It's officially summertime, and that means a lot of different things to tournament anglers. While most everyone thinks constantly about innovative ways to keep themselves cool and comfortable throughout a scorching day on the water, many anglers don't give the same amount of thought into how to keep their days catch comfortable and - most importantly - alive in captivity. At T-H Marine, we care not just about anglers cashing in on a big fish, but we also care about conserving our fisheries - Fish Care 101 if you will - so that generations to come can enjoy them like we do today. With that in mind, let's look at a couple of tournament-tested methods of keeping fish alive on a hot day in the live well.
The Ice Method
A popular and cheap method of keeping fish comfortable and alive is by dumping ice into the live well to cool down the water. This is good in theory, but getting just the right mix of ice and warm water is more difficult than it seems. Often times, if the water is too cold, it shocks the fish when it is put in killing it instantly. Even if the fish is coming from deep and is used to cooler water than is on the surface, a sudden change in temperature almost always will affect the fish in a negative way. On a very hot day, it is almost close to impossible to even keep ice in the boat, as anyone who fishes south of the Mason-Dixon line can tell you without hesitation.
Aeration and Recirculating Water
If you're just using these two techniques during the hot summer months, chances are you lose fish on a regular basis and aren't sure what else you can do. While these methods do help some, there is a great deal of equipment that has been tested and sold in the past twenty years that is proven to drastically increase the survival rate of fish in the live well. Find out more about these products here and below.
The OXYGENATOR™ is designed to manufacture 100% pure oxygen without using dangerous tanks in the boat. The OXYGENATOR™ works by scientifically splitting the water molecule (H2O) into its separate elements; Hydrogen and Oxygen. The Hydrogen bubble rises to the surface and escapes back into the atmosphere, while the 100% pure microscopic Oxygen bubble can’t break the surface of the water and escape, thus quickly dissolving in the water and increasing the Oxygen level in the water. These claims are all backed by independently conducted scientific research.The top level pros for the most part, won't fish a tournament without an OXYGENATOR™ in their boat, simply because they know they have a better chance of bringing all of their fish to the stage with them that day.
G-Juice Powered By U2 Pro Formula
The U2 formula was developed from over 15 years of research, spent in the bait fish, fish transporting and sport fishing industries. U2 is not only a convenient liquid, but a single phase full functional water conditioner for use in fresh water and salt water. U2 should be used when conditioning water entering the live well, bait tanks, minnow buckets and in fish transport situations. In 2013 T-H Marine purchased O2 Marine Technologies and renamed U2 Pro Formula as G-Juice Powered by U2 Pro Formula. G-Juice's benefits greatly outweigh those of similar products that make the same claim to keep fish alive longer. G-Juice adds essential electrolytes , replaces skin slime and helps stop bleeding. It also removes nitrates, ammonia, chlorine and heavy metals from the water, greatly improving the chances of fish survival.
Of course there are other methods out there, but these have proven to be the most popular and the most proven ways to keep fish from going belly-up at the worst time. Next time you're out in a tournament, don't let yourself be the one who walks up on stage with a bag of dead fish. There isn't a much worse feeling on this planet.