Originally published by T-H Marine here.
Since the best tournament bass are the large and healthy ones, it’s important to remember how much we factor into them staying well for the weigh-in and ready for a live release. Especially since they can make or break your tournament standings, here’s where to start so your bass boat livewell is less like jail time and more like a fish spa.
Use a High Quality, Puncture-Free Cull System
As soon as you catch some fish that might be heading to weigh-in, you should be confident that your cull clips are going to cause as little stress on them as possible.
Whether those fish are clipped and resting in your livewell or hanging from a balance beam for culling, non-puncture cull clips help you hold tight to them without tearing up their jaw. And when you use the Conservation Cull System, you get that firm grip along with quality components and design.
Then, after the tournament is over, those fish can live to fight another day, spawn another season, and avoid the life-altering damage caused by some other cull systems.
Stop Fish From Going Belly-Up
There are several reasons why a fish might go belly-up, but usually it’s caused by an imbalance in their swim bladder. This can right itself over time, but it can be hard for the fish to recover once it turns over and gets knocked around in the confines of a livewell.
In addition to the livewell management techniques listed below, clip-on cull weights improve a fish’s chances of survival when they might otherwise go belly-up. Simply attach the cull weight to the fish’s cull clip ring, right at the lip, and give your fish a better chance to rebalance the air in its system.
Treat Your Livewell Water and Heal Your Fish
Not only will the right treatment formula help neutralize the impurities you may get in a bass boat livewell, it will also help fish heal from whatever they’ve endured in their environment or while they were hooked and handled.
Unlike lesser granules and formulas, G-Juice is designed to treat the water and the fish in a wide variety of ways. Among other benefits, G-Juice mixes easily, activates instantly, detoxifies water, stops fish from bleeding, and replaces a fish’s slime coat. With those qualities, it’s easy to see why so many anglers count on G-Juice to help them avoid dead fish penalties and conserve the fisheries where they compete.
Make it Easy to Breathe by Adding Oxygen
Bass can’t breathe without oxygen in the water and breathing gets even more difficult for them when livewell water isn’t refreshed, when it gets warm, and when fish have already processed the oxygen that was available to them. Adding fresh, cool water can definitely help, but it’s a game-changer when you can directly provide more oxygen for your bass to breathe.
Like the name suggests, T-H Marine’s Oxygenator adds oxygen to your bass boat livewell, and it does this automatically as soon as you fill it. Installation is easy, too, even when retrofitting an older livewell. Once you have it rigged, you’ll be injecting 100% pure oxygen into your livewell so you can decrease fish morbidity.