Oak Orchard River Bass Anglers

Keeping Bass Alive



Minimize handling and air exposure time.

Land bass and remove hooks as quickly as possible.

Protect the slime coat.  Do not allow bass to flop around on the floor or carpet.

When water temperature is below 75, pump in fresh water at regular intervals.

When water temperature is above 75, pump in fresh water continuously and turn on the recirculating pump.  Add ice to cool the live well water.  Do not cool livewell water more than 8-10 degrees.

Bass consume 30% more oxygen in 90 degree water than they do in 75 degree water.

A 4 pound bass uses 50% more oxygen than a 2 pound bass.

Surface Water Temperature

Target Livewell Water Temperature







When operating the livewell in recirculation mode with more than 5 pounds of bass in the livewell, replace half of the livewell water with fresh water every 2-3 hours to remove ammonia.  Then add ice to cool the livewell water temperature.

When recirculating, add 1/3 cup of non-iodized salt for every 5 gallons of water in the livewell.

Always handle bass with wet hands.

While waiting in line to weigh-in your catch, dip fresh water into your weigh-in bag several times from life-support tanks, when available.

Hold big bass horizontally, not vertically, using both hands to support the weight of the bass.

Five 2 pound bass use nearly twice as much oxygen as one 10 pound bass.

A bass that constantly swims around a typical 20 gallon livewell uses 5% more oxygen per minute than a resting bass.


Fizzing through the side is 14% more effective than fizzing through the mouth.

Bass that are immediately released generally do not need to be fizzed.

Tournament anglers should check bass frequently and fizz bass whenever necessary.

Bass that require fizzing will be floating upside down or on their sides, incapable of staying submerged.

In extreme cases, bass may have a swollen belly and their stomach may be protruding from their gullet.

Continue to fizz any bass that is incapable of staying submerged in the livewell.

When fizzing, use a 1½”, 16 or 18 gauge needle.

For bass weighing less than 3 pounds, fizz for 3 to 5 seconds.

For bass weighing more than 3 pounds, fizz for 5 to 8 seconds.

Repeat side fizzing if a bass continues to float after 15 to 30 minutes.

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