3 Best Fish Kill Bags For Kayak Fishing

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Hey there my fellow fishing enthusiasts and welcome to my post covering my 3 best fish kill bags for kayak fishing this year. Now, anybody who has been fishing in a kayak will know that there is not a lot of space to keep everything that you may need whilst out on the water. And nothing makes this more evident than when you manage to pull a nice big catch on board.

And I am sure there are more than a few of you (myself included) who have struggled with where to actually place your catch once it is landed. So for those of you who are looking for a good option in which to keep any fish that you have caught for the dinner table at home, let’s fun through some good fish kill bag options below…

My 3 recommended fish kill bags for kayak fishing

I will review these in more detail below but if you just want to get to sitting without all the carry on, my 3 are listed here for your convenience:

02/19/2024 07:09 am GMT Lasso Brag

What are fish kill bags?

Now, my beautiful wife just walked past my laptop as I was typing this and remarked “Oh My God!! – You have a fish kill bag?”. After reassuring her that it is not something out of a Stephen King novel, it did get me thinking though that on face value it does sound pretty bad. However, in reality, a fish kill bag is generally a soft cooler type bag that allows us to keep our catch nice and fresh with some ice once it has been caught.

They are normally longer and thinner than cooler bags for drinks etc. allowing them to match fish size and softer options are generally of advantage on a kayak as again, due to limited space they can be more easily manipulated into storage cavities etc.

Fish Kill Bags For Kayak Fishing - fish bag

What should you be looking for?

When it comes to a good fish kill bag for kayak fishing, there are two main things to consider:

  1. How it is made
  2. What additions it has


As above, the main purpose of a fishing cooler/kill bag is to keep the contents inside of it cold. Fish is best consumed when it has been put on ice as soon as possible after catching so as you look into you good fish kill bag for your needs, you should consider the following:

Insulation – Insulation is the material that lines in the inside of the walls to keep a cooler cool. Most hard bodied coolers use polyurethane however due to the thinner and softer requirements of a kill bag, most are lined with a flexible foam or heavy-duty foil.

Seal – Cool things become less cool when warm air is introduced. This obviously occurs when any cooler type product is opened however it is when it is closed that we want to check. When it comes to an insulated fish kill bag, you will find that most are sealed via a zipper or Velcro. Check that the zipper is rated for complete seal to avoid allowing warm outside air to infiltrate the bag.

Size – Obviously when it comes to a kayak, the size is limited by the space you have to carry it around on your vessel. This also means then that whatever bag you may choose will need to fit here as well. That said, if you plan to use your bag for keeping longer species inside, then you may need to adjust your size needs to accommodate them.

Strength – Fish kill bags tend to get a bit of a hard time when being used – especially if the fish is being placed inside whilst still alive (many maintain that putting a fish to sleep on ice is the most humane way of killing them). Additionally, they are also susceptible to contact with sharp objects associated with fishing such as knives, hooks, fish spikes and so on. Just make sure both the inside and outside is strong enough to handle anything you may throw at it out there.

Water proofing – When it comes to fish kill bags, water proofing is a double-sided proposition. Firstly, it needs to be waterproof from the inside so that any melted ice or liquid doesn’t leak out. And secondly, any water that leaks in from the outside is going to compromise its cooling ability. A good bag then is one that is waterproof inside and out.

Fish Kill Bags For Kayak Fishing - man fishing in kayak


Again, as with everything to do with outdoors equipment there are added extras available when it comes to coolers. These can include:

  • Extendable handle/carry strap – for easier movement.
  • Molle straps – these are great for carrying additional tools and needs such as knives, bottle openers and pliers etc.
  • Dry pockets – as the name suggests, these are dry areas where you can keep your wallets, phones, keys and so on.
  • Quick access flaps – as discussed above, most cooler bags are sealed via a zipper however some have an extra Velcro sealed flap at the top for easy access – which is great if you are turning around on a kayak.
  • Drainage seams/plugs – If you are using an ‘ice slurry’ in your bag (2 parts ice to 1 part sea water) then a drainage option can assist in keeping the ice inside fresh.
  • Fold down storage – some fold down for easy storage when not in use.


How does a fish kill bag work?

A fish kill bag works as a means of keeping fish that have been caught. Ice is added to the bag to keep your catch cool and protected by stopping them from receiving bruises and cuts caused by jumping around in a hard-side box. They are also a good space saver as they are long and narrow and don’t take up as much space as a hard cooler.

What do I use?

My usual choice for on the kayak is a medium-sized camping cooler bag that I keep in the cavity behind me. I kill my fish immediately with a knife and then place it inside with some ice. It holds a few drinks as well and has a small mesh pocket at the front that, to be honest, I mainly use to keep rubbish such as bait packets and bottle tops etc.

My 3 recommendations broken down

As mentioned above, there are a few different fish kill bag options for kayak fishing available online so I have chosen the following three in an attempt to give you some choices taking into consideration the information above. Based on this, I recommend the following:

1. Buffalo Gear Insulated Fish Kill Bag

The first bag I have chosen is a great option for those looking for a solid product at a good price. It contains full insulation with solid leak proof zippers to keep ice frozen for up to 24 hours. Its specifications include:

  • Composition: Rip proof nylon fabric outer with 22oz polyester Tarpaulin interior lining
  • Zipper: Heavy duty waterproof zippers
  • Handles: Twill straps with reinforced handles
  • Size: 36 x 17″
  • Waterproof: Yes

Other advantages include:

  • Heavy-duty heat-sealed, fiber-interlaced skin construction to prevent leaks
  • Can be turned inside out for ease of cleaning and drying
  • Drainage plug on front

Why have I chosen it?

As above, this is a great one for those looking for a decent, versatile and strong fish kill bag that will handle kayak fishing with ease as well as any other need you may have for it. It is easy to transport whilst being large enough to handle most decent sized fish catches.

2. Elkton Outdoors Insulated Fish Kill Bag

Our next option is a good one for those looking for premium insulation and leak proof build for those longer trips and bigger catches. Its waterproof zippers and double insulation added to a tear proof exterior make it the perfect kayak fishing companion. Its specifications include:

  • Composition: Rip proof nylon fabric outer with double insulation
  • Zipper: Waterproof zippers
  • Handles: Double Top side handles and removable shoulder strap
  • Size: 40” x 20” or 60” x 20”
  • Waterproof: Yes

Other advantages include:

  • Reinforced heat welded seams to stay leak-proof
  • Non-stick interior lining to make cleaning fast and hassle-free
  • 3-point folding system for easy storage

Why have I chosen it?

I like this one as it is a great size for the kayak and as well as good for those venturing out into the ocean as well. Its double layer insulation will keep fish cold for long periods with an interior that is fully lined with leak-proof material. It is also large enough to keep some nice sized fish in as well.

3. Kuuma Heavy Duty Insulated Fish Bag

I have chosen this last one for those who are looking for superior quality over price or plan to do their kayak fishing out on the open waters. It is strongly made and as it is built as a cooler bag first and kill bag second, is perfect for use as both a drink cooler and keeping fish nice and fresh for longer periods. Its specifications include:

  • Composition: Durable TPU-coated nylon exterior and 5-inch polyurethane closed cell foam insulation
  • Zipper: Heavy duty waterproof
  • Handles: Heavy duty shoulder straps
  • Size: 45-inches long x 18-inches tall x 12-inches wide for 80Qt up to 72-inches long x 30-inches tall x 12-inches wide for 240Q
  • Waterproof: Yes

Other advantages include:

  • Tie down loops on both ends
  • Drainage plug in front
  • Keeps ice-Cold More Than 24 Hours

Why have I chosen it?

This is a great option for those who chase the big ones or want all the space and convenience of a larger cooler without taking up all the space. It is super strong to handle any conditions that could be thrown at it and will fit onto most kayak wells.


And there they are – my 3 best fish kill bags for kayak fishing this year. I hope it has been helpful and as usual, please let me know of your experiences with them.

Also, please do not hesitate to comment below if you have any questions, concerns, corrections or would like me to check anything else out for you.

Until next time

Have fun


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2 thoughts on “3 Best Fish Kill Bags For Kayak Fishing”

  1. The problem i find with kayak fishing is getting access to a container to keep my catch. I started with keeping a container behind my seat, but this proved impossible to deal with a flapping fish – lost a few! A better spot is in the bow space. But this is still awkward to access. The best spot is between your knees. But there is competition for this spot for bait, spare tackle etc.
    The second problem is making sure the container cant be lost overboard – pretty important if paying large sums for a container – so needs tie-down spots – preferable at the base of the container – leaving the top accessible to accept fish. Im thinking that that the design of the fishing kayak might also take this into account with suitable anchor points.
    Finally, there is the problem of cleaning the container. I personally would not pay a large amount for a container that may quite quickly become unacceptable due to difficulty in keeping clean.
    I am currently using a supermarket cooler bag, with the handles attached to the bottom of the bag (sewn). I leave the to accessible and can zip up if necessary. Cost – A $2.20, plus cost of thread and time to do the sewing. I have found the bags reasonably easy to clean.
    I am thinking that it might be possible to attach a small tackle container(s) to the side of the seat – again, i find the space behind inaccessible. Would value any suggestions..
    Finally, i have come up with a neat idea for my landing net. Basically, attaching pool noodles to rim allowing the net to float. I chuck the net (leash attached) into the water the side the fish is being retrieved. Allowing me to drag the catch over the net before lifting. Clearly, another hand would make the job easier!
    Btw, my kayak only cost less than A$400, i appreciate there are much more expensive kayaks that overcome some problems!

    • Yep, real estate is always a problem on a kayak. I have a net that I use that sits in the foot well with me. I used to keep it over the side until a little bull shark decided to check it out. Thanks so much for you comments



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Hi, I'm Paul

I am a passionate fishing, camping and four wheeled driving hobbyist who researches, tests and educates around issues and equipment relevant to them.

I am by no means a professional however my passion is to assist you in making informed decisions about buying and using awesome gear that will give you the best chance of success at whatever you are doing for the best price.

Please get in touch if you have any questions.