Keeping Big Catfish Alive

Discussion in 'All Catfishing' started by miichael, Aug 27, 2006.

  1. miichael

    miichael New Member

    North Carolina
    How is the best way to keep big cats alive during tournaments? some people catch 5 cats around 30lb each. How would you keep 5 fish alive weighing 30lb each? No live well big enough to hold 5 30lb cats. I thought maybe hang them over the boat but wouldn't they be pulling the boat around? Wanting to start fishing a few local tournaments but need some info on keeping the fish healthy and alive so they can be released back into the water after the tournament.
  2. Arkansascatman777

    Arkansascatman777 New Member

    Michael, We were fortunate and had this problem in one tournament this year. The first fish of the morning was a 42 pounder and we were are not set up for big fish in the live well but we were able to keep this fish alive by putting it on a stringer pushed through the lower lip and keeping it in the water as much as possible( Make sure you do not stringer the fish through the gills). They make or you could probably build a large fish basket to keep the fish in and submerged in the water. Even better would be to have an airated tank of some sort on the boat if you have room. I don't remember what it is called but They also make a chemical that you can put in the tank that will turn the water blue that also helps keep the fish alive.

  3. Little Mac

    Little Mac Active Member

    NW Arkansa
    I've seen them use large tubs, like storage tubs from wally world and aerators, and have read where they have to change the water often. I would think it would take alot of room to have those extra tubs. I guess putten em on a stringer would work, but then how do you keep them alive going to the wiegh in? wet towels Maybe?
  4. mandingo

    mandingo Member

    check out catfish connection.they have a extra large 1'' nylon basket that holds up to 200 pounds of catfish.i was about to make one and figured all the material that it was gonna take to make it the way i wanted it was over 60 bucks.i ended up ordering the xl basket for 62 bucks including s&h and was really impressed with the durability and simplicity.its light and really heavy duty.i used it for the first time 2 weeks ago at a tourney and kept 20 fish alive all day.the less you have to pull the basket in and out of the water the better causes stress to the fish and with alot of weight in it,it might harm the fish on the bottom of the basket.i try to make my drifts as long as possible to avoid lifting that thing up and down so much.:0a26:
  5. blackhorse83

    blackhorse83 New Member

    In my boat I keep a 120 qt. cooler with a aireator in it, also I keep 2 large duck decoy bags. If it is really hot most tourneys will let you check in fish early if you are concerned about loosing them and then return to fishing.
  6. joesf

    joesf New Member

    Bloomington IL
    I had thought about this a lot and always wondered if we couldn't use a bigger version of what the Striper guys use. Which is basically large PVC pipes that hold one fish each and are each individually aerated. This also stands the fish on there head which may cause them to sleep or something which may reduce stress.
  7. Cattoo

    Cattoo New Member

    this is one of the reasons i do not agree with or will not participate in tournament fishing. there are various ways and methods to keep fish alive so they can be weighed in but nobody knows what the delayed mortality rate is on these fish once released. i ready a study once on bass tournaments that said as high as 70 percent of the bass released while fishing summer tourneys, when the water temp is high, died after they were released. thye may look fine when you release them but die later because of stress. now you take a big cat caught in the summer that was pulled out of deep cool water, that alone is enough to send a large fish into shock, let alone beat and bang him around in a livewell all day. fish and wild life has said to not even release stripers if the water temp is over 72 degrees(i think thats the right temp) because of a high delayed mortality. i have not read a study on the dmr of big blues or flats but i would imagine it is very high. especially in warm water being they pretty much hang in the same waters as stripers do.these fish are not as tough as you think. they need more oxygen and a stable environment. best thing to do is weigh it(or measure it) get a few pics and set it free as quickly as possible. that almost guarantees survival. i wish these tournament officials would come up with a way to get a weight and a quick release on these fish. maybe someday.
  8. Mr.T

    Mr.T Active Member

    Many tournaments have a continuous weigh-in -- when you catch a big one, get it weighed and turn it loose as soon as possible. You don't get any credit for a dead fish, so no sense in keeping him any longer than necessary.

    Folks I've talked to use large stock tanks with pumps moving fresh water in and out continually. But remember that water weighs 8 lbs per gallon, so a 100 gal tank will add 800 lbs to your boat. Make sure the boat is capable before adding that kind of weight to it.
  9. bigcatJoe

    bigcatJoe New Member

    I made me a livewell out of a plasic tool box that goes in back of a truck. I put two belge pump in it to keep the water circulating and a livewell tank pump to pump water in and out of the box. You can use water hoses and fittings and a pvc pipe drill you some hole in it to let the water spry out.