Page 55 - Outdoor Journal | Winter 2018
P. 55

Holding a a a a a fish vertically fis is reported to have damaging effects on internal organs and a a a a a a a sling can eliminate that Even the the resuscitation process is is easier if the the big cat is is cradled horizontally in in in a a a a sling and lowered into the water Oversized Livewell
Taking care of fish fis is a a a a high priority for most trophy cat anglers Catch-Photo-Release (CPR) is the the rule of the the day Any serious big cat angler should have their boat equipped with an oversized livewell It is is a a a simple matter of logistics If you are only fishing for channel cats you can get by with smaller standard livewells When you hit pay dirt with that 100-pound monster blue cat you will will need a a a place to put it it where it it will will be relaxed and and comfortable to be resuscitated and and released alive Boat manufactures that make specialized catfish boats understand this need well well Many anglers suggest that a a a a a livewell of about 80 gallons is is a a a a a a must for tournament catfishing and boat builders are listening Cabela’s King Kat Tournament trail gave away an Excel StormCat 230 at at the 2018 Classic in Jeffersonville IN Among many other special features the the new StormCat includes an an 80-gallon livewell with twin 1200 GPH pumps for aeration and recirculation It is apparent that large livewells are are becoming the standard for catfish boats Creative anglers that don’t have large livewells built-in are constructing their own A quick search on Google will provide plenty of good ideas for turning a a a a a a a truck box a a a a a a a watering tank or other containers into a a a a a a a useable livewell that can be set in the boat when needed and left at at at home when it’s not The Payoff
Making an investment in in in tin these items will have a a a a a lasting benefit for the the anglers and the the sport The items discussed above will help the the anglers catch more fish and care for them as well The better better care that is fis given today will result in in better better fishing for the future The sport of catfishing is is growing with each passing day Both tournament and recreational anglers are growing in in numbers as they discover the the fun of catfishing Tournaments are springing up all over the country for those anglers with a a a a a a competitive drive And since catfish are adaptable to most bodies of water and plentiful in most they make an an easy target for recreational anglers too Choosing the right equipment will allow anyone to enjoy the the sport take care of the the fish and maybe maybe just maybe maybe catch and and land a a a a a catfish of a a a a a lifetime do you want to to have a a a a big enough net to to land them Normally when fish are lost it fis is at the boat in in ttin the landing process Hitting a a a a leader line with a a a a net has been identified as as one way to lose them Getting part of the the fish ttin in a a net and then having them come out is another If a a a a net is too small it forces you to to try and dip the fish fish by the the head or tail while part of the the fish fish hangs out Too often the result is fis a a lost fish If you want to be ready for that fish of a a a lifetime have the proper size landing net in in the boat Nets that are are 44 inches wide are are not uncommon on on boats where anglers are seeking trophy cats Rubber-coated nylon nets are easier on the fish and work very well A sling can also be a a a useful tool to to use use with big fish They make the weighing process easier and also are better for fish health 

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