting longer is worthless if it doesn't keep the game cold!! 

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27 minutes ago, gellfex said:

 

Brad, do the blocks keep the whole cooler cold? How many liters of ice block do you typically bring? I've found even a fish one fish away from an unopened bag is not cooled very well, contact is important. Lasting longer is worthless if it doesn't keep the game cold!! 

 

In my experience, the entire cooler stays colder for a far longer time ... but then I generally use a solid walled cooler whereas you use a soft, maybe that's the difference?

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Whether fishing from boat or kayak, if I harvest a fish, here's my solution.  Earlier this year I bought one of those large, deep rubber coated nylon nets (EGO S1 Genesis).  Only problem was the handle was too short and the net too heavy for single-handed boat use, and I went back to my cheapy Frabill net.  I pulled the rubber net off the hoop, ran a 1/4" poly line through the net top loops, and use it as a draw-string holding bag.  If I keep a fish for food, I bleed it, throw it in the bag, draw the bag close, and throw the bag in the water.  If I keep a scup for live lining, bag will hold the fish alive until needed.  Bag is deep enough to hold more than enough of any eating fish (I don't keep stripers).  

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Try a cooler bag that attaches to the front of the kayak. Unless you use that space it's a perfect and effective way of storing fish and keeping them on ice.

Edited by Matt Szwagulinski

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