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Old 02-03-2010, 03:43 AM
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Default Live wells, stringers, keeping fish fresh mercifully??

I normally return most of my fish, but I keep and dine on fresh trout from time to time. I only like to harvest fish from reservoirs that are regularly stocked or high lakes that are overpopulated with stunted fish. My question is what is the best way to keep the trout fresh (and alive mercifully) while you keep on fishing throughout the day before cleaning them all at once at the lake and then returning to camp?

The two situations when I keep trout are: (1) fishing from a float tube at reservoirs and (2) fishing high mountain lakes from shore during backpacking trips. I've seen a lot of videos/pics/other anglers using stringers in both instances but it seems like the poor, little trout suffer quite a bit because they have the stringer running through their cheek or gills. My concern is that I would rather not have my catch suffering during its last few hours before I dispatch them. I know this seems ironic, but I respect these beautiful animals too much to have them hanging on a stringer in the water. And I feel like harvesting fish from overpopulated waters does the fishery good.

Are there any products that would act like a live well? I need one product I can take backpacking (must be lightweight and pack compact) and also be able to hang off my float tube while I float around the reservoir. I've thought about just jerry rigging something with some general netting and using some clips to hold it all together, but I would love to be able to buy a product designed for my needs.

Thanks for any help
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Old 02-03-2010, 03:48 AM
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Default Re: Live wells, stringers, keeping fish fresh mercifully??

I think Cabelas has a fish basket its a collapable net that works as a live well
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Old 02-03-2010, 07:12 AM
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Default Re: Live wells, stringers, keeping fish fresh mercifully??

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Originally Posted by jimw View Post
I think Cabelas has a fish basket its a collapable net that works as a live well
For your purpose a scuba diving fish net with wire closure would work fine. Hang on your tube or around your waist. If you are in and out of tube, the old world arctic creel (basically a canvas bag lined with plastic) that keeps fish cool through evaporation.
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Old 02-03-2010, 08:50 AM
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Default Re: Live wells, stringers, keeping fish fresh mercifully??

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Originally Posted by jimw View Post
I think Cabelas has a fish basket its a collapable net that works as a live well
if having a fish basket, try buying a " pool noodle" foam noodle stick kids use in a pool, cut and fashion around the top......will keep it floating right next to your tube.
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Old 02-03-2010, 12:37 PM
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Default Re: Live wells, stringers, keeping fish fresh mercifully??

if youre fishing from a float basket, try using a fish basket. but if youre backpacking from stream to stream and the fish will be out of water, just kill them when catch them and then keep them in a small cooler with some ice. that way they wont suffer at all and they will stay, for the most part, fresh throughout the day.
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Old 02-04-2010, 01:44 AM
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Default Re: Live wells, stringers, keeping fish fresh mercifully??

Thanks everybody for the great ideas. I think I am going to rig something up from the good ideas given to me.

I can taste those delicious cutts and rainbows already
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