Home Fishing How to Use a Fish Stringer to Keep Your Fish Fresh

How to Use a Fish Stringer to Keep Your Fish Fresh

If you’re planning to keep the fish you catch, learning how to use a fish stringer is a must.

If you don’t have the luxury of fishing off of a boat with a live well, then a fish stringer is going to be your best bet at keeping a fish fresh while you’re fishing.

How to use a fish stringer

There are a few different styles of stringers, and each one is used a bit differently. The most popular one by far is just your standard poly rope stringer, but a lot of anglers love the chain stringer.

Click here to read about the Best Fishing Line for Trout

The one you choose to go with is not only going to depend on your tastes, but also on the kind of fish you’re catching.

Rope fish stringer

Rope stringers are both versatile and easy to use. The old school method is to run the string through the gills of the fish and out its mouth. This, however, can easily kill the fish because its gills are so sensitive.

If you want to keep the fish alive longer, then the best way to use a rope stringer is to pierce a hole through the bottom of the fish's mouth to run the stinger through. This may sound like it would do more damage, but it will allow the fish to live longer on the stringer.

A new type of rope stringer uses a rubber string instead of the traditional nylon rope. Not only are these easier to slide through and softer on the fish’s gills, but are also easier to clean and will last longer. If you choose to go with a rope stringer, I highly recommend you upgrade to a rubber line.

Chain Stringer

Chain stringers use clips on a rope to hold the fish.To use one, run the clip through the bottom lip of the fish and lock the clip in place. Make sure you lock them in place, but even then chain stringers have a nasty habit of letting fish off the hook.

If your chain stringer has high-quality locks, this won’t be an issue, but if you plan on buying a cheap clip stringer, you’re better off not using one at all.

Plenty of options

Rope stingers and chain stringers are just a few of the many styles out there. This video shows a few different styles and goes over how to use them.

How to make a fish stringer

If you want to to make your own stringer, you just need to make a run to your local hardware store or even Walmart and pick up a roll of either thin nylon rope or rubber string if they have it. If you’re using nylon, then be sure to burn the cutoff ends, so they don’t fray. But other than that, tie a nail to use as a guide when feeding the stringer through the fish’s gills and you’ve got a homemade stringer. Nothing fancy, but it works great.

Make sure the stinger is long enough

You need to figure out a good length for your stringer if you’re out on a boat. You want the fish to be able to have enough room to swim out away, but if it’s too long, the stringer can get caught in your rudder or your drive.

Bring a cooler instead of a stringer

While the need to keep your fish as fresh as possible is understandable, a stringer isn’t the fairest option to the fish. Keeping the fish tied up puts a lot of stress on the fish. If you don’t have the option of a live well or a net live well, you can opt to bring a cooler with ice.

Instead of trying to keep the fish alive as long as possible, kill the fish as quick as possible and throw itin the ice. This is the best way to keep your fish fresh, but most anglers opt for the conveniences of astringer.

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