Big Cat CPR immediately or 15min livewell then release?

Discussion in 'Gateway Catfishing Club' started by Beckman, Jun 18, 2009.

  1. Beckman

    Beckman New Member

    Messages:
    148
    State:
    O'Fallon MO
    Been wondering what the best approach is with respect to the release of a big cat after a lengthy battle in strong current. :confused2: I have been in the practice of not releasing them right away after weighing and pictures. Instead, I put them in my 60 gallon livewell and allow them to revive themselves for 15minutes and then I release them back into the same area. You can usually tell when they are ready because they will splash and bang around on the aluminum quite a bit. Is this the best thing to do for the fish or should I just Catch, Photo & Release? What are your thoughts? :confused2: Hey Thanks in advance.:wink:
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Fishhead1

    Fishhead1 Member

    Messages:
    177
    State:
    Illinois
    Name:
    Eric
    In general it's handling stress more than lack of oxygen that is most damaging to fish. I'd think putting them in a foreign environment, with sprayers and walls to bang into isn't helping to reduce stress much. They start "thumping" in the tank when their oxygen is restored and they want to fight their way out of that stressful place. Then they get stressed and potentially beat up again getting from the livewell to the river afterward.

    Other things to keep in mind about livewells; the water is from the surface and therefore warmer than the deep water of the river, the boat and therefore water is sloshing around unlike the bottom of the river, livewells may or maynot be dark, fish may not be able to move freely and turn around in live wells, etc. All of these and more add stress to the fish and increase recovery times.

    If you take your pics and put the fish over the side holding them with their heads into the current, they'll kick out of your hands when their ready. They'll regain oxygen at the same rate they would in your tank but the toxins from stress will be much lower in their blood/tissue and they'll fully recover much quicker.
     

  3. TheMadCatter

    TheMadCatter New Member

    Messages:
    539
    State:
    missouri
    i agree 100%, besides that moving the fish from line, to net ,to well, to water can make them lose a lot of thier protective slime. which is also fairly stressful.

    also, thats a great fish in that pic man. nice catch!
     
  4. SkipEye

    SkipEye Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    7,525
    State:
    Winfield, MO
    Name:
    Darryl
    I had a 50+ one time that I just couldn't revive no matter how much I swished her in the current, it was hotter than 10 blazes of hell that day.

    I heard later that I should have put her in the livewell to recuperate. I would say if the fish seems sluggish and doesn't come around pretty quickly while cradled over the gunnel that the livewell would be a good thing to try so you can monitor their recovery.

    If the fish is rearing to go I'd of course say "Over the side she goes"!

    I don't really know though. I tried the burping thing too but not really sure when or why to do that either.

    Good Question! We all hope to do our best to ensure the fish swims off strongly.
     
  5. Fishhead1

    Fishhead1 Member

    Messages:
    177
    State:
    Illinois
    Name:
    Eric
    Good point, if they just don't seem to come around after a couple minutes over the side of the boat, then an extended livewell stay might help. In this situation the fish is more or less in shock, extreme exhaustion combined with extreme stress. The fish could come out of it or could have organ failure (much the same as a human going into shock). In those cases observe the fish in your tank, if the fish doesn't come around (belly up, unresponsive, very slow gilling) after a couple hours :sad2:, there's no use wasting it...fritters for everyone! :smile2:
     
  6. crazy

    crazy New Member

    Messages:
    2,090
    State:
    Kansas CIty, MO
    I see nothing wrong with doing it that way. I know after fishing many many of tournaments and keeping fish in my live well for hours on end. The fish ALWAYS come out of the live well in better shape then when they went in. For those that worry about slime coat's and stress on the fish they do sell additives for livewells that helps calm the fish down and replaces the slime coat.
     
  7. Bill in SC

    Bill in SC New Member

    Messages:
    4,451
    State:
    South Caro
    Interesting point. Before I read the first post in the thread, I was thinkin' sure, get 'em back in ASAP. After reading the thread, I can see how recovery might be better in the live well. I guess, as already posted, it would depend on the vigor of the fish, on a case to case basis. Reps out to ya for a thread that makes ya think.

    Bill in SC
     
  8. Beckman

    Beckman New Member

    Messages:
    148
    State:
    O'Fallon MO

    Thanks to everyone who replied on this thread. Yeah I have noticed that the fish are way better off if they are put into a sizeable livewell and rejuvinated 1st before being placed back into their environment especially if they just came out of strong current. If I just release them right away I don't see that they are able to stabilize quite as easily. Guess I'm doing the right thing afterall.
     
  9. Kutter

    Kutter New Member

    Messages:
    5,379
    State:
    Arnold, MO
    If your catching big fish, your already doing something right.:wink:
     
  10. russ

    russ New Member

    Messages:
    853
    State:
    dexter. mo
    if you bring them up out of deep water you need to burp them, if you put it back in the water without doing this the fish most likely will swim off and die . alot of the time they will do this on their own while fighting them, but to make sure just slide a pvc pipe down the throat untill the air comes out, alot of the time you can see their sides move in when the air comes out. even little fish that comes out of deep water needs burped. do not lift a big cat by the mouth, lift it by the belly, weigh them in your dip net not by the lip.dont spend to much time getting pics. something else that helps is to fill live well when you first go out and let the aerator run this way the water is charged up oxygen, all this will just help, if im tourney fishing, i bring frozen bottles of water with me, if its hot i put one bottle in the livewell just to cool the water down a little, and change it after it melts.
     
  11. Beckman

    Beckman New Member

    Messages:
    148
    State:
    O'Fallon MO

    Thanks for the advice Russ and well said. I appreciate your concern.:wink: