Fish Care In Your Livewell

An exclusive HD video that teaches you how to handle fish and manage your livewell. We show you the best methods to ensure the proper catch and release of healthy bass back into the environment. It stops the weight loss of fish in the livewell too!

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Lane: I'm Lane Gergely with Sure-Life Labs. I'm here with my husband, Tony Gergely.

Tony: We had a husband and wife tournament today. It was another date that we have. We're always on these dates.

Lane: We're going to show you some tips on how to properly handle your fish and manage your livewell.

Tony: We do a lot of hunting and fishing, and once again she beat me but that's cool with me.

The first thing we want to do is show you how to measure the livewell and treat the livewell. Make sure that your livewell is filled to capacity, obviously. Grab yourself a measuring device out of the garage or from the house or whatever. In this case, we just got a tournament board out of the boat, but you want to measure three dimensions of it. And you want to go with the water depth, which is filled to capacity here, which is sitting right around 11 inches.

So pull that out and what we're going to do is we're going to write 11 inches down. The width of it which is coming up right about here, so right there, so we're looking at 14 inches, which is the width. The length of it, this is going all the way to the hinge back here, it's where the batteries are, and it's coming up to here which is really good, by the way. This is going to increase our volume. Then, we'll lay this down, and we're looking right at 22 inches.

Go ahead and get yourself a calculator. You're going to want to take these dimensions and convert everything to feet. So, you'll take 11 inches divided by 12; you'll take 14 inches divided by 12; and 22 inches divided by 12. Now, you've got feet, feet and feet. Multiply the depth, the width and the length of it times 7.5. That's the constant. Those are 7.5 gallons per cubic feet of water. This particular livewell has actually got 15 gallons of water in it.

We recommend that you get these wells going prior to even catching the fish. Get them going out there and go ahead and treat them. Now, we've got two particular products that we manufacture. Both of these compounds, the Please Release Me and the Catch and Release, the dosage rates are identical. It's one teaspoon of our product per ten gallons of livewell water. Basically, you want a half a cap of this to treat this livewell.

Now, you're not going to harm anything if you put extra in. Actually, we like to do that, especially during the spring and summer months which will really help calm these fish down.

The reason we have two products is: this is your general purpose one, the all around stress releasing compound; use this all day long.

If you do catch some fish during the day, let's say, you accidentally hit them in the gills, you gut hook them or whatever, it has some wounds on it, you're going to make sure you have, at least, one bottle of this in the boat. You're not going to use this all the time, but if you've got a fish that's injured by any means, whether you did it or the hook did it or whatever, you can put this in the livewell with it. It's going to help those wounds or else you can take a pinch of the Please Release Me and put it directly on that wound, and it's really going to help save your fish.

During particular times of the year, you may start seeing some foam in your livewell. You may have an abundance or an enormous sack of fish. Our products stimulate the slime cells of these fish, and because of that sometimes you can get some foam production.

Now, our products do have foam inhibitors built into it, but if you're one of the lucky guys out there or ladies that catch a big sack of fish, and you've got a slime build up in there from those fish, which is good, by the way. You want that, but you don't want foam on the water either at the same time.

Just keep a bottle of this in there and just take the cap and all you have to do is squirt some in. It's very easy. It only takes a few drops of it, and it will get rid of that foam. That foam needs to be taken off because it's going to inhibit your oxygen transfer in the livewell.

Foam on that water is like putting a plastic bag over your head. You're going to suffocate because 90% of the oxygen transfer in this water is actually occurring at the surface of this water, so just keep a bottle handy in there.
Lane: If fish aren't handled properly, you can remove the slime coat that causes bacterial and fungal infections later on. You can break or dislocate their jaw. So, I'm going to show you some proper basic fish handling techniques.

First thing you want to do before you handle the fish is get your hands wet. That helps reduce the damage to the slime coat. First thing, when you grab your fish, be sure and support it by its tail. Never hyperextend the jaw, which is torquing it open without either supporting it on the tail or body section or else lifting it vertical.

This fish right here, the weight is not going to break the jaw because it's in a totally vertical position. You're going to hold it horizontal. Always support the belly. Never release your hand here because this is what happens. Jaws break or dislocate if you do not support it.

Tony: The temperature of this water is very, very critical on these boats. If you want to know the tempuratures in your livewell, you just need to get yourself a cheap thermometer. This happens to come from my good friend, Doug Hannen, because he autographed it for me. You drop that in or else you can get yourself a cheap one from the aquarium supply store that has a suction cup on it or floats or whatever. Just keep it in so that way you can easily monitor the water temperatures in this livewell.

Now, water temperature is really critical because the cooler the water is, the more oxygen that this water is going to hold. Now, during the cooler months you may not have to do anything because really, your target is 65 degrees. If the lake temperature is 50 or 55, that's great. If it's above 65, let's bring the water temperature down. The reason for that is by bringing that water temperature down to 65 degrees, you're going to lower the oxygen demand on these fish tremendously. You're going to lower it down to a third of what they normally would consume.

Now, think about that. These fish now aren't going to be stressing for oxygen because they're not going to be requiring that much oxygen. There's real simple ways of doing this. Carry some ice on board. By having ice cubes, crushed ice not blocks because they don't melt fast enough. You want to bring this temperature down. Just go ahead and drop it in here.

Now, this ice has probably got chlorine in it, by the way. Our products, both the Catch and Release and the Please Release Me instantly remove chlorine from all sources. Once you're got it down to your target temperature level, then maintain it. I have these frozen water bottles, milk jugs, anything you can get your hands on.

A summer time tip, which is very useful, is go ahead and put a teaspoon of the Catch and Release in the water in this bottle and fill it up with water. That way it's frozen into the water itself and you can take the cap off and it can leach out in our livewell at the same time. It's something you really need to do.

And remember just please, go ahead and tear off the wrappers on these bottles. Get off as much as possible with your fingernail or whatever and dispose of it properly in your boat so it doesn't blow overboard and litter the lake and get it nice and clear because this right here is going to come off and more likely in your livewell. This can very readily clog up your pumps. I'm just going to drop one of those in or a couple of them and check it again in about 30 minutes. That way you'll make sure you're keeping your livewell temperatures down.

Lane: Three percent hydrogen peroxide can be your best insurance policy on tournament day. What I have here is a half cup, plastic cup, that you get at the grocery store. This livewell here is approximately 15 gallons. A half cup equals four ounces, which is going to be the perfect amount, because it's in between. It's not an under dosage it's not an over dosage; it's just right.

All you do when you put your first fish in, go ahead and fill this up and simply add it to the livewell. This will keep dissolved oxygen levels at optimum levels all day, even without -- in case your aeration goes down, your pumps fail, this will keep your fish alive, literally, with oxygen.

A good rule of thumb is to check your livewell every 30 minutes, if possible. If you're like me, you switch rods or switch lures that often or you're going to get something, go ahead and flip the livewell lid open, check your temperatures, make sure your fish are doing good. If you see a fish at the surface or rolled over, then you know it's time to address your livewell issues.

Tony: It's the end of our date today, our husband and wife tournament. And now, we're ready to wrap things up and go ahead and bag our fish up. Now, I've taken our weigh-in bag and filled it up with livewell water because this livewell water has been treated, and it's also got the right temperature. Or else you can go ahead where your pump out is on your livewell and just hold the bag overboard. It's a real simple way of doing it, too.

Please don't get it off the back of the transom of the boat in these coves. It's got oil mixtures and things of that nature, and the water is nowhere near the temperature that you hope your livewell temperature is at. So, I think we can go ahead and get these fish out because obviously I lost again, and the winner always gets to release the fish. And it's a pretty good sack of fish. So, her trophy is to release them.

Lane: See how these fish swam off. This is why Sure-Life Products have been endorsed by millions of surviving game fish for over 25 years.


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