Keep your fish primed for a successful live-release this winter
An ice-fishing livewell only takes a few minutes to build, while guaranteeing less time out of the water for the fish you plan to live-release—the key to survival any time of the year. Here are a few more best practices for ice-fishing livewells.
DON’T STORE YOUR CATCH IN THE LIVEWELL
If you plan to keep your fish, humanely dispatch it. If you plan to release your catch, do so before you begin fishing again. Holding a fish in a livewell is considered part of your allowable limit in many jurisdictions, while any fish outside of a slot size should be immediately released anyway.
MAINTAIN OPTIMAL CONDITIONS FOR THE FISH
Use your ice scoop to remove slush from your livewell, and flush the livewell with fresh water if necessary. Also, cover your livewell with a toboggan to help prevent it from freezing over. Better yet, create the livewell inside your heated ice shelter if space allows.