Caring for Your Catch Fish Care Guidelines for Tournament Anglers
Keeping fish healthy in the
livewell is important for tournament anglers and those not practicing catch and
release. Several things can be done to help your fish remain healthy. Tournament
organization has some hints they recommend to their anglers. They will work for
Operation Bass is extremely vigilant when it comes to
protecting the very resource that our business is built upon, namely bass. All
of our tournaments are, of course, catch-and-release. As a company, Operation
Bass maintains a 98 percent live-release rate.
There are two sides of the coin when it comes to keeping fish
healthy in a tournament. All of the procedures centering around the weigh-in are
important. However, the bass spend a much greater amount of time in the
Livewells of anglers than they do during a weigh-in. So, we're providing this
comprehensive list of steps you can take to keep your catch alive and healthy.
your livewell early in the day. Fill your livewell at
your first stop. It will be cooler and better aerated than later on. Use water
from open lake areas with good water quality.
Turn on the recirculating aerator immediately. Set
your aerator switch to manual (continuous operation). Run the aerator all day.
If your pump only runs on a timer, run it as frequently as possible.
Land fish quickly and handle them as little as possible. Grasp fish by the lower jaw and hold them vertically. Bend the jaw
as little as possible. Wet your hands before touching fish. Support large fish
with a wet hand under the belly. Use soft, knotless nylon or rubber landing
nets. Don't allow fish to touch boat carpet When deep hooks cannot be removed,
cut line five or six inches above the hook Don't keep fish out of water longer
than you can hold your breath.
Use ice to cool water and slow your fish’s' metabolisms One
eight pound block of ice (one gallon plastic jug) cools water in a 30-gallon
live well about 10 degrees for three hours. Block ice melts more slowly.
Add one-third cup of non-iodized salt per five gallons. It
helps maintain electrolyte balance and reduces the effects of stress. Use 'Live
N Well' or 'Catch & Release' products to maintain metabolism.
* Reprint From Kansas Angler 1999