I thought the following might be helpful to those of you in the process of setting up your yaks for fishing or otherwise.
1. If you purchase a new Hobie fishing kayak with the Sportsmanï¿½s Pack, you will receive a very nice Hobie logo, soft-sided cooler bag as part of the deal. It will carry more than enough sandwiches and drinks for a single trip. It does not take up a lot of space and is easy to stow, either strapped down, in a crate on deck, or under your deck bungees.
However, if you need a bit more cooler space (to store fish, for example), then you will probably want to consider a hard-sided cooler of some sort. A good one to begin with is the cooler that Hobie shows in their advertising brochures for the Outback. In fact, this same ice chest/cooler used to be the one that Hobie supplied in its Sportsman's Pack prior to the 2004 models. This hard-sided cooler is the Coleman 8 quart Personal Cooler, 10x12x9.5 inches. It drops nicely into the Outback (and others) tank well with room to spare.
Another one to consider that might fit your tank well based on its published dimensions (although I have not measured this personally), is the Coleman 16 quart Excursion Cooler.
2. View looking aft just behind the Outback seating area. Although there are a lot of ice chests out there, there are only a couple that fit in, or just above, the Outback tank well. One of these, widely available at Wal-Mart and K-Mart, is the Coleman 28 quart Ice Basket Chest Cooler with large handle, in either blue or red. It is too long to actually drop into the tank well proper, but rides nicely just above it, leaving about 3-4 inches of space beneath it for storing rain gear, line, tackle, or whatever. See next pic (#3) for info on the storage box pictured in the well beneath this ice chest.
3. I have found a couple of plastic storage boxes that nicely fit the tank well below the ice chest. If you arenï¿½t worried about waterproof storage, try the Flambeau Tuff Tainer, about 15"L x 9.5"W x 3" deep from Wal-Mart. It fits the tank well about as perfectly as any box you will find, but is NOT waterproof. This is the one shown in pic #2 above.
4. If you can get by with a slightly smaller ice chest, my favorite is the Igloo 25 quart marine cooler. It has all SS hardware plus a tie down loop on each end of the chest for attaching your small bungee cords. Although it is shorter than the Coleman 28 qt. above, it does not fit well inside the tank well, but rides very nicely on top of a storage box such as the Flambeau Tuff Tainer shown above, or the waterproof Plano box shown here, and in (5) below.
5. Since I like waterproof storage boxes with O-rings all around, I prefer the Plano #3741 Waterproof Utility Box (shown in the tank well in pic #4). These and related sizes can be found at Oshmans, Sports Authority, or West Marine, or from any of the big supply houses such as Cabelas. KFS carries a couple of the smaller sizes. Although the 3741 is a bit smaller than the Flambeau box above, it still can hold a lot of gear. I carry stuff such as larger tackle with bobbers, spare glasses, various small hand tools (such as pliers, screwdrivers, Vise grips, etc.), big Swiss Army knife, spare small bungees, spare gear leashes, extra carabiners and shackles, a small flashlight, spare cable ties, extra rubber bands, etc., etc.
6. Here is a really "cool" innovation that should appeal to yak-fishers, the Coleman Cooler Float. It can handle ice chests from 36-50 quarts for those of you that like to take a LOT of liquid refreshments on your trips (up to 100 pounds of ice and drinks!). It has a fixed loop on either end that serves as a leash/tether/tow line attachment point. This can be transported on deck with your cooler installed, and then dropped in the water to be pulled alongside for ease of access. Or, if you do not have far to travel, and/or don't mind the increased drag, it can simply be towed astern while underway. I have seen pics of yakkers using these, but have not tried it myself. However, I don't think I would try a surf launch with one of these babies in tow!