OK I am sold or lets say hooked. I am getting a fishing Kayak after years of fishing off bank and bass boats. Now where do you store fish in a Kayak?
I have one of those collapsible metal mesh buckets with a trap door lid, I throw it over the side. When I’m ready to head back, I’ll either drag it along or put it in front of my feet. I don’t remember what they are called, but they look like a chain with lockable hooks on it, you could use one of those and tie it to a deck fitting.
Wherever you like
If your yak has a tank well, you can bring a cooler or put a bucket with some water back there for fish. If there aren’t a lot of turtles or gators, just hanging them off the side on a stringer works. The mesh cage works as well.
At least one kayak has a nice built in live well for your catch, but it’s a high end boat. I think it’s the Kaskazi Dorado. You just open a hatch and slide the fish down into the front of the kayak.
Catch and release
then fish another day.
clean as you catch
I mostly do catch-and-release, but when I’m keeping them, I have a simple cleaning apparatus that I put in my lap to clean them as soon as I catch them (or within 30 minutes if I’m on a hot spot and want to wear it out before stopping to clean - then I temporarily place them in a big bucket with fresh river water). When clean, I put them in a dedicated big plastic bag in the cooler.
I do it this way for several reasons. First and most important, I think fish taste better that way. Second, it avoids the dreaded mass cleaning task at the end of the day. Third, I think it’s more humane on the fish.
I carry a small hibachi and cook them…
…as I catch them. I keep the hibachi in the cockpit between my knees.
I hope you don’t have a plastic boat
or you might burn a hole in the bottom if you upset.
I take a small cooler fill it with ice and place it just below my knees. Pop em off and slide them in the cooler. Ice keeps them fresh cause I am usually out for 4-5 hours. I used a stringer, and pulled them along, but they died quickly. Cooler with ice works really well.
no fillet rules
Its always best to check your state Fish & Game rules that came with your license, or check online. Many states do not allow you to fillet fish on the water. Its an enforcement issue - since it is impossible to check if a fillet came from a legal length fish or a legal species in season.