Tested: PrecisionPak fish storage bags

THE best way to ensure any fish you keep remain in pristine condition is to get them on ice as soon as possible after capture. Most offshore anglers carry a decent sized icebox and a couple of bags of ice by which to make an ice slurry.

Fish that are bled and kept cold in a slurry taste far better than those left to slowly bake on the deck. The problem with iceboxes is they take up a lot of room in your boat. And you need a good big icebox if you’re targeting prime table fish like kings, snapper, jewies, tuna, dollies and mackerel.

An alternative to the traditional icebox is to use an insulated fish storage bag. These fold flat, can be stored easily when not in use and do a great job at keeping your fish cool. I’ve been using a PrecisionPak Fishing Storage Bag for the past several months.

This bag lives in the cabin of my boat and gets put into use when needed. It’s basically a zippered bag made of a neoprene like material in which you put your fish, either one biggish fish or several smaller models. A few handfuls of ice goes into separate internal pouches along the sides of the bag – this prevents meltwater from contaminating the fish – and then you zip it up and stow somewhere out of the way. Easy as!

I find the fish doesn’t get as cold in the bag as when submerged in a slurry but is certainly much better than leaving it on the deck. As an example, we caught a couple of 35kg bluefin during the winter season. One SBT went in the PrecisionPak bag with some ice, the other was half in and half out of an inadequate icebox. By the time we got back to the ramp, the fish in the bag was much colder and the flesh was in much better condition than the tuna in the box.

Once the fish is removed for filleting, it’s quick and easy to wash the blood and slime out of the bag. The internal lining is a smooth white plastic material which has proven very easy to clean. Hang the bag over the side of your boat to dry, zip it back up and it’s ready for action again. These bags are definitely the way to go, especially if a traditional icebox is too bulky and inconvenient in your boat. Highly recommended!

Queensland-based Wilson Fishing distributes PrecisionPak products.

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