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  1. #1

    Bass and livewells

    Hey guys,

    I am fairly new to bass fishing and managed to get out last week, landing a couple of bass and yellowbelly from somerset and wivenhoe. My query is regarding bass and yellowbelly in livewells as two "weird" things happened when putting these freshwater fish into my 75L livewell. Of a handful of fish caught only these two fish failed to survive or aclimatise in the livewell.

    Scenario one: trolled up a solid yellow in about 5-7m of water which failed to survive in the well upon capture. We didn't have it out of the water for too long at all and handle our fish with utmost care. It didn't matter as the fish was always going to be kept but was stumped as to why it couldn't survive.

    Scenario two: caught a healthy 40cm bass from a deep ledge at wivenhoe. We were sitting in about 8-10m of water and caught the bass tight up against the bank in less than 2m's of water. This fella again failed to survive/aclimatise in the livewell.

    Are these scenario's instances of barotrauma and hence the need to needle the fish before release? I thought barotrauma only affected fish caught from VERY deep water?

    Any replies would be greatly appreciated!


  2. #2

    Re: Bass and livewells

    It does sound like it could be barotrauma...especially in the yellow belly's case...considering the depth the fish came fish have come from deeper I will admit but what also is a factor is to how quickly they came up.

    With the bass I would say it could just be 'one of those things'...I have had fish in my livewell survive for hours without a problem...and yet have had same size fish from same place start to go downhill within a hour of being placed in the livewell.

  3. #3

    Re: Bass and livewells

    Yella's are tough to keep alive, but most Bass are OK. I've gotta ask why you were keeping them in your well. If you're going to eat them the best thing is to kill and bleed them straight away and put them on ice. If you're going to release them, take a photo and let them go.

    I fish because the little voices in my head tell me to

  4. #4

    Re: Bass and livewells

    I only fish out of a relatively small tinny so i dont bring an esky along. Keeping them alive also means we can upgrade should we need to although i may start bringing a small esky along.

    It's a good thing/observation that both the fish which failed to survive were infact caught at the end of the day ??? We managed to keep a yellowbelly and a big bass fit and well in the livewell for a whole days fishing hence the query. I may try killing and bleeding the fish destined for the table straight away but the ones that were in the livewell all day and taken home for a feed tasted beautiful! I do know what you mean but Dale. #


  5. #5

    Re: Bass and livewells

    just a few questions
    is the livewell airatord ???
    is the livewell plumbed to have freash water recyled into it ???
    sounded live they came from a depth but as you said they weren't so it mayof been more of a case that they suffred from lack of oxegyen

  6. #6

    Re: Bass and livewells

    Yes to all your above questions basserman. Water is cycled constantly and we make sure that the water quality is perfect although it isn't airated. Like i said, we had two large fish stay fit and well in the livewell for a whole day.

    Although you have got a valid point there. They were caught at the end of the day and put in last when the water quality could be at its poorest even though water is cycled etc throughout the day at regular intervals. Hmm something to consider, sheesh they are very sensitive fish if that is the case :O These "problem" fish never managed to acclimatise to the livewell in the first place, they starting floating sideup straight away and wouldn't swim under the water's surface (in the well) when observed. #Is it possible to suffer from a lack of oxygen like striaght away? Wouldn't the other fish have been showing signs first but?

    P.s. it isn't a shallow livewell by any means either, and i am hoping to fit a keep-a-live airator in the near future.

    So whats the verdict guys? Barotrauma or not ... ? #

  7. #7

    Re: Bass and livewells

    don't forget the fish has just come from a fight and taken from the water so yeh it would be down on oxygen straght away
    does your tank cycle water from outside or just the same water in the tank

    in my boat o have a pick up piped to a bilge pump that way while underway i don't need a pump on it just forces the water from outside into the tank and while fishing i put the pump on and once again it sucks the water in from outside the boat that way i have freash waster comeing into the tank all the time and also means i don't need a airator by the way my livewell is only small being only 20L in a 385 tinny however in say comps i can use the same plubing for a larger 70L esky

  8. #8

    Re: Bass and livewells

    Fair point worth considering mate. And no it doesn't cycle the water within the tank. Very similar setup to yours with a bilge that pumps water in via the external pickup.

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