KatchKooler Deluxe - Silver Horde

KatchKooler Deluxe - Silver Horde


A common question between anglers fishing on the Great Lakes is, “How many do you have in the box.” The “box” is usually referring to a sturdy cooler dedicated to holding a couple bags of ice in the morning and hopefully gets stuffed to the point there are a few fish tails sticking out under the lid as the boat heads home at the end of the day.

My first “big lake” boat was a 16-footer and I grabbed one of the 48-quart “family picnic” coolers I owned and tossed it in for the boat’s maiden voyage. It did the job for a few trips when all my friends and I caught were coho salmon, but when that first king latched on to one of our lines and we wrestled it aboard, I learned immediately I needed a bigger box. That experience was one lesson, the next lesson was that a 100 qt. cooler is like having a 500-pound gorilla in the boat.

That didn’t change when I moved up to an 18-foot boat and eventually I learned a big cooler takes up a lot of space in a 21-footer. I’ve fished in dozens of bigger boats since then and have tripped over big ol’ fish boxes on the decks of 25- and 30-foot boats many times. Not always, mind you. A few captains have found locations somewhat out of the way, others use their fish-coolers as seats.

My 18-footer came with a built in livewell to store fish, but the designers must have been thinking perch or crap-pies. The livewell on my current 21-footer isn’t much bigger. It will barely hold a limit of Lake Erie walleyes or Lake Michigan cohos for four guys. It certainly won’t hold any fish much over 30 inches long. It made more sense as a tackle storage compartment and bringing the 500 pound gorilla to serve as the fish box.

Recently, I’ve been leaving the gorilla at home thanks to a fish storage option I first spotted on saltwater boats, called generically, “kill bags.” The first one’s I spotted were on boats fishing for wicked the Silver Horde’s KatchKooler (41”) which will hold limits of trout or chinooks along with plenty of ice (www.silverhorde.com).

The advantage of these bags is they are no where near the size of a 500 pound gorilla. When empty, they fold flat and are only a few inches wide. Almost any small boat has room to stuff one somewhere when it’s empty and even with a couple of bags of ice cubes or a few large, frozen soda bottles inside, they don’t demand much space. They only grow as fish are added. My KatchKooler swells up to nearly the size of my old Igloo when it’s at capacity; but realistically, most days it’s not tested that severely. No more “in the box” on my boat. Now, it’s “in the bag.”



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