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Author Topic: Livewell tips for smallies  (Read 3275 times)

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StarBoard7

Livewell tips for smallies
« on: July 24, 2012, 11:14:27 AM »

Hello all,

I am looking for a few tips on how to keep summertime lake Erie / lsc smallies in good shape in the Livewell during a full tourney day.
My livewells have the option of empty/recirc/auto.
I usually turn the nibs to auto under the gear shifter and then at the dash I also push the buttons to auto and then set the timer in between min and max.
I also add catch and release additive as well as adding ice periodically.
I really haven't had any problems until as of late.
I guess my questions would be one is there a time when I should be using the recirculate option and 2 I believe if I flip the buttons to Manuel the wells will always be on should I do this?
I also have another button at the dash for bubbles should I leave this on all day?

Thanks for any tips guys.
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Team houston

Re: Livewell tips for smallies
« Reply #1 on: July 25, 2012, 06:55:12 AM »

If you dont cool the water down with ice and use recirculate you are just pumping in warm surface water.
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Dan

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"Not in the clamor of the crowded streets nor in the shouts and plaudits of the throng, but within oneself lies victory or defeat."

blakstr1

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Re: Livewell tips for smallies
« Reply #3 on: July 25, 2012, 02:48:48 PM »

i installed an Oxygenator, amazing how the bass react to it.  While in the livewell they are always nosed right to the device sucking in the bubbles!  ;D 

also read that if you add hydrogen peroxide (H202) to your livewell (about 5 oz per full livewell) and it is like oxygen loading....you end up with an oxygen build up in your well of course if you recirc then you would have to add more.  never tried it Oxygenator works better IMO

djkimmel

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Re: Livewell tips for smallies
« Reply #4 on: July 28, 2012, 06:08:21 PM »

If you dont cool the water down with ice and use recirculate you are just pumping in warm surface water.

On my Ranger, recirc closes the valve to the lake and just recirculates the water already in the livewells.
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Help stop invasive spcies. Don't move fish between unconnected bodies of water. Clean, drain and dry your boat before launching on another water body.
Unless clearly stated as such, opinions expressed by Dan Kimmel on this forum are not the opinions or policies of The Bass Federation of Michigan.

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Re: Livewell tips for smallies
« Reply #5 on: July 28, 2012, 06:24:27 PM »

Anything above the mid to high 70's in surface temp usually got me turning the pumps onto manual for tournaments, especially if I caught some keepers early. I rarely used ice. It takes a lot of ice to do a good job and fast water temperature changes of 10 degrees or more can also kill bass at times.

You can fill from the coolest water you find and then recirc with some ice and the CORRECT amount of Catch and Release or Please Release Me but studies have shown that bass in a livewell longer than 6 hours have a much lower survival rate. You really should change your water out somehow somewhere in a manner that won't shock the bass (big water temp difference or other possible water quality changes).

My practice was to always keep my great big Ranger livewells full of fresh water and occasionally add a small capful of one of the above chemicals. If I was leaving cooler water to enter much warmer water and/or water that was remarkably different (example: Lake St. Clair back into the Metro Beach launch with a livewell full of big smallies [hopefully ;D]) I closed the wells off by putting the valve on recirc out in the lake, adding chemicals and capping off my outflow with a couple pill bottle caps. I always did this for long runs. Especially in rough water. I'd rather have a wet back deck than dead bass. I stopped several times on the way in and checked, adding more lake water if necessary.

Since my boat is a 1993, I didn't have some of the fancier, new systems so I added my own 3-way valves to get recirc and also added a bubbler designed at the time for livewells, using the smallest pored stones because the bubbles only work if the oxygen from them can be absorbed into the water. If they all bubble up to the surface fast without any absorption, it's just another 'make the angler feel good but do nothing for the fish' action. If I fished tournaments now, I would probably look at some type of oxygen adding system, putting in the one that best appears to actually add oxygen molecules into the water that fish can actually breathe.

On inland lakes with the heat we've had this year, if I was fishing tournaments I might start going the ice route but only with a small amount of chemical too and making sure I did not shock the bass by too drastic a water temp change.

Over the years, I often got compliments from tournament directors about the health and vigor of my weighed in bass. I really believe we should do as much as possible to let the bass go as close to the shape we caught them in, or not fish bass tournaments. Too much at stake. Especially in some of the Northern, 'not bass tournament-friendly states.'
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Help stop invasive spcies. Don't move fish between unconnected bodies of water. Clean, drain and dry your boat before launching on another water body.
Unless clearly stated as such, opinions expressed by Dan Kimmel on this forum are not the opinions or policies of The Bass Federation of Michigan.
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