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The market of fishing coolers and insulated fish bags is bigger than you might think – there are styles, designs, sizes, and specialized features to suit almost any fishing situation you could ever find yourself in, and then some.
Fishing is a serious sport and a big business. We suppose the same could probably be said for any sport, but it really is incredible how there’s so much need in the world of fishing for highly specific, specialized products like the fishing ice chests.
The majority of this article will review some of the best fishing coolers and insulated fish bags out there, which actually are quite a necessity for any kind of tournament angling or offshore fishing, where you’ll (hopefully) be bringing home some big ones.
Also, we’ve included a couple of other fishing-specific coolers that we absolutely were impressed by with their features, functionality, quality, and overall value for the cost.
Best Fishing Coolers – Our Top Picks
There are a couple of different reasons why some people prefer insulated fish bags over traditional coolers.
For one, they’re easier to transport and they’re not as bulky as coolers. Also, fish bags are primarily used for tournament fishing where you’ve got to bring your catch in to the dock to have it weighed.
The bags are designed to keep as much moisture as possible on (and in) the fish, so that it keeps as much of its original weight as possible. In other words, they’re designed to keep fish as fresh as possible.
Here’s the list of our top three picks for insulated fish bags. Two of the picks are based on overall performance (i.e. not much regard was given to cost), while the last one is our pick for the over best value (best performance to cost ratio).
Best Insulated Fish Bags and Fishing Cooler Reviews
Canyon Insulated Fish Cooler Bags (Various Sizes)
From the well-designed storage compartments to the super high-quality carrying handles (that can hold up to 300 lbs), to the lifetime warranty, Canyon fish bags are the absolute best of the best. Check them out at Amazon right here.
The heavy-duty, heat-sealed fiber-interlaced outer layer is completely leak-proof, so your boat is kept squeaky clean and your fish kept as fresh as possible.
Our favorite feature is the super well-designed drain plug, which doubles as a hose hookup for convenient and efficient cleaning/rinsing.
There are many different sizes currently available, ranging in prices from a few dozen to a few hundreds.
Canyon Fish Bags:
- B-14 Medium Boat Bag (30″ x 65″)
- B-15 Large Boat Bag (40″ x 80″)
- B-16 Swordfish Single (30″ x 96″)
- B-18 Swordfish Double (60″ x 96″)
- B-20 Big Eye/Albacore (40″ x 84″)
- B-22 Yellow Fin (40″ x 60″)
- B-25 Wahoo Bag (20″ x 65″)
- B-26 Wahoo Large Bag (20″ x 72″)
- B-27 Striper Bag (30″ x 54″)
- B-28 Redfish Bag (20″ x 36″)
- B-30 Flounder/Fluke/ Blackfish Bag (20″ x 24″)
- B-31 Trout/Bait Bag (20″ x 12″)
As mentioned, above sizes have been available Amazon at the time of writing this post, here's a direct link.
Reliable Fishing Products Kill Bag (Multiple Sizes)
Ranging from 18” x 36” to 30” x 90”, the Kill Bag has almost the same size range as the Canyon. Also, one really nice feature that we like on this one is the expandable, gusseted bottom which allows the bag to sit upright. This is actually a major convenience for large, insualted fish bags, as it allows you to store them out of the way – either up under the gunwhales or along the transom if you don’t have a storage compartment large enough to keep it in.
The insulation material is ½” closed cell foam, and the outer lining is constructed of premium quality, heavy duty marine grade vinyl. Each bag is mildew and UV resistant, and is fully washable/rinsable.
All Fish Cooler Bag Features:
- Heavy duty 18 OZ vinyl
- 1/2″ dense closed cell Foam
- Drain plug on all bags
- UV/Mildew resistant thread (double stitched)
- Non-corrosive YKK zippers
- Heavy duty carrying handles (on 30 x 72″ & 30 x 90″ bags)
If you want to have a closer look at Kill Bags and see what other customers think of them, here's a handy link to their offering at Amazon.
Silver Horde Katchkooler II Fish Cooler Bag (40” x 16”)
Granted, as you would expect they do not perform as well as the premium bags, but they more than hold their own when it comes to functionality and efficiency.
If you’ve been wanting a fish bag but haven’t been to keen on spending a king’s ransom, the Katchkooler II has some great features that will surely give you what you’re looking for, such as: closed-cell foam insulation; heavy-duty waterproof fabric; durable, heavy-duty carrying handles.
The only major downfall is that the Katchkooler II is only available in one size (40” x 16”), for those of you that may be needing a smaller or larger option.
Igloo Marine Breeze Roller Fishing Ice Cooler (Three Sizes)
These are excellent little coolers for beach, surf, or land-based fishing such as off of piers, docks, or seawalls, where a good deal of walking and gear transport is often required. There are plenty of coolers out there with rollers, but like we said these ones from Igloo are actually quite durable, and offer good value for the price. You don’t need to worry about the thing tipping over or the wheels jamming up in gravel, rocks, or loose sand.
The 60-quart model is the real gem, as it comes complete with external drink holders and two fishing rod holders – a real pier fisherman’s tool.
While these are certainly no Yeti’s, they serve extremely well for an afternoon of use, and are durable enough to be trusted and well worth the sub-$100 price tag.
Igloo Marine Fishing Coolers Available Sizes:
ENGEL USA Fishing Cooler with Rods Holder (19-quart)
The airtight/waterproof rubber seal and stainless steel latches make it great for storing electronics and other valuables, while the high-quality construction and polystyrene insulation make it a very well-performing cooler as well, which can easily hold ice for up to two days.
Additionally, the four removable fishing rod holders are a nice feature, and the cooler is more than sturdy enough to use as a seat or casting platform.
At only 19-quarts (16.6” x 11” x 13”) it’s not a massive cooler, but it’s plenty big enough for a six-pack, a sandwich pack lunch, or to keep some smaller-size fish such as bass, trout, panfish, etc.
Fishing Coolers – The Bottom Line
Like we mentioned in the intro, insulated fish bags and fishing coolers are a great option to eliminate bulk, and can also greatly improve ease of transport and storage.
Some of these bags can really go toe-to-toe, performance-wise, with the best marine coolers out there.
So if you’ve been looking to upgrade your traditional ‘fishing’ cooler, or have been getting tired of hauling around a bulky monster, seriously consider some of these insulated fishing bags – if you’re a big-time fisherman and you get enough use out of them, they really are a decent investment.
Last update on 2021-10-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
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