I have been fishing Charlotte Harbor and the surrounding backwaters for 5 years from a boat and a kayak. When kayak fishing I always put my fish on a stringer and tied it on my side handle. There are two reasons I don’t put my fish on a stringer anymore.
The first reason is that it can be dangerous. Do you know that big sharks can swim in 4 foot of water? I found this out first hand about a month ago while fishing in Gasparilla Sound. I was using a live shrimp under a popping cork when I hooked into a Ladyfish. After the fish made one jump a shark attacked my fish and swam off until my line broke. It looked like someone threw a hand grenade in the water when the shark grapped my fish.
I looked around and saw a fin about 40 yards away from my kayak and a few minutes later I saw an 8 foot Bull Shark swim right next to my kayak. It was too close of an encounter for me, so I paddled to another area to fish. This incident made me think, what if I had a stringer of fish hanging off the side of my kayak when that shark swam by my kayak. He could have grapped my stringer of fish and flipped me over sideways and pulled me around for awhile. After that day, I decided to put my fish in an insulated bag with ice.
The second reason for not using a stringer is that in the summer time the water is warm and the fish don’t stay alive very long and their flesh gets soft. It’s safer and the fish stay fresher if you put them on ice instead of a stringer.
Here is a picture of a bull shark from National Geographic.