When fishing, you’re going to need a cooler in order to keep your fish fresh before preparing to cook and eat them. You may also want to keep some room in the cooler for some nice, cool beverages.
In this article, we’re going to be looking at what size cooler you need. And, we’ll also cover some of your most frequently asked questions on the subject along the way.
Before we even get started on what cooler capacity you need for your catches, there are a few other questions we need to answer first.
Do I Need To Use The Best Size Of Cooler For Bait
It may interest you to know that certain fish food, such as clams, shrimp, and mussels, require live bait aerated coolers in order to stay alive before they are bit by your fish.
This is important for this bait because they are very sensitive to atmospheric change, and as such they not only require a cooler, but you also need a pump aerator for the cooler, too.
Many if not most fishers don’t tend to use this type of bait however, mainly down to the inconvenience of having to buy a special aerated cooler
How Many Coolers Do I Need?
And this leads to the question whether one cooler is enough. But that’s down to personal choice, and to how successful you expect to be with your fishing. There is a case for investing in two or more coolers, but this can present a real challenge when it comes to transporting said coolers.
The right answer here is to buy as many coolers as you can manage. That way, if you do manage to bag a big haul, then you get to retain as many of your catches as possible without having to throw any back into the water.
What Size Fish Can I Expect To Catch?
The biggest factor determining what size cooler you need is the size of the fish you expect to catch.
If you plan to target large species like salmon, trout, and bass, then you will need a bigger cooler than if you were targeting small species like perch, pike, and carp.
If you’re planning on catching smaller fish, then you could probably go with something a little smaller.
So, What Size Cooler Should You Buy?
Well, this depends entirely on what kind of fish you’re after. So, let’s take a look at some popular species and see which size cooler would best suit their needs.
Salmon generally weigh between 3 and 10 pounds, so you might consider buying a cooler that holds up to around 20 gallons. This gives you plenty of space to store all your fish, plus you have room for ice packs and perhaps a couple of bottles of beer.
Trout typically weigh between 1 and 5 pounds, so you could go for a cooler that holds up around 15 gallons. This gives you just about enough room for everything you need, including ice packs and possibly a bottle of lager.
Bass usually weigh between 2 and 8 pounds, so you’d want a cooler that holds somewhere around 25 gallons. This allows you to keep all your fish safe, plus you have room to stash a few beers.
Carp typically weigh between 2 and 8 pounds, so you could choose from a range of coolers that hold up to 30 gallons. This allows you to fit lots of fish in the cooler, and still leave room for ice packs and maybe a couple of cans of cider.
Pike often weigh between 4 and 6 pounds, so you could opt for a cooler that holds 35 gallons. This gives you enough room for all your gear, plus there’s plenty of room for ice packs and even a few bottles or cans of soda.
Perch frequently weighs between 0.5 and 1 pound, so you could go with a cooler that holds around 7 gallons.
This gives you room for all your equipment, plus you’ll have plenty of room for ice bags and potentially room for a cool beverage as well.
What About The Weight Of The Cooler?
If you’re doing your fishing at a lake or at the side of a river, then you don’t have to worry too much about the weight of the cooler you buy.
However, if you intend to do your fishing on a fishing kayak of some description, then you will also need to ensure that when you add the weight of the cooler.
When it’s full of caught fish, it does not lead you to exceed the maximum weight capacity of the kayak. Since this could cause the kayak to topple over.
Shopping For A Cooler
If you’re shopping for your cooler in a store, you can actually see the size of the cooler in front of you, which makes it so much easier to gauge whether it’s the right size for your catches. And you can pick it up to feel the weight.
But when you shop online, you only get a photo and a product description. So if you’re shopping online, be sure to read the specs, including dimensions and weight, so you can decide whether it meets your needs.
So, we’ve given you plenty of food for thought, so you can have fresh food later.
It’s pretty easy to choose what size cooler you need when you know what species you aim to catch, but I guess if you like to explore different areas, you don’t truly know beforehand what species you might find there.
I guess the best option is to go for one that’s as large as possible, unless it’s so large that it becomes too inconvenient to transport.
And, for some great tips on how best to use a cooler on your fishing trip, check out this cool YouTube video.
With the right cooler at hand, not only will you have somewhere to store all your catches until you get back home, or back to camp, but you can also stay hydrated too.