Keeping catfish alive

Discussion in 'All Catfishing' started by kylekutta, Jan 25, 2007.

  1. kylekutta

    kylekutta New Member

    Messages:
    59
    State:
    NC
    Fishing tournaments requires more than catching cats.You have to keep them alive.I was wondering what tricks may be out there to keep them alive and kicking.I use a stringer in the bottom lip and tied to the boat.This works sometimes and dosn't other times.My stingers are about 6' long,one fish per stringer,tied in different spots on the boat so they don't get tangled.I do move alot if no bites and each time I have to put the cats in the bottom of the boat.This takes a toll on the cats and some die before weigh in.Would it be better to tie on a log until weigh in(if I saw you geting fish off a log tied up I would think you where cheating who wouldn't).My boat is only 16' with 25 hp so large live wells weigh it down to a slow crawl.Does anyone have a solution or the same problem?
     
  2. allworknofish

    allworknofish New Member

    Messages:
    147
    State:
    texas
    never really had a problem keeping cats alive. all i can think of is a cooler with an ariator to keep em alive while in motion
     

  3. kansas bluecatter

    kansas bluecatter New Member

    Messages:
    71
    State:
    Kansas
    Kyle,
    You might try using a longer stringer so the fish can get deeper and out of the direct sunlight. You might also try carrying a cooler with ice during hot weather so you can drop the water temp slightly in your transport coolers. I realize you are limited on space but it should be a priority for you to ensure your fish reach weigh in in as good as shape as possible. Another thing I use to do when fishing out of a smaller boat was using a commercial fish basket. (not a wire basket) They use to be available from Catfish Connection and would hold 100 pounds of fish. When you bring the fish in the boat be it in a fish basket or on the stringers make sure you cover them with a wet towel. This will also help keep them in better condition between moves. Most tournaments will not allow you to tie fish out on a log. Better check with your tournamet director before you do that. Best John Jamison
     
  4. mudkip

    mudkip New Member

    Messages:
    645
    State:
    SC
    Definately do not tie a fish off--you are right people will get the wrong idea. I would go with the string to the lower lip while the water is cool ( fall,winter and spring). Coolers are not good esp if the fish are stressed and poop all in the water...which they do and breathe it back into thier gills which is NOT GOOD. If you can find a way to recirculate fresh water through the cooler that will definately be better. Air stones will help. Your boat size definately presents a problem for an onboard storage system. Some guys still use stringers in the summer they just drop the fish down deeper. I don't know of a cheap easy solution, hope this helps.
     
  5. joe0580

    joe0580 New Member

    Messages:
    228
    State:
    north carolina
    i fish tourneys too and this is what i use and works great not one fish dead yet
    ( knock on wood). get a barrell either 55 gallon or 25. drill holes in it and make a way to lift it up and down on boat. make holes about 1 inch circles and have either a screw cap or some other way to open and close. when catch fish put them in it and drop in water. kinda like when beach fishing of piers and king fish. ok?! hope this helps. and if want to just tie rope is fine need it longer at least to 3 feet from bottom this will calm fish and try not to move as much or get a towel and keep wet for when you do and wrap fish in it.
     
  6. slimcat

    slimcat New Member

    Messages:
    952
    State:
    marion kentucky
    Best thing to do is get a 100 gallon stock tank and equip it with aerator pumps and bilge pumps. Use the aerator pumps for oxygen and the bilge to keep fresh water on the fish. If your gonna fish catfish tournaments a livewell is a must, THERE IS NO SINCE IN KILLING THE FISH. To many fish die at the hands of commercial netters without us sportsman doing more damage.
     
  7. WylieCat

    WylieCat Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    7,160
    State:
    NC
    Mudkip is right about the stringer through the lip in cooler weather. In cooler water it is much easier to keep the fish alive. Summer can be tough. High water temps mean more ammonia build-up and less oxygen, so if you use some type of cooler or live well you will need one that can circulate new water through the tank.

    The faster you can land the fish the better. Less stress in the fight is better for the fish.

    I have used a large cooler with an aerator and fresh water circulation in the summer and it has worked well to keep fish alive. It takes up room and adds weight, but it will work.
     
  8. special liberty

    special liberty New Member

    Messages:
    295
    State:
    Maryland
    anybody tried fish sedative, I see Cabelas & BPS sell it for the bass guys
     
  9. Willy

    Willy New Member

    Messages:
    242
    State:
    Missouri
    I know someone that uses it and it will help but the total package of fresh water and good oxygen content in the water is key. Have enough room in the livewell to not crowd them also helps.There are a lot of tools out there to use to keep your fish alive and you just gotta find what works best for ya.You can use Ice but don't drop the water temp more than 10 degrees as it will really stress the fish over a short time.Like I said plenty of good water and lots of air is really key in keeping them alive.I have used a floating air head that works great in a large tank for years and have got along well for short periods of time.
     
  10. spanishcatman

    spanishcatman New Member

    Messages:
    133
    State:
    United Kingdom
    A guy I know uses the sedative for very different reasons. He 'knocks-out' his live baits if he needs to cast then a long way. They don't die from the shock of the cast. Shortly after landing, they start wriggling away as if nothing had happened. Seems like a lot of hassle to me, but he reckons it's worth it if you have to make a monster throw. I know this off-topic, but food for thought :)
     
  11. Willy

    Willy New Member

    Messages:
    242
    State:
    Missouri
    One thing to think about is if you use a pump of any type in a tank of water the pump will generate heat and cause the water temp to rise in the tank.I use 2 litre bottles that I freeze and have in a seperate cooler to switch out and keep water temps down.You also need to have a way of changing the water every half hour or so to get rid of waste the fish release when they are stressed.The only time it is really tough to keep fish alive is in the heat of summer and times when the water is full of silt .We have tried using pure oxygen but the chance of burning the gills goes up if you use too much. A oxygen meter is vital as the parts per million of oxygen content needs to be kept a close eye on. Think fish tank at home on a bigger scale.If you can get the water from a deeper source in the water column it will be cooler and help with keeping the fish alive. we use a pump on a 15 ft hose that we lower into the deeper water to draw it up into the tank with longer power leads to hook up to a power source. I have seen guys use a converter to change power sources to 110 volt and use a air pumps that run on 110 to pump air into the livewell.Just gotta use your head to find new ways to keep the fish alive.