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How To Keep Fish Alive In the Heat

Keeping Your Fish Alive in the Heat


There is probably nothing that bothers me more about summer time tournaments than to go by the weigh[in and find fish that have not survived the long day in a fisherman's live well. I always shake my head and wonder what could have been done to prevent the large numbers of dead bass at the tournament.

Three Things To Keep Fish Alive

    First of all I must lay blame where it belongs and that is two areas:

  • One, the tournament director should have changed to a three fish weigh in

  • Two, he should have made all entry boaters produce a working live well.

  • Third, the angler should have taken better care of the fish.

I personally believe taking care of the fish is not that difficult. It just takes patience, ice and live well additives. I believe that every angler has the responsibility to keep his fish alive. In the heat of the summer they should make sure they have several bags of ice to use during the day to add to the live wells. Ice will not only cool the water but it slows down the metabolism of the bass and allows the bass to not need as much oxygen as they do in hot water.

An angler needs to add ice consistently to the live well so the water temperature stays below 65 degrees. Bring a temperature gauge and keep it in the live wells and check it every 30 minutes. Next keep your aerator on at all times. Most boats have 2 settings on their aerator system, a constant on and a timed system. If the water is moving it generally creates enough oxygen to keep the fish from dying.

You don't have to continually change the water over if you just keep it moving. This will allow the water to stay cooler with ice. Also, keep a live well additive in the tank.

I also see many anglers keep all keeper size fish until its time to weigh in. While there partner is getting the trailer the boater is culling the fish. As you would expect, several are dead before they get to the weigh in.

You need to cull your small fish immediately upon catching them, jamming the live wells full is the worst thing you can do to keep fish alive in the heat.

Be an angler who cares, make smart decisions to keep your fish alive and keep our lakes productive tournament lakes.

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