Where to keep the fish in a small yak

I have a Stearns IK116 inflatable kayak which works great for me in the areas I fish. I love the boat, the only problem is that there is virtually no storage room other than a tiny bit between my legs.

I mostly fish for catfish and when they get mad they stick their dorsal and pectoral fins out which have a very sharp spine in them so I don’t want those between my legs.

I need some ideas on how I can store the fish without creating a lot of drag.

I’ve tried a basket bungied up front but it is too far to reach with a squirming fish in my hands.

So any ideas?

have you
checked out this thread?


you own a deflateable?
I’m sure you are fond of your boat but I’m going to recommend getting something not so fragile.tarpon 140 ,the ultimate as of now

Like I said, my boat is perfect for where I’m fishing. Also, I don’t have much money so this boat fits the bill perfectly for me.

I know there is a huge anti-inflatable bias on this board but I wanted something extremely portable, durable (which my boat is contrary to popular opinion), and inexpensive.

I did check on the thread the first reply suggested so thanks. I’ll check out those roll up cooler bags.

catch bags
I use a large nylon divers catch bag with the locking wire hoop opening and handle. They work well as a net and catch bag, tie it off alongside when sitting idle. Beware of gators, crocs and sharks.


Other thought…
bring some wire snips. Cut the fins off of those mean lil bastiches.

I thought every one cut off the fins of those

meanies. I learned that years ago. It makes it

alot easier getting them out of a live well in

a bass boat, and really makes it easy for a ice

chest between your legs!!

I use a Sampo nylon fish stringer, which I hang outside my OT 13.8. We don’t have gators in Northern California, but if we did I would be trolling for them instead (smile). Your right about putting a catfish between your legs, I don’t even like trying to get them out of catch and release trout net. I had an inflatable kyak, I could never get the insides to dry out. Good fishing

It’s very easy
when you catch a fish try releasing it . It won’t mess up your boat and you might catch it again later on.

I do alot of fishing ,lakes ,streams and surf,all my hooks are barbless for CATCH and RELEASE!


A place for fish
I have my rod holder mounted on the deck in front of me so I can paddle/troll and keep an eye on it. I use the rod holder, which sticks up vertically about 8 inches as a base to attach a small fanny pack with 2 water bottles and a creel to hold the fish. I have been using this system for over 10 years… on 3 different boats. Works perfect for me.

Try this
… I have a couple of Yaks. One is a very small Yak board, I use off the BEACH. Since I’ve had it, it’s been one of my favorite boats to fish from. At 8 feet in length space is limited. I have a small cooler strapped to the back but to get a hold of every fish, carefully side sadle the boat, unstrap the cooler, take the lid off, put the fish in, put lid back on, restrap the cooler and get back in place is a huge undertaking when you are catching fish (and the waves are big). So, I use a stringer to quickly subdue the fish when they are hitting, so I can stay in the action. Than once the bite dies down, or I decide to relocate I will take the time to get to the cooler and unload the stringer. Like you… I’d much rather have my fish on ice and the extra drag of the stringer is no good.

Fish storage
Suggest on a camera and return on another occassion to have another hook-up.


Place to put fish…

Check out an abalone float tube used by freedivers to put abs in while hunting for more. They always have a place to clip off to, and most importantly a single zipper on top. When diving or fishing I usually strap it to the deck somewhere to get where I’m going but I can’t imagine it causing a lot of drag just floating behind you. An additional benefit of the tube is that is sits in the water so your fish will still be able to breath. To float they use an inner tube, so for catfish you might want to consider replacing the tube with a high density foam or something similar so the spines aren’t an issue. And it won’t fit a really big fish but you can put a lot more in the tube than you might expect just looking at one.