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Shorefishing Livewell


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How do you guys keep your fish when shore or dock fishing? I used my Ice-Well last Sunday and put a 6.5lb Northern in it for 1 hour, watched it swim around and then released it. You can tie it off to a stake, dock, and put it over the side of a boat. It floats and has a velcro closure on top. Compact and light weight. 33" long. Works great for summer but I designed it for Ice Fishing. Bruce Mosher

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I would be a little concerned later this summer when surface temps heat up. It would likely be a death sentence for fish you planned on releasing.

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When fishing from the dock, I keep the sunfish and crappies I plan on eating in a 5 gallon bucket full of lake water - in the shade. They seem to last long enough until I clean them. I've been thinking of getting a basket that sits in the water underneath the dock, though.

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Just be careful about leaving fish tied to a dock. I was fishing last summer in the BWCAW and heard this thrashing coming from where I was keeping my fish my the dock. I thought that there must be a pike or something in the area for the fish to moving around like that. When I reeled up my line, I looked over at my walleye I had caught and it's guts were hanging out from its stomach and in a huge snapper's mouth. There went my dinner, and a lesson learned.

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High Water Temps could be a concern. The Northern I had in the floating bag (Ice-Well)pulled it under the dock and in the shade. So he was in perfect condition when released. Bruce Mosher

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Just out of curiosity, why would you keep him for an hour and then release him?

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Gotta watch the critters around the docks..I think they think it's a free buffett. I've had to wire shut the minnow buckets..(coons/otters) and fish tied to the stringer..(coons/otters)and of course they were kind enough to leave what they ate in a pile after it went through their digestive systems

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Bruce is a tackle innovator, and a fine one at that. He's developed systems like the Ice Buster Bobber, Wave Buster Bobber, Foam Walker, just to name a few. He's out there designing fishing equipment that is easy to use and affordable to all anglers. The Ice Well he's talking about is truly an outstanding piece of equipment and worked very well for me this past winter...

fishwell-page.jpg

It only seems right (and doesn't surprise me) that Bruce is trying to come up with new ways to use the products he designs, hence the reason for holding the pike in the Ice Well for an hour. There were no intentions of hurting the fish, and nothing of the sort was done. Bruce is a veteran angler who knows better than to put a fish like that in harms way. He's just trying to make (and fine-tune) fishing equipment so we have a better time on the water and ice. He developed a product that has the ability to hold a fish of that size, and has the ability to hold a fish of that size in the water (safely) for a period of time.

Here's a story about the Ice Well I have from this last winter...

I was targeting pike over a large shallow (8 foot) flat this past winter in hopes of achieving a few results for info for an article I was writing. I was working a 1/4oz jigging spoon tipped with a minnow head and I was aggressively jigging a series of holes. The large pike were cruising the flats chasing perch and other baitfish. I was out there solo and I landed about a 12 pound pike. I wanted a picture of this fish for the article but there was no one within 200 yards of me. I did not want to jeopardize the health of this fish just for a picture, but I remembered the Ice Well I had and I put the fish in that down the hole while I could hop in the truck and cruise to the nearest angler to help with a picture. Sure enough I came back with helpful angler to snap a quick picture and get the fish back in the water. And let me tell you, when I grabbed that pike out of the Ice Well it was more lively than when I caught it! A quick picture and it took off down the hole like a torpedo!

MJicepike3.JPG

Truly an outstanding piece of equipment and something that has many different uses. And like Bruce is always doing, he's trying to come up with more uses for it.

So again, Bruce's intentions are truly in the best interest of the fish and the sport. The Ice Well certainly has the ability to safely hold a large fish without damaging it. And, before preaching to the fishing public about what a product can do, you need to make sure it can do what you say. Bruce was just reiterating and proving that.

Another great product Bruce and Today's Tackle!

Good Fishin,

Matt Johnson

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Thanks for clarifying that, Matt.

That device looks great. I currently use a 5-gallon lidded bucket on a long rope with a bunch of 1/2" holes drilled in the lid.

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My livewell is actually a big bait-well... 50 quart cooler on wheels rigged with a recirculating livewell pump (livewell pump, short hose, and sprayer fitting).. it runs on 12V .. A little heavy, but it keeps my flathead bait alive for as long as I want it to be, and it works when away from the water. At home a 12V converter runs it.

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Dave's well is very nice, indeed! I've been thinking of throwing one together, too.

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  • 4 weeks later...

When I first saw this product mentioned, I wondered, "How do you keep it from freezing into the hole?"

It seems like about half the time that I spend on the ice, only the holes that I'm working stay open for any length of time.

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If it's a cold day and you're fishing outside of a portable or fish house then it's going to be tough to use. But inside a portable or permanent you can either drill an extra hole or place it in a hole that's not being used. I usually drill an extra hole either at the edge of the sled in one of the corners, or else at the one of the corners of the open ice in front of you when you flip over the portable. This way the holes are out of the way. Works great for keeping your fish fresh and safe from freezer burn. I use them a lot for panfish when out on the ice, as well as perch. They will work for walleye and pike too. And when I'm done fishing I transfer the fish into a small cooler that I carry with me that rides in the bed of my truck. You will actually be able to sit and watch the sunfish and crappies swim/move around inside the Ice Well too.

I think they're going to be great for ice fishing contests and tournaments if someone would like to keep a trophy fish alive so they can still possibly weigh it or get it verified without causing the fish too much harm so it can still be released.

You will be able to completely submerge a 30 inch walleye under the water which will keep the fish free from the harsh outside conditions. If you need to run to your truck for the camera you won't have to worry about leaving the fish on the ice or have to carry it with you.

There are many uses for the Ice Well.

Good Fishin,

Matt Johnson

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  • 2 weeks later...

any fish I catch from shore and plan on eating goes directly into a cooler with ice in it. I have one of those coolers that keep it cold for days. It has wheels. So the fish stays firm and cold. minnow bucket in the lake- same temp as waters I am fishing and crwlers or leeches in the cooler. A livewell while shore fishing for the fish you catch only indicates to me, " culling" . just my feelings, not trying to stir anything up here.

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Actually, I have a comment. My father and I went fishing in Ontario one summer. The weather was brutal over the July 4 break. The daytime temperatures were 95 and the nightime temps were 42. We froze at nite and fried during the day. Keeping fish was a huge problem as our ice melted by the third day and we had a lot of ice at start, but no dry ice. We ended up stringing our fish and sinking them in 34 feet of water, but several of them died and were stinking each morning. In addition to that, one big fish we had managed to break free.

Bruce, I encourage any development that is both legal and helps eliminate spoilage by keeping fish alive and makes it tough for fish to escape.

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Doesn't Presto make one??

I think it's called the fry daddy. grin.gif

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i do more hard water fishing than open water when we are on open water we use an old cooler with two milk jugs of frozen water in them in my sleeper fishhouse i have a 20 qt cooler with a builge pump attached to it and a drain pipe back into the hole to keep my bait fresh also have a 4" piece of pvc pipe with a cover and a trap cleanout with hundreds of holes in it to drop down into the hole if i am gonna be gone for a few days which is very unusual it is tied to a rope all i do is chisel open the hole fill the cooler with the freash water using the pump and pour the bait back into the cooler from the bait holder that i just pulled back thru the ice but i would like some info on where to get one of those bags pictured here it beats haveing a bucket full of ice and water takeing up space in my lil otter e-mail me please with info [email protected] thanks in advance

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You can get the Ice Well at www.todaystackle.com. Todays Tackle is an FM sponsor and Bruce has developed several different products that cater to the hard water angler. The Ice Buster Bobber, Rod Rocker, Rod Strap... all made with the purpose of making things easier for us on the ice.

I really like the Rod Rocker. It doubles as not only a rod holder, but as a strike indicator as well. Because you anchor it with a screw (a very simple procedure), you can adjust how tight you want the Rod Rocker anchored. If your purpose is only intended as a rod holder and nothing else, then feel free to tighten it as much as you want, but it's real intended purpose is for it to be able to pivet and "rock" back and forth. So, you don't want to tighten it down all the way, allow the Rod Rocker to fully rotate. Now, your rod sits in the holder and when a fish pulls on the line the rod tip will dip or drop as the fish pulls. And if you rig it correctly the fish won't feel much, if any, resistance. Great for deadsticking for walleye, catfish, pike and panfish. I have them anchored to the seats of my Otters, a very easy to use and effective product...

rodrocker-page.jpg

Todays Tackle Rod Rocker

RodRockerice2.jpg

Rod Rocker on the seat of my Otter portable fish house

RodRocker_down.jpg

Rod Rocker anchored on the side of a 5-gallon bucket

A lot of options out there for the use of these products.

Good Fishin,

Matt Johnson

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • jparrucci
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    • SkunkedAgain
      I don't know about either of them, but welcome to the forum.
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