Fishing Coolers & Insulated Fish Bags

It is almost that time of year again where you pull out your camping gear and fishing rods. Or if you’re like us, it is always that time of year. Many, when considering a fishing cooler, immediately jump to a marine cooler. This is not always the best option, especially for those that like to kayak fish or fish from land. Insulated fish bags are more portable than standard hard sided coolers making them more applicable for many fishing situations.

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Silver H
Pelican 35Q





Cost: $$
Cost: $$$
Cost: $$$$
Cost: $$$$
Size: 40" X 16"
Size: Various
Size: Various
Size: 35 Q
Rating: 4.1
Rating: 4.2
Rating: 4.3
Rating: 4.5

What Makes a Good Fishing Cooler?

The answer to this question could be as broad as the best coolers available that all claim to be good hunting, camping coolers and fishing coolers. It depends on what your personal needs may be. Some people want for their fishing coolers to be lightweight first and foremost, while others prefer that they can hold ice in extremely hot conditions. Some people want a drain plug that is easy to use and will not soak the bed of their truck and still others simply want to keep their fish cold.

In other cases, people choose to skip the cooler and choose instead to have an insulated fish bag. These bags are lightweight, can hold ice all day, and keep your fish fresh. They are typically easy to wash, UV resistant, and easy to fold up and store.

Which Is Best for You?

Most coolers are bulky if you want them large enough to hold a bunch of fish. They are most often made with hard plastics and on average 2” of insulation, and many times are roto molded. This can make larger coolers heavy to carry without a friend to help, especially when loaded down with enough ice as well as fish. A fish bag is typically made of a special type of foam and nylon webbing. They are able to keep fish fresh while maintaining the ability to be very portable. With all of that being said, perhaps the best way to know the answer to which is best for you, may be to simply consider the pros and cons of choosing which is best, Fishing Coolers or Insulated Fish Bags?

Pros and Cons of a Fishing Cooler

Coolers are the traditional way to keep foods fresh and drinks cold while hunting, fishing, or camping out. Here are the pros and cons of even the best hunting and fishing coolers available.


  • Variety of sizes available
  • Can keep fish cold
  • Versatile depending on your needs


  • Bulky
  • Heavy when loaded

Pros and Cons of Fish Bags

Fishing bags are able to keep up with a cooler in most ways. However, they are not right for everyone.


  • Easy to store
  • Lightweight
  • Holds even larger fish
  • Keeps fish cold and fresh
  • Allows you to keep fish and beverages separated, without 2 coolers


  • Small bags are unable to hold larger fish so best to start with a large bag or have 2.

In some cases, people tend to use both types of cooler on their fishing trips. Perhaps using both should be a consideration for you as well. Here are a few product reviews for you to consider.

Fishing Bag Reviews

 Silver Horde Katchkooler II Bag

Silver Horde Fish BagThe Katchkooler II is a bag that is designed for easy fishing trips. It measures 40”x 16”, has a full length YKK zipper with large zipper pulls, twill handles that are reinforced with tubing to make it comfortable to hold, easy to store, and easy to clean. It features high density close cell foam as the insulation and it is surrounded by waterproof fabric. With it, you will never have to worry about your fish losing flavor or weight. Read Owner Reviews⇒

Canyon Insulated Fish Cooler Bags

Canyon Fish Bag This cooler is available in a large variety of sizes, each one guaranteed to provide heavy duty use. This is because they are constructed with a fiber reinforced skin and a double layer of one inch insulation. Each bag comes with a lifetime warranty. It has heavy duty handles for easy carrying, will not leak regardless of whether you are storing bait or the biggest catch of the day. More On Canyon Bags⇒

Boone Monster Fish Bags

The Boone Bags are ideal for tournament fishermen because they promise to keep fish cold enough to avoid shrinking. They are UV resistant, offer a double sided zipper, and 100% washable. They are made with a hook ‘n’ loop strap, heavy duty handles and thick closed cell foam to make them the perfect solution for anyone who is looking for a fishing bag that can hold all their fish. Boone Owner Reviews⇒Boone Monster Fish Bag

If you are still unsure about the fishing bags, perhaps you would be better suited to a more traditional heavy duty cooler. One, such as the:

Pelican ProGear 35Q-MC Elite Cooler W/ Hard Holds

This cooler offers extreme water tightness thanks to its freezer grade gasket which keeps the Polyethylene Plastic lid tight against the basket. It is made to keep things cold, even during extreme heat thanks to the 2” thick Polyethylene Insulation. The lock hasp is molded in and it uses only non-corrosive stainless steel hardware. It weighs in at 35.7 pounds and its dimensions are 27.4 x 20.2 x 19.5 inches. Read Our Full Pelican ProGear Review Here⇒

Pelican Fishing Cooler


Final Thoughts

If one of these coolers do not seem to meet with your specific fishing needs, perhaps you may also consider other standard coolers. Some of the most popular names in Fishing Coolers & Insulated Fish Bags include Yeti Coolers, Grizzly Coolers, Igloo, and a variety of other name brands that have all proven to be able to withstand the test of time. The first thing you must do though, is decide what it is you are looking for in a cooler or fishing bag portability or ice longevity.