Basic Summertime Fish Care Tips

by Jake Freeman June 23, 2016

Basic Summertime Fish Care Tips

Basic Summertime Fish Care Tips

Today, we share some summer-time "Fish Care 101" tips to help you keep the fish you caught alive in your livewells.  During the hot summer at lake ramps across the country, there are deceased fish from tournaments and other events.  This not only makes the anglers look bad, but it hurts the fishery and the image of tournament fishing.  Some fish are going to die, that is inevitable.  However, procedures can be taken to increase the health of your fish before and after weigh-in.

There are several key things that you can do to decrease the mortality rate of your fish. Now, I am no biologist but rather a fisherman who wants to see the sport grow and fish survive to be caught another day.

  1. Post Spawn - The bigger fish have spawned out and are “healing” from the entire spawning ordeal.  The good news (for fishermen) is the fish are eating.  The bad news is that they aren’t 100% healthy, which makes them susceptible to other stressors.  Be sure to take extra care of fish that have just finished spawning.
  2. Heat -  Our livewells tend to heat up a bit as the day goes on, and the bass can’t take the increased heat.  Here are some remedies that may work for you.  Ice is always an option to help cool down the water.  Another option is fill your livewells from deeper water, as it is generally cooler.  You can also lay a towel across the top of your livewell doors to help block the sun and absorb some of the heat that your lids are normally taking.
  3. Deep Fish -  The bigger fish are going to be deep this time of year.  When they are brought to the surface, their swim bladder is inflated.  This causes the fish to not be able to right themselves when put back in the water (or livewells.)  This prevents them from exchanging oxygen correctly.   There are a couple of options to help ensure your fish have the highest chance of survival.  Weighted clips can be attached to their bottom fin to keep the fish upright, or the fish can be “fizzed".  The “fizz” process is invasive, so a lot of people opt for the weighting method.  For fizzing instructions, simply visit youtube and search “bass fizz”.  You can see many videos on that process.
  4. Additives - Ice is for sure a great way to cool down the temps, but there are products made by Fish Life and TH Marine designed to relax the fish, slow their metabolism, and help with any injuries the fish may have suffered.  You simply pour these products into your livewell.  I believe in these products and have friends that swear by them.

Remember, our fish are renewable resources, but we have to treat them as if they are not.  Take care of your five fish by three o'clock (5X3) to the best of your ability.

Thanks for reading,

5X3 Fishing Team


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Jake Freeman
Jake Freeman


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