Oxygenated livewells are used to transport saltwater fish in fishing tournaments and supercharged live bait fish every summer. Livewell oxygen injection systems ensure safe livewell oxygenation all day for live bait fish, tournament redfish, speckled trout, bonefish snook and other species.
Live high quality baitfish is the choice of all tournament fishermen offshore, near shore, bays and estuaries. Live bait supercharged with oxygen is the bait of choice. Mother Nature, a fresh caught baitfish and all the livewell pumps in the world cannot supercharge a live baitfish.
WHY? Only a fisherman administering pure compressed oxygen into his livewell water can supercharge a live baitfish.
Catch and Release tournaments generate and reinforce a positive public relation image for tournament sponsors, competitive angling and tournament directors. Not all saltwater tournaments practice catch and release. Many are catch, kill and fish fry tournaments.
Keeping a live saltwater tournament fish healthy all day in your livewell to weigh-in ensures you the competitive weight edge in any saltwater fishing tournament fishing whether you’re fishing a Catch and Release tournament or a Catch and Kill tournament. Live fish always weigh more than dead iced down fish at the end of the day. An ounce or so can make the difference between winning or losing fishing tournaments.
Keep a live fish: Why? Because tournament fish weigh more alive than dead. From the moment of death, dehydration and water weight loss begins immediately. Most importantly, the catch is worth more money alive than dead. The competitive edge is important when you’re tournament fishing for money and that weight edge is lost when your fish dies.
Dead fish on ice begin to dehydrate (loose water weight) immediately after death. Total body weight falls, the fish shrinks in length. The longer the fish has been dead, the more total body weight it loses and the shorter it gets. Lost body weight can mean lost tournaments.
Weighing-in dead tournament fish can be more expensive than the cost and efforts to keep it alive. Without the competitive edge, chances of winning become less favorable as more body weight is lost hour after hour in the ice chest. The primary effect of weighing in dead dehydrated fish may negatively affect your odds of winning. Every ounce counts when you’re fishing competitively.
Releasing the catch alive to fight in next week’s tournament has gained conservation fame, impressing sponsors and prestige due to Ray Scott’s innovative C&R marketing strategies with B.A.S.S. years ago. Some say, Mr. Scott originated the concept of catch and live release tournament fishing in the world of tournament bass fishing. Whether for conservation or improving a more acceptable tournament marketing image, this marketing technique is proven to be very effective creating a positive public image. Only in the last few years has the saltwater tournament fishing industry paid attention to this type marketing.
Scott advanced the evolution of tournament fish care in the early 1970’s; fish stringers were replaced with boat livewells. Live fish began to show up at weigh-in and released alive after the tournament back into the wild, people saw live fish wiggle, swim away into the abyss and that created great tournament PR. Tournament fish care is dynamic and continues evolving to date for freshwater and now, also for saltwater tournament fishing.
The catch and release marketing concept tremendously impacted the public’s image of competitive bass tournament fishing and quickly advanced to other freshwater tournament fishing circuits. Catch and release, practiced by tournament anglers and directed by tournament officials, is perceived by the public and outdoors’ writers as actively practicing wildlife conservation only when it works. When C&R doesn’t work, the media writes about tournament delayed mortality and tournament fish kills. The perceived public image of fishing tournaments in America is as important these days as conservation of natural resources. In recent years, the evolution of tournament fish care has made tremendous advancements due to new state of the art livewell technology and the efforts of numerous fishery research scientists.
Several innovative coastal saltwater tournament circuits have incorporated C&R rules. Some saltwater tournaments motivate contestants with positive incentives, FREE ADDITIONAL BOUNUS WEIGHT for each live fish weighed-in. These novel saltwater tournament C&R rules encourage and reward competitive anglers who make an extra effort to keep their catch alive with positive incentives. Outdoor writers write about the great job anglers and tournament officials have done releasing the catch alive and unharmed and proud sponsors are recognized for supporting wildlife conservation. Everyone wins when C&R is successful.
Many saltwater C&R tournament circuits reward tournament fishermen with bonus points or additional ½ pound added to the fish’s weight for doing a good job keeping the catch alive all day in the boat livewell. This reward concept is completely different than the “Dead Fish Penalty” commonly seen in bass tournaments and other freshwater fishing C&R tournaments that penalizes or punishes anglers by deducting weight or points when contestants fail to keep their catch alive during the all day transport in the boat livewell
Paradoxically and unfortunately, most dead fish penalties and punishment rules primarily apply to freshwater bass tournaments, crappie tournaments and walleye tournaments. These C&R rules, reinforced with strong negative incentives that can directly affect your winnings, punish contestants for weighing-in a dead fish by deducting weight or points from their catch, regardless of the angler’s efforts to keep his catch alive. Freshwater tournament anglers receive no free bonus weight or free bonus points for weighing-in live fish.
THE SAD PART OF THIS STORY: Boats that depend on aerated livewells to keep their catch alive and healthy 7-8 hours to weigh-in are severely compromised in summer tournaments because most aerated livewells fail to provide minimal safe oxygenation for all the catch.
Hot water=low livewell oxygen all day = dead tournament fish and lost tournament prizes in summer tournaments. Regardless of how you modify your aerated livewell, the poor summer result is the same every year and the only way livewell oxygen deprivation can be corrected is with oxygen supplementation.