How to Have a Cooler Livewell and Keep Tournament Fish Alive

Love fishing tournaments? You realize the significance of keeping tournament fish alive and healthy. A cooler livewell is essential. In this guide, we will explore practical strategies and tips on how to have a cooler livewell and keep tournament fish alive. This information will help you keep your catch healthy during the competition, regardless of your experience. Let’s learn how to make your tournament fish’s live well the best!

Why Livewells Are Important

How to Have a Cooler Livewell and Keep Tournament Fish Alive

Tournament fishing relies on live wells. They are boat chambers used to keep fish alive during contests. The tournament’s captured fish reside in these live wells until they’re weighed and released.

Livewells keep captive fish healthy. Live wells mirror the natural aquatic environment, providing oxygen and clean water to fish, lowering stress, and enhancing survivability.

9 Phases: How to Have a Cooler Livewell and Keep Tournament Fish Alive 

Keep fish alive in your tournament livewell by following these guidelines:

Effectively Use Ice in Your Livewell

Start with ice in Livewell. Prepare for fishing with a bag of ice. This may happen when loading up or traveling from the petrol station to the boat launch. The solid livewell surfaces will cool. Fill the live well with water after adding half the ice. This will cool tournament fish.

Utilize Livewell Treatment for Optimal Fish Care

G-Juice Livewell Treatment and Fish Care Formula are ideal for summer fish care. The G-Juice squeeze bottle’s 1-ounce measurement chamber makes water treatment easy. Fill the living well with the G-Juice formula. G-Juice is non-toxic, removes hazardous water constituents, and restores fish health. G-Juice in your Livewell gives fish an instant boost and better care.

Enhance Oxygenation for Fish Health

Live well oxygen levels must be maintained daily for fish health. T-H Marine Supplies has several oxygenation alternatives. Our Oxygenator and Pro Air Systems help fish breathe better. These devices give tournament fish the oxygen they need.

Employ a Thick Towel for Insulation

A thick towel aboard your yacht may seem odd, but it may help keep your Livewell temperature steady. Choose a beach or bath towel that absorbs and retains water. Soak the cloth in lake water. To keep the towel moist, gently squeeze it. To insulate and limit heat transmission, lay the towel over your life well. This easy method may lower and stabilize your water temperature.

Implement a Cull System to Reduce Stress

Tournament fish stress. Culling may reduce stress and improve fish health. A cull system lets you swiftly sort and release fish by size. This cuts fish live well time and decreases stress and harm. A culling method helps you protect your fish.

Practice Swift and Gentle Handling

Handle tournament fish quickly and gently. Minimize fish-out-of-water time and treat them gently. To avoid illness, wet your hands before contacting fish. Use rubberized landing nets or lip grips to prevent harming fish. Quick and delicate handling reduces tournament fish stress and harm. Remember, maintain them in top condition for release after the competition.

Monitor Water Quality Regularly

Tournament fish need regular live well water quality checks. Check water pH, oxygen, and temperature throughout the day. Adjust as needed to optimize fish conditions. If you see lethargy or gasping, respond immediately. Fish survival depends on water quality.

Minimize Livewell Crowding

Overcrowding the live well may stress fish and lower oxygen levels. Avoid crowding fish. To give fish enough room, utilize many live wells or containers. This decreases tension and avoids fish-on-fish accidents. Always prioritize tournament fish health.

Optimize Livewell Design

A properly-designed living well may improve tournament fish health. Insulated living wells assist in controlling temperature. Consider versions with built-in oxygenation or simple aftermarket integration. Live wells with rounded edges and smooth surfaces reduce injury hazards. A well-designed live well improves fish survivability.

Practice Responsible Fish Release

Conservation requires the responsible release of tournament fish. Refresh each fish before releasing it. To oxygenate the fish, gently move it upright in the water. If the fish recovers and swims away, you’ve given it the greatest chance of survival.

Common Problems with Livewells

Despite their value, live wells may occasionally cause fish problems. To keep tournament, fish live wells healthy, identify and fix these issues. Common issues:

  • Insufficient Oxygen: Livewell oxygen deficiency may stress or kill fish. Poor water circulation or aeration might cause this. Fish may suffocate or grow sluggish without adequate oxygen. Aeration and oxygenation are vital for fish health.
  • Poor Water Quality: Fish need clean water in live wells. High ammonia, nitrite, algae, and chemical levels may kill fish. Dirty water may cause illness and death. Avoiding such concerns requires water quality monitoring and upkeep.
  • Inadequate Space: Overcrowding the livewell may stress fish and cause injury or death. Fish require room to swim safely. Too many fish in a tiny livewell may fight and die. Estimate the quantity of fish you’ll capture and make sure the livewell can hold them.
  • Improper Handling: Mishandling fish from the hook to live well may injure and upset them. Rough handling, improper tools, or excessive force might injure their fragile scales, fins, or internal organs. Handling fish with damp hands or gloves protects their slime coat and reduces their time out of the water.
  • Temperature Fluctuations: Livewell temperature fluctuations might stress fish. Extreme heat or cold may damage their metabolism, immune system and possibly kill them. Regulate water temperature to prevent rapid changes. Fish may stay cool by insulating the living well and utilizing cooling or heating equipment.

Addressing these issues and implementing preventative actions will greatly enhance good live conditions and tournament fish health. Maintaining water quality, oxygenation, space, fish handling, and temperature is essential for fish health and survival in live wells.

Benefits of Livewell Upgrades 

Livewell enhancements improve fishing in many ways. Livewell improvements provide these benefits:

  • Improved fish health and survival rates: Livewell upgrades create a better environment for fish, leading to increased survival rates and healthier specimens.
  • Enhanced water quality: Upgraded live wells often incorporate filtration systems that help maintain clean and clear water, removing waste and toxins that can harm fish.
  • Optimal oxygenation: Livewell upgrades often include advanced aeration systems that ensure sufficient oxygen levels, keeping the fish active and healthy.
  • Temperature control capabilities: Some livewell upgrades allow anglers to adjust water temperature, ensuring that fish are kept in conditions that match their specific needs and reducing stress.
  • Ethical fishing practices: Livewell upgrades demonstrate a commitment to ethical fishing practices, as they provide a better chance of survival for caught fish during catch-and-release.
  • Competitive edge in tournaments: Upgraded live wells give anglers an advantage in fishing tournaments by providing real-time monitoring of vital parameters, such as oxygen levels and fish stress, enabling informed decision-making.
  • Improved transportation safety: Livewell upgrades with better insulation and shock-absorbing features protect fish during transportation to weigh-ins, minimizing stress, injuries, or mortality.
  • Increased capacity: Upgraded live wells often offer larger storage capacity, allowing anglers to catch more fish without the need for frequent releases, maximizing their chances of obtaining a winning catch.
  • Better water circulation: Upgraded live wells increase water circulation, decreasing fish overpopulation and ensuring fish health.

Upgraded live wells help fishermen fish responsibly and win competitions.


Any serious fisherman must learn to keep a cooler livewell and save tournament fish. This guide will help you keep your fish healthy, strong, and ready to be released. Remember, a cooler livewell improves the tournament experience and helps perpetuate the sport.

  So, apply what you’ve learned and become a responsible angler who knows how to have a cooler livewell and keep tournament fish alive. Your fishing trips will be more enjoyable. Good luck!


Why is it important to have a cooler livewell?

Tournament fish need colder live wells to survive.

What size live well should I choose?

Fish size and quantity determine livewell size. Fish need ample room to swim without crowding.

 How can I maintain the proper water temperature in the livewell?

Insulation, ice packs or frozen water bottles, and a thermometer may keep water warm.

 Are there any additives I can use to improve water quality in the living well?

Yes, livewell additives reduce fish stress, remove dangerous pollutants, and replace nutrients to enhance water quality.

 How often should I clean my livewell?

After fishing, clean your life to eliminate trash, germs, and algae. Cleaning keeps fish healthy.

Emma is the wordsmith behind the insightful articles and guides on our website. Her extensive research and passion for fishing shine through in every piece she creates. Whether sharing angling tips or delving into the latest conservation efforts, Emma is dedicated to providing valuable and engaging content.