Top Kayak Fish Bag Reviewed and Compared 2022 (Buyer’s Guide)

Lance Wilkins
Lance Wilkins
Editor @ CallOutdoors. Outdoor gear-head and adventure addict. I fish, camp and enjoy to writing about my adventures.

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When you’re out kayak fishing having a bag to put and fish you catch into is a must.

The last thing you want is for fish to be flopping around your kayak, making it smell and getting toasted in the sun.

The best fish bags will be towable or tie on to the front of your kayak and create an insulated place to store your catch, ensuring that it stays cool until you go home and put it in the freezer.

Not all fish bags are made the same though, and in order to show you the best of them, I’ve trailed through hundreds of reviews to come up with the best fish bags which you can read about below.

Our Best From The Review

Top Pick

Reliable Fishing Products Insulated Kayak Bag

It’s light, durable, and has enough storage space inside for carrying a lot of fish.

Reliable Fishing Products Insulated Kayak Bag

The best cooler overall is the Reliable Fishing Products soft cooler.

These fish bags are light, durable, portable, will make sure everything stays cool, and have a huge 70-quart capacity for holding a lot of different sized fishes.

If you’re looking for a cooler for life, this is the one to choose.

Best Kayak Fish Bag Cooler

Wilderness Systems Insulated Cooler

Made from heavy-duty TPU coated rip-stop 420 denier nylon for long-lasting durability and is even tough enough to handle any sharp fish fins that might try and push through it.

Wilderness Systems Insulated Cooler

The best kayak fish bag is the Wilderness Systems Insulated Cooler.

These fish bags fit on top of almost any kayak, are super durable, quick to access, and will keep your fish cool.

There are even three separate areas for your fish, ice, any gear, and a mesh pocket on the top for anything you need to access quickly.

Best Floating Cooler For Kayak

CreekKooler PuP Floating Cooler

Designed to be towed behind your kayak. Awesome for keeping drinks and your catches cold while you’re out kayak fishing.

CreekKooler PuP Floating Cooler

The best floating cooler for a kayak is the CreekKooler PuP.

These coolers are easy to use, just tie it to the rear of your kayak and tow it around while you’re fishing.

You can store drinks or anything you like inside and it’ll ensure maximum freshness as it’s incredibly insulated and will preserve ice for 24 hours.

The Best Kayak Fish Bags

The Best Kayak Fish Bag Cooler

Wilderness Systems Insulated Cooler

Made from heavy-duty TPU coated rip-stop 420 denier nylon for long-lasting durability and is even tough enough to handle any sharp fish fins that might try and push through it.

Wilderness Systems Insulated Cooler

The Wilderness Systems Insulated Kayak Cooler is made from heavy-duty TPU coated rip-stop 420 denier nylon for long-lasting durability and is even tough enough to handle any sharp fish fins that might try and push through it.

Design

This fish bag is designed to tie onto the front of a kayak and fits most models out there.

It has a good capacity for your fishes and has great insulation with closed-cell foam to ensure it keeps maximum freshness all day long.

Compartments

The cooler comes with two separate compartments, each with its own access point.

This means you can use one compartment to store drinks and food, and the other to store your fish.

There is more than enough room.

On the top, you’ll also find a big mesh pocket that’s perfect forputting any fishing gear in that you want to keep accessible while kayak fishing.

Portability

These fish bags also come with backpack strap handles that make loading your fish to take back home from your day of fishing a lot easier.

The only downside to these fish bags is that they are not leakproof and your ice water will drip out of them, so make sure to drain it before you sling it over your shoulders, or you could end up smelling quite fishy.

Specs

  • Type: Tie on
  • Weight: 5 lbs
  • Size: 29 x 16 x 7 inches
  • Insulated: Yes
  • Floating: No
  • Waterproof: No
  • Towable: No

Pros

  • Made from durable and long-lasting materials
  • Great closed cell foam insulation for keeping ice, yout catch and drinks cold
  • Separate compartments for drinks and fish
  • Multiple access points
  • Easy to clean
  • Lightweight and can be carried as a backpack
  • Fits most kayak types
  • Good drainage for excess water
  • Mesh storage pocket for carrying extra gear
  • Enough space for large fish in these fish bags

Cons

  • It’s not leakproof, ice water will leak out

Seattle Sports Kayak Catch Cooler

Another soft fish bag that ties on to the top of your kayak with ease and will fit most models out there too.

Seattle Sports Kayak Catch Cooler

The Seattle Sports Insulated Cooler is another soft fish bag that ties on to the top of your kayak with ease and will fit most models out there too.

Design

These fish bags come in two parts; an outer bag with closed-cell foam insulation and a reflective outer coating that keeps everything cold all day, plus a removable inner liner inside for your fish.

This allows you to leave the outer bag on the kayak, and take your fish home in the inner liner, saving you carrying the whole cooler rig each time you go kayak fishing.

The inner liner is simple to clean too, making life a little easier.

Capacity

The fish bag has enough capacity for a day’s fishing for crappie and other smaller species, but it’s not very deep for bigger fish like grouper or snapper.

The cooler comes with a backpack strap for potability and on the top, you have some bungee webbing available to stow any items you might need to access quickly while on the water.

Materials

The cooler is also super light and made from durable materials, so you won’t have any issues with longevity or moving it around.

The downside to this cooler is that it does leak any ice water as it melts, and there is no separate compartment to store drinks or food.

Specs

  • Type: Tie down
  • Weight: 2.1 Pounds
  • Size: 19 x 12 x 5 inches
  • Insulated: Yes
  • Floating: No
  • Waterproof: No
  • Towable: No

Pros

  • Fits most kayak types
  • Comes with an internal bag so you can leave the shell on the kayak
  • Insulated and keeps ice and your fish fresh all day
  • Reflective outer coating to increase insulation on the coolers
  • Easy to clean
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Durable build and materials
  • Can be carried as a backpack
  • Bungee webbing for adding extra gear

Cons

  • No separate compartments for drinks or other gear
  • Leaks out the ice water
  • Not long or deep enough for large fish

Seattle Sports Roll Cooler

Great if you plan on going after smaller species like bluegill or keeping a few large species like grouper as the dimensions are quite sizable.

Seattle Sports Roll Cooler

The Seattle Sports Roll Cooler is quite a simple series of fish bags that do get the job done. 

They are great if you plan on going after smaller species like bluegill or keeping a few large species like grouper as the space dimensions are quite sizable and will hold quite a sizable catch.

Features

The cooler is well insulated and has a heat reflective inner lining to keep everything cold all day.

It comes with an inner lining for your fish, so you can leave the outer bag on the kayak and just take your catch home without removing the whole setup.

Lining

The lining on these coolers does leak though, which is not the best, so you might end up with some slime seeping out.

They aren’t that thick either and any spines are quite likely to pierce through these fish bags.

Accessibility

The cooler is accessed via a roll top, so there is no bag zipper to deal with while you have a fish wriggling around.

If you roll it three times, the bag does become semi-waterproof too but there are no extra storage compartments available to store any other items in.

Portability

The one main thing this cooler is missing is that there are no handles available for loading your catch into your vehicle.

If you catch a lot, you’ll have to hold it from the bag bottom.

Specs

  • Type: Tie on
  • Weight: 5 lbs
  • Size: 32 x 19.5 x 5 inches
  • Insulated: Yes
  • Floating: No
  • Waterproof: No
  • Towable: No

Pros

  • Easy to attach to the top of your kayak
  • Fits most kayak types
  • Insulation has heat reflective interior for keeping you catch cold and drinks cool
  • Simple to use and get into
  • Durable build
  • Removable inner lining for easier cleaning
  • These bags have enough space for a sizeable catch

Cons

  • Inner lining leaks into the main bag
  • The inner lining is thin and not so durable
  • No straps for portability

The Best Floating Cooler For Kayak

CreekKooler PuP Floating Cooler

Designed to be towed behind your kayak. Awesome for keeping drinks and your catches cold while you’re out kayak fishing.

CreekKooler PuP Floating Cooler

The CreekKooler PuP Floating Cooler is designed to be towed behind your kayak rather than being strapped on the front.

This may save you some extra storage space on the top and at the front that you may need for your fishing gear and other items.

Insulation

The cooler has great insulation and keeps ice for up to 24 hours.

It’s awesome for keeping drinks and your catches cold while you’re out kayak fishing but the capacity is a bit limited due to the dimensions.

Storage

This cooler holds 15 quarts inside, so about 15 cans plus 5-10 lbs of ice.

It’s not that deep and you’ll struggle to hold a large catch in there, but if you’re going for smaller species like crappie, you could probably get 20 odd in the cooler without much worry. 

Lid

The lid is watertight to ensure nothing else gets in like seawater, but the opening is not wide enough for bigger species like snook or stripers.

There are quite a lot of downsides to these coolers when kayak fishing, which is unfortunate as I do think the towable design is better than a tie for space savings reasons.

Maintenance

Firstly, they are a bit tricky to clean, and if you want to keep it smelling nice, you’ll have to take a brush and scrub the insides well, rinse and drain it out the lid again.

Another problem is that even though the bag is towable, this fish bag tends to nosedive so you’ll not only be dragging extra weight, but you’ll also have the cooler holding you back, which is the last thing you want.

Accessibility

The last issue with this is how accessible it is.

Imagine landing a fish, and having to try to get your cooler from behind you so can put your catch away.

The last thing you need is to be messing around in this movement, and you could end up dropping and losing your catch in the commotion.

Specs

  • Type: Towable
  • Weight: 8 lbs
  • Size: 27.75 x 8.55 x 14.75 inches
  • Insulated: Yes
  • Floating: Yes
  • Waterproof: Yes
  • Towable: Yes

Pros

  • Saves space by being towed behind the kayak
  • Good insulation and durable
  • Holds ice for 24 hours
  • Ideal for keeping your catch cold
  • Great for storing drinks in when you’re fishing catch and release
  • Watertight lid
  • Comes with two drinks holders

Cons

  • Tricky to clean
  • Small opening to fit larger species in
  • Can nose dive and slow you down when paddling
  • Limited space inside
  • Not the easiest to access while holding a fish

Top Pick

Reliable Fishing Products Insulated Kayak Bag

It’s light, durable, and has enough storage space inside for carrying a lot of fish.

Reliable Fishing Products Insulated Kayak Bag

The Reliable Fishing Products Insulated Kayak Bag is one of the best and most popular kayak coolers on the market for three reasons:

It’s light, durable, and has enough storage space inside for carrying a lot of fish.

Capacity

If you plan on hauling a lot of fish, this is one of the best coolers to choose.

It has a total capacity of 70 quarts as it’s quite deep, so you’ll be able to fit all the fish/ items you need, want, or like inside.

Design

The bag is shaped like the nose of a kayak and has three rings on each side so that you can lash storage down with ease.

It fits the top of most kayak brands available and is really simple to use while fishing.

Durability

These fish bags are semi-rigid so that they keep their shape, meaning you won’t have to mess around with pushing fish right to the front to make space at the back, you can just throw them in through the large zipper entry.

Materials

The cooler is made from durable materials that are both UV and mildew resistant to make sure they survive out fishing, carrying catches, and to stop them from getting smelly or moldy inside.

Insulation

These fish bags also come with excellent insulation to keep everything cool.

Everything you put inside this cooler will stay cool all day while you keep on kayak fishing.

It keeps ice well but you may find it leaking out through the zipper when it melts.

The only downside to this cooler is the high-price but it’s always better to choose quality and durability over a deal in my eyes

Specs

  • Type: Tie down
  • Weight: 3 lbs
  • Size: 36 x 8 and tapers from 10 to 20 wide – inches
  • Insulated: Yes
  • Floating: No
  • Waterproof: No
  • Towable: No

Pros

  • UV and mildew resistant bags
  • Good accessibility
  • Good capacity, the best in the review
  • Fits most kayak types
  • Well insulated to keep everything cool
  • Durable build
  • Three tie downs on each side to keep the bag on your kayak
  • Simple to clean

Cons

  • Expensive

Precision-Pak Catch Cooler Yakcatch III

Made from super-tough and durable 420D/PU ripstop polyester, is insulated, and keeps things cold for days or long periods.

Precision-Pak Catch Cooler Yakcatch III

The Precision-Pak Catch Cooler Yakcatch III is another tie-down style of fish bag that fits most kayak brands.

It has clips on the sides to make attaching it quick and simple and does a great job of keeping things cool during a day’s fishing.

Durability

The cooler is made from super-tough and durable 420D/PU ripstop polyester, is insulated, and keeps things cold for days or long periods.

It comes in two parts, a big outer bag, and an inner dry tube.

The outer bag has multiple access points with a velcro opening going lengthways on the top and a box opening at the end.

Dual Acess System

The dual access system makes it easier to unload your catch at the end of the day and to get into the top corners to give the cooler a thorough clean.

The dry tube is perfect for holding ice and ensuring all the ice melt doesn’t drip out into your kayak.

You could even use it for items you wish to keep dry and throw the ice in the main compartment if you wanted to still use the cold elements of the cooler.

Size

This is one of the longest coolers available at 42 inches and is ideal to take fishing on days when you know you’re going after bigger species or are likely to catch a lot.

This fish bag has all the space you need to store and keep a sizable catch cold.

Portability

The one annoying thing about this soft cooler is that when you want to take your catch home, the straps aren’t so great, and you’ll have to balance the entire weight of the bag on one shoulder – which can lead to aching arms.

Specs

  • Type: Tie down
  • Weight: 3 lbs
  • Size: 15.75 x 9.75 x 42 in.
  • Insulated: Yes
  • Floating: No
  • Waterproof: Yes – dry tube included
  • Towable: No

Pros

  • Durable build with high-quality materials
  • Insulated to keep your catch fresh
  • Good capacity for large or lots of fish
  • Comes with one dry tube for ice or personal belongings
  • Dual access
  • Easy to tie down to your kayak
  • Fits most kayak types

Cons

  • Hard to carry when full

What Is A Kayak Cooler?

Fishing Kayak on a Lakeside
Fishing Kayak on a Lakeside

Kayak coolers or fish bags are insulated bags that you either tie onto the top of your kayak or tow behind you. They can even fit some paddle boards

They are the best and right place to put your fish when you catch them to ensure they don’t go bad so you can continue fishing.

On non-fishing days, they are perfect for keeping drinks and food cool while you enjoy kayaking around.

Types Of Kayak Coolers

Cooler Bag

Wilderness Systems Catch Cooler
Wilderness Systems Catch Cooler

This type of kayak cooler is soft, comes in the same shape as the top of a kayak, and will tie on to the front of your kayak with ease.

They are insulated with good accessibility, simple to clean, and have awesome portability.

Ice Chest

Ice Chest
Ice Chest

These are rigid coolers, like the ones you’d take camping.

You place them on top or in your kayak while you paddle around.

They are quite hard to access and they take up a lot of room in your kayak which could be used for other gear but they are better insulated.

Towable Cooler

A towable cooler is a hard shell cooler that you tie onto the rear of your kayak and drag around.

They are ideal for saving room on your kayak for other gear as they are out the way but a little tricky access when you want to put a fish in them.

They also add extra weight to your kayak while you’re paddling around and can nosedive, making paddling harder.

Check out the CreekKooler PuP Floating Cooler below…

CreekKooler™ Pup

Why Buy A Kayak cooler?

Advantages

Lightweight

Kayak cooler bags are much lighter than a regular cooler making paddling around a lot easier.

The last thing anyone fancies is towing around extra weight, especially when you’re fully loaded with fishing gear.

Easy to lash down

Kayak cooler bags are also much easier to lash onto your kayak as they come with special rings just for this purpose.

This means they’ll stay on your kayak, even if you capsize.

Plus you won’t have to worry about having to jimmy-rig some kind of lashing system to ensure your home cooler doesn’t fall off and go drifting away.

Can hold big fish

Red Fishing Kayak with Blue Bag
Red Fishing Kayak with Blue Bag

Kayak cooler bags can be up to 42” in length, giving them enough room for larger fish to stowed away into.

The last thing you want is to catch a fish that’ll feed the whole family for it, not to lay in the cooler you have taken with you.

Fits in a kayak

Kayak cooler bags are also designed for kayaks and they lay perfectly on the top of the front or can be towed behind.

A normal cooler may not find a convenient place to rest in a kayak, and it could easily then fall off the side.

Who should buy a kayak cooler?

If you love kayaking or kayak fishing, you should own a kayak cooler…

With a kayak cooler, you can go for lengthy days out with a picnic and drinks with your friends and family.

Plus you’ll have the ability to keep your kayak clean and your fish cold and ready for the freezer without the hassles of taking a normal cooler that doesn’t match your kayak or might fall overboard because it’s hard to lash down.

Things To Consider When Buying a Kayak Cooler

Kayak Fishing at a Lake
Kayak Fishing at a Lake

What are you going to use it for?

Are you going fishing, picnicking, or both?

If you’re picnicking, life is a little easier as you can pick any kayak cooler but if you’re fishing, you’ll need to access the cooler easily when landing a fish and you’ll want to be able to clean it easily after it’s covered in slime.

What size is it?

How much fish do you intend on catching and what species are they?

If you’re going after larger species like grouper, a bag with more room is best and what you want.

The same goes if you plan to haul a lot of fishes when you have the chance.

TIP

Check that the volume of the cooler matches your needs.

Is it insulated?

All the coolers are insulated, but some are better than others.

It shouldn’t be an issue for anyone going on a day trip, as all the coolers will ensure your catch stays good for up to 12 hours.

But if you plan to go fishing for a few days, you’ll want a cooler that can handle it.

How durable is it?

Two People Riding a Kayak
Two People Riding a Kayak

Life on a kayak is tough for a cooler. If you bought one of the best tandem fishing kayaks from my review, you’ll know how tight the space is and how you’ll be hard-pressed to find shade for your cooler.

It’ll be in direct sunlight, have fish spines in it, have to carry a heavy load, and be wet a lot of the time.

If the cooler isn’t durable, it’s not going to survive for much time.

How Heavy Is it?

You’ll have to carry your cooler to and from your kayak, and paddle with it onboard.

The lighter it is, the easier all of this is going to be.

TIP

Be sure to pick a cooler that you can carry and paddle with, with ease.

Summing Up

Finding the best fish bags for your kayak isn’t so simple and I hope the reviews above have helped you stumble upon the right cooler for you.

Remember it’s all about having enough room in the cooler for your catch and being able to access it easily.

After that, you can think about how well insulated is you won’t be out on your kayak for days at a time, the fish just need to be kept cool for a few hours

If you still haven’t managed to decide, here are the best two I would pick.

Top Pick

For all-around durability and great space, the Reliable Fishing Products cooler is the best one..

You can put a large haul inside it, it’ll stay cooled, and it’s about as durable and quick to clean as a cooler can be.

The Best Kayak Fish Bag Cooler

For functionality, Wilderness Systems Insulated Cooler is the right choice.

It has three separate storage areas for your gear, drinks, and fishes, plus it has a solid build and is simple to access.

Feel Free To Share!

Thanks for reading my article, I hope you found it useful.

Please feel free to share it with any friends who love to kayak. If you’re in the market for the best kayak paddle for fishing, I have an review on that as well.

You might also be interested in some of my other articles around, like this one about portable rods or maybe this article about portable fish finders that will help ensure fishing from a kayak is a whole lot easier. Feel free to check them out on this site.

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Lance Wilkins
Lance Wilkins
Editor @ CallOutdoors. Outdoor gear-head and adventure addict. I fish, camp and enjoy to writing about my adventures.
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