SALTWATER FISHING TOURNAMENTS

     
WEBPAGE UPDATED         Monday  February 21, 2022
    

The primary concern for most tournament fishermen is – WINNING THE MONEY OR THE PRIZE, PERIOD!

CATCH AND KILL FISHING TOURNAMENTS

FACT: Do you know that live tournament fish presented at the scales will always weigh more than dead fish iced down in an ice chest in “kill tournaments” like the CCA STAR summer fishing tournaments and other summer “Kill Tournaments?”

There are NO FISHING TOURNAMENT RULES punishing a fisherman from presenting live fish to the weighmaster at any kill-tournaments in America including CCA Fishing Tournaments. Let the weighmaster kill and dispose of the dead fish. Dead fish disposal is the weighmaster’s responsibility in “kill tournaments.”

CATCH AND RELEASE FISHING TOURNAMENTS

Oxygenated livewells are used to transport live saltwater fish in fishing tournaments safely and supercharged live bait fish every summer. The Oxygen Edge™ livewell oxygen-injection systems ensures safe, continuous livewell dissolved oxygenation saturation every summer, all day, all live bait fish/shrimp, tournament catfish, crappie, redfish, speckled trout, bonefish, snook, walleye and all other fish species. Just dial in the right dose of O2 on the regulator based on the stocking density.

It is always the fisherman personal choice to insure optimal safe oxygenation for transporting live fish. Insuring optimal safe oxygenation in the summer to prevent suffocation.

Live high-quality supercharged baitfish is the bait of choice for some offshore tournament fishermen, near shore, bays and estuaries. Live bait supercharged with oxygen is superior live bait. Mother Nature, a fresh caught baitfish and all the livewell pumps in the world cannot supercharge a live baitfish like the Oxygen Edge™.

The supercharging dose of pure 100% Oxygen is 125 DO saturation – 150% DO saturation. The magic to Supercharging live bait is knowing and administering the “Right Dose of Pure Oxygen” delivered continuously.

Only a fisherman can administer the right dose of pure compressed oxygen into his livewell water can Supercharge a live baitfish. Air, aeration, high volume water pumps or tuna tubes pumping 1,000’s of gallons of water flushing through a livewell or Tuna tubes cannot, will not Supercharge live bait. Mother Nature cannot do this, only a fisherman can inject the “Supercharging Dose” of pure 100% oxygen.

Catch and Release fishing tournaments generate and reinforce a positive public relation image for tournament sponsors, competitive angling and tournament directors.

Some tournament circuits do provide supplemental oxygen for the fish a few minutes when they take possession of the contestant’s fish to final live release (30 minutes); hospital holding tanks and live release boats use pure compressed oxygen, not mechanical aeration. Most tournaments do not provide lifesaving oxygen for the tournament catch in the summer. These tournaments are not concerned with things like oxygen support, reversing the oxygen debt all fish experience that begins with the hooking, the fight and the all-day transport.

Contestants transport tournament catch 7-8 hours in aerated boat livewells in summer fishing tournaments. They are not required to provide supplemental oxygen for their catch, the public never sees this transport fish care, that’s (out of sight, out of mind).

Many saltwater tournaments do not practice the catch and live release ethic. They practice Catch and Kill.

Transporting live saltwater tournament fish all day in the summer to the weigh-in ensures you the competitive weight edge in any saltwater fishing tournament whether you’re fishing a Catch and Release tournament or a Catch and Kill tournament.

Why keep fish alive in “Catch and Kill” fishing tournaments?  Because tournament fish weigh more alive than dead. From the moment of death, dehydration and water weight loss begins immediately.  Most importantly, the catch is worth more money alive than dead. The competitive edge is important when your tournament fishing for money. You have lost that weight edge when your fish is killed.

Dead fish on ice begin to dehydrate (loose water weight) immediately after death as the cell membrane begins to break down. Total body weight decreases, and the fish shrinks in length. The longer the fish has been dead on ice, the more total body weight it loses and the shorter it gets. Some tournament fishermen are concerned with lost body weight, most are not concerned about losing a few ounces that can mean losing the tournaments money and prize. An interesting paradox to say the least.

Weighing-in dead tournament fish can be far more expensive for the tournament angler than the trouble, cost and effort to keep the fish alive. Without the competitive tournament edge, chances of winning become less favorable as more body weight is lost hour after hour in the ice chest. The primary effect of weighing in dead dehydrated fish may negatively affect your odds of winning. They say that every ounce counts when you’re fishing competitively for money and prizes.

“Releasing the catch alive to fight in next week’s tournament” has gained conservation fame over many years, impressing the public, sponsors, state politicians. Ray Scott the Public relations power of C&R marketing strategies with B.A.S.S. 50 years ago. Some say, Mr. Scott originated the concept of catch and live release tournament fishing in the world of tournament bass fishing. Whether for conservation or improving a more acceptable tournament marketing image. This marketing strategy has proven to be very effective creating a positive public image for fishery conservation. Within the last few years, has the saltwater tournament fishing industry paid attention to this type marketing and endorsed this old freshwater C&R tournament fishing ethic.

Scott advanced the evolution of tournament fish care in the early 1970’s; fish stringers were replaced with boat livewells. Live fish began to show up at weigh-in and released alive after the tournament back into the wild, people saw live fish wiggle, swim away into the abyss and that created great tournament PR. Tournament fish care is dynamic and continues evolving to date for freshwater and now, also for saltwater tournament fishing.

VISIT: CATCH AND RELEASE FISHING TOURNAMENTS, THE NEW B.A.S.S. CONCEPT  Orgin of catch and release bass tournament fishing | The Oxygen Edge ™ (oxyedge-chum.com)

Scott’s catch and release marketing concept impacted the public’s perception of competitive bass tournament fishing dramatically and quickly advanced to other freshwater tournament fishing circuits. Catch and release, practiced by tournament anglers and directed by tournament officials, is perceived by the public and outdoors’ writers as actively practicing wildlife conservation only when it works. When C&R doesn’t work, the media writes about tournament delayed mortality and tournament fish kills. The perceived public image of fishing tournaments in America is as important these days as conservation of natural resources. In recent years, the evolution of tournament fish care has made tremendous advancements due to new state of the art livewell oxygen-injection technology and the efforts of numerous motivated fishery research scientists.

Several innovative coastal saltwater tournament circuits have incorporated new C&R rules. Some of these saltwater tournaments motivate contestants with positive incentives to provide supplemental livewell oxygenation in summer tournaments… FREE ADDITIONAL BOUNUS WEIGHT for each live fish weighed in. Plus, FREE COMPRESSED OXYGEN FOR ALL CONTESTANTS AT EVERY SUMMER TOURNAMENT. These novel saltwater tournament C&R rules encourage and reward competitive anglers who make an extra effort to keep their catch alive with positive incentives. Outdoor writers write about the great job anglers and tournament officials have done releasing the catch alive and unharmed and proud sponsors are recognized for supporting wildlife conservation. Everyone wins when C&R is successful including the star of the show, the fish.

FACT: The most successful summer tournament with 98% live release survival was BassMaster Classic held June 2021 in North Texas. Fish were transported 1 hour overland to Ft. Wirth, Texas to the weigh-in using supplemental oxygen (no mechanical aeration). The live transport was managed abs supervised by Texas Parks & Wildlife Inland Fishery Department. TP&WD provided contestants compresses oxygen and oxyged injection life support equipment. TP&WD also tested and recorded dissolved oxygen in each bass boat livewells containing tournament limits of bass. These new oxygenating requirements and transport water quality methods were developed and managed by fishery biologist working for TP&WD, not tournament staff. TP&WD was responsible for ensuring optimal fish health during summer live transports 2021; safe, continuous livewell oxygenation with oxygen-inject systems in bass boat livewells demonstrated how important supplemental oxygen is to prevent livewell summer fish transports.

Some saltwater and fresh water (Bass Cats Tournament Circuit) reward tournament fishermen with bonus points or additional ½ pound added to the fish’s weight for doing a great job keeping the catch alive all day, all night in boat livewell. Bass Cat tournaments also provide contestants FREE OXYGEN. Bass Cat rules require all contestants to have and use functional oxygen-injection systems for their boat livewells.

Substantial rewards are relatively new positive motivation concept for C&R contestants to encourage tournament fishermen to make an effort to provide the “new” best tournament fish care possible. This new concept of reward vs. punishment is completely different than the old outdated “Dead Fish Penalty (punishment)” rule commonly seen in bass tournaments and other freshwater and saltwater C&R fishing tournaments that penalizes and punishes anglers by deducting weight or points when contestants fail to keep their catch alive in all-day, all-night tournaments.

Paradoxically and unfortunately, most dead fish penalties and punishment rules primarily apply to freshwater and saltwater C&R tournaments. These “dead fish” rules are enforced by applying powerful negative incentives. This negative incentive that can directly affect your winnings, punish contestants for weighing-in a dead fish by deducting weight or points from their catch, regardless of all the angler’s efforts to keep his catch alive in his livewell. Freshwater tournament anglers receive no free bonus weight, free bonus points no FREE OXYGEN for weighing-in dead fish.

THE SAD PART OF THIS SHOW: Most tournament fishermen are totally dependent on mechanical aeration to prevent fish suffocating in summer tournaments.   Seven to 8-hour summer transports in boat livewells to weigh-in are severely compromised because aerated livewells fail to provide minimal safe oxygenation for all the catch.

Transporting live tournament fish in the summer – Hot water= low livewell oxygen all day, all night = chronic suffocation, dying and dead tournament fish. Winners turn into losers in the blink of an eye because 1 fish died in the livewell around noon.

You are likely to lose tournament money and prizes in summer tournaments using mechanical aerators to insure safe continuous oxygenation in summer tournaments.

It makes no difference how much you want to ensure safe oxygenation for your catch all day, modifying the aerator to provide more oxygen, your aeration IS THE PROBLEM every summer. Aerators are responsible poor water quality (low DO) every summer.  Oxygen deprivation results in high summer mortality/morbidity every summer, every year.

Oxygen deprivation is not caused by mechanical aerators in the summer. The limiting factor for all mechanical aerators used to transport live fish is Mother Nature is air, <21% Oxygen is all She has to offer.