How to Have a Cooler Livewell and Keep Tournament Fish Alive

How to Have a Cooler Livewell and Keep Tournament Fish Alive

June 25, 2019

Dead fish can cost you when it comes to payout potential and they definitely are a loss for the fishery from which they came. However, everyone wins when you keep tournament fish alive during summer heat. Be sure to check out the video and tips listed below so you can have a cooler livewell and healthier fish that go back to grow and bite another day.

6 Steps to Keep Tournament Fish Alive

Conservation matters and your tournament success does, too. Between tips to keep a cooler livewell and tips to reduce other stress on your fish, consider observing and sharing the best practices below. We hope you'll find them easy to build into your approach and that you'll also see more tournament victories along the way.


1. When and How to Effectively Use Ice in Your Livewell

For a cooler livewell right from the start, get a bag of ice and let it sit in the livewell as you get started in the morning. This could be as you load up gear in your boat or as you travel from the gas station to the boat launch. This will help cool down the walls / solid surfaces. When you get ready to fill your livewell with water, put about half the ice in the livewell, then start filling the livewell. This will help start your fish at a cooler and happier temperature.

2. How and Why You Should Use Livewell Treatment

For best results, we always recommend using G-Juice Livewell Treatment and Fish Care Formula, but it is especially critical during the summer heat. 

Using the 1 ounce measuring chamber at the top of the G-Juice squeeze bottle, you can treat 60 gallons of water (likewise, half an ounce treats 30 gallons of water). Once you get the right amount ready to pour, just tip the bottle so the formula pours out and mixes in as you fill your livewell. 

Among its many benefits, you can trust G-Juice to be non-toxic, effective for removing harmful elements commonly found in water, and excellent for restoring the physical health of your fish. If you have it in your livewell ready for your first keepers, they will immediately get a much needed boost.

3. Provide More Oxygen to Keep Fish Healthy Throughout the Day

When it comes to oxygenating your water, there are a number of great options out there, including our Oxygenator and our Pro Air Systems. When you use one of these systems, you can be sure you are giving your fish additional, ongoing help with breathing easier. 

4. Why You Should Keep a Thick Towel On your Boat

This one may be the most unusual-sounding tip on the list, but it works. Keep a beach towel or bath towel on your boat, preferably one that is thicker and great at absorbing and retaining water. Submerge the towel in lake water and let it absorb. Wring it out a bit so it's not dripping wet, but make sure it retains enough water to stay wet and fairly heavy. After that, just lay it over top of the livewell hatch(es). This will easily help provide an additional layer of insulation so less heat from the sun transfers to the carpet, deck, and livewell compartment.

5. Reduce Stress on Fish with the Right Cull System

If you put less stress on the fish you catch, they'll stay healthier and more resistant to the factors that are out of your control. There's not much we can do about the stress of being caught and put in a livewell, but we can help reduce stress on the fish by improving its surroundings in the livewell and reducing physical harm or pressures put on the fish. 

We've mentioned several ways to improve the fish's surroundings in your livewell, but it's incredibly important to properly use a non-penetrating cull system  as a way to reduce stress on your fish. Keep this in mind and consider the G-Force Gen 2 Conservation Cull System. It gives you the grip you need on the fish's lip without tearing up its jaw. It also provides options for keeping the fish at the bottom of the livewell and color-coded lines with detachable buoys so you can easily distinguish fish for culling time along with the choice to use the buoys or not.

6. Stop Fish from Going Belly-Up - Fix Swim Bladder Issues

With Cull Weights that easily attach to the G-Force Gen 2 Conservation Cull System, you can help fish keep their gills submerged in your livewell and help them get back to the right balance in their swim bladder. You might not even need to fizz them, and that means spending less time giving first aid to a fish and less potential for injury to the fish, too.

Share Your Livewell Setup and Tips

Do you have a great livewell setup? Do you have more tips to share so we can work as a community to keep tournament fish alive? We'd love to keep the conservation conversation going, so let us know!

Feel free to comment below, message us on social media, and share pics, too. With the right conservation products and shared knowledge, the future of fishing can continue to look even brighter.