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Curse of the Cooler

Mark Naumovitz is a graphic artist at Florida Sportsman magazine. Mark has been an avid kayak angler since growing up in Maine fishing for stripers, now having extended experience fishing the flats of Florida. Follow him as he shares his experiences, tips and tricks, and how-tos from the waters of paddle craft.


So do you take the cooler or egg crate when kayak fishing? I used to bring a cooler and leave it in the truck when I would kayak, just tying a stringer to the side. But whenever I brought that cooler, most of the time the stringer was empty when I left. I call it, the curse of the cooler.  When I leave the cooler home, I catch fish. When it comes with me, no fish. The fish, they know, I tell ya! (Some fellow anglers may have a similar problem called the “camera curse”…you get the idea.)

When kayaking, I would always strap in my egg crate, with rod holders attached, drink and snacks, and tackle. It’s a proven way to keep things organized and easy to transport. It was part of my routine, but it left little room for a cooler. But then I got the idea, “What if I take the cooler WITH ME (instead of the crate)?! Would that break the curse?!”

Coleman is a versatile cooler, at a reasonable cost, for kayak fishermen looking to keep fish for dinner.

The hard part was trying to find a cooler that would be easy to strap down to the ‘yak and easy to use for transporting fish from the hook to the back of the kayak. They make “kayak coolers” that strap to the bow, but at $50 plus I went for a more cost-effective option.

After searching and measuring, and searching some more, it turns out for my particular kayak, a Coleman cooler fits like a charm and easily bungees in place. I really like the idea of my fish icing, out of the water, and not using them for shark bait. I couldn’t imagine giving a free meal to a shark that I worked hard for, while receiving a “sleigh” ride away from my fishing spot.

All in all, the first trip out with the new cooler resulted in pompano and redfish, filling it up. Maybe the curse is broke?

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  • Paul

    Glad you finally have a blog! You are a great fisherman and kayak jockey!