Publications – Opinions – Jim Trice

Bonefish – The Oxygen Edge™ and  David Kinser was invited to participate in the 2004 Islamorada Spring All Tackle Bonefish Tournament for testing and evaluation by Jim Trice, President, Bonefish & Tarpon Unlimited.

Conservation Anglers in Action

By Jim Trice

“Oxygen kills bonefish”

— A myth, yet once the opinion of many highly respected guides and anglers —

The 2004 Islamorada Spring All Tackle Bonefish Tournament was the tournament that rewrote the book on how to ensure the best care for bonefish before and after weigh-in. In some ways in was a miracle event, because it dramatically accelerated many guide’s and angler’s learning curves.

Islamorada hosts six major men and women bonefish tournaments a year. To win, big bonefish must be caught and officially weighed at the dock. While the mortality rate is very low, one killed bonefish is too many, even if donated to research.

Many of the teams purposely fish near the weigh station so they can quickly escort 8 lb+ bonefish to the scales and release them.

However, being able to fish further distances (like Biscayne Bay), and keep two bonefish alive in a release well for extended periods is a distinct competitive advantage. Especially when there are point reductions and peer pressure for weighing in dead fish.

Even with a competitive advantage, along with a completely silent system to keep fish alive versus a noisy high volume water pump, only two teams used The Oxygen Edge™, in the Spring 2004 All Tackle Bonefish tournament.

The teams were Robert Collins guided by Capt. Rich Tudor, and myself guided by Capt. Dave Borras. I knew on the first day of the tournament that Robert and Rich had The Oxygen Edge™ on board. I watched them catch a large bonefish, place her in their release well, then head west instead of to the weigh station. They probably got an additional hour of fishing in that day by not having to immediately take time to weigh their bonefish.

The concept of using oxygen had been introduced and discussed at the tournament angler’s meeting in 2003, but as you would expect, there was resistance to a change that was not fully understood.

But in 2004, that resistance was crushed. On the second day of the tournament, Mark Cockerham, guided by Capt. Mark Gilman weighed in a 12 lb+ fish, and they thought they had released it alive and healthy.

Unfortunately, after they departed, the fish was seen floating. Jessie Wood, the assistant scorekeeper jumped in the water and swam the fish for over three hours, but it kept trying to roll over and sink.

I arrived at the dock shortly after lines were out and noticed she was trying to keep a dead bonefish alive. Jessie was shrunk up like a prune, yet reluctantly gave up on the fish when all of us at the dock said “Stop Jessie – it is hopeless!”

The fish was declared officially dead by the master scorekeeper and placed head first into a 5 gallon bucket, when Mark Cockerham arrived at the dock. He quickly grabbed the fish and jumped back into the water and tried to revive it. I said “Mark, it is dead, it was not your fault, it just happened.” About the same time Tudor and Collins arrived at the dock with a fish to weigh, and a release well that was supersaturated with Oxygen.

Cockerham yelled, “Tudor, let’s see if that Oxygen stuff you keep talking about really works.” The fish was placed in Tudor’s release well and within five minutes it was trying to swim. Fifteen minutes later, the fish was taken to Shell Key and darted away from the boat upon release.

Every team saw it and became believers that day. Because Mark Cockerham is one of the most respected bonefish anglers alive, word spread quickly to others in the Florida Keys.

Since that day, every Islamorada Bonefish Tournament provides a weigh-in holding tank that is driven by The Oxygen Edge™. To the best of my knowledge, only a few bonefish have expired since then, and they were dead before weigh-in by anglers using mechanical aeration systems.

During the 2006 Mercury Fall All Tackle Bonefish World Championships, every team but two were using the Oxygen Edge™. We have all learned how to use the system effectively, how to supersaturate our release well before placing a fish in it, and how much oxygen to administer based upon the weight of fish in our release well.

David Kinser, owner of The Oxygen Edge™ has been kind enough to donate two systems to BTU to assist with our research. I encourage you to check out his website at www.oxyedge-chum.com. There you will learn about the many benefits of using oxygen, to include keeping your live bait frisky longer.

Jim Trice is a Fortune 500 operations management consultant and President of BTU

 

Bonefish & Tarpon Unlimited

Electronic Newsletter

March 2007

“My experiences have made me a believer.” Jim Trice, President, BTU

It is our pleasure to work with the BTU staff with new live fish transport oxygen technologies that improve post release survival and health in captivity for these valuable gamefish.

We thank Jim Trice, President, for inviting us to work with BTU and for his permission to reprint these articles and share his exceptional experience using The Oxygen Edge™ over the last few years.

Bonefish and Tarpon Unlimited http://www.tarbone.org/

Jim Trice

President

Phone: 305-664-3864 (Home/Office)

mailto:trice_j@bellsouth.net

Aaron Adams, Ph.D.

Director of Operations and Research

P.O. Box 2197

Pineland, FL 33945

Phone: 239-283-1622

Fax: 239-283-2466

mailto:aadams@mote.org

Oxygen and Bonefish, By Jim Trice, President BTU

The 2004 Islamorada Spring All Tackle Bonefish Tournament opened my eyes to the benefits of oxygen added to live wells for holding bonefish prior to release. In some ways in was a miracle event, because it dramatically changed many guide’s and angler’s perspectives. Prior to the tournament, the conventional wisdom was that ‘oxygen added to live wells kills bonefish’. Based on the experiences of myself and others, improperly used (i.e., too much) oxygen can kill bonefish, but properly added oxygen increases their survival. I now use the Oxygen Edge system on my boat, but before I get to the specifics on that, back to the tournament.

Islamorada hosts six major bonefish tournaments a year that require bonefish to be officially weighed at the dock. While the mortality rate is very low, one killed bonefish is too many, even if donated to research, and there are point reductions for weighing dead fish. To reduce bonefish mortality, many anglers purposely fish near the weigh station so they can quickly escort 8 lb+ bonefish to the tournament weigh scales. However, being able to fish greater distances from the dock, and keep bonefish alive in the live-well, provides a distinct competitive advantage.

Despite the competitive advantage of a live-well oxygenation system, only two teams used The Oxygen Edge™ in the Spring 2004 All Tackle Bonefish tournament: Robert Collins guided by Capt. Rich Tudor, and myself guided by Capt. Dave Borras. I knew on the first day of the tournament that Robert and Rich had The Oxygen Edge™ on board. I watched them catch a large bonefish, place her in their release well, then head west instead of to the weigh station. They probably got an additional hour of fishing in that day by not having to immediately take time to weigh their bonefish.

One of the teams not using a live-well oxygenation system was Mark Cockerham, guided by Capt. Mark Gilman. On the second day of the tournament, they weighed in a 12 lb+ fish. They thought they had released the fish alive and healthy, but soon after they departed the dock the fish floated to the surface. Jessie Wood, the assistant tournament scorekeeper, jumped in the water and tried to revive the fish for over three hours. Each time she tried to release the large bonefish, it rolled belly up and sank. I arrived at the dock shortly after lines were out and noticed her valiant efforts. Even though her skin was pruned after so much time in the water, only reluctantly did she give up on the fish after all on the dock pleaded with her to give up.

The fish was declared officially dead by the master scorekeeper and placed head first into a 5 gallon bucket. When Mark Cockerham arrived at the dock moments later and saw his fish in the bucket, he grabbed the fish and jumped back into the water to try and revive it. About the same time Tudor and Collins arrived at the dock with a fish to weigh, and a release well that was supersaturated with Oxygen. Cockerham yelled, “Tudor, let’s see if that Oxygen stuff you keep talking about really works.” The fish was placed in Tudor’s release well and within five minutes it was trying to swim. Fifteen minutes later, the fish was taken to Shell Key and darted away from the boat upon release.

Every fishing team that saw this became believers in live-well oxygenation that day. And because Mark Cockerham is one of the most respected bonefish anglers alive, word spread quickly to others in the Florida Keys. Since that day, every Islamorada Bonefish Tournament provides a weigh-in holding tank that is driven by The Oxygen Edge™. To the best of my knowledge, only a few bonefish have expired since then, and they were dead before weigh-in by anglers using mechanical aeration systems.

My, how times have changed. All but two teams used Oxygen Edge™ system in the 2006 Mercury Fall All Tackle Bonefish World Championships. We have all learned how to use the system effectively, and how much oxygen to administer based upon the weight of fish in our release well.

David Kinser, owner of The Oxygen Edge™ has been kind enough to donate two systems to BTU to assist with our research. I encourage you to check out his website at www.oxyedge-chum.com . My experiences have made me a believer.

Maverick Mirage Dominates Keys Spring Fly Bonefish Invitational

Keys Spring Fly Invitational Results – Day 2 Sunday, April 22nd, 2007 at 9:31 AM, filed under Tips from Tim Mahaffey, Maverick Boats

“I’ve been asked by a couple of you how we keep a fish in the livewell all day and transport him back healthy from Biscayne Bay to Islamorada. I can tell you it is very simple – we use [Pure Compressed] Oxygen. The best system we have found for what we do is the Oxy Edge System (www.oxyedge-chum.com). After a day in the livewell on oxygen, bonefish are literally not controllable. We always joke that they look so healthy they seem to be tailing and feeding again in the well.”